Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen, along with senior wide receiver Matt Austin and senior cornerback Terrence Alston, held a news conference Monday to talk about the upcoming game against San Jose State.
Oct. 8, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Press Conference Video
Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen, along with senior wide receiver Matt Austin and senior cornerback Terrence Alston, held a news conference Monday to talk about the upcoming game against San Jose State. A complete transcript of Andersen, Austin and Alston's remarks can be found below.
Head Coach Gary Andersen
On San Jose State game:
"San Jose State, first of all we go back two years and they have been battles. They have had the lead in the fourth quarter for the last two years and we have found a way to make some plays and win the game. So it is going to be a tough, hard-fought game. I know they will be ready for it and we will be ready for it. They had a bye week and we get one extra day, they had an extra week. One of two things, at the end of the day, you are going to say that the bye was positive or the bye was negative depending on who wins the game, so away you go. I like San Jose State's football team, they play hard, they like to play football, and I think they are very well coached. I have a lot of respect for their head coach as I've got to know him over the years and the other coaches on their staff. They are good coaches and they will have their kids prepared. They have done a good job of recruiting and there are a lot of similarities to our programs in a lot of ways and the direction that they are heading. They have had a lot of success, especially the last however many games it has been going back to last year, and they have beat some very good football teams and they expect to win now. That is the biggest difference, and I believe that our team expects to win so, that's going to be a big game in the WAC. I think defensively they are solid. Kent Baer does a great job with their defense and has for a number of years. To say he is a well-proven defensive coordinator is the understatement probably of the world. He does a great job with defenses and puts the kids in the right spots and gives them a chance to compete at a high level. Offensively, they have a good group of receivers. They throw the ball around and do a good job with their play action. They catch the ball well, they run their routes really well, and they get in and out of their breaks, and the tight ends are highly involved in the throw game also. They are moving the ball down the field a little bit with the run game also, even more so than they did a year ago from what I have seen so far on tape. It will be a tremendous challenge, and the key for us is to take care of the Aggies and that is what we need to start doing today."
"The last loss was a sting without question, we will get over it, not yet though and we shouldn't yet. We met this morning and watched the tape, and we will come back and watch special teams this afternoon and get out on the practice field and move onward and upward, but never forget. Put it in the back of your mind and move on but don't forget those types of losses or don't forget the great wins either."
Watching the film from the BYU game do you see one or two things that might have given you a chance to change the outcome of the game?
"Yeah, there are probably 30 or 40 on each team where when it is that close there are going to be a bunch of plays that could have swung it this way or swung it that way or really swung it the other way to have it really kind of get out of hand and not be a close game. You look at it and hat goes of to BYU, they made some plays and did some great things, but when you are playing against a great defense you have to loosen them up and make plays down the field. We were able to do that in the last couple of weeks and we were not able to connect down the field in this last game and that was a big difference on the offensive side of the ball. We never did anything to loosen up the linebackers, to loosen up the safeties in the run game, so we got pounded pretty good in the run game and a lot of that had to do with the inability to throw the ball down the field accurately and catch the ball when it was there when the opportunity presented itself. Defensively when you give up six points, what do you say? I mean six points, that's good defense no matter how you cut it. They made a couple of plays and that is the way that it goes. It is what it is, two good defensive teams on that day, both teams struggled on offense and they came out on top."
Senior Defensive End Travis Johnson for San Jose State, what do you think of him?
"Solid, consistent, seems to be handling himself well overall. I think he appears to be a good leader from what I see on tape. If I talk about San Jose it is not so much really one person on offense or on defense, I think they play good team defense and I think they play good offense, I think they are solid on special teams and have done a nice job. Obviously, everyone has individual players but he is special. He has been special for a couple three years and does what he does. You have got to know where he is all of the time I'll tell you that much."
Their new quarterback, David Fales, looks much more accurate than (Matt) Faulkner from last season?
"You know, I haven't watched last year's game and it is hard for me to remember last year's game at this point. I know I have watched this year's games and he is an accurate quarterback, I think that he has fit into the offense very well. He throws to the spots and relies on the receivers to get there often times before they get out of their breaks, and so they are on the same page with the wide receivers and the quarterback. For a junior college guy to come in and operate from game one until how he is operating now is impressive. He has done a nice job and he is a good quarterback. He carries himself with a good physical presence out there, he can run the ball enough to get himself out of problems if he needs to. He runs the offense well."
San Jose State looks stout against the run as well considering what their run defense did against Navy:
"Yeah, we won't even watch that tape. Anytime you do that against an Air Force or a Navy or whoever is running the triple option that it is pretty impressive. The stats are absolutely impressive in that area and they played them very well last year and they have good players. When you are going up against the option and you can do that to the option then the scheme is pretty impressive. Obviously, to be able to do what they did, the kids played well, they executed well, the coaches did a good job of implementing a game plan and they shut down Navy."
Thoughts on Kyler Fackrell being named the WAC's Defensive Player of the Week?
"Great for him. He is a tremendous young freshman player and there are a bunch of them over there. I think he had a solid game and made plays when he had to. The opportunity presented itself to make a big play for us and he found a way to be able to make it, we just couldn't take advantage of the opportunity, but he made some big plays. He was of all over the field, I thought he pass rushed as good as he has all year long, I thought he was physical in his tackling and I also thought he was pretty good at being physical at the line of scrimmage. He is a tremendous talent, we are very fortunate to have him and the sky is the limit for him. He is going to take himself a long ways because of the way that he works and the way that he prepares and his God-given ability. Football is very important to him so it is an honor well deserved."
Are the wide receivers the best position group for San Jose State?
"Yeah, I would say that and the tight ends are right there with them. There are not as many tight ends but they don't need as many tight ends, they have two of them on the field sometimes and other times one. I would say overall as a receiving group they do a nice job of throwing it and catching it and getting up the field. It is a good offensive set and they do a good job of using their best 11 guys, and really I guess it is about 14 guys, when you look at two of the tight ends and the different wide receivers that play, but they do a good job of molding the offense with their best football players for sure."
Did their run game improve by adding De'Leon Eskridge out of Minnesota?
"Yeah, I think he is physical back, he runs the ball hard and I think he is getting better every single week. They run the pistol sometimes with him and then they will get into the shotgun stuff where they run the read zone. They have some speed option, they will get into 22 personal where they run power `O' and try to pound the ball, so I think he is a good back. This is a good football team, again they have done a nice job of recruiting, and I think it is two good teams teeing off against each other, but he is a good back. He bring a physical presence to their offense as well as the ability to get outside."
Senior Wide Receiver Matt Austin
On San Jose State game:
"San Jose State has a pretty good defense and a good team. They have been together a long time and they have a lot of guys coming back. They've got a good linebacking core and a couple of good corners, so I am looking forward to the game."
On starting WAC play:
"BYU is always going to be in the back of my head, but I'm excited to start WAC play and get started with the season. Like I was saying, we always break our huddle since day one with 'WAC Champs' and that has always been our goal, and then to get to a bowl game after that. I am super-excited to start WAC play and get started."
On last two meetings with San Jose State going right down to the wire:
"Same thing, it should go down to the wire again. It's just two great teams going at it again. It will be an exciting game. Execution is the main thing on both sides of the ball and that is what we look forward to."
What has been the focus after the loss to BYU:
"We focus on the little things like the dropped balls and route running, just execution overall. Again, BYU was a great defense but we go against a great defense everyday in practice, in our defense. I feel if we would have executed against BYU things would have came our way. We just had a few drops and a couple missed opportunities. That happens, that always happens in games. We knew it was going to go down to the wire with those guys. It just didn't come out on our side."
How can you go without a catch in one game and catch seven the next time out?
"Everything changes every game. It is just how the defense plays you and again, it is just opportunities. I got a couple balls thrown my way against UNLV and didn't make the best of them. It is just up to me, up to Chuckie (Keeton), up to the O-line, just the offense overall to get myself the ball and get other people the ball and get involved."
On not catching one pass against BYU:
"It is hard, but again you have to move onto the next play. Last year I probably would've let that get in my head a little bit and probably would have been thinking about it the whole game, but I've grown from that. You can't catch everything. I want to but you can't be perfect. I lost the ball in the light, I don't know how. You can't make excuses. I should have made a play but again it just hit me right in my helmet. I just jogged right off the field because I already knew it could've set us up. There are a lot of different things that we had to take advantage of and we didn't."
Does the thought of being five points away from undefeated out-weight the positives of four wins this early?
"Not so much more the positives and the winning, because I always want to win no matter if I don't get any passes or who we are playing. That is just the plan, to win. BYU is just an in-state rival and everybody wants to have fun in that game. So, we were all looking forward to it but it's the past now. So, on to the next one and WAC play."
Are there any other specific things on San Jose State's defense that you've seen?
"They are a great team on defense. I only know one of the corners coming back and one of my good friends that plays linebacker (Keith Smith). Again, I have watched them on TV when they played on Friday against Stanford and they are a great team. We've just got to come out and play and execute and just come out on top."
Senior Cornerback Terrence Alston
On San Jose State game:
"San Jose State is a great team with a great offense and great receivers who can make plays. They have a new junior college quarterback, who I believe is pretty good. We have our work cut out for us."
On starting WAC play:
"Starting WAC play, I am excited for it. It's been a long time waiting, trying to get the WAC Championship, that's the goal."
On San Jose State having a lot of wide receivers:
"Yeah, they run about three to four receivers every play. We've got our work cut out for us. We are going to prepare and get better during this week and make the play work. They are good off the line, good at route running. (Noel) Grigsby, he is more shifty and quicker. We just have to do our job, settle down and do the best we can."
What do you see from the San Jose State quarterback?
"He didn't play there last year. He is a new junior college transfer, like me. The transformation can be difficult but it seems like he has got a grasp to it and he is running their offense. That is the quarterback we have to stop this week."
On having to worry a little more about their run than last year:
"I still think that this week they will pass about 35-40 times, but yeah the running game has gotten better. That is just another aspect of their game that we have to prepare for and be ready to stop."
On Kyler Fackrell being WAC Defensive player of the Week and his impact on the defense:
"Yeah, I am happy for him. He's a guy who has come a long way since I have been here and got his first pick last week. We all just congratulated him on the sideline. It was a big play, a play that we needed and he just made it happen. All year he's been fighting and getting better every week."
Being from the Bay area, are you going to have a lot of friends and family there?
"Yeah, a lot of my family is going to this game. A lot of them, it's going to be their first college football game that they've been to for me. San Jose State is right by where I stay so it will be a good environment for me, somewhere I am comfortable playing at. I want to make them proud."