Billy Napier Press Conference 10/10/2022

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    • #23191
      Mark Wheeler
      Forum Owner

        Billy Napier and select players are scheduled to address the media this morning.

        Follow along for updates.

      • #23192
        Mark Wheeler
        Forum Owner

          Napier said he thought the defense made some steps forward and talked about the game changing punt return.

          Gave Missouri credit for the way they played and competed.

          Called Ventrell Miller fantastic in the game and talked about Jaydon Hill’s two game changing plays.

        • #23193
          Mark Wheeler
          Forum Owner

            Napier said Florida’s issues on third down is very correctable. He said it was a combination of a lot of things. It is something they have done well at times, but they struggled on Saturday. They want to get the players in a better position and then execute better.

          • #23194
            Mark Wheeler
            Forum Owner

              There’s a challenge in containing LSU’s quarterback because he can impact the game with his feet.

            • #23195
              Mark Wheeler
              Forum Owner

                Napier said Trevor was able to take advantage of his older brother Travis coming before him. He also had good things to say about his parents. He praised Etienne’s work ethic.

              • #23196
                Mark Wheeler
                Forum Owner

                  Napier said that Richardson has been making better decisions as to when to pass and when to run.

                • #23197
                  Mark Wheeler
                  Forum Owner

                    There’s some awareness the week when UF plays a rival. The players realize this is a big game.

                  • #23198
                    Mark Wheeler
                    Forum Owner

                      Napier wouldn’t bite when asked how he ended up at UF rather than LSU.

                    • #23199
                      Mark Wheeler
                      Forum Owner

                        Napier said that every day he is at Florida he becomes more confident of what can be accomplished at UF.

                      • #23201
                        Mark Wheeler
                        Forum Owner

                          Napier said UF is a very capable team, they’ve been in the fight each week.

                        • #23203
                          Mark Wheeler
                          Forum Owner

                            Courtesy ASAP Transcripts…

                            BILLY NAPIER: So just after looking at the tape, no question, really quality team win. I thought we answered a lot of the challenges that we presented to the players and staff going into the game.

                            Defensively I felt we took some steps forward in a lot of areas. Then to finally to make a game changing play with the punt return. Then a good third quarter on offense to try to get control of the game and found a way to win it in the end.

                            So really proud of our players. I thought the effort was quality on the tape, the physicality was there. And we did just enough, when you combine the offense, defense, and special teams to win the game.

                            A big credit to Missouri for the way they competed in the game. A lot of great stories in the game, individual stories. I thought Ventrell Miller was fantastic in the game. I thought that Jaydon Hill obviously made two huge plays in the game.

                            Offensively, I thought up front and on the edges we really probably played one of our better games against a really good front seven of Mizzou. So a lot of good things on the tape. Always good to win, especially in this league and certainly to get our first one, I think, was a big step in the right direction.

                            Excited about the challenges that come with playing a really good LSU team. Certainly when you play LSU, you know they’re going to be unique mismatched players on the field, and they’ve got lots of them. We’ve got a ton of respect for Coach Kelly and the staff that he’s put together.

                            Again, it’s a great opportunity for us to be back at home and play in The Swamp at night, and we look forward to it.

                            Q. Billy, you said at the game that you were going to dig in on the third downs and what happened there on the long third downs. What are you seeing in the money down, so to speak, that you guys are struggling with, and what can you do to mitigate some of those?

                            BILLY NAPIER: I think it’s all very correctible. Some of it’s missed tackling. Some of it is pass rush lane integrity. Some of it is leveraging coverage. And then some we’re just not — maybe we’re not in a great call here or there.

                            So it’s a combination of a lot of things. I don’t necessarily know that there’s one thing we can pinpoint, but it’s certainly something we have done really well at times week to week, and Saturday was an area where we struggled a little bit.

                            We’ll go back to work there and evaluate it objectively and try to put our players in better position and then try to get the players to execute much better.

                            Q. What is the level of frustration when those things happen?

                            BILLY NAPIER: Any time it’s third and long, if you know the numbers, you’re anticipating you’ve got a good percentage chance to win. But I also know that it comes down to execution, right? Missouri had well-designed stuff at times. Their players made plays at times.

                            So it’s a combination of a lot of things, but when you get 11-plus, those are the ones you anticipate winning. For me as a head coach, those are the ones you struggle with a little bit.

                            Q. Billy, you’re going to face a quarterback who’s really good getting outside the tackles and creating a problem for your guys in the secondary, whether to come up and tackle him or let him run. How do you set the edge because that’s been a problem with all the cornerbacks so far?

                            BILLY NAPIER: That’s a great question. It’s one of the very specific things about this game when you talk about the dilemma that you have relative to the amount of skill players that they have. I mean, at receiver they’ve got some dynamic players both inside and outside.

                            So you pair that with the ability for the quarterback to break the pocket and scramble — you know, you think about statistically, when you look at their team, this quarterback has made significant impact on the game with his feet. So they’re certainly going to be a big part of our planning and the dilemma that you have on defense.

                            I think it’s a great question and one that we’ll be working hard on this week.

                            Q. He throws the ball very well too. Is it an equal problem if you just keep him in the pocket because he does throw it so well?

                            BILLY NAPIER: You’re thinking you’re picking your spots. You try to mix it up. Ultimately, you’ve got to play good at all three levels. So there’s a number of ways to go about this.

                            I think we’ll have our way. We’ll surely have ways to change it up in the game. That’s a great question. And anybody that’s played this team will tell you that’s one of the biggest challenges about playing against them.

                            Q. Your two best running backs are from the state of Louisiana. Do you sense anything extra from them? What does it say about the state? You were there for a long time producing quality running backs like that.

                            BILLY NAPIER: We reaped the benefits of it at Louisiana. And certainly I think that we’ve got a handful of Louisiana kids on our team that are going to be excited about it. Any player that’s from the state that we’re competing against is always excited about playing in front of their home team.

                            When you talk about per capita, when you talk about player production in the state of Louisiana, it’s as good as there is in the country. About 100 Division I players a year, and certainly we had our fair share of them at the previous stop.

                            Q. Are you surprised that Trevor has picked things up so quickly for a guy that young and so forth?

                            BILLY NAPIER: I think he’s a little bit of a unique young man relative to his brother. I think his brother having the success he had, having the insight to his routine, his discipline, his training, what college football is going to be like.

                            I also think that he comes from a fantastic family. Education is important. Character important. Really good hard working, down to earth people. If you’ve ever been to Jennings, Louisiana, you know what I’m talking about.

                            But no surprise to me. I mean, I had a chance to get to know him, and he’s always been a sharp, mature kid. I was impressed with the work he did in the spring semester before he got here. I thought he really worked hard, and he was well prepared upon arrival.

                            You’re talking about a football family. You’re talking about a kid who he’s intelligent, he’s mature, he’s got character, and he’s continuing to get better. I thought we saw that Saturday.

                            Q. Anthony didn’t run the ball a ton Saturday, maybe even missed a few opportunities to run. Are you at the point where you maybe need to encourage him to do it? Especially early in the season you tell him not to run. Are you finding yourself trying to urge him to run more?

                            BILLY NAPIER: I don’t necessarily know that any of that is accurate, but I do think that he’s using his instincts and his judgment relative to when it’s right to run and when it’s not.

                            I think when you’re a passer and it’s a passing down, that’s when there’s some decisions to be made, and I thought in the game Saturday he did a good job. The fourth and two was a good example of that. I thought the third and five or six on the left hash where he broke the pocket to the right.

                            I think there’s some calculated risk relative to when to take chances, when to not, and I think as of late he’s been making more good ones than bad ones.

                            Q. The passing game and just the progression over six weeks, where that’s at right now.

                            BILLY NAPIER: Good and bad. I think we do it really well at times, and there’s a lot of times we can do it better. So I think we’re working towards more consistency.

                            A lot of things contribute to throwing the ball. I think you’re seeing the trend in the NFL right now. If you just look at Sunday and look at the statistics and all the quarterbacks in the NFL, you’ve got to protect the passer. Then you’ve got to have precision in the routes. If it’s zone, you’ve got to space the floor correctly. If it’s man, you’ve got to separate, you’ve got to get open.

                            I mean, there’s tons of variables here. So I think much like a lot of parts of our team, we’ve done things well at times and then we’ve struggled at times. I do think it’s an area we work hard on, and we’ll continue to get better as we go forward.

                            Q. How do you coach mental toughness? That’s something you talked about on Saturday, helping with the close games. How do you coach that in the off-season to develop that?

                            BILLY NAPIER: You’re talking about relative to close games? I think your off-season program is where you create these intangibles. I think if you’re intentional about — what I say is it’s design difficulty. Everything that we do from a training perspective is both physically and mentally, we’re trying to design difficulty for the players. It’s the only way that you can create growth is to make it hard. Harder is better.

                            I think we work hard and try to do that in the off-season program. I think specifically, when it comes to game day, the football component comes in there. If the players have a good understanding of what’s happening, why it’s happening, what went wrong, what went well, I think that’s where your in game adjustment process is important, how you review the series, you anticipate what’s next. A language that your players speak.

                            Sometimes if players don’t understand what’s happening, there’s a little bit more anxiety. But if you can come off the field and say, hey, we need to redirect the protection there. We get our back out there before we got all three levels in the route, we’ve got a better chance. They know, hey, we can fix that. So there’s a little bit more poise. There’s a little bit more focus on the technical part.

                            I think you’ve got to keep it technical, and you’ve got to have good coaches and good players that understand what’s happening on game day.

                            Q. Devin Moore didn’t play Saturday. What’s going on with Devin?

                            BILLY NAPIER: Got a little banged up late in practice on Wednesday. Nothing major there. He’ll be kind of a work in progress this week, but re-aggravated an injury from the past and one that made him unavailable for the game.

                            Q. First time in this position you’ll be going up against a first time SEC coach.

                            BILLY NAPIER: It’s the whole body of work relative to the evidence. You look at the play callers on both sides of the ball relative to Cincinnati, relative to Kansas City Chiefs, Kentucky, Notre Dame. We spend lots of time on this independent of this week.

                            But I think you do have a little bit smaller sample size, especially when you consider Mississippi State, their offense, the differences there. When you talk about New Mexico, their offense and the differences there, the number of plays they play against Southern. There’s a lot of variables that contribute to the sample size that you have.

                            But I think that’s where your off-season research and summer scouting comes into effect.

                            Q. Florida is unique in maybe the number of rivals it has. Do you do anything different rivalry week or treat them any differently?

                            BILLY NAPIER: I think it’s about awareness. I think in conversation in front of the team, it’s important that you educate the players a little bit about that.

                            I think we’re fortunate that we’ve got some Gators in the building that have a pulse. Certainly this one is — we’ve got a lot of Louisiana ties in the building as well. I think there’s some awareness here.

                            These kids, they follow college football. They know it’s a big game.

                            Q. One thing the media speculated a lot about last year is would Billy Napier be a candidate at LSU? There’s a lot of conjecture and stuff. Can you, I don’t know, shoot down any myths or realities on whether there was any interaction with LSU and how you ended up here as opposed to there?

                            BILLY NAPIER: I don’t know that’s something you talk publicly about. I think we’re all well aware of chaotic times in college football when you get to November, December, January.

                            I’ll tell you one thing. I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given here. For the administration here, for Scott and all the people that contributed to that decision to have faith and confidence, do their homework on me, give me an opportunity to lead here.

                            I can’t imagine being at a much better place. So we were very patient the last few years. This path was right. That’s what I would say. There’s not a day that I woke up and said am I at the right place or not? I’ve got conviction about that.

                            And the more I’m here, every day that I’m here, the more I’m confident about what we can accomplish here. So it’s a blessing to be at the University of Florida and represent such a great place.

                            Q. Following up on what Jake was asking, what’s your assessment of the offense as a whole compared to where you’d hoped it would be at this point?

                            BILLY NAPIER: I think we’ve got some good. I think we got a pretty good highlight tape we could put together. I’d like to have a little bit more consistency. I think there’s — we’ve got a lot of missed opportunities on the tape, and then there’s some bad ball on the tape.

                            I think there’s a lot of things that we could do better. We play team football. So I think offense contributes to defense, defense contributes to offense, special teams is certainly a percentage of the game. So we do what we think is required to win the game.

                            I think at times this year we played really good on offense, and there’s times where we’ve been very average and below average. So I think we’re working hard to get better.

                            Q. What’s your mid-season grade for the Gators? No incompletes.

                            BILLY NAPIER: I’m not into grades. I’m into winning.

                            Q. You’re 4-2 right now and could easily be 6-0 or even 1-5 right now. How do you impress on these guys that, okay, go back and look at this, and in each game, 5 of the 6 games, we’re a handful of plays one way or the other from being at one end of the spectrum or the other?

                            BILLY NAPIER: I think that’s a great assessment of where we’re at. I think there’s a lot of days you wake up and you’re thinking, man, I’m glad we’re 4-2. But you also think about the potential and that we’re a very capable team. We’ve been in the fight every single week.

                            I heard a coach say one time that you’re always really close to being a very good team, and you’re always really close to being a very bad team. And that describes our team in a lot of ways.

                            Where we’re at, I think we have a very capable group. What I’m hopeful that we see here is we start to minimize error a bit better. We start to be a little more efficient. We start to believe a little bit more.

                            I think our practice habits are improving. I think that the chemistry, the morale of the group is improving. So there’s no easy outs in this league. We’ve got a tough slate ahead of us. Complete focus on this LSU game and what we need to do to position the team to win this one.

                            Q. How would you assess the balance on the offense right now? There’s been some big passing games, running games, et cetera.

                            BILLY NAPIER: I think every possession in the game, every matchup week to week, you do what you think to do for the team to win. So we’ll continue to do that.

                            Q. Anthony on Saturday mentioned that he was starting to feel a lot more comfortable and maybe even taking favor to some of the shot plays that you guys have designed. How much does that benefit your offense specifically with the way you like to run the ball and maybe take the top off of the defense if you can really start to get comfortable within those?

                            BILLY NAPIER: We’re getting there. We like to rush the ball effectively. We like to throw completions. We like to execute at a high rate on conversion downs. We like to create explosive plays. We like to score touchdowns in the red area. And we like to play turnover-free and penalty-free football. That’s how you win games.

                            We’ve done some of those at times, and we need to do them better at times. So just keep working.

                            Q. It’s Tom Petty weekend. Are you a fan?

                            BILLY NAPIER: Absolutely I’m a fan. And the Heartbreakers, man. Are you kidding me?

                            Q. What’s your favorite?

                            BILLY NAPIER: Long list. I’ve got Pandora in my office. Feel free to come check it out one day.

                          • #23204
                            Mark Wheeler
                            Forum Owner

                              Transcript courtesy ASAP

                              Q. How would you just evaluate the offensive play so far and how have you guys progressed through six weeks?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I think at times it’s been good. One thing we need to work on is probably our consistency, just eliminate the negative plays, getting ourselves behind the sticks at times.

                              But I think what helps is having multiple guys that can play, six or seven guys that can really play.

                              Q. Second half, you guys ran for more than 200, four runs over 30. Is that what the identity of this offense can become, do you think?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I think part of the identity of this offense is kind of doing what the defense allows. So Missouri in the first half was kind of moving a lot. They gave us different looks. And then the second half kind of just felt them out better and had a better idea of what they were trying to do.

                              Q. And you’ve kind of adjusted?

                              ETHAN WHITE: As an offensive line, we kind of felt them out more.

                              Q. I asked Billy about adjusting, and he’s like, didn’t really go there. But you guys saw something and kind of capitalized, do you feel?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I wouldn’t say adjustment as much as they come in, they’re a good group on the defensive line. So feel how they play double-teams, single blocks, just they play different than the group we played last week. Just kind of getting used to that.

                              Q. How big of a factor is that? How to figure out what the other team is doing? Does it take a couple of series to really figure things out and make those adjustments?

                              ETHAN WHITE: Preparations during the week definitely helps to have an idea of what they’re going to do, but you come in running the ball well, teams are going to move, they’re going to slant. So it does probably take a series or so just to have an idea how they’re attacking you that week.

                              Q. Having six or seven guys, can you speak to the progression you’ve seen with Austin and Richie so far? I think you guys have said you have that five to one philosophy, and they’ve expanded to six to seven equals one.

                              ETHAN WHITE: Austin and Richie made leaps and bounds as players individually and kind of fitting into the unit better. I think Richie, he’s just versatile. He can play all three inside. As well as Austin, he can play both tackles.

                              Just having them in practice and games and just being ready at all times helps.

                              Q. What’s it like blocking for Trevor and Montrell in the run game? What’s the chemistry like as far as what all three are doing up front?

                              ETHAN WHITE: All three of our backs are elite, in my opinion. Especially with Anthony back there, you have to worry about the quarterback running. As an offensive line, you try to cover things up and let the backs do their thing. Give them a crease, and they’ll be out of there.

                              Q. I heard you were like 400-something pounds, and you’re kind of svelte compared to where you were. Talk about the transition you made with your body and how much of a challenge it was to get to a point where you’re a big, strong offensive lineman and not this eclipse.

                              ETHAN WHITE: I think it’s just a learning process. Getting to college, learning more about the nutrition, the strength and conditioning, and kind of how your body responds to different stimulus and what you put in.

                              It’s just learning that takes time, and it’s something that kind of happened over the years.

                              Q. You’re 3-1 in one-score games this year. You struggled with that the last couple years. What’s changed? What do you attribute that ability to pull those close ones out to?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I think as a team we’ve just kind of gotten better at eliminating some of the silly mistakes, some of the penalties. It’s kind of the self-inflicted errors. We’ve just tried to eliminate those.

                              Q. LSU is a team kind of similar to Missouri, a lot of talented guys up front. How do you view that challenge?

                              ETHAN WHITE: The SEC teams, they’re all going to be good up front, especially LSU. We’re going to look at how they try to attack offenses, but it’s really about what we do, it’s not about what they do.

                              If we go out there and execute the game plan and use our techniques, we’ll be all right.

                              Q. What do you remember from LSU’s trip here two years ago?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I remember it was a crazy environment, the fog rolling in at the end of the game. That was just a wild night.

                              Q. In terms of the series in general, what are your thoughts on it? It seems to be the best crossover rivalry for years now.

                              ETHAN WHITE: For sure. Well, for me personally, when I was young, this is one I’d always watch. This was always a big game. So being a part of it, it’s awesome.

                              Hopefully we can swing it our way a little more than it has been in recent times.

                              Q. You’ve watched it a lot, huh?

                              ETHAN WHITE: Yes.

                              Q. Do you have a memory or two?

                              ETHAN WHITE: Probably when Vosean hit the quarterback right at the goal line, right at the end of the game. That was crazy.

                              Q. Where does the shoe toss rank in terms of crazy, wild things you’ve witnessed?

                              ETHAN WHITE: It’s up there. It’s up there.

                              Q. What are the challenges you associate with pass protection for a quarterback who’s so mobile? You have your back to a guy who could be anywhere. How challenging is that?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge as much as you’ve got to be more locked in at all times.

                              With a quarterback who can’t move as much, you kind of have an idea of where they could be, all stationary. With Anthony, you have to block till the whistle on every play because at any moment he could pull the ball down and just scramble out of there.

                              Q. Again from two years ago. That fog, was it cool to play in? Was it weird? Was it eerie? What was that for you guys?

                              ETHAN WHITE: It was kind of just weird because at the beginning of the game there was no sign of it, anything. At the end it was a close game, when the fireworks would go off for the touchdowns there in the fog, it was just an eerie experience.

                              Q. Did you see the one that York hit, the 57-yarder? We couldn’t even see.

                              ETHAN WHITE: I couldn’t really see it from the sideline that well. I heard the fans not go very crazy, so I had an idea it went in.

                              Q. Everything was normal from a playing standpoint. The fog looked crazy for us, but down there it was too?

                              ETHAN WHITE: Yeah, from my standpoint, the offensive line, we could see everybody. I don’t know about the receivers or the quarterbacks.

                              Q. Could you see the shoe fly in all of that fog?

                              ETHAN WHITE: No, I wasn’t paying attention to that.


                              Q. Does losing two in a row to LSU add any extra weight to this game?

                              ETHAN WHITE: For sure. You want to win all your games obviously, but especially in a big rivalry, 0-2 is not something that’s acceptable to University of Florida.

                              Q. You guys are fifth in the country in fewest sacks allowed and fourth or fifth in the country by average yards per carry by your backs. What does that say about the cohesion of the offensive line right now?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I think it’s a good stat, but stats can sometimes be misleading because, when you’ve got somebody like Anthony back there, it’s hard to sack a quarterback like that. He can run out of it. He can make guys miss.

                              When it comes to the backs, those are just talented guys. You just cover them up, and they can make one or two people miss at the line and just go.

                              Q. What do you remember about Anthony last year? Coming in, he played at an incredible level.

                              ETHAN WHITE: Last year you just remember the physical things he did, hurdling people, outrunning people. I think that’s the difference between this year is now mentally he’s taken that next step.

                              Q. Just like what’s — so was there — did that surprise you how quick — how easily he came in and did that? We’ve seen some glimpses, but this was LSU, not USF?

                              ETHAN WHITE: In practice you see him do stuff like that, you see those crazy plays. When he gets in the game and does it, it’s not really surprising because we’ve seen it happen before.

                              Q. With Billy Napier, the offensive line a point of emphasis since he took the job. I wonder how that makes you feel as far as offensive linemen and how that’s shown on the field so far?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I think it gives the unit a sense of responsibility that the team kind of goes as the unit goes. So it just holds guys to a higher standard.

                              Q. Coach talked about the challenges of preparing for a first year staff. It’s the first time he’s had to do it in this position. Could you speak to that as well, especially from an offensive lineman’s standpoint against what’s a really talented defensive line at LSU?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I would say the one thing for game planning that’s difficult is you kind of are is to watch the previous teams the coach was at. You have to spend more time on personnel and individual players rather than watching team stuff from games in the past?

                              Q. Is that difficult because how well recruited this defensive line in particular has been?

                              ETHAN WHITE: I don’t know about difficult. You just have to manage your time differently as opposed to a different week.

                              Q. Do you often encounter differences in what you study in another team and what you see in games like this where it is kind of limited and you have to study a team that a coach isn’t working at anymore?

                              ETHAN WHITE: It happens sometimes, but I feel like whether the coach is at that team or at a previous team, most coaches do similar things and kind of just game planning that with the personnel they have.

                              Q. Do you have an appreciation for what Des Watson is going through from the weight loss aspect? Not that you were ever his size, but do you know what I’m talking about?

                              ETHAN WHITE: It’s cool because my locker has been next to Des for a couple of years. Talking to him, trying to give him any advice through his journey. He’s starting to see how losing the weight can affect his play and make him a better player, and he’s going to keep doing that.

                              Q. Did you feel that once you lost a certain amount?

                              ETHAN WHITE: Sure. Once you see results, it makes it easier to keep going.

                            • #23205
                              Mark Wheeler
                              Forum Owner

                                Transcript courtesy ASAP

                                Q. You’re coming off one of your better games. How do you feel like you made progress last week?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Like how do I feel I made —

                                Q. Yeah, like what did you do to make that kind of progress, and how do you feel like your game’s coming around?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I feel like just making my practice habits better because practice habits equals game time performance. So like I would just take practice throughout the week more seriously and make sure, try to attack every rep and make it work out.

                                Q. What did you think of Ventrell last week?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Ventrell, he was playing all over the field, but that’s how I’ve always known Ventrell. To me, I feel like he’s one of the better linebackers in college football. I’ve always felt like that since I’ve gotten here.

                                Q. That was next level for him, though, wasn’t it?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Uh-huh.

                                Q. What was he like — I mean, could you just look at him and see in his eyes his level of focus and energy?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Throughout the week, he was very — like he’s always been a leader, but throughout the week he was like — he’s always been vocal, but he was way more vocal this week. He was just very energetic throughout the whole week.

                                Like right now if you try to talk to him, he doesn’t have a voice, like he can’t talk right now for real. He’s a great leader when it comes to like just leading the team.

                                So when he leads, it just shows why he’s a leader on the field.

                                Q. You guys got the quarterback a lot in the second half, particularly fourth quarter. What changed for you guys, and what does that mean going forward to have that kind of pass rush?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I don’t know if anything changed. I just feel like we started to make plays in the second half. What was the second part?

                                Q. Just that pass rush going forward. How important is it going to be for you guys to generate that?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I feel like it’s going to be very important because sacks really help during games. I feel like our pass rush is going to be very important. We have to work on that throughout the week and take every rep and make every rep of pass rush count, but yeah.

                                Q. What’s the challenge of preparing for a team with a first year head coach? Everyone’s done that against you guys this year, but this will be the first time you guys are doing it.

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Other than like the film that I watched yesterday, it was just film from this season. Other than that, we haven’t really — we look at it tomorrow.

                                I just feel like, when we watch film of teams, they dig really deep. One team had a new offensive coordinator, and they were going back to like when he was at three schools ago and things like that. Yeah, I know PT going to do some digging, figure out a game plan.

                                Q. At LSU for the defense last year against the run. Where have you guys improved there?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I think our defense now is really like stop the run and then pass because we really emphasize — like versus LSU we were struggling against the counter play, and we really emphasized like being tight against the tackle and matching the tackles down and spilling the pullers and boxing pullers.

                                Q. What’s been different about you guys in the red zone, do you think, as opposed to the whole field?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I feel like the scheme I feel like just the way PT draws it up and the personnel we put in there, everybody we put in there has a different skill set.

                                Like I’m not even in goal line plays, but everybody in there that is in there has certain skill set to help us out in that area.

                                Q. You guys are 4-2, and when you look back, there’s a handful of plays that could have been made, you could be 6-0. Do you guys talk about that, and what do you say to each other when you think about it?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: We talk about it amongst like teammates and things. It’s like a hard pill to swallow, but we realize how small mistakes can be big differences, and we just realize that, whenever we — like upcoming games, we just have to be better and stop making so many mistakes because the two games that we did lose, it wasn’t just like — I feel like we beat ourselves more than the other team beat us.

                                Q. Does it all go back to practice habits? You talked about that earlier. Does beating these, overcoming these little mistakes go back to practice habits?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: It does. It does. I feel like these past few weeks as a team, I feel like we’ve been practicing harder as a team. So, yeah, practice habits do a hundred percent go into the game.

                                Q. What’s the level of frustration when teams convert on third and long?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: It’s very high. That’s an area that I feel like we’ve got to emphasize getting better on this week because last week we had too many instances where we had them in third and ten or longer and they converted.

                                That’s a big thing that help helps you win a lot of games. You’ve got to get off the field on third down. This week we’ve got to really focus on getting better on that.

                                Q. What coach is saying about that, and how do they react to that? I’m sure they’re not happy.

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Of course they’re not happy about that. They just tell us we have to get off the field on third down. It’s not like people aren’t there. It’s just we also have to work on tackling. We also have to work on tackling.

                                Q. Is tackling the common issue on the third and longs that allowed those conversions? What was it you saw that was common on those plays?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I think on two of the ones I seen, I can remember, it was two open field tackles that could be made. The other ones, I can’t recall.

                                Q. They talk about leverage. Is that happening too where guys aren’t like getting it flowing to the right side of the defense. You know what I’m talking about?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, I know what you’re talking about. Whenever the ball gets past the front seven, I don’t know too much about that.

                                Q. Played you two years ago here, but you had a pretty good view. What do you remember of that game?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I remember us — I just remember we weren’t doing good. We weren’t playing good enough defensively. They scored like 45 points. Even though we still could have won, we played a very bad defensive game.

                                Q. What’s the origin of your name, Princely?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Nigerian.

                                Q. Princely is royalty?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: My dad just did that. I have four brothers. My big brother is Prince. I’m Princely. My little brother’s name is Prince Will. And the last one is Princeton.

                                Q. What was your response — whenever there’s a depth chart change, the players pout or they said, man, I’m getting my spot back. What was that week like before you earned that starting job back?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I like that question. I was just focused. My coach, he talked to me. He pulled me aside and obviously talked to me. It’s not like he just did it. It was for a reason.

                                After that week and beyond, I changed my practice habits and came to practice ready to work and on my A game, and that has shown throughout the past two weeks in the game.

                                Q. Peterson?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: No, Coach Spencer.

                                Q. Is that cool that they addressed it? Versus just you see it and you have to make your own assumptions. You get that direct face to face?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, I like how he just pulled me to tell me. It left a small, little better taste in my mouth, but it is what it is. Like I have to make the decision to go hard and change that within myself.

                                Q. What did he say after three TFLs this week?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: He was telling me, he said, I told you what happens when you practice better. Like sometimes I would just go to practice and just be — not — like now I practice like I’m playing the game. Like it’s not practice, you’ve got to — you’re practicing for the game, so I practice like I’m playing the game.

                                He was just telling me, I told you that’s what happens. He feels like, if I keep doing that, I can keep progressing.

                                Q. Have you seen the video of you wiping out the coach?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, I did see that.

                                Q. What did that make you think? You have to calm it down or him calm it down next time?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: He keeps talking to me about it. He almost knocked me down too. I don’t know if you all saw it, but I fell backwards too. I’ve probably got to jump to the side next time because I gave him my chest like that.

                                Q. What’s your age?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I’m 20.

                                Q. Is Princeton really that little?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Princeton is in eighth grade. He’s just the youngest.

                                Q. You guys are facing a mobile quarterback this week. What do you have to do off the edge to be successful against a guy like that?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I feel like get off is a big — it’s like the biggest thing in a quarterback like that because you have to get there fast. Also, I feel like his first intention is not to throw like he wants to be a quarterback, but he gets out there once he sees something.

                                So I feel like just get off is a main factor in that.

                                Q. Have you felt like you guys have done a good enough job, or how would you evaluate your containability so far against mobile quarterbacks?

                                PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: So when we played Utah, I know — what other mobile quarterbacks? When we played Utah and Tennessee, I know versus Utah there was a play where I rushed off the edge and he seeped through the V-gap. I just know, if I’d have got off the ball faster, I probably would have won that rep and got there.

                                There’s another play where I bull rushed, but instead of keeping my outside arm free, I bull rushed between hands and he ran outside of me. It’s just small things like that that have to be corrected.

                                Like versus Tennessee, there was a play where I did an inside move and he ran outside. It’s just small issues like that that need to be corrected when rushing a mobile quarterback.

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