| March 22, 2018

Petrino at Sun Belt Media Day

July 22, 2014

Earlier today the Sun Belt Media Day was televised on ESPN 3 and watchespn.com. The program consisted of each head coach from the conference making their own appearance and answering questions from host Drew Fellios and Cole Cubelic.

Idaho head coach Paul Petrino was the second to last coach to appear and below are his answers to the questions he was asked.

  • On playing in the Sun Belt:

“That’s one of our goals this year, to win all of our home games. It’s a long ways for them to come and they got to come in and play in our dome and our fans get crazy. So we’re really looking forward to those people coming and playing us — we’re going to do it all the time, so we’ll be use to traveling a long ways. But when they come play us, they’re not use to traveling that far.”

  • On last season:

“We felt like we got better every week. We continued to improve and we knew coming in that it was a transition period where we had to turn things around. We talked a lot about how we will have a lot of private victories before we have public victories — and we saw it during the week … Now we just got find that fighting spirit and never give up, and find a way to win in the fourth quarter. That’s really what its all about.”

  • On Mike Marboe and the offensive line:

“I think it really helps having Mike back. He makes a lot of the calls up front and he’s a very, very smart football player. We also brought in some junior college offensive lineman to have some competition.”

  • On competition:

“What we really tried to get at the end of this spring ball, is where we have competition at every single position … You’re going to work a lot harder when you know that guy behind you is trying to get your job. So we tried to get that competition all the way across the board, at all 22 positions and I feel like we have that now. It makes practices a lot more competitive.”

  • On the quarterback competition:

He’s “(Chad Chalich) got some competition himself. Matt Linehan is a redshirt freshman, his dads been a coordinator in the NFL for years and is a former player for the Vandals. So Chad and Matt are competing, it’s going to go through fall camp and we’ll see who comes out. Last year we had to play three quarterbacks, so it will be good to have two guys that we feel like can go win games for us.”

  • On the talent at running back:

“There’s a lot of talent there. Richard Montgomery is a little fast guy from Jacksonville, Fla., and made a lot of big plays for us last year. You got two returning guys that played — Jerrel Brown played quite a bit and Kris Olugbode played quite a bit. Then we got Elijhaa Penny coming in who’s a 245-pound junior college transfer, that will be a guy you like to have the lead going into the fourth quarter and just let him run down hill.”

  • On Maxx Forde:

“What Maxx brings is he really will put pressure on the quarterback and plays the run very well, too. He usually shows up and hits people with a pretty good attitude. I think he’s just going to be a great leader for us play-in and play-out, playing with great effort, getting to the ball and hitting people hard. He’s played a lot of football for us and it’s great to have him back.”

  • On Alfonso Hampton:

“It was crazy, when we were talking to him in recruiting — his brothers and sisters grew up and were great athletes in the high school and I guess he just really didn’t want to be like his brothers and sisters. So he didn’t play sports until he got into junior college. You could see his freshman year he wasn’t really sure of what he was doing. They tried him out on offense and then moved him to defense, but then by his sophomore year he’s quick, he’s powerful and he’s a playmaker.”

  • On Quayshawne Buckley:

“If you have Quayshawne in there, as the year went on people would just start sliding their center to him, because they had to double team him all the time in pass protection. So if you get Quayshawne getting after the quarterback and Alfonso can come on, and another young man who’s had a great summer and really improved in the weight room is Ryan Edwards. So I think our defensive line is going to be one of our strengths. No question.”

  • On goals heading into the season:

“Our goal that we talked about this summer is number one: win the day — we wanted to get better every single day and show great improvement. Our number two goal is to win all of our home games … we really want to make that a tough place to come … and number three is to win the league.”

  • On team bonding:

“We really tried that … we even had a basketball tournament one Saturday. We try and do as many things as we can. I think that was one thing that I’ve really worked hard on as a head coach is getting to know all the players better. I had them all write a mission statement about themselves and what they believe in. This last week I had them all turn in what their passion is … The more time we can all spend together and the more we can come together and bond — because if we are all a fist it’s a lot harder for somebody to come take us down.”

  • On the season schedule:

“We are going to have to be really ready to go and compete on the road. Florida has all kind of talent — they are expecting to have a great year. And then that second game is going to be really big for us going to Monroe, because that is our first conference game. That’s really going to set the stage for how we do in conference … then that first home opener against Western Michigan, that’s something that we got to make sure we win that first home game.”

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