Rudy Carpenter's Weekly Press Conference
Sept. 1, 2008
On the team's overall performance on Saturday night:'I thought it was pretty good. Obviously we started off fast, which was, like coach said, our emphasis for this season. I think we have a lot of work to do, but I think it was good overall.'
On his comfort level with his receivers:'I'm very comfortable with all of the guys that we have. Throughout my time here I've spent a lot of time with Mike Jones. We came in here together, so I know Mike very well, but we had other guys too like Kerry Taylor, who had a great game. I think that's a tribute to Kerry, because he worked really hard this summer and spent a lot of time with me throwing. I'm happy for Kerry and obviously Chris [McGaha] is very good. I'm glad to have him back since we didn't have him in camp.'
On his performance:'Earlier in my career we had a coaching change, so I had to get used to a new offense and a new scheme with a whole new set of rules and protections. I wasn't as comfortable as I would have liked to have been last year, but this year we put in a lot of work during the off season and spring so I have a better grasp of the offense which allows me to make decisions faster. So, it does feel like the game has slowed down for me and I can just pick what I want to do. Hopefully, it keeps working out that way.'
On his first impressions of Stanford after seeing its game against Oregon State:'I watched that game and it was obviously a good game. I pay attention to defense, so I think defensively they are good. They have a lot of guys back and their safety (Bo McNally) is a good player, along with (cornerback) Wopamo Osaisai. I also know they got all their linebackers back, so when I was watching that game I just thought those guys were a very physical group. They play very hard and I think we're going to have to pick up our intensity in practice this week to be ready for the game this Saturday.'
On Coach Erickson giving him the green light to run the ball a few times on Saturday:'During the game on Saturday I was presented with a couple of opportunities to run the ball and probably should have ran it a couple more times. That was one of the reasons I tried to put on a little weight and get a little bit bigger and in better shape; so I can do that more. I felt like I [ran the ball] when I was here my freshman and my sophomore years, but last year I didn't do it as much.'
On wide receiver Mike Jones:'I think the biggest difference in Mike since he's been here, is obviously he has matured a little more. I think when Mike first got here he hadn't played receiver, so I don't think he really knew how to play the position and he didn't know how to study to get better or even how to be coached to get better at that position. Ever since (wide receivers) Coach (Eric) Yarber got here, Mike's growth at that position has been substantial. He's a good player who runs good routes, catches the ball.'
On if Stanford's defensive scheme is different from last year'It seemed pretty similar to what they did last year. When Oregon State was playing catch up in the second half, they played a lot more three-down defense and started blitzing a whole lot more. I'm under the assumption that we're probably going to get blitzed a lot, so we have to be ready for that.'
On ASU's offensive line:'I thought those guys did a good job upfront. The reason why I say that is because we have three new guys who had their first start under the lights and I almost expected a couple more mistakes from those guys just because they were new and probably a little nervous. All those guys played well though and I was glad to see that. Obviously I think we need to do a better job in the running game.'
On working with a new center:'Every game I've started prior to Saturday night, I had Mike Pollack, so it's been an adjustment that I had to get used to. I think Thomas (Altieri) did a good job and I think he will continue to get better. I just keep telling him that he has to be a leader on the offensive line because even though it's his first year starting, he's the center and that's his job.'