Karl Dorrell Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 20, 2004

Sports Information Director Marc Dellins:
Before we get started. The San Diego State game on Oct. 2 will kickoffat 4:00 p.m. It will be televised locally on Fox Sports West 2. Maurice Drew is thePac-10 Offensive Player of the Week, the Walter Camp Division-IA National Offensive Player of the Week and theSporting News National Player of the Week. With that I'll turn it overto coach Dorrell.

Thank you Marc. Good afternoon everyone. That's a pretty good start toa week, when youhave some players that make offensive recognition like that. We arereally happy aboutMaurice Drew and what he has done. But it was a total offensive effort.Just reflectingback on that game, our offense did a great job in creating some run lanesfor our rushinggame. We had to make some plays to get ourselves back into the game.The defense had toslow them down and get us back into the game. You don't ever want tohave a start to a gamethat is similar to how we started. Usually when you have a particularstart like that youdon't win the game. It just showed a lot of character in our team rightnow. We werebelieving in each other and really fighting our way through some issuesto get ourselvesback into the game at halftime. It was a great win. Unfortunately wehad a few guys bangedup along the way, but we do have a bye week this week. We will rest upand start thehealing process with some of those players and get ourselves ready foranother week offootball starting with San Diego State the following weekend. I'd liketo open it up forquestions please.

Can you comment on Maurice Drew's performance?
I haven't seen a performance like that in my career, particularly at thecollege level. Hedid a great job. It wasn't all him, I'll let you know that. Ouroffensive line did atremendous job in giving him those opportunities. Our receivers did agreat job blockingdown field. It was a pretty good effort from an offensive standpoint.But I don't want totake anything away from what Maurice has done. His performance wassomething I willremember for quite some time.

After looking at the film, did anything else jump out at you that youdidn't see on thesidelines?
Just the overall effort in every phase that we were doing. Our kickoffcoverage team did aa very good job. They busted one kickoff return on us that was 60 yards,but for the mostpart wherever the returner would catch it, he would only have about 10yards to work withbefore he was tacked. So I was encouraged about how hard we covered inour kickoff. We hadone punt in the game and that was a 44-yard punt with great coverage.Our concern withspecial teams was our field goal team. We had one snap that was reallytight. We didn'tget the ball down quick enough and we ended up missing an extra point.Then we ended uphitting one that hit two uprights and went through. It was one of thosegames where a lotof issues that came about during the course of the game, you really don'tthink about atthat time because you have so much work to do. But when you sit back andevaluate and seeall of the different things that happened, there is a lot of things wecan definitely cleanup. To still come away with the victory was very, very encouraging afterwatching the tape.

What is the situation with Craig Bragg?
Craig has a shoulder injury. It's a dislocation so it will probably beat least three tofour weeks whether he'll be ready to play again. He might heal soonerthan that, but that'sthe prognosis right now. We'll fill the shoes with some capable people.Tab Perry is nextin line. Tab will do a tremendous job in helping us fill that roll. Tabhad an excellentfootball game. Even though he had no catches, the very first TD run hehad two key blocks.He had a tremendous effort in the game. He is excited about his opportunity.

Was your heart in your throat in the final minute?
I was concerned. You don't ever want to be in a situation like that, butI was confidentour defense could make the play to stop them too. They had no timeoutsleft and there was30 something seconds left. There is only so many chances you can get.We called our lasttimeout to regroup ourselves the last couple plays of the game. Weexecuted exactly the waywe needed to execute, keeping them out of the end zone.

Where is this team in terms of your expectations?
We are moving forward. The offense is gaining steps week by week andyou've seen that thelast three weeks. Defensively, we are gaining a few steps, probably notat the pace of theoffense, but they playing with a lot younger players than on offense.That will come. C.J.Niusulu came back and played well in the game. He is not even full speedyet. As soon ashe is full speed and as soon as we get some of the players that are inkey positions back, our defensive production will get better. I feelgood about where our defense is going.

Coach Karl Dorrel's complete press conference can be accessed by clicking on the audio link located at the top of this page.

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