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Nov. 25, 2013

Paul Chryst Press Conference

Miami Game Preview

Opening Statement:

“It was really good to be able to go up to Syracuse to get that win. The kids are looking forward to turning around and playing this Friday against a very good and talented Miami team.”

On injuries:

“Adam [Bisnowaty] won’t go this week so he’ll be out for the rest of the season. Scott [Orndoff] won’t be able to go and Ejuan [Price] won’t. A couple of those [other] guys, we’re waiting to see if they’ll be able to go the rest of the season. Those three won’t be going though. Devin [Street] and Shane [Gordon] weren’t able to finish the game so we’ll see where they’re at this week. Other than that we should be good to go.”

On concerns over Adam Bisnowaty’s back injury:

“There’s always a concern anytime your guys are injured. He fought through a lot at the beginning of the year so he was fighting through it but absolutely you’re concerned anytime your guys get hurt.”

On how Miami’s offense changed once running back Duke Johnson got hurt: 

“He was a really good player, a really good back. But as you play different teams you can’t be sure how exactly they change. If you say they’re every bit as dangerous now, then it seems like you’re saying he wasn’t a good player but I think they still present all the same problems to us now. In the run game and throw game I think they’re explosive and I think they have some good players across the board offensively. I thought he was one of the top backs in the league and nobody wants to lose their best players but I think they’re every bit as dangerous now.”

On how to defend against Miami’s team speed: 

“They absolutely have that speed. Receivers can blow the top off of coverages and their tight ends can run. Defensively, they fly around the ball. You’ve got to be right with your preparation [when learning how to defend their speed] because if there’s any hesitation, then I think you can be behind it. Now if you can anticipate it, play with good eyes and not take false steps, then you have a chance. If you hesitate, though, that’s where the speed can get you. If you’re a lineman and you go to block it, instead of being on it you’re behind it now. Anything defensively, if you hesitate and aren’t right or don’t trust your eyes…I think your eyes can be an equalizer if you anticipate, then you can hopefully minimize if there’s any type of difference.”

On why running back Isaac Bennett got the most time in the second half at Syracuse:

“I think it was a combination of the way the game was going. If you go back and look at the game, we probably made some improvements in third downs. It didn’t feel like we had much momentum or any long sustained drives because a lot of times that’s where you get a mix of the running backs or receivers. Nothing dramatic happened that we said James [Conner] isn’t doing this and we thought Isaac at certain times has been good at a lot of different things so I think it’s more of Isaac was doing good stuff and we didn’t have enough kicks at the can where we had to spell Isaac. Certainly, though, we’re going to need both.”

On if they were pleased on how they blocked Syracuse’s pressure:

“No, not really. I think there are areas we can certainly get better at. You see certain individual efforts and you appreciate those but I think we want to be better than that.”

On quarterback Tom Savage’s toughness and what that shows to the rest of the team: 

“I think it can [galvanize] the team and he’s shown that throughout the season. I think everyone respects that about him and he’s not just talking about this team or his teammates being important to him; he truly wants to be out there and he’ll do anything. If you have any type of pulse, that’s got to feel good as a teammate and not just guys on offense because I think guys on defense recognize it and the team recognizes it. He’s not the only one doing that, there’s other guys putting themselves out there and you appreciate that. I don’t think [he was close to taking himself out the game] and not if you ask him. There were a couple times he was slower getting up but I don’t think he had any plan of it.”

On the running game being able to pick up key first downs at Syracuse:

“You appreciate that. We haven’t been able to consistently run it where you have earned the right to say you’re a good rushing team. We’ve had moments and any time you can do that it’s really big for your offense. I’d like to see us continue to get better and, for us to play our best game, we have to run the ball better.”

On a warm-climate team coming to Pittsburgh and facing the weather: 

“I don’t know if I really know. The only time I coached in a warm climate was with the San Diego Chargers. Those guys were a little bit older and you didn’t hear much so I don’t really know what other people think. I think everyone tries to say this is your advantage or edge and I think it only is if you make it that. I remember we had to get on some players at Wisconsin that they better start enjoying this cold weather. I think it’s one of those things where after the game you can talk about it, it has nothing to do with playing.”

On the status of senior offensive guard Cory King: 

“Holding out hope that he can play.”

On Miami quarterback Stephen Morris: 

“Followed him for quite a while and I think he’s a guy that can make all the throws and he has some great targets to throw to. I think they do a great job of pushing the ball down the field. He certainly looks to be a tough guy and you see him fighting through some things and he’s a guy who’s won a lot of games. I think he’s a very good quarterback.”

On defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s high national profile: 

“It’s great to be able to talk about him, but he still puts himself out there. I thought at the time, the blocked extra point [at Syracuse] was a big play because at the time you always tell your players to play the next play instead of having your head down [following a touchdown]. To get a push like that, it was a factor on the missed field goal. The production he’s coming up with and not just statistically but they’re at big moments. He’s having an unbelievable season and the more stuff he gets, he’s getting mentioned for different awards, I like that part because I think it’s really well deserved because he’s doing it on the field. He’s playing at as high of a level as anyone I’ve been around and I’ve been fortunate enough to be around some good ones.”

On how Donald’s handled the national attention he’s been receiving: 

“It doesn’t change him at all and the way he approaches it, he hasn’t changed one bit. I don’t think he’s naïve and not appreciative of it because he wouldn’t disrespect those conversations, but I don’t think that’s what’s driving him.”


Meet the Press: Paul Chryst previews the Miami Hurricanes

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