Dirk Koetter's Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 1, 2001

Quoting Arizona State Head Football Coach
Dirk Koetter
October 1, 2001

Opening Statement
'I'd like to start by thanking the fans who were at the game last Saturday. They looked great in their gold -- especially the students -- I really appreciate that. They were very loud, and they were telling me every call I made wrong, so I can hear you loud and clear. Keep it up.'

'As far as the San Jose State recap, I thought we did a nice job of stopping the run. Our game plan going into that game was, we felt we had to take Deonce Whitaker out. We were able to hold him to negative yards rushing, which is the first time that's ever happened in his illustrious career.'

'We tackled much better. Our young guys in the secondary continue to get better. We played seven freshmen and redshirt freshmen in that game, and that's going to continue to serve us well for the future.'

'Offensively we played much more physical, by far the most physical we've played all year. We ran the ball a lot better, our line was physical the entire game. I was really pleased with the improvement we made at blocking from the wide receiver position. Those guys did a nice job.'

'Our biggest improvement we made was in the area of special teams, where we played the best we've played all year. Mike Barth had a big day, he kicked 6 out of 9 kickoffs out of the endzone. We had two really good kickoff returns, just one man short of taking it all the way. We had two nice punt returns from Darryl Lightfoot. One letdown in the kickoff coverage, but other than that we played the best we've played on special teams.'

'As far as Lafayette goes, they have really good skill players. They have nice speed, they play almost all four or five wide receiver sets, and all those receivers can go, and are very dangerous. Their secondary is a good group of guys.'

'We're looking forward to switching to afternoon practices this week, and continue to get better.'

Looking ahead to USC?
'We're not getting ready for USC this week. We are playing Louisiana-Lafayette this week, and our 100% focus will be on doing whatever it takes to get a win this week against Louisiana-Lafayette.'

Lafayette's Game Plan?
'These guys are a spread you out type of team. They're going to empty the backfield and then they're going to get into their one-back, four wides, throw it all over and try and get you spread out. Then they'll give it to that big running back of theirs and try to hit you inside. This will be a totally different type of game plan for us. I know Brent (Guy) and the defensive staff have been working on it since 6:30 this morning.'

On tight ends being used more
'I think the main thing is the fact that our tight ends are getting better. Mike Pinkard has come so far in the last two weeks. We are really encouraged with Mike's play. Frank Maddox who started the year for us is a little banged up right now, and didn't play quite as much. He has a sore shoulder. I think those two guys are kind of growing into their role in the offense, and we will continue to find ways to use them. Mike Pinkard is a very talented player, who I think has not reached his full potential as a college player. He's really starting to come around, and I hope he keeps it up.'

Are you let down playing a non-conference game?
'When you work year round like college football players do, you get 12 chances to compete, 12 chances to go in front of a crowd and play. Competition is competition. We don't get to compete enough, and we don't care who it's against. We're not at the point where we can worry about who we play, and we can't control that stuff anyway. They line them up, we play, and if you're a competitor you go out and try to win every week.'

Why the practice change?
'Everybody tells me that October 1st is the magic date when it cools down, so we scheduled our practice changes around that. I'm actually excited from a routine standpoint of getting back to afternoon practices. I will say that practicing at night has been fantastic. Anyone who's been out to practice at 6:30, the sun is down, the temperature is great and we can get some work done. If it becomes too hot, that we can't get the work we need, we'll either have to go back to practicing at night, or we'll cut practice down. We thought it was best to make the switch during the week of a non-conference game, than it would be to make the switch during the week of a conference game.'

On defensive plan
'This week, we're going to have to stop the passing game, and we're going to have to put pressure on their quarterback. We'll spend more time in those areas, and maybe a little less on eight-man front drills.'

Impression of other Pac-10 teams
'UCLA looked great against Oregon State, they looked good. That's the only Pac-10 game I saw. Although, reading the recap of the Stanford-USC game, it appears that either Stanford is better than we thought or we're not as bad as everybody thought.'

On Jeff Krohn
'We're very pleased with Jeff (Krohn). I think it's a little bit of a misnomer that our offense is that complex. It's not that complex. If I can learn it, I'm sure the rest can too. Jeff is playing well. If everybody on our team was executing at the same level Jeff Krohn was, we'd be in great shape. Jeff is very impressive with his awareness on the field. He can come off in between series and tell you exactly what he saw, exactly what happened to him. Why he made the decisions he made, and knowing that he was going to throw that interception, Shaun (McDonald) was going to strip the ball and Ryan (Dennard) was going to run it in for a touchdown. I think that's the sign of a great quarterback.'

Game plan for Louisiana-Lafayette'The strength of their team is the secondary on defense, make no mistake about that. We're going to do what we do. We're going to attack them based on how they play us, and we're not going to worry about whether it's runs or passes, we're going to try and score points. Whatever it takes.'

Scout Players of the Week
Offense-Geoff Van Loo
Defense-Daniel Pryor
Special Teams-Joey Smith

Players of the Game-San Jose State
Offense-Levi Jones, Ryan Dennard
Defense-Mason Unck, Tommie Townsend
Special Teams-Mike Barth

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