Quotes From Coach Dirk Koetter's September 20th Press Conference

Sept. 20, 2004

Opening Statement:

'I'll start off with our awards for the week. Our scout players of the week were Rudy Carpenter and Antone Sualsberry. It's the second time Rudy's won it as quarterback. We asked Rudy to imitate Drew Tate (Iowa quarterback) at practice last week and he must have done a good job of it. On defense it was Antone Sualsberry, a freshman linebacker. Antone plays on our kickoff team and was one of our two wedge busters in the game. Jesse (Ainsworth) didn't give those guys too much of a chance to get any work because he kicked six of nine kickoffs out of the end zone. Our two wedge busters, Sualsberry and Tyrice Thompson, put on a clinic on how to break up a wedge. Our special teams scout player of the week was wide receiver Alex King. He did such a great job on scout team this week we put him in to cover two kickoffs during the game. Our game balls on offense were Andrew Walter and Stephen Berg. Andrew for obvious reasons, he was extremely sharp and played one of, if not the best, game of his career. Stephen Berg, in only his second start of his career, continues to really make progress on that offensive line. If you would have told me going in that we would throw the ball forty times with no sacks and not much pressure overall would have been hard to believe based on how much pressure they (Iowa) got on us last year. Defensively, Jamar Williams also got a game ball from us. Jamar got the big interception and made some really nice hits, played well on special teams and overall had an outstanding game. Also, Ishmael Thrower had his best game of the year. We thought he played by far his best game. On special teams we gave it to Josh Barrett. Another guy who did a great job on kickoff coverage and he's playing on all our special teams. All our special teams played well with the exception of our punt coverage. We're not doing a good job in that area right now. That will get some special attention from Coach Osbourne and the rest of the coaching staff. Some miscellaneous things about the game: Jesse Ainsworth with the three field goals is number two in the nation right now and had six of nine kickoffs out of the end zone which is impressive. The third down conversions was a big part of this game. They (Iowa) were 2-12 and we were 13-19. That's one of the big deals we push with the team every week is win the third down battle and that's about as drastic as it gets right there. Every week you hear me or another coach talk about execution in football and when you look at the film there weren't as many big hits as there were in the previous two games. It was really good execution and we really executed our plan well in all three phases with the exception of punt coverage. Our execution was right on, about as crisp as I've seen it. That,s a great feeling as a coach because that means every body is doing what they are supposed to do. Every body is contributing. The quarterback can't execute if the O-line is not giving him time to throw. I'm really pleased with that and now on to Oregon State.Conference play is starting and everyone is even. Coach Riley talked about some of his top players. Derek Anderson is a very dangerous player, very talented. Mike Hass, the wide receiver, is off to a great start this year. Oregon State still has one of the best defenses in the league. They have a great corner in Browner who is just a shut-down corner. He presses receivers down field. I'm sure he'll be matched up with Derek Hagan. They have one of the best defensive ends in the league in Bill Swancutt, a guy who plays with great motor. They look impressive on film with that defensive unit. We're anxious to get started and get the players back over here tomorrow and get after Oregon State.'

On Oregon State and team preparation:

'The thing I tell the players is when we come in Sunday we try and put the Iowa game to bed. They watch the film, give out the awards and they should still be feeling good about the Iowa win on Sunday. Today is their day off from football. They go to school. Hopefully they're all in class today and hopefully they're getting some pats on the back for a job well done. If you're a player it's hard not to still think about Iowa on Sunday and Monday. Come Tuesday, we'll get after them (Oregon State) and we'll start off with a team meeting where well talk about all the same stuff that we do every Tuesday about our next opponent. Every player gets their motivation from a different spot. All the guys from last year have to do is take a look at that film at watch us get our butts kicked up in Corvallis and that should do it.'

On players not getting too cocky:

'I think the players know not to get too cocky. This is a very aware group because of the leadership that we have. Going back into the off-season and back to our leadership meetings our guys are aware when we put it together that they can play.'

On Riccardo Stewart:

'Riccardo is definitely the emotional leader of the defense. The other guy I always want to mention is Justin Burks. You may not hear him all the time, but he is the glue in the middle. He is the poster boy for tough guy. I think we have really good leadership on defense. Jamar Williams is also doing a nice job. Emmanuel Franklin, a senior, Jimmy Verdon, another senior, Ishmael Thrower. We have some guys who have played some games here. Having Riccardo back is sure a nice feeling.'

On the national polls:

'First off, let's remember how they work. In the coaches poll the coaches, vote after the game and you have to have your vote in by a certain time. I didn't even look at my ballot until midnight. That meant it was three in the morning on the east coast, so the fact we didn't get ranked in the coaches poll shouldn't be that big of a surprise to anybody because most of those guys were in bed when our game finished. With the polls, it is what it is. It,s a nice mention, but it really doesn't matter after week three. If we take care of our business and play like we can the polls will work themselves out. We will get all the credit we deserve if we keep playing that way. And if we don,t we'll be out just as fast as we came in.'

On the Oregon State game against Boise State:

'In that game, first of all, the ball took a lot of funny bounces and almost all of them went against Oregon State. They had three or four interceptions that went right into receiver,s hands and then popped right into Boise State's hands. BSU had unbelievable field position with the three interceptions. OSU made some real bad decisions in the kicking game with their returners fielding punts. One I think was on the goal line. There were a couple kickoffs they brought out from deep. They got into some bad field position in the game, whether it,d be turnovers or in the kicking game. When watching the game it would seem like BSU is marching up and down the field on them and they really didn't. They did make some big plays and made some big plays with the quarterback running the ball. OSU plays a lot of man coverage and BSU quarterback got loose in the secondary a couple of times.'

On Andrew Walter's performance:

'I thought Andrew had excellent rhythm. I thought we had a really good game plan to start. He had real nice command of what we were trying to get done. His rhythm was right on and that goes back to the O-line giving him space. When Andrew can step up and make throws he,s always very accurate. One of the biggest things over the last two seasons guys made plays for Andrew. He put the ball in the right spot and the guys made plays. Andrew doesn't drop back and look for a certain receiver; he goes through a progression of what the coverage is. Whether it's Terry Richardson, whether its Zach (Miller), whether it Derek (Hagan), whether its Moey Mutz, Andrew doesn't know which one it is when the play starts. Then he reacts and those guys have to make the plays. There have been times over the last two years where we haven,t been very consistent making plays around Andrew. He had the ball on time and where it was supposed to be and the guys made a lot of nice plays for him. There were a couple which could have been made, but they made a high percentage of plays.'

On Derek Anderson and the advantage of a senior quarterback:

'It,s proven that having a veteran senior quarterback in the Pac-10 is important. I think Derek (Anderson) is extremely talented. I spent some time with him at Pac-10 media day. He,s got a great personality. He,s a fun guy to talk to. As I said earlier, he,s kind of had a streaky career. When he's on, I think he's as good as anybody. He,s had some days when he hasn't been on. I'm not on the inside and it could be that they're not protecting him well or because they're not catching the ball for him. I know he's very talented and I know he's capable of beating anybody.'

On the OSU defense:

'Coach Riley and his staff, I think are among the most creative in our league. In the off-season we study a lot of tape from different teams and we studied a lot of OSUs' defense. I like to see how Coach Riley attacks people. I think these teams from a schematic standpoint are very similar. Both are primarily one back teams, both 4-3, pressed at the corners teams. So I think from our defense we'll see a lot of the look that our offense sees. Coach Riley mentioned that he's looking for guys to step up. They have a good tight end who can catch the ball. He is a big target, a 6-6 guy. I think for our defense this will be the most multiple style offense they've faced. UTEP was a spread and Northwestern was a spread. This will be the most multiple that they've seen.'

On the status of Hakim Hill:

'Hakim broke his arm late in the game; he broke his forearm and is getting a cast this afternoon. He is going to be able to play with the cast on until we see what the cast situation is and how that all plays out. He is going to have to wear that cast for at least two weeks. It was a clean break on his forearm. He hurt it on a block and we're going to have to see as the week goes on. He,s still in a lot of pain right now; they have to get it set. I think Hakim is going to be available, but I'll know more later in the week.'

On OSU Tailback Dwight Wright:

'I'm not qualified to talk about Dwight Wright, because I haven't watched enough tape on him. The guy he is replacing is as good as it gets (Steven Jackson), first round draft pick. I don't know much about Dwight Wright. They didn't run the ball a lot the first two games. They ran the ball better against New Mexico. He might be a first round draft pick, but not today.'

On OSU man and zone coverage:

'They do play some zone, but they're like us, when they're playing zone they like to press the corners. OSU is one of those teams that doesn't give up easy balls. They don't let you stand up and throw that ten-yard out, which we love to throw and Andrew is really good at. They just don't let you do it. So you have to manufacture your plays, you have to move your guys around, put people in motion and try and create space for your receivers. Otherwise it's just a street fight. Those guys are battling each other at the line a scrimmage. That's the same thing we try to do. We get good looks like that at practice, but you just sort of change your style of play when you play a team like that.'

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