Sep 1, 2013
CSU Head Coach Jim McElwain
(opening statement on the game)
“We got beaten by a team today that was opportunistic. They created big plays, which whenever you go in to a first game, you know that’s something you’ve got to worry about. Obviously we didn’t do a very good job of keeping our defense off the field and sustaining drives. I though we missed a couple of opportunities here and there, but I want you to know this: we’ve got a very good football team. I believe in our football team. I believe in their commitment, and I believe in what they’ve done. We have a ways to go, I get it, I get it. I’ve got shoulders, and I’ll take it all. But I do believe in this football team and I think we have a lot of good things to look forward to.
“Obviously, containment and a couple of busted coverages on their number six (Paul Richardson), you know guys, you can’t do that. You can’t let somebody who runs that fast just run down the sideline on you. The fumble actually (hurt). They were opportunistic. They had a good strip and took it down in and sealed it. I never thought we were out of it by any stretch of the imagination. When it comes to field position, we’ve got to get better at that. We had an opportunity to get a first down coming off the goal line and we didn’t do it. So there are a lot of things, but we’ll learn from this. Give them credit. I thought their quarterback played one heck of a game, I really do. He was accurate, got the ball out of his hand, and we didn’t get much pass rush. Give their offensive line a lot of credit there. But you know, I’m disappointed, to be honest with you. I thought we would win the game. I still believe in these guys and I think we’re a good football team.”
(on the two busted coverages against Paul Richardson)
“On the first one, it was motion and we didn’t get the check. The corner thought he had help, and the safety thought he had support. You know what, the guy caught it. I was hoping he was going to drop it. The second one they came out in the cone formation, pistol and there again there was a check we were supposed to make from a cover standpoint, and you know what, we didn’t get it done so that’s on us.”
(on the team’s preparedness)
“The communication on a couple of those formational things (hurt us). Things they hadn’t done before. But there again, you have to be sound. I’m not using that as an excuse at all. I’m making no excuses. Our guys were prepared, they were energized, and they hung in there. We didn’t overcome big plays obviously and we left a lot of offense out on the field which is something we’ve got to get remedied.”
(on whether the team was ineffective on third downs)
“That’s an understatement. But I know this: We’ve done some good things. We’ve got to get better in a lot of phases. I didn’t think we ran the ball as much as we should have as far as controlling the line of scrimmage. I’ll be honest there. Certainly we’ve got to step back and evaluate that a little bit because we were just on the edge of getting some big runs too which would have kept our defense off the field a little bit.”
(on the play of QB Garrett Grayson)
“He would like to have a couple of the plays back, but I thought he managed it pretty well. I really did. He made a couple of plays with his feet, but we didn’t probably push the ball down the field enough to be honest. There were some things in there that we didn’t take advantage of. Everything was horizontal today, so that’s something we need to look at. He did alright.”
(on why Grayson was selected as the starter)
“We felt based off of his preparation and how he took control of our 1-reel, we felt he was ready. I’m not putting this loss on Garrett by any stretch of the imagination.”
(on the play of running back Kapri Bibbs after Donnell Alexander’s injury)
“He had a little juice; I would have liked to have seen him keep his feet. I thought he could have hit a couple of home runs actually keeping his feet. But we put one on the ground and you can’t do that and play successful football. He did come in and energize us a little bit. As far as Donnell, we’ll have to look at that hand and see what’s going to happen there.”
(on whether he knew ahead of time who the starting QB would be)
“We took it up to the last second.”
(on whether Grayson will start against Tulsa)
“We will look at the video. As of right now, without (seeing the video) I would probably say yes.”
(on who was listed as the number two starter at quarterback)
“He (Nick Stevens) was prepared to go in as the number two.”
(on the Rams’ special teams play)
“I thought our kickoff coverage was much better. I thought we obviously made some explosive plays in the special teams. We worked hard on it, and it’s one of the phases of the game that you have to be good at. I thought we did some pretty good things. Really, it’s what got us into the game and it was good.”
(on dropped passes by receivers)
“Rashard (Higgins) had one that was pretty big there on third down, and he did a couple of (good) things and he’ll learn from this game. I think Joe (Hansley) might have spit one out. Obviously, the running backs dropped a couple in some check downs. I don’t think they were trying to miss it; we’ll come back and work on it.
(on whether youth was a factor in receivers dropping passes)
“I guess you could use that as an excuse, but I don’t think so. We have just got to make plays and we have to force ourselves offensively to make plays. As far as inexperience goes, they’ve been through camp and they need to be ready to go.”
(on the play of WR Joe Hansley)
“He tweaked his ankle there a little bit at the end, we’ll have to see if he’s ready to go next week, but he showed up big. He showed up like the Colorado Gatorade player of the year like he was. I’m proud of him because he came and really competed.”
(on the new targeting rule)
“It’s something that us as stewards of the game need to teach the proper way of tackling. Don’t hit defenseless players. They did a good job today on the one they called today on Cory (James). They reviewed it, and that’s part of the rule. He put his head sideways, and wrapped up just like you’re supposed to. They called it but, the official didn’t have anything to do with this game and I think as long as we all teach it, it will be good for the game.”
(on moving forward)
“It’s tough to move on, especially with a rivalry game, but our guys have been through a lot. They’ve come together. The beauty of athletics and sport is there is going to be a winner and there is going to be a loser. The life lessons that you learn and how you pick yourself up and go forward (is what matters). I think we will have some resolve, I really do. You know, it hurts guys and I still think we should win the game. I’m gonna tell you I think we should win the game next year. So go ahead and put it in their locker room now. That’s what I believe. I do, and I’m good with that because I know they’ve got my back and I’ve got their back and that’s something that is really comforting as a coach.”
(on the lack of pass rush)
“I was pretty impressed with their offensive line. We did not get home at all. I felt that would be a big part of our game, but give their offensive line credit. They stoned us pretty good at the line of scrimmage and we didn’t get much done.”
(on how much he thought CU’s defense would be improved)
“I knew they would be better. They are still recruiting Pac-12 guys. You can say what you want but I don’t believe that we are taking a back seat to any of it. They played good, they played sound, they ruined a couple of our things that you know obviously they did a good job in their summer study. Give them credit. They had their guys prepared, and we had our guys prepared. Like I said, we’ll come back.”
(on next week’s game)
“It will be a short week for us. We have to jump on a plane and head to Tulsa. We have to leave early on Friday. We’ll get on that plane and we will go out and play our hearts out.”
(on getting the tight ends involved)
“I don’t think we had enough opportunities for them. I would have liked to have had them involved a little bit more and that’s something we need to move forward with.”
(on big plays made by Colorado’s offense)
"It was frustrating. You just need to be focused and strong when you're tired and bogged down. We need to do more of that this upcoming week."
(on communication between players)
"We communicated very well, we just needed to work on translating it to the game. It was decent communication, but not our best. Players were focused on the game and on the formation. They were worrying about their job and not looking at the whole formation as well as not telling everybody else what they see."
(on the offense)
"It bothers us because we wanted to go out there and set the tone. We wanted to keep our defense off the field and I think we did that more in the second half. We went out there the second half and played better football than in the first half, but can't play well in just one half, it has to be the whole game.
(on crucial third downs)
"We have to make the plays. We had guys open, I was missing them, and there weren't a lot of passes that were going through. I have to be more accurate."
(on the loss)
"We prepared but we didn't have the best execution. I think we had the best week of practice that we've ever had while I've been here at CSU. It hurts to come out here and not get a win. It will bother us, but we'll come back prepared, fix our mistakes and try to get a win.
"I'm a little upset. I think things would be different if I would've gone out there and executed differently. I'm going to take the blame for it, I'm willing to do that for the team. I don't think anyone should be talking about the defense; I go out there and make plays and take care of the football."
(on the message after the game)
"Coach McElwain and Calvin Tonga talked to us. They told us that it was just one game and that we needed to go out and prepare on Tuesday for Tulsa. The game is behind us and we'll just prepare as we always have.”
(On the momentum from his kickoff return)
“We have a really good return unit. On punt return and kick return. Everyone did a good job with their assignments and had some big blocks, we just gave up too many big plays.”
(On 3rd downs, what is missing)
“It all comes down to execution. They out-executed us today, we have to give them that credit.”
(How disappointing is this)
“Its very disappointing, losing to a good team, all respect goes to them. They worked hard and beat us on big plays.”
(More on his kickoff return)
“Special teams is huge, it’s something we have really worked on. Everyone was making their assessments and executing and that’s something we really stepped up with.”
(On being prepared)
“I really do think this team has come so far, we really have made a huge turnaround from where we were before Coach (McElwain) got here.”
(On fellow WR Joe Hansley)
“Joe is an explosive guy. He is a game-changer and we need guys like that. We are really proud of him.”
WR Joe Hansley
(On his big plays)
“Personally I think I did alright, as a team we got some stuff to work on. Its not an individual effort, it’s a team effort.”
“I think it’s just execution issues. Really it’s just executing, the coaches put us in a position to win, as a player we just have to execute.”
(On Garrett Grayson finding him)
“It’s the system the coaches put us in. They put me in the right position to make plays today, and Garrett found me on a couple great plays.”
(On his 74-yard punt return)
“We work on special teams a lot, all the guys did their part with blocks.”
“I think we did alright with special teams. It’s a positive, some of our work paid off for sure.”
“I think special teams has a lot to do with your mind-set. The coaches put us in a good position to make plays, but it’s really a mind-set to go out there and give a good effort.”
(On Garrett Grayson as a QB)
“Garrett did his job. Obviously games aren’t going to be perfect everyday. But I think he is a great QB, he finds the right wide receiver and makes the right reads.”
(On whether he was surprised by the number of dropped passes)
“Yeah I am surprised by the number of dropped passes. As wide receivers we pride ourselves on catching the ball. Drops are going to happen, it’s a part of the game, and they made some great plays on the ball.”
(On freshman WR Rashard Higgins)
“Yeah we where talking to him, he’s going to be a baller, he’s a good player. I think he did a good job for his first college football game.”
(On communication on two long plays by Colorado)
“We just busted those coverages. As a defense we have to learn from it.”
(How bad did it hurt to let one go right from the start)
“It hurt, but I knew there was a lot of ball game left so as a DB you think about it then play is over so you have to forget about it.”
(On Paul Richardson’s second touchdown)
“He is a good athlete; it was more on us than on him. We left him wide open.”
(On how they can build off this effort)
“There are a lot of things we can build off of, there was a lot more good than bad. If you minimize those two errors we had a sound game and it would have been us winning.”
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