Quotes From ASU Quarterback Andrew Walter's Press Conference
Sept. 15, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Following is a transcript of Arizona State quarterback Andrew Walter's press conference.
What do you think of Iowa's defense?
'They play a 4-3 and the mix up of coverage is not that often. They are very good at what they do. The coverage is not all that confusing. Their front four are one of the best in the nation and they fly around, although they are missing one of their safeties for our game. They've had a 14-game win streak, so they are very good at what they do.'
How do you feel about where the team is after two games as far as turnovers and penalties?
'We are not where I would have expected us to be. There was a fumble through the end zone, and a punt return for a touchdown called back. We don't fumble all week in practice, and for some reason we did in the game. I'm not worried that things like that will happen too much in the future, because I think we will clean them up.'
Is the mental focus stepped up for this game?
'I think we were able to get over any lazy attitudes based on who we were playing. Iowa at Iowa there shouldn't be any ideas like that. I don't buy into who we are playing, but some guys might. It's a team game, and we are only as strong as our weakest link. I think the team will be ready to go, and the first two games there may have been a little lack of focus.'
How is the team's attitude after last Saturday?
'I think we were more down after the NAU game. We were happy with a win, but some guys were disappointed with their individual performance. Against Utah State, where there were situations where we could have scored easily and didn't, that hurt, but we're 2-0 and that's a good place to start. We have more of a purpose going into Iowa and we need that to be ready to go Saturday.'
What kind of atmosphere do you expect in Iowa City?
'I think it will be like playing at Nebraska. Iowa has a lot of fans that support their team. In Iowa there are not a whole lot of teams to watch, so they go watch college football. I think it will be like Eugene, Oregon, but times two considering the number of fans. To me it is fun going on the road because people take into consideration the crowd, and the expectation that I'm not going to do so well inspires me.'
Are turnovers a concern?
'No question. We can't have turnovers period. The sloppiness against a team like that won't work. To score first would be a good way to start it off.'
Could you comment on Skyler Fulton and how well he is playing?
'I think the fruits of a long summer of labor that we put in [are showing]. Every day I wanted to throw, I knew I could call him, so I think it is paying off for Skyler and his long summer of work. In the game it's a matter of getting him in the right place at the right time. Last week against Utah State he had a good first read on his touchdown. A lot of hard work and him being in the right place at the right time.'
Is there any reason for the dropped passes?
'I wish I knew, I guess the people to ask are the receivers. I throw interceptions and I throw bad passes, but if something like that happens I go to the guy and I say 'we're in this together, I need you' and he needs me. The more sustained drives we have the better it will get for our team.'
What does being on national TV do for the team?
'Motivation. There is no excuse not to get into this game. With 60,000 screaming fans yelling for their team, nobody expects us to win. From the performance from our first two games it is absolutely a reason to get into this game. To me this is what college football is all about. The guys better be ready, because its coming one way or another.'
How does the team perceive the rankings?
'It's different than in years past, because we would start 2-0 and beat Eastern Washington by a huge margin, and not be ranked. Now we're ranked so that's nice. I would rather have two wins, regardless of how we get them, and be ranked. For some teams to be ranked three or four weeks in is not that big of a deal, but its better than not being ranked. So at least we have some respect. It is better getting a win and being somewhat recognized, rather than beating a team like Eastern Washington and not getting any respect.'
Talk about the play of the offensive line.
'I was only sacked once in two games, and pressured a few times. I think the line is doing a great job, and I think that a lot of that has to do with a running game. It's a lot better than it was last year, and that takes a lot of the pressure off the passing game.'
How is the running back situation?
'Mike Williams, as soon as he gets healthy, will come back. He hits the holes hard, and gets in there quickly. All the younger guys hit the holes really quick and they go downfield.'
Will you be able to watch the Iowa-USC Orange Bowl tape and get some ideas from what Carson Palmer did?
'We will watch the tape, obviously, but USC was rolling at the end of the season. We have to become more disciplined offensively. We will hopefully take some things out of that film, but they were rolling so good, we're not at that level yet.'
Is all of the Heisman talk getting to you?
'Our people in the Media Relations Department are taking care of all of that. Basically everything anybody says I take with a grain of salt. Everybody is a Heisman candidate just like the Gubernatorial race in California. I think of it this way, and its nothing too big to me. Its hype, and you have to back it up, but you have to take it with a grain of salt.'
How excited is Hakim Hill to be going home to Iowa City to play in front of his hometown?
'He has been looking forward to this game a lot. This is his hometown, and he wants to show everyone that he has matured a lot. It would be a lot like me playing University of Colorado or something. He will be as pumped up to play this game as anybody. He has speed and power, and he can hit a hole, or bounce out wide, and he has the speed to run away from guys, or to hit some guys. It's really too bad to see that we have so many running backs, and it seems that nobody has stepped up just because there are so many.'
How have you improved since last year?
'I would say that the thing I improved on most would be patience, and to not try to force the ball in there. If I go through my reads, eventually someone will come up open. I don't just throw it away, and I have become more understanding of defenses. The most challenging defense we faced was USC last year. They have speed, and the coaching staff was making great calls all game. I think that was the toughest defense we played all year.'
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