LIVE BLOG: Chizik presser
- He says the La Tech game will be "fun."
- On learning more about his team Saturday: "Two-a-days is different because alls you know is from going against each other. The great thing about the first game is that you get a starting point. I don't know where we're at right now."
- Daren Bates is a starter now: ``Immediately when he got on campus here, he got our attention. He did some things that make you go: Wow. We force-fed him football ... just to see what he could handle. We thought he could handle it. We feel like he's our best option back there right now. Mentally, he gets it. We're going to go with it."
- So many young guys at wideout: "Can they catch the football. Can they run their timing routes? We've got some young guys you're going to see play a lot. We wish we didn't have to play this many young ones, but it is what it is. They've all done a great job of coming in here and trying to learn the offense. We're going to play the ones who we feel like give us the best chance."
- On the tailbacks and offensive line: ``We know we have to run the football. We have experienced guys there. They've been there and done that. That's going to be a big part of what we're trying to accomplish. We're going to lean heavily on that. I say that, but I know we need to throw the ball as well."
- Says there will be "10 to 12" new names you'll have to get used to seeing. (ie freshmen)
- On Hot Carter: "I don't go into the injury situation. We're not anticipating him playing this weekend."
- On Eguae and Dee Ford: "We feel good about them."
- Is a first game useful when assessing Chizik?: "There's a lot of unknown factors. You have a new offense, a new defense and on top of that, you're throwing in 10 to 12 freshman. I don't know what people will read into and what they won't."
- ``There are growing pains that come along with a young team. We're going to be very demanding on them. We also knows what comes with the newness. That's not an excuse. We won't use excuses."
- He thinks "Coach Dooley" is doing a heck of a job ($1 to Brownie) at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are basically the best team ever in the history of college football. Chizik is super high on this team. "This is a great challenge. This team has been together for three years, this team we're playing. They have a lot of confidence."
- On LTU: "They're a physical team and they're very well-coached. Usually, if you want to see how tough a team is, look at their run stats." (I'm guessing LTU's defense is good against the run)
- First game here vs. first game at Iowa State: "It's a lot different. Two years ago, I was going into my first game as a head coach. That's all behind me. As far as the head coaching thing ... it's really night and day. I'm really excited to be back here."
- On Kodi Burns: "He's going to be in the game. He's going to be playing. You're going to see him at several different spots."
- On monitoring his players' safety (in light of Brandon Deaderick's situation): "Am I concerned about them on a daily basis? Absolutely. Every one of them. I worry about everything -- getting an education, on the field, off the field. We've always got our players in mind."
- "Eric Smith is not playing in this first game."
- On regaining swagger: "You find out on game day. There are a lot of things that happen on game day -- good, bad and indifferent. I don't know if you can measure that before you get out on the field and play."
That's a wrap.
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University