To no one's surprise, the first question Koetter fielded was if he now has a quarterback controversy on his hands: "You know what, I'm gonna go home tonight, kiss my kids, kiss my wife, have a cool adult beverage (smile), watch SportsCenter, and not think about it until tomorrow. That was a hard win to come by. Our defense played awesome, we made the plays we had to make. We don't get enough nights like this in my life, and I'm gonna enjoy this one." Nevertheless, he commended the performance by both signal callers. "Andrew has had an excellent attitude all year. When we announced that Chad would be the starter, I had a meeting with him and his parents. I was nervous we may lose him, and he has handled it great, and he has worked hard; he has done everything we asked of him. We were struggling on offense, and he gave us the lift we needed, but Chad also made a big play on 4th and 1. We had that play (4th and 1) all week. I actually wanted to do that on 3rd and 1. The way we do our game plan, we have certain plays that are appropriate for certain parts of the field, and certain hash marks. We knew we had to make that play, and I knew Andrew hadn't practiced it. I didn't have time to think it over, so I put Chad in, and luckily it worked out. There's no reason why two quarterbacks can't help you."
When asked specifically on the offensive struggles of his team, he replied: "We thought we could run the ball outside on them all night, and I think when we watch tape we'll be very disappointed as a offense. We didn't have a good running drive all night, until Cornell on that last score. I really think that we could be doing that all night. Twice in the first half we got taken out of drives because of fumbles, when the guys were basically in open grass. At least two other times, we have 2nd and two and we beat ourselves by taking a penalty. With the team we have we'll be way better off when we dictate when we throw the ball, instead of when we're forced to do so. Some of the problems that happen when Chad was at quarterback weren't necessarily Chad's fault. We just got beat at pass protection, and Chad was the unlucky one in the back holding the ball. We didn't make huge adjustments in the second half - we just quit beating ourselves. The second quarter when it was raining out there, it was tough (to throw the ball), and I was afraid to do much. I couldn't believe how much they (UCF) were throwing it, because they were having a hard time."
After witnessing his defense score 16 points, the ASU Head Coach was extremely complimentary of that unit: "We've been on this big turnover binge, and I said how much we improved on it but it didn't show up until now. In the third quarter it all just a showed up at once. There were some awesome plays. Jamar's interception was a great play…the pass rush was great. Brent Guy did a great job of mixing coverages. We dropped eight men into coverage, and I don't know if we ever did that in three years. We got them off-balance, and when you get a passing team off-balance and guessing trust me it's not a good feeling. Our defense does that everyday in practice. Brent Guy is adding more and more to the defensive package, and they have every zone blitz known to man. We played a dime package, and we never done that before. I hope we can keep it up." Defensive End Terrell Suggs had a monster game, which is hardly a rare sight to Koetter. "Suggs was huge. I said this before; he has this impact everyday in practice. He never takes a day off. He dominates practice when he goes up against our number ones. We can't block him ever. His motor runs, and his mouth runs all the time. He has turned into a very positive force on our team, and it's contagious. He has everyone playing hard."
One major offensive flaw was the handful of sacks the Sun Devils suffered. Koetter explains. "One sack was a communication thing on our part. We made a line call right as they blitzed us. One guy got it and one didn't, so a guy came free. Two times they flat out beat us, one time we held the ball too long. That defensive front is real good. We tried to help our tackles a lot tonight. The very first time I called a route that didn't help the tackle, they sacked us. Those defensive ends are very good, and could play for any team in the Pac-10 today."
It was disheartening to say the least witnessing Danny Masaniai, who just came back from serving a two-game suspension, display unsportsman like conduct. The Defensive Tackle was dancing over the injured UCF quarterback who ended up leaving the game. "As happy as we were that we scored, that little episode that happened when the flag was thrown at Danny – that's not what Sun Devil Football is all about. There's no place for that. Danny wasn't ejected, but I pulled him out for the rest of the game. I apologize to our fans and everybody involve, and we certainly wish their quarterback well."
Quarterback Andrew Walter was the spark plug off the bench that ignited the offensive fury in the second half. Coming off the bench isn't always easy, as it seems: "It's pretty difficult. Maybe it was more saw than what was apparent. I'm thankful we're not in a cold climate (smile) that would be real hard then. That's just the way it goes. A lot of great quarterbacks come off the bench and do it, so you just have to rise to the occasion."
Walter enjoyed playing well and being part of the team's comeback. "It was definitely a fun game. It was important for us to get rolling after the first half. It was just fun playing like we did in the second half, coming back from adversity. I think the team came together in the third quarter. We got a boost of energy form the defense, and that burst is sometimes what you need to play well. It just sparks you. When we came on the field, we knew that we're gonna get things done…The playbook did open in the second half. We started to utilize down field more. That's my strong suit. We felt that they (UCF) would be tired, and hopefully they would be slowing down. We went there and obviously took care of business" When asked about the impending quarterback controversy question, he quipped: "I figure they'll be a few of those (smile). I'll just take them in stride."
Starting Quarterback Chad Christensen was the ultimate team player when asked about his performance in the game, and the fact that he was replaced during the game. "That was the coaching decision and I stand by it. I'm just thrilled that we came away with the victory. Central Florida is darn good Football team, and they proved it last week. We knew we're up for a test this week, and I think we met the challenge. We played against a very good Football team, and we were able to take it to them" He attributed the offensive struggles in the first half to the rain drenched the field most of that period: "The weather conditions weren't helping us. We had some breakdowns, and we were able to pull it together, and we got rolling. In the second half we knew we just knew we had to play our game. Coaches saw some holes in their defense, and we took advantage of it." Oddly enough, after being on eth bench for several snaps, he was inserted back for a crucial 4th and 1 play, which was converted, and keep the offensive momentum going. "We practiced that all week. The defense bit (anticipating a quarterback sneak), and Pinkard was able to make the big play."
Wide Receiver Shaun McDonald was once again an integral component of the offense, scoring three touchdowns. He was just happy to assume that role. "It fees great to be part of the offense and contribute…"In the second half they tried to stop the run more, so that opened the long ball. I think that the offense played harder in the second half. First half we weren't clicking. Andrew came in and took control, and that changed the momentum."
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