MONROE, La. -- ULM head football coach Todd Berry, linebacker Ray Stovall and wide receiver Brent Leonard met with members of the media Tuesday afternoon in advance of Saturday's home contest against UL-Lafayette.
Below are selected quotes from Tuesday's event and the entire press conference can be viewed by clicking the link on the right side of the article.
Head Coach Todd
"Last week, I don't know if it was a surprise to anybody as far as our staff or our team that we got such a stubborn look out of South Alabama. I was impressed last week going in. I don't know if their record is indicative of how good their team is at all. They played hard, and I'm really impressed with what Joey Jones has done with that program and the steps that they took. We put up the most points of anyone from an offensive perspective. We had to make some changes as I mentioned in postgame. It's a great compliment to our offense. We're kind of getting some new things, and that's good for us right now to be able to make some adjustments in game. They came out in the first half with something they had never shown all season and it was totally different from what we've seen throughout the course of the season. That gives us an opportunity to continue to grow as players through the offensive process. We've seen a lot of different looks this year, and again, I think that's a great compliment to what we've gone through and what's happened offensively."
"I was really impressed with South Alabama's quarterback. I enjoy watching quarterbacks as you well know, and it's been really interesting watching that kid mature and I thought he did a really nice job in the game in terms of keeping plays alive. It was really difficult to get him down. We're excited about the win. We're anxious to try and get better."
"From an injury standpoint, we did lose Jyruss Edwards for the season. Obviously, we hate seeing our players go down. Our players understand that this is a physical, violent game. These are things that are going to happen. I won't put my head in the sand because obviously this does impact us. Anytime you have an injury, it impacts you. We do need to move on and this team has done a good job along those lines. I'm pleased with the performance of the guys that have come in for this injured group that's on the sideline with me right now. If you look at those six guys who are out, that's a group that has potential all-conference on them."
"I'm obviously looking forward to this game. It's obviously a rivalry game. I think any time you're playing an in-state school where your players have some association with somebody on the team, whether they played with them or against them, that increases the energy level for the game. There's some impact, I think, that's happened over the last two years with this team. If you remember the last two years' games, they've been frustrating for us, and that serves as some extra motivation along those lines. They've got a good football team, and we're anxious for great weather and anxious to have a great crowd. Besides just the players deserving a good crowd, we are going to be some recruits here, there are going to be some bowl people in attendance. It should be a beautiful day and we're anxious for somebody to put a ball down on Saturday."
On bowl eligibility...
"We're bowl eligible now. I'm not going to put my head in the sand along those lines. We're going to talk about it today as a football team for the first time. I know that they're going to be hearing different things. That's just one of our goals, that is, to get to a bowl. That's not guaranteed yet, obviously. We're bowl eligible which means that puts us in a position. That's just one of our goals. I think that's one of the things that we need to openly talk about as a team because
"Certainly their structure has changed. Injuries obviously impact you, and they impact you in a lot of different ways. We've had our fair share this year and last year we had some that hurt us pretty dramatically, so I recognize that. As coaches and players, you have to overcome that and I'm sure that's what they are doing down there right now."
"From an offensive perspective, with a younger quarterback, they aren't doing as many things as what they did last year. They're doing a lot more out of the pistol formation. I know that based off of comments from Coach Hudspeth down there said he was making some changes from a defensive perspective. I'm not sure what some of those changes will be. Obviously some of them are going to be schematic. He mentioned that he was going to start with protecting the edge of the defense. I'm sure were going to see different things structurally that we haven't seen. They had an open week and that gives them a chance to heal up. If they're going to make some more dramatic changes, as we saw from Florida Atlantic earlier this season, than that gives you time to make some of those adjustments. Just like every game, we'll have a very good plan in place and we'll have to adjust that plan based on how they show up.
On the campus vibe...
"It's good. It's better than it has been over the past few years. Everybody's happy with the way things are going it seems."
Wide Receiver Brent
On his four TD receptions and not earning Sun Belt Player of the Week honors...
"I had never done that before. I didn't hear before today. I saw that the Middle Tennessee quarterback won it. I looked at what he did and it was pretty impressive. He threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns."