Oct. 6, 2012
Head Coach Ellis Johnson
On the morale of the team...
"They are down. When you've lost five ball games in a row, there's not a whole that you can grab on to. For the second week in a row, I thought we played very hard, gave great effort. I thought there was a point in time, a few times during the game, where the confidence wasn't there. They were frustrated but the story of the game is turnovers. Five turnovers to one. That's field position. That's points. That's everything. It's the ability to stay on the field. I did not think we played a continually physical time on defense, but I thought the turnovers just smothered us early in the game. You can't take care of the football, you're going to have a hard time beating a good football team and Boise is a very good football team. They've been frustrated what they've been able to accomplish but they are a really complete football team. They know what they are, always have. Coach Petersen does an excellent job."
On if he has addressed the team any differently after this game...
"I didn't say (anything different compared to previous games). It was very similar to last week. They've played two very good football lteams. We've played extremely hard. I didn't see a lack of effort, but I thought last week, they thought they were going to win that ball game. This week, there were a few times you had to pick them up off the mat. The frustration of the turnovers, field position, other things that occurred in the game, it would wear on them a little bit. You had to pep them up, pick them up a little bit, and that's fine. That's our jobs as coaches. Every football team is going to have a little of that, but that was the only difference in these two games. I think they'll come back to work and get ready to go next week. As terrible as this start has been, if they want something to look forward to, we still can have a winning season. We can still win the division. We still can go to a bowl. There are not many teams that are 0-5 that can have things to look forward to. I don't think they'll tuck it in. I think they'll come back, work hard, try to get better. We've got to get better at the X's and O's and execution of football, but we've also got to get that confidence to where we know we can get it done because I think we have the guy who can."
On the play of the team in the redzone...
"The biggest problem that stalls us is that we're not a good third down team. Of course, the turnovers hurt too. Don't let the yardage fool you. When you start on someone else's 30-yard line a couple of times and then you start 80 yards from the goal line, people play you different. People don't run zero blitz when you have 90 yards to go so you can get your few 25, 45-yard drives, but when it comes time to cut the meat, you have to make the plays."
On motivating the team towards the goals that still remain...
"We just try to stay demanding and positive. I don't know what else you do. I don't believe in all the motivational films and talkers and speakers and all that. I think you just have to be positive, stay with them, don't give up on them. Don't blame them. We as coaches have got to take the blame and try to fix it. As long as they come back and work hard, I have no seen anything where they have not done that. As long as they do that, we have a chance to get better."
On what will be the most important thing to work on this upcoming week...
"We have got to be effective throwing the ball down field. You've got to, at some point, be able to do that. It shortens drive. It makes you have to run less perfect plays. It changes field position immediately. It gives you an opportunity for points. That would be the one phase I think we have to work at. Defensively, I didn't think we finished extremely well, but we were just absolutely bombed. They were worn out. You can't have the short possessions and the turnovers without affecting your physical ability to stay dominant up front. I thought we did some good things up front at time against a very good football team."
On the play of the true freshmen...
"There are a lot of positives. Tyre Bracken, Jalen Richard have played pretty good in every game they've gone in. (Anthony Alford) has had his bright spots. (D.J. Thompson) is growing as a receiver. You can see it each week. (Wil Freeman) wanted to redshirt, he asked to redshirt to develop as a player, but because of injuries, we had to press him into action and he plays with as much effort as anyone on that field. He's still a freshman and does a lot of things that freshmen do but he plays with super effort. We have a couple of them. Kalan Reed was out there quite a bit today. DeBarrius Miller - I hate to start naming them because I might leave someone out. There are some young guys that are learning. They are hard lessons but they are learning things that will help them in the future."
On whether the quarterback position is up in the air again...
"I don't think now is the time to make that decision. We'll have to look at the film tomorrow. It's been things we couldn't control like the injuries. Then, there are other things that we're going to have to call the shots we can control. Again, I certainly don't mean to say that the quarterbacks are responsible for what happened today but we've got to get better play from that position. I don't know when Chris will be back. Arsenio is healthy now. Anthony was out for a week. Ricky has gotten his first shot to play in a game with any kind of reasonable playing conditions, and if you go, there are a lot of freckles on everybody and a lot of good things you like about them. The one thing I like is that they are all competitors. They come back to work and try to get better, but you can see the youth and inexperience. There are a lot of growing pains out there. If we had a bunch of returning starters and great players around them that could hide them, but right now we have some guys who are doing good things but the quarterbacks have a lot on them right now."
Head Coach Chris Petersen
"Turnovers. I don't know how or why we keep getting them, but it makes thing different for us, and if we continue that track we are going to be in every game and have a great chance to win most."
How did you feel on your team capitalizing on the offensive end?...
"Yeah, I think we are making strides. The kids are practicing really hard. They care and are trying to get better. And we are making strides."
How do you feel on your freshmen showing up on turnovers?...
"Well we need them, because those are the guys. We have freshmen and they are going to play and so they have to make plays. It's good to get them confidence.
You guys obviously talk about turnovers every year, what is it this year that sort of clicked?...
"If I had the secret I wouldn't tell anybody. Every coach knows and everyone works on it. I think it starts by playing hard, and flying around, and trying to get multiple guys to the ball, and it doesn't always go like that but they kind of come in bunches sometimes and that's kind of what's happening right now."
Where are you guys? Are you where you thought you'd be at five games into the season?...
"Yeah, I think we are getting it. I think we are getting there."
When you hit this run of backup running quarterbacks coming in in the second halves of games and providing a spark, what kind of adjustment do you have to make when that happens?...
"You saw what the problem could be, could be a little bit tired, and tackling. The Southern Miss quarterback, he can run, he's good, and he made us miss. Yeah, three misses on a play. You're going to get something good if you can make three guys miss on a play and that's what he was doing."
Southern Miss Player Quotes
Defensive lineman Khalid Wilson
On the short fields created by the turnovers on the offense in the game...
"As a defense we take pride in that no matter where (the ball) is set, whether the three, two or one, we have got to stop them and I feel like we didn't do a good job of that. Even if the offense does put us in the situation, there are no excuses. We have to come up and stop them and keep playing."
On things to continue playing for like the East Division, a winning season and a bowl game...
"We are all human. We are all down right now, but we are going to start back up tomorrow and continuing growing, practicing hard every day and trying to still fight (to work toward) that conference championship."
On how close he feels that team is to turning the corner...
"I think we are close to making that turn where we are hitting on all cylinders. We are just going to have to try to keep fighting and keep going. We just have to keep practice and keep on our minds the goals that we set for each other."
Running Back Desmond Johnson
On the offense executing, but turnovers forcing the score to be in Boise State's favor in the first half... "We had to walk around and tell each other to keep our players to keep their head up because it isn't over. We knew that they had put up these points in the first half, so let us do that in the second half."
On Getting Confidence...
"You have to believe in yourself and your teammates - the guys that are around you. You have to go out and play hard - just give it your all."
On still having a chance to reach the team's goals this season with conference play continuing next week...
"It really motivates us. Coach (Johnson) told us today in the locker room that we still have a chance to make it to a bowl game and (challenge) for the conference."
Boise State Player Quotes
"We keep on telling the offense, 'Hey, we've got your back no matter what.' I think we got the offense flowing a little bit too, but the offense was really feeding off of us right now."
"Definitely, as soon as we get them to turn over it pumps up the offense, and then they'll try to punch it in as soon as they get the ball back."
"We knew they had some athletes and some great guys for a team that was really spreading us out, but I think we rallied as a team and closed this game out."
"We game-planned him. We knew when he was coming in we figured out he was a running quarterback. As soon as he came in we knew he was going to run around and we just tried to keep him in the container."
"That's something that we emphasized last week. We didn't come out like we wanted to last week, but this week we had the fire and desire coming in and into the second half."
"I feel like we're at a good place, but it's time to take it to another level. We need that conference play and the Mountain West is what we want to win."
"Yeah, it's like you're climbing up a mountain. I think these first five games are pretty good, but we just have to take it to that next level now and win the Mountain West like no Boise State team has."
"Definitely, that just tells us we have some great players ready to play no matter what class they're in. That's how we are at Boise State - we know what we've got. It's great to see those guy step up and make big plays like that."
"He's a great kid. He's really been stepping up at practice and making really good strides on special teams. I think Coach Gregory threw him out there on the field with great confidence."
"Yeah, it's getting turnovers and the defense did an outstanding job giving them. They capitalized well and it was a good job."
"It was good. It was a short field and you always think about scoring on a short field and then pressure was on, but we did a good job. Southern Miss had some dudes - they were athletic and they were very fast and we did a good job."
"That was the big focus for us the past three days this week in practice. I think we did a great job in coming out. Our first three-and-out wasn't what we were looking for, but then there was another turnover and a guy dropped a punt or something. A few plays later we were in the end zone. We did a good job in the second half with passes, when we had to, and Kirby had that nice long touchdown so it was good."
"It was nice, I think the one that Kirby had was third-and-short. Southern Miss did a good job covering, and Kirby's pretty much the last option on that one. I was trying to go through my read, and Kirby did a nice job of slipping behind a guy. I didn't know Kirby had those shakes - he put a nice stiff-arm on a guy and he got his hands on the ball and that was nice to see."
"It was nice, again, another turnover. Defense started for us and there was some talk about how we wanted it to get done. We came out and threw that first pass, and then threw another pass and I was just going through my reads. CP was wide open on that one and did a good job with the read on it."
"CP did a good job and Burks did a good job of shaking them off of coverage. Then we had a good play."
"It was just the situation and what we wanted to do, and it came down to that decision."
"It was good for him to get in there, and it was good for him to get some real reps and live ones. The offense did a good job today."
"Yeah, again, I think the offense did a good job today and any time you score 40 points you're proud of yourselves."
We're 4-1. We're 4-1 right now and all we care about is Fresno State next game. We'll get back and watch that and get ready for them next week.
"Yeah, again, these guys are good. We were just on our game today I think and this team had some athletes for sure. But we're getting better each week - that's our goal as a program, and hopefully we can continue to do that."
"There's definitely a level of comfort doing it every week now with a lot of good players around you. I think we're finding our stuff on offense."
"It was just about finishing - finishing well on both sides of the ball. It was about having a good half. We wanted to come out and we wanted to compete and have energy and put some points up offensively. With defense, it was just keeping points off the scoreboard."
"CP, at the end of the half, made a nice cut. When that defender got in, Kirby stiff-armed a guy. The recievers were doing a nice job and running good routes, so that makes it easier on me."
"Like was said, the defense played an amazing game and we definitely got to capitalize on a lot of things. The offense really made a big step and ended up putting a lot of points on the board."
"I think turnovers are always going to be one of those determining factors in a game. For us to not turnover, and then they did, got us to capitalize on a lot of plays."
"I think when we see something during the week that we do wrong, I think that week following we really try and emphasize it in practice. We really made big strides in improving and that'll stretch on into the next game."
"Right exactly, I think that the variety of plays is something that's going to keep the offense together as a whole. It's really kept the beat on us and it's helped out a lot."
"I mean, every now and then, plays are going to happen like that. They're going to call a play that but we try to not focus on it and take it out and keep working."
"I feel like we're not really where we want to be yet, but I do think that we're definitely making strides in the right direction. We put up 40 points and forced a lot of turnovers with the defense and I think that's going to sit well with us going into the conference again."
"I've just been proud of really just the improvement we've made each week. You've seen the defense improve and offense improve the previous week. It feels good to put up big scores of 20-plus early into the season."
"Exactly, that really does encourage us a lot, and we do have a lot to work on and we have improved. I think once we're finally able to put that all together, then we'll be good."
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