Chatting with ASU coach Steve Roberts

Arkansas State head coach Steve Roberts addressed the media concerning the Indians' upcoming meeting with defending national champion LSU.



"I was real pleased with the way our football team handled a lot of the situations that occurred last week.  I thought offensively, for the majority of the game, we played very well.  We were able to throw the football around and take advantage of some of the things Missouri was giving us which we have not been able to fully take advantage of the last couple of years.  I feel like that is going to be a positive for our football team this year.  I don't think it was a one game type of deal.  I was real pleased with the way Nick Noce and Devin Hollins played.  Nick made a ton of plays on the run and was able to come up with a big play when we needed it.  Devin came in and played very solid football.  I thought our receivers competed very well the entire night.  Chuck Walker, obviously, had a career type of night with (126-yards) on (six) catches.  He really battled well for the football.  Jerome Stegall made a tremendous football on several occasions getting the ball and getting it up field.  Patrick Higgins, a redshirt freshman playing in his first game, did some great things without the football and had one of the hardest hits I've seen in a long, long time.  I was real pleased with the way those guys played.  Jason Wood made a great catch.  The list goes on and on.  I was just real pleased with the way the receivers stepped up and played in that type of environment against that type of defense.

"I was really pleasantly surprised with our ability to protect our quarterbacks.  We gave up one sack on the night, and with everything that Missouri showed us—line movements and zone blitzes and man blitzes and everything they came to the table with up front—was really, really pleased we were able to protect our quarterbacks the way we did. 

Some negatives offensively, we had way too many penalties, way too many mental-type of errors that took us out of a couple of situations where we know we could have scored some more points.  Hopefully we'll get those corrected. 


"Defensively, we played extremely hard.  Our student-athletes were really, really running around doing everything in their power to make a play.  There were two things that I thought were keys defensively.  One is our youth and our lack of experience that I think led to a little over-anxiousness to make plays.  A lot of these guys have waited a year talking about "when I get my turn" and now they wanted to make every single play in the game.  That just doesn't happen in college football.  You have to be focused and disciplined and reading your keys to stay with it and do what the offense tells you to do and the defensive call commands that you do, and we didn't have a very good grasp of that.  But we did play extremely hard.  I was real pleased with the effort of the team.

The other factor was (Missouri quarterback) Brad Smith.  He's a tremendous athlete and really made things look effortless out there on the field.  He threw the football on target, and then when he didn't have someone to throw the football to, he was very difficult athlete to corral."

"Overall, obviously we wanted to win a football game, but as I told our football team it is more about the journey this year than it is about the single trips.  I think that a lot of things that occurred last week that will help prepare us for that journey.


"It is a very difficult and challenging task to play in front of over 90,000 people in that type of environment against that type of football team with that type of tradition and recent success they've had.  It will be a tremendous challenge, there's no doubt.  We're worried about Arkansas State.  We're concerned about what we do about what we do to put ourselves in a position to be as successful as we can possibly be in every aspect of the game.  I'm looking forward to it, it is going to be fun and it is going to be challenging, but I'm looking forward to it.


"I think the weather really hampered both teams' opportunities to let the athletes be the athletes that they are.  They played in a severe downpour and in the mud that followed. Obviously, LSU's team speed is tremendous and they have great athletes on their football team, but I think that may have been an equalizer to some extent for both teams.  But they have tremendous speed."


"We will go into this game having three prepared.  How many play, we won't that call until that situation arises during the course of the ballgame.  But three quarterbacks will be prepared to play."


"We're banged up.  We've got several guys that I won't comment on that are not seeing contact this week that will hopefully be back close to full strength Saturday.

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