Cougars Turn Attention Towards CSU

In the wake of the firestorm that is sweeping through the San Diego area, the Cougars learned following Tuesday's SDSU preparation that the game will be rescheduled for December 1. And while the team is now shifting their attention to CSU, the fire has still affected, in varying degrees, the lives of a few Cougars.

"It's just an unfortunate situation what's going on down there in Southern California," said outside linebacker David Nixon. "That's just something that we can't quite control so we just have to go with it. We just have to be mindful of what people are going through down there in California and wish them the best."

Sifting through offensive and defensive schemes and plays from Monday's practice, the Cougars practiced Tuesday what the coaches scripted out in preparation for SDSU.

"This was one of the best practices the defense has had in a long time," said Nixon. "We were out there being really physical and were shutting down the offense. We had a really good game plan for today and our defense was executing it really well. All the preparation we've put into facing SDSU will have to come in handy down the road."

"On offense we were running against our San Diego scout team defense and that was pretty much our mindset," said Andrew George. "We kind of had an idea of what was going on, but weren't 100 percent sure, so we just prepared as if nothing was going to happen until we got word [that the game was postponed]."

"Yeah, we didn't know about the game being changed until after practice," Nixon said. "We were just focusing on SDSU and preparing for them, and we go some really good work in today that will help us on down the road. So now we just have to put those things aside and focus now on Colorado State."

"We were told that the game was going to be postponed until December 1st, that we will play the game the weekend after the Utah game," said George. "That's pretty much all we can really do."

The Cougars will put the SDSU scouting videos, scripts and schemes on the shelf for now.

"We play the Utah game the Saturday before," Nixon said. "So the next week we'll just have a normal typical preparation week and treat it like we normally would. The nice thing about it is we're getting a little extra preparation work done now."

"I think most of us might forget most of it since that game will be played, what, five weeks from now?" said George while chuckling. "Maybe once we get back into it will we then remember what we were preparing for weeks ago, so right now we just have a bye week where we are now focusing our attention towards Colorado State."

The Cougars will treat this week much like a traditional bye week and use the time to get players healthy and to focus on team and player preparation.

"We've probably already have our CSU CDs," said a chuckling Nixon. "It will be a lot like our bye week when we were preparing for UNLV. We used the extra time to do some things for the team."

"Our Colorado State CD's are in the locker room as we speak," said George. "So we'll go watch some film and also use this time to get some guys healthy again. We know [CSU] hasn't had the season they would have liked and they've lost some close games, but we're not going to look at that, and will prepare for them knowing they're coming to our house to win. It's kind of nice in some ways, but I think overall we really wanted to go down and play San Diego State this weekend."

Nixon agrees with George that the team would rather play the game than sit out and have another bye week.

"I think we would have rather played this weekend," Nixon said. "I think we were all looking forward to going down there to play some football. It would have been nice if this bye week had come at a later time, but we'll take it and use the time to improve on things."

The fires around Southern California have affected the players in more ways than leading to the postponement of the SDSU game; a few of the players on the team come from areas where the fires are raging. One such player is senior linebacker Markell Staffieri, who is from Torrey Pines, San Diego.

Now you can listen to Markell Staffieri talk about the destruction from the fires that have swept through his area in San Diego, and how it's affected his family members.

Sophomore tight end Vic So'oto, who hails from Carlsbad, California, where many thousands of people have been evacuated, talks about how the disaster has affected his community back home.

Freshman linebacker Tyler Beck, who hales from the town of Murrieta, California, talks about the fires that rage just on the other side of the local hills in nearby Fallbrook.

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