Notes From August 31st Press Conference

Head Coach Dick Tomey held the first press conference of the 2009 season, in anticipation of his San Jose State Spartans traveling to Los Angeles this weekend to face the Trojans of Southern California to open their season.

Comments by Mike Chisholm:

Beginning this week, the Dick Tomey Radio Show will be on KLIV radio, 1590 AM, on Wednesday nights from 8 to 9 PM. The broadcasts will be from Original Joe's Restaurant in downtown San Jose.

Coach Tomey will be on KLAC radio in Los Angeles with Mason and Ireland on Tuesday, September 1, at 6:00 PM and KNBR 680 in San Francisco with Murph & Mac on Thursday at 6:00 AM.

Comments by Head Coach Dick Tomey:

On playing USC:

"We're anxious to hit somebody we don't know. We're so tired of working against ourselves."

"This is the right time for us to play this kind of game. This is the biggest group of seniors we've had."

"This is the best USC program that I've seen in my days coaching; going way, way back to the time of John McKay. "

"This is not going to be close to as intimidating as going to Nebraska. ‘SC is a better team than Nebraska, But, the environment is more of a friendly environment to them, because so many of (the Spartan players) have been there and are from Southern California. It's never the environment; it's the team you're playing."

Asked if USC having a large number of new players was going to be a factor, Tomey stated "I don't think that their having new players or new starters matters. We're talking about the deepest and most talented team in college football. We're not talking about some outfit where they have trouble getting people to take their scholarships. They get twenty-five first round draft choices a year."

Asked about what his team can take from this game "win, lose, or draw" Tomey stated that the team was not interested in lose or draw.

"No matter what happens; good bad or indifferent; we're going to benefit from this experience."

On whether or not a starting quarterback has been named?

"No. And we won't. It doesn't serve us well to do that, because they're both going to play. To me, starting is not that big a deal. Maybe it is to them. Somebody will run out there, but that's not going to mean much; because the job will be won in competition, not in practice. By the time we get into the conference, we want to have a number one quarterback"

Tomey state that it's been the dramatic improvement of Jordan LaSecla over the past year that has made the quarterback position much more of a horserace between he and Kyle Reed.

The QB's will know who the starter will be prior to departing for Los Angeles.

On the team strengths:

"We think our defensive line is a strength, because the front seven is all seniors. (They) have all played a lot of football, and are back and healthy, and ready to go. Specifically pointing out Kalvin Cressel, Adonis Davis, and Carl Ihenacho, Tomey stated "The trajectory of the program, since these guys have come, is clearly one of success."

Tomey hopes the strength of the offense will be in it being more balanced. "I think we have a lot more weapons this year. We have a lot more experience up front. We have an experienced group of receivers, with a couple of new guys that are very good. The running back position is the deepest we've had. "

On the Running backs:

"The guys that are making the yards are the ones that are going to get the carries. Patrick Perry and Brandon Rutley are the two top guys. From there it's Chris Reese and Mojo, Lamon Muldrow."

"Pat Perry was our best downhill runner that we've ever had at San Jose State. Two years ago he led us in touchdowns and was our second leading rusher behind Yonus (Davis). We had no idea that he would return, because he suffered such a serious injury. But he's returned. He's bigger, faster, stronger; more elusive than ever. As I tell the other players, and they get tired of hearing this, ‘this is a guy that's got his big boy pants on.' He's married. He has children. He's in graduate school. He's overcome a major knee surgery. So, this is a man. And he's going to be a big help to us."

On Kevin Jurovich, who Tomey indicated is fully recovered from his illness of last year:

"Kevin is as good a player as anyone's got. He's a sneaky, fast guy that has just amazed me, since he's been playing receiver; because he'd never played receiver. He will make plays against everybody we play."

Additonal Notes:

Only three true freshmen will travel with the team to Los Angeles; (Travis Johnson, Ronnie Yell, and Chris Hill), with Johnson being the most likely to play against USC, (as a defensive end and in the kicking game). As a comparison, in 2006, 17 true freshmen played. "This year we have more seniors; we have more lettermen; we have more veteran players."

Tyler Cope, who did not miss a single kick in Sunday night's practice, will kick extra points and field goals. Philip Zavala will kick-off, punt, and hold for kicks, and may be asked to kick any extremely long field goal attempts.

No word on any academic casualties coming out summer school. Tomey is more concerned with budget cuts forcing the cancellation of classes affecting the players academic standing, than about class performance.



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