Comments from Utah State coach

Utah State head coach Mick Dennehy comments on the Aggies' performance in their season opener aganist Utah State and previews his matchup with LSU.

ON THE UTAH GAME - "I think we needed to play a game to find out where we were at. The only disappointment that I really have is the fact that I don't think we played up to our capabilities or how we expected to play offensively. I think our defense held in there. I think with the exception of a couple of special teams plays, where our defense kind of saved our bacon a little bit, I thought our special teams played pretty well."

ON THE OFFENSE – "Obviously we have got to get some things corrected. I think we made some errors in terms of being a little bit impatient, which led to some inconsistencies. We are a better offensive football team when we think a little bit more ball control. We had one turnover. Our impulse was to kind of go for the jugular and we did and it ended up hurting us...

"We tried to take advantage of field position rather than trying to get first downs and move the chains and get some consistency and continuity rolling and flowing in our offense. In general terms, if we learned one thing coming out of the Utah game, is that if we are going to get better and we are going to become the offensive football team that I think we can become, then we have to go back and not put so much pressure on some of the kids in terms of making big plays and just be satisfied with doing a really good job on first down and getting us into second and short situations where we can control the clock and move the ball.

"Hopefully, that will allow us to get some points on the board and get some momentum going. That (Utah) was an odd football game in that there was no momentum. It was two bad plays and then a first down and then three bad plays and a punt. That is one thing that we kind of got away from that I think we need to improve upon from this point on."

ON THE DEFENSE - "I thought our guys played about as well as we could have asked them after we put them into so many bad positions. We can't win football games turning the ball over five times.

I think our defense went in and made some real critical stops. They played huge in terms of not allowing Utah in the endzone (after turnovers), but on the other hand they were on the field too much. I am very, very proud of their effort. There are some things that we have got to do to become better defensively."

ON THE SPECIAL TEAMS - "With the exception of the two fumbles that we had on kickoff returns, I thought our special teams held up very well. We had a couple of missed tackles on punt coverage that allowed them to return the ball a little bit, but all in all our guys were there. On an individual basis, I thought (PK) Dane Kidman did a tremendous job. He kicked like a veteran kicker. It is obvious that he has paid attention in all the years he has been in the program.

He basically did his job. I thought he was very poised in the placement area and his kickoffs for the most part were outstanding as well. (P) Steve Mullins showed us what kind of punter he can be.

I feel like our special teams are an area, where I think we will get better.

ON INJURIES - "We came out of the ballgame relatively unscathed with one exception. (S) Bryan Jackson, who is a huge part of our special teams area and is the first defensive back off the bench in our nickel package, broke his thumb and will be out for a minimum of two weeks."

ON LSU - "They are an awful fun team to watch... Everything that we have read about them in the preseason, I think their fans have a real reason to be fired up and excited. Against Tulane they set a new attendance record and they have a reason to be fired up. They are an outstanding football team. Coach (Nick) Saban has done a great, great job with them.

"When you look at them defensively, all of the players that they have that are getting preseason accolades are definitely worth the attention they are getting. Their free safety Ryan Clark is amongst the best I have ever seen. (LB) Trev Faulk is truly a Butkus candidate. There is no question about that. In general, their defensive line is big and mobile. Their linebacking corps, as The Sporting News indicated, is perhaps the best in the country. They are all very good athletes. Their safeties look like twins. It is hard to tell the difference between them. Their corners are outstanding as well...

"Schematically they are very sound at what they do. They are not a huge blitz team, but they do have really good athletes up front and they have a tendency to play games with their front people and then get in coverage and rely on athletic ability to make plays.

"Offensively, they have very, very good athletes all over the field. Their front is big and active. They do a nice job of run blocking and protecting (QB Rohan) Davey. Josh Reed is an outstanding talent at wide out. They have a herd of running backs and it is pretty hard to tell the difference from one to the other."

"Obviously we have our work cut out for us. I think our objectives this week are twofold. We have got to work very, very hard to become as good as a football team as we can be... The setting in which we are going to go into is big-time college football. I want to make sure that our kids enjoy that. That they go down there and see firsthand what it is like to play in one of the great college stadiums in the country and yet, not be intimidated. They need to play as hard as they can play and as well as they can play and understand that the environment is going to be way, way different than anything a Utah State team has ever seen.

"On the other hand they have got to be plugged in and focused that they are playing football basically as well as they can play. What it all boils down to is the essence of the game. It is only those eleven guys on each side of the field. That is what we will strive for this week."


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