Hear from MT football coach Rick Stockstill and players about the tough loss at FIU and the upcoming battle with Charlotte:
Head Coach Rick Stockstill
"We've got charlotte this week. They're 3-3 overall like us and 2-1 in the conference. They're coming off of a big win against WKU. It's a much improved team from last year. I told our team this yesterday, this is the best Charlotte team we've played since they came to the conference. I have so much respect for Brad Lambert as a coach and with everything he is doing. They've gotten a little bit better each year. They're really good on defense, they're probably up there in all of the statistical categories within the conference. It's a really good defense. They're doing a really good job creating turnovers. Offensively they've got a new quarterback from last year. They're running the ball really efficiently. They're one of the top teams in the conference in time of possession so they're limiting the opportunities that you get as an offense. Their offensive line may be the best we've played to this date in conference play. As always, they've always been good in the kicking game and this year is no different. Again, I tip my hat to Brad Lambert and what he's done with this program. You can see his influence and the direction he's got this program going. And like I said this is his best team."
On how Charlotte have changed things with different coordinators:
"They're a lot more multiple on both sides of the ball but more so on defense. Very seldom do you get the same look two play in a row. The schemes are so much different from game one to game two, from game two to game three. They're bringing more pressure than they did last year. Offensively they're probably hanging their hat a little bit more on the running game than they have in the past. They keep their defense off of the field but in years past their defense was on the field quite a lot but not this year."
On how to create pressure against this good offensive line:
"It's hard to do when you play a good team. We did a good job last week stopping the run and we've got to continue to do that. But it's going to be a challenge. Sacks are hard to come by against certain teams because the quarterback gets the ball out so fast. You want to get pressure, and you've got to get back there to do that. But it's going to be hard against this team because their line is good and their quarterback is good."
On Brent Stockstill's status for Saturday:
"I don't know that right now. We've got a long way to go. We've got 6 days before that happens so we'll see how that goes and how he rebounds."
How the team's practice was Sunday:
"It was a tough loss but after a good win you've got to rebound also. Practice was short yesterday because of rain and lightning. We had to come off the field. We didn't go in the mini gyms but we got about 30 minutes of work in before we had to come off. But I like this team, that hasn't changed. We got kicked in the teeth and sick to your stomachs but it's time to move on and that's what well do.
On Asher O'Hara's performance:
"We got him to run the ball. We had more rushing yards Saturday than we have had. Brent had 40 and Asher had 85 or 90 yards rushing. So we've got to get more running production from our running backs. That's where we have to get more yards. We had about 120 yards rushing between our quarterbacks and 50 or 60 with everybody else. So we've got to get more production from our running backs. We couldn't make much happen in the passing game against FIU and we became one dimensional. If the defense can do that to you it makes it so much more difficult offensively to move the ball."
On Charlotte's running game:
"Benny Lemay is a hard-nosed and downhill runner. I think he has deceptive speed. He does a good job in the passing game too. So he's a complete back and can do a lot of great things for them. He can do the inside zone runs and the outside zone runs and does a good job setting up his blocks. I haven't seen all of the C-USA statistics yet but I bet he's up there pretty decent in the overall stats in rushing yards."
On the biggest difference he's seen from Charlotte now from four years ago:
"Recruiting. Brad has done a good job recruiting. That period where you just play games that don't count as you build your program, that's hard to recruit guys to say we are going to be D1 one day or we're going to be in Conference USA one day. You're selling kids on a dream that that's going to happen. And now that he's been in Conference USA for four years, now he's able to go out and get players. They've got great facilities. They've got a nice stadium, their end zone facility is great, and the buildings on campus are pretty. He's got a good setup there. He's been able to upgrade his recruiting because now he's in a D1 conference and he doesn't have to sell those recruits on hope."
On if the team will have more pride on Homecoming:
"Every game has some label on it now and our focus is to go play this game and do whatever it takes to win this game. We just have to go play. Don't have more pride just because it's homecoming. We're 2-1 and fighting to win this game. We want to win. It doesn't matter if it's homecoming, blackout, senior day, it's a game that we've got to win."
On how much Charlotte's QB has a grasp on the offenses success:
"I can't really answer how much of a grasp he has. But that's a question that their coaches have to answer. But to me, he's done a good job of leading his team. He's doing a good job of protecting the football and managing their offense in the sense that he's not putting them in harmful situations."
On how nice it is to come back and play at Floyd Stadium this week:
"This has been a good grind. People don't realize that when you look at it at the half way mark. Four of our six games have been on the road. Coming off of two very emotional wins. I can't wait to get back home. You get back from Marshall and FIU at three in the morning. You get a couple hours of sleep and you're right back out there. I hope everyone comes out and supports this team. We need a big crowd. It is Homecoming and a lot of people are going to come back. It'd be nothing better than to see this stadium full and energized to stay rolling.
On what they'll do with Jovante Moffatt out the first half:
"We'll evaluate that as the week goes. Wesley Bush has been playing really well. Kylan Stribling came in there also. When Jovante was out earlier, we moved Greg Grate back there, and we moved Patterson there. But for Saturday we'll probably see Wesley Bush and Kylan.