When Charlie Strong took the podium today to talk about the Florida International game this weekend, you couldn’t help but notice a little bit of disappointment in his attitude. We all looked at this game as a game in which we should have beat FIU pretty handily, especially after the heart-attack type game last week against North Carolina. But to our surprise it was a nail-biter type of game and they made all of us card fans sweat it out
“We did not practice well at all last week so I didn’t think we were going to play well. Thought we played well the first three weeks of the season, but not against FIU. We’re still a young football team,” said Strong.
He also implied that it was a blessing in disguise that they didn’t beat North Carolina by 30 by saying that he didn’t know if they would have won the game under those circumstances. If this team didn’t have to deal with adversity the week before overconfidence could have been an issue coming into facing a talented FIU team.
Complacency is on the top of the list of his concerns. “Being 4-0, we’ve never been in this position before. It’s all about avoiding complacency now…” Strong said, “You can’t listen to what people are saying, because too often the guys hear that and they believe it. All I have to do is a show them a couple of plays from the game film to show them they aren’t that good.”
On a positive note, Strong raved about how well senior wide receiver, Andrell Smith, has been playing. “Andrell Smith is a senior and he’s playing the best football of his career. That’s what you want to see in a senior and I’m so happy for him”. The catch he made at the end of the half, to tie the game at 14, was a pivotal play in the game so we can go into half with some sort of confidence.
Also, he notices that the team is young and inexperienced. He stressed the fact that the leaders on the team were mostly underclassmen. The runner and leader of our offense, Teddy Bridgewater, is only a true sophomore. Having such a young set of playmakers forces patience and trust from both the fans and the coaches.
With an update of Dominique Brown, they are going to evaluate again this week. Strong didn’t rule out the possibility of red-shirting him this season because he may need him to come in under the unfortunate circumstances that Perry or Wright get injured. But if Wright and Perry stay healthy, it looks like Brown may be heading towards a redshirt season.
Here is a couple more interesting quotes from the Strong’s press conference:
• “I only know one way to motivate guys, I have to yell.”
• “We have not played our best football over the last six quarters.”
• “You have to practice to get better, you can’t just be out there going through the motions and that’s what we did last week. What you see in practice is what you see in games, and last week we saw drops and high throws and missed blocks in practice.”
• “The team never lost confidence, even when it fell behind 14-7.”
• “I don’t know if this can be a great team, but I’d like to see us get better every”
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