Weekly Football Press Conference Quotes And Comments

Oct. 25, 2006

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - Winston-Salem State University head football coach Kermit Blount met with media members on Wednesday afternoon for his weekly WSSU Football Media Luncheon in the CE Gaines Center media room as he answered questions and discussed this weekend's upcoming game with nationally-ranked Hampton University.


General Comments:

"It's Homecoming, and I know that they want to play well at home, and first of all, with Hampton, you are talking about a pretty experienced football team.  The loss at South Carolina State probably was devastating, but at the same time, they will be read to play and well prepared, and it is a matter of us going up there and matching that intensity, and I know that we will, and I think that our team will be fine."


Q- You talked about finishing, and I think that last week, you finished in all aspects of the game, and most importantly, Chad Oakley came in and kicked that 48-yarder with room to spare.  That shows that, if you guys are ever in position to win with a kick, that you have faith in the kicking game.  Correct?

A- "Chad is one of those guys, and at the beginning of the season, I wanted Chad to focus on just punting the football, and it flipped around to where he is doing all three phases of our kicking game, and I think that Chad being a senior he wanted that challenge from the start and I wouldn't give it to him, and sometimes you go back and kick yourself for stuff like that, and you know, we have all the confidence in the world that he will step up and get it done.  I didn't even realize it was a 48-yarder when I sent the field goal unit out there onto the field, but certainly, he came through, and we had to put him out there to see how he would respond in a situation like that, and he came through very well.  Our confidence in him has always been there, throughout his career."


Q- You guys ran the ball very well against Savannah State and that was something that Hampton had trouble stopping in their loss at South Carolina State last week.  Is that something that we will see the Rams try to exploit this weekend?

A- "I will always say that before you do anything, you have to establish the run game, especially before you go out there trying to throw too much.  If you can't run, you can't win, and that is at every level of football that you look at.  We want to try to establish the run game, and I think that it is very important for us to be able to run the ball north and south, and if we can do that, I think that we will be successful."


Q- What do you think the difference was between the running game versus Bethune-Cookman and last week at Savannah State?

A- "The five guys up front.  No doubt.  The five guys up front have to outplay the guys on defense up front.  And I thought our guys did a good job with that this past weekend.  And that is the type of game that I like to see us play because we have fun when we play those kind of games.  And once you get that confidence that you can run the football, it gets a little easier."


Q- You have to discipline players, and you did have to with John Mobley, after he was suspended for a game for an on-field incident.  Do the rest of the players know that there is no one player that is bigger than the team, and the team's discipline?  You could have kept him out of only half the game, and you kept him out of the whole game to prove a point, and instill discipline. 

A- "One of the things that we talked about going into Daytona, was that they (Bethune Cookman) would try to take us out of our system and you know, when you say it, and all of a sudden in happens, yeah, I think that you have to send a clear message and let guys know that there are certain things that coaches allow and certain things that you just don't tolerate, and one of the things that we will never ever tolerate, is a guy, no matter who it is, throwing punches in a ball game.  What happens to you is that you get up and you shake it off, and get back to the huddle to live to play the next play, and when something like that happens, you must show, quickly, that that will not be tolerated.  It is more important that the game, the season, or winning games, it is about showing that the discipline needed to ignore something like that is what we are after.  Certainly he has paid the price for it, and we are going to move on from it."


Q- Will he be back into the starting lineup?

A- "I'm not going to say that he will be back in the starting lineup, but he will make this trip this weekend, I think."


Q- Talk about Monte Purvis' poise last weekend

"You know, maturity is probably the word you are looking for.  He is starting to understand what I wanted out of the offense, from a quarterback.  He is starting to take some things upon him self now, and being a former quarterback, that is what you want to see, I like to see that confidence, and he has that leeway to put us into a better play if I give him a bad one, and I think that is the maturity of not only Monte, but the 11 guys out there playing with him.  One of the things I challenged him with last week was being to deliver the football in a timely manner, and not get happy feet.  I wanted him to make the read and deliver the throw and he did that, and we are going to need even more of that this weekend if we want to run our offense."


Q- When you look at the improvements from game one to right now with your ball club, what sticks out?

A- "I think confidence.  I think that our guys feel now that they can play.  You know, there were so many negative comments made around our football team, to our football team, by people have no association to our team, about the time that we decided to make the jump, the transition to Division I about how many games we would win, and about how many games we would lose, and I think that our guys have realized that all we had to do was come together, because all we have on the football field is each other.  They are starting to buy into the concept that the outside world does not control what they do on the field.  I don't think that we have been physically beaten by any team this season and we can only get better as we get the numbers that these other teams have, and that will take some time.  I think that confidence is the one aspect that we are showing now more so that at the beginning of the season."


Q- When you talk about the defense, over the last three games, only 16 points allowed.  You seem to be not getting hit by one Ram, but three or four Rams. 

A- "That is the philosophy of our defense.  Coach Ketchum and the defensive guys, they coach and teach intensity to those guys.  There are days that they beat us down like we aren't even there.  It makes our offense better.  And we compete one-on-one everyday.  We get a good look every day."


Q- Were you surprised how well Brandon McRae performed coming off of a week off with his ankle injury? 

A- "No, because Brandon was actually, before he was injured, he had taken over the starting role, and you know, you are looking at a redshirt freshman who is doing well.  He is going to be a pretty good running back before he leaves here, and Rod Fluellen, he has stepped his game up as well, he is earning an opportunity to get into the mix.  I would much rather have three backs that can play rather than one that can and two that can't."


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