JONESBORO (11/18/09) - Arkansas State held its weekly football press conference with head coach Steve Roberts Wednesday at the ASU Football Facility. Arkansas State continues Sun Belt Conference play this week, traveling to Murfreesboro to face Middle Tennessee at Floyd Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
NOVEMBER 18, 2009
ARKANSAS STATE FOOTBALL WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE
HEAD COACH STEVE ROBERTS QUOTES
ON THE FAU GAME
Looking back on last week, I'm very pleased with the play of our team. We did a lot of things very well. Things fell apart at halftime and we didn't play as well in the second half. We couldn't get any stops defensively. They scored on four straight possessions. We were able to continue to move the football, but we're disappointed with not being able to put it in the end zone. We made a lot of line-up changes last week. I am pleased with how that went as far as the effort and the passion that they played with. I'm obviously not pleased with the result.
ON THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE GAME
We're looking forward to going to Murfreesboro to play Middle Tennessee. It's a place where we have struggled. The past few years, we have played more there than we have here. We have not played well over there. We have changed our routine every time that we have gone over there. The bottom line is how you play once you get out on the field. You have to be ready to play emotionally, mentally and physically and to do things that you have to do to be successful. It will be a big-time challenge this week. Middle Tennessee is playing really good football right now.
ON THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE OFFENSE
Offensively they are led by Dwight Dasher. He is a guy that is averaging over 300 yards a game in total offense. He throws the football very effectively. He has a very good arm. He also runs the ball extremely effectively. He is not the only weapon they have. You can obviously tell that his passes go to players that can make big plays. They are doing a tremendous job in the scheme of their receiving game.
ON THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE DEFENSE
They are just as good defensively as they are offensively, if not better. They have 84 tackles for loss and 30 sacks. Those are numbers that are almost unheard of. They do a great job of putting pressure on the quarterback. They are in the top 10 in the country in turnovers created. They force you to make decisions out of your element. They have great athletes in the secondary.
ON THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE SPECIAL TEAMS
Special teams wise they are very solid. They are very good in the punt block team. They have blocked a number of punts this year. One of them was a game winner down at FAU.
ON MIDDLE TENNESSEE
They're just a very solid team. You can see why there was a lot of optimism coming out of Middle Tennessee at the end of last year. They were in sort of the situation that we find ourselves in now. They had a lot of players that were out. It is going to be a challenge for us.
ON THE ASU FOOTBALL TEAM
There are several things that we continue to work on that can be fixed. We have to get better and continue working. We have to find a way to finish drives. We have to do better on third downs and be more aware of our assignments. We haven't shown the ability to move people off of the line of scrimmage. That is disappointing. It is most disappointing to me when we drive all the way down to the 1 yard line and have to settle for three points.
ON ASU'S QUARTERBACKS
I'm not going to name a starter. Both quarterbacks are going to play. We have to have some things to be in place for both quarterbacks. Obviously, if one of them gets in a rhythm he will play.
Ryan Aplin was very good (against FAU). I thought he competed extremely well. He played extremely hard, but made some mistakes in his reads and some plays. Overall, I am very pleased with his progress.
Corey Leonard is an amazing young man. It's a difficult situation to be in. We didn't want to go into (the FAU game) with a rotation plan. He handled it extremely well. He was very vocal on the sideline with Ryan (Aplin) and also with other players. He did a tremendous job of displaying what type of young man that he is. He was obviously extremely disappointed. That's the competitor in him. That's what you want in a player.
ON MIDDLE TENNESSEE'S QUARTERBACK
We have to contain their quarterback. We have to keep him in the pocket and force him to look over the line in order to make plays.