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Tuesday Press Conference Quotes

Sep 24, 2013


                               Colorado Head Coach Mike MacIntyre


General / Opening Statement“First of all this is really the first press conference we’ve had since the flood.  I want to send out my prayers and everything to everybody that’s been struggling with the flood.  Having been through it before myself I know what it’s like and there’s still people out there struggling every day.  They’re going to be out of their houses and displaced for a while so it’s a long haul and I think I saw Vice President Biden on this morning or yesterday, I can’t remember, while I was going through the locker room and getting changed.  I had the television on and he was talking about trying to get even more money for the state so my thoughts and prayers are still with everybody going through that situation.  Now, moving on to our football game, our players and our coaches and I think everybody is excited to be playing a football game finally again and trying to get back to some normalcy.   We play a very, very good football team…go to their place at Oregon State.  Mike Riley, I think, is an exceptional coach.  He is very well respected in this business not only as a coach not only as a person.  His teams play with unbelievable energy and resiliency.  They really should be 4-0 but I think they’re 3-1….they should be 4-0 the way I see it.  They’re an excellent football team.  We’re going on the road.  They were ranked preseason I believe top-25 team and I think that’s what they are.  I think they’re very, very good.  They’re exceptional on offense and in the passing game.  Their quarterback, (Sean) Mannion, number four, is really, really good.  He can make every throw.  (Brandin) Cooks, number seven, he’s an excellent receiver but if you go watch the tape the amazing thing with him is the run after the catch.  He’s like a running back when he catches the ball.  He can make people miss right and left.  Then number eight, Richard Mullaney, he is really…..he didn’t play much in the Eastern Washington game then all of a sudden he appears in the next games and makes big play after big play after big play and he does a great job.  Their receiver coach coached for me at San Jose State so I know him really well….Brent Brennan, he does a great job with the receivers there for Oregon State.  Defensively, they play hard, they play recklessly and I think they’re a very good defense.  I know their numbers haven’t shown it.  I know that sounds like coach talk but they were really good a year ago statistically and I think they just kind of ran into a little bit of a buzz saw here at the beginning but I still think they have very good players and they can be excellent on defense.  It’s going to be a tough game for us.  Our kids are excited about playing and want to go play and they’re excited about playing a Pac-12 football game.”

On Returning to a State of Normalcy after the Flooding Disaster“I think all of that is back to normal.  The preparation and kind of getting back into the game week….We had that time there and we had quite a few kids get displaced and are in different apartments now.  They had to apply to get money back for things that they lost so that was tough on them but I think now they’re all back to normalcy and moving along fine.”

On Improving During the Break“I definitely think we have improved during this time.  We’ll be able to tell here in the next game but we play some really, relay good football teams and I think we’ve gotten back to being a little bit more healthy and I think we did improve.  We concentrated on different aspects of our game that we were struggling.  We’re trying to improve on the areas we were doing well at so hopefully we’ll show that Saturday.  The speed of the game is one thing I’ve talked about that we’ve tried to work really hard at.  We did it again today.  We went good on good quite a bit today to keep the speed of the game going and that’s something that you get when you play in games.  So, they have four games we have two so there’s a little bit of an advantage on that side of it.  On the other side, hopefully we’re a little bit fresher than they are.  I’m hoping.”

On Preparing for a Road Game“We have four goals that we approach every game at that are ours personally.  I won’t share with you here but we started attacking it Monday as a team.  We go over them every day.  I think the primary aspect is they have to go with a mindset that it’s not a trip, its business.  You always hear coaches say it’s a business trip but you’re going there with one thing in mind and one thing only…Win the football game and you have to understand that.  You can enjoy the stuff and take it all in so to speak but you always have to have the mindset and the perspective that you’re going to have to win the football game in all odds so it’s something we talk about quite often and we have a formula we follow.  The way we travel and the things we do and the way we meet all work towards that.”

On Traveling “I think it’s just the maturity level of your team to be honest with you.  Where we were before, every plane trip we took the plane was delayed an hour to five hours.  It was crazy.  I’ve never seen anything like it and we won every single plane trip so I don’t know the travel…’s the mindset or our kids and the mindset of our coaches so us as coaches always want to take the mindset ‘we’re not going to get ruffled.  We’re not going to get upset about being somewhere.  We’re not going to be upset if the food is cold we’re just going to stay focused on the main thing at hand.  Hopefully we set the tempo of that as coaches and this is the first time for these young men to travel with us and we have talked about every scenario with the team already and try to prepare them for anything that happens and realize the main goal is to win the football game.”

On Maintaining Early Momentum after Long Layoff“Go win the next game.  That’s what we need to do.  So, we just have got to go play and not worry about that and just keep playing and keep playing.  That’s the thing.  Our first two games our kids played the whole 60 minutes.  Yeah, we had some ups and we had some downs but they were playing all the time but I hope we keep doing it and I think we will.”

On Multiple Sclerosis Patches the Team will wear on their Uniforms This Weekend“It’s an MS (Multiple Sclerosis) patch that all of college football will be wearing and working with.  It’s something that’s very close to my heart and it’s something I know the kids are excited about doing.  Mainly our coaches wear those on their sleeves and it’s something that they honor and that college football recognizes and wants the support.”

On Flood’s Impact on Team“I think that definitely it taught a life lesson.  It made them re-focus and realize how precious different things are in life and also at the same time…..things that you do, that you’ve worked hard and have an honor to do….I think it makes you re-focus on that and don’t take anything for granted so to speak.  So I have seen that with the team and I sure hope that has brought them closer together and keeps them stronger.”

On Filling Vacancy in the Schedule“I’ve said this a hundred times.  I talked to Rick (George) last night late and he’s working extremely hard.  I know they’re working on some things today.  There looked like there was going to be some things happening then they didn’t happen. Now it looks like some other things are going to happen so I don’t know.  I keep saying I’m going to find out any hour now but we haven’t.  I know Rick is working really, really hard at it and I know something good will come of it.”

On Whether the Team Might Play San Jose State to Fill Out the Schedule“No.  I will not play San Jose State.  I don’t want to go up against young men that I’ve gone against before and who I care deeply about.  I don’t think that would be the right thing to do.”

On Mindset of Potential Teams Who Would Consider Giving Up a Bye Week to Play CU“If you needed another game to win that you thought you could win to come to a bowl game…..That would be my thought process on it.  If you don’t think you could win then they’re probably not going to play us.  So, on that side of it, just talking as a coach….but hopefully we’ll work something out and get there.”

On Replicating Game Speed in Practice“Well we went against each other.  We kind of did it like a miniature spring practice.  We’ve gone against each other more than you might have during the season at this time and we had competition where we kept score and when we keep score the guys are competing even harder.  Those are some of the things that we did on that.  We did a lot of tackling drills and those types of things that you would do in fall camp so it was kind of a miniature spring practice/ fall camp, I tried to combine the two to basically help us keep the speed of the game. So, it’s basically ones against ones as much as you can.” 

On the Challenge of Matching that Speed in Practice“It was a bit of challenge because you do it too much and you’ll get somebody hurt and if you don’t do it enough you’re not good enough.  So we felt like we’ve done it enough.  We’ll even do it some more tomorrow to keep the speed going but we won’t be in full pads.  We’ll just be in shoulder pads and helmets tomorrow.”

On the Role the Running Game Will Play in This Game“I guarantee you they’re hoping they can run the ball some more and we’re hoping that we can run the ball some more. Both teams are good.  Both teams have some good receivers.  Sometimes if something is not clicking then you kind of go to your strength.  Look at what they’ve done…They have the best passing duo in the country and their quarterback is second in the country after four games and he’s only thrown one pick so there’s not a lot of turnovers going on so I think they’ll just keep trying to throw it but I know they’ll be try to establish the run in some parts and aspects of it.”

On the Diminishing Importance of the Running Game in Modern Football“I guess I didn’t watch much of it…I saw a few……but the Denver Broncos are throwing the ball and scoring at will and I don’t think they care how many yards they run  for.  So, I think that that stat is starting to change a little bit especially when you have an accurate quarterback who can move the chains.  So, I think that stat is changing a little bit.  They’ve been able to be so successful at Oregon State, throwing the ball like they have….the thing that they do a little different is they throw nine to 10 screens a game and I really think that’s their running game.  Easy throw, catch the ball, running back or receiver and run…..and if you look at it they’ve made some big, big first down and second down plays off of those plays.  I can guarantee if you ask their offensive coordinator or you ask (head coach) Mike Riley eventually they would tell you ‘Yeah that’s part of our running game.’  I mean because they throw nine to 10.  That’s a lot of screens in a football game.  That also slows down your rush and that type of thing so I consider that part of their running game so when I look at them I say ‘Yeah they run the ball but they’re also throwing 10 screens a game for 125 yards of passing a game.’  That’s really like a running catch or like a handoff to me.”

On Oregon State’s Resiliency after Losing Their Opener“I think that Eastern Washington is a good football team.  That quarterback put on a magic show if you go watch it on tape…number three for Eastern Washington.  So, I think that was a situation……they had chances to win it at the end. They missed a field goal and that (kicker) is a good field goal kicker and I think he would usually make it but he just missed it.  So, I think they should be 4-0.  They played really well against Hawai’i then went on the road and won a big game in Utah which was a dramatic game and went down to San Diego State and got behind but fought back a little bit and won it.  They just kept clawing back.  I think they’re very resilient.  I think they have playmakers that can make plays on both sides of the ball and I think that’s why they’ve been able to score the points that they’ve been scoring.  Their playmakers make plays.”

On Christian Powell’s Injury Status“He looked good the last two days in practice and he has looked that way in practice before so hopefully in the games he doesn’t get it dinged up.  We’ve had a little bit of time to…..we rested him a couple days just to make sure but hopefully it will not get dinged up again and he’ll be able to keep going.”

On Defensing Oregon State’s Lethal Passing Game“I think the thing that (Sean) Mannion does is….you can’t sit on one or other, he’ll pick you apart.  They’ll run screens, they’ll run picks.  They have a very good passing core so I think we’re going to have to mix that up but we’re going to have to play some man because we’re going to have to be able to get up on them close in different situations.  We’re going to have to kind of disrupt their routes and then we’re going to have to mix it up.  Hopefully we can mix it up enough that it will confuse them a little bit and help us make plays and hopefully create some turnovers in the passing game for them.”

On Personal Feelings in Dealing with the Unexpected Layoff“Well it’s been adventurous.  I would say that it’s been a little bit anxious because we’re all ready to play.  If you prepare a team on Friday and you come off the field and you as a coach kind of know it’s going to happen and the kids don’t and everything’s done and you’re about to get on the bus to go to the hotel and play game and you have to pull a group of guys in and say ‘Hey we’re not playing.’….After that happened I went back in the locker room and said ‘God, I feel like we’ve kind of just lost a football game.’  So, that emotional rollercoaster was tough but not near as tough as everything that was going on with everyone else.  I had to take off my competitive hat and put on my realistic hat so we did that and the kids did too and then they came back Monday and practiced well and they came back this Monday and practiced really well so we even had to change up our off-week schedule.  It was going to be different than it was.  We had it all planned then we had to change it all because of the situation that happened.  So, it’s been….hopefully the right decisions were made.  It’s been a little bit of trial and error and hopefully not many errors were made along the way in preparing us for this week.”

On How Players Dealt with Layoff“They were good and we had given them that Saturday and Sunday off too so they were fresh to come back.  Hopefully, we’re going to have 10 games straight here so I was looking at that also as I was preparing for this game I was also looking at preparing our guys for four or five weeks on down the road for…..Hopefully it doesn’t happen but we’re going to have some injuries that guys I’ve prepared over these last two weeks that I would in an open date.  I’ve got them ready to go too when they’re opportunity arises so it’s a combination.”

On the Closing of Campus during the Week of the Flooding“Well, school was disrupted Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and they went back to school on Monday so they missed those three days before.  They probably enjoyed it.”

On Impressions of Pac-12 So Far “I’ve been very, very impressed with the Pac-12.  I really have.  I always have.  Sitting back and watching the games….you know there are some really good quarterbacks in this league.  There’s some really good defensive linemen in this league and I think those two areas are the areas that I think help you win and lose football games the quickest on the upper echelon depending on how good your quarterback is and how good your defensive line is and I think there’s some really good ones in this league and I’m looking forward to playing in the Pac-12 when we start this Saturday.  I think there are some coaches that have done a great job and it looks like there are some really fun atmospheres to go play in too.”

On Terrence Crowder’s Situation“He’s got some things he has to do.  I talked to him earlier before I came here and he’s working with Coach (Klayton) Adams and some other people.  We have a list of things that he needs to do and look into before we put him back on the team along with… see how the situation resolves that he was involved in so there’s a couple different things that he’s got to do.”

 On Sefo Liufau“Sefo has definitely been improving.  He’s getting more and more comfortable.  I think all of the quarterbacks are getting better too and moving forward but Sefo has shown…he hasn’t regressed at all.  He keeps making increments forward which is exciting to me to see.”



                                                      Wide Receiver Nelson Spruce


On Getting Back Into Game-Mode“I was sitting at home this weekend thinking about how weird it was we haven’t been playing.  We haven’t really gotten into the rhythm of the season yet, so I was excited to get back into this game week.  I know everyone is ready to go on Saturday.”

On Feeling Anxious to Play“Yes, I definitely think we’re anxious.  These two weeks could have been a time where we fell off a little bit from the path we have been on, but we kind of used it to emulate a game speed.  We really practice at a fast pace, so I think it’s going to be good once we get to go up against a real opponent.”

On Training during the Layoff“We were kind of just trying to replicate that game speed since we weren’t able to see it these past few weeks.  I think that competing against each other we were kind of able to emulate that and I think we got better.”

On Playing for the First Time Within the Conference“The conference play is always a step up in intensity and competition.  There is also more on-the-line being a conference play.”

On The Shift in Mindset from Last Year “Well, Coach Mac (MacIntyre) has given us three different steps to be successful on the road, which we’ve kind of been trying to stimulate in practice.  I think we will stick to those and stick to what we’ve been doing, on offense and on defense, since we’ve been successful the past two games.  So, if we can continue to build on what we’ve done I think we can be successful on the road.  The three steps are: to harass their quarterback and protect ours.  I can’t really remember off the top of my head right now.  Ball security is huge, obviously, because you don’t want to give them that type of momentum with a turnover.  I can’t remember the third; I have to look that up.”

On Watching Other Receivers“I watched the Oregon State game a little bit just from my perspective for the defense.  I was also especially paying attention to (Brandin) Cooks; I mean he is a guy that has a lot of attention on him.  I was kind of seeing what he’s doing.  I think what makes him successful is that he is a solid, consistent receiver.  He has great speed, but he also combines that with good route running and consistent hands, which is going to make for a good receiver.”

On Concern over Possibly Losing Early Momentum “Yeah, like I said it is kind of tough to simulate that game-type atmosphere.  You’re not going to really be able to do it fully in practice, but we tried our best to maintain that pace and that rhythm that we’ve had going.  So, I think we’re prepared going into this next game, but yeah it definitely is going to be tough to get back into that rhythm that it really takes in a game.”

On Frame of Mind after the Flood “I think by this point everyone is back on track.  I know that it was kind of tough for a lot of guys getting displaced from their homes and having a lot of their stuff destroyed, but the team really rallied around the guys that were struggling.  I know that Will Oliver, our kicker, got kicked out of his apartment so we let him stay with us and I know a lot of the other guys are looking out for each other because it was a tough time.  It was something that I bet no one else has ever had to deal with, so we kind of had to come together for that.  I think that, not just us, but it strengthened our role around the community.  We put on that food drive up in the club level and it connected us with members of the community.  So, yeah it was a struggle, but I definitely think it brought us closer together.” 

On Personal Experiences with the Flood “You kind of see stuff that happens on TV and you’re like, ‘dang that sucks.’  But, you never really realize how devastating it is until you are involved in something like that.  I personally wasn’t affected too much.  I live up on a hill, so my house didn’t see very much damage, but just seeing some of the pictures of the guys’ homes that were waist-deep in water was eye-opening.”

On Reaction to Hearing the Fresno State Game had been Cancelled “It was a weird thing.  We came out for Friday walk-throughs ready to go.  We were thinking we were about to get on the buses for the hotel, then we had that meeting with our athletic director and Coach MacIntyre telling us that we’re not playing.  It was something I have never been through before, it was definitely weird.  I didn’t really know how to react at first, but we just had to get back on-track and hit practice the next week.”

On Not Playing Last Saturday“It was really strange, like I was saying.  That first weekend I was sitting at home and when you’re expecting to play in a game and you kind of build up all week, (mentally especially) and by Friday you are ready to go, you are focused, and you know what you’re supposed to do.  Then, on Saturday it was a let-down to not be able to go out there and play with my teammates and go out there and compete.”

On Scheduling Preferences“I know that Coach Mac (MacIntyre) told us that we probably won’t be having another bye-week if everything goes well.  I think that’s what he said earlier this week, so I mean obviously, like you said, I can’t control it so it’s up to the higher powers to make that decision.  I hope we get another twelfth game scheduled, but I am not too worried about it, haven’t been reading too much or hearing all that much about it.”