Dave Doeren spent part of his Monday press conference talking about how things have changed since his first season and that horrific showing in Tallahassee. He's encouraged by the progress that his program has made since then, though that's far from a guarantee that the results will be any different this time around.
"I feel totally different than I did a year ago right now," he explained. "I know what's supposed to happen and I know what will happen if we execute. A year ago I couldn't say that. We just didn't know what the kids were going to do. It might look really good in practice and then look really bad in the game.
"I think we opened the game up with a pick and then we fumbled and then we had another pick. Never had a chance. Obviously those plays looked good in practice or we wouldn't have called them."
Aside from simply being outmatched, there was some bad timing involved with this game last season--it was Brandon Mitchell's first game back from the foot injury he suffered in the season-opener, so he'd still barely had any time under center up to that point. Ideally one would have a softer landing to work through all that rust, but nope, Mitchell got hurled headlong into a pool of man-eating mutant sharks with 4.4 speed.
Mitchell had been sidelined the five weeks prior to the FSU game and hadn't even played a full half as the starter in the Pack's offense. The results were predictable. I'd forgotten how quickly the game got out of hand:
It was 28-0 after nine minutes. Sheesh.
On the bright side, it sets the bar low for what could be considered improvement on Saturday!
Jacoby Brissett and Mike Rose also met with the media on Monday. Full audio here.
"We'd like to be better, as with any team, but they'll be the best team we've played so far. I feel like we're the best team they've played so far. We're playing really well right now."
"The mindset is the same, but the preparation is different. You have players who in their mind believe they can win."
They seem to have the confidence part down.