Special teams were hard to watch, and coach Koetter couldn't agree more. "We were pathetic on Special Teams. We are not as far from being where we need to be on special teams as it may appear. We have our best players playing on special teams but that includes a lot of freshmen too. Guys like Lamar Baker, Daryl Lightfoot, Michael Holloway, Riccardo Stewart, Emmanuel Franklin. They are all playing in their second collegiate game. We kicked the ball better. Murph did a decent job and with the exception of one kickoff Barth kicked the ball great."
On a positive note, Koetter pointed out the scout players of the week in Chad Christensen on Offense Joey Smith on Defense and Ryan Dennard on Special Teams. Koetter made special mention of Dennard' s hard work as a senior working on the scout special teams.
Koetter gave Offensive recognition to Jeff Krohn and said, "We can win with the way Jeff played for the first three quarters. He did a nice job. At the end he tried to do too much." There was no Defensive Player of the game and Special Teams player of the game was Al Williams. The head coach added "We could have easily scored 40 points in the first half. We wanted to run the ball on pass downs and throw the ball on run downs but you can't get into third and long were often and be successful. That is the reason for our 1 for 14 performance on third downs. Stanford runs a complex Nickel package and we knew that from tapes coming into the game."
Addressing the running game he said, "It's tough to run the ball against eight or nine guys at the line of scrimmage. You have to break tackles, we didn't and Stanford did. We chose to throw the ball down field when they had eight or nine man fronts and that was evident on the Taplin touchdown and the long touchdown to McDonald - we were successful in throwing on running downs against them. We were bad running on third and two when we couldn't pick up the first down on two plays. We have to pick those up."
While most of the press conference was spent talking about the Stanford loss he did briefly talk about San Jose State and its standout running back Deonce Whitaker. He said Whitaker is one of the best backs in the nation and expected them to line up and run the ball against us. Also the only motivation the team needs coming off a loss to Stanford is to hear that San Jose State has beaten Stanford the last three years.
Give credit to coach Koetter not skirting around the team's problems like his predecessor. He did address all issues head-on, and there's no denying that his coaches will put extra hours in preparing for this week's game. Consequently, this week we can accept the most demanding practices we have ever seen in Koetter's short tenure. The growing sentiment among fans his that Koetter and his staff will have to prove their worth in the next weeks. If there ever was a love fest up until now between Koetter's staff and the maroon and gold faithful, it's safe to say that after last Saturday that the honeymoon is over…
Coach Koetter's Press Conference Notes
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