STEVE ADDAZIO: I think everybody is well aware of how Northern Illinois played Ohio State, what a quality football program they are year in, year out. They're physically tough. They have a veteran quarterback. They have a really strong, great defense with seven returning starters. They pose a lot of problems for us. It will be a big game here in Boston.
We're working real hard on the continuation of developing our football team. We came off a tough game. Our defense played very, very well. Our offense was inconsistent. I think we've grown in special teams. I thought our team played phyiscally tough and physically hard.
But with this opponent coming into town, we've got to be on our best. We have to improve and sharpen our game. We've worked real hard this week in preparation and are looking forward to the challenge.
I'll take any questions
Q: Wondering what you saw on film that they did to obstruct Ohio State's offense?
ADDAZIO: They mixed their fronts, three-down, four-down fronts. I think they caught Ohio State a little off guard with that. I think they played really physical. Their front was impressive to me. One of their defensive ends, outside linebacker, is a good player. They have excellent players. They played well in the coverage. They intercepted a number of footballs.
On offense they have a veteran quarterback who has deceptive speed. He's good sized. He's played a lot of football.
I just watched the tape and I really felt like they really played physical and they played well.
Q: You haven't named a starter yet. What are you looking to see out of the quarterbacks before you name a starter?
ADDAZIO: I just want to watch them play and see who's handling the whole situation the best. It's not to say we can't play two guys with a defined plan. I just wanted to get my eyes around it.
We spent so much time with Darius (Wade) ready as a young quarterback himself who only took six snaps last season. So much work went into that. Sometimes when you have a veteran quarterback, you can really already be looking at your next guys more closely. We had to put a lot of emphasis with him.
Watching them play, watching them handle it. I think both guys did a great job yesterday and even today. We practice in the morning. I was encouraged with their productivity. We're young all over the place on offense. It's fun to watch them develop, respond from last week, and just learn and understand the game. It's what we've worked on all week.
Q: To kind of share a little bit on Darius Wade, a person on this team, not going to be out there on the field the rest of this year season, but what he means to you?
ADDAZIO: We love Darius. It's a hard, disappointing break for Darius. He had so much invested into this season. He waited for his opportunity. You feel bad for him.
If there's a silver lining, he can get this year back. I think his role is to continue to develop and grow as all the other quarterbacks are in that room right now. He's young and has a bright future. He's got to stay engaged, connected, continue to develop. He will be there on the sidelines, he will travel with us. We'll continue to develop Darius in the mental aspects of the game, lift and train.
Our heart goes out to hi. A tough deal. Other guys in the country are going through it. I think he's grateful for the fact that this injury, while it will keep him out for the year, will heal 100%. It's not one of those lingering joint issues. He needs to get that bone healed up and he'll be ready to roll.
Q: As far as Troy (Flutie) and Jeff (Smith), what can you say about their strengths, what can you see from both of them individually at this point?
ADDAZIO: Well, Troy has been around as long as Darius. He has a pretty good understanding of everything we want to do. A real nifty runner. He's elusive. Has a great knack for anticipating throws and making things happen. He showed that this week. He's really handled himself well.
Jeff is just getting there, learning the offense. He's dynamic with his legs. He's really, really fast. He threw a couple of deep balls that were spot on. He's got an arm, too.
Both those guys are just really doing a great job this week. I'm really pleased with how they've come along.
Of course, this isn't the pressure of the game yet. All you can evaluate is what you've seen and I think they've both done a great job.
Q: Coach, talk about Northern Illinois. Coach has done a great job with that team, almost beating Ohio State. What do you like about this team when you see them on film?
ADDAZIO: First off, the thing about Northern Illinois is they almost beat Ohio State, but that's not new to them. They were in the Orange Bowl a couple years ago. This is an outstanding program. He's an outstanding coach. I don't really know him well, but I know of him. They've got really good players. So let's start there.
When you put the tape on, they've got really good players. I looked at the tape and said, How did they get some of these guys? That's a credit to them.
Their defense is veteran, physical, tough. Explosive defensive ends. Their linebackers are hard-nosed. They play good, strong, sound, fundamental, well-coached defense.
On offense, I think the quarterback is outstanding. He's a guy that's a little bigger than you think, faster than you think. He makes plays. He throws the ball well.
They have a big running back. I'm very impressed with him. Very talented receivers. I think they're a strong team. I think their punt returner is a good player. I like them. I like their team. They remind me of our team from the standpoint that I think they're physically tough, fundamentally sound. They have our attention in every front right now.
Q: What do you make of the big rash of injuries to quarterbacks this weekend? Does it make you leery at all? You talk about your two quarterbacks both being nifty runners.
ADDAZIO: Darius got hurt in a throwing situation. I mean, no. I don't get leery of that. What do I make of it? I just hope it stops. I see it. It's part of the game. It's an unfortunate part of the game. A lot of it's got to do with luck of the draw a little bit.
But I just hope that it doesn't continue with us. I hope it doesn't continue for anybody. But there sure has been a rash of them, no doubt.
I think things go in cycles. For whatever reason, they do. We appear to be in one of those right. I hope we've seen the last of it.
Q: Steve, I'm a couple weeks late here asking you about this, but I was curious about a couple weeks back your reaction when you saw Temple beat Penn State?
ADDAZIO: I was thrilled to death. I talked to Matt, texted him right after. I couldn't be happier for Matt Rhule. I love Matt Rhule. He was with me my first year. A lot of those players that are now upperclassmen were guys that together he and I were in their homes. I love those players.
I really knew that this would happen. I felt great about it. He's a good football coach, got good talent.
Temple is on the rise. I remember back my last year there, all these guys were just freshmen. I remember we transitioned from the MAC into what was the Big East at that time. That year was a struggle. But I saw the foundation of what was going to be a great future.
With their new facilities, their emphasis on football right now. With Matt Rhule and his staff, all those young players becoming older players with a great quarterback. I think they have an opportunity to really be a fantastic football team. They're heading that way right now.
I love it. I follow it. I cheer for them. I loved my time in Philadelphia. I love the people that are there, so I couldn't be happier.
Q: The second recruiting you had was sort of like a quasi Big East recruiting class. Jogging your memories, they're now seniors, are there guys that stand out?
ADDAZIO: We recruited Tyler Matakevich, Matt Ioannidis. I can keep going down the line. They're all starters, big-time players, seniors, older guys. We recruited P.J. Walker, who we knew was going to be special, and he is special. There's so many guys that I see still there, still playing. We were excited about those guys. We felt great about those guys.
One of the things we felt great about was the opportunity to build the new building, bring them back into the Big East, have a couple of great recruiting classes. Matt was part of that then and has taken it and run with it.
You're proud of it all. You feel great about the fact that people you care about are doing so well. You just couldn't be happier.
Transcript provided by ASAP Sports.