On the team responding to Saturday’s loss:
Well, obviously they were — on Sunday, the spirits were lifted up the way they always are. Yesterday was amazing about the number of guys on the players’ day off that came over to this building because we don’t request them to come over here on their day off. But I must have seen 90 percent of the team over here yesterday, you know, looking to do more, to do their part, trying to find a way to get things right.
On who will start under center this weekend
We haven’t practiced yet, but they’re both in the running. You know, I’ll definitely let you know this week when we get to that point, but they’re both in the running.
On the leeway Weis gives his quarterbacks this year in regards to the failed two point conversion play
On the goal line, there’s always 11 men in the box, on every goal-line snap. There’s never not 11 in the box because the ball is on the three yard line. Every goal-line snap when you put in three tight ends and two backs, there’s always 11 in the box. You’re running the ball against 11 in the box. We have in our system for the quarterbacks at this time, some latitude on play calling, and some plays there’s no latitude. But on a goal-line play there’s never any latitude. You never have a checkoff from this play to that play.
On his impression of Ian Williams in Saturday’s loss
I was very pleased with Ian Williams’ performance. I can’t say I was surprised, but going into the game we thought that we were going to have to play him some more because of all the chop blocks that go on. We thought he was going to have to get more action and rest Pat (Kuntz) some. We didn’t realize that Pat was going to get banged up and he was going to have to play so much, but I thought he handled it and played pretty well.
On whether or not Kuntz could move to the outside if Williams is ready to start at NT next year
Well, either he can make it or somebody else will be able to make it. What we’re not going to do is get three or four deep at one position of good football players. We’ll move people accordingly to make sure we get the best guys out there. But somebody is going to move. We’re not going to get stacked four deep at nose tackle, and if those players are players we want on the field, we’ll find whoever has the most versatility and get them to that position.
On how Travis Thomas is responding this week
I don’t think Travis is going to sit there and take the blame on his shoulders. He ran the ball adds hard as you could run it, and the line of scrimmage was going this way. It’s a team thing. Travis — I’m sure if the line of scrimmage was going the other way, I think Travis would have gotten in the end zone.
On any differences between this year and last for Air Force
They have a different — first of all, defensively there’s a different scheme than they were using last year. Last year they weren’t using this 3-4 scheme that they’re using — that they’ve turned into a big blitz all team, which wasn’t really the case last year. They were more a cross team. Offensively, they’ve found more ways to get this No. 1 (Chad Hall) the ball, both as a runner and a receiver. Last year, he was just a runner, he wasn’t really receiving. So I think that they have a lot of confidence — they have a lot of confidence in their running game. The quarterback has got a nice strong arm, and defensively they’ve made some wrinkles that have made them much more aggressive on defense.
On the differences between Sharpley and Clausen
Yeah, you do look at both those things. I think the number one thing is who is going to play the best versus — who’s going to play the best for you down the stretch. I don’t think what you want to be doing here is each week say, well, who’s going to play the best for us against Air Force, who’s going to play the best for us against Duke, who’s going to play the best for us against Stanford.
I’m at the point right now where I want to win this game, and simultaneously, I want to start — I want to start building some upward momentum. So they go together.
On Kuntz’s health status
He’s considerably better than we thought he was going to be. He’s going to practice some today, and then we’ll just kind of see how it goes. You know, Saturday I wouldn’t have known if that would be the case or not, but he is going to practice some today.
On Sam Young’s season
I think he’s played much better on the left side than he has played on the right side. He looks more natural, both in the run game and the pass game. I think that what he’s going to continue doing is as he continues getting stronger — he’s already grown into this big old body now, and as he continues getting stronger, he’s going to become more dominant as time goes on. But he looks like he’s settled into the position that he looks most natural at.
On whether or not Weis will try and recruit a kicker this year
Well, it all depends on whether or not I think we have the answer in house or not. I think that’s something that we would not address until well past the season because we’re involved with some people right now that that’s an area we would address when we do evaluations of us. If we didn’t think we were good enough, that’s what we’d have to do. If we thought the potential were good enough, then we wouldn’t go in that direction. I’m obviously going to have to replace Geoff right off the bat, and do we have a candidate in house at that position? It’s just a question of whether you want to go that route, that direction or not. So far as the kicker now, you have to decide whether or not you’re content with the future of the people you have right now. I’m not ready — I’m not there at this point.