Oct. 10, 2011
Opening statement: “As you know, we’re coming off a bye week. We feel like it was a very productive week for us. We got a lot of things worked on in all three phases, got a lot of guys reps that normally, within the context of the game week, would not be getting that type of repetition. We were also able to give our players the weekend off so we feel we got rejuvenated in that sort of sense. We’re still able to get back out on the practice field this afternoon which will give us an extra day’s work in terms of our preparation for Boise State. We’re excited about this game Saturday. As always a home game is a good thing. The caliber of an opponent, Boise State being ranked where they are, will be a good test for our football team and I know that’s why we all play and coach, for opportunities likes these.”
On what concerns him most about Boise State: “Well they’re obviously a good football team as evidenced by what they did to Fresno State Friday night. I think the thing that sticks out about them, No. 1, is their talent level; they’ve got a tremendous talent across the board. And the other thing is how evenly dispersed it is; they’re good in all phases. They don’t make many mistakes. It’s not like one side is carrying one side there; they’re a pretty good football team.”
On if the Boise State-Fresno State score surprised him: “Yeah, it did. Anytime you can go into Fresno and beat them the way they beat Fresno, that was very surprising.”
On what makes Boise State’s Kellen Moore so effective: “Smart. Accurate. Tough. You add all that with experience, he’s been playing for a long time, he’s one of the best we’ll ever face here.”
On the importance of getting pressure on Moore: “It’s always important every week. If you can’t get pressure on the quarterback, inevitably you’re going to have a coverage breakdown and so forth. Or you turn to pressuring and have to send more people than you’d like. There’s no question he’s a very talented player, he’s got a good supporting cast, and they protect him well. Protection is always a component of a lot of different things; their receivers are always on time, he knows where he’s going with the ball, he doesn’t hold it. But we’re going to have to disrupt him to have any chance of slowing him down.”
On if Boise State’s defense is overlooked: “Well I think it’s a little flashier to be a good offense. They’re good in every aspect but their defense is probably as good as we’ve seen and we’ve seen some good ones. You start talking about the last few years with TCU and Utah in that Sugar Bowl year; those were very talented defensive football teams and I wouldn’t say this one’s any less than those.”
On what makes Boise State’s defense so good: “Well they play a lot of people. They’ve got a nice scheme. They’re very good up front. They tackle well. Top to bottom there is just no weak link.”
On injuries: “We’re hoping to get Nuku (Latu) back; we’ll know more this week. We did not sustain any further injuries during the bye week.”
On John Froland’s injury status: “Froland is probably out.”
On how the bye week affects injured players: “Anybody that’s out and has the chance to come back, the bye week is good. Anybody that’s playing somewhat nicked up, that’s a good time to rest those guys. Like I said, anytime that we’ve sustained an injury that’s season long we’re able to get the next player in line some reps, which helps.”
On Boise State’s defense only allowing opponents to cross midfield 65.7 percent of the time: “The field position they provide and the three-and-outs they get, it’s staggering when you watch them. They’re very talented on that side of the ball. It’s going to be a challenge for us offensively but every week is. Hopefully we take a step up in practice this week and keep moving forward.”
On Pete Thomas’ use of the bye week: “I think it allowed us as coaches and players to get a jump on Boise last week. There were some things that we did within the context of those practices that were game-plan specific. And just our passing game in general. We were struggling early in the year. We’re starting to come on a little bit so it gave us another week to time out some things with relatively young guys; not just Lou Greenwood but Byron’s (Steele) been out, Byron’s back, now Thomas Coffman, those type of guys.”
On what kind of shape Byron Steele is in: “Yeah I think he’s working himself back into shape. He was going down on the scout team for a month there. That’s not game-type conditioning but it wasn’t like he was idle. Thankfully we’re not playing him every snap but as each practice goes by he gets in a little better shape.”
On if he plans to stretch the field vertically against Boise State: “Again, I think we’ve said all along when you hand the ball off to the running back you know he’s going to get it. When you call a pass play, you’re not sure if you’re going to get the deep part of that route, or the intermediate or the checkdown. Coverage is going to dictate a lot of that. Hopefully we’ll read it right; we’ll be on the same page with our quarterback and receivers. We’re going to have to get the ball out on time; they’ve got a tremendous pass rush.”
On if he is encouraging Thomas to run more: “In today’s football you’re going to have to make some plays with your feet at quarterback, whether it’s inside the pocket buying time or even like he did against San Jose State and CU where you actually have to move out of the pocket. Sometimes you can move out of the pocket and throw it, or move out of the pocket and run it. But we’re going to need him to do that there’s no question.”
On if the game plan changes with such a good opponent ahead: “We game plan the same every week. We have a number of games we break down, we put into our digital editing system. It gives us back some information; it gives us back some what we call cut-up tapes. Nothing changes. Just when you evaluate them from a personnel standpoint, you’re impressed with who you’re playing.”
On if the psychology of game preparation changes when CSU faces a team like Boise State: “I’m not sure what you mean by psychology but, again, there is going to be very, very little difference in our preparation from say San Jose State and Boise. We have a set pattern and schedule of when we practice, what we practice. The only difference is this week, we gain a day.”
On if he is trying to hype up the game: “I would rather us get emotionally ready every week. We’re not the type of team that if we’re flat we can’t play with anybody so I’d like to think we’re getting ready to play every week.”
On what he wants out of his defense: “Well we’ve got to tackle a lot better than we did in the San Jose State game. It still comes down to the same old thing; we can be a decent defense if we play with great effort and we tackle. It has very little to do with anything else. The second we drop off on the tackling or we’re not trying to get 11 hats on the ball we’re going to struggle.”
On if he addressed coming out flat defensively against San Jose State: “It’s certainly a lesson; we’ve talked about it. We missed a lot of tackles on that opening drive. We were pursuing the way I think we should be. We came out flat, put the blame on me, but we’d be pretty good, we’d have a chance if we fly around the tackle.”
On Boise State’s different looks on offense: “I think when you cut through all the window dressing they still run what they run. We do the same thing; we try to move around a little bit and give you a little bit less recognition so hopefully you play a little slower or a little more unsure. They do a nice job of that. They get up to the ball and move quite a bit and like I said give you a lot of different looks doing the same sort of thing. They do a lot of different looks defensively; they move their defensive line around a lot so what appears to be a four-man front all of a sudden plays like a three-man front. They’re a well-coached football team, there’s no question about it.”
On what Boise State brings to the Mountain West: “They bring a top-five type of program, a program that has been in BCS bowls, a program that’s shown they’re capable of playing with anybody anywhere. There’s no question no matter who you’re talking to involved in Mountain West football, adding Boise is good for the conference.”
On conference realignment: “Again those decisions are made way above my head, rightfully so. I’m not paying attention. I’ve said all along what’s happening in college football is bad for college football. I think everybody’s chasing TV revenue and not paying attention to fans, rivalries, or heritage. I don’t think that’s good for the sport; I’ve said that all along. Having been in the NFL I know everything they do to level the playing field makes that product better. Unfortunately, you don’t have that train of thought in college football.”
On if it’s bad for the MW to be in the middle of conference realignment: “I don’t know if anybody knows what is good or bad. And I don’t think anybody knows what the end product of this stuff but it’s like I said, it’s my opinion and it doesn’t have to do with anything else. I just don’t think it’s good for college football.”
On Boise State WR Geraldo Boldewijn: “Well he brings something to the table. I think he scored a couple touchdowns for them (at Fresno State). He stretches the field for them; he’s a good player. He makes them more dynamic than they were. They were doing just fine but he certainly brings another element to their offense.”
On playing in such a big game: “I think I’d be disappointed if anybody on our football team wasn’t really looking forward to this game. When you play against the best you should play your best; it should be a good barometer for us. These are the type of games why you play Division I football.”
On what it takes for the Rams to win: “Well we’ve got to play our best game obviously. We’ve got to play with emotion, start fast, all those things. You go down the list and there’s upsets every week, that’s why they play them. Just a chance to play a team like this, that’s why we’re here. We aspire to get our program back to the top of the league and this is the team that’s at the top of the league. We want to be able to play with this team.”
On how far off CSU is talent-wise compared to Boise State: “Well you look at their roster, their top 44 is a lot of seniors. I don’t know how many, 16, 17 senior starters. We’re not there in terms of experience but I like our talent level. Since I’ve been here we’ve increased our roster. I think every year we’re getting there. How far are we? We’ll see Saturday. “
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