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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: TCNJ/MU Coaches Conference Call

The following are excerpts from the Tuesday morning, November 20
coaches' conference calls with Mount Union Head Coach Larry Kehres and
The College of New Jersey Head Coach Eric Hamilton.


MU Head Coach Larry Kehres
“TCNJ is a very strong defense, statistically, one of the best in
Division III. They are very strong up front. Their linebackers are veryFootball_2
active with good lateral movement and their secondary consists of good
cover men. It’s a formidable unit.”

“Statistically, Joe King (defensive lineman) has 14 sacks and 27.5
tackles-for-loss and with his ability to penetrate the offensive line to
rush the passer his statistics stand out, but he is supported by their
other very good linemen. They are led in tackles by linebacker Nick
Steffner, who looks outstanding on film.”

“They have some very good defensive schemes they throw at you. They get
up field and try to put pressure and confuse the offense with unique and
aggressive looks defensively. They really like to mix it up. I tip my
hat to their coaching staff for the approach they have defensively.”

“New Jersey plays in a great league in terms of the competition. We have
played Rowan and have seen TCNJ on tape. It is a good, strong athletic
league, and if you play tough teams week in and week out, then you need
to be talented.”

“Most teams in the playoffs are pretty good on defense. To be in the
playoffs and stay in the playoffs, you must be good on that side of the
ball. They (NJ) are solid on the other side of the ball as well. You
don’t win their league without having some playmakers on offense.”

“Their quarterback (Christopher James) is a real playmaker. He makes a
lot of great plays on the move. Quarterbacks like that are dangerous
because you have to try to contain him. His receivers stay alive in
their routes find ways to get open, and he usually finds them. ”

“You can’t stop everything when facing a good team. Our defensive
players wish we wouldn’t have given up so many passing yards against
Ithaca, but we were concerned with Ithaca’s ability to keep possession
of the ball and we concentrated on stopping the run - maybe too much and
not enough on the pass game. Ithaca played well offensively. They made a
lot of plays. Our defense played a good game, but not great. Some times
you have to give credit to the other teams for making plays – especially
at this time of year. All the teams that are playing in the playoffs are
talented and can execute.”

“Turnovers and penalties hurt. We shot ourselves in the foot last week
against Ithaca. Turnovers are key in games. We will need to handle the
pressure New Jersey brings and not turn the ball over.”

“I believe we were well-represented on this year’s All-Ohio Athletic
Conference Team. Our players have worked hard all year and individual
honors are nice. Although, we realize we have more important team goals
to try to achieve.”

“They (defense) are quick and when you are on the move, that quickness
creates mismatches. Most offensive linemen aren’t particularly quick and
defenders that are quick can make people miss.”

TCNJ Head Coach Eric Hamilton
“Not many people have been able to score against Mount Union. You need
to control the ball. You watch film and you wonder how you are going to
make that happen. Our mantra has been to make it a field position game
and then capitalize on key opportunities. This week isn’t any different,
but much tougher with the opponent we are facing.”

“Ithaca scored and that might give people hope, but you can also say it
just got the hornet’s nest stirred. Mount Union is extremely talented on
that side of the ball and they also don’t turn it over much. If you try
to shut one guy down, they just have three or four other guys who can
make plays. They have the best skilled players we’ll face all year. And
their offensive line is outstanding. You can see on film how talented
and well-coached this team is.”

“There isn’t a big difference between last season’s 4-6 team and this
years’ 9-2 team. The biggest change has been the fact that these guys
have believed in each other and the overall attitude is better. These
kids have each other’s back and we have some very good senior leadership:”

“We know what we are up against. We will be the underdogs, but let’s see
what we can do. It is a great barometer for us. It is a great experience
for us, for our kids and our school. Every team should get the chance to
play in this environment against their program. There is a lot to learn
there.”

“We are a multiple defensive team. We do wacky things. We take risks. We
have players that we have to move around a little bit. We put our guys
in the best position to make plays. Unfortunately you will get hurt from
time to time doing that, but that’s the only way we know how to play.”

“While we haven’t made big plays with scores, we have done a great job
with field position this season. We hope that the kicking game can come
through for us this Saturday.”

“We’re going to struggle at times. They have great size and quickness. I
watch them on film and we haven’t played a team like this, so it’ll be
interesting to see how we adjust. But our kids will compete. We are
going to do some whacky stuff and let it fly. That’s the way we play.”

“If you would have told me on August 16 that on November 16 we would be
playing Mount Union, I would tell you that you were crazy. Crazy is as
crazy does, and we look forward to this opportunity. Crazy is coming to
Ohio.”

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