Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
With the season rapidly winding down, and something of a quarterback controversy brewing Butch Jones took to the podium inside the Lindner Center. He talked about other things too. Press conference video here.
--Has a lot of say about the physicality of the Owls. That is born out in the running game where the Owls are second only to UC in terms of running the football. Which is really surprising to me. I never would have expected that coming into the season. But the Owls can't move the ball if they can't run it.
--Jones hit on a big point that went overlooked, despite my best efforts, in the post game. For playing what was, in many respects, a makeshift defense, secondary in particular, played really, really well Saturday. Ryan Nassib is, statistically, the best quarterback in the Big East and the Bearcats held him to season lows in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating. One week before Teddy Bridgewater took a full strength version of that secondary and set it on fire. The improvement from Louisville to Syracuse was really impressive.
--Butch Jones's frustration level about attendance is currently around a 7.5 on a scale of 10.
--Almost 12 minutes before the first question about Kay/Munchie, and it came complete with, perhaps, the most telling quote of the Butch Jones era. "We are not going to tolerate carelessness with the Football." That is as close as we are likely to get to a tacit admission that Munchie is out before Kay takes the field Saturday.
--Regardless of who starts expect to see more of the wildcat, and thus Jordan Luallen
--Butch made a point that I haven't seen made, or even hinted at or discussed elsewhere. This team has a tendency to just roll with the punches that is really rare, especially for a team that is as young as this one is. That comes from Butch, but also this senior class.
--Coach channeled his inner Billy Beane to talk about replacing Walter Stewart. One guy can't replicate him impact or production, but a collection of guys can. SIlverberry Mouhon, Elijah Shuler and true freshman Josh Posley have all see big increases in their reps since Walt has gone down, and the production of the defensive line in totality hasn't dropped of dramatically.
--Big props to the offensive line to close it out. As well he should. Those guys have been phenomenal all season long.