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OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


September 9, 2013


Everett Withers


Q.  When you look at last year's Cal tape, I imagine as a defensive coach, probably not an easy thing to see.  What were your impressions and how confident are you that you guys are beyond the problems that you had last year?
COACH WITHERS:¬† Well, I think there's twofold, your question‑‑ to answer your question is twofold:¬† Different offense that we are playing, and I think different personnel and different‑‑ a little bit different scheme, what we're talking about doing for the most part.
I think this offense is totally different than last year's offense.¬† You know, I think Coach Dykes is more of the fast‑paced, get the ball out quick‑type offense, so we have to have a little bit different plan than last year's plan.¬† So I think it's different, I mean, obviously‑‑ I don't think we even looked at last year's tape.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH WITHERS:  Probably.  Probably.  But a different offense.

Q.  Along those lines, did you find yourself looking at a lot of previous stops, or are you more zoned in on the first two weeks or is there a balance between the two?
COACH WITHERS:  Early this summer, this spring, we looked at a lot of LA Tech tape, exclusively, obviously, because there was no game tape.  And as you look at what they are doing now, it's on par with what they did at LA Tech.
Obviously they have a young quarterback, so the young quarterback is probably not as immersed as the quarterback from LA Tech.  He was pretty talented.

Q.¬† With that in mind, they are averaging like 90‑something plays a game, how do you prepare for that this week against a team that's going to run maybe 25, 30 more plays than y'all have been seeing0, unless they are designed, anyway.
COACH WITHERS:¬† Well, obviously we have to have a pretty on‑point practice plan as far as how we are going to work practice.¬† We have to get that scout team to really give us a look and maybe give them three or four plays at once, and say, hey, just run them, just run them.
Because when you run the teams like, this they really don't care what you lineup in a lot of times.  They are just going to run plays.  They are just running plays.  Now if they see some kind of look they don't like, they will stop to the sideline to get a different play, especially with a young quarterback.
We get that a little bit from our offense, so that's helped us through camp and throughout the spring, so that helps us a lot with that.  But I think just design in practice, so we can get those looks and be able to get our calls real fast.  We have to be real simple in how we call it and just get lined up and play ball.

Q.  What is it about their young quarterback, obviously leads the nation in passing right now, passing yardage and did you see them pile more on him this week than they did last week?
COACH WITHERS:  No, I don't think there was much more piled on to them.  I think he has a good grasp of the offense.  Obviously this is one of those offense, you just call plays and you go, so he's getting it in and calling it.  So it's not a whole lot that's on his plate right now.  But he seems to have managed it; he doesn't seem overwhelmed at all with running what they do.

Q.  Talk about Vonn Bell's progress, I know he's doing really well in special teams; do you feel good, with two starters that you can play, how close is the competition between Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell?
COACH WITHERS:  Vonn is still growing in the process of learning that position, so we have tried to get him some reps, whether it be three or four in the first game or six or seven in the second game, just trying to grow him in that position, because you're obviously trying to have two deep.
We'll probably need two stars this week to play.¬† So the more reps we can get him, the better we'll be down the road, injury‑wise and depth‑wise overall.¬† He's growing; he's growing in his spot.¬† I think Tyvis is ahead of him by a ways.

Q.  And the depth in general at safeties, nice luxury there, CJ misses the first game, you have guys like Ron you can stick in there; can you talk about the depth at safety?
COACH WITHERS:¬† You know, I think any time you have three seniors that have played some snaps here, you can say you have depth, you have to obviously‑‑ they have got to be good in your system.¬† And I think Ron, Pitt, obviously C.J. and Christian have studied the plan pretty well and know what to do.¬† We are just trying to develop the depth at star, and that's coming along fine.

Q.¬† Speaking of Vonn Bell, your relationship with him was well documented in how you approached recruitment with knowing the people that are close to him and all that.¬† When you talk about the entire scope of just how you guys‑‑ have you seen the entire staff take that approach under Coach Meyer's guidance?¬† How have you seen the staff grow?
COACH WITHERS:¬† Yeah, I think that's part of what we try to do in recruiting is get to know all the, what we call champions; the people that are going to help make the decisions.¬† I think that's really important to try to know, and people who have an idea‑‑ kids talk to a lot of different people and if you know all the people they talk to, then you have a better chance of figuring out what they want to do.¬† So, yeah, I think our staff's grown in that way.

Q.  When a team will run a play a handful of times during a game like Cal does with their sort of jumbo wishbone, how much time can you spend preparing for something like that?  Because they only do it a handful of times, and yet, it seems like they are counting on you being unfamiliar with it to sort of do something with it.
COACH WITHERS:  Well, it helps us that they ran it at LA Tech.  We studied it at LA Tech.  So they are doing basically the same plays.  Obviously we know there's going to be something different.  It's never going to be the exact same plays all the time.  They will have something totally different.  So, yeah, we get a chance to study it a lot.

Q.  How much time can you devote to in practice when it's something they only do a little bit?
COACH WITHERS:  That's usually one of the first things we do on Sunday when we go out is try to look at short yardage goal line, and that's really where they are running it, and we try to get a plan right then and there and then we develop it over the week and just try to come up with something simple to be able to line up the play.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH WITHERS:¬† I think they are going to look at how many guys you have loaded up in the box and decide whether they are going to take the one‑on‑ones outside.

Q.  Playing with a freshman quarterback, does that allow you to be more aggressive than how you may call a defense, particularly up front and especially when you get guys like Roby and C.J. back to make you confident in the back end?
COACH WITHERS:¬† I think what you see on offense determines how aggressive you can be.¬† This is basically an empty offense.¬† They have a back in the backfield but he's lined up outside the tackle, basically.¬† He's got one foot in the box.¬† So they are five out every snap, so being aggressive, this week, may not be the same as being aggressive last week versus a two‑back power, one‑back, 11‑personal team.¬† This is getting everybody out in the route.¬† So what you mean by aggressive may not be the same this week as it was last week.

Q.¬† There are some coaches out there who don't like this up‑tempo style of football.¬† Do you think it's bad for the game‑‑
COACH WITHERS:  I bet you those guys who don't like it are all defensive guys.

Q.  Offensive guys like it.
COACH WITHERS:  Yeah, they seem to like it a lot.  It's interesting.  I won't get to watch the game tonight, but I'm kind of interested to watch the Eagles game, see what's going to happen will tonight.
I think it gets a lot of guys on the field offensively.¬† It's good for the offensive game.¬† It's good for recruiting, I'm sure, as far as skill guys.¬† Defensively, part of the time, just like anything else, wishbone, you know, the run and shoot, now this; it will come back to two‑back, one‑back, pretty quick.

Q.  Talk about the two starts in this game, are you going to be in the dime a lot?
COACH WITHERS:  We are working on that plan right now.  I can't give that to you.

Q.¬† Do you like what you guys can do‑‑
COACH WITHERS:  Yes.  Like it a lot.  I think we have to.  I think today's game, you have to be able to do that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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