Hawkins' Big 12 Media Conference Call Quotes

Inside, Dan Hawkins' comments during Monday's Big 12 Conference media call about the Colorado State game, and what lied ahead.

Q: Michigan losing to Appalachian State. It seems like if you're the coach of the I-A team and you lose to the I-AA team there's such a stigma that it's not really worth the risk of playing a I-AA team. Would you go along with that?

Hawkins: I don't know. I'm a guy that's into taking a risk. You know, we lost to Montana State last year and we talked to one of our local media guys here. It's kind of a shocker to everyone else, but it wasn't a shocker to me. I think if you're in coaching, you're aware that that stuff can happen.

Is it worth the risk? I don't know about that. That's not why you should or shouldn't play it.

Q: If you had a preference, would you never play one, or would you not mind having one on your schedule?
Hawkins
: We tried not to play them when we were at Boise State. Sometimes scheduling, it just occurred that way. And it was that way last year against Montana State as well. I generally have tried not to play those games, just because fan interest and all that is not always as optimal as you'd like it.

Q: Give me the state of the union. As opposed to starting the way you did last year, starting with a victory over a rival school there in Colorado. Seems like everybody might have a lot more smiles.
Hawkins
: Well, it definitely helps when you have a ‘W,' but I just think we spent a really tough year pouring concrete and putting the foundation in. Any business or football program is not easy and you have to have high standards. That's always a tough process at times. But we had a guy out watching us yesterday, in fact. We ran our team in conditioning. He said I've seen a lot of Division I football teams; I've never seen anyone run that hard on Sunday. Ever.

I think we're building this sort of mentality and work ethic, and we're galvanizing the foundations that we know are successful. We're just miles ahead of where we were last year.

Q: I wonder if you could analyze how Cody (Hawkins) played after you took a look at the film.
Hawkins
: You know, I thought it was kind of average. You can talk about redshirt freshman and first start and all that hoo haw. You know, he missed a couple of throws. There were a couple of times where we tried something a little fancy, and he threw a pick on (one of them). I could've put that on us (coaches), but he could've thrown that one away. And we had a communication error that led to a bad snap and a fumble.

You know, if the guy's a junior or senior you're saying it's kind of an average day. And that's how we tend to look at it. It's not what grade you're in. The bottom line is you're a football team and a football player and that's the way you've got to play.

I thought we were very efficient and very smooth in the first half, offensively, including him. And then we had a few glitches in there. But there was a time when we were down by two scores and had to convert three third and 10/9 type categories and had to do them three in a row after we got nothing on first and second down. And he converted them.

Again, I think the intangible of just being a winner and expecting to win and going out and making plays – you know, that was good.

Q: What was it like around the dinner table, though, on Sunday and being able to share something like that?
Hawkins
: You know, he kind of went out with his friends. And we really didn't even talk about it that much. We really didn't. I had my daughters in town and I spent a lot of time with them. Everybody was sleepy and they passed out on the couch. And I was watching game film. So, I didn't really even see him. We had a little bit of dinner together downtown, but we really didn't even talk about it.

Q: Can you just talk about Hugh Charles and his situation. And if he can't play, what your options are there?
Hawkins
: He's day to day.

Q: What about your other players. Were you happy with what you saw from them?
Hawkins
: We've got a lot of good players in there. We play a lot of guys. Hugh is one of the crew back there, certainly one of the core. But we also have other guys that stepped up. You know, our leading rusher was a guy that played back there, Demetrius Sumler. He had a very productive day.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about Arizona State, and particularly some differences you may expect with Coach Erickson from what you saw last year?
Hawkins
: Certainly, Coach Erickson is more of a one-back guy all the time. Versus when you can get into simulating a two-back set with the tight end. And a little different structure, obviously, on defense.