Transcript of Shane Montgomery's Weekly Press Conference

Sept. 23, 2005

September 23, 2005 Shane Montgomery Weekly Press Conference

Thoughts on Kent State Win ...

"It felt very good getting a win last week. We needed it after digging ourselves an early hole in the MAC race. Kent State has been a tough place for us to play recently, so we were very pleased to get out of there with a win."

"Our defense was much better. When you play a team that put the ball in the air 55 times in a game, they're going to put up some yardage on you, but we only gave up the one touchdown were able to bend but not break throughout much of the game."

"Offensively, we played well at times. We put ourselves in too many third-and-long situations, but we were able to move the ball and put points on the board when we needed to."

"We needed to gain some confidence heading into the Cincinnati game, and there's no question getting that win helps. Hopefully our players on both sides of the ball are feeling better about themselves entering this week."

Comments on Linebacking Injuries ...

"We lost Terna Nande for an indefinite period of time in the Kent State game. He took a hit he wasn't expecting, and you have to be very careful when an internal injury is involved. His condition will be re-evaluated on a week-by-week basis, but we expect him to be out for awhile. Derek Rehage also is still out recovering from his foot injury, but we're hoping to get him out on the field and into action soon."

"It's a real concern to lose two senior starters from our defense, but fortunately linebacker is our deepest position. We've got some experience there, and we're going to keep doing what we do on defense. Bryan Tyson, another senior, will replace Terna in the starting lineup. It says a lot about your depth when you lose two senior starters but can replace them with two more seniors."

On Brandon Murphy and the Running Game ...

"It helps when you have a game like last week where Brandon Murphy was able to find a lot of success running the ball. We've still got too many plays going for losses, but we're making progress in the running game. It's important not only to take pressure of Josh but also to take pressure of the offensive line. If the defense knows you're throwing the ball every time, they can really line up and tee off on you. The run is imperative, and it's something we need to establish early."

On Cincinnati ...

"I fully expect Cincinnati to try and run the ball, which is what they do and where they had a lot of success last year, and try to keep our offense off the field. Their quarterback presents problems because he is such a good athlete. We have to put pressure on him but, at the same time, be disciplined and stay in our lanes so he can't get out of the pocket and run on us."

"Pat Narduzzi is a competitor and his kids play hard for him. We're going to get his best shot, so you can expect them to be prepared defensively. They're going to try to take the run away from us, and they're not going to just let us just sit back and throw the ball. I expect a very aggressive defense."

On the Rivalry ...

"It's one of those things that becomes more important the longer that you're here. We've got a lot of seniors who are seeing their fourth or fifth game in this rivalry, which is like Cincinnati last season, and I think that helps. We want to see the players excited, and we want to know that they realize the significance of the game, but we don't want to see them peaking too early."

"I think the mid-week format and ESPN2 broadcast are good for the rivalry. We're used to this format, and we've had success in these mid-week games. These games are not a normal affair, and they've always been significant games for us. Throwing the Cincinnati rivalry into that scenario makes it even more exciting."

"It's a great rivalry, especially since we've gone to the 12-game schedule. Not many schools have a mutual rival located so close where they know the rivalry will continue. With where both of these programs are headed, the rivalry seems to be getting better and better. It's great for our fans to have this game to look forward to every year."

"Having the Victory Bell as part of this rivalry is significant. It gives you something else to play for...something that matters. It reminds you what the rivalry is all about. The bell is getting old and it doesn't ring as loud as it used to, but it means a lot to a lot of people. It's been lonely here for the past year without it."