UTAH STATE FOOTBALL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES – 08-29-11

Utah State head coach Gary Andersen, senior linebacker Bobby Wagner and junior running back Robert Turbin address the media at Monday’s press conference.USU HEAD COACH GARY ANDERSEN: ON CAMP ENDING AND ENTERING AUBURN WEEK: “Overall, camp is in the books. It was a quality camp; it was a long camp, really, three full weeks of camp. The last few days we were able to give the time and the opportunity for the young men to get used to practice. We are doing things just a little bit different this year as far as their weekly schedule, we are meeting in the mornings and practicing in the afternoon. Instead of coming in and practicing and meeting at the same time. We should be used to it. We should have an easy adjustment into game week as far as their preparation. Today will count as a Tuesday practice as will tomorrow in being a Tuesday practice for us. Then a normal Wednesday and then an early morning practice Thursday morning before we prepare to fly out to the Auburn game. That is where we sit.””Overall, a lot of competition on this team. I would sit back and say as a result of this first game, there are going to be 15-20 brand new faces that have never taken a Division I snap, get snaps in this game which is great for us. I think it shows that we are moving in the right direction. In a recruiting standpoint we are getting youth on the field and we have created competition at a number of spots on the football team. That will be interesting to see how that all plays out, where we sit, how we are going to execute, how good of a football team this is at this point. We will find that out here in the next three or four weeks where we become very clear of what are strengths are, what our weaknesses are and areas to improve. I am proud of the way the kids have worked and we are excited to get this season started, obviously against a quality opponent.””Auburn is a tremendous environment, a tremendous opportunity. Basically it will be a day that the kids should never forget. If you go walk into this football game and not have a smile on your face then really, you are playing the wrong sport. Competitors are going to love the challenge that we have in front of us, without a doubt. It will be an exciting time for these kids to get in and play the National Champions and they still are the National Champions until somebody takes that away from them. We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us. They are going to be a very gifted team. If I sit back, and there is a lot of talk about them and the number of new people that they have, which is true. They are going to be very gifted, very talented, very well-coached young men that are going to be on the field. You sit back and watch the tape of our opponent for the last few years, if I am going to sit down and break down the biggest differences, just watching the SEC tape, the speed, the size is very, very impressive. I know that Auburn is going to look the part. I have talked to as many people as I possibly can, to communicate with them to see exactly where Auburn sits and they have said that they have recruited very, very well. They expect them to be a very good team. Yes they have some new faces but I am sure they are quality pieces to the puzzle in the SEC as they move forward.””The environment that we are walking into is going to be, probably from what I understand, one of the best in the country. We are excited to walk into that environment, 90,000 people is what I believe they have there on a tradition. What you have to do in the first game is walk in and take care of the Aggies. Its not about anything else. All of us walking in to the stadium together, putting our best performance in and seeing exactly where it sits. I expect this football team to execute. I expect them to handle the situations very, very well, in an extremely adverse environment and we will be in some of those adverse environments as the year goes on. So, it will be a great learning experience and what we don’t handle well, we will work to handle well and what we do handle well we will continue to emphasize in practice and continue to focus on that.”ON THE WEATHER UTAH HAS HAD TO PREPARE FOR SOUTHERN CONDITIONS:”I agree. The question is the humidity. Last couple of days, the humidity when I have looked and what I have been told has been close, but I believe we are going to hop up to 75 or 80 percent humidity, whatever it may be, very quickly. It has been hot here. We have put them in the hot environments, we have put them on the turf. The kids have handled it well. How the kids handle themselves and hydrate themselves over the next week as we progress through game week here is very, very important. I expect it to be hot; I expect it to be humid and I would hope that the weather would not be a factor. We are going to play a number of young men in this game and that is just factual. We will play a lot of players. We will take a large group with us on the airplane because we have the opportunity to take a large group on the airplane with. Where we sit, we need to put a lot of young men on this football field and see how they react so we can prepare ourselves for the rest of the season. Also, to give us the best opportunity to compete in this game at a high level.”ON BARRETT TROTTER, AUBURN QUARTERBACK:”Yeah we looked at as many of the young men as we possibly can, but they have all the way from offensive linemen and we have tried to find snaps that the kids have played in, in the past. The quarterback situation for them is much like ours, I would say, regardless of who plays. I would not be surprised to see a couple. The Trotter kid when he has come in, has he thrown a bunch of balls, no. Has he played a lot, no. Very athletic, obviously highly recruited, excited about his opportunity to come in and lead the Auburn Tigers, which is probably something where he grew up, he might have grown up wanting to do that his whole life, who knows. I am sure he will be excited about that opportunity. He is a quality quarterback, a little different obviously then what Cam Newton was as far as his dynamics with his feet, from what you can see on film but who knows. Maybe the offense won’t change at all, they may want to stay with the sure athleticism. You can kind of get in a real chess match in your own mind with those first games. You can go back and say they will be more like they were two years ago or they will be more like they were last year. We have got good coaches, Auburn has got good coaches and the bottom line is they are going to put their best 11 young men out there on the field and then they are going to build a scheme that is best for them, what they believe is best for them to compete at a high level. So, there will be some surprises in game one, which there always is and how we adjust and how the young men handle it is key.”ON USU DEFENSIVE SCHEME:”Our ability to get Maurice Alexander, Tavaris McMillian, Bojay Filimoeatu, Quinn Garner and Levi Koskan, to get those young men out on the field at the same time along with Bobby Wagner, you want to build different packages. Now when we say we are completely an odd front, well not so fast. You are going to see us predominately in an odd front in certain packages and you are going to see us predominately in an even front in certain packages. When I say that, it is really a credit to the kids because they have been able to absorb a lot of these new defenses we went through in spring and they have been able to add some different flavor to it as we have gone through camp. Now, how we handle it in game time situations, how good these football players are in these game time situations and what the extent we can move the calls forward, really depends on how we all handle on game day, from coaches to players. I believe we are in good shape to present a fairly large package of defense to our opponents but we will see how it goes. We will be odd, we will be even, with the attempt to put the best 11 players on the field.”ON KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH JAY BOULWARE:”You know I have talked to Jay very, very little since he has left. I have tracked him, I know where he is. He obviously had a great year that he was able to be a part of last year. He is a good man, good family and I look forward to seeing him.”ON RUNNING BACK MICHAEL DYER:”First thing is the first guy in has a real hard time tackling him. Michael is very elusive with power when he wants power and when he needs power. It is very obvious the runs that he makes, he is not the tallest guy in the world, which he uses to his advantage, he is a strong, powerful back, you have got to gang tackle him. He has great speed; he has tremendous ability to get to the edge of the defense and hurt you. Watching SEC tape, which again shows you how fast he is. So, if anyone doesn’t think he is fast just flip on some tape and see how fast he is. He is a well-rounded back, he does it all and he is going to be a big part of their offense.”ON AUBURN RECEIVING CORPS:”They are going to be tall, they are going to be fast. They are all going to be able to be play makers, I am absolutely sure of it. They lost some more receivers from a year ago, but the young men they have in there are going to be able to run very well. They are going to look the part, they are going to run tremendous routes I am sure. Again, for us it is not so much who is who, especially in game one. Our guys understand it whether it is #89 or 87 or 83 there is #2 and this is my job description and so on and so forth throughout the defense. You are not going to look at Auburn University football program right now and say ‘there is a weak link, let’s go take advantage of it.’ It is not going to happen. What we have to be able to do is to do everything we can to execute, make plays when the opportunity presents itself and execute on third-downs is going to be gigantic as a football team. Our ability to get stops on third-down and our ability to convert on third-down is going to be a tremendous difference in a game like this. We have to be able to stay on the field and we have to be able to get off the field. It sounds very simple and easy and clean, but in a game like this, if you can’t do that you will have no opportunity to win. It is going to be highly emphasized with us as we go through the week. We have to convert when we get to those critical situations. I say it all the time on defense but I will say it on offense this week, third-down is the only down. Everything else is what you are working yourself to get there. Third-down is the only down, you have got to win it to have a chance in a big game like this.”ON BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT FROM CAMP UNTIL NOW:”I would like to say in the front seven, but that is against ourselves. So, we will see. We will see how physical we can be, we will see how tough we are. We are going to line up against some tough guys in about five days. We will see how tough we are and exactly where we sit but our depth is improved from what it was a year ago. Physically we look to improve but I don’t believe any of that stuff until I see the numbers against an opponent. On the defensive side of the ball it is people flapping their lips until they make plays so we will see what happens.”ON USU’S SECONDARY:”I feel good. I wish Cameron Sanders was with us. Cam has the elbow injury and he won’t be with us and that is a big blow. It is too bad for him to because, it is not home but it is somewhat close to home, for him to have the opportunity to go play. Jumanne Robertson has come in and done a nice job. Terrence Alston has come in and done a nice job, and Terrell Thompson has come in and done a nice job. Now, the idea for them is this week to fine tune and understand where they fit. Not play with so much of a loose mentality, understand where you fit in the scheme. A lot of times when you are a tremendous player in high school and sometimes when you are a tremendous player in junior college you can walk in and get away with so much because the opponent you are playing against can’t handle you athletically. You are so far superior that you can take chances, you can actually make mistakes with your technique. Well, that is no longer the case and the ability for those young men to completely understand that and not have to learn the hard way, and when I say hard way I mean getting beat in the back end in a game for a score and really wrapping their arms around that this is what I have to do on game day or it is going to cost my team very, very harshly. That is the step for them, but I feel better on the back end. We still have got work to do just like we do everywhere else but I love the way Nevin Lawson is a leader as a true sophomore. Fantastic young man and he leads that group, getting Walter McClenton back will help us hopefully to take a step in the right direction.”ON FLORIDA PLAYERS:”Corey Raymond did a good job here, Javon (Bouknight) has jumped in there, T.J. Woods has been involved in the recruiting process in Miami, Florida. I am fortunate to have a couple coaches that are there that played for me in years past. I think the biggest thing, like in anything else, we will get more as these kids continually have success. These young men have been in our program going on two years now, have had success on the field, they have had success academically and they have had success socially. So if you are a high school coach you are going to look at Utah State and Florida and say ‘yep, that is a real opportunity,’ because there is proof that these young men can succeed. It is great for them to get back close to home and obviously the SEC is very important in the state of Florida, where these young men group up. So, for them to know that they have the opportunity to compete against an SEC opponent like we do this week is big for them. It is somewhere we need to keep recruiting and we look forward to that opportunity and these tremendous young men who have been here with us, they sure like Logan and Cache Valley, I will tell you that much.”BOBBY WAGNER, SENIOR LINEBACKERON CAMP ENDING AND PREPARING FOR AUBURN:”I think camp went well. We got a lot done, we got a lot of answers that we needed to answer. I think the defensive linemen stepped up for the most part during camp. I am just excited for Auburn, I am excited for my final year to get started and I just can’t wait to play.”ON IMPORTANCE OF CONTROLLING LINE OF SCRIMMAGE:”It is very important. Without the defensive linemen or other linemen, nothing would get going. So, I think it is very important to establish our dominance, per say, on the line, both sides of the ball, not just defense.”ON PLAYING AT AUBURN:”I am all smiles. It is a game that everybody dreams about playing, playing the defending National Champions. So I am excited to play in front of all those people and just represent Utah State right.”ON WHAT CONCERNS HE HAS ABOUT AUBURN:”Nothing concerns me, but I do feel like they have solid running backs that are very productive. As far as the quarterback situation, I feel like they are going to pick the right guy to run their offense so he is going to be prepared just like our quarterback is going to be prepared. They are champions for a reason so we just have to prove our selves.”ON 3-4 DEFENSE:”Yes, I love the 3-4, being able to move around in different positions. The offense can’t really pinpoint me in one spot because I could be in several different spots. I am having fun with it, I am enjoying the 3-4.”ON HANDLING PRESEASON ATTENTION:”It doesn’t affect me at all. I felt like teams were keying on me last year, they are just going to do it a little more this year. I am open and ready for the challenge to figure out what they are trying to do to stop me. Like Coach Andersen says, you just fly with it.”ON OTHER PLAYERS ON DEFENSE MAKING PLAYS:”Yeah definitely. I have seen the players around me make plays. If teams are trying to stop me from making tackles, which I highly doubt is going to happen, but if they do that, everybody around me from the safety spot to the d-lineman spot can make plays. We’ve got play makers.”ON DEFENSIVE LINE BEING THE BEST HE’S PLAYED WITH DURING HIS TIME AT USU:”Yes. I don’t really know how to explain it, just that feel. They are excited to play the game, they want to be on the other side of the ball just like I do. They come with this passion that I don’t think the defensive linemen had as much of in previous years. I am excited to play with them.”ON COMPARING AUBURN GAME WITH OKLAHOMA’S LAST YEAR:”I don’t feel you can really compare the two teams, because I feel like Auburn runs a lot more trick plays than Oklahoma did. They are both good programs and they bring certain things to the table and I am just ready to play them.”ON AUBURN BEING WARY OF USU BECAUSE OF OKLAHOMA GAME LAST YEAR:”I am pretty sure they will be a little more worried but I feel like we are better than we were at Oklahoma. We are just going to come and give it our all and see what happens.”ON LAST CHANCE FOR SENIORS TO BEAT A BCS TEAM:”I definitely feel like it motivates me, personally. This is my last year and I am trying to go out on the right note. As far as the team, we just want to beat whoever is on our schedule, no matter if they are a BCS team or division 12, so we come out with the same mindset for each team.”ON NEW SECONDARY AND WHO TO WATCH FOR:”Jumanne Robertson, you will be impressed with him. Terrence Alston is going to see a lot of action. The usuals, Walter McClenton and Alfred Bowden are going to come. I am just excited to play with those guys.”ON NEVIN LAWSON’S IMPROVEMENT:”Man, Nevin has stepped up big time. The way he carries himself, his focus is incredible. I told him the other day at practice that I appreciate the way he covers the receivers, because I rarely see people catch balls with him this camp. I am excited to see what he is going to do this year.”ON IF NEVIN IS THE NEW SHUT-DOWN CORNER:”I wouldn’t say that much, because we haven’t played any games yet. Ask me five games into the season and I am pretty sure I will say yes.”ROBERT TURBIN, JUNIOR RUNNING BACKON CAMP ENDING AND PREPARING FOR AUBURN:”Obviously camp was a big difference for us, a little bit of a grind as it is every year. I think overall it was very good, very beneficial for us. I believe that we improved as a team in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams. Hopefully that will carry over into the season.”ON COMPARING HIM TO MICHAEL DYER:”I don’t know. I have not watched Michael very much as far as in the film room. I have seen a few Auburn games when they were on TV from last year. He is a good running back from what I have seen, but I don’t necessarily compare myself in a lot of ways to any other running backs, I just try to be the best player that I can be.”ON AUBURN’S DEFENSE:”They are not very aggressive but they run a very disciplined kind of defense and they have very disciplined players. Most of the time, if a player is supposed to be in a certain gap, nine times out of 10 he is in that gap doing his job. So as an offense, we have to make sure we are very assignment sound with what we are doing offensively to be able to counter act that and have some success.ON AUBURN’S AGILITY AND ABILITY ON THE D-LINE:”Well, I believe it is an opportunity for all of us skill players to make plays and keep third-down situations. That is what we are here for, to make those key third-down plays. Whether it is third and short, like third and two or third and eight and I need to go out on a swing route or they put me in the slot or anything like that. When the opportunity presents itself its my job to make a play in those situations. So we will see if we can do that.”ON ACCOMPLISHING PERSONAL GOALS DURING CAMP:”Yes, overall I wanted to improve as a player. What I meant from that was, obviously coming back from the injury I wanted to do some things a bit more physically as far as full scrimmaging and tackling and hitting and blocking and cut-blocking. All the game situation-type things, in practice I wanted to be able to do and accomplish and do well to kind of prepare myself for the season. I believe and Coach Tuiaki, who is my position coach, and Coach Baldwin who is the offensive coordinator were obviously able to put me in those situations and Coach Andersen was able to let me go and play in those scrimmages, and go without any holding me back or anything like that and I was able to accomplish a little more confidence in my ability to play.”ON OFFENSIVE LINE:”I can say that they have definitely improved, not necessarily just physically. Yes they are bigger, but mentally their mindset as an offensive line is much, much better. They are much more confident. In the summer where we get a period of about five weeks in May, probably a week in June, I think all of the offensive linemen were back after the first two weeks of that break because they wanted to get better. That was there whole main focus was to get better as an offensive line. I believe they can be dominant and really help this team win a lot of football games.”ON RUNNING THE BALL SUCCESSFULLY AGAINST AUBURN:”We just have to be sound in our assignments and technique. It all starts with the offensive line and they know that they have to play with great technique especially against a team like Auburn, who has a lot of speed on the defensive line. They are very big at the defensive line and linebacker spot so we have to be very sound in not only our technique but our assignments. If we are supposed to get a certain linebacker or combo up to a SAM or something like that, we have to be able to be on point and do that. If there is a blitz, and we know a blitz is coming, the offensive line and myself, because I am part of that protection, have to be sound in knowing who we are supposed to block and who is coming. It comes from studying and watching film and we will be alright.”ON WHAT HE IS MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SATURDAY:”I am looking forward to a lot of different things. I think mostly just the excitement, that butterfly feeling you get before a game and just the whole atmosphere, the crowd and all of that when you step onto the field and get an opportunity to play. That is kind of what I missed the most, just playing with that crowd, whether they are booing you or cheering. You get a lot of boos, maybe a little trash talk here and there but that is what makes sports a lot of fun. You can either make them be quiet or continue to do stuff to make them talk, so we will see which ways it goes.”ON EXPECTATIONS OF QUARTERBACKS:”Whoever the starter will be and I wish I knew, if I knew I would probably tell you guys. My expectation of them is first of all, honestly, is for one of them to show us who the starter is going to be. Obviously at this point, camp is over and they have been pretty even. What I expect out of those two is, we are going to do everything we can to win the football game, but one of them has to show that ‘hey, I am going to be the guy that is going to manage these games,’ and help us win more than the other guy. Whichever one quarterback has that mindset and does that remains to be seen but that is what I expect out of those two.”ON HAVING A TWO QUARTERBACK SYSTEM:”I believe in the coaching staff. If they believe that for this game a two quarterback system will help us win, then I am all for it, I will buy in and we will see how it goes. I think it can help us. You have got a guy in Adam Kennedy who is obviously more of a pocket passer kind of a guy, to sit back and read coverages. Chuckie Keeton does a little bit of the same but he can also do some dynamic things with his feet and that may be able throw Auburn off a little bit there, kind of subbing in and out quarterbacks. We will see how it goes for the rest of the season. Hopefully it won’t have to be that for the whole season, but if that is what helps us offensively then we will definitely use it throughout the season.”-USU-

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