And then it was on to other topics. "We worked well on all phases this week," he said, referring to the CSU game. "We contained David Anderson. We didn't stop him, but we contained him and we were able to shut down their run game pretty good. It was a good team effort. Beating Colorado State was big for us. We haven't won there at Colorado State since 1995."
Commenting on the Cougars' best running game of the season, Crowton said, "I called more runs; it was part of the game plan. They had to make some decisions as to what they were going to do. They had to shut down our outside receivers or put more guys in the box. CSU elected to take away the receivers early so Watkins wasn't able to go over the top, but we managed to get 207 yards rushing. "Against Boise State, they elected to take away the run first, so we were able to go deep more," he continued. We're basing it on what the defense gives us. We're working hard on the run game and I'm confident that it will progress. We didn't go deep as much as we did against Boise State. As defenses start to lean toward Todd (Watkins), we can then go deep to Austin Collie like we did on that one play against Colorado State," Crowton said.
Crowton also confirmed that some players suffered a mysterious malady prior to the game. "Before the game, some of our players had a nauseous feeling. The food tasted good. I'm not sure if it was the food. I'm not pointing fingers or blaming anybody, but a lot of our guys had nauseous feelings and had some dry-heaving during the game."
Though it was not his best game, Crowton was buoyed by the win and quarterback John Beck's play late in the game. "I thought John (Beck) played a pretty good game. There were a couple of passes that I he wished he could have back. He's maybe getting the ball away too fast sometimes. But what he's doing well is he's bouncing back real well after making mistakes. Hopefully he'll continue to mature and grow."
One area that pleases him is the teams' gritty tenacity demonstrated in various games this season. "I believe we played real well as a team against Notre Dame. After we got behind 16-0 against Boise, the team showed their character and came back. Even though we lost, we took a lot of confidence away from that game. We still have a lot of room for improvement and we're going to work on that daily, but I like where we're at."
Crowton added that injured defensive tackle Daniel Marquardt should be ready to play against UNLV. He warned that despite its 1-4 record, the team cannot overlook the Rebels. "We can't look ahead. We just have to get better on a daily basis. They've had some setbacks the last couple of years, but they always finish strong. They have a real good safety and a good secondary. They always bounce back and I expect them to come out strong against us," he said.
He concluded that "they (UNLV) run some similarities to our defense in that they have three down linemen and they blitz a lot. They play man and zone behind it. They don't run as much cover-two, but they run some. They're mostly a three-deep or a zone blitz team," Crowton said.
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