Q: On playing ‘ASU Old School' type of offense against WSU
A: "We thought we would have a chance to go vertical in this game. You have to back it up in practice, you have to have a game plan in place and you have to make some plays in practice, which we did this week. I did say (‘let's go ASU Old School') to Rudy (Carpenter). We needed to take our shots and we hit a few tonight. It has been a while since we've done that."
Q: Has this been the most decisive and efficient Rudy has been all year?
A: "Rudy played very well and some guys made plays for him. That's the biggest difference – guys made plays for him. Now when we look at this film tomorrow, as happy as we are right now, we're still gonna see some other plays we need and should make. But we made a lot more plays than we had been making, so that's a real positive."
Q: Can talk about Brandon Smith and his long touchdown catch?
A: "Brandon, Chris McGaha, Mike Jones…all had plays down the field. We've been waiting for Brandon to step into that role as the next deep guy. Brandon can run, he's a 10.5 100 meters guy…he's just has never been able to pull it off consistently. I've been hard on those guys. I give Coach (Darryl) Jackson our wide receivers coach a lot credit. He has been patient and has hung with those guys. We pretty much had a four-man rotation tonight – those three we mentioned and Kyle Williams. It was really nice to see those guys finally step up and do the things we know they're capable of."
Q: Can you talk about the defense and their good showing tonight?
A: "I thought for the most part, other than then the first drive of the game and the first drive in the second half, I thought our ‘D' was outstanding. Washington State couldn't get anything going on the ground, we controlled the line of scrimmage, we got them in passing situations…obviously with their two outstanding receivers out of the game, you should expect that we would have some success. (Alex) Brink is one of the better quarterbacks in the Pac-10 – he comes in leading the Pac-10 in total offense. I thought the defense, other than those two drives, did a good job shutting them down."
Q: Can you talk about the offensive line?
A: "First off, Mike Polack in the middle has just had a real outstanding year. I've said several times, I think Mike is a playing at an All-Pac 10 level. To have Brandon Rodd back, this is the first time Brandon has been back full strength off that hamstring (injury)…the two guards have been solid all year (Paul) Fanaika and (Robert) Gustavis. This type of game plan sets up better for Julius (Orieukwu) at tackle – he's a better pass blocker than he is a run blocker. When you think of five underclassmen starting on the offensive line, and you have three fifth-year seniors that we wish were out there playing with many games between them and take them out, I think that O-Line has held up pretty well. (Offensive line) Coach Myers and those guys deserve a lot of credit."
Q: Do you think Jesse (Ainsworth) got the monkey off his back (making his first 40 yard plus field goal in two years)?
A: "Yes, I really do. Jesse is almost in the same boat as those receivers. Jesse has not been himself. Even when Jesse missed kicks in games, Jesse has been nails in practice. This past two weeks Jesse hasn't been kicking the ball well and he has been struggling. I think he has been going through some confidence issues. So for him to go out and bang all those field goals tonight, was great to see."
Q: Can you talk about Rudy running the option?
A: (laughs) "Looks a lot better in practice, than it does in a game. We've actually have been working on that for quite some time. The bad thing about the option is that your quarterback will take some hits. But we're just at that point of the season, where we felt that the past couple of weeks, people have been packing it in on us to run the ball. We want to keep people more honest on the perimeter by having the option available. Again, the game speed and practice speed running the option are two different things. The first time we ran it – Rudy pitched it way too early. The second time they were in a double-safety blitz and if Rudy had gone just a little bit more – there was nobody back there. He could increase that thing and really shown you guys what kind of speed he has. But he did get the first down so that's a good thing."
Q: How does Rudy's success in the game, after struggling so much this year, help his confidence?
A: "It helps everybody's confidence. It helps my confidence as a play caller. We used to throw the ball like this every week and it's the first time we have thrown like this (this season). We know what our offense is capable of, but we just haven't been able to get it done for one reason or another. When you go out, and in our first drive get a fast start like that making plays down the field – that makes the play caller keep on calling them. I tell the guys that all the time ‘you want us to throw deep? Make some plays and we will throw it deep.'
Q: Can you talk about the effectiveness of Zach Miller?
A: "Zach Miller was awesome. That guy continues to amaze me. With our wideouts beat up, we used both Zach and Brent (Miller). We didn't use much three wideout (formations) tonight. Zach and Brent both can make so many adjustments. Zach is playing fullback one play, he's playing in the slot, he's playing traditional tight end…Zach made two beautiful third down catches. Zach Miller is a coach's dream. I hope the fans appreciate him and I don't know how long Zach will be here. Guys like Zach Miller come around only ever so often. You probably got to see a similar guy when Todd Heap was here. He's a great football player, a great kid and his brother is pretty good too."
Post Game Quotes – Dirk Koetter
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