MEDIA QUOTES: Coach Akey on USU and SDSU

Inside, Idaho head coach ROBB AKEY addresses questions from the media regarding Idaho's performance last week against Utah State, how the team is correcting issues on the field, and how the team is preparing for this Saturday's road game at San Diego State University. "We're gonna stick with these kids, we're gonna get them through it, and that IS the way that it will happen."

On Robb Akey's general thoughts heading into the road game against San Diego State: "Well, I can't wait to get this week rolling. My general thoughts are disappointment from Saturday. The game… going into it… I expected us to win that game. We've got to get our expectations to be believing that that's where we are at [expecting to win] when we go into football games. I thought there were some things our players did that were good within the game."

"The fact that with a minute to play in the third quarter we've got the lead. But that doesn't do you any good, because of the final result. We talked about getting 60 minutes to outscore the other team, whatever that score may end up being, and that's where we need to get ourselves. I'm disappointed that we were not able to finish. The goal is to get it where it is finished."

"I can put myself in the tank, like a lot of the e-mails that I'm getting from a lot of people, that think it's: Woe is woe for the Vandals. But I also look at where we're at right now, and we're right on the edge. All that matters is what this football family thinks. We're right there on the edge. We can get it over the edge. That's what we need to make happen, and it is right there. I'm confident about that. That's where it's a little bit more frustrating for those of us that are involved with it, but I feel like we're close to getting this thing through."

On the emails sent to Robb Akey in the last few days and whether they are negative or positive: "They're 50/50. I've gotten some great e-mails in regards to being very supportive. I've gotten some that have been pretty negative. So, I read the supportive ones, and I don't know what happened to the other ones." [laughter]

Regarding the volume of emails to Robb Akey: "I don't count ‘em. I really don't pay a lot of attention to them. I just know that sometimes they come, sometimes they don't. Sometimes you see ‘em, and sometimes you don't. My message is to lock out the outside world to the players, and I have to do the same thing myself."

On playing and finishing a full game: "Well, to continue competing. For example, we're in the game last weekend and I'm looking at those offensive players on the sideline. We had a lead and then they scored and matched it. Talking to the players: Hey, fine. Let's go get another one. They looked me back in the eye: Coach, we'll go do it, and we did. We traded that for a little while, and then we self-destruct on ourselves a little bit. As an offense we self-destructed. As a defense we self-destructed a little bit. To keep that from happening… just continue competing. Hey, whatever the nature of where we're at, let's just keep playing football. Let's play for 60 minutes to the best of our ability, and if there's a mistake let's rebound from it now. Let's don't magnify it. You know the week before it was after the first possession of the third quarter as opposed to the final minute of the third quarter. It's stretching out longer. We're doing things better, and in that respect it's a good thing. The kids are playing hard."

"Last year, its way different from what last year was. Last year we would dig ourselves a hole so deep that we would actually look at the scoreboard and say: My, we can't win this one. So, we'd manage to relax a little bit and all of a sudden start playing a little bit better. So, there's where we were coming back on everybody. The kids were playing hard then, they're playing hard now. There are some things we need to execute better so that we play better football. But, the fact of the matter is we're competing better. That's what I'm concerned with the most, because that's what's going to get us through."

"Perception doesn't mean anything. Reality is what matters. The reality is we need to win the game, and we need to get it done right away. But, the reality is that we are very close to having it there. We talked about accountability - and this is all of us, the players and coaches both - last week in regards to each of our responsibilities. This week, my responsibility and my being accountable to my teammates as well, and the players responded to it. They've got the right attitude about it. They're anxious to get out there and get to work this afternoon. I've had different guys stopping by my office. We're all saying the same thing, and we're headed in the right direction, and again that's what I'm concerned with the most."

On the topic of team morale: "Well, they're frustrated. They're mad. I don't see them in the tank which is a good thing. I do see a team that's not happy, and there's nothing to be happy about. So, yeah, I think we can channel this in the right direction. We took on a project when we came in here, and good things don't happen overnight. You can't take stuff that hasn't had success in a long period of time and snap your thumbs and say: Hey here it goes."

"We embarked on a plan that was going to put this team together and get it built the way it needs to be built, and I knew darn well that there were going to be hard times in the process of it… hard times. I mean the last two weeks have been frustrating. I felt like those were two games that we could win. Our team felt that was two games that we could win. I KNOW our boosters and fans felt like it was two games that we could win. But, we're still teaching this football team - a lot of them - how to win; a lot of them how to play the game. That's where we're at right now. You know we're going in the right direction, but you don't go from… you don't be down, get rid of a bunch of people, lose more scholarships, and then say: Okay, we're gonna whip everybody's tail."

"I'm the one that has to look in the mirror every day and say: Hey, you've got to keep being patient. Well, they can't be patient. Those numbers are mounting up the other way. I understand how the outside world feels, because they want to see the Vandals have success as well. And because they're Vandals, that's the team that they care about, and there's a long period of time that they've been frustrated. This is my second year as the Vandal coach, and believe me, it can mean everything to everybody. But, this is our livelihood; so it does mean an awful lot. I also know that we put together the proper plan on how we're gonna do this, and I'm gonna stick to the guns, and we're gonna stick with these kids, and we're gonna get them through it, and that IS the way that it will happen."

"Now was that long winded enough for all y'all?" [laughter]

One member of the media watched the game on Altitude (TV) and wanted to know about the quality of the offensive line's play at Utah State: "I think it certainly had something to do with the lack of run game in this particular ball game, yes."

About the team's effort against Utah State: "I would not say out-efforted. No, I think there were some times… there were a few times where a guy lost a battle. There were some where we won a battle. But, we didn't do it consistently enough together. There were some things they did to us to take away the running game that were successful on their part, and that's what opened up the need to throw the ball a little bit more, and we had some good things work for us in that fashion, but not enough of either one."

Robb Akey's comments on San Diego State's football team: "Well, San Diego State is coming off a bye. We're going in with another hungry football team. They're 0-3. They had two close ones. The Cal Poly game was their opener, and Cal Poly kicks a field goal with three seconds left to beat them down at their place. The following week they play their tails off with Notre Dame, there's a guy that drops the ball at the goal line… that's the difference in the ball game. They had every opportunity to have won that football game."

"Then San Joe State got after them pretty good two weeks ago, and then they had this last week as a bye getting ready for us. It sounds like maybe they're bringing a couple of bodies back on their defense… sounds like they lost another one. They've been a little bit snake-bitten, it sounds like, up front, but they certainly are hungry to make something happen… just like we're hungry to make something happen also. On the offensive side of the ball they're going to throw the football. That's their goal. That's their desire, and that's what they're going to spend the afternoon doing… is wanting to air it out."

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