Comments from the Locker Room

Head Coach Karl Dorrell comments after the game from the locker room, as do Junior Taylor, Drew Olson, Rod Leisle and others about the win over SDSU, the penalties and the offense...

Comments from Head Coach Karl Dorrell

On the offense gaining confidence: "They played with more confidence more swagger, so to speak, and feeling more comfortable in the offense. Those are all very positive signs. I think hopefully we can continue that trend. We're getting better week after week and being able to make some plays offensively. I'm pleased that we were able to make some plays today, but we still have a ways to go. That's just me, understanding what we can do. I know what our potential is.  We're not close to our potential yet, but those are good, positive steps."

On the receivers making plays: "It was just nice to have that kind of production. I think we're capable. We have the necessary skills at all of our skill positions to be a bonafide offense and it was nice to see some of that production show up tonight and hopefully have more production as the season goes on. We're not close to what we could be, but it is a positive direction we're going, and I'm pleased with that. We have some work to do still."

On whether it was a concerted effort to give Junior Taylor the ball or it just worked that way:  "It was combination of both. He started out the game with a reverse, and obviously got a ten yard game, and I think he was at a comfort level early on. You could see that he was very confident out there. He was open on every throw we threw him. And if he wasn't open it was because they were draped on him and maybe drew a pass interference call. It was nice to see that from the first two games, where he had some issues with execution, for him to step up and say, 'Hey, I'm ready to take on some responsibility.' It was nice to see that development from him. Hopefully this will spark his season now."

On the improved punt coverage: "I was pleased. It was better than the week before. I was very pleased with having that kind of production today. It means that the work we did over the week was helpful."

On trying to pinpoint an explanation for the penalties:  "I wish I knew a reason. Obviously it was a disruptive issue because we're generating some things offensively and they were being negated, throwing us back.  The first series of penalties I couldn't understand what happened. We hit Marcedes Lewis down the sideline, a great positive gain, and I guess Craig Bragg hit somebody late out of bounds when he was landing, and there was another dead-ball foul that was somewhere else on the field. We couldn't understand what was going on. It's unfortunate that you have those kind of situations happen in a game because it is disruptive in trying to create some momentum or continuity.  That was very depressing. I'm not very pleased with where we are from that standpoint. I thought we had made tremendous steps to alleviate a lot of penalties the previous two or three games, then to have a game like today, it's a concern of mine. We'll watch the tape and see if they were good calls and see if there are issues we need to clean up. I'm sure there are issues we need to clean up."

On the ejection of Rodney Leisle:  "I  didn't see it. I know that they were warned and apparently he was probably the last one to get caught. Usually that's what happens. It happens on every level. Because that's going to be a huge, huge penalty against us going into next week."

On whether the offensive line performed well in pass protection:  "I thought we pass protected pretty well. But we couldn't block them all. They were bringing a lot more people than we can block. It's unfortunate when those things happen. You probably think its' not very good protection, that it's the line's fault. But we can't block them all. There are some situations that happened like that in the game. But I think our line has improved from a protection standpoint. We'll have to determine by the tape why we had these sacks or fumbles, or what have you. Is Drew staying in the pocket too long? Does he need to flush sooner and do something with his feet? Those are things we need to correct as we watch the game on Sunday. I don't necessarily believe it was a line issue."

Middle linebacker Justin London

On the linebackers' game performance: "I felt good. They spread us out. It was a tough matchup for the linebackers but I thought we put it together, flew to the ball and ended up making a few plays tonight."

On feeling more comfortable: "You only get more comfortable with game experience, and that's what I'm doing every week. I'm getting myself more in the game, getting myself in a little groove, so we'll try to keep that going."

On getting more reactive:  "I'm starting to react more, and think less. It's being more physical and getting used to this level since it definitely is different than high school. It takes time to get used to it."

Wide Receiver Junior Taylor

On getting confidence back: "I got my swagger and my confidence back tonight. I was down the first couple of weeks. I wasn't making the plays I should be making. Tonight I was able to make those plays and that helped me a lot."

On the receivers making big plays: "That's  something we emphasized this week. The receivers came through. We had the opportunities, and in past weeks we weren't taking advantage of them and making the plays. We made sure we made them tonight, which is big going into the Pac-10."

On whether he feels he's 'The Man' now:  "Not really. Two weeks ago I was the goat. That's how this goes. If one day you're the man, the next you could be the goat. I could be the goat later this season, or the man again.  You just have to keep working hard and things will happen for you."

Quarterback Drew Olson

On fumbling the ball in the pocket: If you stay in the pocket to try to make throws, you're going to get hit. That's something I have to learn to do better. It was my fault. Not stepping up and doing what I need to do. That's why you play. To learn and get better."

On whether the offense felt better:  "I don't think the offense really pressed. I think we played more of our game. I had three fumbles, and take responsibility for all of those. But I thought we responded well, to that little adversity.  And our defense played well. I think everybody had a different attitude, and played loose."

On being faced with so obvious passing situations:  "It's tough to call first-down passes or second-down passes when you're back in your own territory. That's pretty much where we found ourselves at third and long. I agree with the play calling. When you're backed up, you have to try to get it out of there and not make mistakes, like an interception. The situations that we were in dictated third-and-longs."

On whether it was frustrating not to convert the big play to Bragg into points:  "Yeah, that is. I was killing myself coming out of that, having fumbled. That's 27-3 rather than 20-10. Against good teams in the Pac-10 we can't do that. We can't turn over the ball three times. We have to improve."

Tight End Marcedes Lewis

On the strides of the offense:  "We're making progress. That's the main thing. The offense will gel at just the right time. We're going to fix the mistakes we did today and next week we'll be ready."

On Drew Olson's progress:  "Drew has done so much. He's had his ups and down. The main focus in practice was everyone rallying around Drew. To help him out in any way we could. Drew's turning into a leader out there, and today he sure was."

On which quarterback would be named the starter:  "I don't know how the coaches will do that. It's tough."

On the offense being more in a groove:  "It's a big jump from the first to the fourth game. Everybody was out there having fun. We didn't have a chance to do that as much the first three weeks - catching the ball, running, running people over. This game we did."

On the abundance of penalties:  "What about some of the refs? I think some of those calls were questionable.  We'll try to fix whatever we did. Hopefully no one will jump out of character because next week we can't afford those penalties going into the Pac-10." 

Defensive Tackle Rodney Leisle

On his ejection: "It's one of those things where the last person gets caught. It was a rough game the whole game. That's basically what happens."

On whether the play for the game was dirty generally: "Oh, yeah. But it was something I shouldn't have done. And I learned from it. Hopefully I can come back the second half of next game and help out the team.

On the defense's performance:  "We did a great job. I'm proud of everybody. We have some young guys in the backfield and they're doing a great job of holding up their guys and letting us do our thing up front.  There's always room for improvement. We have to always strive to be better."


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