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Q&A with FIU offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield

First off, what are your thoughts on Louisiana-Lafayette?

“Well, they’re a good defense, I think, once soon as you turn it on. I think if you look at their stars, they haven’t done as well as they would have liked, but they made a lot of plays defensively. They’ve had a few injuries in the secondary which have hurt them a little bit, but their two corners are two of their better corners in the conference. They play every snap. They’ve played the entire season. Number 5 [Bill Bentley] and number 2 [Orkeys Auriene]. Those guys are really good players. They lock down most receivers on the outside. They rotate a lot of players up front up front, defensive line-wise, so you’re not going to really wear those guys down. They’ve got speed at linebacker. They lead the league in interceptions, although we’ve done a good job with that. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. We’re coming off a good win last week, so the challenge is being able to regain focus and continue doing what we had last week.

Their run defense has been exposed from time to time. Coming off your huge week last week, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think you’re going to run the ball again, right?

“That’s what we’re gong to try to do, regardless. We feel like we have to be able to run the football to give ourselves the best chance to win. Whether or not they’ve given up yards on not, rushing the football, that’s what we’re going to try to do. Obviously, we’ve got some weapons on the outside, with some of our receivers, so we’re going to take advantage of that, as well. We’ve got to be able to run the football to give ourselves a chance to win.”

When the season started, did you think you would be this good at running the football?

“You never know. We practice hard every week. We get a lot out of our guys. We’ve been doing it since Aug. 4, or whenever we started the season. We started out a little slow. We played a couple of teams that were pretty good defensively at the start of the season. But we never stopped trying to run the ball. We continued to try to do it those first four games, and against a couple of those guys we had some good rushing days. Our offensive line kind of gelled, and meshed and we got the right guys in there. Early on in the season, we were shuffling some guys up front because of injuries. But over the last four, five weeks, we’ve had a pretty good, solid core of guys up front. And we’ve rotated our backs pretty well. We’ve had a few injuries there, but it seems like whoever gets the call, comes in there and runs the football. They’ve really answered the bell and done a great job for us.”

It seems to me that you’re really not running anything a whole lot different than you have been all year. You’re just running it better. Am I right?

“Offensively, it’s a pretty simple deal what we’re doing. We try to get in few different formations, but they’re pretty much the same running plays. We just have to execute. We know that our guys that have to get on blocks, we have to maintain our blocks, and our running backs are realizing where they’re supposed to be hitting hole. That makes all the difference in the world. Once you understand where the ball’s supposed to be hitting, and you’re on the same page with your O-line and your running backs, that’s when you start getting some good plays.”

How much better does running the football make Wes Carroll as a quarterback?

“Anytime you can run the football, I don’t care who the quarterback is, it’s going to help you out. When you’re able to run the ball, teams are going to have to commit an extra guy down in the box. When that happens, you’re going to leave Ellingson and T.Y. and guys like that on the outside one-on-one. And when you leave them one-on-one, the quarterback at that point has to become an accurate passer. And give those guys a chance on the outside. Last week that we had three deep balls on the outside to Ellingson, we ended up hitting one of them, and Greg probably had an opportunity on the other two balls, which were slightly underthrown. We’ve got to be able to hit those balls whenever those opportunities are presented. But it certainly helps the quarterback tremendously when we can move the ball. He’s the biggest fan once he hands it off. He’s got the best view in the house.”


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