Charley Molnar Quotes From Weekly MAC Media Teleconference
Nov. 20, 2012
In Monday morning's MAC Football Coaches Media Teleconference, UMass head coach, Charley Molnar discussed the team's performance against Buffalo, commented on the injuries of the offensive line and previewed the Central Michigan on Friday, Nov. 23.
Molnar on UMass' performance in 29-19 loss to Buffalo:
"It was a tail of two halves. The first half we played well enough to have a nice lead going into the locker room. We had some confidence, which has happened very few times this season that we went into the locker room feeling like we did. We had some momentum on our side and we were in a good position to put the game away. We come out in the second half and stall on offense, which is not the first time that that has happened to us. Then we threw an interception, which was just a really bad interception. Fortunately for us, Randall Jette then turned around and had an interception for us. Then of course, we try to get another drive going and we end up punting. The punt got blocked and was returned for a touchdown. At that time, I think we lost some confidence as a football team and also the momentum definitely swung from our sideline to the other sideline. We just never really seemed to get it back."
On matchup with Central Michigan this Friday afternoon and what UMass has to do to be successful:
"Just looking at their offense, they have got three really good football players. Number one is their quarterback Ryan Radcliff, who each year as the starter has gotten better and better. They have two receivers: one, Cody Wilson, reminds us here in Massachusetts of Wes Welker. He is quick, has great hands, goes after the football and is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He is just a very impressive young man. The running back, Zurlon Tipton, has 1,000 yards and looks like an NFL running back. They have a very big offensive line and big running back. Certainly, Dan (Enos) has done a good job of putting together his kind of offense and has his people in place. It will be a real challenge for us. On defense, the one guy that really sticks out to us is Jahleel Addae. He is just a really good football player around the ball and every play you look at, he is right there. We have our work cut out for us; there is no doubt about it."
On the injuries to the offensive line:
"Right now, it looks like Boland will be out another week and Dima is questionable at best as we go into today. I don't know where we will be at the end of the week, but right now, those two guys do not look promising for us. Both guys were struggling through last week and we were hoping to have them both back [for the Buffalo game.] Then as we went through Thursday's practice when it was make or break, we decided that we had to move on without them. Both of them weren't ready to play."
On other injuries coming out of the Buffalo game:
"We came out of this game in pretty good shape. Right now, the way it looks, we will have everybody in our lineup that played for us on Saturday. If Dima can make a recovery by mid-week, then we should be in a better position than we were last Saturday."
On continuous changing of offensive line combination and whether it is frustrating:
"The offensive line combination will definitely be different than it was a week ago. It is part of the business. Sometimes, you can play with those same five guys for 12-13 games and other times, it ends up being just like it is for the Minutemen this year. Virtually every single week, we have had a different combination of offensive lineman out there."
On transitioning into MAC and how the team has evolved throughout the season:
"I knew the transition was going to be difficult. Anytime you are taking a group of young men from one level of football to a higher level, there are going to be some growing pains involved. From an administrative standpoint, we were ready for the move. They knew what the commitment had to be from that end. Certainly with the players, I don't think they had any idea of the stadiums they would be walking into or the caliber of competition. They had played some guaranteed games in the past, but they knew what big time football looked like in the big stadiums. They just had no idea that the football on the field was like this. When you go and play any of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference, it is just like going to play any other guaranteed game. The level of play, the strength of the players and the size and speed is going to be almost the same. The only difference is maybe the venues are a little bit smaller and the crowds are a bit smaller, but on the field of play, there is not much difference. It was an eye-opener for them. Some of our guys were recruited as I-AA players and they have not fully developed yet to their maximum physical potential. They have a ways to go and we are an awfully young football team. We have quite frankly been mismatched in some games. That's just the way it is and it's not a surprise to us. We work hard and we are a hardworking group of guys. We have worked really hard in the weight room and we have had some guys make some miraculous gains. We are hoping that the rest of the team can catch up fast so we are ready for 2013."
On how to pick up a win vs. Central Michigan on Friday:
"I think offensively, they are diverse with their two really good receivers and big running back. We have got to be able to stop the run game without committing so many men to stopping the run that we get shredded in the pass game. That balance on defense is critical for the guys who are responsible for stopping the run and they need to play their gaps. Nobody needs to try to do too much, just do their job as well as they can. They need to keep good eye control and discipline on defense. On offense, we just have to sustain drives. We don't have to score every series, it would be nice if we could, but we just need to use some clock. I think what really hurt us against Buffalo is the fact that we were worn out towards the end of the game. Our defense had been on the field too much. We need to do a better job of pass protection. We had some individual breakdowns, so we just need to constantly make sure we are assessing our scheme during the course of the game to make sure we have the right guys fit in the right places. Of course, we have to make plays and when the ball is in the air, we have to have guys go out and get it. We have to have the quarterback be a little bit more precise in his passing. Just the normal things that every football team needs to do will certainly be key for us on Friday."
On the amount of good running backs in the MAC:
"I think we have faced many of those players also as we have went through the season. Offenses are so good right now with mobile, true dual-threat quarterbacks, the guys who can really hurt you, not only running, but also throwing. It changes the focus on defense because they are trying to defend everything. On certain downs, they are guessing to defend the pass and they extend out the box. A lot of teams line up and then look to the sidelines with the coaches looking at it, saying this is a great look to run the ball. Some of these talented running backs are just shredding defenses. Definitely, offenses right now seem to have the advantage, at least in the Mid-American Conference."