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Charlie Strong And Jake Smith Preview Houston

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Strong


--Really happy to get another win last Friday, but that wasn't a clean game. We had way too many drops and penalties.

--Houston's wide receivers can get down the field and make big plays. They create a lot of problems for us. They're a solid offense and a solid team all-around, which is obvious because they're right there with us having one loss in league play.

--We had nine drops on Friday, which is the most we've had this season. DeVante dropped three, James Quick dropped three, Senorise dropped one. We had some guys complaining about the cold, which is ridiculous. I've taken those heaters away from the sidelines before and I think I'll have to do it again.

--James Quick is a young player and his problem is confidence right now. He's good enough to make those plays, and he'll bounce back.

--If I can wear that turtleneck in 90 degree weather then I can wear it in the freezing cold.

--Not all that pleased with the way we ran the ball. We tried to get outside because we knew they were strong up the middle, but we didn't do a very good job of that. Put ourselves in a lot of holes by not gaining yards on 1st and 2nd down.

--Didn't get to watch the UCF/Houston game because he was watching the Assumption vs. Mercy volleyball game. A guy next to him was trying to give him updates, but he just wanted to focus on the volleyball. Assumption beat Mercy. It was a good game.

--Houston is very similar to Central Florida. They run that same zone read and they always have an outlet on the outside for the quarterback to throw the ball. The two are very similar offenses.

--Championships are won in November and there's still a lot of football to be played. I told the guys that a year ago we were 9-0 at this time and no one thought we would lose to Syracuse and UConn, but that happened. You never know what's going to happen.

--I think our fans will be there on Saturday. It's their team too. I say all the time that they don't have to come to practice or meetings, just the games, and they'll be there. I like the 3:30 games because it's hard to wait around all day for a game, but the late start is great for the fans.

--If we don't go to the BCS, we're still going to play a quality opponent and we're still going to have a chance to end the season on the right note. We know we're still alive for a BCS game though, and we just keep saying that we need to handle our business and let everything else play out.

--Teams have moved the ball on Houston, but their defense has done an amazing job at creating turnovers. We have to take care of the ball on Saturday. They're a very smart team.

--Marcus Smith would love to take one snap at quarterback in the Wildcat. When he came here he was a huge guy who could throw the ball a ton but had no idea where it was going. He was fine when we told him we wanted to move him to defense, even though he'd never played on that side of the ball before. He's grown each and every year and been extremely coachable, and it's been so much fun to watch him. He accepted that challenge, which was great.

--Michael Dyer practiced yesterday and will be on the field Saturday.

--Receivers have seen the way that Calvin Pryor hits people and they're aware of where he is on the field. The hits have been big, but they've all been clean. They said the receiver stepped out of bounds before Calvin hit him last week, and that's what the penalty was for. It wasn't a targeting penalty, but it was still a bad call. His hits are all shoulder and clean, but he has a tremendous presence. I think he'll have an opportunity to be a pro.

--The guys who committed penalties against UConn have to run this week as punishment. Coach Moorer handles that.

--Our fans are passionate and want to see good football. It's amazing how far we've come. A lot of times when stadiums are half-full, it's the coach's fault. Some fans won't even watch their team on TV if they're really bad. No one wants to watch a bad football game.

--I think we could play with Alabama. I don't know who would win that game, but I'm not going to say that we'd walk in there and they'd just wear us out.

--We have to recruit better and get better overall going into the ACC. We're walking into a hornet's nest. There are some really good teams in that league.

Jake Smith


--Reserving judgment on the illegal man downfield penalty against him. Thought the ball was out before he was downfield.

--Caught the end of the UCF/Houston game, but didn't watch much football on Saturday. It didn't really affect him because he knows there's nothing he can do about it. There's no concern over the team not being motivated this Saturday.

--The punishment for penalties is usually gassers or up-downs; it's whatever Coach Moorer's "flavor of the day" is. I'll try to talk my way out of it.

--This is going to be my first Saturday night game. It's going to be fun. Friday night and Thursday night games are fun, but I can only imagine what a Saturday night game will be like inside Papa John's. The fans will be off work all day, so it should be a lot of fun.

--Haven't seen much of Houston yet, but knows they're very good. Texas is a hotbed for recruiting, so you know they have great players.

--What UCF does is out of our control. We can't concern ourselves with that. We're just trying to play our best ball and win out.

--Coach Watson calculated it after the game, and if we didn't have any drops or penalties, we would have had 580 yards of offense.