Nov. 12, 2011
CSU Head Coach Steve Fairchild
General: “Just walking out of the locker room, our football team is obviously very disappointed. I was very proud of the way they played. I thought we had a couple good weeks of practice. I thought they prepared very well for this game and I thought they played extremely hard. I thought, just watching it before we get a chance to evaluate the tape, there were some very good performances in all three phases. Obviously, we came up short. We didn’t make enough plays. Give SDSU their due; they’re a good football team. I’m quite confident this team will get back to work tomorrow and we’ll get ourselves ready to play next Saturday.”
On Pete Thomas’ condition: “Left knee sprain. Obviously, Terry (DeZeeuw) will assess him tomorrow. What grade? I don’t know. As he gets looked at tomorrow and probably into Monday, we’ll have a better idea of how long he’s out.”
On whether inserting Garrett Grayson was a tough decision: “No. That is what we were going to do. I had hoped to redshirt Garrett and there is still a possibility that later in his career something like that could still be the case. But, like we said all along, we’re not doing what’s important for me or Garrett or anybody. This is a team game and we are going to do what’s best for the team. Garrett knew that was the case.”
On the play of Grayson: “He’s a very talented kid. He was one of the top 25 (dual-threat) quarterbacks in the country when he came out. He’s got a really nice skill set. I thought he played well out there. I’m mean, you can’t get two quarterbacks prepared for a game plan. That’s not the way it is. You got a starter, you rep him. The other guy does the best he can to get ready. It’s never a great circumstance when you got to go to your No. 2 quarterback. I thought he did a nice job tonight.”
On Chris Nwoke’s game: “He and the offensive line, and I want to mention Jake Levin at fullback, who is doing a tremendous job for us in some of that lead-run game we’ve got; we’ve built off the UNLV game. They came out today and I thought we ran the ball decent. Rocky Long’s scheme, that defensive structure, is not easy to manufacture a run game sometimes. I’ll give some credit to not only our players but our offensive staff for getting that done tonight.”
On whether he should have given the ball to Nwoke more in the second half: “The second half was funny. I thought we played the whole game against the wind, the way that thing was shifting. We did a nice job against their run game but we had four plays in the third quarter offensively. When that happens, you can say a lot about play-calling but you need opportunities to call. Maybe a quicker stop, maybe one more conversion on third down might have changed the tide. We can woulda, shoulda, coulda but no one is feeling sorry for us. Give San Diego State their credit; they played well.”
On the discrepancy in snaps, despite Nwoke’s 232 rushing yards: “Lies, damn lies and statistics. Sometimes those things paint weird pictures. I knew they were holding the ball and we weren’t getting it enough. Just standing there on the sidelines, I knew we were running the ball well. We’re a lot like them offensively. We both need mix. We didn’t throw the ball well enough in the second half. I think we had close to 200 yards (205) at half and we got only a few yards in the second half. A lot of that’s play frequency, but a lot of that is execution in the pass game as well.”
On dropped passes at inopportune times: “Again, tonight you don’t want to blame anybody on a dropped pass. The wind was playing some funny things down there at times.”
On Grayson’s fumble: “Yeah, that was a bad play call. I’ll take the credit on that one. I put him in a situation on something he had not repped. That was 100 percent my fault and it ended up costing us because we were in scoring range.”
On whether Grayson bounced back from the fumble and interception well: “He’s got a great demeanor. You can’t shake him. I deliberately try to do that to young quarterbacks in practice and he’s one of the harder kids to rattle that I have been around in my entire career, at any level. He’s got a really nice demeanor about him.”
On the team being flat the previous two games and whether they can build on this game: “I don’t think we were flat at all, the last couple games. I think they played extremely hard, and in areas we played very, very well against UNLV, and they did that again tonight. We have been anything but flat. But, we will build on it like we always do. There were some really good individual performances in all three stages out there tonight. I’m proud of the kids.”
On whether he’s happy with how the defense played: “Yeah, I think so. The last thing you wanted to do against this team, and they’re capable of doing it, is letting Ronnie Hillman start getting loose and have a career night, or busting a bunch of long runs, which we were able to do. Sometimes, when you do that you’re going to give up some nickel-and-dime passes. Therefore, you’re going to let them control it on you. We minimized the big play, we didn’t get hammered by the run and we held the points down. That was a nice job.”
On the decision to reinstate Ivory Herd: “Just based on what I knew, I felt that was appropriate. Just like some of the other guys, we try to hold kids accountable for their actions and if we have to suspend them for a period of time we’ll do that.”
On how he evaluated Herd’s play: “I would have to look at the tape. He did some nice things out there. He’s part of that defense that we were just talking about. I’d like to look at the tape.”
On how much the wind affected both offenses: “I think it played a major factor tonight with offenses and the kicking game. I don’t think there is any question.”
On Richburg’s injury: “He’s got a fracture in his hand. I’m not sure which bones or to what extent. I know they clubbed him up. We were talking about putting him back in; that’s how tough he is. Paul Madsen ended up with an ankle sprain. We’re limping around a little bit, but that’s part of the deal this time a year.”
On whether it was Richburg’s snapping hand: “Yeah, I believe so.”
On the possibility of moving Richburg to tackle if he can’t snap: “It’s a possibility. We’ll know more in the next couple of days.”
Head Coach Rocky Long
On the win: “We are happy every time we win. We had some chances to score and they did a nice job. Right at the end of the first half I thought we were going to score a touchdown and make things hard on them. They did a good job on defense to stop us and then we missed a field goal. They went into halftime with the momentum. In the second half I thought it was a back-and-forth game and when you have a back-and-forth game it is always going to be close.”
On the wind: “Snow and rain have no effect whatsoever on a football game. Wind has a dramatic effect on a football game. If you always have the wind at your back, you have the opportunity to have some real success with the wind, but it changed about every five minutes. It was in your face one minute and at your back the next.”
On the play of QB Ryan Lindley: “He is an excellent quarterback and I think he is going to be in the NFL. His leadership qualities on our team are as important as his ability as a quarterback. He deserves the record (all-time Mountain West passing leader). He probably would’ve thrown for another 100-and-something yards if we didn’t drop any passes.”
On the play of K Abelardo Perez: “The one he made won us the game. It would’ve been easier to win the game if he would’ve made the other two but he didn’t. He made the one that counted, the one that helped us win the game.”
On the play of the defense: “I thought giving up those two long runs was not good enough. You give up one every once on a while but we gave up two of them. He (Chris Nwoke) did a great job. He broke some tackles. He ran through us, over us, and made yardage. I thought the defense came up bigtime. It came up bigtime at the end. It came up big with two turnovers when they were in scoring position. Overall the defense played really well.”
On Walter Kazee: “He is done for the season. He is going to have to be operated on. ACL, MCL, I don’t know.”
QB Pete Thomas
On his injury: “Left knee injury. We’ll evaluate it more tomorrow and decide where we’ll go from there.”
On if he feels the injury is severe: “It’s really too hard to say right now. Like I said, I don’t really know too much. Doctors think they know what it is but they’re not for sure.”
On what happened on the injury play: “It was third-and-long. They went Cover 2 so I was checking the ball down. Right as I was throwing it the guy came right up on my knee and just hit it.”
On frustration of continuing the losing streak: “It’s real frustrating. Obviously everyone hates losing and everyone is sick and tired of losing. But we’re battling out there, playing our heart out. Things just aren’t turning out for us.”
On how Garrett Grayson played: “I didn’t see the second quarter. When I was out there it looked like he was playing pretty comfortable with everything. I was trying to help him out as much as I could but when you’re like that you don’t want to give him too much; you want to let him go out there and play. “
On the running game and Chris Nwoke: “He runs the ball hard. It all starts up front with our o-line. They played great today, opened up some great holes, and coach has some great schemes out there in the run game.”
On possibly playing next weekend without him or Weston Richburg: “That’s obviously facing adversity. That stuff happens in football. Injuries happen to key guys on the team all the time. If me and Weston aren’t able to play then those guys are going to have to step in and play. They’re here on scholarship for a reason.”
On if it feels like they’ve hit a point in the season in which things are piling up on the team: “Yeah. It’s not an excuse; it’s the truth. We’ve had a lot of injuries to a lot of key guys. Yeah, I think it’s affected us this year but you can’t use that as an excuse. You’ve got to go out there and keep preparing and keep playing.”
On if he knew his day was over when he came off the field: “I felt it right away. I got up and ran off the field kind of limping a little bit and then sat down. I got up and started walking around and realized I couldn’t drop or do anything.”
On if the injury occurred to the knee in which he wears a brace (to protect against a Tom Brady injury): “Yeah. Front leg.”
QB Garrett Grayson
On how he feels: “I’m feeling good. I had some jitters at the start of the game. (Chris)Nwoke helped me out a lot. Obviously having a running back like that helps you out a lot and helps your confidence.”
On how ready he was to play: “I felt good about it. Pete (Thomas) and me have watched film and if I have questions, he has more experience, so I obviously ask him as many questions as I can. I felt good about it and once I was able to go in there and get the jitters out, I was able to read coverages better. Everything slowed down quite a bit.”
On his first two drives: “Obviously, the fumble. He put the hat on the ball and it was just a good play by him. That’s a mistake that I’ve got to correct. I can’t have that happen. The interception, I just went over to Crockett (Gillmore). He’s got the best hands on the team so anytime we can go to him, we do. I told him, pick it up; play like you know how to play and use those mitts.”
On how he feels about losing his redshirt status: “Obviously, the competitor in me wants to play anytime I can. The redshirt was in the back of my mind but if I can play and help these seniors, especially if I can help them win and get to a bowl game like they deserve, then I’m willing to burn it. “
On how frustrating it would be if Pete Thomas returns next week and he doesn’t play: “Obviously, I’ll be frustrated because I’m a competitor. If it happens, best to him. I’ll cheer him on and back him up just like I’ve always done. “
On what will happen if he is the starter next week: “Obviously going into TCU, I just heard about Boise (State) and we know how Boise (State) turned out for us. We look back at Boise (State) and there are a few plays here and there that could have shifted momentum and maybe the game wouldn’t have turned out like it did. Going into TCU they’re a hell of a team. I’ll have to prepare for them just like I’ve always done. I feel like I’ve prepared for every team pretty well this season.”
CB Shaq Bell
On the defense: “We’ve got to do a better job to get the offense back on the field.”
On the entire game: “I thought the effort was good. We played hard and competed in every position. We just have to get the offense back on the field.”
On if it was frustrating trying to get the offense back on the field: “Yeah. They were driving the ball slowly. They wasted a lot of time on the clock. The defense, we just have to get three-and-outs and get the offense the ball.”
On if this is a step forward: “Yeah, that was our main thing in practice. We stopped the run and contained the ball. We did what we needed to do but we just couldn’t come up with a victory. I still think as a team we played hard and fought four quarters.”
QB RYAN LINDLEY
On whether he feels like he survived this one: “We got through it. A win is a win. It was a team win, though. Guys had to step up, out of it all. We did a good job running the ball in the fourth quarter, and we did what it took to win.”
On the wind: “It was pretty gusty. It was blowing a little bit as you can see, but it looked like a dust devil of trash. You kind of forgot about it on the field. You’re playing and not much else is going on and you are just focused on what you need to do.”
On the early dropped passes: “It’s all focus. I mean, nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. You have got to tell them when it’s early like that, ‘I’m coming back to you.’ I’m not going to not throw to somebody because they dropped the ball.”
On the morale going down when the running backs went down: “I think the guys were good, though. Like I said, this is a team and we’re a team that’s going to fight it out.”
On being bowl-eligible: “It feels great. It’s great to have a team win like this and the defense came in and just stuck those guys and gave us a W.”
LB MILES BURRIS
On the windy conditions: “It was a different setting and I’m sure the people in the crowd were a lot colder than we were. It was still overall pretty cold.
On the atmosphere: “The atmosphere was good for Colorado State; it was just tough for us. It seemed defense played well and the team did basically well overall. It was mental breakdowns.”
On his second-quarter fumble recovery: “Yeah, I just kind of starting pursuing and I can’t ever give up on a play. I see the ball come loose and I drop on it.”
TE GAVIN ESCOBAR
On playing in the wind and the cold: “The cold was not a really big factor; the wind I think did play a little bit of a factor. We each had to focus a little more.”
On CSU’s defense: “They gave us some different looks that we hadn’t seen. We made some halftime adjustments.”
On CSU: “They played good. All credit to them. We didn’t come out as fast as we should’ve, but you know, a win’s a win and we’re happy with it.”
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