Q: What was the strategy for the opening coin toss?
A: "The strategy of deferring the coin toss would be when weather is an issue, to try to take advantage of the wind. Wind is the main factor and the fact that our defense has been playing good…to put our defense out on the field first and try to take advantage of whatever field position the defense can give you. When the other team takes the ball and goes on a 12 play 84-yard drive for a touchdown that makes that strategy back fire on you."
Q: Injury update?
A: "As (Washington State's Defensive Coordinator) Coach Akey was saying is just that time of year for everybody. It's a very physical game and guys are beat up and we're no exception for that. That's magnified by the fact that we have had a couple bad injuries in the last couple of weeks. It's one thing to be banged up but when you lose Stephen Berg and Nate Kimbrough, in back to back weeks with torn ACL when there not even on contact plays; there just on plant plays. That takes a little bit out of everybody. The players see that and it's not fun or great for those guys. What that does to you in practice is every time you lose a guy that puts more stress on the other guys at that position to take more reps in practice. When you get to this time of year you would love to see more film to watch, cause you have all these games and all these situations you would like to cover but yet your team in nicked up a little bit."
"We're averaging 53 guys a game who are playing in the game and every time you lose a guy or two you're asking those (healthy) guys to do a little more in practice. There's a balancing act because their body is holding up on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays so they can be healthy enough to go on Saturday. And you have some players, here we call it an orange jersey, where they can't have contact all week but yet there going to try to play on Saturday."
Q: Can you give us an update on Ryan Torain and his injury status?
A: "Ryan has an ankle sprain and the good news is it is an old school ankle sprain not the dreaded high ankle sprain that defiantly keeps guys out longer like Rudy Burgess."
Q: Can you comment on Julius Orieukwu and him wanting to play right tackle?
A: "He has been in a right hand stance his whole career in high school and also here till this year. Julius actually approached me a couple weeks back when we moved Steve Berg out to right tackle when Carnahan got hurt and wanted to move back to right tackle but I just told him that this was a better move for us to move Steve out there."
Q: How would you grade offensive lineman Brandon Rodd's performance after missing action due to injury?
A: "He did okay; I know he's still bothered by that hamstring. Brandon did a good job and he's a veteran player. He got beat a couple of times when it looked like he was afraid to push off on that thing. I think any player coming back from an injury still goes through that confidence factor of really cutting it loose on that injury. That showed up maybe on two plays, but for the most part, Brandon did a pretty good job."
Q: Can you comment on Washington State's defense fronts?
A: "It looks like the last two weeks they've played a lot more 3-4, and Washington State has traditionally been a 4-3 quarters team, and they're very good at it. I didn't know they were mixing that much earlier in the year, but as I've gone through the film I see that going back early into the season, they would go in an out of the primarily play in the 4-3, and then jump into the 3-4. In the Oregon game, they lost two D-tackles back-to-back, and since that time they've played a lot more 3-4. In fact, against Arizona last week, there might not have been more than three or four plays that they were in 4-3. The week before against UCLA, they were primarily in 3-4. But they played well that game and gave UCLA fits and beat them in the Rose Bowl. Not knowing the status of their D-tackles, in their mind, they'd like to be able to mix both, that's what they did against teams like Cal and Oregon State. It makes you prepare both ways and change your blocking schemes a little bit."
Q: What is the status of wide receiver Mike Jones?
A: "Mike Jones has bruised ribs, which is a very painful injury. Mike was in a lot of pain when he came back and played in the second half. I fully expect Mike to be okay by Saturday, but he will be fairly limited as far as having contact during the week."
Q: Do you try and exploit what on what Arizona did to Washington State's when they beat them last week?
A: "Arizona did a nice job against Washington. Arizona had a nice game plan for them. Arizona controlled the clock, they were able to get into third-and-short, and they did a really nice job of converting on third down. That running back, (Chris) Henry ran hard, so you have to tip your hat to Arizona on that. This time of year, we have all ten of their games and we're going to take things from all of those game tapes that we'll try to incorporate into our game plan, but then the key point is, those ideas all look great on paper, but you have to make them fit the players you have available, which I'm not even sure with some positions like wide receivers, I'm not sure what we're going to have available. WR is just a little bit of a question mark for us right now."
Q: The penalties decreased dramatically last weekend compared to the weeks before. Is this a result of working on that area in practices leading up to the Oregon State game?
A: "I think an interesting statistic is that even though we're the most penalized team in the league, when teams play us, they're the most penalized against us. I have no idea why that is. We did have less penalties, but we had a lot of penalties two weeks before we won, and we had fewer penalties last week and we lost."
Q: What is the status of wide receiver Jamaal Lewis?
A: "In the case of Jamaal Lewis sometimes you have to take action for not only the good of that player, individually, even though he might not think it's for his own good at the time, but also for the good of the team. On decisions like that, you can't ever look at it as winning or losing, if you do that, you'll be inconsistent and you'll alienate all your players. It doesn't matter if it's a "good" player or a "bad" player. I really didn't suspend Jamaal; I just gave him time to get some things done that he needs to get done. He needs to have his attention on some other areas of his life right now. That's very open-ended, and as soon as he can get his affairs in order, he'll be back."
Q: Can you comment on Rudy Carpenter's roller coaster season thus far?
A: "Well, that's part of playing quarterback at any level. Rudy is a great teammate in that sense; he's really good at playing the role of teacher and bringing guys along. A couple years back when Andrew Walter was our quarterback he didn't have a lot of patience for guys who weren't on the same page as him. Rudy is a patient guy, but when you look at the raw numbers from him on Saturday they don't look good, but when we looked at the film yesterday we counted eight drops (by WR's). We had more drops than we had completions almost. The QB can only do what he can do - he can't catch it for them."
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