Oct. 1, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen, along with senior safety McKade Brady and senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, held a news conference Monday to talk about the upcoming game against BYU. A complete transcript of Andersen, Brady and Jacobs' remarks can be found below.
Head Coach Gary Andersen
On BYU game:
"I've watched a lot of film on them. The first thing is, we are going back there for the second time in a row. Hopefully this is the last time we have to go back there two times in a row. It's a very difficult place to play. I think we go every year to very difficult venues, but from what I hear none of them match BYU's stadium or Utah's Stadium. I know it goes the same way about our place because they don't want to come here and play us anymore, obviously. I think that is a good spot for us to be in the future and we will see how it goes. It's down there this year. They are a tremendous team. They are very physical on defense. They are very well coached on defense. They run to the ball and they make plays. Their numbers are backed up with their performance on the field. So, it will be a tremendous challenge for our offense and it will be a good challenge from A-to-Z on the offensive side of the football. Not a lot of weaknesses in that defensive system."
"On the offensive side of the football they found some success last week. They did some good things, ran the ball effectively, threw the ball effectively and scored 47 points I believe it was. They kind of caught some mojo, if you will, on the offensive side of the ball. The offense to me doesn't drastically change with Riley (Nelson) not being there. Both quarterbacks are good quarterbacks. We will prepare the same way for both quarterbacks. There is a little bit more option face possibly now if Riley does not play because it's a healthy quarterback that can run very well. I guess he's been back from a mission for a year, so it's not like he is an 18 year-old kid running around out there. Our kids will be excited about the opportunity to go and play. I think we've played the last couple of years to put this game into a rivalry game. It's not just an in-state game anymore and our kids are excited about the opportunity. I am sure BYU is excited about the opportunity. They'll expect to win, we'll expect to win and that's what you got. It's college football, from what I think are two pretty good teams playing each other and excited about that opportunity to get out and play."
On Bronco Mendenhall being the coordinator and how Coach Andersen used to do that at USU:
"I think it is all about your support staff that's around you. I've talked to a bunch of coaches. I've talked to Bronco (Mendenhall) about it and I've talked to Gary Patterson about it. I went round and around with guys that were defensive coordinators. The bottom line is the support staff they have around for day-to-day activities is a lot different than the support staff I have for day-to-day activities. My number one most important thing is take care of the kids and secondly is to recruit, it's impossible for me to do that and coordinate. When I had to evaluate myself, and the program, and do what's best for Utah State, that is what was best for Utah State. I am sure that Bronco's done the same thing. For him, he didn't always coordinate. He had a year where he didn't coordinate or a time frame where he didn't coordinate. Obviously he felt like it was best for him to get back. He does what's best for his program and I will always do what is best for the kids in our program first."
Both these teams have had success on defense in the red zone, what similarities do they share?
"I think they are well coached in the red zone. I think the kids communicate well in the red zone. It's a big challenge for defenses to be able to be on the same page. I think their physical presence shows up even more in the red zone, for both defenses, than it does sometimes because the field is condensed. There is more opportunity for kids to make plays in a little bit more of a physical manner, especially in the back end because the field is so condensed. The safeties are more involved and the defensive backs are more involved. Good football players, number one. The field condenses, it's harder to score and they are well coached."
On the BYU linebacking core:
"They have experienced, good players who play the way you like them to play. I think past the linebackers and all of the kids that are in this game, I think our kids have great respect for BYU and I think BYU's kids have great respect for our football team. I feel that way about Utah and Utah State also. You watch the game, watch how the kids play on film. They are going to play hard and they are going to do what they have to do, but there are good players on both sides. Their linebackers are very skilled and talented young men. It will be a big challenge to block them."
On Kyle Van Noy always getting the big play:
"Yeah he does, he flies around the football. He's on the edge of the defense. He's in a position to be able to make those plays. There are a lot of similarities on how the defenses lines up from the odd front down to even front and the way they adjust some things. They play more zone coverage, we play more man coverage, but other than that there are a lot of similarities. It allows those outside linebackers to be playmakers, similar to Kyle and Bojay (Filimoeatu) for us."
On BYU having a new running back for this game:
"Yeah, (Michael Alisa) is a good player. It is an unfortunate injury. I heard the young man broke his arm. That is a tough one. He is a good football player and seems to be a great kid from what I know of him. They ran the ball effectively the last game. So they will be fine, they've got some good players."
Do you have a pretty good knowledge of some of their players from the recruiting process?
"Yeah there are a lot of similarities. It's much like Utah, we kind of have the same plan, and we want to recruit in state. I don't know how many in-state kids BYU has, but I know it's a priority. Obviously, they have an extensive missionary program and a lot of Polynesians on their team, so we cross paths quite a bit when it comes to that. So, we know a bunch of their kids and a bunch of their families. That is what makes it great. That and the fact that it's become a competitive football game make it even better. I always look forward to, a lot of people think I am crazy, but I look forward to going to Cougar Stadium. I've had some great days in there and I've had some really bad days in there, but I always look forward to the game. Hopefully we can keep our best players on the field this year and not have issues with a late hit, I guess you could call it."
On Chuckie Keeton being named WAC player of the Week:
"Tyler (Bennett) was a national punter of the week as well. Great game for Chuckie (Keeton), he threw the ball well. Chuck Jacobs had his best game for us, took advantage of some opportunities, and made some big plays when he caught the ball. Chuckie (Keeton) threw the screen passes very well, controlled the offensive very well, which we will need to do this week. Young men are going to have to make plays when the opportunity presents itself. We are really proud of the way Chuckie (Keeton) played and he continues to grow."
On Tyler Bennett pinning UNLV inside the 20 five times:
"Yeah, I think he punted five times and I think all five of them were inside the 20 at the end of the day. He got it out and he had a couple of snaps that were not so good. Tyler did a nice job. He is kicking the football consistently, getting the ball out and doing a very nice job. So, I was proud of him, he was a big part of that game."
On McKade Brady and what he has meant to the program:
"McKade, means a lot to this program from a leadership standpoint and from a toughness standpoint. He's another walk-on that was awarded a scholarship in our program. We've had 15 of those kids since we've been here. The way he carries himself every single day, football is very important to him. Being a good husband is very important to him. Being a quality teammate on and off the field is important to him. He is just a well-rounded kid and he loves the game of football. Practice, spring ball, July, whatever, January, February, you are going to get the same work ethic out of that young man every single day. This game is important to him. It was taken away from him last year and whether you agree or don't agree, it was taken away from him. I don't agree with it and it was tough. I hope he has a great game this year and I hope he has a pleasant memory of this game."
Senior Safety McKade Brady
On BYU game:
"I am looking forward to. They were able to a make a few more plays down the stretch than we were last year and took the game. So we are looking forward to the challenge, we know that it is a tough place to play and I think we will be ready."
Did you talk to players last year on the sideline as BYU's final series started?
"Yeah, I was on the sideline and I was just trying to help the safeties out talking to Walter (McClenton), Alfred (Bowden) and Chris Harris. We talked about the ball being there for a while and trying to break. I remember we were in a cover two scheme and one of the safeties, I can't remember which one it was, when Riley (Nelson) scrambled and crossed over half of the field, and that was a rule that we were not suppose to break and ended up costing us a little bit. The ball was in the air for a long time, Walter had a great break on the ball and just wasn't able to get it out."
Did you feel like you wanted to be out there to help?
"Yeah, I think you always feel that way as a player. You wish you were out there and had something to say about the outcome of the game. That was definitely hard sitting on the sideline watching your teammates go through the game without you."
The defense was able to deflect the ball but it still goes to their guy for a touchdown:
"Yeah, that was just kind of how our luck was that night I guess. That tipped ball ended up going right to that receiver and it ended up costing us the game."
Do you think you should have been tossed from last year's game?
"I got a lot of texts with the picture and it looked like shoulder to shoulder to me. I don't feel like I deserved to be ejected, but sometimes that's just the way it goes and you have to roll with it."
Does the fact that you were looking forward to that game so much make the ejection worse?
"Yeah, it was really frustrating, I had a lot of friends there, going to school there I obviously knew a lot of people there. I had like 50 text messages after the game so people were just mad about me getting kicked out and wanting to see me play. Definitely frustrating."
Does what happened last year give you even more of chip on your shoulder?
"With a rivalry game like BYU I don't think that it really matters what happened last year. You have enough motivation to win every game as it is, let alone an in-state rivalry game. So I think that alone gives me enough motivation to go out there and do my best to win the game."
With these two defenses playing the way they are what is this game going to come down to?
"Well it's going to be a tough game like you said, two really good defenses. Offensively, both teams have guys who can make plays and as long as we do a good job of staying with our assignments and not letting them get any big chunks of yardage it will definitely help us win the game."
Have you had the chance to watch Taysom Hill play yet?
"I was able to watch part of the Hawai'i game. He is really good and he moves really well. He is obviously very good at running the ball. I was able to play him in high school as well when he was up at Highland High School. I know first hand, I have defended him before running the ball so I know how he can turn a play that is going no where into a big scramble play and make 30-40 yard really quick."
Do you see a big difference in preparing for Hill over Nelson?
"I think Riley (Nelson) is very similar to (Taysom) Hill. They both scramble and make plays with there feet a lot, throw the ball and make good reads, so I think they are very similar."
Are you always with someone as a safety or do you have to keep your eyes forward to make sure you know where the play is going?
"Definitely stay in coverage first because a lot of time quarterbacks will scramble and then set there feet and throw the ball down field, so I definitely have to stick with my assignment first. Once he passes the line of scrimmage then I can break coverage and kind of run him down, I am usually not the first guy there on those types of plays though."
You have a lot of tackles at the line of scrimmage this year. Is that you reacting to the play or is it by design?
"It all goes back to safeties coach (Bill) Busch teaching us key reads and you look at a certain guy for a certain play and if he down blocks than you can sit for the run. As long as you play your key reads right, I think you can get in the situations a lot quicker and help with the run faster."
Senior Wide Receiver Chuck Jacobs
On BYU game:
"Well it's going to be a big game, it always is."
Talk about your game against UNLV?
"I was feeling good from the morning, when I first woke up. I was just trying to carry that momentum and keep that going into the game. My number was called and I just made some plays."
Talk about your 50-yard catch?
"I was just trying to read the defense, see where the safeties were at and where the linebackers were at, and then after I caught the ball it was just will, basically from there on out."
What did you see out of Chuckie Keeton Saturday that made him preform so well?
"Chuckie is always good, he is a great player. I can tell in his eyes that he wants to win and when he sees his opportunity he will take it, and he saw a few of them Saturday night and he took advantage of them."
What do you think about Chuckie Keeton's maturity?
"I think he is playing like a senior, he is a sophomore playing like a senior. If he keeps this up he will be a great player, it is in him, I see it in him, he just needs to keep maintaining it and rising."
What do you see in the Cougar defense that has them currently ranked fifth in the country?
"They have playmakers out there on the defensive side of the ball, so it is just like going against us and our defense. We have a lot of playmakers out there as well. If we continue on working hard anything can happen."
Does your game last week give you more confidence moving forward?
"I am just looking to have fun out there. I love the game of football, I love playing football and every time I get my hands on a ball I am looking to make a play."
Have you seen some things that you might be able to exploit against the BYU defense?
"We are just going to go out there and execute our game plan from this past weekend and see how it carries on to the game Friday."
What are you feelings on last year's game?
"It was very emotional, basically from the first few plays when (McKade) Brady got ejected for a head-to-head. It is very emotional playing against them, playing against an in-state rival, against an in-state school."
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