Football Press Conference Quotes
Aug. 27, 2007
HEAD COACH Brent Guy
Summary of fall camp:
"The brightest point of camp is that we came out it with no major injuries or surgeries. We have a few guys banged up that would possibly be in special teams' roles, but we have no one that's going to miss any extended time. So we're thankful to come out of camp without a major knee or shoulder injury, or even a concussion situation that could linger on through the season. We came out very healthy."
"Probably the biggest concern coming out of camp is just the timing of this game. Today is the first day of school, which is a Wednesday practice for game week. It's always tough to get the kids in the rhythm of coming to practice, going to class and taking care of everything involved in being a student-athlete. We've just been athletes up to this point, now comes the important part where they have to be students. Fortunately, we have a lot more older kids than younger kids that we're depending on for this game, and I think that will help in that transition. Since we start school so late, we're dealing with all the first day problems that you have with getting class schedules right, getting to the right spot, and on top of that we've got a `Wednesday' practice."
"As far as the freshness of our team, mentally and physically, it is just a matter of this routine and playing a Thursday schedule. We will be in class at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, we're just going to have a regular day then come down and get ready to play the game."
On USU players that were on squad last time USU played UNLV:
"The senior class was all here. There hasn't been a lot of discussions about that because that was two years ago. There were a lot of guys that played in that game. De'von Hall, Jake Hutton, Pace Jorgensen all played in that game. Kevin Robinson had a great punt return and we ended up taking the lead late in the game. Then we had a throw at the end of the game with three seconds left that we had to bat down in the end zone, I believe it was Antonio Taylor, to win the game. So it came down to the last throw of the game last time we played and we are certainly preparing our team for that type of game again this year because we might have to win it in the fourth quarter so we're trying to be prepared for."
On evenness of game, based on how both teams had similar results against common opponents last year, and the first game of the season:
"I see this as a very even-matched game. The new kicking rules could make a big difference in the game. I think, as always in the first game, turnovers and adversity will be critical, and then jittery mistakes by young guys will also be important. You always worry about turnovers and penalties that always come up in the first game. A critical penalty in a bad situation might cost you a big play or field position."
Importance of a win to the program:
"It's huge, that's all we've focused on and that's all we've talked about. We haven't talked about our non-conference schedule other than UNLV. We haven't talked about any WAC games other than winning this first game. We have an opportunity to open at home, which hasn't happened a lot of times in the past, so it is a great chance to start off with a home win in front of our fans. The next time we come back home we'll be playing a WAC game, we play first three of our four non-conference games on the road, so to have a home-opener and win against a Mountain West opponent would be huge for us going into Laramie next week at Wyoming, and then the next week at Norman."
On how loss could affect team:
"I think we're mature enough now where we can take it week to week and handle it. We've given them individual goals and they know that they have to accomplish those to win the game. We talk about what we're going to do specifically to win the football game. I think that they know that if they accomplish those goals, we'll win. If they don't accomplish those goals, they won't win. Our only thought right now is winning this football game, and doing whatever we have to win this football game, and using any weapon or tool we have to, play any player we have to. If we need to put a freshman in at the end of the game because of an injury, we will do whatever we have to in order to win this football game."
JUNIOR DEFENSIVE END Ben Calderwood
Summary of fall camp:
"It's nice to be done with camp. I think camp went really well this year. Earlier in the camp, some of the older guys and myself went in to talk to Coach Guy and asked him if, between practices, we could get a little bit more rest time to recover and be more ready. I believe that helped to come out and practice at a higher tempo each and every day with more recovery time."
Importance of this game, about getting off on right foot with a win: "Every week is a big game. We were 1-11 last year and I think the guys have learned a lot and are really excited and want to come out and play to the best of our ability on Thursday."
On where team is at mentally and physically this year compared to last year:
"Mentally, I think the guys are in it. The new guys are coming along in practices. The coaches can only do so much. The older players and the veterans have been stepping up and coaching the younger guys, while the coach was coaching another guy. So I believe that helped the younger guys get up to speed faster."
"Physically, we're feeling pretty good. Now that camp is over, we're still getting our legs back, but I believe that by Thursday, our legs will be fresh and our minds will be ready to go."
SENIOR RUNNING BACK Aaron Lesue
Summary of fall camp:
"Camp was long and it was hard, but there's nothing wrong with it being hard. We've watched some inspirational films, because it was long and hard. We went through a lot, but we've toughened up. We've learned a lot about who we are over that last three weeks. We've learned a lot about the talent that we have and what we can accomplish. It's been a really good camp for us. We've grown close together as teammates and we've learned a lot about what we can accomplish together."
On focusing on UNLV game:
"The most important game is the next one. We've really focused on UNLV. After we figured out who we are, we figured out what we need to do to step on the field and beat UNLV and that's what we've been working on."
On difference from last year to this year:
"There's a big difference. I came here last year, and from last fall when I came until this fall is completely different. The difference is our own confidence, knowing who we are and what we can do, knowing that we're talented - last year there were worries about not knowing what's going to happen when we step on the field. This year we're a lot more confident with our game plan, our goals and knowing that we can accomplish them. That's everything in football, and knowing that we can do that for four quarters and knowing that's what we're going to have to do."
"There's a buzz around the team and around the locker room. I think that's the most important buzz. For the people in the community, hopefully they get the buzz around the Cache Valley and the Logan area. I think that the most important buzz is the one we have in the locker room, because those are the players that are going to go out on the field and get it done."
On the numbers of guys at running back:
"It's nice to know for me and nice to know for the team that there are a lot of athletes at the running back spot. If I'm not getting it done, Curtis Marsh can get it done. If he can't get it done, maybe I can get it done, or Derrvin Speight can do it. There's plenty of guys we can throw in there and I think the coaches are all confident that we can put them on the field and we can all get the job done. The coaches have done a good job of getting us all, not just myself, but getting us all prepared in knowing our reads, knowing where the holes are going to be and the intensity is there. The nice thing about having more than one running back is that we compete against each other and we're helping each other. I think that helps us all to be better."
On being a Fallon, Nevada native and playing UNLV:
"I was never seriously recruited by them or really interested in going there. I have a lot of friends from high school that go to UNLV that will be watching the game, so it will be interesting to step on the field knowing that people are watching and to show them there's a difference here at Utah State. Last time USU played them, we were able to come out with a victory and that's what our focus is now. It will be nice to have friends watching, but the most important thing is we want to win, so that's what's on my mind right now."
On not being on scholarship and being okay with it:
"I'm happy and actually would like to finish it out that way. That's the way it's been my whole life and throughout my career, I've always had to work to prove myself to a new coach here or there. I like it and to be honest, there's a lot of people who are in my situation, I think it would be good for a lot of people to know that they can still contribute and play without a scholarship. I'm still not on scholarship and that's fine by me. I just want to go out and play and win. I'm happy to be here, happy to play and happy to win. That's what I want to do, so hopefully we can get that done."