Keith Gilbertson Press Conference (9/13/04)

Sept. 13, 2004

Keith Gilbertson Press Conference Quotes

On UCLA's offense: 'I think they do it with the run and the pass. They have great balance. They have a really veteran, experienced player at every position. A lot of their kids we know very well from trying to recruit them. They have great skill and speed outside with (Craig) Bragg and Junior Taylor, they're really loaded on the outside. They have a great athlete at tight end and two quality running backs, big time backs. They have an offensive line that's playing very well and an experienced quarterback who's doing a lot of good things with the football. So right now they are a high-rolling act offensively, they're really playing well. They're very skilled, very talented in the backfield, and they have a good scheme.'

On bye week: 'I don't know that it did us much good having a bye week the second week of the season. I don't think that does your football team much good, especially when you're as young and inexperienced at quarterback as we are, it would have been nice to play another game. You hope you got things done and you hope you're still sharp and efficient, but you never know when you come out of a bye.'

On Isaiah Stanback's status: 'He hasn't taken a snap this week, so I won't know until I see him practice, I didn't see him practice at all last week.'

On changes in the depth chart: 'I think Louis Rankin is a guy who really gets our attention more and more all the time at tailback. The depth is pretty good there, but I think he's a guy who's making a move to get some playing time there. Part of that is that Chris Singleton still does not appear to me to be healthy, his foot is not recovered and that injury is not totally healed. He really has trouble cutting and doing some things that are pretty essential to being a tailback. I think C.J. Wallace has practiced very well and has worked his way up to some more playing time. He just seems to have a better sense of what we're trying to do defensively. The tight end picture is still about the same. So many guys have missed time there, so I'm not totally sure. Last week Casey (Paus) and Carl (Bonnell) took all the snaps because Isaiah (Stanback) was injured and out and I think it's kind of the same rotation at receiver. So I think Louis Rankin and C.J. Wallace would be the big fellas.'

On Carl Bonnell's week bringing him closer to playing time: 'I would think closer because he got all the reps. He got a lot of work, got a lot of reps. Being the newest here, he probably had the farthest to go, but in a lot of ways, last week was really good for him. He got a lot of work, got a lot of throws, and really got some timing with some receivers. It was a good week for him.'

On who will play at quarterback: 'I don't know yet. We'll probably start Casey (Paus) and then see what happens. I think Casey's still number one and then Carl (Bonnell) got a lot of work last week.'

On starting placekicker: 'We made a change during the Fresno State game. Mike Braunstein is still the lead dog on that sled.'

On UCLA's run defense: 'They ran some corner crash and some things like that. I think that they probably feel like they really improved from week one to week two. Week one they played against a really big, strong looking outfit. On TV, those Oklahoma State guys looked gigantic. I don't know what the weights were, but they looked awfully big and strong and they have a great tailback at Oklahoma State.'

On ability to tell how good UCLA is: 'Yeah, I have an idea how good UCLA is. Just about every kid on that team, we, in some fashion, have tried to recruit. I know their talent, we've coached against a lot of these people. (Spencer) Havner, (Ben) Emmanuel, (Jarrad) Page, and (Matt) Clark, defensively it seems like we have coached against forever. Offensively with the skill they have, the two tailbacks, tight end, they have quality athletes. I don't know them all personally, I know them all through trying to recruit them or evaluating them coming out of high school. They have quality athletes.'

On Derrick Johnson: 'I think Derrick's a very good player and I think he's improved a lot over the last couple of years and I think he's improved a lot since the first of the season last year to the end of the season. I think he's playing well now. This will be a great challenge for him with the caliber and quality of these receivers coming at him. All three of them are good size, big, and very, very fast.'

On injuries: '(Joe Lobendahn) seemed to be fine, he practiced last week. Everybody was fine.'

On last year's UCLA game: 'That was quite a lesson and we were really stunned by that. We were a little bit different on offense last year with Cody (Pickett), Reggie (Williams), and that balance of people. I don't know that we have the ability to go out there and do that offensively like we did that first half, but I would hope that we don't fall off as fast and as hard as we did. Last year after that horrific play where they recovered the ball in the end-zone, we took two drives down inside the 10-yard line and came up with zero points. In fact, I think we threw two interceptions. So it wasn't like we totally fell apart, I didn't think, until those two drives where we had two scoring opportunities and didn't get a thing out of it. And then their people really picked it up and played so well offensively and they were a defense last year with so much experience that you didn't have very much margin for error. You'd better be right with what you're doing because with the caliber of those guys coming at you, including Brandon Chillar, they were really special I thought and they played very well.'

On success of bye week: 'We scrimmaged some last week. We hope that that keeps us sharp, but hitting each other for as long as we have done all spring and fall camp, we kind of went back into that routine, I'm not sure that that gives you any kind of an edge. In other years we probably haven't scrimmaged at all during the bye week. I don't think you know until after you play. I don't think you know until the game starts and ball's snapped and you can see how you're performing.'

On Fresno State's win over Kansas State giving confidence: 'It doesn't give me any emotional lift, we still haven't won a game this season. Did I tell you that Fresno is good, yeah. Did I tell you that they're good all the time, yeah. Now maybe somebody besides me believes it. I thought they were pretty stout and now they're going to get a lot of attention. I also saw Boise State play last weekend, someone else in their league, and I thought they looked pretty good too, so that's going to be quite a battle in their conference between two awfully good looking teams.'

On Charles Frederick: 'We've only played one game, so he's having a great season. He got nine balls, got nine catches, which is kind of what we wanted to do, get him the ball that many times. He's a good player and he's been a good player since he got here. He's made plays in the passing game and in the kicking game, he's done a lot for us. The thing that's good about Charles is how he's grown up since he first got here. He was very homesick and I don't know if he was ready for college. I don't know if he understood the dynamic of college and what college football at this level was really going to be about. You knew he was athletic enough, he had ample talent, he was fast and quick and could really catch and play, but the other thing is you weren't sure he was really totally ready for. It wasn't easy for him, but he has and he's become a really popular member of our team. He's changed and grown up and matured a lot. I'm not sure a lot of coaches would have had the patience early on like Rick Neuheisel did to keep encouraging the guy and giving him other chances. Certainly Rick was patient with him and did a good job with him and it paid off for Charles and I think Charles is appreciative of that.'

On `hair-dance' celebration against Fresno State: 'I did not see it and if it was in poor taste it will be addressed. End of story.'

On Dashon Goldson: 'Dashon I think is a good player. He's really focused on what we're doing and I think he's good for our defense.'

On tight ends: 'Joe (Toledo) conditioned on Saturday, but we'll have to wait and see. I think realistically you'd see Toledo well before you'd see (Ben) Bandel from what I see and talking to the trainers.'

On how Bonnell being young hurts him: 'The quarterback position is so pivotal in what you're trying to do. If you're trying to do anything at all to be balanced, the guy has to be able to know his reads and where to go with the ball. Thing that he'd need to check to and check away from. If he's confused with the base part of your offense, he's probably not ready to assume total control. I think he's getting better at it and I think he's going to be a really good player, but it's going to take some time.'

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