Pac-12 coaches teleconference: No. 21 Colorado prepares for 'chaos' of ASU's defense
Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre
No. 21 Colorado, the last remaining undefeated team in the Pac-12, hosts Arizona State on Saturday after entering the AP Top 25 for the first time since the end of the 2016 season.
A writer asked coach Mike MacIntyre about ASU and its new 3-3-5 defensive scheme:
“It’s a really tough scheme to understand," MacIntyre said. "They bring a lot of different pressures. They create chaos. They create turnovers and make a lot of plays on defense, a lot of negative plays.”
Will QB Steven Montez be prepared for that chaos on Saturday? MacIntyre isn’t worried.
“Steven has really matured in understanding the defenses and where to go with the ball," MacIntyre said. "He’s more comfortable with the ball, and our offensive line is doing a better job for him. He didn’t have to improve much, but the attention to detail has elevated him to another level.”
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham
With Utah visiting No. 14 Stanford on Saturday, a reporter asked Whittingham about Cardinal tailback Bryce Love and what the Utes learned from their 23-20 loss to him and the Card last season.
Whittingham chuckled and said, “Well, there’s nothing to be learned other than he’s a home-run ‘back. He’s able to go the distance on every play.”
So, the key to stopping Bryce Love — assuming he returns from his undisclosed ankle injury?
“It’s just a matter of getting a bunch of hats to the football and being sure tacklers. Try to keep him bottled up for an entire game — and that’s real hard to do — but that’s what makes him great."
Stanford head coach David Shaw
Circling back to Bryce Love’s aforementioned ankle injury, which took him out in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame last week.
David Shaw offered this up: “It doesn’t look severe. Not as severe as he went through last year, which is great. We’ll go day-to-day with him and see how he feels late in the week.”
Shaw also complimented one of Utah’s offensive weapons, 5-foot-8 wide receiver Britain Covey, ahead of this Saturday’s home contest.
“I always appreciate the guys who don’t know how big or small they are," Shaw said of Covey. "They don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. Certain guys just have a knack for playing the game. And that’s this guy. I appreciate him.”
Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin
The Wildcats are up against Cal on Saturday, a team that consistently trots out two quarterbacks rather than sticking with one starter.
When Kevin Sumlin was asked for his overall impressions of the Golden Bears, he seemed impressed: "They’ve done a nice job so far of moving the ball offensively with two different quarterbacks and, obviously, they haven’t been afraid to play them. They’re balanced offensively — almost to the yard — coming into this week, so they’ve done a nice job there.”
Sumlin also said anticipating two different quarterbacks — Chase Garbers and Brandon McIlwain — has affected the Wildcats’ preparation for Cal since they play two different styles and can swap out at any point in the game.
Cal head coach Justin Wilcox
On the flip side of that matchup, Justin Wilcox dished on Arizona’s defense: “They have odd and even fronts, mixing and matching their coverages and applying pressure when they want to. They make you hunt what they’re doing.
“They kind of have it all, and a lot of teams are in that mold these days. Everybody’s pretty multiple — for the most part. You can tell they have a clear picture of what they’re doing and they’ve got good schemes.”
Washington head coach Chris Petersen
Now that Washington has five games under its belt — almost reaching the halfway point of the regular season — it's a good time to do a status check. Does Chris Petersen think his offense, which averages 28.8 points per game, has found its rhythm yet?
“I think we’ve improved," Petersen said. "It’s like that every year. You never pick up where you left off, no matter how many returning players you have. It’s just different. And changing just a handful of guys out can change a lot.”
The No. 10 Huskies head south this week to play UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA head coach Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly and the winless Bruins have a big week ahead of them with Washington looming on Saturday. This exchange with a reporter about sums up Kelly’s appearance on the call Tuesday:
“The hardest part of 0-4 right now?
“Anything beyond that?”
Kelly did also mention that he’s pleased with the consistency in the staff’s approach and in the players’ preparation, so they’re staying the course for the time being.
Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards
Edwards didn’t talk a ton about the Devils’ upcoming showdown with the 4-0 Buffs in Boulder, but he did emphasize that ASU needs to start winning on the road and that, “No doubt,” Colorado is doing a great job this season.
Edwards spent more time on where his team is five games into his tenure: “I think we’re making progress because it’s a new football team with a new coaching staff. It’s new for a lot of us. It’s been quite fun because you learn a lot about the personality of your football team.”
Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal
Cristobal and his Ducks have a bye this week, allowing his staff to focus on recruiting and give his players some much-needed rest.
Their opponent following the bye? Washington.
“Real physical ball club. Very disciplined and they do a great job,” Cristobal said about the Huskies.
He also said quarterback Braxton Burmeister, who has been out since mid-September following a minor knee procedure, is expected to be back at full strength the latter part of next week.
Washington State head coach Mike Leach
The Cougs make the trek to Corvallis this week to face Oregon State on Saturday.
Mike Leach said his squad refuses to overlook the Beavers despite their 1-4 record: “We just need to focus on ourselves. Because that’s what it’s about no matter who you play. I don’t think [Oregon State is] going to stay that way. They’re going to steadily improve and I think they’re a dangerous team. … They’re battling consistency like, I think, a lot of us are. When they play consistent, they’re really tough. We’ve gotta be ready to meet that challenge if they’re consistent the entire game.”
Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith
Smith called Saturday’s matchup with Washington State “another great challenge” and reacted to what Leach said earlier on the call about the importance of finding consistency:
“Consistency for any team is critically important and it’s not easy to do," Smith said. "We’re working at it and we’ve played at a high level at times, but just not enough to get over the hump and get more wins.”
USC head coach Clay Helton
Helton’s appearance on the call was brief due to technical difficulties, so he answered a quick question about whether he likes coaching better after tough losses or big wins.
“I like victories a lot more than losses," Helton said, "so I’ll take the victory and the opportunity to coach kids hard and show them brutal honesty.”
Helton will get the opportunity to do just that during USC’s bye week. Up next for the Trojans: Colorado in Los Angeles on Oct. 13.
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