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October 5, 2015

Norries Wilson

Piscataway, New Jersey

COACH WILSON: Good afternoon, everyone. We are coming off -- yesterday we had our first work out since last week. We thought we had a productive bye week working on some fundamentals, getting better at some things and had some good work against the speed of the defense.

We are looking forward to coming on Saturday night here at home, playing against a Top-5 team in Michigan State. We're going to have to work hard this week to make sure we're prepared and to go out there and complete our goal of being 1-0. And with that, I'll open it up to questions.

Q. Is there anything in particular -- making sure the quarterback is protected both from the running backs and your offensive line?
COACH WILSON: No, I watched their defense all the time and they have got some guys that can rush the passer -- yes. To answer your question, yes, we are going to do everything we can to make sure the quarterback has an opportunity to have a clean launch pad, the backs are going to have to pick up their protection, and the offensive line is going to have to strain and try to keep their rushes off them.

Q. How much Michigan State prep did you guys do before this week? How much did you do in the bye week?
COACH WILSON: You want me to quantify it as a number -- I'm being serious. We did something every day. Every day we went out there, we did something on advance prep for Michigan State. So we had a good three periods of good team work against the things they do on defense.

Q. How much do you guys change, or do you just do what you do --
COACH WILSON: We don't try to reinvent the wheel each week and start trying to come up with a new offense. We try to find the best ways to attack them, be it with personnel or with formations or a combination of the two. There may be a new wrinkle in here or there, if we see that it fits into what we do and it's not very expensive for us to get taught in the time that we have available.

So we will go out and see what's in our package that helps us best prepare to win the football game and we'll Shady it from there.

Q. Does the bye week help? Did you have a little extra time?
COACH WILSON: The bye week does help, yes, sir, to try to work some wrinkles out.

Q. I know you can't talk about kids specifically but what was the weekend like recruiting and what was the reception the coaches got?
COACH WILSON: The reception was very good. There's nothing like a good high school football game or going to see a football practice. I saw a couple kids practicing.

I just marveled at some of the drills I thought didn't exist anymore that are still out. But the coaches were happy to see us and happy to talk about the kids in their program and kids they might have coming up, and it was very good.

Q. Has it been a part of the game plan --
COACH WILSON: That guy that can rush the passer pretty good. Yes, we know he's a good player. He's a real good player, and we've got to make sure -- we've got a good idea, we know where he's going to be.

We have to make sure that whoever is going against him is going to have to fight and strain and compete against a real good player. I think when you're a college football player, that's what you want to do, you want to play against some good people. And then you want to scheme up some things you're doing against him and mix it up, and try to get him off balance a little bit. But we know that he's a good player and he's someone we're going to have to account for.

Q. Continuing with Calhoun, what is it about him that makes him such a special pass rusher?
COACH WILSON: He's sudden, and when I say sudden, he's got a good get-off. He's long. He can keep the offensive linemen off of him. He uses his hands well. He can get his hips away. He's got speed and he can turn the corner fast and you put all those things together and he can get up the field and get after people really quickly.

Q. Do you guys as coaches talk about last year's game much and what happened there, and maybe the need to maybe close the gap a little bit on a team like Michigan State?
COACH WILSON: When you say close the gap, I'll answer the first part of your question. We go back and look at what we did last year, how we might have attacked them. Defensive coordinator has since gone on to be the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, but they are still doing a lot of the same things, and we'll try to take and learn from whatever mistakes we think we may have made last year.

Each week, it's about, we feel like it's about how we prepare and how we execute. We know we've got a quality opponent, but regardless of who we may be playing, we try to make it about what we're doing and how we're doing it and how we're executing so our kids can stay focused on what we think is important.

Q. How do you feel about the health of the team and where it is right now?
COACH WILSON: Well, the injury report is what it is. We're going to coach the guys that show up out there, that the training staff and medical staff say are cleared to participate and we'll drive on from there.

Q. They traditionally have a really aggressive NFL-calibre secondary. What do you see from their secondary this year? Is it still the same kind of attitude, the no-fly zone they were calling it last year, do you see that same aggressiveness in their secondary?
COACH WILSON: I do. I see great tacklers. I see guys that come up and try to strip the ball; guys are not scared to stick their nose in the box and tackle. They are not scared to press and play one-on-one.

And you have to be confident as a coordinator to allow your defensive backs to press and play one-on-one. And they have athletic kids. And our kids on the edges are going to be challenged, and we expect our kids to step up and meet the challenge.

Q. Normally in games like these where there's somewhat of a mismatch on paper, special teams plays a really big factor. Haven't really seen a lot from the special teams since the return kicks from Grant. Is that a focal point going into this week that you need to make some plays? You haven't blocked a kick at all this season either?
COACH WILSON: We haven't blocked a kick but what we have done is we have got an average punt against in the low 30s, so people are cognizant of our ability to block punts and kicks. Coach Galiano and all of us would love to block a punt. Blocking a punt changes the game but we've altered some punts just with our ability to block them.

We concentrate every week on special teams. Coach Galiano puts a good plan together each week about how we are going to attack them on special teams, and we talk to our players about making plays on special teams each and every week. So that won't change, and we just have to go out and execute and try to get some good plays, some big plays to come from the special teams.

Thank you, gentlemen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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