Fresh off a solid defensive showing against Southern Miss, FAU Football is set to host their second C-USA Championship in three years and will welcome UAB to Schnellenberger Field this Saturday at 1:30 PM.
To start the period, Coach Kiffin held his weekly media teleconference Sunday evening. Below are those highlights from that session.
Good win. We won each of our defensive goals. Very lopsided play count game – 54 snaps. We are normally about 80 or something. That was some inefficiency on offense and also two, two play drives and a one play drive, so it kind of got out of whack. Those guys give you problems on defense, very multiple, like I said all week, and a lot of good players. I'm excited to have the conference championship here at home versus a very good UAB team that is one of the best defenses in the country. I think they are fifth in the country in defense. We are going to have our hands full.
You guys haven't played UAB, since you got here. How close have you followed UAB football and what Coach (Bill) Clark has done and UAB bringing the program back?
He has done a great job. He was (Conference USA) Coach of the Year, I think last year, and really has done it with great defense. They have a lot of really good players, supposedly the giant senior class of guys that were able to sit out and not count years while they were not playing (graduated last year). I thought they were not supposed to be very good this year. Someone had told me in the offseason… So, it will be very tough.
Going into the final Championship game, do you like the idea of facing a team that you haven't played before this season or does this complicate matters for you? How do you feel about that?
It makes it a little more difficult. The last time we were playing a team that we had already played so we already had broke down everything. We really don't know much about these guys. It makes it a little more difficult.
What did you learn about it last time, about this game?
It is the next game. It is just 13 games instead of 12. Really not much to learn from that.
Are you concerned with the outside receivers and the lack of consistency lately or that is just matchups and the way things have gone where you run more, use Dilo (Deangelo Antoine) more, thrown to Harry (Harrison Bryant) more?
We just were not in rhythm last night (Saturday) with the short drives. You know our offense. If we don't make the first, first down then we really can't get going. It felt like we just didn't get into rhythm.
Are you worried about the team's energy peaking too early going into the week or the big day?
I haven't thought about it. It is Sunday. We are just trying to figure these guys (UAB) out. I had not thought about that yet.
As an offensive-minded guy, do you cherish these kinds of matchups with a really strong defense as kind of a test of wits or wills?
No. I like when we play really bad defenses with bad players (said jokingly). Those games are a lot easier. I don't cherish playing a team that is giving up 269 yards a game and 18 points. We will have our hands full.
I asked a few weeks about the team potentially getting distracted if they see your name linked to other coaching jobs. As teams start to make moves, do you feel like you need to address that with the team to make sure that they know what your plans are? Your personal plans.
I don't. That doesn't have anything to do with this season and this team so I have never addressed these things.