Oct. 8, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. -
University of Massachusetts football head coach Charley Molnar spoke with members of the media during the weekly MAC Teleconference on Monday morning. Molnar discussed the team's efforts at Bowling Green, on how Miami's coaching change will affect game-planning this week, and the play of Jamal Wilson.
On the setback at Bowling Green and the team's preparations for the upcoming game against Miami (Ohio):
Looking back to our game at Bowling Green, I am pleased with how our football team executed our next man up approach. That is a principle that we have instilled from the very beginning. We always want to have our next guy in the lineup ready to contribute when his name is called.
This year, we have had a number of examples on offense with our projected starting running back, Jordan Broadnax, hurt during summer camp. We went to Stacey Bedell, then he got banged up and we called on Lorenzo Woodley before he was banged up during the Vanderbilt game. This week, we went to Jamal Wilson and he responded with an excellent game, with 119 yards.
Our quarterback A.J. Doyle came into the game bumped and bruised and wasn't able to execute to the best of his ability. Mike Wegzyn went in and he performed well under the circumstances when A.J. came out. He was 7-for-8 passing and ran the ball effectively.
Defensively, we lost one of our starting linemen. We had Trey Seals
go in and then he got injured. Then we had Brandon Potvin
go in, so across the board, our team has really executed the next man up approach.
As far as looking ahead to Miami (Ohio), our team is ready to turn the corner. Again though, our approach has always been consistent - let's work each and every day to make our football team a little bit better than it was the day before. Up to this moment in time, I have not seen that process stop.
On how the change of Miami (Ohio) head coach this week impacts preparation for the upcoming game:
They really have shown two different offensive styles. Number one is the more conventional approach where they use a regular spread passing game. Their quarterback (Austin Boucher) has been involved in that for four years. They have also used an option-based approach earlier in the year, so I can't tell you which style they will bring out against us, but it would be prudent on our part to prepare for both. I don't know if you can over prepare for either because you only have so many hours in the workweek. I'm confident that regardless of which style they decide to utilize against us, our guys will be ready.
On if there is an added challenge facing a team that has made a coaching change only six days before playing them:
This is a first time experience for me. We have enough of our own challenges each and every day, so we will focus on taking care of business here at UMass and they will deal with their issues. I think the biggest thing for us is to stay focused on getting better today and being prepared for what we expect Miami (Ohio) to do. They can't totally change their offense or defense in a week; it would be impossible to do. Nevertheless, we will be on edge to see how they come out at the beginning of the game and see if they dramatically lean in one way or another.
On how Jamal Wilson fits in the backfield rotation when Bedell and Woodley come back:
Based on his performance on Saturday, Jamal certainly deserves his share of reps. He has steadily improved, regardless of the situation with Stacey Bedell and Lorenzo Woodley. We constantly talked about finding ways to get him in the football game and we'll continue to have that conversation. I think you'll see more Jamal Wilson, not less, as the season progresses.
On Justin Anderson's two-sack game against Bowling Green and if Molnar believes he can continue with these types of performances:
He commands a lot of attention. I'm not sure if a lot of teams haven't turned their protection towards him just to try and keep him off the quarterback. Justin has always been confident that he can get to the quarterback and I've always felt good about his pass rush off the edge. If this is the breakout performance that he needs to spur him on then I am all for it.
I love seeing that big guy come off the edge and certainly, as an offensive-minded coach, when you see guys like him, they command a lot of attention. They are very worrisome, not only for the match-up issues they can cause a running back, but also because they can get their hands up and knock the ball down easily.
On how the inconsistency at the quarterback position has slowed down the team:
The inconsistency at quarterback is for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it's self-inflicted from the position and sometimes it comes from other positions on the field that do not allow them to perform as well as they are capable of. Certainly in A.J.'s case this past weekend; he just didn't have his confidence. He was a bit immobile relative to where he was going into the Kansas State or Vanderbilt games. As these things work themselves out, he is feeling a lot better today than he felt on Saturday. It's a little bit late, but regardless, I feel good about him going into the next game.
Our quarterback play needs to improve. These guys want to be excellent quarterbacks because they are doing the work they need to. We can't be a high scoring, productive offense if we miss the have-to-have throws, which we did at times on Saturday. I'm going to keep working with these guys and bank on the fact that they are going to improve like everyone else and hopefully some of the have-to-have throws become completions.
On the decision to start A.J. Doyle or Mike Wegzyn at quarterback:
A.J. Doyle certainly is in the driver's seat to start at quarterback. I will evaluate each during the course of the week. As I said after game, I do not want to play musical chairs at the position, as continuity is important on a lot of levels at that spot. If A.J. is healthy and able to perform the way he did going into the Vanderbilt and Kansas State games I see no reasons why he wouldn't be our starter.
On what he saw from the Bowling Green defense on Saturday:
They were sound and played hard. If you were at the game or were able to watch it I am not revealing any secrets here. I thought they were more mature and a bit stronger and quicker up front than we could handle at this time. That made a big difference in the game. We just weren't able to pass protect well, the quarterbacks could not set their feet and Bowling Green caused a lot of distribution with its four-man rush. We are working to get better so we can stop teams like them. They are where we want to be a year or two from now. They were experienced with seven seniors and four juniors starting. We are not close to that right now but will be in the future.