Coach Leipold and Boise Ross spoke to a bigger-than-usual crowd yesterday in advance of UB's game this Saturday against Penn State. Selected quotes:
Head Coach Lance Leipold
On injured safety Jordan Collier:
"Jordan's back. He was back around Sunday, even yesterday he's around meetings. He will not play this week, but [we're] hoping to see him return to practice here soon."
On preparation for a "bigtime" game:
"All games have the same importance and the same type of preparation ... the same week to week preparation i think is important."
"We do have to prepare for other things that are gonna happen within the elements of the situation [such as crowd noise.] We have to be ready to take on what those things may be."
On ESPN and exposure:
"That's the exciting part of it, for any of us. That'd be foolish on our part to downplay. ... Any youngster- you dream for those moments, you dream for these type of opprutnities. But again we have to take care of business and make sure we're prepared for anything that may happen. But once that thing's kicked off, it still comes down to execution and communication ... technique and plays and schemes and all those things that allow you to have a chance to be successful."
On Penn State's game against Temple:
"Temple is as good as some people think they're gonna be. ... It's probably impressed me more about temple was really about ... than Penn State. Penn State has an excellent coach in James Franklin, he's proven what hes done from what he did at Vanderbilt and what's he done there in getting that program what it is. [They had a] Bowl victory last year. I'm sure they're gonna look at their film make the proper adjustments and they'll be ready for their home opener with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement."
On Christian Hackenburg:
"I could see why when you watch his size and how he handles himself, even as that game didn't go as well as they had hoped, you see someone with maturity that handles things very well. You can see him make throws from one hash to the other sideline with a big time arm, and you can see why he's projected to be a first-round draft pick whenever he decides that time is right for him."
On Penn State's strength on defense:
"First thing's the front four. There's gonna be some guys that'll play beyond PSU there. You can see: They're big, they're phsyical, and they do an excellent job. ... They play with confidence. I understand they lost their middle linebacker to injury, but again, replacing them with someone who's already started games, so that's another sign of depth, and what you'd expect from a Big Ten program. It's another well coached unit that's gonna be a physical challenge for our guys up front."
Cornerback Boise Ross
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On growing up in Pennsylvania and as a Penn State fan:
"Oh, yeah, I was diehard. I was a diehard fan. My sister went there actually. She loves the school, but she's rooting for me this time."
On the defensive approach:
"Me and [CB] Marqus Baker have been watching film ever since Sunday so we've been trying to get a good vibe on what the characteristics of what the wide receivers and stuff are doing, how the QB gets his reads off, and what he's looking at. As much as we can watch film and get their characteristics down and what they do, the better we'll be."
On Penn State's Christian Hackenburg:
"He's a solid, solid quarterback. He has a quick snap, a quick arm. We're just trying to get as many tips as we can so that we can jump a couple."
On generating pressure:
"We're really just putting it on our defensive line right now. I talked to my friends Solomon Jackson ... I just told him you gotta get after the quarterback this week, because this is gonna be a really important game for us. ... We might be able to take something away from him."
On Penn State's vulnerability:
I know they don't want to lose. We're not taking it as lightly as they think we are.
On the increased visibility of ESPN2:
I'm just going out there with a clear head and a clear mind. I'm all about my team right now, I know they'll go out there and play with me just as I want to play with them.