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September 12, 2012

Randy Edsall

RANDY EDSALL:  Yeah, we've got a tough ballgame against Connecticut this weekend here on Saturday.  We're looking to get better.  I think we got better from week one to week two, and we're looking to get better from week two to week three, and hopefully we'll be able to do that.  We look forward to playing a tough opponent in Connecticut.

Q.  Can you give us some thoughts on the Notre Dame move?  What do they bring to the table?
RANDY EDSALL:  Well, I just found out about it.  I was in meetings all morning, just walked into my office, and happened to catch the tail end of Jimbo and just happened to hear that‑‑ hear the news.
I think they're a quality institution, they're a quality opponent, and we look forward to having the opportunity to play them.

Q.  And how did you find out?  Did you find out just by hearing Jimbo or previously?
RANDY EDSALL:  Like I said, I was in meetings all morning, offense and defensive meetings, game planning for Connecticut, and just walked in here and happened to hear about it on the telephone right before I got on the call.

Q.  How if at all does your familiarity with the players on Connecticut's roster, how has that helped you in your preparation for this game?
RANDY EDSALL:  Well, again, it's about our guys going out and just executing our game plan.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for the University of Connecticut and the players there.  What we'll do is, again, we're just trying to make ourselves better, but eventually all we have to do is we've got to go out and play on Saturday.

Q.  Do you still have relationships with any of those players?
RANDY EDSALL:  You know, I addressed all this yesterday, and because of NCAA rules, it's very, very difficult to have relationships with the former players because you're really not allowed to talk to them because of tampering and all those sort of things.
No, I have not really talked to any of them because of the way the NCAA is structured.

Q.  Obviously big improvement for you guys from game one to game two.  What were you most pleased with or most surprised about looking back there?
RANDY EDSALL:  Well, I think that we were able to move the ball better offensively.  We ended up making some big plays in the game.  We cut down on the interceptions during the game, and I just thought we were a little bit more consistent.  We were better on 3rd down, as well.  Defensively I thought we played very well against the run.  We had a couple of‑‑ five plays we gave up like 160 yards.
But I just thought that the total team effort against a quality opponent was very good.  We had the opportunity to take a drive at the end of the game to put the game away, and we did.  And so I think we made good improvement, and now we've got to make more improvement this week, as well.

Q.  I know that the Notre Dame news is new to you, but I just kind of wonder if it's at all disappointing to hear that they joined for everything but football but have agreed to play five games against ACC schools.  Would you rather they were all in?
RANDY EDSALL:  Well, I mean, personally, yes, I wish they were all in for football.  But again, until I get all the information in terms of how those five games are going to be structured, and is it going to be a home and home situation where you play them at home one year and then next year you go there or vice versa, or who are the five teams they're going to play?  There's still so much information.  But again, I think for the overall good of the league, it is a quality institution and a quality program.

Q.  What does Goins bring to the table, his return this week, and how big a factor could he be with the skills that he has?
RANDY EDSALL:  Well, Isaac started practice, and he's done really well.  He's a junior college young man who was here with us in January, so he got a chance to know the system and understand the system and was the backup as we started camp, and then he got the mono.  So again, we feel it's a guy that even though he hasn't played here, he's played in the junior college ranks, so gives us some added experience and added depth.

Q.  I want to ask you a little bit about Perry Hills, definitely made great improvement from game one to game two, which you've already alluded to as an overall goal.  But tell me a little bit about some of the things that you saw.  I'm sure he had jitters and everything one week, but he definitely looked a lot more composed last week.
RANDY EDSALL:  Well, I think, again, having that first game under his belt and being out there really helped him.  You could just see that he was a little bit more at ease last Saturday.  And again, I think the big thing is he utilized a lot of guys around him.  A lot of guys stepped up, and he made some great throws.  We had some really good catches.  And I think he's starting to just feel more comfortable.
You know, when you get into the game plan and learning that and being under the center, the more he plays, the better he's going to be.  I think that he'll make good improvement again this week, as well.

Q.  What do you think is a major area that you would like to see him improve on quickly?
RANDY EDSALL:  Well, I think you've got to understand, this is a true freshman coming out of high school and really didn't play in the same type of an offense that we're playing in.  But his whole‑‑ I think what's going to happen, you're going to see continued growth in every area of him playing the quarterback position, and that's what we want because we want him to be a well‑rounded quarterback, not just a guy that can run the ball or just throw the ball or whatever.  And I think the biggest thing is I think just in terms of the‑‑ I think the game will slow down for him, and that's what we want him to do is get the game to slow down, and then, again, just seeing things and reacting very, very quickly.  And I think those are the things that we want to seemaybe the quickest improvement.  But those are the things I think will come the quickest for him.

Q.  It appears that A.J. Francis had a really good game at Temple, the blocked field goal, a sack, a fumble recovery.  Just tell me a little bit about what he does for you there at defensive tackle.
RANDY EDSALL:  Well, you're correct.  A.J. had a very good game, had a lot of productivity in that game, and that's something that we want out of A.J., being a fifth year senior and being a guy that is a mature young man, is a knowledgeable young man, is somebody who has the skill set to be productive.  If we can continue to get that kind of productivity out of A.J., then I think we're going to be even better on defense.
But he's a guy that works extremely hard, wants to do well, starting to take a little bit more of a leadership role with our team, which is good.  And again, it's just one of those things where I've just seen a guy who's just matured so much in the last six months because, again, the focus and what he wants to accomplish for his team and his teammates.

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