Dirk Koetter's Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 8, 2001

Quoting Arizona State Head Football CoachDirk Koetter

Opening Statement
'I'd like to again thank the fans from last week. With the weather situation it wasn't the biggest crowd, but they were loud when they had to be loud. One thing I do need to find out from the students is what the deal with those tortillas are. Every time one of those tortillas would come down I think we got called for a penalty, and I find myself jumping around. I'm getting a bit gun-shy with those tortillas. I need to get that explained to me, as far as what the significance is.'

'On behalf of our football team I'd like to congratulate the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals for their weekends. I guess in the D-backs case, on their season.'

'As far as Lafayette goes, we did what we had to do and we did what we needed to do. I realize that it wasn't always perfect and it wasn't always pretty, but only results matter. The result came out the way we would have liked it too. Those games are difficult to play when everyone expects you to win big, and you expect to win big. The hard part was to go out and win big, and we were able to do that.'

'One of the things we talked to the team about was establishing a reputation for being tough to beat at Sun Devil Stadium, and also for winning our non-conference games, especially our non-conference games at home. I think if you look across the country, all great programs have those two things. They win their non-conference games, and they always win at home. That's something that can set the table for us, hopefully for a long time.'

'For the second week in a row, we were able to play every available player, with the exception of a kicker or two, one of the specialists. For the last two weeks, we've been able to play somewhere in the mid 60's as far as players. Now, again, sometimes that isn't pretty because a lot of those guys don't practice during the week, so when they go into the game, they're not up to date on the game plan. Those type of games, when all those guys play, number one it helps your morale, and number two, an experienced team will always pay off for us in the long haul.'

'The game itself, until you see the film, it doesn't do it justice as to how much Terrell (Suggs) dominated that game. I think he ended up with nine tackles, two sacks, caused a fumble which Solomon Bates returned to the 8 yard line, and we scored a couple plays later. I think for the season now Terrell has six sacks and 10 tackles for loss. We've started to move Terrell from side to side because teams are starting to try and load their protection to stop Terrell and put two guys on him.'

'USC, as we started to watch the tapes, this is not a news flash, is a very, very talented football team. They are impressive to watch, extremely well coached. Most of the film I have watched has been of their defense, and you could really see coach (Pete) Carroll's personal touch. They look like an NFL defense, and I say that not just from a talent standpoint, but also from their schematic. They are very, very sound.'

'Some of these plays we've been able to get these last few weeks with guys running wide open by 20 yards, those plays don't look like they're coming up on the SC film too often. Again, very well coached, very impressive, if there is a better 1-4 team in the country than USC, I'm glad we don't play them.'

'They're very talented, they've been in every game. Pretty much the only game they didn't have a chance to win right at the end was the Stanford game. Stanford pretty much had control, but other than that they could have easily won any of those other games.'

'We're looking forward to getting back into Pac-10 play, and making the trip over to LA this week. Our players are excited about it.'

On the USC receivers
'Their receiving corps is very dangerous, and Kareem Kelly is one of those guys who can break a game at any time. We've been fortunate to see a couple of our own receivers all have big games at different times, but Kareem Kelly is one of those guys who, if he gets hot, he can almost beat you by himself. We're going to have to be very conscious of his whereabouts.'

USC Defense
'Nobody has really lined up and ran the ball on these guys. The most successful running team was Kansas State, and they did most of their damage with the quarterback running the ball on the option.'

USC Offense
'They have been inconsistent as far as their running and throwing. They ran the ball much better if you watched the Washington game on TV. They ran the ball very well early in the game on Washington. If they ever get to the point where they're in control of when they're running and when they're throwing, they're going to be very tough to beat. They have a great tailback, (USC QB Carson) Palmer is very talented, and we already talked about Kareem Kelly so I'm hoping that we don't allow them to find that consistency this week.'

'I've only had the opportunity to play in the Coliseum one time there. It's a great atmosphere for college football, it's one of our main recruiting areas, and several of our guys are from there. We have a lot of guys playing in front of their family and friends. This is a trip that every Pac-10 team looks forward to making, playing at the Coliseum and playing in LA. Everybody wants to do it and everybody wants to play well. So motivation from a coaching standpoint is never a problem for this one.'

On special teams
'Our kickoff return team is leading the Pac-10. Our punt team, when everybody does what they are supposed to do, has had excellent protection. (Nick) Murphy is kicking the ball well. Our gunners are much better. Our punt return unit is getting close, again Darryl Lightfoot had a nice return last week. Mike Barth is on fire as far as kicking it.'

Defense on the field too much?
'Everybody wants to have an exciting offense, they want to have a big play offense. But then the first question is when you score that quick, isn't the defense on the field too much. I just don't get that. The object of this game is to score more points than your opponent. There is no coach in America that gets to control how fast or how slow, they just want to score. I don't care if you run the option, the belly off tackle, you don't know. You have to try and take advantage of what the defense does. If they pack nine or ten guys on the line, if you want to try and run it for 2 and a half yards times four and try and make a first down, and hope you can do that, then that's one way to do it. If they're challenging you to throw deep, then throw deep. If you score in two plays, we raise our hands over our heads and be happy about it.'

'The defense when they go out there, they have an opportunity to get off every three plays. If they don't get off, that's their problem. I think from a fan standpoint, it's easy to say that it seems like our defense is on the field a lot. If you look at that game, Lafayette scored one touchdown after we dropped a punt, they had a short field. They scored a second touchdown after I screwed up a fake punt call, and they had a short field. They scored their third touchdown on a 50 yard run against our third string defense. Other than that they got two field goals. I think if our defense gave up two field goals a game, most of us would be pretty happy.

Big games for receivers
'You can't go in to a game and have ideas about what big plays are going to occur. In both the last two games, Ryan (Dennard) and Shaun (McDonald)'s big games, we did not know that that particular guy would have those numbers. Part of that is just driven by what coverage they're in, and where they are in the progression.'

'I think the best play of the game was in the first half when he we had a third and 18, when Jeff (Krohn) threw a long ball down the middle that Ryan Dennard caught. We were trying to run an out and up to McDonald, Ryan was number two in the progression. We've probably never thrown it to that guy one time in practice, they covered the out and up great, and Jeff looked like he'd done it a million times and threw a ball in a great spot and Ryan made the catch. For a guy who supposedly doesn't throw the deep ball well, that was an awesome play by Jeff and Ryan.'

Game Balls for Louisiana-Lafayette
Offense- Shaun McDonald, Wide Receiver
Defense- Terrell Suggs, Defensive End
Special Teams- Lamar Baker
USC Captain- Tommie Townsend

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