SDSU Football-Colorado State Postgame Quotes

Oct. 13, 2012

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Q. Were there calls made for Jake Fely to get him free on some of those blind sides?

Rocky Long: No, when we call a blitz to rush the passer, we try to get somebody free, and there are enormous differences between pass protections. When you run a blitz, you run a blitz so somebody comes free. You don't know exactly who it is that's going to come free, but you attack their pass protection and someone in a certain spot is going to come free depending on if a guy misses an assignment or if they don't slide far enough. A lot of it is just getting where you get one guy on an edge of a blocker and he can beat him to the quarterback. There's nothing wrong with their protection schemes, you just influence him with one guy and the other guy runs by him before he can rock back. When we blitz, we don't know who's coming free. They could spread out and block all those guys off the edge and then someone in the middle should come free. That's the way it's designed.

Q. What did you think of Jake Fely tonight?

Rocky Long: I thought Jake played great and I don't usually give those kinds of compliments. I thought that's one of the better games I've seen a kid play.

Q. What did you like about his play?

Rocky Long: He played hard, he played fast (and) he made plays all over the field. He did what middle linebackers are supposed to do.

Q. What has Derek Largent done for the defense the last couple games?

Rocky Long: He's around the ball a lot and he's got a lucky charm, because he's around the ball when it gets tipped and he's got pretty good hands. He's also a pretty good pass rusher. I'd have to see the film to see how well he did against the run and all that. I thought there were times we were a little soft against the run, but that was kind of on purpose.

Q. What were your initial impressions of the game?

Rocky Long: It was a total team victory. I thought that the defense played really well and I thought the defense gave the offense several short fields that the offense capitalized on. I wasn't really happy with the first drive of the game, but after that, the only time they scored was when they had a kickoff return down to about our whatever yard line it was. And that's the only other time they scored. They moved the ball a little bit in the middle of the field, but that was kind of by design, too. We were playing a lot softer coverages than we have in the past to make them work it down the field. Toward the end of the game, even our soft coverages, they started completing a couple balls in our soft coverages because we weren't getting a pass rush with four guys. That hasn't changed.

Q. Last time we talked, you said the pass defense in last week's effort couldn't really say that they were back because it wasn't the right team to engage it against. This wasn't the right team to engage it against, either, but do you still think that the pass defense may have improved a little bit more?

Rocky Long: Yeah, I agree with you, though. I don't think last week they didn't play the kind of offense that would challenge us. This week they played a lot of spread. They got in there and tried to run the ball a little bit, and if they got in 2nd and long or 3rd and long they were in the spread. We have improved a little bit in coverage, but we haven't improved much in pass rush. We have to blitz to get to them. I didn't see one sack when we rushed four guys. I didn't even see the quarterback harassed very much when we rushed four guys. So that's still a huge concern. If you can't get a consistent pass rush with four guys, it doesn't matter what kind of coverage you play. I've been telling you that since day one.

Q. Offensively it looks like another game that you guys put together a really solid win on offense. What are your thoughts on how the offense played, and is this like kind of close to their peak?

Rocky Long: It all depends on who we're playing. Fresno (State) has a really good offense, but Boise State must have a really good defense. So it depends on who we play. I thought our offense ran the ball well, and whenever we run the ball well, guess what, everything else works, too. And when we don't run the ball real well, the other stuff doesn't work very well, either.

Q. On Gabe Lemon's injury:

Rocky Long: I don't think it's serious. I can't tell you. It's a knee injury, and they said it wasn't serious. In fact, he tried to move around on the sidelines, maybe even go back in the game, but he should be okay. I don't know how soon he'll be okay, but he should be okay.

Q. You said you weren't happy with their first drive of the game. Was the rest of the first half okay?

Rocky Long: To be honest with you, other than the Army game, which was a completely different circumstance, I thought that's the best we've played on defense all year. Because our kids executed the game plan, which was to give up some yards but don't let them in the end zone. And other than the first drive and a real short field after a kickoff return, they didn't. They got some 1st downs and they moved the ball a little bit, but they didn't get in the end zone. FastScripts by ASAP Sports


Q. Defensively it seemed like everyone sort of had a career day. What were you guys doing well on defense tonight?

Jake Fely: We knew all week that this team was going to come out physical. We just had to make the right plays (and) make the right decisions. The D line was doing the right things, so it opened up the gaps for our linebackers. Everyone was trying to make plays out there and trying to win the game.

Q. In the two sacks what did you see? Was it a scheme?

Jake Fely: Coach Long gives all the calls and I just do whatever he calls. But if you're given the opportunity, you've got to take it and make the play. I've just got to do it or else I'm not going to play.

Q. What did you see on the first interception?

Derek Largent: The D line brought great pressure on the quarterback, dropped back, and I guess I was just in the right spot at the right time. The DB's were covering the receivers good, so that helped, too. It all just worked out together.

Q. Are you considering going out for wide receiver?

Derek Largent: Yeah, I was thinking about it. We are going to talk it over when we get back.

Q. You get a pretty good look at Jake running around. What's that look like?

Derek Largent: It's just so exciting seeing him doing his work. We've called him `The Hulk' lately. We say, "Jake, smash," and he goes and smashes whatever he can. It's pretty cool.

Q. Do you ever see him stand still?

Derek Largent: Nope, he's always moving.

Q. How did you see your game tonight?

Ryan Katz: We did well as an offense. There's a few drives we'd like to have back. We set up for a field goal in the first half and then couldn't punch it in on 4th down with that last series. Those are things you want to get better at, but overall we had a good night, running the ball, throwing the ball.

Q. Is this game indicative of how well the defense can play?

Cody Galea: Not at all, we can play much better than we showed tonight, especially the D Line. Linebackers and secondary did very well tonight. Jake and Derek did outstanding, but the D line, we need to improve and we're going to plan on doing so. Because we're going to need to improve big time to play Nevada next week.

Q. You guys have put together two back to back games that you've played well defensively. What does that do for your mentality going forward?

Cody Galea: It gets us on a roll a little bit, little bit more confidence into the next week. So we're just going to go off that, keep getting better, keep having better practices, practice harder, do everything right, execute, and hopefully have an even better game next week.

Q. On Brice Butler improving:

Ryan Katz: He's just getting more comfortable in the offense. It was a little slow start if you want to call it that, but he's coming out well. He's having good weeks in practices, and look to just keep it going.

Q. Is this the most interceptions you've had?

Derek Largent: Yeah, definitely.

Q. Best game ever?

Derek Largent: I guess so. I thought I played pretty well, but that doesn't matter. Our whole defense, our whole offense played well as a team so that's all that matters. Individual effort doesn't matter as long as everyone does their part.

Q. Are you getting a little smarter, not running as much?

Ryan Katz: Yeah, that's what I want to do. I want to get these guys the ball. That's my job and we're just going to keep trying to get the ball in these playmakers' hands and watch what they can do with it.

Q. Defensively second half Colorado was deep in your zone down there. It's a fourth down, you guys had a key stop right there. Did you notice Coach Long was out on the field in the middle of the group celebrating after you guys made that stop?

Jake Fely: No, I didn't know.

Derek Largent: We were all excited, but he seemed like he might have been another player out there.

Q. He was pretty proud.

Jake Fely: Yeah, he's passionate about the game. That's what drives us, too.

Q. How much has the defense improved?

Jake Fely: Coverage wise we need to improve a little bit, but all of us need to improve. We all need to run to the ball all the time, make sure that when one guy misses the tackle, that someone else is there to make the play and back them up. But we all need to improve. Each game is going to be a different scheme, we all need to adjust to it and we all need to improve. FastScripts by ASAP Sports


Head Coach Jim McElwain

On the game:

"To start with, you can't turn the ball over inside the 30 like we did and expect to win a football game against anybody. I don't care who you play. Those are mistakes that come back and kill you. I was very disappointed in taking the sack right before the half. (We) had a little momentum there and had a chance to put some points up on the board. You can't do that. Just take care of your responsibilities and do your job. There's a reason we (coaches) are here. I'm going to teach these guys all the way through. Then we get a good chance with a bye this week. We get a chance to work on ourselves and get some guys some opportunities to be in different situations this week in practice. It will tell us a lot about guys that are committed."

On quarterback M.J. McPeek's injury:

"He's hurt. He's a tough guy and tried to come back and that shows a lot about who he is and what he's all about. It shows a lot about his character and his commitment to the football team that he did try to go back out. Obviously, we will get it looked at when we get back and get a good read to see what direction we'll go from there."

On quarterback Conner Smith:

"For the first time out there, he obviously did some good things. You have to take care of the football. You have to throw it to your guys with your color jersey. I don't care how many passes he completes in a row. You end up turning the ball over and it doesn't do any good. To play the quarterback position the way it's supposed to be played, you have to understand and cherish the football and understand every possession and everything you need to do to win. He did some good things and he'll learn from some of this. It's things that have to be done every single day of your life."

Defensive end Shaquil Barrett

On why the team struggled stopping the SDSU running backs:

"(We) missed tackles and some of us got glued to blocks and couldn't get off. We saw (they were good) on film, and they came out and showed it today. We need to get better at tackling and getting off blocks."

Quarterback Conner Smith

On fumble to start the second half:

"It sucked obviously. You never want to start off a half like that, but we came back from it."

On starting his first career game:

"I prepared for it all week. It was all right for my first game, but I could definitely do a lot better."

Wide receiver Marquise Law

On the team's turnovers:

"Today we just couldn't get it done. We had long drives and then turned the ball over. It's definitely frustrating as an offense."