Head Coach Daryl Daye
“We are taking off here on the bus here at 2 o’clock, first one, play a little football at the University of Central Oklahoma and we welcome all y’all to attend.”
What are the plans with the quarterbacks?
“I plan to play them both. But right now Kellen Cox will be starting first and then Kyle Webster will come in and they will probably equally play before the game is over. Both of them will play.
Is that a decision you made a while ago or is that recent?
“Recent, we let them compete for it when we got back to camp, here when two-a-days started and just throughout camp, they were really neck and neck and either one could go, but Kellen edged him out and we decided to go with him, but really in a sense, they are our starting quarterbacks.”
What do you think they bring differently to the table?
“One has a little more experience at another position, kind of has a broader base of understanding, which is Kellen, being that he played slot receiver here for a couple of years and ran the option style offense in high school. Kyle came from a higher level of football where he has seen a little different venue of football, but both of them are very good throwers, runners, very tough kids, sharp, they are very much alike. I can’t really say one is better than the other at this, but they are very similar in styles, but they are excellent quarterbacks.
Is there a particular time in the game that Kyle is going to come in?
“No, we will wait and see how it goes.”
How have injuries affected the offensive line?
“They have, we have several that were not able to go early. I think there were five that were not able to practice in the first seven or eight practices. After that time, I think we have three of them back and we have another one who will be back in a couple weeks and another one left the team.”
How has the team been adjusting the new option style offense?
“It looks like very good, but we’ll find out here tomorrow night. We haven’t been able to scrimmage, because of our injuries, so we have a lot of question marks exactly what we are as well, but the execution looks well, but of course you are always worried about penalties in your first game and turnovers. If we don’t make those mistakes, we should be pretty productive as far as how we run our offense. Just excited to see what we are.
What are your emotions going into your first game as a head coach?
“Very excited! You know people have had a lot of questions about the NFL, but there wasn’t any game I felt more excited about last year than this one right here. You come in and get vested and you vested by coming in and putting in work, by committing yourself to kids and seeing those kids develop and you want to get your payday on gameday.”
With your triple option, will you be running with several running backs or exactly how will that work?
“We will be substituting guys in and we got some young guys that are going to play too and just depending on how the game goes and where we are in the game, how much they get to play, but it is an offense that spreads the wealth. You are not going to have one superstar in that offense, there are going to be a bunch of superstars in that offense if it is productive which we hope it is.”
How is the defense coming along?
“Very good. We are an attacking style defense and going to be very multiple with what we do, but the biggest thing, but the biggest thing we are going to hang our hats on is our ability to tackle and we are going to keep things in front of us and make people execute.”
Q: Let’s talk about the offense, it is a totally different scheme, a lot has been made of the running game, and going old-school, how has that affected you guys?
A: “It is exciting for me. It takes me back to high school, run first is what we did at Webb City. I am excited to see what we can do with these new guys, and this new coaching staff, and start off fresh.”
Q: Are you more of a wide blocker now?
A: “Yeah, I’ll do a lot more blocking, but we have a pretty good team since this year and everybody knows they got to do their part to get wins, so we are excited for that.”
Q: What is the difference between senior quarterback Kellen Cox and junior quarterback Kyle Webster?
A: “They are both really great quarterbacks. They both had really good camps I thought. I do not see much of a difference as far as they are both aggressive and they are both great competitors and they want to win and that is what we need in a quarterback.”
Q: Do you see a big difference in team attitude from this year to last year?
A: “Definitely, with all the new guys, it is a whole new atmosphere, so as a returner, we want to give these guys all the excitement we had when we came here. Getting this new attitude started has been a great thing.”
Q: What have you told the new guys about the MIAA Conference?
A: “It is one of the toughest conferences as far as I am concerned and get ready week in, week out to give everything you have on the field.”
Q: Could you talk about the excitement for the opener on Thursday?
A: “Very excited! This time of the year is always very special for a college football player so we are very excited about the opportunity that lies ahead of us.”
Q: Are there major changes in defense from what you played last year?
A: “Not too many. All the concepts stayed the same, still 11-on-11 football, tackle and block well, make sure you are in your right areas, it is pretty similar in that sense.”
Q: What is the difference in team attitude from last year to this year?
A: “We are very enthusiastic, that’s for sure. We come to work everyday and nobody is complaining about what we have to do, so we are pretty excited about what we have in front of us.”
Q: “Are you guys more excited than your head coach, Daryl Daye, to play tomorrow at Central Oklahoma?
A: “Of course! You only get so many games in your college career so you want to maximize every opportunity that you have.”
Q: How many new starters do you have on defense and has that been tough to get to everyone?
A: No, we actually have a lot in common. We have some kids from Florida, Louisiana, but we all actually get along really well, because we all came here for the same reason and that is to win.
Q: How hard has that been preparing for UCO with a new coaching staff and offense?
A: “You have to prepare for many things. If they come out in shotgun, under center, the principles all the stay the same, they all carry over week-to-week, so you just have to be confident in your abilities and if the coaches tell you to do one thing, you just have to follow suit and everything will take care of itself.
Q: Can you talk about leadership on this team? A lot of new guys, you have to find leadership somewhere, talk about that as you prepare for tomorrow night?
A: “Well it is definitely a lot of the upperclassmen, whenever you are in practice, there are always those group of guys that need to bring it together for everybody else to follow.”
Q: Can you think back a year ago to the first game, what would be the differences in preparedness from a year ago for the first game?
A: Well I am a year older, so that always helps, you always have more games under your belt so experience is always a good thing. I hope a lot of the upperclassmen can spread that to the younger guys too.”
Q: What about just as a team in general?
A: “We are just excited for what we have tomorrow, to start off the season right.”