Utah State head coach Gary Andersen, senior quarterback Diondre Borel (Oakley Calif./Freedom HS), senior cornerback Curtis Marsh (Simi Valley, Calif./Royal HS/Naval Academy Prep) and sophomore kick returner/running back Kerwynn Williams (Las Vegas, Nev./Valley HS) addressed the media Monday at USU’s weekly press conference, recapping the loss to Boise State, recapping the season and talking about all-WAC selections.USU HEAD COACH GARY ANDERSEN:Coach Gary Andersen – Press Conference (End of Season) ON BOBBY WAGNER AND CURTIS MARSH GETTING ALL-WAC HONORS:”For Bobby and Curtis, it is a very well deserving honor for both of them in my opinion. For Bobby it is his second year in a row he has led the conference in tackles. He is a tremendous player. We need to take full advantage of his athletic ability in the future. For Curtis, it is tough deal when a coach asks you to move position. It is not easy especially when he had the success he did at the position he was playing. It worked out the best for him. He is one of the best corners in our league and the coaches obviously feel the same way. I believe he is a next level defender. Curtis could get himself into a post-season bowl game, I think he should get that opportunity and I hope does. He should get himself into the combine and he will test there very well. Time will tell, but he did a tremendous job of adjusting.” ON THE BOISE STATE LOSS:”You can’t spot a great team 15 points. It all comes down to that. Our inability to control the line of scrimmage and stop the pass rush did not help us. It is hard to come back when you give points to a great team.” “Kerwynn William’s effort was tremendous. When Derrvin went down with the elbow injury, Kerwynn came in and took the opportunity. He was the guy who had to take 90 percent of the reps, and that was a great individual performance. We are going to get the best shot Kerwynn has, week in and week out.” “We had some injuries, Bobby [Wagner] broke his arm, Philip Gapelu broke his leg. Phil walked off the field with a broken leg and Bobby went back in, they are tough kids. They will both be ok, and they will come back. Deervin dislocated his elbow, is what I heard, he doesn’t have any more snaps here at Utah State but he will come back and be ok. It was a similar injury than what happened to Kellen Bartlett.” ON IF THE OFFENSIVE LINE WAS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THE TEAM HAD THIS YEAR: “I wouldn’t say it was the one area. It is an area where we definitely need to improve. If you look at the stats, I am not a stat guy but I am a study guy, if you sit back and look at this team we don’t have a defensive lineman in the top 10 for tackles for loss or sacks, we don’t have receivers in the top 10 with receptions, we don’t have running backs in the top 10, and I could go on and on. The fact of the matter is you have to make plays. You can say stats don’t matter, but those stats do matter because that is who we are as a football team right now. It was not one crew, one group, or one player, it was a team that needs to make some changes and get better.” ON INJURIES PLAYING A ROLE IN SLOW SEASON: “That is a big factor. We are an extremely young football team. Thank goodness they are back in that room right now and they will be back here for this next year. When you turn around and look at the next guys who are coming in and playing, they are freshmen. That is going to take a little bit of a toll as time goes on. I am never going to use the injuries as a crutch or excuse. Did we have some tremendous players not with us yes, but we had younger players who got the opportunity to get experience that would not have gotten that experience had the other players been with us.”ON COACHING STAFF CHANGES: “I have to evaluate myself and the staff, one and number two, and I have done that. I need to put the players in the best position on and off the field to allow them to be successful. I have made some decisions as a head coach of what we need to do to move forward as a program. Coach Gerke will not be the offensive line coach anymore. That does not come with bad feelings between me and Alex Gerke. We have just gone a different direction, both of us. We are still very good friends. I have known Alex for years, but at the end I have got to sit down and do what is best for the young men and do what is best for Alex. I believe we have done that. It is not a firing scenario; it is a scenario in which we have decided to go another direction.””T.J. Woods will coach the offensive line, and I will hire a graduate assistant at some point to assist with the offensive line. Coach Baldwin will help with the tight ends and the tackles, which he did at Michigan State from 2003-06, having successful offenses and players during his tenure there. As you can see, we are putting a heavy development on the offensive line.”We will hire a quarterback coach. I don’t have a time line on that; we are going to hire the best coach available. A coach who can come in and teach a new quarterback. I am looking for a coach who can get a young man to manage a football game and use the weapons around him effectively, as well as a coach who can recruit.” “Defensively, I am going to be the defensive coordinator. Bill Busch is a tremendous coach. He will be the special teams coordinator. He will be the safeties coach, and he will be the associate head coach. That will allow myself and Bill to communicate with one another on improving the defense.””I don’t want anyone to think that I have all the answers to the defense. This is the best structure of the staff that we have at Utah State, which will allow us to be able to move forward and put the kids in the program in the best position for them to be successful. It doesn’t come without sacrifice, I understand that.””We will work very well together on the defensive side, and Bill will be right there with me as we continue to call defenses together. Nobody else on the defense will be moved. I love the guys on my staff, and I don’t see it as a demotion to Bill Busch. I see it as an opportunity for him to be an associate coach and move forward in his career and to be a special teams coordinator where he was when he was at Nebraska for four years. A major point of emphasis is to be able to take a game over on special teams, and I believe that Bill Busch will give us that.” “Dave Baldwin will stay as the offensive coordinator and he will still calls the plays. That is where Dave was when he was at Michigan State. A young quarterback walking, whether it is junior college kid or a freshman, it will be a highly competitive battle at the quarterback spot. We need a coach with eyes on him [the quarterback] at all times. So that coach can just hone in on that one guy. We all know how important that position is.” “I was coaching the defensive tackles. I have great confidence in Chad’s development as a defensive line coach. He is going to do a tremendous job there, but I will still bring in a graduate assistant to coach stud linebackers.” “I will be on the field. Bill is very comfortable upstairs. When we were at Utah, Kyle was coordinator, I down there and Bill was up there and it was a great mesh. I believe that we can mesh that very well. Our defensive staff does a great job. It is not me who will make a great defense it is all of us together and then getting the right players out there. We have to improve, our defensive numbers the last two years are very poor.” ON FOCUS CHANGING WITH BEING COACH AND COORDINATOR:”It is not a tremendous change. I have learned to be able to talk and communicate with officials and do some different things. With the structure of the staff and the experience we have, I don’t see this as a problem, and I am taking on offense, defense and special teams. As much as we fake, I want to call that so we will need to switch gears there.” ON HEADSET FOR OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:”I can flip over to the offense and defense with the headset. Dave and I are on the same page, we know where we are and what we are going to do with kicking or going with it.” “I am not a big draw guy overall, the assistant coaches need to handle that. Kevin Clune is a very good coach; he can get over there and write down where the guys need to be and Corey Raymond is very good and he can handle it from the field, and we have the phones. I feel completely comfortable.” ON WHEN THE DECISIONS WERE MADE:”I did a lot of thinking during the bye week. We are two years into this; we and I deserve a very close look at where we are at and where we are going. Those are not easy decisions; they are tough decisions to make. They are emotional, but that is where I see our best fit.” ON QB COACH COMING FROM CURRENT STAFF:”No, I need a coach that is experienced in recruiting, that can handle the recruiting situation as a coach. I need a coach that has been on the road and has experience in recruiting. I love youthful coaches but we need someone who has been through it. We need a guy who is has experience at a high level.” ON TIMELINE OF HIRING QB COACH:”Probably not until the first of the year. If somebody jumps in there and it is the right fit, then we will do it. January 1st is my goal with that.”ON ALL-WAC SELECTIONS AT SPECIAL TEAMS AND NOT KERWYNN WILLIAMS: “The two kids that are there, are very good. (Phillip) Livas has been in the league a long time and he is very good and a good first-team selection, and (Taveon) Rogers is very good. The two kids that got the recognition are good and I understand that and I get it. I like those guys.” “I think we have a tremendous young center in Tyler Larsen and he could have gotten some looks, but that didn’t work out this time. Chips on your shoulder are a good thing. There is nothing wrong with a chip on your shoulder.”DIONDRE BOREL – SENIOR QUARTERBACK – OAKLEY, CALIF. (FREEDOM HS)RECAP OF BOISE STATE LOSS: “It was a tough loss, I felt like we ran the ball well but we failed to throw the ball well. I felt like everyone played well for our last game for our seniors but we came up short. I wish the best for Utah State next year and feel like they are going to be very successful next season. We came in and set the foundation as seniors for the younger guys on the team. I know they will be successful even though this year was a hard year for us as a team. It was a tough season, we had a lot of injuries that really effected us. All the coaches here a great, they have taught me a lot as a person as well as a player. Coach Anderson has been very motivational for me and I feel like he truly wants the best for this team.” WHAT DO YOU SEE THAT WILL CHANGE THE PROGRAM?”We have the coaches, I know we have the same record as last year but the team is coming together and learning to play together. We have a lot of potential we just need to keep working hard and those guys on the team will get what they want. I have no doubts about this team.” EXPRESSING THE FRUSTRATION OF NOT HAVING WEAPONS THIS SEASON:”I like Matt Austin, Stanley Morrison, and Robert Turbin, they are great guys and great football players. Those were key guys who were going to really make things happen this season, and they all got injured. It does get frustrating not having them out there but that is part of Division I football, I have complete confidence in the players on this team. I went into every game knowing that we could win, I felt that way about every game. I’m friends with all the guys on the team and have no doubts about what they are capable of on the field. I have been with them every day in practice all the way back to spring so I knew what they were capable of.” ON IF IT WAS DIFFICULT AS A QUARTERBACK TO NOT HAVE A “GO TO RECEIVER” THIS YEAR:”It’s different for sure. Not having a “go to receiver” was difficult, I felt like Matt Austin was going to be that person this year. (Kellen) Barlett stepped up and caught the ball when it came to him and he became that player who proved himself. ON ADVICE FOR JEREMY HIGGINS:”I’m going to tell him to stay focused and be confident. He has a lot of potential, he can throw the ball very well, but he has some things that he needs to work on. He has progressed this season as a player even though he hasn’t really played much. If I am available next year I will make sure to step in and help him out.” ON PLANS FOR SPRING AND FUTURE:”I’m trying to work out and hopefully I will get a chance to play at the next level. It’s been a goal of mine sense I was young, I am going to do whatever I have to do to make it.” THOUGHTS ON POSSIBLY HAVING TO CHANGE POSITION AT THE NEXT LEVEL:”I am fine with playing another position, I just want to play. That is my main goal, is to be able to play on the field. I will do whatever I have to do, if it is to catch balls, then I’ll catch balls and make plays and make guys miss like I have always been able to. I have no doubts in myself in being able to play at the next level wherever they want me.”ON BOBBY WAGNER’S FIRST-TEAM ALL-WAC HONORS:”He is a great player who works hard and he wants to be the best. All the guys on the first team and second team work hard and want to be the best and they don’t settle for anything less. It’s a big thing for him, and for me as his teammate. He has always been there for me to talk to, anything on or off the field we can talk about anything. He is a great kid and a great athlete. I have no doubts that he can do it again next year.” ON FEELINGS ABOUT KERWYNN WILLIAMS BEING SNUBBED FOR THE ALL-WAC TEAMS:”I expected to see Kerwynn on one of teams. He broke the kick return yards record for the conference as well as the NCAA record, I really don’t know why he wasn’t on one of the teams. He did everything asked of him this year and he did it very well.” ON HIS HIGHLIGHT AND BIGGEST MEMORIES WHILE PLAYING AT UTAH STATE:”There is a lot. Just being around the team is big for me. I am going to miss it, it’s like being around family for me now and I am really going to miss it. I like laughing with my teammates and being with them in practice as well as on the field. There are plays that I will always remember but its not just one moment but the experience for playing with my teammates.” CURTIS MARSH – SENIOR CORNERBACK – SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. (ROYAL HS/NAVAL ACADEMY PREP) ON EARNING SECOND-TEAM ALL-WAC HONORS:”Being all-WAC is a tremendous honor, I am very grateful to everyone who voted for me. There are a lot of great players in the conference and its an honor for me to be on the list with those players.ON BOISE STATE LOSS:”As far as the game goes, I felt like we played well defensively at times. We hung tough but we had a few mistakes early that prevented us from being in the game in the second half. I feel like this team is only going to get better as they learn and progress. We can learn a lot from this game and that is certainly a positive.” THOUGHTS ON FUTURE OF THE PROGRAM:”It’s only going to grow. The underclassmen have everything they need to succeed, I have no doubt that they will grow, and become a very good football team in the future. The team has endless potential. I am very excited to watch the program in years to come.” ON THE EXCITEMENT OF THE COACHES ABOUT THE YOUNGER PLAYERS AT DEFENSIVE BACK AND THOSE PLAYERS BECOMING THE YOUNG LEADERS OF THE TEAM:”In the secondary they are going to have to be the leaders. What we do in this scheme as corners is extremely difficult. For them to come in as freshman and be able to play a press man coverage for 80 percent of the game is great experience that will do a lot of good for them. They will certainly be leaders and Coach Raymond is the best I’ve ever been around at coaching that position. I think they are going to be very good next season. As corners and safeties they will have to step up and be leaders on the field because right now they are the only ones who have played that position in the system.” ON WHAT’S NEXT FOR HIM:”I love playing football. I am would certainly love to play at the next level so I am going to do everything in my power to be able to do that. I am going to finish getting my degree and I will go from there.” HIS HIGHLIGHTS WHILE PLAYING AT UTAH STATE:”I’d have to say beating BYU. That was one of the most significant things we did all year and getting the feeling of gaining respect from the teams in the state. Coach Andersen is always saying we will never get respect until we can beat one of those two teams in the state. I certainly think that is something that we can leave for our younger guys, it’s the first time we have beat them since the early 90’s. That was my favorite thing that we did as a team.” ON HIS INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHT OF THE SEASON:”Getting the interception against Hawai’i, it was a one possession game and I was playing zero coverage against Greg Salas, who is probably the best receiver in the conference, and the feeling I had of giving our team a chance to tie the ball and keep it close.”KERWYNN WILLIAMS – SOPHOMORE KICK RETURNER/RUNNING BACK – LAS VEGAS, NEV. (VALLEY HS) ON BOISE STATE LOSS:”Obviously the game didn’t turnout the way we wanted it to. I felt like our team went out and competed to the best of our ability. I felt like everyone playing in the game played extremely hard. Everyone put their bodies on the line, as you can tell when you look at some of our players that got injured during the game. Bobby got hurt late in the game and still continued to play as effectively as he could with one arm. The team went out and put our bodies on the line and played as hard as we could. Boise State executed very well and capitalized on all of our mistakes and we didn’t execute when we needed to in order to keep our team in the game.”ON NCAA RECORD FOR SINGLE-SEASON KICK RETURN YARDS:”As far as the NCAA record goes, it is truly an honor to be able to accomplish something like that and I have to thank my coaches for putting me in a situation to be able to break the record. I also have to thank my teammates for helping me get the record, I can’t block and run at the same time, so I thank them for always getting a body on people and opening the holes for me.” THOUGHT ON BEING LEFT OFF THE ALL-WAC TEAMS:”I feel like with the voting system, everyone is entitled to there own opinion. I can’t really go against how anyone voted; the only way I can change their minds is by playing football. I can’t dwell on something that I have no control over, so I’m not going to run home and cry about not being on the list. I’m just going to keep working hard and keep playing football.” ON THINKING IF PEOPLE WILL START KICKING AWAY FROM HIM NEXT SEASON?”That has yet to be determined. Even when teams do kick it short I am trying to run up on it, no matter where the ball is I am going to try and make a play on it. We will see what happens but not many teams that we have played this season have tried to keep the ball away from me.” ON EXCITEMENT ABOUT COMPETITION NEXT SPRING WITH INCOMING PLAYERS AS WELL AS RETURNING PLAYERS:”Most definitely. I love competition and I love to compete against other players. With the junior college players that are coming in the spring who are trying to compete for starting spots as well as the players who have already been here, there is going to be a lot of competition all around. I feel like that will be good for the team as well as me and my position. Do not be surprised if some of the players who have played a lot this season lose time because of the competitors we have on this team. Everyone is going to have to go out and compete to the best of their abilities to get a spot on the field.” ON POSSIBILITIES OF INCLUDING PUNT RETURNS IN HIS GAME NEXT SEASON:”That is up to the coaches. I do feel like I could be a part of the punt return game and help my team get the best field position possible. That decision is up to my coaches and what they feel would be best for the team, and whatever they decide I am ok with.”ON IF CATCHING A PUNT IS DIFFERENT THAN CATCHING A KICKOFF:”It is a lot different than catching a kickoff. I don’t have to judge who is coming down to tackle me on a kickoff. Unless they are Usain Bolt, they don’t have much chance of getting to me when before I catch the ball. It’s really a different thing, where I will have to be able to judge where players are and if I can catch the ball. It takes some getting use to. In high school I never really caught punts, I would let them hit the ground and run up on it. You really can’t do that in college football, teams are just too good. It is certainly something that I am working on to help the team with.”ON IF BEING LEFT OFF THIS SEASON’S ALL-WAC LIST GOING TO FUEL HIM TO BE ON NEXT SEASON’S ALL-WAC TEAM:”It’s always motivation for me to be the best at my position as well as the best at anything that I do. That is something that I have always been taught and something that I am always working to accomplish. My dad always told me if I was going to do something that I might as well be good at it. You have to do whatever it takes to give yourself that opportunity. It is unfortunate that I didn’t make it this season but it’s not something that I am going to dwell on the whole thing. My goal is to go out and play football.”-USU-
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