Nov. 26, 2011
CSU Head Coach Steve Fairchild
Opening statement: “You know it wasn’t a whole lot of good. Give Air Force their credit. They whipped our butts here tonight. We got off to a decent start but things just got out of hand there in the third quarter. You know, a number of things. We let the ball get in behind us defensively, which was an area of emphasis. We had some self-inflicted errors offensively. I’ll take the blame for that, some things that we didn’t need to do that got us out of our rhythm running the football there in the second quarter. And they jumped on us and it was a fight uphill from that point on.”
On whether Air Force passed the ball more than he thought it would: “No. You know, they’ve hurt us every year with the pass and that was an area of emphasis. He’s (Tim Jefferson) talented. He can not only run that option but he can hurt you throwing the football. That’s how they have done their damage against us. But they made the plays. Obviously we weren’t keying some things and letting them get behind us and he’s accurate enough to make the plays.
“It wasn’t even just the long ones. There were some seam things that they were getting on us off some run action. They make it difficult, no question.
On whether he thought the game could end this way after a strong start: “Given the second quarter, yes. I knew we were going to be able to run the football on them. We just got out of sync offensively there in the second quarter. You can say all you want about them moving the ball on our defense if offensively we’re doing the things we’re capable of doing, when we’re eating up clock and eating up yards and maybe even getting some points. So, we didn’t help ourselves at all and again I think there were some things like unforced errors that we normally aren’t doing.”
On Chris Nwoke’s game: “Chris was very impressive. I think he had 29 carries which is about the high-end of what you’re looking at. I think he had over 9 yards a carry. I wish we could have ridden that a little more in the second quarter. It might have helped our entire football team out.
On the play of Garrett Grayson: “We had not planned on throwing a ton. There were some things that new quarterbacks do that he knows, and he’ll learn from. He’s a good kid, but we tried to limit what we were doing there. We knew we would have the ability to run a little bit better so that’s where we focused.”
On AFA’s ability to pass to open up offense: “That’s what we said in our press conference Monday. When they have a quarterback that can throw it like this guy, they’re awfully hard to stop.”
On what the team does from here: “Well we have one game left and, like we talked about in the locker room, I told them they would get my best effort and our coaching staff’s best effort this week, and I would expect to get their best effort this week. They have been good at practice, done everything we’ve asked all year long. We’ll get back to work and we’ll have a good week.”
On whether the team let down, effort-wise: “No, I don’t think so. You know, I think everybody is frustrated. In hindsight the way that second quarter unfolded you feel the need to go down there and go for it on fourth down. We had two drives down there, one at the end of the first half and I believe one at the beginning of the second half. We drove all the way down and got inside the 10-yard line. You just wish you could’ve come away with some points. When you have a second quarter like that, there is always some of that desperation feeling that goes throughout your team.”
On whether this a step back, energy-wise, from previous weeks: “No, I don’t. We just didn’t play our best. Some of that stuff offensively we normally don’t do. No, I don’t at all. They played hard. You got a back go over 260, so some good things are happening. Early on we were getting them out of there in the first quarter. So, we showed up and they were ready. Like I said, we just dropped our guard there. Give them credit; they jumped all over us when we did that.”
On whether he was surprised AFA threw as often as it did: “No. I mean when it’s working as a play-caller, you do whatever works. So, they were hitting a few and I’m sure he got in a rhythm and felt pretty good.
On whether penalties got them out of rhythm: “Some. I would like to have a couple play calls back. There were a couple substitution things. We lost Blake Jones, which is another tight end that takes you out of some packages. We weren’t quick enough to adapt on some of those things. We got out of rhythm a little bit. I don’t think our run game was ever not productive, but we got out of rhythm and got behind the down and distance thing a little bit in the second quarter when we didn’t have to and we did take a penalty. I think we went up seven-nothing, stopped them and then got the ball in our territory, driving, and took a penalty. So, just a few things like that in the second quarter. Like I said, give them credit because they certainly capitalized every time we punted it back to them.”
On Grayson’s fumbles: “Well, you know on that two-minute thing, and he knows better, you get down and stop the clock. It’s not worth fighting for the extra yard. Air Force, we knew that going in, they are very good at stripping the football and they’re very good at attacking the football. So, if you get in one of those piles where you’re up and the whistle has blown, they’re going after it. That’s what happened on that one.”
On the state of the program: “Obviously people are disappointed with our record and they should be. I’m disappointed. But I do think we have a lot of good players and we’ll get this thing going.”
On Blake Jones: “He’s got I think an ACL, but as always, we’ll know more tomorrow.”
AFA Head Coach Troy Calhoun
On the win: “I thought we played well, but especially after the opening drive on either side of the ball. From there on out, we played really well, especially the last 20 minutes of the first half; I don’t know if we’ve played much better.
On the seniors: “This senior class has been nothing short of remarkable. I’ve never been around a group of kids who can get more out of the talents, more out of their abilities than the group of guys in there, and because of it, this will be a fun group to follow in life. This will be one of those groups in 15-20 years if you like to track leadership to see what they end up achieving. These guys are unselfish, they play hard, and I know they’ve won a bunch of games. But more importantly, they’re going to be good graduates of the Air Force Academy.”
On QB Tim Jefferson’s play: “He had a great game, especially when you look at the last five scoring drives of the first half, he did pretty well. These last two games have been pretty special.”
On the success of the second quarter: “We hit a couple of big plays, the two throws to Zack Kauth were huge. And the defense, I thought we were as stout as can be.”
On injuries: “Today we lost both of our inside linebackers, Jordan Waiwaiole and Brady Amack, but other guys were able to go in there. Austin Niklas did some good things for us. We also lost Josh Hall in the first quarter, but Chris Miller came in and played really well.”
On Air Force being bowl-eligible again: “It’s hard, it’s difficult, and it’s hard to do. With a service academy it’s hard to do, especially if you’re going to be playing this type of schedule every year. But I think you want to play this type of schedule every year, too; there are a lot of pluses in the long haul, too.”
On his bowl preference: “Wherever they send us.”
On CSU RB Chris Nwoke: “He’s good; he rushed for 232 yards two weeks ago here at home against San Diego State. He’s powerful, hard to tackle, and there were times that he hit us. And up front they (CSU) are really good.”
Colorado State players
S Ivory Herd
On why Air Force’s passing game was so effective: “We just made a few mistakes in the back end. It’s pretty much inexcusable; it’s on us. We had the calls. We just didn’t execute.”
On if they were surprised with the second quarter: “They came back and threw the ball three times over our head. It cost us big. Like I said, it was our fault; it was a mistake.”
On their preparation for Air Force’s passing game: “That’s the worst part. We practiced for it all week on the pass. To have it still happen to you is pretty devastating.”
QB Garrett Grayson
On how much tougher this game was compared to the last two: “That first drive, first quarter, we were clicking on all cylinders. We felt like if we could get up by 14 we knew that would change their offensive approach. It would make them more of a passing offense. They came out firing and passing and we didn’t expect that. I didn’t play very well tonight. I thought I was as prepared as I could be. I watched film with Pete (Thomas) and everything. I’ll take the blame for this one. I didn’t perform well and that fumble obviously killed us.”
On whether Air Force did anything differently defensively after the first drive: “No. They were showing us the looks we were expecting. They covered things well. Everything we tried to call was covered real well. They were prepared for us real well on defense. I’d call run plays and they were there for them. They obviously had their tape from last week and were prepared for them.”
OL Weston Richburg
On his thoughts during the second quarter: “I really can’t explain it. I felt like that first drive was great. I thought we could definitely continue doing that throughout that game but it stopped there during the second quarter. I really don’t know what happened.”
On whether he thought they would lose if someone told him Chris Nwoke was going to rush for 269 yards: “No, not at all. I’m really happy for Chris. You take small victories when you can’t get the big one. I was really happy for him. One of my goals was to get him 1,000 yards. He’s earned that. He’s a really tough runner and I’m glad he got that today.”
RB Chris Nowke
On the outcome of the game: “We worked our hearts out and played together. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t come away with that W.”
On whether he enjoyed the game on a personal level: “You somewhat enjoy it. Really, it’s a team effort. Everyone’s putting their best to get the W. We had a hard week of practice. Just being together it would have been a good win for us. It’s bittersweet.”
On the difference between his play the last five weeks compared to the first six: “I think definitely getting more experience. The more carries I got, the better I became because I worked on my flaws; trusting my offensive line, who did a great job today. I trust that my offensive linemen will take me to success.”
On his offensive line: “They’ve worked hard all season. I think it’s just great that they created such great holes during the overall of the season. Getting 1,000 yards in a season is a big success but it’s a team effort and I couldn’t have done it alone.”
Air Force Players
OL A.J. Wallerstein
On QB Tim Jefferson’s courage/confidence: “That’s just the kind of guy he is. He’ll look in the face of someone hitting him and he won’t blink. He’ll stand up and make that play.”
LB Alex Means
On the second quarter: “I think we just sat down together and realized that enough was enough. We need to stop letting guys run over us, we need to stand up, stand tall, and start hitting people. And I think that’s what we did. The defensive coordinator was calling great calls and putting us in position to make plays and that’s exactly what we did.”
WR Zack Kauth
On practices leading up to game vs. CSU: “We just practiced certain plays for certain defenses and they happened to give us a defense that allowed us to call some bigger plays and longer throws. It just kind of happened that way and we took advantage of it.”
On whether he has ever scored three touchdowns in a game: “Not in a game before, no. The most I’ve ever had was two in a game and that was against Colorado State, actually.”
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