Ask Coach Toledo

Sept. 25, 2001

William B. Thomas (Reno, NV)
My question is about the integral parts of the 2001 Bruins. Do you believe you are Bigger and Stronger in the trenches this year? This seems to be a bigger team this year.

Coach Toledo
'Well, I think the big thing is that a lot of the guys that are back are more mature and stronger because of age. They have been working in the weight room for some time.'

Steve Saryan (Sunland, CA)
Congratulations on the win on Saturday. I was thrilled at the way the defense performed and I know they will do the same to the Beavers. My question is, are you in any way concerned about how poorly the running game performed and the high number of fumbles there was? Secondly, is Cory going to throw the ball more this weekend if you see that the running game is not working?

Coach Toledo
'First of all with the running game, you have to understand that we were playing against Ohio State. They did a great job the week before as well. They are a really good defensive football team and they are physical. One of the problems is when you the ball that many times it takes away a lot of snaps. It takes away possessions. We lost some snaps. I'm concerned more about the fumbles than I am about the running game. As far as Paus throwing more, when you don't have a lot of snaps it's hard to throw a lot of passes. We actually attempted 26 passes. I think the big thing is that we need to continue to work on it and get better and to be consistent. But we are going to run the ball first and foremost with DeShaun (Foster) and hopefully we will throw the ball well enough to where we are not giving up interceptions and getting ourselves beat.'

Debbie Waring (Chino, CA)
I heard that the Oregon State head coach made a comment that with the parity in the conference this year, there is no way that the Pac-10 Champion will be undefeated. Would you agree with this statement?

Coach Toledo
'Well I would say that that's a real good possibility because there are some very good teams in this conference. When you look back over the years, we were the last team to go undefeated in conference play and there have only been four teams in the history of this conference which have done that.'

Nick Canter (Los Angeles)
This past week, I have noticed that most of the teams in America except Notre Dame have decided to put American flags on their jerseys and on their helmets in light of the recent events to hit this country. I was wondering, whose decision is it to do that and do the players have say in how it is done? Thank you. Go Bruins!

Coach Toledo
'Well first of all, our players came to me wanting to do it. I then asked our administration and they thought that would be appropriate. The administration usually doesn't like putting a lot of things on our helmets, but they approved it and so we went on and had our equipment manager Mike McBride order the flags and put them on the helmets, along with embroidering them on the coaches shirts.'

Ben Jones (Decatur, GA)
You guys are going to play Oregon State this week on Astroturf. What problems does this surface pose to our team and will we be able to use it to our advantage in any way?

Coach Toledo
'First of all, it's the fist that time that we will play on Astroturf this year and probably the only time. It requires that we use Astroturf shoes so it's a new kind of shoe. We're not used to playing on it and when you're not used to it you have a tendency to get your feet caught in the turf and trip at times. It's abrasive and it tears you up a little bit. But it does make you fast and that's one of the things that was implemented when Dennis Erickson got there. He wanted to make sure it was a fast turf and that1s why he got Astroturf.'



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