John Grass Press Conference Quotes – Sam Houston

John Grass


Jacksonville State Football Weekly Press Conference
October 19, 2021 – Sam Houston Week
Opening Comments:
“It was really good to get a win over Stephen F. Austin and start conference play really well and then to have to an off week the next week. I have never coached a team that really needed the off week as more as this one. We were able to get some guys well and some guys close to be healthy. It is refreshing to have the off week and you can get ahead on Sam Houston, which we needed to that. This is the stretch run of conference play and you go in to an away game at Sam Houston, who has always had a great team. I think Coach Keeler does a great job of getting those guys ready in in recruiting. They always have a talented team and this team is no exception. They won the national championship for a reason and they have a belief in what theyare doing and finishing games. It is going to be a very difficult game going to play the No. 1 team in the country and the defending national champions and it will be a challenge for us, but we are looking forward to that. Both teams are coming off the open week, so I think you will see two prepared teams take the field on Saturday. I think the team that plays the best will win the game. We have to tackle the ball and they will want to rush the football, so you have to stop the running game. They will also throw the ball, so they are balanced with their attack and their quarterback makes them go. Defensively, they are very dynamic and probably the best dynamic defense we have seen this season. We have our work cutout for us this week.”
On what they did in the opening week:
“The big thing is that we caught our breath. I think physically, you need the week but also mentally. We have been playing football for a long time, since most teams didn’t play in the fall. We only played four games in the fall, but we practiced all fall and it seems like we have been playing for a full year. It was good to catch our breath and I think the team came back to the practice field refreshed and rejuvenated. I think you tend to lose that with the schedule we have had. The off week hit us at a good time and last week we worked on ourselves, and we did some scout stuff on Sam Houston. We went over the game plan, so this week you are going over the game plan for the second time.”
On playing the defending national champions:
“We approach every week the same and we don’t do anything different no matter who we are playing. This is the next game, so it’s the biggest game of the year and we sell it like the pivotal game of the year and you have to play very well. It is always good to play Sam Houston because we have had some battles with them through the years. This is a playoff caliber game and you see how you are nationally with how you play this week.
On Alen Karajic:
“He is still coming along. He is a guy that has not been kicking a football until the last two and half years, so to watch him kick the ball is so impressive. He has such a string leg and he has been a weapon for us on kick offs .It is almost a sure that the opponent is starting from the 25-yard line with him kicking the ball. He has kicked some good fields and has missed some in games we have lost and the one that got blocked was not his fault. That is the life of a kicker and it can be tough sometimes. He has improved on his consistency in practice and that is what I see with him going through his progress and he is only going to get better.”
On Sam Houston’s defense:
“They are really good defensively and they keep them in any game that they go in to. They limit you on what you can do offensively and we have figure out a way to establish the run game and we are going to have to throw the football, execute in the passing game. We really have to take care of the football in this game, which we have done a pretty good job of doing that this season. I think we have to keep their offense off the field. They are explosive offensively and you have to stay out of that third-and-long.”
Nicario Harper, R-So., SAF
On playing against the defending national champions:
“It is a big game, but I am approaching this game like any other game. They are the defending national champions, so of course I am excited to play them. Every game is a big game, so we have to approach this game like any other game.”
On how he feels and dealing with the injury:
“Right now I feel really good. I can run around and do the things that I have to do. I am still getting better and taking care of my body. Missing two games really hurt and I wished I could be out there with my team.”

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