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Q&A with FIU offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield

What have you seen this year out of Greg Ellingson?

“From Day 1, from when I got here, he was one of the hardest workers on the field. I think, when he first got here, when they recruited him to come here, they didn’t know how talented he would be. But he’s always been that hard worker, since he’s been here, from what the guys have said. And I’ve seen that since I’ve been here. Everything he does is at 100 mph. He doesn’t get tired. He goes and goes and goes. He’s like the Energizer Bunny. That’s just the way he is. His personality is that way too. But he’s been a big-play guy for us this year, and he’s a go-to guy, too. If you look at the catches he has, most of them have been for first downs. A lot of them have been on third down. He’s just that kind of guy. When the game’s on the line, or we have to have a big play, he’s the guy that comes through with the big play. That doesn’t just happen by chance. That happens because he busts his tail on the field and during practice, and everybody has confidence in him.”

The running game has really come along in the last two weeks. What’s different?

“I don’t think anything’s different. We’ve been emphasizing it, working hard. Our offensive line, we kind of solidified things up front. The beginning of the year, we were shuffling guys in and out, and we’ve kind of got some guys that are working good in there. Those guys have gotten after it. And it hasn’t been one running back. It’s been by committee. Coach Wright’s done a good job of getting those guys in there, keeping them fresh, and the guys that are getting the carries, they know they’re not going to get a ton of carries, but when they get the carries, they’re running hard. But yeah, that’s one of our goals. We have to be able to run the football and those guys have come through.

“The depth’s been huge for us. We’ve gotten dinged up throughout the season. Harden’s missed a couple of games at running back, Mallary’s ankle is dinged up, DP is dinged up. We’ve needed that depth without question. The freshmen that have come into our camp this year have done well, and they’ve gotten some reps in practice and they’ll probably see some reps in the game, too. Without a doubt, you’ve got to have some running backs if you want to run the football, because they’re going to get dinged.”

Kedrick Rhodes is a guy that seems to have popped a little this year, no?

“In two-a-days, in camp, he really showed some things, but he’s young. He’s gotten reps and he’s screwed up here and there. But throughout the season, we’re at the halfway point, and he’s really caught on the last couple of weeks. We’d like to get him more touches on the field, because he’s a big-play guy. Everybody has confidence in him, too. He’s a great kid.”

You throw a lot to your receivers, but is it a priority to get it to the tight ends?

“Well, when they give it to us, we’re going to take it. We hit [Faucher] last week a couple of times. We’d like to have a little bit more throws to the tight end, because we want to keep it balanced. We don’t want just one guy getting all the touches. We’d like to carry it across the board so the defense can’t focus on just one guy. We’ve had a few injuries there, too. We’ve had guys beaten and banged throughout the fall. I think right now, they’re as healthy as they’ve been all season. All three of our tight ends have played. Hopefully they’ll get some more touches as we go.”

Defensively, what does FAU do?

“Well, they pretty much line up in their 4-3 and they’re a solid defensive football team. They’re a bend-but-don’t-break type team. They keep everything in front of them. They’ve got some great athletes out there that can run. And in the secondary, they’re all old guys that have been there, a lot of experience. They present a lot of problems to you, just because of the experience they have in the secondary. Not many people throwing the football on those guy. We’ve got to continue to do what we do on offense and try to execute and grind out first downs.”

Give me a couple of names to look out for on defense.

“Well, in the secondary, the two corners, [Tarvoris Hill and Keith Reaser], I think are good players, and not many people have hit big plays on their corners out there. I think their defensive end Kevin Cyrille, is pretty good. He’s a big kid. They’re pretty big up front, and he causes havoc off the edge. And the big linebacker inside, [Michael Lockley] the Mike. He’s probably a 240-pound guy, 245. He really plugs the running game. And [Marcus Bartles], the safety. He’s not a big guy, but he flies up there and makes a lot of plays. I think he had 14 tackles last week.”


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