SDSU-Air Force Postgame Qotes

Nov. 10, 2012

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SDSU head football coach Rocky Long

Thoughts on the game:
I thought that we hung in there as a team. I thought we struggled some on offense, and obviously we gave up a bunch of yardage on defense, but the defense came up with some key stops on 3rd and 4th downs and came up with some big time turnovers, and when we got some turnovers our offense did a real nice job of sticking them in and scoring touchdowns off of the turnovers. As is usual, when you have a pretty good football team, both sides of the ball have something to do with it.

On Air Force being the fastest team they've faced this year:
I don't know. They're obviously not a spread team that goes that fast, but they're lining up three backs in the backfield, but they go as fast as they can. That makes it difficult on any defense to do that. I don't know, they're probably the ones that went the quickest this year, for the whole game anyway.

On Air Force not punting:
Not at all. That's what they do. As long as it's 4th and 3 or less, they're going to go for it. I was surprised. Our goal was to make them punt. They punted 19 times all season long. We made them punt two or three times. That's a big time accomplishment.

On getting sacks against Air Force:
I knew they hadn't allowed a sack, and I just looked and we had three. Could have had a couple more, too, I think.

On whether he saw this six-game win streak:
No, I don't think that far ahead. I think about the next game. Once the game is over, by this time tomorrow I won't be thinking about this one. I'll be watching Wyoming on film hoping we can win the Conference Championship.

On the bye week:
Yeah, I think that's really good for us. We've played 11 straight weeks, and I think we're a physical football team, and when you're a physical football team, you get a lot of guys beat up. We've got a lot of guys that are playing with hurts and bumps and bruises and strains and twists. They all keep playing. Well, this will give us a chance to heal them up a little bit.

On what that says about the defense:
I think it says something about our whole team. Our team is based on never giving up. Just because you give a long play away or even if you give a score away, you don't quit there. You don't ever lose your emotion. You never lose your momentum. You go back out and try to stop them. To be honest with you, we want them to gain zero, so every play is to try to prevent them from getting a yard. So they get 45 (yards) on a reverse. That means the next play we want to hold them to zero.

On the timing of the bye week:
Well, I think it's good now. I don't think it was good going into the season, no. If you have your druthers, the bye week is right in the middle of the season. It's not at the start or it's not at the end. But we have so many guys beat up, it'll give us a chance to heal up a little bit.

On whether the team will lose momentum following the bye week:
I hadn't thought about that. You want to start that theory? I don't subscribe to that at all. You play each game as it comes along. I don't think it'll break our momentum. If we play good, we're going to win. If we don't play good, we won't win. It happens every single week.

On the passing game struggling:
Well, I thought Air Force did a great job of slowing our run down, and I didn't look at the yardage we got, but they did a fantastic job of slowing our run down, which means play action pass is not near as effective. I thought the one weather element that has an effect on the game is the wind, it affects the kicking game and it affects the passing game. We intercepted passes. Did you see that one that they threw? That wind had a whole lot to do with that one. Their guy was behind us, and the wind knocked the ball down about 20 yards short and we intercepted it. The wind has a whole lot to do with not being able to throw it well.

On having the most wins in the history of the Mountain West:
I've had a lot of good players that have played really hard.

On watching Fresno State at Nevada:
I'm sure some of us will watch it, but I don't know, I guess we were in first place before this game.

On whether having the most wins is something that he can be happy about when he goes home:
To be honest with you, none of that stuff matters to me. Today's win matters a whole bunch to me. I've played for the Conference Championship with teams three times now, or this will be the third time, and haven't won one yet. And our whole existence of this football team is to win a Conference Championship. That's what we build to, that's what we train for, and guess what, we get a chance.

STUDENT-ATHLETES

On playing their last home game as a senior:
Leon McFadden: It's great to go out with a win. The team played physical, and we harp on playing for our seniors, and our seniors led from the front and led by example. I can honestly say I'm proud of our team for coming together and having us win today.

Walter Kazee: We were coming out here just playing our hearts out and actually having something to play for. It's been great.

On picking up the offense:
Walter Kazee: It's the whole offense just does a great job. Our linemen did a great job blocking at the line of scrimmage and our tight ends did a great job blocking out there for us. It's really on them that we were able to do this.

On the bye week:
Walter Kazee: Yeah, I think it'll be good for all of us having a bye week. We've been going at it for a long time, and it's going to feel good for everybody to get a break and rest their bodies and come out strong for our last game.

On making big plays:
Leon McFadden: I mean, it's really big. Coach Long is always talking about being physical and how a physical team, whoever is out physicaling one another, we're going to be successful. Those were big stops. Like they mentioned earlier, they punt very rarely, and for us to get them off the field was a good thing.

On the 500th win overall for Aztec football:
Leon McFadden: Yeah, we mentioned that before the game, this being our 500th win, I heard about it during the week, and everybody was motivated to come into this game, being senior night, and sending all the seniors off with a big win.

On being able to make plays today:
Nat Berhe: Well, again, it was the scheme that Coach Long set out for me. That's basically all we did on defense.

On the importance of stopping Air Force:
Derek Largent: Well, it's really huge because how they play. They're really physical. I think we had a little extra motivation today since it was the seniors' last home game, so we had to do it for them tonight.

On whether it felt like they were gaining chunks of yardage:
Derek Largent: Yeah, definitely, but still have to buckle down and try and stop them.

On turning the page after a game to the next game:
Adam Dingwell: That's what we preach around here. Every game is a big game. Boise was fun, but once we won, we got on the plane and we started thinking about this one. It may be hard to believe, but that's what we preach around here. Now we focus on the next game on our schedule. It may be two weeks away but that's all that matters right now.

On the bye week:
Adam Dingwell: Each one, you kind to want to get off your feet and recover a little bit, got some injured guys, get healthy again, and just be full steam, ready to go to play Wyoming up there.

On this defensive effort compared to others:
Nat Berhe: We've built a lot of confidence throughout the season and after the Boise State win, the defense has just been, `sky's the limit.' Not too long ago we couldn't stop the offense and the offense was scoring for us, and this game we stopped their offense. But it's a team game. We just keep getting better.

On the defensive effort being better:
Nat Berhe: It's a whole confidence issue, really. I think guys are finally realizing that we're really good on defense.

On Everett Beed's fumble recovery TD:
Nat Berhe: Oh, yeah, I was chasing him. I was just saying, `please don't get tackled, please.' When he scored, I kind of jumped on him a little bit. I was excited.

On stopping Air Force on 4th down:
Derek Largent: Well, it was huge because they're picking up however many yards they were, and getting the 4th down stops were really huge.

On the offensive being conservative:
Adam Dingwell: Yeah, I guess you could say that. That was our game plan going in, just to be able to run the ball and keep the ball on our side, and then you know, in the second half we kind of dropped the ball there, myself especially. I didn't play as well as I should have. We want to get those things corrected. We're going to look at the film and work on it as best we can and just be ready to go for an all around complete game for Wyoming.

On whether he was surprised by the six-game winning streak:
Adam Dingwell: I'm not surprised at all. The seniors we have on this team are unbelievable leaders. We have leaders in each class that we can look to. We came together and gelled as a team real well over these past six games, and I think this team is just getting started. We've got Wyoming coming up now and the Conference Championship and that's exciting so we're all happy. But I never underestimated this team. I believed all along we could go out and win every game, and we try to do that, so I'm not surprised at all.

On whether he felt out of sync:
Adam Dingwell: No, I didn't feel out of sync. It's my job to put guys in a position to make plays and be successful, and I didn't do that well enough in the second half. The defense was on the field for a long time and really thankful that they played a great game like they did. They had a good game plan, Air Force did and they played hard, but there's still a couple things I left out on the field, a couple plays I wish I could get back.

On Ryan Katz being at the game:
Adam Dingwell: Yeah, we spoke briefly, nothing out of the ordinary. I see him all around, but it was great to see him out there on senior night. So it was good to have him out there.

Air Force Head Coach Troy Calhoun

On San Diego State and Air Force's loss tonight:
(SDSU) beat a really good football team, especially on the road, and you have to have virtually no mistakes. We had some significant mistakes, most definitely in the differential and the turnover part of it. For us, what's reflective is that you take your record from what happened today and you have to deal with that turnover in a short period of time by the next time we play. I'm not interested in who we face, although we have enormous respect for who we're going to face, but we just have to make sure we're doing everything we can as Air Force.

On if the team could see a comeback:
Yes, no doubt about it, we can. That's one of the things we have to do, we have to rejuvenate. As a team, you have to have enough leadership, which we do, and what I have in mind is rejuvenation and that's what has to happen. We have great seniors and we have a great, great group of kids, but we have to earn it. Just because you think you deserve something doesn't mean you get it, you have to fight.

Air Force senior linebacker Alex Means:

On San Diego State's running game:
They have two great backs. Muema is a fast kid and he runs hard and they were able to break some tackles. It's a good squad and their offensive line is pretty big up front, but I think that we did a pretty good job, defensively, shutting it down for the most part of it.

On playing at Qualcomm Stadium:
I like the environment; it's an NFL field and a lot of big time players have played here so it's pretty cool. Other than that it's a little slick, we're not used to playing on real grass very often so it's a little different.