Quotes from Derek Hagan's weekly press conference

Sept. 19, 2005

Tempe, Ariz. -

On the match up with Mike Haas:

'Mike is an outstanding receiver who has been getting better and better every year. He started as a walk on at OregonState and was basically in the same situation that I was in. He wasn't heavily recruited and he was one of the number one players in Oregon. He walked on to OregonState and basically turned things around. He is their leading receiver and has been for the past two or three years. He is just a great student of the game who is getting better and better.


'I definitely (see a lot of similarities between us.) I wasn't one of those guys who were getting heavily recruited. I had to come in and make sure that I worked hard and made a statement. I came in here and made the statement that I wanted to play my freshman year. Obviously I was behind Shaun McDonald and Skyler Fulton and I learned a whole lot from them. A lot of the things that I've learned to them I transferred over into my game and its been working out great for me.

'It's motivational (to face a great wide receiver), but I have to be motivated every week, no matter who we are playing. I have to be ready to go and get out there and make plays to help this team win.'



On playing in Corvallis:

'Its one of those places where the weather can be a factor. Watching some of their games on TV, last year when they played USC, a fog rolled in during the game. A couple weeks ago against Boise, it started hailing during the game. You sit back and say, `Wow, I can't believe that they are playing in this.' But you have to be prepared for anything, for whatever is going to happen when we get up there. We'll be ready for it.'


On big play possibilities against the OSU secondary:

'We know that their secondary is very young and they love to play man coverage. That is something that we look forward to every single week. We are always looking for one-on-one match ups against the opposing corners and our eyes are getting pretty big this week after we finished watching the film. We are looking forward to playing against them.'


On being covered differently:

'Defenses are treating me a lot differently so far this season, but a time is going to come when teams are going to have to stop doing that. Our offense is so explosive and we have so many different guys who can make a play on offense. We have Jamaal Lewis, Keegan Herring, and Rudy Burgess that just gives us so many different guys out there that the defense really can't know who is going to make a play at any time.'




On the success of the run game:

'It all starts up front with the offensive line. Our line is just getting after it. Looking at the Northwestern film, they were just putting guys on their backs left and right. The running holes were so big that anybody can run through them. Keegan hits the hole so hard, and he runs so fast, that he's getting to the line and just busting through. You really like to see that, a guy who works so hard and runs so hard and he's running the ball very well right now.'


'It opens up the pass game. When we run the ball, the safeties will start to creep down and it leaves the middle of the field wide open. That is something that we look forward to. You need to run the ball to pass the ball. It enables us to come in the with the play action fake and throw the ball over their heads. We had a couple plays last week where the safeties came in and we made a couple of great plays to Matt Miller. It left him open for touchdowns. And it shows what we can do on offense when we execute.'


On preparation for Northwestern:

'That shows how experienced our offense is with so many guys returning. Everyone knows that you have to get in that film room and watch the film because that's how you get better. We say that 90% of football is mental and the other 10% is the physical aspect. You have to be prepared mentally because you have to know what you are doing in every situation. A lot of our guys just know where to be and when we come into the game, we execute.'


On Sam Keller's ability to check off at the line:

'Sam loves to throw the ball and that play where he checked off on a fourth-and-one, it shocked everybody. We thought we were running the ball. But when we see a corner against our wide receiver in a one-on-one match up, we expect to win every single time. We are so used to man coverage that we love it when Sam is out there making checks. He checked off on it and Matt Miller ran a great route. It scored a touchdown for us.'


On wide receiver blocking:

'We work on that every week, making sure we are blocking down field. We know that once the running back gets past the linebackers and the line, obviously it's just the corners left and we all have to do our job. We have to cover our man and know that if he's running behind us, we can turn one little block into a big play. We may not even have to block the corner, just screen him by standing in front of him, allow the running back to run right by him. It could be a big play for us.


'Wide receivers want to be complete receivers: receiving and blocking. We are trying to learn everything about the game so that we make sure that we are doing all the little things to help this team win.'


On the poise of Sam Keller:

'Definitely not. We knew coming in that we had a great offense and it was just a question of how much time we would need to execute it. We've been executing it since day one. The starters have only played in one full game so far. After the third quarter, we've been sitting on the sidelines cheering everybody else on. We want to make sure that every one else knows what they are doing and getting them a chance to get some playing time. It's great to be out there cheering them on after we get done, knowing that we've played a great game on both sides of the ball.'


On setting the school's yardage record:

I wasn't even paying attention to that. I knew that we were putting points on the board, but I didn't know that we had that many yards. I actually thought we had more against Temple, but when you look at the stats, we played a great game on offense against Northwestern. Everyone was executing and we ran and threw the ball well. We caught the ball well and blocked well down the field. It was an overall great game for us.'