Ouotes from Dirk Koetter's Monday Press Conference
Oct. 24, 2005
Opening Statement...'We didn't play very well, plain and simple. I thought we played better in the last quarter and a half of the game. We struggled. It's not a fun thing. After a Saturday like that, to come back on to practice on Sunday it's not a fun thing. Losing games when you don't play like you're capable of is not a good thing. There are always bright spots in every game. We have players that did a great job. Rudy Carpenter, for one thing, he did fine. Mike Pollack, coming in playing two different positions, both center and guard for Leo Talavou and Graying Love. Zach Miller as always was good. On the defensive side, Jamar Williams continued to do well. DeWayne Hollyfield made some plays on the inside. Zach Catanese was solid as always. The story of this game was our inability in the punting game. It was very frustrating for us. To be playing well on three of our four special teams. We are first in the Pac-10 on kick returns, third in punt returns, and third in kick off. We are probably last in the world in punting. There are a lot of things that need to get fixed in that area, and we are working hard at it. Sam [Keller] threw the ball fine in practice, yesterday, and I think he will continue to get better. As far as Washington goes, they have played a very tough schedule. I think their record is a little bit misleading. They appear to be playing physical and have good team speed. Right now we have to worry about our own team and get our own ship righted.'
On the down turn of the season...'It's frustrating. When you have your team playing with confidence and momentum on your side, it masks a lot of your problems and things seem to go smoothly. When you aren't playing with confidence and you don't have momentum, your weaknesses seem to be glaring. That's not just a problem at ASU, that's a problem in all competitive athletics. We've lost our `mojo' right now. I wish there was a magic wand I could wave for us to get it back. We have to figure it out. We have high expectations for our team and that won't change. It's our team and we dug ourselves in to this, we have to dig ourselves out.'
On tracing the down turn back to the USC loss...'A lot of people are asking me about [the USC loss]. There may be something to that. No excuse is a good excuse. It might be different for different people in the football program. Sure it took something out of us. Our job is to get back on the horse and ride again and we haven't been doing a good job of that.'
On Sunday's Practice...'Practices on Sundays, when you're coming off a game, are different types of practices than normal ones. They are 'get the kinks out' practice, and introduce the next opponent. There are players who are gimpy and sore from the game. It's hard to get back the night of a game, after you lose and then come in the next day. Every one feels like they've been run over by a truck. Like they have a big `L' stamped on their forehead. That's just how it is when you lose. And we all felt that way. You are going to feel better if you talk about it. We talk about it, we watch the film, and we make corrections. A football team is like a family, and if something goes wrong in your family and you shove it under the rug and don't talk about it, it doesn't get any better, it gets worse. I met with the seniors yesterday, position coaches met with their players, we are trying to figure it out. It's not easy.'
On changes in the punting game...'We have to consider everything. It's not working right now. This isn't a formation issue. There is something more there. We went through three different long snappers in the game, which has never happened to me as coach before. That's a possibility at every position, in every game. You can have injuries strike. Timing, protection, trajectory of the kick, the other teams rush angles, those are all factors. We have to get it figured out, it's not that complicated of a play.'
On Preston Jones...'Preston got eight or nine carries the other day. He earned that in practice. Every player earns their playing time in practice. We still use Rudy [Burgess] a lot, we still use Keegan [Herring] a lot. We'll see how practice goes. Preston is a good runner, he showed that. We had a two- week block where we worked a lot on the running game and Preston showed up in practice and that was a reward for him playing well.'