Florida Atlantic Head Coach Lane Kiffin digs into the kicking game a bit, provides some injury updates, and offers some likes and dislikes about the Air Force contest.
With the tackling emphasis you put into last week after the poor tackling play was effective this week. Is there a way you can look at the special teams and put more emphasis on special teams this week?
Obviously on the punt protection, two weeks in a row getting a punt blocked, that might be a world record. Obviously, we have to do some work on that. We will just continue to try to improve in all areas.
After watching the film, was it the punt protection or was Sebastian (Riella) taking too long? Is there one specific thing why punts keep getting blocked?
The time was really slow in the first game, but the time wasn't slow in this one but you still have to block the people. In that situation, it's just not very good by us when you know that is really the only thing that can change the game. It is all around.
You used a couple of kickers on kickoff. What goes into the decision-making on who is kicking off for you?
That was an injury issue.
Who becomes your field goal kicker at that point?
It would be the same, Austin (Laszewski).
Is there an update on Vladimir (Rivas)?
We expect him to play.
Is there an update on Jalen (Young)?
We expect him to play too.
On keeping the team from letting last year's win against Bethune go to thier head
You just remind them about preparation and getting better and not focus on the opponent as much as ourselves and making sure that we are getting better in all areas.
Have you put the quarterback controversy to bed now? Are you settled there? It was after this game last year that you re-examined everything. Where do you think you stand on that?
It is always on-going. Obviously, Chris' play is deserving of the next start. He played a really special game. You watch his film. A lot of these yards are from a soft toss behind the line of scrimmage, but he rarely missed. You could probably count maybe two passes that he missed where you say he wasn't accurate. I thought after watching the film, I thought he played even better than what I felt like during the game.
With the short passes, is that bringing along a quarterback and as he becomes more mature and more experience, we will start seeing deeper throws down the field or was that taking what the defense was giving?
That was the gameplan, regardless of who your quarterback is. There are certain keys. That team was tough because of the way they were playing with everyone stacking the box. So we figured that was going to happen. So, we had a lot of stuff to get around all that. I thought especially with the kickoff being supposedly at 2 o'clock, was to try to really wear them down. Try to make them run sideline to sideline early and hopefully tire them out for the second half.
Do you think he is a better runner than he has shown in the first two games?
He is a good runner, yes.
How has the new kickoff rule affected the game?
It really hasn't much because our first game the guy was a great kicker. He kicked everything in the end zone. We really haven't, in our games, seen it affect a whole lot.
Did anything else from the last game that you didn't realize stand out, that you guys did particularly well or perhaps not to your liking?
I thought that obviously his numbers showed it, but that Rashad (Smith) played really well. I thought (Jovon) Durante played well. Pico (Tavaris Harrison) played well. And, Willie played well which was good to see. That is a position we were worried about. We didn't play real well upfront. The way they were playing you are going to have some negative runs. Everybody is up there. They were blitzing almost every snap. You have got to hit the big ones. There were a couple of times we were close. We just fell off the block or that holding for example or the game is a six or seven hundred yard game.