OC Locksley says playing in Baltimore good for Terps

September 18, 2013 | WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

 

On West Virginia’s defense:

“I don’t think from a structural standpoint they’re much different than last year. They’ve kind of switched who the coordinators were, but I know they were co-coordinators, so from a structure standpoint it’s very similar to what they did last year. I think those guys are like us. In year two of a new scheme, they’ve got a great understanding and this will be the toughest defense we’ve faced so far.

“The big thing is that they create pressure with their front.  They’ve got some zone pressures they like to bring and that helps add guys to the box to stop the run. I think their secondary, especially their safeties, are athletic and talented and good tacklers. They play well in space. They create turnovers. We’re going to have a challenge this Saturday and I know we’re looking forward to it.”

 

On if he ever talks to defensive coordinator Brian Stewart to a scouting report of the Terps’ offense:

“We talk all the time, whether it’s him asking about offensive stuff or me about defensive stuff.  The good thing about preparing for this week is that a lot of stuff they do is what our defense does. Going against that style of defense every day in practice through spring and through fall camp, affords us a luxury that we get reps against that style of defense. Again, with the athleticism they have and they’re well-coached and good tacklers, it’ll be a challenge for us and we’re looking forward to it.”

 

On playing in Baltimore:

“I think any time we can play up in Baltimore is a good thing for us from the standpoint that the recruiting base and the Baltimore fans get a chance to see us. As far as playing in a NFL stadium, we’ll have our hash marks. The numbers are a little different, but in the walkthrough we’ll address some of the differences in playing in a NFL stadium.”

 

On the slow start at Connecticut:

“For us, it was definitely not the type of football we want to play. The thing that we preach first and foremost is not beating ourselves. The fumbles down in the red zone area, coming up short on two fourth and inches; that’s not what good teams do. Obviously, we need to get that corrected. Scoring in the red zone and our third down percentage are all correctable and things that we’re doing the necessary steps to try and correct this week.”

 

On wide receiver Levern Jacobs:

“Every time he’s played for us, he finds a way to make plays for us. He’s got the speed and for us, we’re always looking for guys who can make plays and to find ways to get them the ball. It was great to see him make that play right before the half [at Connecticut]. For him to make the play obviously gives us confidence that he has that ability. Having two brothers both playing Division I football is a testament to their parents. Both those guys are extraordinary athletes. They both have bright futures here.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

 

On defensive back Dexter McDougle:

“Anytime you have a player, who was playing at the level he was playing at, and he gets hurt, first you’re disappointed for the player. Then you look back at the contributions he made for the team overall. But we got to keep going. We’re going to miss him, we love him, but we got to keep going.”

 

On preparation of the younger players:

“I think that everybody is preparing well. Everybody is excited about their opportunities and taking advantage of those opportunities. I think we’ll be fine. I think those guys know the seriousness of this and at any given time your number could be called for you to play and at any given time you could be hurt. I think they understand what’s going on.

“I think we’re doing fine. When you’ve got to approach practice like a game and go full speed and you do those things in the classroom as well as on the field you’ve got a chance to be successful.”

 

On linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil:

“I’m excited for him and about him. When we first saw him last spring, he was a walk-on player and doing the thing he was doing on scout team then this last spring, just all effort. We knew he was going to give us everything he had and now you see the benefits of his effort.”

 

On if linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil plays with a chip on his shoulder:

“He sure practices and plays like he has a chip on his shoulder. I haven’t talked to him about that specifically, but he always brings energy to practice and to meetings and his play. Like I said earlier, he does practice and plays like that.”

 

On whether a lack of depth limits the packages they can run defensively:

“I think you have to adjust. We’re going to have to adjust and play the people and play the packages that put us in the best position to stop what they do. “

 

On West Virginia quarterback Ford Childress:

“West Virginia’s quarterback is young. He’s a redshirt freshman and they also have a backup guy that hasn’t played. When you have Geno Smith, it was hard for anyone else to get in there and play. He’s young, has a strong arm and has a good grasp of the offense. Their offense in general is the air-raid offense, which Mike Leach and Hal Mumme and those guys created. It can be very diverse. It can be two backs, four wides. It presents a challenge depending on who they have personnel wise.”

 

On whether his past experience with the spread/air-raid offense has helped preparation:

“It helps an awful lot because understanding the tempo and understanding how they are going to call the plays from the sidelines with the quarterback signaling who gets to screen; so it helps in that sense.  But you can’t match the speed and you can’t match the players at practice.”

 

On the success of the pass rush this season:

“I think it goes hand in hand with our offense. Our offense is scoring and so that puts the other offense in a bind where they can’t just sit back and run the ball more and do some short area stuff. They’re going to have to be more aggressive and that’s helped us. It’s helped us in the long run being able to pressure more because of that.”

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