Sept. 12, 2011
Opening Statement: “With regards to the game last Saturday, we certainly played a capable first half. Offensively, I liked our fast start. I thought we did some good things running and throwing the football. Defensively, I thought we did some good things as well. We turned the ball over, got some three-and-outs. I was pleased in just about every aspect of our game in the first half. Special teams wise we had not kicked the ball well in the first game; I thought we kicked it very well, both our punter and kicker, Saturday. We tended to lose our edge there in the second half, particularly late in the third quarter and we’re not a good enough football team to do that; so consequentially we struggled at times in all phases. From top to bottom I thought we took a step forward, did some nice things. We still have a lot of things to work on. We’re obviously shifting all our focus towards the University of Colorado this coming Saturday in Denver. I know our whole program, players and coaches are excited to have the chance to play in this game. It’s a great game and we’re really looking forward to it.”
On injured players: “Myke Sisson fractured an ankle so he is definitely out. Austin Gillmore and Jake Levin we’re still examining so we’ll know more as the week goes on. Scott Carter, I believe will be out this game. Derek Good came out for a little, he’s fine; he will play.”
On losing Sisson: “I feel sorry for Myke because he’s worked so hard and has been so productive. Particularly this year, not just what he does on the field but what he does off the field. He’s just been such a big part of our program. He’s going to continue to help us and depending on his recovery there’s an outside chance we get him back this season. You just feel for him; a tremendous character kid as well as a good player.”
On a potential sixth year for Sisson: “I’d have to look into that further. On first examination he will not be eligible for a sixth year. Both years that you don’t play have to be because of injury.”
On Sisson’s fractured ankle: “It’s anywhere from six, eight to ten weeks depending on what exactly happened. They put a plate and a screw in there and they’re not all exactly the same; some guys come back quicker than other guys. It’s a little premature to be talking about how many weeks. I know he’s had the surgery and will start rehabbing.”
On how Sisson can still help the Rams: “Just his presence out on the practice field and in the locker room is huge. I know he will come through in a big way in that regard.”
On what concerns him most about Colorado: “Number one their defense is very complex. I’ve known Greg Brown for quite a while; he’s done a great job everywhere he’s been. They’re very pressure oriented; they do a nice job. It’s obviously very different than what we’ve faced in the first two weeks; that’s a concern. I appreciate the way they play offensively. I like the way they line up and try to establish the run game. They’ve got a good back. They’ve got ways to move the football. They’re a good football team. Despite their record they’ve played some very good football and we need to obviously have a great week of practice to have any chance.”
On Colorado's Paul Richardson: “He is an elite receiver there’s no question about that; he’s got all the tools.”
On whether CSU matches up specific cornerbacks to certain receivers: “We can. We haven’t to date but we can. Obviously it’s still mid-day Monday; we’re still doing out game plan. He got loose in that game and kind of changed the whole game in the second half. We’d like to keep that in front of us if we can.”
On the fullback position: “We’ve got other guys. We’re not changing our off sense; we’re doing what we do. Again, those guys aren’t ruled out; we’ve got some other guys on the roster that can do it. Somebody’s just got to step up.”
On CSU’s defense without Sisson and Broderick Sargent: “That’s what the game of football is. You look at the Packers last year. You look at how many guys they had on IR right out of the gate and then they play in the Super Bowl and lose two marquee guys in the first half. That’s the game of football. Broderick was our best pass rusher; when he went down in the New Mexico game someone had to step up. Now someone will have to fill Myke Sisson’s shoes; they’re big but that’s just the game of football. Injuries occur, not just on our team but on other teams. You have to deal with them and deal with them in a positive way and I’m sure we’ll do that.”
On whether it is easier to handle injuries this year compared to last: “No question. There’s more guys that have played so it’s easier; the roster is a little deeper.”
On the linebacker position: “Shaquil (Barrett) could move out there. The way that we do it they’re all playing every spot anyways so within the context of this game there will be a lot of guys playing in that spot.”
On Colorado’s lack of running success this season: “It’s a little bit like our New Mexico game; they’re doing the right thing running the football. Numbers may not add up but I think when you watch them they’re very capable and I thought we were in that first game. We just didn’t make a couple plays. We’re going to have to stop their run. They’re a good running team, you can tell by their scheme and the players they have that they can establish the run game on you.”
On CSU’s third-down conversion rate: “Obviously we’ve got to do better than we’ve been doing to get to where we want. Sometimes those can be a little misleading. A couple of those you know you’re going on four so you’re doing something a little bit different. That’s still not the story; we’re still not as good on third down as we need to be. We need to emphasize that we need to continue to work on it. Good teams get up there to 40-50% and we need to get there.”
On Colorado’s coaching staff adding to rivalry: “I’m sure it does. For our staff this is huge. There are a lot of guys who’ve gone to school here, played football here and have a passion for this place like no one can have other than people who have done that. I’m sure their staff feels the same way; so I’m sure that does add to the game.”
On Colorado’s differences from last year: “Defensively they’re a lot different. Greg (Brown) came in and you can see his stamp on it. Offensively I can’t remember as well what they did last year. Like I said I like their scheme; they like to line up and pound you and get the ball down field to their receivers. They’re good and they play much better than you would think of with an 0-2 football team.”
On reducing Pete Thomas’ interceptions: “One was a tip ball but there was a couple bad decisions by us. One time I put him in a third-and-10 and it probably wasn’t the best call by us. I’m confident Pete can protect the football; he’s normally pretty good at that.”
On having the showdown in the third week of the season: “It does seem a little different; you’re used to being in two-a-days when we’re talking about this. Obviously it’s going to come and go a lot quicker than if it were the opener. I’ve said all along I like it as the opener but we’re fortunate to play in this game; both universities, the whole state it’s a good thing. I’m glad we decided to do it. It’s just a fabulous setting down in Denver and I know on our end we’re excited to play in this game.”
On the timing of the game helping the Rams see Colorado’s new coaches’ style: “It probably was an advantage. Anytime you’re about to play a new staff you would like to not see them in the opener.”
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