Week #8 Press Conference

Head Coach Daryl Daye

On the breaks of the Missouri Western game:

“Our kids played as hard as they could and it was one of those games where the ball just seemed to not bounce our way. We spot them 14 points, but a credit to our kids, they fought back into the ballgame and we took the lead at half. We had our opportunity to tie the football game up there in the 4th quarter and it would have been on then, but of course it did not happen. Our kids may have realized we are a little bit better than we thought we were and came out of with a little bit more confidence that we can play with a top five program in the country mentality and win, because we had some great opportunities to do so, but they got some good breaks there at the end. Hopefully, they take some confidence from it and we are a pretty good football team.


On facing #2 Northwest Missouri on the road on Saturday and comparison to past great Northwest teams:


They are always good, as far back as I remember. The thing they do so good is they are disciplined, they do not make a lot of mistakes, and they just play hard-nosed football and execute. You do not see them make a lot of mistakes; they just make a lot of plays. I think last year going into the game, they were intimidated a little bit and I do not see that from them this year and we also have so many new guys who have not played against Northwest, so they do not know to be intimidated by them. I think our guys will go out there and will not be intimated at all and go out there and play their hearts out.”


On what impresses him most about Northwest’s quarterback Trevor Adams 


“Both of their quarterbacks are good players and they are both similar. They run the ball very well and they run them a lot and probably because they have to. I think if they only had one quarterback, I do not think you would see them get out of the box too much, but they both make great decisions and he does not throw a lot of interceptions and he is very good with his feet.


On what he sees from Northwest Missouri’s defense:


“Oh they are really good. They might be better than they were last year. They have a very fine defense, very disciplined, athletic, tough. They played very well against Pittsburg State (limiting them to 15 points). Northwest had many shots inside the 30-yard line and that game could have got away from Pitt, but they played some very good defense against them.”


On keeping focus through this stretch of playing back-to-back top 5 teams in the country:


“You know it is tough, but it is one play at a time. Again it goes back to what we talk about every week that goes into winning and you have to control the ball, you have to protect the ball and we want to shorten the ballgame. The best way we can stop Northwest’s offense is to keep the ball and keep their offense on the sideline. If we can run the football and shorten the game and have a chance to win in the fourth quarter that is the style of offense and defense we play. We cannot give up big plays and turn the football over. It is pretty simple, like last week, you cannot expect to turn the ball over against a top five ranked team and expect to win the ballgame. You take away two of those turnover, even one of them, it is an entirely different ballgame.”


On why so many turnovers against Missouri Western:


“I am not sure. It may be because it was some of those guys first big game that they played in against a top five team and it was the biggest game some of them had played in. Maybe that had a part in it, I do not know, but you also have to give Western credit, they made some big plays. They stripped the ball at the goal line and made the big-time interception and they knocked out the ball at the goal line, but you have to give them credit for that. You also have to look at the kickoff we did not field and a fumble that we lost when a guy was tied up; those are the things we got to continue to work on the fundamentals of carrying the football and the five points of pressure that everybody teaches.”


On if doing extra drills to work on ball security:


“Oh, absolutely, what you emphasize with college players is what they work on and working on ball security is something we are definitely focused on this week.”


On the difference maker this year for quarterback Jay McDowell:


“His toughness for me is the thing I am most impressed with. When we recruited him in high school, we knew he could run and throw and he was in that wide-open offense so you did not see him run much. He had all the characteristics of an option quarterback, he just was not one and I did not know how tough he was. They beat him up this past week and he was beat up after that game and you would not know it by the way he played. We have guys like Demon Haire and Gatlin Ridgeway who are playing with busted shoulders and ankles and I add him to that list.”


On Southern’s strong defensive effort against Missouri Western:


“I thought so too. When you came out of the game, you felt different after you see the scoreboard, but you take away the one play (a 99-yard touchdown by Western) and you look statistically and you are able to hold the fourth-ranked team in the nation to their lows in passing and rushing, that is probably some of their low totals of the year, you feel pretty good about the execution of what you are doing.”