Here is what Jacksonville State Head Coach John Grass and players said at their Monday press conference. The Gamecocks open the playoffs by hosting Kennesaw State. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Opening Comments:

“It is good to be going in to the playoffs and it was great having the bye week. Also, playing on Thursday night against Tennessee State to end the regular season really helped us going into the bye week. We were mentally and physically tired after nine-straight games, so it was good to get that time off and keep our game speed. I think we had a really good week of practice last week. We have everyone healthy and it’s a blessing to have a healthy team going in to the playoffs and we need to stay that way through this week of practice. We worked on two teams last week, but now we only have one team to prepare for in Kennesaw State. They had a big win on Saturday against Samford and it will be a really good second-round matchup. They have won 11 in a row and are playing at a high level right now, so we have our work cut out for us this week. They will be ready to play and they are a blue-collar team. Luckily, we played Georgia Tech, who ran the triple option, earlier in the year, so it gives us some familiarity there. But it will be slightly different. It is going to be a good game and we are looking to have a great crowd. We are just looking forward to getting this playoff run started.”

On comparing the Kennesaw State offense to Georgia Tech

“They are a little bit more multiple than Georgia Tech was. Coach Bohannon came from there, so they do a lot of what Georgia Tech does and they are very similar.”

On last week’s schedule:

“We went Monday through Wednesday and then came back in on Saturday. I feel really good about where we are. We were able to get some rest physically and mentally. Our practices were really good and the energy was really good out there. We got a lot accomplished in our practices.”

On having playoff experience:

“It does help. We have been here before and won, and we have been here before and lost. I think the bye week does not have much to do with it. I think anyone that you play this time of year, they are going to be great football teams and Kennesaw State is an example of that. We have to play at our highest level. They are a young program in just their third year, so to get in to the playoffs is big for them and to get that first win is big.”

Siran Neal

Sr. Defensive Back

On dealing with the bye week:

“We treated the week like it a game week practice and we prepared for this game coming up this week.”

On Kennesaw State:

“They are a good team and they are on a run right now. They came back to beat the only team that they have lost to this year. They are very similar to Georgia Tech and have some great players.”

On the Playoffs:

“I have been here all four years and two times we have failed (in this round). With this being my last year, I don’t want to fall short this year. This spot really means something because last year we fell short in preparing and this year we don’t want to have that experience again.”

Jonathan Hagler

Sr. Linebacker

On Kennesaw State:

“They are probably the hottest team in the country with 11-straight wins, which is really impressive. They have one of the top rushing offenses in the country, so we look forward to the challenge. They are a really good team.”

On the Playoffs:

“I remember how last year felt and I don’t want that again. I do not like losing and I will take that all week long through practice.”

Tramel Terry

R-Jr. Running Back

On Kennesaw State:

“They really run to the ball and they have really good players. They have a chip on their shoulder since they have only had a team for three years. They are playing for something.”

On being able to in the playoff game this year:

“It is not any different than any other game. I am ready to play and we will have to prepare all week. The biggest thing with the playoffs is being able to handle it being late in the season. It will come down to who wants it more.”