Opening Statement: When you go play Newberry, you know that you are playing a team that is very well coached. They are solid in everything they do, offense, defense and in the kicking game. Todd Knight and his coaches do a great job. It's been a great rivalry between Carson-Newman and Newberry for many years. It's a give and a take type of game, last year we got beat there. We got our youth taken advantage of they beat us pretty good up front last year and that was probably the turning point of the game.
Q 1: How is Nick Jones similar or different to Raleigh Yeldell?
Turner: He was a quarterback a year ago when the other guy got injured. He is a very talented athlete who is going to make plays. Maybe established himself more as a run threat and is part of their offense and is part of their plan. They got weapons, they got receivers who are very explosive at times. It all came together for them in their first home game last weekend.
Q 2: How do you prevent a loss from beating you twice?
Turner: That is what we talked to our kids about yesterday and talked as coaches about this morning. In this game you got to have a short memory, you can't remember how good you were last Saturday, or you can't remember the bad things that happened last Saturday, you got to get up and go. I've seen a lot of football teams that one loss cost them two, because they haven't gotten over it yet. We had a great team meeting yesterday, we spent time with video and teaching and trying to make corrections that we needed to make. I told the kids that it gets down to execution in the offense, defense and kicking teams. People want to pick-out the punt return, then another punt return and two fumbles. You go back and look and there is a missed block here and a miss block there, there is a missed assignment on defense that keeps the drive alive. It's just football is a game of execution and it is a one snap game. One snap can make a difference.
Q 3: Does the message change from weeks one and two after the loss?
Turner: No, I don't think so. That's exactly what you don't do, is change the message. We are not going to change from being a football team that is very aggressive, we are going to be excited about playing and they were on Saturday night. Maybe, too excited at times on Saturday night. You want to be excited and you want to be fired up to play. We have eight games to go it is a long season, and right now is a great opportunity for us to say who we say we are. We have faced a little adversity right now and how do you handle that. Do you come back and get over that? Gets your eyes focused on Newberry because they are the most important team on the schedule right now and come out and play.
Q 4: You have yet to score on an opening drive, how important is that start?
Turner: It was very important on Saturday night, when we punted the ball and they returned it for a touchdown. We've done good after that, we've taken the next drive and gone and scored, but that one bit us Saturday night. That not being able to keep the drive alive, to go drive it and score with it that one hurt bad. No matter if its offense, defense or special teams we want the fast start and go get it.
Q 5: How do you grade your team's ability to handle the road atmosphere?
Turner: I was very proud of them the way that they handled it. We got a lot of young players, not only are they freshman, redshirt-freshman, sophomores, but there were some that it was the first time seeing them in a hotel or being on a bus. The kids handled the trip well, they handled the hotel, they handled the meetings, they handled the ride to Wingate they had a good pregame warm-up. They had a great crowd there with their first night game, but I think that our kids played exciting and I think that they played up. We still had a chance to win that game right there at the end.
Q 6: How do you make sure that the offense stays focused during the game, after frustrating plays?
Turner: Anytime you got the want to, and you don't necessarily succeed every time with the want to. You have to be able to funnel that to make it be better for you on the next snap. The most important snap is the next snap. We are going to have kids that make mistakes but we're going to grow them up and keep going.
Q 7: How do you think guys handled the different players stepping up at different times during the game?
Turner: I think that they handled it well, when you sit back and look at who we are down, you do that and you're going to get behind. The world is going to keep spinning, the South Atlantic Conference is going to keep playing, and they are not concerned with how many players Carson-Newman has hurt. So our main job is to rally around the next one and let's step it up and let's go. This is an important football game we are getting ready to play on Saturday.
Q 8: How do you make sure you can rush the ball effectively?
Turner: That's the execution part of it. We are playing some different backs in there right now and a transfer that it is probably the most he has played period. You're going to make mistakes in a game because it's different than being at practice. We have got to get that cleaned up, if we're going full speed, I'm okay with that. If, we make mistake where we are looking hesitant about that, then that is inexcusable. We've got to get a tempo going on offense and you would see it happen. When we came out in the third quarter, that's when I was really disappointed that we couldn't move the ball. We made a mistake and we didn't overcome it.
Q 9: Newberry spreads the ball around on offense, what kind of challenge does that present the defense?
Turner: It means you got to make sure you got them all covered. There isn't anybody you need to be overly concerned about and leave somebody open. Newberry has always done a good job of that. It's like the two guys from Wingate, they are two balanced guys and you got to be ready to play both of them. When you go play Newberry and you're too worried about pass and coverage and those kinds of things, then you weaken yourself from the inside. You just got to play your assignments and attack the line of scrimmage.
Q 10: How important is Dillingham to your offense?
Turner: Jared (Dillingham) has always been a steady performer, you are never worried about putting Jared Dillingham in the game. Number one, he is going to give you maximum effort nobody plays harder than he does. He is going to be a smart, heady player that knows what the assignments are. He is a guy around a bunch of young guys can be a great teacher and coach to them. I was just excited about how well he played.
Q 11: What sticks out to you about Newberry's linebackers?
Turner: It is how fast they play. They are extremely quick off the ball as a defensive front, they've got the two linebackers that crowd up and they are going to play that way with their defense. They are a sound football team. Those six guys up front for them have been dominant players and they are a very solid defense.
Q 12: Your defense shut-down the Wingate running backs last Saturday, what does that say about your defensive front four?
Turner: It says that our kids are playing hard, they played hard and you can make up for some mistakes. We still wanted to be an attacking team, sometimes when you go play those zone teams you get to looking instead of attacking. Then you get swarmed under and you have lost the gap. I think that our kids responded well to that, we made some mistakes and keep some drives alive that were disappointing to all of us.