Koetter's Press Confrence Notes

The ASU head coach recaps the Louisiana Lafayette game, and previews the upcoming game on the road against USC.

As usual, Koetter thanked the fans for their support at the game. He understood that because of the whether a lot of fans didn't show up, but he also said that those who were there did their job by being loud. He is annoyed by the students' tradition of throwing Tortillas on the field: "What's up with that? Can someone please explain that to me? We got flagged with penalties twice because of that."

On the game, he said, "We did what we needed to do. Everyone expected us to win big, and that's not always easy to do. The game may not have been pretty at times, but we won and that's the end result that counts. We played over 60 players, and it can get a bit ugly at times when you play guys that have been on the scout team all week, with very little experience. However, playing those type o players is very good for morale and experience." The coach mentioned two goals that the team is trying to accomplish, and doing a good job at it so far: "We want to be known as a team that wins its out of confrence games, and we did that. We also want to be a team that plays well at home, and makes it uncomfortable to play us at Sun Devil Stadium. We're doing a good job of that as well."

The scout team players of the week were: On offense, Hakim Hill "awesome player in practice. He will be a great player for us one day." On defense a walk-on safety from MCC Andy Nisabugn (spelling?), and as usual on special teams Joey Smith "he's been the player of the week for the millionth time. I'm very excited about him."

Game balls were given to Shaun McDonald on offense: Anytime you catch four touchdowns you probably are in line for a game ball." On defense it was Terrell Suggs "Simply dominated the game. Had a lot of sacks and tackles for loss". On special teams Lamar Baker got the honors: "He does a great job as the gunner on the punt coverage teams." The captain chosen by Koetter for this week's game is defensive tackle Tommie Townsend.

When speaking of USC, Koetter was full of praise: "They are a very talented team, and impressive to watch. They are VERY well coached, especially on defense. The look a lot like an NFL defense in their schemes, and they have Pete Carroll's stamp all over it. They play a deep zone defense. It will be hard for us to have plays where our receivers are totally wide open. Their secondary is the more veteran group, and they make more adjustments than their front seven who despite being young haven't let any teams run the ball with much success on them. They have very good receivers. Kareem Kelly can break open a game at any time, and we have to be conscious of his all the time. Their offense is inconsistent, but when they have control of the passing and running game, they are a very dangerous team. We have to disrupt them."

When asked how excited he's to play at USC, Koetter said: "It's a great college atmosphere. Everyone looks forward to it, and is very motivated to play well in the coliseum. We do have a lot of players from southern California, and they're excited to play in front of their family and friends." On the recruiting implications, of playing in one of the hotbeds for college prospect, the first year coach said: "We do have a lot of recruits there. We know whom we want; it's just a matter of getting the right guys. We have a lot of coaches leaving for the area on Thursday night, so they can have the evaluation day on Friday and watching some high school games." On the overall importance of playing in Southern California, Koetter downplayed the significance: "Every game each week for us is our Superbowl game. We treat all our games with the same measure of importance. We're not going to put on a better show just because we're playing at USC or because we're going to have recruits watching us."

On the theory that quick-scoring drives may not give the defense ample rest, Koetter chuckled at that notion: "It always cracks me up when I hear that. Everybody wants exciting Football on offense, and when you deliver it they complain about the defense not being rested because of that. A lot of defenses are showing us nine-man fronts, so we have to beat them with the long ball. Those type of plays usually make for short drives. If that's what the defense will give us that's what will take. The defense can also control their rest by stopping the opposing offense. If you look at the scoring drives of Louisiana-Lafayette, you'll see that they were very short ones for the most part."

Last question was asked about ASU's passing game. Was it planned for McDonald to be the primary receiver this past game, like Dennard was apparently the week before? "You can try and scheme plays for a certain receiver, but last game the plan wasn't to script all the big plays for McDonald. We just had good protection, and Krohn made incredible reads and throws. There was one play where Dennard was the second option in the play, and everytime we ran the play in practice, Jeff never made that read to the second option. On Saturday, he did it for a big gain. I was just amazed how well he executed the play."

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