USU head coach Gary Andersen recaps the Texas State game and talks about the upcoming bye week.
Nov. 5, 2012
Press Conference Video
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen held a news conference Monday to recap the Texas State game and talk about the upcoming bye week. A complete transcript of Andersen's remarks can be found below.
Head Coach Gary Andersen
On Texas State game:
"On the Texas State game, I thought we were solid offensively, defensively and on special teams. Defensively, other than the first drive, they were pretty much lights out. I think they had like 30 yards in the second half. Will Davis played very well, was the conference player of the week and has played very well all year long. It is great recognition for Willie to be able to get that award. Again I just thought defensively very solid. Offensively, Chuckie (Keeton) did a nice job, again, throwing the ball down the field and kind of really taking advantage of what was there. One week it may be this or it may be that, but last game it was the deep balls and some scrambling opportunities I thought he took advantage of also. Kerwynn (Williams) in limited action, was very solid. He had a big play here and there and got to a thousand yards rushing, which is a great accomplishment for that young man. He means the world to this program, on and off the field. That was something that was very important to him and the offensive line and all of us. For him to reach that goal in 10 games is something very, very special. Congratulations to him and the whole offense in that area. I thought the kicking game was good and continued to be a positive for us. There are a lot of young players affecting the kicking game in a positive way right now and it will need to stay that way for the rest of the season. Overall, it was a very good win and I am proud of the young men. To get to eight wins is a great accomplishment for them, with two regular season games left. They have come a long ways and I am very, very proud of them."
On the approach for the bye week:
"We will use the first part of the week as normalcy, other than we will not get the kids up for 6:30 meetings. We'll practice today, Tuesday we'll practice, Wednesday we'll practice and Thursday we practice. As we go through the week, we will have less and less coaches. We'll start losing coaches on Tuesday afternoon and then the rest of them will get out on Wednesday. Then Thursday's practice we'll just have the coordinators, myself and the graduate assistant coaches at practice, and then the kids will have Friday and Saturday off. Right now it's major game planning with the coaches. It started yesterday and will continue to build as we move into this afternoon and tomorrow. Hopefully we'll have a good chunk of the game plan in for Louisiana Tech and continue to move forward and get some of it on tape in practice."
Does the extra week afford you a little more time to plan for Louisiana Tech's offense?
"Yeah it does. Especially when you sit back and we need to look at the pace that Louisiana Tech plays with. It's very, very difficult. The pace teams in my mind in the country that jump out at you is Louisiana Tech, Oregon and Texas A&M. I know there is a lot of other people that pace and use it at times but Louisiana Tech is one of the best in the country of getting on the ball and playing with pace and speed and quickness. Looking over and all of those types of things that offense do, so there is a lot of preparation that needs to go in and coaching a scout team to get as good of look as you can. That's important and we're going to use that, especially today, to be a big part of the game plan is teaching the young kids in our program how to best duplicate what Louisiana Tech does. So, it is great to have the extra time and just for simple scheme. It's 50 points a week and it's up and down the field. One of the best football teams in the country after nine football games for them. So we will use every moment we can possibly get."
Can you dictate or replicate Louisiana Tech's pace?
"No, but it's a lot like option. I don't think we're going to be as fast or as quick. We do some pace on offense a little bit, but not as fast as they go. From listening and talking to other coaches, which is always a big part of the scouting that you go through when you scout an opponent and you talk to other coaches that have played them, I don't think we can duplicate the speed or the quickness but we need to get as close as we can. A lot like an option. You want to replicate what they are doing with the speed and triple option affects and it's hard for a scout team to duplicate that. Although it's a throw game and they do run the ball and do all the stuff they do, the pace is different. So we'll work at it."
After having Robert Turbin last year is Kerwynn Williams making his own legacy and stepping out of that shadow a little bit now?
"Yeah, I think so. I think Michael (Smith) had his own spot a year ago on this team and Robert (Turbin) had his own spot, and I believe that now you look at Kerwynn (Williams) and I think Kerwynn has his own spot. It's the year of the team that was 8-2, Kerwynn got to 1,000 yards. What he has done receiving kind of speaks for itself, and the big plays that he has been able to make in that area. All three of those players are tremendous kids, and all three will be remembered in Utah State football I believe for a long, long time. All three deserve to be remembered for a long time."
During your time at Utah State, there has been a 1,000 rusher in three of the four years. How big of a milestone is that mark for you and the program?
"Well I think it is big. For us to be able to make that statement, it means you can control the football and you have an offensive line that has the ability to be physical. You do have a run game that people have to prepare for, you are not just one dimensional in a throw game and I believe it helps you in recruiting. For us to be able to go out and say we've had 1,000-yard rushers. It's who we want to be on offense. We want to be physical and be able to run the football and be able to take advantage of what's there, but you have to be able to run the ball to be effective in Division I football, in my opinion."
What have you proved these last couple of weeks by winning by large marings in the WAC?
"First off all, the kids got themselves bowl eligible. Then the kids got themselves to what I think should guarantee a bowl game with eight victories. So for them to keep pushing, keep playing with convincing victories after getting bowl eligible, I think it shows their focus and their want to. They're not satisfied in any way shape or form as a football program and that is great to see with the kids. There is two games left and there is a lot to play for. To be in the championship hunt, to be right in the mix of it with two games left is a special place to be for a football program. At the end of the day, there is one champion. There are other people fighting to get into that spot and we're in a position where we're going to have to knock off last year's champion to have an opportunity to be a champion. That is why you play, to be able to get into those big games. We're facing a big game because we made it a big game and that's a great opportunity for our young men."
How do you preach to players one game at a time and has Louisiana Tech been lingering in some of the players minds?
"I think you always look at your opponents. The strange thing is we really have not crossed paths in scouting the teams prior to Louisiana Tech that we've played. We haven't seen them a lot. So, I think that's kept it a little on the down low, if you will, because they haven't had the opportunity to watch them play against people that we have played or people we are preparing to play a bunch. I think as the season goes on, it's natural. Your competitiveness, your fire wants to be able to play against the best. These kids all year long know my ability to be paranoid and be on guard is always high. I had it again last week and they sure proved me wrong again because they were prepared in all three phases to go out and play. I just commend the kids for being able to do that and the coaches for getting them in those positions to sustain and maintain for 10 long, hard weeks mentally and physically."
When you were working with Kyle Whittingham you always did well following bye weeks. Is there anything you learned from that?
"Yeah, I think the timing of this one is a little different because it is so late. If you had the perfect scenario and I don't think we ever had a bye that was this late in the year, but the recipe was get fresh and that was always our recipe with Kyle (Whittingham), to get fresh. Get a jump start on the opponent, but yet come back on Monday mentally and physically with a head start. Not necessarily ready to go play the game, but a head start on the opponent and them be fresh and excited about the next step. When we walk into this game, our kids won't have a problem, obviously, being excited with what's on the line."
How is the health of the team?
"Pretty good, we've been fortunate. We had a couple of ACL's a few weeks ago. Robert Marshall now has had his surgery and he is back on the recovery path. Ladale Jackson had his surgery, he's back on the recovery path. Quinton Byrd had his surgery and those were all three knees that are moving forward and then out for the season. Other than that we've had Oscar (Molina-Sanchez being out for the whole season after the Southern Utah game. Nicks and bruises and banged up a little bit, but nothing that should stop the young men from moving forward."
What are your thoughts on fan support?
"I said the same thing on the radio again earlier today. It doesn't matter really what I say, I can't say anything good or bad because I'm going to be the bad guy whatever I say. I'll say this. We just need to continue to work and continue to build. There are a lot of opportunities for people to be able to do things on Saturday, or it's a Friday or it's a Thursday. We need to put a product out there that they can be proud of and I know that there are a lot of Aggie fans that are very proud of these kids and we appreciate the support. It will continue to grow. I think it will continue to develop, but it's important. You sit back and we had a bunch of kids up there from in state and out of state recruiting. You want to have a packed house and you want to have people to play in front of and it sells your program in a way that people understand how important it is. We want it full and Aggie nation wants it full. It's a work in progress at this point. Everything we are doing right now is still a work in progress too, in the area of football. We'll just keep banging away, doing our best."
Does fan support affect the players?
"I think about that. I think the crowd's have done nothing but affect our team in a positive way. The student section right behind us is unbelievable. The days when it has been packed and completely full and the days when it hasn't been quite as full, there is still a ton of energy and excitement there. I'm not going to sit here and say kids don't look out when they jog out of the tunnel and see if it's full or if it's not full. I don't think it necessarily affected there performance in a negative way, but I'm sure the more the better as a kid, as a coach and as a group of fans. It just makes it a more fun environment."
What are your thoughts on possible bowl options?
"Last year we had a tremendous experience and that is what I go back to. Our kids had a great time and it's the Western Athletic Conference's bowl. We've won eight games, I think we deserve to be in a bowl and we will be happy to go to a bowl, wherever that bowl may be. I just know last year we had a tremendous experience at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and it was a great destination, obviously, for our fans. Everybody knows that and I think our fans would go there again because they had a great time."