The no nonsense coach opened by asking: "Am I making a statement or are you asking question? Here's my statement - GO DEVILS! (smile)" When asked about his assessment of the game, Koetter said; "It was a dominant win. We deserve to win like that. Our players paid the price to be here (speaking of the off-season program). It wasn't the prettiest game I was involved in, but we'll take the win no the less, and know we have to play better against UCLA." On the play of his young cornerbacks: "We played five different to begin with, so we gave a lot of players experience. R.J. Oliver played very physical, and was extremely competitive. Manny (Emanuel Franklin) had the 100-yard interception for touchdown, which was huge and really got the crowd in the game. San Diego made some gains on us late in the game, but to have players like Lamar Baker, O.J. Hackett, and Adrian Thomas get experience was great. It won't be too long until cornerback is strength of our team. The only way you get experience is to play." On the defense he commented: "Our defense was awesome. The defense even exceeded my expectations. We know San Diego has a big play capability. Too bad we couldn't hold on to the shutout that would be a great way for the guys to start off the season. I talked been talking for a while about the difficulty of practicing against the 4-2-5 alignment. They give you problems; because you just don't know where those guys are gonna come from. The defense will get better as they trust each other in their assignments. I thought they were a couple of times that we were a step or two away from making a big play. I got a stat showing that San Diego was still under 10 yards of total offense going into the fourth quarter, so we're happy."
As far as his assessment of Jeff Krohn, Koetter was somewhat unpleased. "From an efficiency standpoint, when you throw four touchdowns and no interceptions, that's pretty good (smile). On the other hand, I've said that I'm always the most critical of the quarterback position, more than any other position. Jeff missed some throws that he needs to make for us to win games. It was a first time out, and we know what we need to work on and go from there." The head coach was actually more content with the running game: "The running game really did spark the first two scoring drives. As I second-guess myself, we probably should have stayed with it in the second quarter. But I did want us to push the envelope with the passing game, and really develop some confidence. I know we can be a great running team, and I want us to think of ourselves as an excellent passing team as well. All the three tailback were running hard, and Mike Karney did do a good job lead blocking. Again, we probably should have run more in the second quarter. Delvon Flowers was anxious to get out there after not playing in fall camp. He has tremendous expectations of himself. I think he'll turn every up the middle play, to a 90-yard touchdown (smile). He ran hard and with confidence. Our biggest problem is keeping all three of these guys happy. When he practices every day, it will be hard to keep him off the field. "
When asked specifically about Terrell Suggs' play, Koetter sang his praises: "I say the same thing about him every time. Terrell loves to play. That guy has fun out there, and he never stops talking. He got the crowd going and had fun. That's what college Football is all about. I love Terrell Suggs. I'm glad he's on our side." However, his words weren't as kind when asked about the special teams: "We didn't play great on special teams tonight. I'm disappointed, and I know coach Osborne is too. We didn't punt it very well, and kick-offs weren't good. We know we can do a better job kicking the ball directionally into the corners." In closing, the head coach remarked on his wet attire: "They (the players) got me with a Gatorade shower. It was cold, but it's better than the alternative. The crowd was awesome tonight, and the students looked great out there in the gold. We just need to make sure and keep the decibel level very high when the other team is on offense. It plays a big factor. Now it's time to improve on our play. We definitely have to play better against UCLA on the road."
Koetter Post-Game Quotes
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