Quotes from Dirk Koetter's Monday Press Conference
Nov. 21, 2005
Tempe, Ariz. - Opening Statement...'Grayling Love's surgery on his foot went well. He's feeling good about things. He's going to be on crutches now for a few weeks. He should be back running before the draft. The Pac-10 All Academic list came out last week and we had ten guys represented.
We are relatively healthy. Aside from the guys who are out for the year, I think everybody else will be available to play.'
On Arizona's Defense...'I would say they aren't blitzing as much as they were last year. They were primarily a zone blitz team. Obviously you are going to tweak your offense and your defense to fit your personnel.'
On getting the team ready for a rivalry game...'One thing I won't miss, when we go to a twelve game schedule, is the bye week. I think the hardest thing about the rivalry game is tying it in with the bye week and Thanksgiving. The plus side of that, we enjoy a great TV slot. There are a few games on, on Friday. That's been a great deal for this rivalry, a lot of national exposure. Thanksgiving is a little tricky, every other year it's on the road and it makes it difficult to spend time with their families. It's all do-able and workable.'
On the games impact on the seniors...'To have 19 seniors, all playing their final game in this stadium is very emotional for those guys. This is the biggest and the best senior class in my tenure here. It's pretty impressive if you look at how many plays and games these guys have started. Several of our seniors will have over 40 appearances in their career. It will be emotional for those guys. Their folks will be out there waiting for them at the 50 [yard line]. This is one of several motivations for our team to carry forward for this game.'
On Senior Chad Christensen...'Chad is a great all around Sun Devil. What a different career he has had. Chad has always been available to play whatever role was asked of him. He was an All Pac-10 Academic as well as part of the initial class of the Pat Tillman Scholarship Program. Anything our fans and our alums would want a college athlete to be, Chad Christensen is that. He is going to be successful later in life.'
On finishing the Pac-10 season...'You don't play for a tie for fourth. That's not what you set out for in the season. When you look at this league. We have three teams in the top 11 or 12 in the BCS standings, plus a fourth team, LSU, sitting at number three. One of those three Pac-10 teams is going to lose in the USC-UCLA game. This season, when you take USC off, it's so incredibly even. UCLA and Washington State are the best examples of that. I think both UCLA and Washington State's records can be flipped over. Several other teams, Cal, Stanford, ourselves, and Oregon State are all bunched in the middle.'
On addressing the players before the rivalry game...'There are several forms of motivation for this game. When we have our team meetings, there is no one theme that will motivate all 105 guys the same way. We already touched on the senior motivation, we have 19 guys playing their final game at Sun Devil Stadium. The chance to have another winning season, that's another form of motivation. Some players are going to take the revenge factor. Arizona messed it up for us last year, although we were able to come back and recover in the Sun Bowl. You are playing you're 11th game of the year. I think the emotional side is one thing. Even though it's a rivalry game, after the first hit, it will get back to normal football.'
On losing Derek Hagan and other pivotal senior players...'Of the 19 seniors, they range from two-year players to a six-year player. We also have four, four-year players, it's kind of a unique thing. It doesn't happen much anymore to play four straight years. Mike Davis, Chaz White, Jamar Williams and Derek Hagan. Every time I'm asked about Derek Hagan, the thing that jumps out at me, is how many great Pac-10 receivers we've had. For Derek to have the kind of numbers he has demonstrates his consistency, dependability and durability. Derek has never missed a game or a practice. Derek is out there practicing every day. It's going to be a lot different out there when he's gone. Derek has meant a lot to our program and he's going to do some great things on the next level. His football career is not over.'