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Tuesday Press Conference Quotes

Oct 1, 2013

Colorado Head Coach Mike MacIntyre

General / Opening Statement“Oregon State has a good football team and like I said going in, I thought they should’ve still been in the top 25.  Watching on film, they had the one game earlier in the year where they couldn’t tackle the quarterback but, I think they’re a very good football team …. Excellent quarterback ….. I think they do a great job.  We were battling and we had a couple of miscues on the kickoff return … One of them was like a bad hop for a shortstop, it was tough.  The other one, we just have to carry the ball high and tight better.  That kind of got us out of the game but I was excited with the way our kids kept battling and kept fighting.  I thought we did do a few good things.  There were three or four plays that changed the game and we have to make sure we make those plays.

This week’s opponent, Oregon, they are …. Like I said Fresno was fast, this team is super-fast, hyper speed.  I’m going to go just hyper speed.  They’re very good.  The running backs are amazing, the receivers …. They’re defense is phenomenal. How hard they play … but the guy that amazes me most is the quarterback.  He reminds me of (Colin) Kaepernick when I was at San Jose State and we played Nevada.  He’s fast, he can make all the throws, he can run and he is an excellent, excellent player.  (Marcus) Mariota makes their team go.  We got our work cut out for us.  Kids are already excited about playing the game.  We had a good practice Sunday night then we had Monday off and we had a good practice today.  They seemed very focused and ready to go and had no hangover from the loss and so we’re ready to move on.”

On Responding After the Loss“Well I think when they came out to practice Sunday they got after it, they were energetic, they weren’t dragging.  You didn’t have people showing up late or trying to get out of practice for mysterious injuries.  That’s kind of how I watch it and I haven’t seen that happen at all.  Then I thought today they had a very, very good practice.  We’re really focused and I think when you watch Oregon’s film it makes you focus more because you know you better be playing good.  So I was pleased with that and we’ve made good strides and we need to keep making strides.  There was some disheartening things that happened Saturday but not things that we couldn’t correct I think. I don’t think it was a situation.  I think someone asked me afterwards if I thought it was the athletes and I said ‘No I think our athletes were good enough to play against Oregon State.’  We just can’t turn the ball over against a good football team and expect to win.  When teams are close to even, the ones that win the turnover ratio are always basically win the football game.  So that was important for us. Basically we gave them three drives inside the 20 so you gave them 21 points but I think they’ve responded well and I know they’re excited about playing on Saturday.”

On Trying to Adjust to Oregon’s Style of Play“I think you just have to do whatever you do best.  If you try to change what you want to do in a game …. You just have to do what you do best and try to hope for the best.  I think the teams that did good that played them, they did pretty good offensively but they did really well defensively.  I mean they didn’t give up as many big plays.  They kept them down in scoring.  I mean Stanford beat them, 17-14.  If you would have went to that game and someone said ‘They’re going to win 17-14’ you would have said ‘Yeah right.’  So I think you have to play really well defensively to understand where you’re run …. Really you have to understand your run fits.  I mean I know that’s a simple thing.  Chad (Brown) knows what I’m talking about.  They move people, they move the back a lot.  They go really fast and they get all these different formations and if you don’t line up right then all of a sudden there’s a big gap and they go so fast that they’re gone.  So you have to understand where to line up and hopefully we’ve practiced against ourselves enough, and we do fast speed periods, that we can line up correctly and then you have to tackle them in open space.  That’s what we have to do so hopefully that’s what we do.”

On Keeping the Oregon Offense off the Field“Well it was a funny statistic but they had the least amount of possession time of anybody in the country …. Oregon does. And they’re scoring the second most in the country so they don’t have the ball.  They’ve got it 20 minutes a game.  So I don’t think that makes a difference.  You better score and you better stop them.  You might be better off if they have the ball a long time.  Its longer drives, there’s more chances for turnovers, there’s more possibilities of making them have to do more third downs.  So, if you come out of it and they got it 30 minutes you might have played better.  I being serious because then they’d have to put drives together and there’d more times they might turn the ball over.  They’ll have more third downs.  That’s more long down situations where you can kind of go after them.  A lot of times they slow down on third down and longs so they can see what they want to do then they just keep moving.  So, if they get first down, second down, first down, second down they just got you in such a rhythm that it’s tough.”

On Offensive Line Struggles“I think that we played Alex Kelley a little bit more in the second half after Daniel (Munyer) got the personal foul but Daniel is a very good player so he’ll be back playing a lot.  We just keep working with the offensive line.  I still think that we have some good offensive linemen that can do some good things so we just have to keep jelling and keep working.  I don’t think that the offensive line was a big of a problem as maybe the wet ball a little bit even though we practiced in the rain and their defensive line …. They had three tipped balls that most people think were just bad throws by Connor (Wood) but they tipped the ball …. They just barely tipped it and it kind of fluttered out so I thought they were aggressive there.  And we just weren’t on our game quite as good early as we needed to be.  I’m not using excuses.  I don’t know if it was the layoff or what it was but I think it had to do with the fact that we were playing extremely hard but we just didn’t take advantage.

We were moving the ball a little bit early then we ran the reverse to Paul Richardson on the first play then we came back the next play and threw him a screen and got some yards then came back the next play and got a first down on hitch to him and we got a holding call.  Then, we got backed up then we tried a draw, then we got …. And then we just kind of started sputtering.  Then we had a big play that got called back.  It was 10-3 and D.D. (Goodson) I thought made a great catch and I thought we got the play off before they could have buzzed it but it got buzzed and they overruled the play.  I had a feeling we had a chance to go in and score then and it would have been 10-10 with like five minutes to go in the first half.  So, we need to play better but right there, if we catch that ball a little bit better or we don’t get a holding call here or there …. But the kids were playing hard and trying to execute.  We just have to execute better all the time.”

On the Development of the Offensive Line“With what we have I don’t see anything wrong with the personnel.  They’re trying and playing hard.  I think Stephane Nembot is getting better every game.  One day they’re never going to get around him.  He’s learning in the process but he really is improving tremendously.  He kind of blocks the sun out and he can move.  He’s extremely smart.  He speaks six languages.  I’m pleased with his progress I really am.  Of course we want everybody to play perfect but nobody can.”

On Connor Wood’s Psyche Following the Loss“He had a good practice today.  It’s kind of funny because last Thursday was his best practice he’s had since I’ve been around him … the whole time … and then we didn’t play as good as we all would like or he would like on Saturday and it wasn’t all his fault.  Bill Parcells used to always say ‘You find out about quarterbacks when you see how they respond after a bad game and everybody’s saying you should be playing the second teamer and getting all these questions which were never thought of.  And then how you play after an interception and how you play after you get hit.’  That’s all part of being a quarterback.  Then how you handle a few games in a row when you’re successful …. Can you keep sustaining your work ethic and your confidence and all that? So I’m looking forward to seeing how he plays and he’s also going to play a really, really good defense.  So, It’s going to be an test for all of us.” 

On the Projected Running Back Rotation This Saturday “Today we rotated them in and out and we’ll discuss that more Thursday when we see if everybody is healthy.  We feel like everybody is healthy now but we play them continuously during the week and they rotate and get all the plays.  We practice so hard you can’t run all the time with just one guy because you’ll wear them out for Saturday.  So, they get all of the looks so they’re all ready to go but right now you’ll definitely see Michael Adkins as much as you saw his last week unless something happens.  Christian Powell, you’ll see him at tailback and you might see him at fullback some too.  Being able to have both of them in the backfield ….. So, we have some combinations like that that we can work …. And he’s been in at fullback in some games already too.  As we kind of get to the plan and as we looked at some things today there are certain things we’d like certain guys to do more than others and it just depends on what we feel like we can get going in the game.”

On What to Tell the Team before a Big Matchup against One of the Best Teams in the Country“Enjoy the moment.  I mean you’re getting to play against the best team in the country on national television.  You’re at home, great crowd.  That’s what you dream about all your life is always playing and you get another day to play.  I enjoy playing every game just the same amount or just coaching every game the same amount.  It doesn’t matter who we’re coaching against or who we’re playing.  I really do enjoy them the same amount.  Sometimes there might be more pop and circumstance around it but once you start inside those lines and you’re coaching you don’t notice anything and neither do the players playing.  I think they’ll really enjoy playing and it’ll be a lot of fun.”

On Calling Oregon the Best Team in the Country“I would say that right now to me, they look like one of the top two or three teams in the country.  But, I would say right now the way they’re clicking off and beating everybody, I mean it’s not even close.  At halftime, it’s over every game…it’s over.  So, hopefully this one won’t be over and we will be right in it and that’s what we’re planning on doing.”

On Listening to the Strategies of Other Head Coaches in Game Planning For an Opponent“Each week I call coaches that I know that have played against teams that I’m going against, or similar offenses or defenses, just asking them, ‘Here’s what I’m thinking, what do you think?’ They might say, ‘That’s good, that’s good, but think about this’… So, I always do that, and I get buddies calling me about certain things and thoughts about how to practice.  We’ve learned, that will hopefully show up Saturday, how to practice against teams like this.  There’s a certain way you have to practice, there is a certain way you have to have your scalp team go.  So, that’s a big part of it, of trying to practice fast and getting lined up, because half the time you watch their big play and the team isn’t even lined up.  That’s why I’m talking about getting a line fit.  The first time I ever played against a fast-paced team we had a boundary corner, and a field corner, and a … FORGET IT.  ‘You go right, you go left, ‘you line up and you get the call.’  You don’t have time and I learned that the hard way as a coach … ‘Make sure you go right and left and make sure your safeties go right and left.  Make sure you’re not switching everything, give one hand signal calls, you can’t do multiple hand signal calls.’  Things like that I think are big.”

On the Purpose of Using Two Balls in Practice“We do it anyway.  One man is running and putting it, and the others are getting it.  We’re going fast and working on that.”

On Filling the Open Date with a Matchup against Charleston Southern“I am excited that we have another game.  I’ll tell you, Rick (George) exhausted himself after the Fresno game.  Me and him spent a lot of Saturday and then all day Sunday calling people right and left and working every scenario.  I felt like a used-car salesman.  I never heard so many ‘no’s’ in my entire life and I know Rick felt the same way.  We had a couple of them that we thought we had done, signed, sealed, delivered and we get a phone call after they played the game on Saturday saying, ‘No, we’re too beat up we’re not going to do it.’  We were like, ‘What are we going to do next, what are we going to do next?’ So, Charleston Southern are going to be 5-0 and I think they are going to be 7-0 when they face us, and in the top 25 in the I-AA, and they’re the only team left standing that was wanting to play us.  Thank goodness they did and it’s going to be great for the community, great for the university, and it’s a way we can give back to the community through the whole thing.  It’s also our guys getting another game and the university getting another game and so I am excited about the opportunity to do it.”

On Disrupting Oregon’s Offense“You know, I will just use defensive secondary as an example.  If you are playing the defensive secondary and the game is close, you don’t play as uptight, you don’t take as many chances.  You’re up 20 or more points you can do anything you want in the secondary.  You act like you’re coming, you jump routes…it doesn’t matter because if you’re up 40 points, even 28 points, they can just suffocate you.  So, we need to keep them at bay and not let them suffocate us too early and all of a sudden, we will have more options on offense.  We will move the ball better than people have moved on them if we cannot let them get up 28 points – bang, bang.  So, that’s a big ‘if.’  Nobody’s done it, so that’s our goal to be able to do that and compete in every play.  To be able to have the chance to take it into the second half and see what happens. Nobody has taken them into the second half yet and that’s what our goal is, and to win the game is our main goal.  I mean seriously, we want to win the football…period.  But, the first goal is that we have to get them into the second half, which nobody else has done, then you have to win the game.”

On Bill McCartney“Well, first of all, I have two of his grandsons.  One is on my staff and one is on my team, so I do know a lot about him.  I’ve known about coach since I was a player I really respect him and I’ve gotten to know him well since I’ve gotten here. We’ve gotten together quite a few times.  I really respect who he is, number one as a person, number two as a football coach.  I am so glad that they’re honoring him, he deserves it.  He’s also getting inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December.  He definitely deserves that.  What he did for the young men that he coached, all of them that I have ever talked to and met, respect him to the utmost and he has made a big difference in their lives.  I think what he did for the University of Colorado, to me, he kind of put the University of Colorado on the map.  Especially in football and all that, and he should be honored.  I am excited that he is getting that and I am excited that I will be able to be there to see it.  I probably won’t notice any of it going on during the game, but I am excited for him.  In fact, I am going to be seeing him on Thursday.  We are having a banquet here on campus, so I am excited to be there to be a part of that.”

On Special Teams“Well, to be honest with you, we did good on special teams.  Now, a kid was running up in there, got punched from behind, and the ball fell out.  The next one, it was raining hard and that ball took a 90 degree bounce.  We’ve got to take care of it, I understand that, and we work those drills all the time.  But, covering, punting it, covering it down, covering their good returners, all the things that we did with it, pinning them down there … I think we did a good job on that situation.  The thing I’d like to do is I’d like to return a lot more punts and I’d like to return a lot more kick-off returns, and then you’re doing good.  So, we have been working hard on all those, even on film I thought everything fit up a lot better.  We’ve got to make sure we hold up the ball and make sure we get it … It was a very, very unfortunate bounce.”

 

Defensive Back Greg Henderson

On Slowing Down Oregon“We just have to get lined up and communicate.  They are going to have a really fast tempo.  The main thing is really getting aligned and knowing all your responsibilities.”

On CU’s Fast-Paced Practices“Yeah, I feel like it’s going to help us on Saturday.  I mean, you try to match the game speed and it does help.  Hopefully we’re going to get lined up; we just have got to compete and play hard.”

On Contact with Receivers versus Coverage“Both, I think it’s both equal.  You want to get hands-on at the line and disrupt their route, and it’s coverage as well.  You can do good on disrupting their route, but if you don’t have good coverage then the ball is going to be caught for a touchdown or for anything like that, so it’s both equal.”

On Tackling in Open Space“Yeah, I feel like we’ve gotten better at tackling.  Today, we did a leverage tackling drill and we’re always doing tackling drills with the corners.  It’s been helping and it’s been showing on Saturdays.”

On What He Learned from the Oregon State Game“I feel like we were prepared.  We were in the right position, we just didn’t finish on the plays.  It was just a few plays that if we would have made it, it could have been the game-changer.  That’s all we’ve got to do.  We’ve got to finish on the plays, catch the ball, and it will really help us in the end.”

On The Team’s Emotional Reaction to the Loss“I feel like our heads are high.  I think we had a good day at practice today.  I don’t think anybody’s heads are down or anything like that.  We’re still confident in our game and in our abilities.”

On Whether Playing against Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks was a Good Learning Experience“Yeah it did, because every week in the Pac-12 there is always a good receiver on every team.  So, just facing good receivers, it helps to learn how each receiver has different tendencies.  In practice too with our receivers, we have some good receivers too so it helps us on Saturdays.”

On the Importance of the Upcoming Game“It’s very important.  We are the 38-point underdogs or something like that, so I know nobody believes in us.  But, it starts with us, so if we believe we can win then I feel like we can beat this team.”

On The Team’s Reaction to Pundits Who Are Predicting a Big Loss to Oregon This Weekend“I try not to worry about the underdogs and all that.  You just got to go out there and play hard because it’s college football, so anything can happen on any day of the week.”

On The First Time He Played Oregon“Their tempo is very fast.  They get to the ball very fast, but I mean we should be prepared for it.”

On Helping the Freshmen Understand the Opponents“I think it’s something that you need to experience for yourself.  I mean we tell them that they’re going to be fast. Honestly, you just got to get aligned, get the call, and know your responsibilities, and they will be in good shape.”

On Watching Oregon Play“Yeah, I like to watch a lot of the Pac-12 teams and see the different competition, see some players you might know on the teams, or if you just like to watch them play.  I like their fast-paced tempo and you see that they’re running it in the NFL now too because it’s very efficient, so it’s a good offense to run.  But, I don’t know anyone on the Oregon team.”

On the Progression of the Team’s Freshmen Class“Oh, they’re playing great.  Addison, he has a high motor, has high energy, he’s all over the field flying around.  Chidobe (Awuize) as well, he makes a lot of plays, forced the fumble in the Central Arkansas game.  They don’t even play like freshmen I don’t think. They play like grown men…so they’ve been doing a great job.”

On How Much He’s learned Since His Freshman Year“Well, from playing from freshman year, it’s helped me in the game to slow down for me and to have more experience. I’ve become smarter…I’ve become more of a student to the game.  You know, it’s just helped and I can just play faster now.”