Keith Gilbertson Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 4, 2003

On the Quarterbacks:
'Cody will do nothing today. He will be held for another 24 hours. He was symptomatic yesterday. After today, we will put a helmet on his head and see the status of those symptoms. We will go with Casey and move Isaiah back to quarterback for the next couple of days. Isaiah will get no receiver reps. If Cody is symptomatic during the week then he will be out. He has to have zero symptoms to be able to play.'

On Casey Paus:
'I'm very pleased with how he played and I'm sure he feels good about it. I know his teammates rallied around him and he threw the ball on the money. He made good decisions and moved the offense well. I think we scored on four or five times in a row. So, it was a real good night for him. He's a smart guy. He's been here for three years and knows our system. He has a great comfort level with all of those guys. He's very comfortable with the second team guys like Ben Bandel, Corey Williams, Quentin Daniels and Sonny Shackelford. So, he moved the team well and he knows our offense. At the same time, he benefited from the running game. His decision making was excellent. He stepped up to the plate. He saw Reggie down the middle on 3rd and 28. He scrimmages very well. He's thrown the ball well. Last spring when he was with the first team, he moved the ball well. Other quarterbacks can get anxious, but he keeps things under control. He plays at his pace, and never seems to be in a hurry. He never gets out of his pace or his character.'

On Paus' performance impacting next year:
'Well I think next year is next year. We have to take care of business this year. I don't want to get too far ahead.'

On the performance of the defense:
' It was a lot of different things. Everybody got into the action though. We were around the quarterback a lot. Even if you don't hit him a lot, the pressure he feels can affect his play. It was a real positive for our defense to get that kind of pressure. 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks is a good night.'

On Sam Cunningham and Owen Biddle:
'Owen makes things happen whenever he gets in. After the USC game we decided we would play him a lot more. He makes big hits. He had a huge hit on the quarterback on a safety blitz. Owen is real smart guy. He knows where to line up and he's been a real bright spot on special teams. He's been a great player for us on special teams. Sam just keeps getting better and better. With Roc Alexander and Chris Massey going down, it's given Sam a chance to show us what he can do. We always thought he was a talented guy coming out of high school. He's played well and I think he gets better and better. He's gone against some great people too. You look at Mike Williams, Keary Colbert, Sammie Parker and Demetrius Williams and those are some real quality players that Sam is playing against.'

On the offensive blocking:
'I thought Todd Bachert had a real good game. I thought our wide receivers blocked real well on the edges. The tight ends did a good job on their defensive ends. We don't have Tusi, so Brad Vanneman played a lot. He was playing a lot of guard in the beginning of the year. When Tusi went down, we felt everyone had to play two spots. He played center and guard, and we thought he played well. He had some real nice blocks for the running game. For the most part we blocked very well. The guys really stepped up.'

On the injuries:
'I don't know if Rich Alexis will be back. He has a tear in the quadriceps. Usually it's a three to four week injury. So it will be tough for him to be back for any of the last games. Right know I don't anticipate Roc Alexander, Chris Massey, Joe Toledo or Tusi Sa'au being back.'

On Charles Frederick:
'Charles was so-so (in terms of injury). The moves he made on the goal line were vintage Charles Frederick. Now you see me, now you don't. I asked him if he was trying to make the defender miss or avoid a collision. He gives us a real spark. He had two big plays: that touchdown and a nice catch off a curl in the first quarter. Charles was sore on Sunday. I hope he will be able to practice some this week. It seems like he has played in more games than practices. '

On Scott Ballew:
'It's funny how getting a chance to play can do that (help you recover). He wasn't on as many special teams last week as he'd been previously. Obviously he will get reps this week as the third tailback. He will get more reps today because Kenny James will be limited.

More on Owen Biddle:
'He's not a big guy, he's not fast but he has that one thing that's special. He has a great competitive spirit and he enjoys collisions. He wants to be a good player. He's very respected by his teammates and coaches. He is just a terrific competitor. When he's done playing football, someone will get themselves a great employee. He's a relentless, hard charging, overachieving kind of guy.'

On the missed kicks:
'One was a bad job by the holder. The ball was wet and he dropped it. The other was lousy protection. The number 94 was a big man. I don't know if you guys saw him, but he was an impressive looking human being. That guy is BIG. When he decides he going through the a-gap, there's not much you can do about it.

'We played pretty well defensively against them last year. We made USC look better than they are because we didn't play reckless, loose and fast. We didn't tackle well. You get the feeling that if we didn't have 36 missed tackles and double digit missed assignments, that you would play well. That's what happened for us this week. We went from 36 missed tackles to 11. That is an amazing change. We were still playing against athletic people. We played with more aggression.'

On catalysts for the defense:
'I think Terry Johnson and Greg Carothers. Same with Owen Biddle and Jimmy Newell. If they start flying around and hitting people, lots of things can happen.'

On only two penalties:
'I thought it was real good. The one hit from behind on their number 16 was very unnecessary. I don't condone that. We will do something about that. We will say something to him probably, and that will be the end of it.

On what to attribute the running game success to:
Blocking. It's amazing how well you can run when you block well. It was an amazing night of play for us on the line of scrimmage.

On running in short yardage situations this year relative to last year:
'You have to have the ability to run and throw in those situations. It depends a lot on how they play you. If they are going to play guys outside of the box then you have to be able to run. If they pack everyone in, then you have to be able to throw. I thought Kenny James made a couple of good runs. One time he went the wrong way and he still made a first down.

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