The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman met with the media today to discuss last week's 14-7 loss to Furman and Saturday's game at Samford. Here's some of what he had to say:
On the loss to Furman, which eliminated the Mocs (4-5, 2-4 Southern Conference) from playoff contention but not from having a winning season ...
I talked to them about having pride in what they do and in every game they play, no matter what you're playing for.
I'm sure there are guys in that room - not many and probably not any of the real quality, good players - that can't wait for the season to be over. That's human nature. You hope it's not any of the key players, for sure.
On Samford, which is 5-3 (3-3 SoCon) ...
They're very, very similar to Furman - very physical on defense, take care of the ball offensively, their quarterback's playing as good as anybody in the league right now, their tailback, I think, is second in the league in rushing and is very good.
I think if we lose the turnover battle 4-1 this week, we'll be in trouble. It should be an excellent game between two pretty good football teams.
On Samford's new offense, which is modeled after Auburn's system ...
They're good and they pose a lot of problems. The formations and what they do formationally and how they try to outflank you in certain ways or get somebody open that is unaccounted for, and how they hide people.
It was the same way with Auburn, it's not just all tricks. They'll come off the ball and block you. They're doing a great job with the back, who's playing really well, and their quarterback's playing really well.
On not playing younger guys more in preparation for next season now that reaching the playoffs is no longer possible ...
We're playing the best players to win Saturday and then we're going to play the best players to win when we play Wofford. We're not going to play people just to get them experience for next year.
I'm sure there's places throughout the country that would do that. I don't believe in that. I believe you want to win every game that you line up and play. You don't want to play for next week, for next year.
For more Mocs coverage, see tomorrow's Times Free Press. You can also follow beat writer John Frierson on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.