Dirk Koetter Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 10, 2001

On ASU's victory vs. San Diego State
'We're extremely excited with the win, it's great to get that going. I'd like to thank the fans, especially the students, they were awesome. We need them to be even louder in the future. When the defense was out there, they played a big part out there...It helped our defense out and we appreciate that.'

'We got to play 63 guys in the game the other night, and that is one of the things that will really help our program move along, to develop some depth. As an example, all 5 of those young corners played. The guy who played the least got 12 or 14 snaps. Games like that are awesome when you get to develop your depth.'

'I've said before that our style of defense, we try for a 3 to 1 ratio, between negative plays and big plays given up. When you attack like we do we're going to give up some big plays some times. The ratio for that game was 7 to 1 in our favor. You have a ratio like that and we're going to win a lot of football games here.'

'The defense played tremendous all night. We had a little bit of a let down in the 4th quarter, but we were subbing some guys in there and that is somewhat to be expected.'

'As far as UCLA goes, a top 15 team, I think they are 12th or 14 the in the two polls. They have a great tailback in DeShaun Foster, he's on the Heisman Trophy list and deservedly so. He's one of the top five rushers in the nation, I think he's 2nd. They are a fast and talented football team.'

'They are coming off two road wins already, at Alabama and at Kansas. This is their home opener, so I'm sure that they are excited. And we are certainly looking forward to the challenge of going in, and getting a win on the road against a nationally ranked opponent. We are very excited for this week.'

'From the defensive standpoint, you have to stop DeShaun Foster. (UCLA Head Coach) Bob Toledo isn't kidding anybody, he's not showing us all of his weapons right now. They are going to play action the ball and try to throw it deep on us, because they know we are going to try and stop Foster.'

'The second thing that gives us the most concern is that both Alabama and Kansas are entirely different from us on offense. We were hoping to be able to see some film against teams that are similar to what you do so you can see how they are going to attack it. I don't think they've had to show what they are going to do on defense yet. So that leaves us guessing and looking at old Arizona State tapes to try and figure that out.'

UCLA preparing for the ASU offense
'The lineage of the Oregon offense started with Bob Toledo, went to Mike Bellotti, went to me, and now Jeff Tedford. So Bob Toledo and I are pretty darn close from a philosophy stand point on offense. They get a lot of the same looks everyday in practice they're going to get from us.'

ASU's health status
'Our health is good. We came out of that game in great shape. We got a super workout yesterday. We lifted weights, really conditioned hard and practiced with our young guys. Probably the only question mark we have right now is Paul Glass, a backup defensive tackle. Paul has had some back problems in the past, and he re-injured it late in the game.'

'We have plenty of concerns, and we have to keep getting better because we are going to be playing better and better teams. I said last week, we needed a measuring stick to see where we're at, and now we know. We have a lot of things we have to get better at across the board. So many of them, that if I don't leave this press conference and go back to the office, we may not get better at them. At least we know.'

'I'm really excited about the way our defense played as a unit. I think our defensive guys really believe in what they're doing, they're playing with confidence, and I think we did find out that we have some pretty good talent at corner. R.J. (Oliver) was solid throughout the whole game. Emmanuel Franklin we actually thought wasn't going to be able to play because his hip injury was acting up on him. Nathan LaDuke wishes he hadn't played, because he broke his record for the longest interception retun.'

'Our talent at corner, I loved the way those guys competed, they're going to do nothing but get better and better. I'd say the biggest positive was the way our defense played as a unit.'

'We did not throw the ball deep as well as we need too, as well as we can throw, as well as we will throw. Jeff (Krohn) can throw deep fine. A perfect example of that is the ball he threw out of our endzone to Daryl Lightfoot. It was 45 yards on the angle, right on the money. If Daryl doesn't bobble that ball I think he has a chance to take it to the house. Jeff's main problem on the other deep throws was that he threw the ball late, and tried to throw it too hard. That's a very common thing that happens to almost every guy who plays quarterback. It's also very correctable.'

'Jeff (Krohn) throws the deep ball fine, and will continue to throw deep. We did not throw deep particularly well in this game, but not really a major concern at this point.'

Special Teams concerns
'It doesn't really matter if you fair catch or not. With the way the rule is, they're going to get down and get in your face no matter what you do. Number one, our punt returners have to catch the ball. Number two, our corners have to do a better job of screening/blocking their man to get our returners some room. Any team that's a good punt return team, those are the two elements you have to have...we'll get better at that. Don't read too much into the fact that we don't fair catch. That will all work itself out just fine. We have to catch the ball better, corners have to block better. End of story.'

Donnie O'Neal
'I love Donnie O'Neal. In the film I watched from last year, I thought Donnie O'Neal was the best receiver Arizona State had last year. No disrespect to Richard Williams, but I loved Donnie O'Neal on film. He started off a little bit slow in spring ball, but he did show us at the end of spring that he had the capability to be our big play guy. He's got plenty of speed, he's got excellent body control, and he knows how to maneuver. I never had any doubt that Donnie was going to make big plays for us. He's a playmaker.'

Do good road team have certain qualities?
'I think there are some qualities in good road teams. I think good road teams take the attitude that this is a business trip, and we're going there for one reason. We're not going there to see our family, we're not going there to stay in a nice hotel, eat a lot of food and go to Disneyland. We are going there to play football against UCLA in the Rose Bowl. As soon as we adopt that attitude, we will be more successful in the road.'

On being prepared for such a big game so early in the season.
'We have to be ready for a game of this magnitude this soon. There are no other options. Come Saturday, we better be ready or else we're going to get it handed to us.'

Scout Team Players of the Week
Offense-Hakim Hill, Tailback
Defense- Tyrone Bowers, Linebacker/Safety
Special Teams- Joey Smith

Game Balls for San Diego State
Offense- Donnie O'Neal, Wide Receiver
Defense- Terrell Suggs, Defensive End
Special Teams- None

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