Robb Akey Post-Game Comments

With his first game as a head coach behind him, University of Idaho first-year head coach Robb Akey led his young Vandal team into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum today and came away with a 38-10 loss to the Number One team in the country. He spoke to media following the game and discussed his impression of the team's performance, as well as the performance of several key individuals.

Robb Akey's perceptions of the game: "I don't know if "delighted" is the right word, but I do feel like there are some things that we did tonight that we're going to be able to build off of, and I'm very excited about that. Against a good football team, we were able to execute some things at different points in time. That's what we're paying attention to right now. Where can we go with this group, how can we build. I thought Nathan Enderle, when you consider this is the first game he has played in two years in front of 92,000 people and on national television, I thought the kid handled himself very, very well. He took care of the ball very nice, and I was proud of the way he played for his first go. I thought he did damn well."

About Nathan Enderle and the young team: "He definitely has a big-time arm. I agree, and he handled the show well. He saw things well, he put the ball where it needed to be, and I think we can build an awful lot off of that, because that is a damn good football team we played against tonight. So I am excited about that. I thought our kids played hard throughout the course of the game. I look at Deonte Jackson, when he was running the ball he did an nice job, and then Bird came in and he ran the ball hard, and was able to put it in the endzone. There were things, and there were things that we need to do better. We got drives started there in the first half on offense that got shut down, and we need to keep that rolling. Defensively, it took us an aweful lot to get into the game. We had bodies where they belonged, but they weren't making tackles. And that's not uncommon in a first ball game, but I think its also magnified by the type of players that we were playing against. But we were hesitating rather than just running through and flying around and hitting guys. We were hitting guys, but we weren't wrapping guys up. We had opportunities to get some stops early in the ball game, but there are things we can build off in this game. There were a few take aways, we had a goal line stand, things we can build this football team with, and that is what I care the most about. We gained a little bit of ground tonight."

About the defensive stand that yielded no points following Enderle's fumble: "It was [tremendous], and I thought they responded well to that. Its tough on a defense to get thrown into a situation like that anyway, and for them to get that at that point in time I think it showed some life for this football team. It showed that if this football team can put some things together and grow up a little bit, that we may have a chance to turn into a good football team. We've got a lot of growing still to do, but those are some of the steps that we made, and I was happy about that."

About the team being "up" next week after an emotional game like today: "It was a physical football game against a physical football team. I think they're going to feel it on Tuesday. I'm concerned about that. I'm not really concerned about a let down, because there's nothing to be let down from? We didn't win the game, and we didn't play complete. I'm talking about things we can build from, but there is no reason to think we're there yet. We've got a lot of work to do and I don't think we can take the same approach this week that we have this entire time paying attention to us and the way that we do things. We'll take the measuring stick out and build off the positives that were in tonight's ball game and there were more there than we were able to accomplish during camp. So we gained some ground in that respect. That's what we'll pay attention and we've got to make sure as coaches that we take care of there bodies so that they're ready to go next weekend."

You have so many freshmen, do you feel by next year this will indeed be your team: "Yeah, I think that as we go on things are going to become more and more the way we want them to be. I think we'll see some of that result take place this season. Certainly next year they'll be accustomed to it, and it won't be a new regime and a new way of doing things. I think that will help us. This was the first time we all traveled together, and this is the first game, its on the road, and its against the number one team in the country. There were a lot of things there that went without a glitch, in regards to getting them to where they needed to go. But we've got a building still to do."

What were Coach Akey's expectations going into the game: "I expected them to do things the right way. I was curious coming into this game in regards to how were they going to compete, how were they going to deal with adversity the first time that it happened. And obviously it happened plenty early. They responded, and it got better as we went along. The defense got settled down, and we started performing a little bit better. The offense finally was able to get some points on the board at the end of the first half, be able to get that first down on fourth down so they could keep a drive alive. Even though it was only a field goal, we got down there and were able to get something out of it. So there were a lot of things we were able to build off of it."

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