Press Conference Quotes from Dirk Koetter

ASU's head coach reviews his team's victory over Stanford and previews the Sun Devils contest at Washington this weekend.

Can you talk about what Rudy Burgess has done for the team?

"I would say that there are probably some guys who could do it and I'm sure every major college team has a guy that is versatile like Rudy. But I doubt if many guys would do it. Rudy has just really been unselfish throughout his career and doing whatever we need him to do."

Do you remember seeing him play defense in high school?

"I'm sure he was. His high school - they ran kind of a version of the fly sweep and I remember him making a lot of plays as the sweeper. That's the main thing I remember about him in high school."

Will you play Rudy both ways?

"Right now we just need him at corner, I know he can play both ways but he hasn't been practicing at corner so he has a lot of catching up to do from a learning curve stand point. There is no doubt that he can handle some plays on offense but he needed to spend all his time practicing on defense last week. Part of the deal I made with Rudy when I asked him to move is that I would start him as long as he could handle everything. Rudy played some 30 snaps at corner last week and I would never rule out a return to offense at some point, but we just need him to concentrate on defense right now."

Washington is getting better as a team, how do you analyze them?

"They are getting better and I think the hardest thing to judge is Stanback was having a terrific year and how much are they going to miss him. I don't know if you can tell that from one game, although they were right there with a chance to win (against Cal). I think in Tyrone's second year and obviously more of his own guys with more guys on board, with his philosophy there not making many mistakes and their not turning the ball over very much and again if you look at that is primarily goes back to Stanback."

"They have other good skill players. They have a physical, good offensive line. On defense, I think their secondary is solid and their one linebacker number 4 (Scott White) is having an exceptional year. He's second in the league in interceptions, he is making a lot of plays off the edge and then they had some success early. Anytime your team is improving and gaining success, it helps build your confidence. They have had a little bit of a rough stretch - they have lost their last three. But I have heard coach Willingham talk for a couple weeks and they're hungry to get that sixth win and get back to that bowl eligible team and hopefully it does not happen this week."

Are you willing to open up the offense?

"This isn't last year. We just have a different make up of our team right now. I have always been comfortable opening up the offense, but I also think that we have to be smart. Opening our offense can also lead to turnovers and the best thing we did is not turn the ball over. I think the two best things we have done the last two weeks on defense is cut down the number of big plays given up and on offense we have cut down the number of times turning the ball over. We are back to zero on turnover margin on the year. Two weeks ago we were minus 4 on the season."

"There is a fine line that has to be walked between adding more with openness on offense and with that comes more risk. The other thing is we're playing a beat up offensive line with new offense tackles in there. Part of that is protection oriented and we're also doing a good job running the ball and we have to build around what we're doing well. We have to cut down on the things that have hurt us in games. There were a lot of times in that Stanford game where I found myself wanting to throw it deep, but yet what we were doing was pretty well. We scored on 6 of our first 8 possessions."

Can you talk about the offense not giving the defense a chance (in previous games)?

"When you control the ball as much as you do in the first half, scoring 6 of your first 8 possessions, and the other two were in the red zone with a red zone that is giving your defense a chance. You know not turning the ball over, holding on to it and scoring when you get a chance - that gives your defense a chance. If we can do that every week we'll be right there and if we do that every game we'll have a chance to win every one of them."

Do you think the team will have a chance to win with the weather being cold?

"Define cold…lower than 80 (?). I think it's going to be very comparable to Colorado and we played fine in the weather. In fact, I think the players enjoyed it.{

Where was Ryan Torian on the depth chart in Camp Tontozona?

"I'm not really sure where he was at Tontozona but I think by the time we got to the season he worked his way up. We had three guys in mind - Keegan was starting, Torain was coming in to help Keegan, and Dewitty was the third down back. Dewitty has been out the last two weeks so it's been pretty much a two-man game and it's just been better for us to have Torian be the feature back and a power back, and use Keegan as a change of pace. Keegan has also played more in the third down situations these last two games. I mean I purposely sat down Torian in the second half because I didn't want him to take any more hits after the game was in hand. We do have good depth at tailback even through Dewitty sat out again, if we just gave it to Dimitri Nance 20 times I think he would make 100 yards for us. He is an excellent runner; excellent cut back runner…still has some things to improve on, like pass blocking."

"I'm real please with the way Keegan has accepted his role on the team. He has played on a couple special teams…on kick-off coverage he is the first man down. Keegan is not getting as many caries as he would like but he is one of the leaders on the team. A real emotional guy, he gets the other guys hyped up and I just think you can see the difference between having a 215 pound back in Torian and a 190 pound back in Keegan even though that 190 is solid. In that Stanford game Keegan was getting into that secondary and when two safeties were good tacklers he would have an 8-yard gain. And Torain would have an 8-yard gain and turn that into a 15 yard game."

Status of Injuries?

Chris Baloney-"We'll find out today, he had a bone scan on Friday and were supposed to get those results back today, I haven't talked to the doctor yet."

Shaun Dewitty-"He also had a bone scan on Friday and they did get the results back on that and they can't really find it he had both and MRI and a bone scan and they can't really find what the problem is in his back. I think there going to treat it more aggressively this week. I talked to Shaun yesterday and we'll try to get him back. And we'll know the next couple days in practice. I hope we can get him back out there."

Zach Catanese-"Catanese will be fine. He had a slight concussion but he will be good to go."

Terry Richardson-"Terry is very doubtful for this week, the good news is that the MRI showed no tear or nothing that needed surgery, he is already off crutches, he was in a brace yesterday he just needs to get his strength back. He had a similar injury here a year ago and played with it but I would have to say he is doubtful for this week."

Can you comment on the Linebackers and their play thus far?

"As a group they're doing pretty well. Bill (Miller) is matching them up on personnel. We're rotating six guys; now Munns played two plays because he has a shore shoulder form the USC game. Mike Nixon of course because he can play all positions and is kind of the wild card. Right now it's Nixon and Munns at SAM, Manutai, and Robert James at MIKE, Goethel, and Ware at WILL. We had two guys making two plays. Now all those guys are averaging between 25-35 plays a game. Nixon had the high 40 (plays) and all those guys were in the 20's. Beau Manutai is the guy in the middle with the run game. Ware is better in the pass game and a playmaker and gives us a speed rusher on the edge. Robert James made a couple of big plays in the game. Nixon is just very solid made a turnover, one of the smartest guys out there. As a group I'm real happy. You remember last year, even though Dale and Jamar made a lot of plays those guys really got beat down and tired as the season went on so much. Dale really faded the last couple of games partly due to injuries."

Chris McGaha is returning on special teams. How did he do?

"Special teams in general were a non-factor in this game. There were seven kickoffs and Jessie kicked four of them out of the end zone. We only got two kickoff returns and to open the game they pouched it on us. Chris made a real nice return and returned it to the 40-yard line and the second time they went with the surprise onside kick. They couldn't really of have had not returned it any better it was a good job by them. And in punt return, their punter sprayed the ball over the field. I thought we blocked well, but we we're calling our returns to the right or left and every time we called it one way he kicked it to the other."

"If you remember they had a double gunner set and he was trying to kick it to the gunner and I think he only kicked two out of eight where he was supposed to kick it to. It made it difficult for us our punt team, and we only had one play all game. Special teams were not a factor in this game. I see McGaha in practice every day. He's probably not as electrifying as Terry, but Chris is very solid. He will always catch it and he breaks a lot more tackles than you think and in practice he does a really nice job. We'll use Rudy as our primary kick-off return guy with Mcgaha back there; we are trying to get Rudy's hands on the ball."

There were ten penalties in the game, what are you going to do to fix these problems?

"I'm telling them not to get them. You know both ourselves and Stanford had 10 penalties each and so about a thousand people have asked me what the deal is with penalties and I wish we had non but we had the same number as Stanford. Right now there are six teams in the Pac-10 who have between 50 and 68 yards a game in penalties and we are one of those teams. Of those teams, three right in a row of our defense right before the half. One of those a bad decision by Ware and he didn't hit the quarterback hard but he did hit him late and that will always get called every time. I showed that play to the whole team in the team meeting yesterday like I do every time we have penalties like that to let them know that, that kind of stuff is not acceptable."

"The other two penalties were the guard's helmet came off on that one and they said Marquardt hit him in the face mask and knocked his helmet off very unusual for that to be called on a defensive linemen. And they called Jordan Hill for defensive holding against an offensive guard. If you watch those films closely you can probably call holding on the offense 99 plays out of 100 and holding on the defense 1 play out of 100 and we got called for that. Penalties are not good Julius ob had three false starts. He was very nervous. We practice against the crowd noise every week and were certainly need to cut down on penalties. Aggressive penalties are going to happen, but stupid penalties are going to get you beat eventually and we did have a couple of stupid ones."

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