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September 17, 2014

Scott Shafer

SCOTT SHAFER:  Looking forward to getting back home against a well‑coached Randy Edsall team at Maryland, and just looking forward to playing a great Northeast match‑up.  With that, any questions?

Q.  Talk about Maryland, what you saw in the film this week and how are you guys going to stop C.J. Brown?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Well, looking at Maryland and C.J., obviously a team that can be extremely explosive, a great corps of wide receivers that can make plays in space, a quarterback that can beat you with both his feet and his arm.  Also the biggest key right now is to go into the game plan understanding who their best players are and come up with a play to try to minimal eyes the big play.  The things C.J. has done a great job of is bouncing back from a bad drive, then he'll come back and have a really good drive, and you can see his maturity as a player, and like I mentioned, he's got some very good players that he can deliver the ball to that can help the cause.
Dangerous team, explosive offensive team, and a tough defense that plays hard and gives you some difficult looks.

Q.  From last week's win against Central Michigan, what do you guys have to work on?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Well, coming out of wins and losses there's always different areas you need to look at.  I think we need to improve our efficiency and 1st down on both offense and defense, and then just continue to ramp things up offensively, defensively.  I like the way we got a lot of people involved against Central Michigan, and I think it's important that we continue to do that.  Strength in numbers is something that we truly believe in.  I think we have some good running backs that have touches, and we need to just continue to be creative and add roles and situation football to kids that can do things.
You know, for me, probably the 1st and 10 was probably the biggest thing we want to continue to work at and improve upon.

Q.  What do you feel your team improved the most upon from week one to game two there with the big win over Central Michigan?
SCOTT SHAFER:  I think more than anything, the attitude and demeanor of how we approach each play.  I thought we played more physical.  I thought we got more hats to the ball defensively.  Offensively I thought we were more proficient in our star points and did some good things on 3rd down plays.  Those are probably the most important things.

Q.  Obviously Maryland gave up some points last week.  Do you look at that Maryland defense and say, okay, I think we can attack them, I got some ideas from that West Virginia game?
SCOTT SHAFER:  I think West Virginia is a very good football team, and Maryland is a good defense.  They gave up a couple plays here and there, and West Virginia earned some points on them, as well.  But you go before that, and you watch Maryland, they're a very good defensive football team.

Q.  I was talking with Durell Eskridge and Julian Whigham last night about some big plays the secondary might have given up last season, and both of them were kind of in agreement that they didn't feel like they always made other teams work for it, and this year the secondary was maybe better prepared for it.  What do you think makes this group, if so, better prepared to make big plays?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Well, I think at that safety position we have some guys that have played a lot of football together.  I think Coach Bullough and Coach Reed have done a nice job keeping things clear and direct with the learning curve, and more than anything else, I think it's just consistency due to some experience at the safety position.

Q.  Having played a mobile quarterback in Robert son at Villanova, is there anything that you may have learned about your defense and how it handles a mobile quarterback and changes that are needed to make that you can now take into this game against C.J. Brown?
SCOTT SHAFER:  Yeah, I mean, we have some things, but first and foremost, I think it just starts with playing team defense and swarming to the ball like we did last week and doing a good job keeping the ball where it's supposed to be, keeping it inside and in front, and if they do run the ball with the quarterback, we've got to be an extremely physical attacking defense that's taking shots and playing aggressive but also playing smart, aggressive football.

Q.  I was curious what your feeling is about coaches doing the icing the kicker thing with the last‑second time out.  I know in the Iowa game the kicker missed the first attempt and got a second shot at it basically.  Do you like it?  Do you think it works, or what's your feeling on it?
SCOTT SHAFER:  I think it's probably an overrated type situation there that you can give way too much thought to.  You know, I just think it's one of those deals, if you want to try to mess with him, then maybe you do it, but I think it's overrated.

Q.  Is that something you've done much in your time as a coach?
SCOTT SHAFER:  I've only coached for one year as a head coach making those decisions, and it's not something I give a whole lot of foresight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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