Silver & Gold post-game comments

Surrounded by media from throughout the region, Idaho first-year head coach Robb Akey answered questions about the team's performance in the Silver and Gold Spring Game last Friday night, and his interpretations of how the team developed throughout spring camp.

General comments about the game - "I thought that both sides had some things happen. I saw the offense move the ball down here and I saw the defense stop ‘em, and that was - to me - a good thing. It was good for the defense. Now, we need to fix both things. Number one, the defense needs to not allow them to get down the field. The thing that's good is they were able to force field goals. Now, as an offense I would like to see us…if we can get ourselves down there inside the 10 yard line, we need those points to be touchdowns rather than field goals. Finishing possessions would be a big thing that I would like to see there. There were more interceptions which, for the quarterback situation, that didn't necessarily help them quite as much in their competition today. But for the defense there was one that was a real good play, another one was a ball batted up in the air. But defense, that's what you're looking for in regards to, ‘Hey, we get the ball back', and that's a positive thing in that respect. I think we could have been more consistent in taking care of the football, finishing drives, and then defensively more of the three-and-out type of deal. That's what we're going to push each side of the ball. But to me the thing that is still a positive is the fact that when you've got your offense going against your defense, doing that you certainly hope that each side would have a little bit of success, and they were able to manufacture that, and do that within possessions."

Did any of your quarterbacks to step up today - "Well, I think Enderle struggled a little bit today, and I thought Tracy did maybe some things a little bit better. This may be a little better scrimmage for him today."

Is Enderle the starter going into summer - "Most likely. We're going to take a look at how things played out here today as well. Coming into today certainly he was one, Tracy was two, and Nooy was three. Unless things separated themselves, which I doubt they really did, it will probably go into the summer that way. I'm going to challenge each and every one of them to work their tails off this summer, see if they can beat out the other two guys. We're going to start fall camp that way, but I think that they put themselves in that situation unless we see something different on the video."

Overall thoughts heading into summer - "I think that we have gotten a lot of things taught and learned, and I'm happy about that. We've got an entire offensive package taught, as well as with our defense. We got those things taken care of in regards to teaching. Special teams-wise we've been able to do a great deal of work. You saw we started this scrimmage out there tonight, and we got some good work accomplished that way. I was happy to see the punter banging the ball the way he did tonight. The field goal kicker did a great job in that respect. In regards to learning what we're going to do and understanding what we expect, I think we gained a lot of ground. I think some players have done a good job. I think we've got a lot of work to do with other players. I think we're a work-in-progress at this point in time, and there are going to be players that are coming into fall camp that are going to contribute. We're going to need to count on that in the fall; so it's going to continue to be a work-in-progress, but I think we're gaining ground."

What was said to the guys as a "send off" for summer - "Well, if we're going to win and we're going to make a difference here, then we need to make a commitment. If they're going to be here in the summer, then "be here" in the summer - count on each other, and get the job done. Be stronger and faster than you've ever been in your life when we get started in August. Make sure that you close things out - take care of things academically - because without that you're not going to have an opportunity to be on the field. Then make sure that they conduct themselves the way they need to off the field, and it's no secret we lost another guy [Marvin Jones]. You all heard about that one, and I'm not happy with those things. That's going to become history at the University of Idaho. We're not going to tolerate that."

How big a loss was Marvin Jones to the defensive line - "Well, when you consider the fact that we've got three, maybe four big defensive tackles, he was one that had an opportunity to be one of those guys that [had a chance to start]."

Clarification on Jones' playing status… "He's gone."

Runningback, anyone step up tonight? "Well, I don't know. At runningback I think there are four guys that I think are going to help us, that are going to do good things. Everybody has seen, in the last little while, they've seen what Bird and Flowers can do, and they've done some good things this spring. Andre Harris and Deonte Jackson are two guys that people haven't seen quite as much of, and I like the spring that Deonte has had. From the beginning of spring to the end he's really done a nice job. He can move well and he makes plays. He comes out and he practices hard every single day. Andre Harris is a little bigger than the other backs. He didn't maybe run quite the way I'd like to see him run tonight. But I think those four guys we can count on, and I think you can see those four guys going in and out, and when you consider that we're a single back offense that is going to utilize some two-back things, that helps us a lot. With a single back offense you need to be fairly deep there; so I think that helps, and we can maybe put them in situations where you take advantage of some of their strengths."

How close is the team to being "ready to go" this fall - "Well, as a coach you always want a little more work. I'd like to start spring ball again tomorrow and have 15 more. That would make me a happy camper, I promise you that. I think they probably…they need to take what they've absorbed from us and put that in and work with each other over the course of the summer, get strong and fast again, and get feeling good. We get 29 practices in the fall to get ready for that USC game, and we'll need every one of those, and we will have to be prepared so we're as ready as we can possibly be to play that first game."

Shiloh Keo, his injury - "Yeah, his hammie got him on that interception. He'll be fine for the fall. Great play, though."

Who's the number one tightend for you right now - "Well, Eddie Williams and Rollie Lumbala both are doing good jobs. You saw a lot of what we did tonight was with two tightends in the game, and I expect that to be something good for us in the fall. Particularly when you remember we've got two junior college tightends coming in that I think are pretty good players also; so we do a little bit with three tight ends. Some of those things can be some of what we need to do [this fall]. We didn't show it necessarily tonight, we didn't run the ball quite as well tonight as what we have in other spring scrimmages, but I think that can help us; so we'll use the running game and the play action and the naked boot throw types of plays, and with those extra tight ends that can help us…I think it's good that they each have their strengths. And, you're going to also see Eddie line up at receiver, too. He can make the plays. He'll go catch the ball."

Did you talk to Joartis Ratti before he asked his girlfriend to marry him after the Spring Game - "Yeah. He came up yesterday. We had a little barbecue out here after practice, and he wanted to talk to me and called me over. He said that was what he wanted to do and said, ‘Coach, we've got a family here, and this is going to be the beginning of my family and I want my family to be around when I do that. Would that be okay?' I said, ‘Absolutely.' I said, ‘Are you sure she can put up with you?' He said he thought she would. He was a little nervous whether she'd say ‘yes' for not. It worked out well."

Is the left tackle job still a "battle" between Bates and Beam, or has one of them moved up to the top - "I think they're banging it around pretty good. It's gone back and forth a little bit, which is a good thing. I think it'll settle itself in [fall] camp, but they're both closer, and they're getting after each other."

Is it the same with Fennell and Juratovac battling for right guard - "Juratovac is probably a little further ahead of Fennell right now."

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