Quotes from Dirk Koetter's Press Conference
Oct. 17, 2005
Tempe, Ariz. - Opening Statement
'We practiced four times in the bye week and, the good news is that, we got some people back healthy that may not have been able to play if we had a game last week. Grayling Love and Stephen Berg on the offensive line and Jamar Williams and Nick Clapp at linebacker all came back, that's the good news. Kyle Caldwell was out because of that shoulder injury that he got in the first half of the Oregon game. We anticipate all of those guys being back and healthy, plus several other guys that have been able to heal up.
'In practicing fours times in one week, you run the risk of getting other guys hurt. Randy Hill has been having problems with his knee that he had repaired a year ago. The doctors had to go in and scope Randy's knee and remove a lot of scar tissue. Randy is out indefinitely. We hope to get him back in a couple of weeks, but he's out for right now. Last Wednesday night in practice, [tight end] Jamaal Lewis separated his shoulder diving for a ball. This time he just landed on it wrong. We hope to have Jamaal back for the Washington State game, but he's out for a while for sure. Sam Keller's status is unknown. After the Oregon game, [team trainers] put a brace on his thumb until today, when he gets evaluated. He says the thumb feels great and there's no pain and the swelling has gone down. In the meantime, Rudy Carpenter has gotten all of the reps in practice with the one's and Chad Christensen has been practicing with the two's. If Sam can't go, I'm confident that Rudy can go in his place. I'm happy with the way Rudy is playing right now.
'As far as Stanford goes, they have won two straight Pac-10 road games, which is tough to do. They are playing a very straightforward brand of football right now. They're not doing anything tricky, they're just lining up and beating people. On offense, they're not turning the ball over. Quarterback Trent Edwards is the guy making all the plays for them. He is throwing the ball very efficiently and, in the last two games, he's rushed for sixty to seventy-five yards. He's not running on designed runs, he's running on quarterback scrambles. They have got a veteran offensive line and lots of two-back runs, way more than we have seen from anyone else this year. On defense, they play a 3-4, which is unusual. Their strength is their linebackers. Outside linebacker John Alston had three sacks against Arizona last week. Their corner, T.J. Rushing. is one of the leading kick returners in the nation. They're solid on special teams. They're playing a lot of close games and they've won three out of four. They're like us, they've lost a couple games at home and they have won two in a row on the road.
'I think the bye week was good for our guys. Our practice last night was one of the best since we got back from Camp Tontozona. Our guys had good energy and were excited to be out there.'
On the extra week allowing for more game-planning for Stanford
'Last week, we probably installed about 75% of our game plan and we devoted about 30 minutes of the day out of a two hour practice to Stanford. The other hour and a half was fundamentals. We spent 20 minutes trying to do a better job of defending two-back runs and doing a better job of running the ball downhill on offense. I think that will pay off for us in the second half.'
On Sam Keller's condition for the Stanford game
'Team trainers haven't let him grip a football since the Oregon game. The swelling is definitely down, and the pain has subsided. If it's up to Sam, he's going to play. The doctor's have to make a decision on the severity of it and we'll have to see what they say.'
On Stanford's different defensive looks with new head coach Walt Harris
'They were an odd defense a year ago. Even though he changed coordinator's, Coach Harris brought in an odd defensive guy. Because of recruiting, they decided to stay with that odd defensive system; scheme-wise, they're the same. Offensively, Coach Harris is a west-coast offense guy, but based on the players he has, he has gotten the best play he can out of his players. After they lost to UC-Davis and to Oregon these last two games, they have played conservatively on offense. They're using what they have and they're putting the ball in the quarterback's hands. The changes that he has made on tape is not easy to see and they're keeping themselves in games and not beating themselves, which any time team would like to have that.'
On the Stanford game being a must-win situation
'Every game is a must-win regardless of how many losses you have. With what's happened in the Pac-10 this past week and with whom everybody else still has to play, every game is of the utmost importance. Our team knows what we have at stake and we just have to worry about what we have at stake this week and that's getting back in the win column.'
On whether the confidence of this team is wavered after two straight conference losses
'We won't know that until we get tested again. I feel like we're still a good football team, but we have to prove it on Saturday. We weren't that same football team against Oregon. We just have to get back out on the field; we can't worry about what's going to happen four or five games from now. We have to worry about just this game and getting back to playing the way we can.'
On Stanford's 3-4 defensive look
'We're a zone blocking team and the zone running scheme was designed to attack a 3-4 defense and we're a zone running team. We ran the ball the best we ran it all of last year against Stanford. Rudy Burgess had close to 200 yards in that game.'