Miles’ weekly press conference: Alabama

Photo Courtesy: Georgia State Athletics The football team went 0-12 in Miles' first season.

Opening Statement

“Our program is extremely excited to go play Alabama, No. 1 team in the nation. You don’t get this opportunity many times in life. I think this is probably my third or fourth opportunity to play [a] No. 1 team, and for these young men that we have [it] might be the only chance that they ever have a crack at this. So, its a great, great privilege, and we are really looking forward to going and playing, and they are very excited.”

Any more injuries?

“You know we lost Bill Teknipp, and right now he was our starting tight-end. And, our back up tight-end Keith Rucker is questionable, so we’re making some adjustments.”

Who fills in for Rucker?

“We’ll find out. Whoever raises their hand and says ‘I’ll do it.'”

Achievements over bye-week?

“It was getting back to basics and fundamentals and being very physical. We scrimmaged Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and Sunday. We got after it pretty good. Ones-versus-ones, twos-versus-twos, and then at the end we let our young guys who are red-shirting and not playing much…we let them scrimmage for about 50 plays every day. So we got after it…and got a lot better, to be honest with you.”

What did the team discover after self-scouting this week?

“We discovered that we’re 0-4, but we’re getting better every weekend…we’re starting to execute better, more kids are watching film, more kids are lifting better, more young men are executing in practice and learning that the key to playing well is practicing well…I’m really happy with our guys. They’re really trying to get it right.”

So there has been an increase in commitment that you said lacked the first few weeks?

“Yes we have, and I didn’t say we weren’t seeing it, it was more of questioning and understanding how we do it, but a lot of that comes with us teaching them.”

What can your team take away from this game?

“They can take away knowing how physical it’s going to be, and how well they execute. This is arguably one of the best teams and programs in the history of college football. They’ve won two of the last three, three of the last four [national championships], and on course on track to do it again…those guys have got it figured out.

“We’re just focused on Georgia State. We’re not going there worried about Alabama…we’re focsued on what we can control. We’re not going to control the weather, the crowd, we’re not going to control their size [or] their speed. We’re not going to control any of that. What we’re going to control is our execution and our focus, and that’s all we’re going to go in there and try to do.”

What’s the next area of focus for your team to improve?

“To translate it into games. To be able to execute when you have an opponent breathing down your neck, and to go out and get it done when it really matters. That’s the next step. Once you start doing that, you have, obviously, a better chance of winning.”

Will Gerald Howse get some playing time?

“Well, he’s been moved to fullback. So, he might get some reps. Depends on the course of the game. We play many different personnel groups, so it just kinda depends on how the flow of the game goes.”

How does Grant King coming back affect the offensive line?

“We’re going to play Brandon Pertile. He’s a true freshman that’s already played so we’ll play him and I’m sure…Grant will play too.

“Grant doesn’t get an automatic free pass right into starting. You’ve got to earn your position, and you’ve got to come out and practice that way and go. But, we’ll definitely play six guys.

“Part of our big picture here is the development of the players, and [since] we’ve already played Brandon, we’re not going to sit him. We’re going to play him.”

What do you see on film on Alabama’s offense?

“Well, its kind of hard to see much pass the tackles because they’re so wide. You look at the end zone, their O-line and D-line- their behinds are extremely wide. So it’s hard to see much passed those guys.

“Their are great players for them at every position. They’re first-rounders…Coach Saban and his staff do as good of a job as anybody in America of recruiting top-notch players that have NFL potential…everybody that they have out there is extremely talented and strong and runs well. Again, this is the No. 1 team in the nation, the No. 1 program right now, for a reason.

“You’ve got to be fired up to go and play this team because you don’t get this chance very often, not many times in your career. It’s a very exciting time for our young men, and it’s a time for them to be able to go out and show what they have against the No. 1 team in the nation. That’s what a competitor wants. You want your shot.”

Thoughts on special teams in this game?

“Well, we have to be very smart in our special teams in this game. You’ve seen the returner, you’ve seen what he did to Virginia Tech who’s arguably one of the best year-in and year-out special teams in the nation. So, we have to be very smart in our coverage teams and a lot of that has to do with making sure the ball is placed in the right spot. We can’t leave our coverage teams out there to cover a whole football field with this talent.”

If Georgia State won, where would it rank in upsets?

“I’ll let you figure that out.”