Larry Fedoras weekly media conference

Southern Miss Head Coach Larry Fedora
Monday, November 9th, 2009
Opening Statement:
"We just finished our open week and were able to get some good work in. We were also able to get some guys healed. Some of the guys that have gotten a lot of reps have been able to get some rest during this time. We were able to work a lot of our young guys: guys that were on the second team, guys that were on the third team, and guys we were redshirting. Going into this week, we feel like we're as healthy as we could possibly be going down the stretch. Now it's time for Marshall."
On the kicking game:
"We haven't made a decision (on who will handle the place kicking duties), but it's still up for grabs. We'll work all the way through this week to make a decision."
The importance of the final three games:
"It is a three-game season (now) for us. We know what has to be done in this stretch and our guys are familiar with it. They know that we've been here before and can do this and get this done. We're going to do it by making sure we finish and focusing on one game at a time."
On winning on the road:
"We went back and broke down each and every game (on the road), and it was something different each game. We feel like we're still playing good football. It's not like we go on the road and don't play good football. There was one game where we didn't play well, but the others we just didn't finish in the fourth quarter. We've got to do that."
On Darius Marshall and Cody Slate from Marshall:
"(Darius Marshall) is their running game, basically. He's a good football player. Basically, their passing game is (tight end Cody Slate). He's a heck of a player too. They have two guys that are really good football players. Not to take away from any of the others, but those guys are their premier guys and they make sure they get the ball to them."
"They want to be able to run the football with him. There's no doubt they want to establish the running game. Again, when they are going to throw it with their play action or misdirection, they are going to find ways to make sure Slate is in a position to get the ball."
On Marshall overall as a team:
"They're playing very sound on defense. They're sound in the kicking game, and they make sure that (Marshall and Slate) get the ball in their hands. When it comes down to a critical situation, it's either going to be No. 5 or No. 85 that gets the ball."
On the timing of the bye week:
"[It came at a good time.] We went 13 straight weeks. Our guys were not only physically tired but also mentally tired. The grind takes a toll on you mentally, and being able to get fresh mentally is probably the biggest part of it."
On Marshall's defense:
"I think they are No. 1 in the conference in scoring defense, something like 21 points a game. They've done a great job in that area so offensively we'll have to be hitting on all cylinders."
On the play of quarterback Martevious Young:
"I think he's done an excellent job of taking care of the football. I would have to say a B+ or A- in the way he's performed. He's taken care of the football and put us in a position to be successful in each game that he's started in. He's got great arm strength and can make all the throws. The thing he's probably done best is manage the game and make sure that he's careful where he goes with it. He's only thrown into coverage one time, and that was on fourth down and insignificant at the time."
On the health of Austin Davis:
"I think everything is progressing the way they expect it to."
On the small cast on Eddie Hicks' arm:
"I don't know what it is. We've got so many games with things on their wrists and hands that I don't know what they all are to be honest with you. They all seem to want to wear a cast or something on their hand. There for a while, just about every safety had one on. Whether it was Jamie Collins, or Eddie, or Justin Wilson had something on and so I thought it was some kind of award they got. It hasn't hampered (Eddie) from catching the football. He's done a good job on all his picks and hasn't hampered him. I won't even ask probably."
Reflections of the season so far:
"I have to say there are more positives than negatives. Obviously, we feel like every game that we were in was winnable. For whatever reason, the four games where we didn't come out on top, it boils down to winning in the fourth quarter. That's what we've narrowed it down to and just finishing the game. We felt like, on the other hand, in the five games that we have won, we have done that. Each and every one of them. That's going to be our big focus down the stretch: finishing the game."
On performing with a "back against the wall" mentality:
"I hope (they play better with a back against the wall mentality). You better. When you have everything against you and adversity staring you in the face, you either step up to the plate or you don't. We're about to find out. Our guys, I think, perform well with their backs against the wall.
On the race of the East division:
"It's good for us. We're sitting here in November and all of our goals are still sitting right in front of us. There are a lot of teams in this country right now that have no chance of reaching their goals. We feel very fortunate and excited about that opportunity because everything we've worked for is still sitting right in front of us."