Notes from Dan Mullen’s Pre Week 2 Press Conference (9/3/18)

Here are notes taken live during Dan Mullen’s press conference with the media on September 3rd, 2018. News and notes are expected to cover the the game week leading up to Kentucky. Apologies for any spelling errors or related – I’ll do my best to go back and correct later. Also the video is at the bottom of the page:

  • First SEC game is exciting and it’s critical for us to get a win and good things in the conference under way in the right way.
  • A really big game coming up for us, really happy with last week’s crowd and wants a loud and rowdy crowd this week.
  • Kentucky has shown that they have a lot of grit, don’t panic when behind, and know how to win. They were able to come back last week and win a game they should have. Lots of vets and play makers on offense. Will be a great game with both teams being familiar with each other in terms of personnel and the coaching staff.3
  • Doesn’t really address the 31 year streak – our guys had nothing to do with that, so we aren’t focused on that. Gotta worry about the team we play this year. Doesn’t feel like there is an added pressure because of streak – imagine some day it’ll end because that’s how things go, but hopes it isn’t him because he wants to focus on getting the first SEC win.
  • Key takeaways from Charlotte Southern Game Film: Did a good job getting guys opportunities and a lot of good changes for guys to get reps and put on tape things they can improve on. We want to avoid giving up big plays like we did a few times, but are happy with the way we locked down. This was a good game for new guys to get more time and for them to learn and get better.
  • Asked about the jump pass: Alex Smith, back in Utah, wasn’t a fast or aggressive quarterback, so they did a lot of direct snap stuff. One of those plays included a jump pass as part of a two point conversion package. Won it once in OT while at Air Force.
  • Of course part of calling the ‘jump pass’ play was to get the players and fans excited. It fit the situation, so they called it for an easy completion.
  • Hopes that the guys are more confident in the routine of what a game week looks like. They looked great this past Friday and Saturday and it showed on Game Day. We’ll be on them to make Monday through Thursday better, but we hope they understand the routine better.
  • Knows his guys respect Kentucky as a harder opponent. They’re the first SEC team and we need to be ready for that. Needs the guys to stay focused on themselves – they need to play a lot better, not just because Kentucky is a better team, but because they want to continue to get better every week.
  • Playing hard every play – like we did to keep the score to 0 before half, is what you want to see every single snap when we play. We can see on tape how we did when we gave full effort and when we didn’t. We need to limit those times.
  • When you call a ‘trick’ type play it has more to do with the timing of the play and whether the situation is right more so than perfect execution.
  • Seeing Malik Davis moving as well as he is, you really love to see – especially when he took a big hit on his leg and he was able to pop right back up. It gets him feeling confident.
  • Snell is an important player to focus on, but they have other play makers too. You don’t want to focus on just one guy. That said you need to be able to stop their run to have a chance against them.
  • We need to tackle a little bit better, clean up our running technique a bit (on the line and in the backfield). It’s easy to make those small mistakes when you’re hyped for a game but we want to perfect those in practice and translate it to the game field.
  • Would have loved to get Trask more time, but thought he did well when he came in.
  • Wants about 30 defensive players in total that they can rotate in. Doesn’t think they are there yet, but players are seeing where their chances are now. If you go hard in practice that will translate to game time and game snaps.
  • We got out of the weekend healthy, which is great. Shawn Davis is out, CJ McWilliams we expect back this week. Copeland will be another week or two.
  • The ball got spread around a lot, which is great. We will have certain ‘get it to’ stuff for certain guys but we will always play the game based on what the defense gives us with speed, personnel, and calls. Loves putting up big running numbers as a group. Some weeks you’ll have several guys in each group, just depends on the defense and what is working.
  • Franks is clicking at times now, which is good. We like to keep it simple early and slowly add things each week based on comfort level. Overall felt he did well, with a few that he might want back. Only one bad read stands out.
  • Heggie didn’t grade out. Has a ways ago to get more time on the field.
  • A lot of points scored in this league. It’s the best league, so no surprise – so much depth top to bottom. Most teams think they should at least win their side of the league.
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