clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Al Golden Pregame Press Conference Transcription

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Statement…


“Good afternoon, and thanks for coming out. We appreciate you guys covering us. We’re excited. We just had two good practices, finished our second one this morning and we got a lot of work done - a lot of situational work. The guys had a good look, and we know what the challenge is - both in all three phrases and then certainly in the environment we’ll be facing. A lot of people have been to Nippert [Stadium] before, probably before they spent $80 million on it. Clearly it’s a tight environment and a tough place to play. Our guys know what the challenge is, we’ve been working on it…a lot of sound in all three phases. It’s going to be a good challenge for us.”

On the challenges of playing a team with such an up-tempo offense…


“You have to get some stops. You have to get some stops, you have to get off the field on third down, you have to find a way to get to the quarterback or take the ball away. There are great challenges there. If you don’t do any number of the things I just mentioned, you’re going to be in for a long day.

“You can’t let them have time to throw the ball and get vertical, they’re a good run-after-catch team. So many receivers on their team have so much experience. Their catch resume is phenomenal. They have a lot of guys that can do a lot of things with the ball after the catch. We have to play a lot of people. We can’t be in a situation where we’re tired…we’re light [on] guys. All of those things come into play here, and [they are all] things we’ve been discussing since last week.”

On if there’s an extra motive playing a primetime game on Thursday night and the atmosphere…


“I hope we’re to the point now where we just want to come out and play our game, no matter where we are. It’s exciting. They’re going to feel the energy, and they know the challenge, they know the environment. We’ve tried to make it really tough for them all week. For our guys, I think you know by now, I’m trying to create a consistent team – a team that wherever they are, they stay together, they communicate really well and they eliminate a lot of the bad ball. That’s going to be a challenge.”

On how much of the week has been spent on being consistent…


“That’s it. If you want to be good, you have to take care of yourself first. You have to do the things that you want to get done in a game, whatever’s important to you. For us, we have to improve our penalties. If we don’t, it’s going to hurt us. We want to protect the ball, take the ball away, just little things like that - making it about us and trying to be consistent. These guys have done a good job, though. We gave them some time off to take care of their academics and heal up, and they came back with a good attitude. We have a long way to go before game day, but it’s really important that we stay even-keeled and they’ve been doing a good job getting ready for Cincinnati and the threats they have in all three phases.”

On what he has seen from junior Alex Gall, who will be playing in front of family vs. Cincinnati…


“He’s really matured. He’s working really hard, he’s got leadership qualities, and he’s starting to feel comfortable in that position as a leader and holding guys accountable, which is great. He’s played better. He’s gotten so much better. He just has to relax. We’ve all been in that situation where we’re playing in front of people back home. He has to relax, block it all out and just worry about what he has to do every play. And he will. He’ll do that. We’ll help him through that.”

On getting healthy during the bye week…


“I think we’ve gotten healthy. We had a situation where it was just circumstances were odd with [Marques] Gayot. Other than that, we’ve gotten healthy. Stacy [Coley] is further along to being healthy, we’re just not ready yet with that hamstring, and we’re going to be in for it all season if we don’t take care of it. But Braxton [Berrios] is healthy, [Jermaine] Grace is healthy. There are so many other guys who don’t make injury list that are treating things who really did get healthy. Our guys lifted on Sunday, and Friday, we were off Monday…we went in tops on Tuesday and Wednesday, we were off Saturday. We lifted on Sunday. We had two practices in six days. We’re healthier than we have been. We conditioned the heck out of them the last couple of days because of what we’re going to face Thursday night. What we did accomplish is: we got healthy, we got our academics squared away, I’m talking assignments that are due the next couple of weeks…we did a lot of those. We hit the weight room, we really fixed the things that we needed to fix by position and unit. That’s what we accomplished.”

On the status of junior Jermaine Grace…


“We’re being proactive with it, we’re just protecting him. He’s full-go. He’s great. We’re just being proactive with him. We wanted to get him through tomorrow, since tomorrow is kind of our walk-through. We want to get him to that point and just let him go. We’re just being careful with him.”

On the improvements in redshirt senior Rashawn Scott, specifically his maturity…


“He’s been a lot more consistent in his approach. He’s really matured as a young man. He has been through a lot of adversity. I’m really proud of him. I really am. I’m excited for him. I know everybody gets excited [when] he catches that slant and runs [downfield], but some of those blocks that he made – second- and third-effort that he is making downfield - that sets the tone for the whole room. Now we have even more guys trying to do that. That’s a sign of unselfishness. He’s doing a good job putting the team first. He’s not trying to press the plays. The plays are coming because he’s doing his job really well, and I think that’s a lesson for everybody. In the second game [vs. FAU], he  didn’t get a lot of plays to him, but Herb [Waters] had a big game. From that standpoint, he’s doing his job and because of that, good things are happening for him. I’m happy for him.”

On if he would compare Scott’s growth to that of former receiver Phillip Dorsett…


“Sure. I don’t think there’s any question. They both missed ‘last year’ – they both missed their junior year, basically. Rashawn [was out] a little longer than Philip, but Rashawn right now is just starting to mature. He’s playing with poise. His route-running is better, his in-cuts are better, he’s protecting the football better. He has worked hard. We have to keep getting him the football. He deserves it right now.”