Quotes From Rudy Carpenter's Weekly Press Conference
Sept. 8, 2008
On the offensive performance against Stanford:
'I thought our offense played really well. After looking at the film, there are obviously some improvements we can make, mostly on some of my decision-making. The interception I threw - not too smart. But, overall, I thought the offensive line did a good job, the running game did well, and we threw with a lot of success, so we've just got to keep on doing what we've been doing.'
On the chemistry he has with the wide receivers:
'Since summer time, I've spent a lot of time with the wideouts. Mike [Jones] was gone playing baseball and Chris [McGaha] was still hurt, so it allowed guys like Kerry Taylor, Kyle Williams, T.J. Simpson and all those guys to get a lot of work in the summer time, to get better and get some timing with me. I didn't feel like I needed to do a whole lot with Mike and Chris, because I've been with them for so long. So it really helped, and that's why Kerry's been able to have some success, and the same with Kyle. I attribute all that to those guys and the work they put in during the off-season.'
On maintaining focus for this week's game and not looking ahead to Georgia:
'That's one of the things Coach [Dennis] Erickson has done since he's gotten here, which is just really take one game at a time and one day at a time. I know it's cliché and everyone says it, but Coach Erickson really means it. Since he got here, whenever we break huddles or we get together after practice or after games, we don't break out on `Devils' or whatever, it's always the next number, which this week will be `three.' So I think that's how we keep guys focused on the game that we're playing this week and not look ahead.'
On UNLV's defense:
'They have a new defensive coordinator from last year, so we only have two games we can watch, which is Utah and Utah State. Both those teams do different things on offense, so it's going to be a little different for us to get some looks. They're pretty good. They played well against Utah State, and they did play pretty good against Utah for a while, and Utah is a good offense. I have a good feel for what they're going to do on defense, and after this I'll be watching some more film to have a better idea.'
On having to settle for field goals twice after getting inside the 10 against Stanford:
'That's one of the things we watched on film. We're pretty disappointed because that happened to us against NAU as well. If we want to win big games and close games, we have to score when we get down there. I think we just had a couple of assignment errors. The first one was my fault, because I called the formation wrong, so that obviously didn't help. Stanford did some different things on the defensive front than what we thought we were going to get in goal line, and I think we're just thinking a little too much, not able to get off the ball and get that push that you need in goal line. We'll continue to work on that.'
On if they hope to keep having the long scoring drives like they had against Stanford:
'I hope so, because when you play here in our stadium, when it's hot the first month of the season, when we can stay out there and give our defense a lot of rest, and wear down defenses, which I think happened, that's to our advantage. One of the other things is, we didn't punt until the fourth quarter. We did have two turnovers, but we didn't punt until the fourth quarter, which I think is pretty impressive. We were able to keep drives sustained and keep on going. One of the things that we've stressed all year is starting fast, and if we can keep staying on that pace, I think we can have more success. You obviously want to stay out of three-and-outs and keep drives going.'
On opposing defenses coming after him:
'It's the same thing that happened last year. I think that they watched film from last year, and they feel that they can blitz us and get pressure on me. Usually when you can do that, the quarterback makes bad decisions, which did happen to me once last week. You hit the quarterback, you can wear him down and make him tired, and a lot of times quarterbacks don't want to stand in there and keep doing that. Stanford did a good job, but our offensive line did a good job as well. I think, last year, I was a little bit more emotional, and I think they felt that if they could get to me that I would react, and maybe they could just get under my skin a little bit and disrupt me. In my opinion, it didn't really work on Saturday.'
On the lift they got from Keegan Herring returning from injury:
'Keegan's a change-of-pace back for us. He just has a different type of speed than the other backs that we have. It was good to get Keegan back, because he got some big plays for us in the run game when we needed it. When those guys were really getting tired on defense, that's when Keegan came in and took advantage of that. We need to make sure he's healthy and ready to go.'