Bulldogs Speak: On UAB, Focus, Running Game

Next game: vs. UAB (2-4), Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPNU (Clay Matvick and Herm Edwards)

We spoke with some Bulldogs this afternoon following Dan Mullen‘s press conference, and they sound like they’re ready to move on from the Florida win to this week’s opponent. Let’s hit the highlights.

Offensive coordinator Les Koenning

• On the Florida win: “It’s one small step in our goal. We can pat ourselves on the back and we can be happy, but that’s not what we want to finish at.”

• On what needs improvement on offense: “I think offensively we just need to get the consistency of keep doing the things over and over and over again. We have found out offensively – of course this is an old golden rule – the more you do it, the better you get at it.”

• On running the ball so heavily against UF: “The reason was we felt like that was our best matchup. When we went into the game, they were leading the SEC in pass interceptions. They’ve got some really, really good players back there in the back half of that (defense).”

Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz

• On being second in the SEC in tackles-for-loss: “I think the guys are starting to see – we kept showing them the first three or four weeks the missed opportunities. And I think we’re having fewer and fewer of those missed opportunities week in, week out. We’re turning them into made plays.”

• On UAB’s offense: “It’s a different animal. It’s another different version of the spread, the spread flavor of the week this week. … They do a real good job of moving the football.”

Tailback Vick Ballard

• On running out of the wildcat: “It’s not even called the wildcat. It’s called the ‘special.’ … I feel pretty comfortable. I did it at practice a couple of times. Like two weeks before we had it in, but I didn’t get to run it. I practiced it two weeks before, so I was kind of used to it.”

• On running against UF’s defense after facing Alcorn State and Houston: “Man, it’s a lot tougher. Because they’re bigger, faster, stronger.”

• On re-focusing for UAB: “Like I said earlier, you can’t look past a team. When you start having success, you don’t want to forget where you came from.”