Sept. 14, 2013
COLORADO STATE HEAD COACH Jim McElwain
“That’s a win that we really needed, and a win that I’m just so happy for our coaching staff and our players. We found a way to dig down and get a win. I think it was a total team victory and they picked each other up when they needed. I thought defense came up with some big stops; they gave up some big plays too, but you’re going to when you’re going against that type of offense. Offensively, we got in our groove a little bit. We hurt ourselves with some penalties, but we overcame something bad happening to us for the first time, so I thought that was good. The third quarter is something we need to look at. Obviously that’s not something I’m very excited about, but at the same time, offensively they came out and put the nail in the coffin after that (field goal) block (by Barrett). I thought that block really energized everybody. Like I said, I really believe in this football team; we are a good football team. Cal Poly is a team that is going to win a lot of games, and they are going to end up in the playoffs.”
(on game-sealing touchdown drive in fourth quarter)
“I think we needed it. It will be interesting to see when we look at it, to see guys doing their job and not trying to do too much or wait for someone else to do it. I was really pleased with that and I thought our conditioning was really good. We went no-huddle there and tried going up-tempo and got them back on their heels. That showed me something there. Defensively, I know we came back and gave up a big run at the end, but that is something that I know they will look at and not be happy about. At the end of the day, it was a much needed win and a win that we expected. Now we have to move forward.”
(on reasons for Garrett Grayson’s improvement today)
“I think it was the players around him. They made some plays and like I had said going into it, part of developing confidence in guys is that when you put it somewhere they catch it. I thought we did a good job there. Towards the end, as soon as they (Cal Poly) saw they couldn’t get to him (Grayson), they stood at the line and batted the ball down. Otherwise he would have had even more completions. Our offensive line has to see that and understand that and finish them to get their hands down. Those are some things that we have to work on moving forward, but I thought Garrett played a good game. That’s what we expect out of him, not anything spectacular but he took care of the football.”
(on whether the first scoring drive or the fourth-quarter scoring drive was more important)
“I think the fourth quarter one, no doubt about it. One of the things that we said going in was that we couldn’t get behind with these guys. They (Cal Poly) shorten the game, and as you look at it historically, when they get behind they struggle and when they are ahead they roll it up pretty good. Not to discount the fast start, but at the same time, I think that fourth quarter drive was great.”
(on whether this was Grayson’s best game)
“Looking back, I think it probably was. He looked under control, he looked pretty tall in the pocket, and yet some guys around him caught the ball. (Smiling) Last time I checked, that’s what they were recruited to do, so go do it.”
(on big plays)
“I want to be aggressive. I don’t think we were real aggressive coming out in the second half. We did get backed up and we have to get this penalty thing figured out because it is hurting us with field position. The thing is, I don’t see any stupid penalties. Guys were just hustling, now we just have to be smarter. I thought we came out aggressive and that helped us.”
(on strong running game)
“I thought all three backs (Donnell Alexander, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Nwoke) ran pretty well. The thing that I really liked about Nwoke was that I saw him not letting his feet die in the hole; he was driving his legs through contact. Last year, guys would be getting taken down on arm tackles which shouldn’t happen with the way he runs. So seeing him elevate his play from that was good. Kapri gave us a couple of splashes in there, and I thought Donnell did some good things in there coming back as well.”
(on Shaquil Barrett’s blocked field goals and special teams play)
“We were close a couple of times in the first two weeks. Blocking field goals is about effort and desire and how hard you are willing to come off the football. We saw some things in protection that we thought we could take advantage of just like you do every week, but to see him not take a play off was pretty cool.”
(on offensive line giving Grayson protection)
“I thought he (Grayson) got the ball out of his hand on time. Part of that is that we were a little bit more effective with the quick game which we have to be. Then play action allowed us to take some shots, and we got a couple.”
(on next week’s game against Alabama)
“It’s going to be something special for me personally. It isn’t about me though, it’s about our guys and our organization having the opportunity to go a place that is a mecca of college football and match yourself against the best. That’s why we get into athletics and that’s why we compete. Obviously those were four great years of my life. I have a daughter that graduated from there, and another one that will graduate from there shortly. I’m looking forward to it, but it has nothing to do with me. It’s all about the experience for our organization to go and match against the best.”
(on what Rashard Higgins’ touchdown does for his confidence)
“It probably does more for Garrett (Grayson). He threw it out there and the guy caught it, like he was supposed to do. Just jump up and catch it, that’s what you are here for. I think it probably did more for Garrett than it did for anyone else.”
(on what win means after floods that happened this week)
“I had mixed emotions on this. (It was important) Just giving up our hotel for the people in Northern Colorado that have been through all of this, it’s been crazy. For us to be able to come out and hopefully give some people some entertainment and give them a little bit of joy when looking back at reality in the big picture, it (the game) is really nothing. I was proud of that and I think the fans enjoyed themselves today. There are two ways to look at it: sport is not important when it comes to the big picture of life, yet it can give the opportunity to ease peoples’ minds as long as we weren’t using any emergency services. Cal Poly had flown in on Thursday, so they were already here. We actually thought about not playing; playing without anybody here, but I’m not sure that that’s the right thing. My sympathy goes out because I’ve seen the pictures and I’ve seen, up close and personal, some of the water that was running. I was for whatever we thought was best.”
COLORADO STATE PLAYERS
T Ty Sambrailo
(on his toss from Garrett Grayson that went for a rush to the 1-yard line)
"Naturally I think I was in (the end zone). I saw the goal line and I stretched. The refs saw what they saw and I felt what I felt, but at the end of the day it's an 11 yard rush for a lineman."
(on synchronization of offense)
"As an offense I feel that we have all the capability that we need. Sometimes we lack consistency, we don't put drives together and we stall out, but it's how you bounce back and I feel like we did a good job on that last drive by putting a nail in coffin."
(on the blocked field goal)
"That's always huge. Special teams plays a huge part in the emotion of the game. Just being ready to do the kickoff return and then all of a sudden the blocked kick happens. We're on the field and we're fired up. It's a good change up, it gets people going."
(on playing at Alabama)
"That's really exciting. It's a big stage and we don't get to do that very often. It's huge to go out and make a name for ourselves. It's going to be a statement game and we have to come out firing right off the bat."
LB Shaquil Barrett
(on his two blocked field goals)
"I saw the gap and tried to time it out perfectly. When I see the opening gap, I'm thinking that I should be able to get there before the person that's blocking me. It feels good to see everything working together perfectly. We bounced back as a defense, we got the blocked field goal."
(on Ty Sambrailo)
"You gotta praise him for his efforts out there. It's not just his effort, he's making plays. He's going a hundred percent."
(on playing at Alabama next week)
"I always look forward to competition like that. It gives us the opportunity to go out there and show them what we can do as a team."
QB Garrett Grayson
(on the importance of today’s win)
"Being doubted by a lot of people hurt. I wanted to go out there and prove them wrong because I know what kind of player I can be. Those first two games were not good on any part and weren't me at all. It's good to go out there today and show what I can do."
"That's something I like to have every game, those ‘nickel and dime’ throws. Gets your confidence going and gets you in a rhythm."
(on reintroducing himself to the tight ends, who caught 10 of his passes)
"When you get those guys the ball, they're play-makers and they're going to make things happen. That's what we wanted to do."
(on playing at Alabama next week)
"Everyone in the country is doubting us so hopefully we're going to go down there and shock the world. That's the mindset that we have. We have nothing to lose, they have everything to lose, that's the mentality we have."
(on biggest drive, 1st quarter or 4th quarter)
"The first drive gave us the momentum and gave us the confidence to show what we can do. But the one in the fourth quarter, we were all tired, but when you can battle through that and show what you're made of, that's huge going into next week’s game."
RB Chris Nwoke
(on the team scoring on its first 5 possessions)
"Everybody had that common goal to take out our pain on the team, that's what we did and we did it well."
(on team execution)
"We definitely executed and stayed disciplined and that's what led to a lot of our success."
(on Garrett Grayson)
"We will always have faith in Garrett and our faith never wavers."
(on rushing for 133 yards)
"The offensive line really blocked well. We took advantage of the holes. All three of us (along with Donnell Alexander and Kapri Bibbs) just did our jobs, we didn't do anything special."
(on playing at Alabama next week)
"We need to have a winning attitude. We're going down there to win and not just have a good experience. We're going to go out and give it our best shot to win."
LB Aaron Davis
(on the Cal Poly triple-option attack)
"That's our big emphasis. We know we have to stop the run to establish our defense. We gave up a couple of passes, but overall we did well."
(on the blocked field goals)
"Those plays are huge because they take points off the board. We need that as a defense to get our offense off the field."
CAL POLY HEAD COACH TIM WALSH
(on difference between defense in the first half and the third quarter)
"We made some adjustments, we made some front movements… We tried man-up against them and man-to-man, and they did a good job there in the first half running the football and that hurts us in the play action game and hurts everything we're doing if we're struggling with the run. I thought we did much better in the second half until the last drive. That's what they (Colorado State) do, they're big. It's a big football team that is physical and that's the way that Coach McElwain wants his team to play. We can't play teams like this and Fresno State and get down like we've done, then try to battle back, but we're 11 yards from making that a 27-24 game with about eight minutes to go in the game, and we've got to find a way to score. I challenged them at halftime again and I think our guys responded and we made some adjustments for the second half but the reality of the situation is that we can't dig ourselves that big of a hole."
(on first half performances)
"The good news and the bad news of it is this week it was the offense and last week it was the defense, so maybe they're both going to grow up and their both going to realize that we have to play those at the same time for us to be a good football team. That's a challenge, and I told them that everything is still in front of us. I don't really care about FCS polls and week four, they're great for our fans and stuff but the reality of the situation is that we haven't lost anything. We lost two football games, which I'm disappointed in, but we still have a lot to look forward to in nine games and we still have not played a conference game yet. So be it, we're going to get better, and we're going to get some guys better in the bye-week, and it's a bye-week that we need after playing two FBS schools.
(on what Cal Poly can learn from playing FBS schools)
"I think we showed some explosiveness against both teams. On offense I think we're still explosive and we ran the ball fairly well, not great, but we ran the ball fairly well against two teams that were fairly good on defense. We did some things that I think were positives. On defense, in the second half we played the run pretty well. Can we do it for four quarters? I don't know. There's no reason why we can't. We're not bad, we're just digging ourselves too big of a hole to play against these types of teams and it doesn't matter who it's against. If we get down 14-17 and 25-34 points, you're not going to win a lot of football games.
(on injuries after playing two big teams back-to-back)
"Most of the injuries are just injuries that happen. They aren't injuries that wouldn't have happened if we were playing Montana State and Portland back-to-back. I just think they're physical injuries against two physical football teams. Stuff happens in this game and it's unfortunate. Cole (Stanford) was banged up before this game happened and the swelling went down and we cleared him today and he'll probably play against Portland State, too."
CAL POLY PLAYERS
WR WILLIE TUCKER
(on feelings after loss)
"I don't really look at it up or down a division, any game is any game. We just have to do what we have to do to get that W. Obviously we haven't found that yet, but we're going to get it this week."
(on feeling on sideline throughout the game)
"We were still in that game right up to the last minute, I thought we were in the game until that last minute when they started running down that clock and then you realize, 'Wow, it's done.' We had a feeling that we were going to generate our offense and everyone felt the same way. We had a rhythm and we definitely thought we could beat these guys."
(on success of receiving group)
"I thought our receiving corps played great. I thought they blocked their butts off and played great. We did as much as we could do out there. There is always room to improve. I had a couple of missed blocks, which I have to take on myself. Also playing up in the elevation, some people use that as an excuse but that should be no excuse."
(on blocked field goal)
"Once he blocked it, I saw that he was going to pick up that ball and he was going the full distance with it. Before he could grab it I tried to tackle him and I flipped over him and he landed on my back. I don't know how big he was, but he pushed all of the air out of me. I don't know what's up with my ribs but it's making it hard for me to breathe right now. It will be fine."
(on QB Chris Brown's performance)
"I thought he did as well as he could have done. I couldn't have asked for anything better than what he did for us out there."
FB AKANINYENE UMOH
(on his touchdown)
"I believe that it gave our offense a little bit more confidence just putting some points up on the board, just from being down so far. I just think it gave us a little more confidence. It didn't come out the way that we wanted, but I felt like it put a little fire up on our offense and now we can go score on them, if we stuck to what we do best, and that's running the football. I caught it before, but pretty much it was a simple trap play and our offensive line had a nice pull and down block and I saw the open space. Coach told me not to get tackled, so that's what happened. I saw that end zone."
(on losses against FBS teams)
"It's a little frustrating because as a team we feel like we only played two halves in two football games. In my opinion, I feel like it should make us hungry. We have a bye week coming so we can look at the film and get things corrected. I know that we're going to come back stronger against Portland State and we're going to win, I know for sure about that."
(on QB Chris Brown's performance)
"I rate his performance well. I think it's hard to just jump in there as quarterback and I think he's taking it pretty well and he's trying. I just tell him to go out there and have fun. We're out there with him, and we're all family. We hang out every day, we live right next to each other, so I just tell him to have fun and no matter what we have his back. Mistakes or positive things we'll be there together, so that's how I look at it."
LB JOHNNY MILLARD
(on feelings about the loss)
"As simple as it sounds, I think we were just getting away from how we play. We just weren't fundamentally and technically sound in the first half. We started to pick up and play how we were capable of playing. It just comes down to us playing a full 60 minutes of football."
(on third quarter adjustment)
"To be honest, there wasn't that much adjustment. It was doing what we were supposed to be doing and doing it right. I think Coach Brown was calling a good game and calling good calls, we just needed to execute. When people made mistakes they capitalized on them. We've got a bye week coming up, and I think it will be a great opportunity to fix those things and smooth the edges out and get ready for conference."
(on playing FBS teams as opposed to FCS)
"I think it's pretty well known that the Big Sky is one of the best conferences in the FCS. Colorado State and Fresno State were great teams, but size- and speed-wise we're right there. We've just got to play fundamentally sound and stay true to our technique and trust our scheme and we'll play great."
(on what the team needs to accomplish in the bye week)
"Just to get better. We don't need to stray away from what we're doing. We just need to be consistent and play a full 60 minutes of football on both sides of the ball and for offense and defense to be on the same page. I think we were getting each other’s backs tonight, and if we play at the same time like that, great things are going to happen. That's what we need to do, and that's the mindset we need to have going into bye week."
(on the play of the defensive line)
"I think the defensive line really stepped up and were giving a great push. That makes it easier for a linebacker. I think it was a unit thing, everyone was doing a good job.”
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