Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 22

Oct. 22, 2007

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Head Coach Bobby Johnson
Weekly Press Conference
Monday, Oct. 22, 2007
Miami (Ohio) Game

Johnson's opening statement...
"Obviously it was a good weekend for us and a big win for us in Columbia. We enjoyed it but we're trying to get back to work and start working on Miami. We know they're going to be a huge challenge. They play top-notch ball and we've got to get back to work and make sure our team is ready to play this week."

On the depth of the defensive line...
"We're hanging in there with that. We haven't had a rash of injuries up there. People like David Whittington have stepped up and have given us a lot of good plays. Our ends have held up real well and played well. We've been really pleased with their progress."

On David Whittington...
"David Whittington was a fullback. We moved him to defensive end. Now we've moved him to defensive tackle. He's never complained one minute and gave us quality minutes every time he's been in there. He's gained some weight. David is strong and mobile. He's not the biggest guy in the world but he uses his leverage extremely well and uses his technique really well. I think he's learned a lot from Coach Logo and didn't wallow in self-pity about getting moved to another position. He made the best of it. We're very proud of David."

On if the mobility of quarterback Mackenzi Adams allows the offense to do more things...
"Sure. We think all of our quarterbacks have mobility. We recruit that way. We like that in a quarterback. It helps you make some big plays with the run. It also helps you avoid the rush sometimes like he did on the first touchdown pass and give you an opportunity to get something when you normally wouldn't if you had a quarterback who could not move."

On having other wide receivers step up besides Earl Bennett...
"It's a must. If people try to do things to take Earl away and we can't step up in other areas, it's going to be pretty tough sledding on offense. George Smith had an excellent game. Justin Wheeler caught the touchdown pass, but George had a good game too. Sean Walker had a good run after a catch and he's been one who has stepped up before."

On Miami (Ohio)...
"They do a great job on offense of making you defend a lot of different things. They run the ball, they also have the quick screens and the bubble screens and things like that. Combine that with a running attack that if you go out there and cover those guys they try to take advantage of it. They're very big on the defensive line. They're very stout and strong, which we had a little bit of trouble with against a similar line with Eastern Michigan. They've certainly got our attention and I don't think it will be a problem getting our players attention either. We're not near the point where we can feel like we can be overconfident."

On (punter) Brett Upson's performance against South Carolina...
"He had a good game, no doubt about it. Field position was huge in that game. He kicked it down there and we had good coverage, of course. It takes that too. I think Josh Allen made a fantastic play on about the 1-yard line. It's good to have Brett have more consistent stretch the last few games. He's certainly got the leg that can do it. We're just glad to see the consistency. It just goes to show what a performing kicking game can do for you. They were pinned down for the whole first half it seemed like. It's just tough to operate when you're back close to your own end zone. I think our defense was able to take advantage of that. It was good play by Brett and the entire punt team."

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