Robb Akey addressed the media on two occasions today, and we’ve got lots of thoughts from him below the link. As we highlighted earlier, slot receiver Marcel Posey is out for the year with a torn ACL. The loss of Posey and injuries to Preston Davis and Justin Veltung will test the Vandals’ depth at receiver.
Read on for more.
Let’s get right to it. Here are snippets from Akey on quarterback play, the offensive line, receivers running disciplined routes and much more.
- On playing UNLV when Vegas is — and has been — a big recruiting spot for Vandals: “Well, I think it’s big in that factor. Obviously there’s going to be a lot of attention. Their family’s are going to be looking at it. Their friend back home, they’ve got friends on that team, so they’re going to want to perform well. If we’re able to play it well and able to have success against those guys, I think it does continue to help our recruiting efforts in Las Vegas. Las Vegas has been a good place for us, so I really want to see us do well. I want to see those guys perform well.”
- On UNLV, which is 0-2 with losses to Wisconsin and Utah: “Well, when you look at our defense, we’ve got another opportunity to play against an option offense and quarterbacks that run well. There’s the blend of the option game and the throwing game. There’s a challenge right there in front of us: Be strong in that fashion and be accountable for our assignments. There were some times we were good at that against Nebraska. There were some times it faltered a little bit, and you could certainly see when it did. They’ve got over 600 pounds in defensive lineman in the starting lineup. Two big guys right in the middle. Two outside linebackers who are making tons of plays. We need to get back to running the football … and our special teams play was improved last week from the week before. But it didn’t really do anything positively in the ballgame.
- On offensive line: “I still see, believe it or not, a group that is improving. Our game last week, Matt Cleveland played well. Really only had one pressure coming from his area. …I think we need to continue to improve there. I think that was a very good front that we played against, and they did elect to use some pressure also.”
- On defense: “That’s one of the great building blocks for our defense coming off this ballgame was the way they were able to perform — the red-zone stops that we had, the fourth-down stops we had, the goal-line stands that were there. Those are things against a really good football team that should really help this defense to grow. And if we clean up some of those other parts in between, I think we’ve got a pretty good chance of being a decent outfit.”
- On Nebraska’s big second quarter: “In a nutshell, that game in the second quarter, it was brutal. They had the ball a grand total of 2 minutes, 48 seconds in the second quarter and they scored 28 points in the second quarter. We had a flurry there with a matter of nine seconds in the game clock, they scored 21 points. You come down to four plays that were brutal — two interceptions for touchdowns, a one-play sudden change where they got a 58-yard touchdown run and one possession where they had five plays, an error on the quarterback. Those four plays create 28 points.”
- Advice to Nate Enderle after his five-interception game: “Kick to it the curb. It’s over. It’s done. We’re going to move forward. We have a very good quarterback. He has proven that over time. We’re going to gain ground.”
- On receiving corps: “Well, there’s going to be a great emphasis with our receiving corps, working on releases, working on discipline of running our routes where they need to be. The discipline of going and getting the ball out of the air. … You look at those interceptions and there’s one of them that I’m telling Nate, ‘Don’t throw that ball.’ Now, that was a poor route run by the receiver and he was trying to make something happen. There was another one that that’s on him. Bad throw. There’s another, I think both guys are going after the ball. The ball ricochets up in the air and sometimes that ball goes down in the dirt, sometimes it anywhere. This one happens to fly in the air and the safety running to the football picks it off and runs it into the end zone.”