Sept. 2, 2002
MICK DENNEHY UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL COACH PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES Sept. 2, 2002
"I think what we saw the other night was a great example how being good on paper - what that really means - if you don't come out and play. Obviously we are a better team than that. To be quite frank, I am not as worried about Nebraska as I am Utah State University. We need to go back and need to pay attention to ourselves. We need to get back to execution and that is where we are going to start today. We need to establish a running game. We are not going to go into the Nebraska game by committee. We will make a decision on who our lead guy is going to be. As of 11:34 a.m. today, that is still up in the air. We can't afford to split the reps like we have. We are going to take a look at playing a guy, whoever that guy is, whether it be (James) Samuel, (David) Fiefia, (Richard) Watson or (Roger) Robinson, we are going to make a decision and live by it. I would guess that we would decide in the next 24 hours so that guy does get the majority of the game-plan reps."
On the Offense
"I think we went in being a little bit too greedy. I don't want to say that we are going to be conservative because I don't think we are, but obviously we have to be more conscious of the game clock and extending some offensive series so that our defense is not on the field nearly as long as they were on Saturday. I do feel on paper we can be a pretty good football team, we just have to play."
"My biggest fear going in was too many three and outs. When we did have a good play on first down, what we did on second down put us in third and long. We didn't run that many plays (58). Time of possession, I was fairly satisfied with in the first half, there wasn't that great deal of difference, but six plays in the fourth quarter, all pass plays, two possessions, both three and outs, 13-plus minutes vs. one-plus minute just doesn't get it done. Exactly how the game unfolded was exactly how we felt like we would not survive that game and that is what happened. We weren't effective in anything we did from an offensive standpoint. It would be easy if you could pinpoint one area, but I don't think any of our guys played like they are capable of playing. I am not blaming our offense at all. I think my mentality had as much to do with it - in terms of thinking big play and home run - than ball control and moving the chains and controlling the clock a little bit. I think we all learned from this and will go on and become a better football team."
On the Defense
"I was very proud of the way our defensive guys played with the exception of allowing them to sustain some drives because we didn't tackle as well as we need to tackle. On their behalf, they were on the field an awful lot. If we can get a little bit better each week defensively, I think we have a chance."
On Special Teams
"Our special teams for the most part played pretty well. They weren't really a factor in the game. We have got to get a little more productivity out of our punt team. I think Steve (Mullins) punted well enough - you look at the returns that they had, they only had one return (of yardage - 10), so all in all I am satisfied in that area."
"We can't do it just alone on defense or just alone on offense or just alone with our special teams performance. We have all got to turn it up a notch, play within ourselves and do our jobs and bring our level of performance up to where we all feel it is acceptable."
On Playing Nebraska in Game Two
"We don't have a choice. We have known for several years now that we were going to line up against Utah on August 31 and Nebraska the next week. We knew coming out of the chutes that we had a couple of very, very big challenges in front of us."
"Nebraska does a lot of things very similar in terms of their philosophy that Utah does. They are a team that wants to pound it at you on offense and control the clock and control the game by wearing your defense out. Defensively, I would categorize them as a team that plays with a tremendous amount of speed from their defensive ends to their linebackers to their secondary. They are very talented and they are very fast."
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