Ask Coach Toledo

Oct. 23, 2001

Carlo Medina (Los Angeles, CA)
Congratulations on a great first half of the season. Now you enter a stretch of games that are going to be brutal, going on the road to Stanford & WSU before hosting Oregon. Arguably these teams will be the best, most proficient offenses your team will face this season. I know Phil Snow has committed to keeping the base 4-3 out there on passing situations, but do you think that you'll have to play more nickel and dime packages against Stanford and WSU, who like to run 3 receiver formations?

'If you look at our first couple of games against Alabama and Kansas, as well as a few other games this season, there was instances where teams ran, three, four and five wide receivers. We stayed in our base package then. The key is that we want to keep our best players on the field. We feel that they are athletic enough to matchup with the people going against us and therefore we don't need to run a nickel package.'

Peter Flanigan (Rochester, NY)
How much do you pay attention to what is said about UCLA? I'm just wondering how often you read the papers or watch the sports news to see how well they portray UCLA?

'First of all, I read my local paper. I don't have time to watch a lot of TV. I don't read the internet articles because I just don't have time.'

Jamal Dennison (Chula Vista, CA)
Knowing that DeShaun is a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, does that play a factor in how much he plays in a game? If UCLA is winning a game handily, will he play more in order to get more numbers?

'Basically what I want to do is make sure he can rush for 100 yards a game. If he can get over 100 yards a game then I feel like we've done something. If the game is still in doubt then he will continue to play. If the game is no longer in doubt and he's close to 100 yards like the Cal game, then I will run him a few more times to get 100. But I'm not going to run him at the expense of injury.'

Gil Gentry (Nashville, TN)
I heard you were a quarterback at San Francisco State. What style of quarterback were you and are you harder on the UCLA quarterbacks because you played the position yourself?

'As far as a style, I was a second-team All-American and I broke numerous NCAA records at the time. I threw 45 touchdowns my senior year. If you want to categorize me as someone I was someone like a Doug Flutie type of player. I wasn't really big, but I had a good arm and I was athletic in those days. If you talk about coaching quarterbacks, Steve Spurrier is a great example at Florida. He played the position as well. As a matter of fact, he and I were rookies with the San Francisco 49ers together. He is extremely hard on quarterbacks and I think having played the position myself, you're more in tune to what they are going through and what their makeup is.



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