Olson Talks of Performance

Sophomore quarterback <b>Drew Olson</b> talks Monday about his performance in the SDSU game, for the season, and the offense. Does he expect to start this Saturday with the return of Matt Moore?

Quarterback Drew Olson responded to question at the weekly press conference Monday.

What did you think of the SDSU game?

"There were a lot of good things that came out of this game. It's good to see the capability of making plays is there. I think we all knew that. I think it was good for our offense to get some big plays, drives and put up some points."

Have the coaches said anything to you about the quarterback starter issue?

"They haven't said anything."

Do you expect to start?

"Yeah."

Did you feel better in the offense Saturday?

"I feel real comfortable with this offense. I can control what I do. I feel really good about how I played on Saturday. Obviously the three fumbles need to be cleaned up. We can't have that this week. Every week I've felt better and have improved. We have to keep making strides forward. We just have to keep going out there and get this offense going."

What was the difference for you in the second half?

"The first half was tough. The penalties hurt us badly. I've never been first and 40 in my life. I didn't know you could be first and 40. It's tough being back in our own territory and having to be careful with the ball, not really being able to take shots down field because of the bad field positions. Later in the second quarter I thought we got some drives going and then later in the second half we got big plays and sparks that were able to ignite the offense and got everything rolling."

Did they open up the offense in the second half or did you just execute better?

"A little bit of both. The fact that we had bad field position in the first half dictated the play calling. It doesn't allow us to take as many chances. But the second half we got good field positions, also with their turnovers, and it allowed us to go down field and make some plays."

Are you going through your reads quicker?

"Every practice being in the system helps. It's a timing system, it's complicated. There is a lot to it. Each week is valuable for us. We're all learning each week. It's a system we'll have down in a year, as long as we progressively get better and move the ball and don't turn it over. Week in and week out we'll get better, and we've shown that."

Was it more beneficial having offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Steve Axman on the sideline rather than in the booth?

"It helped, more for somebody to talk to when I came off the field, rather than talking on the phone to him. It's nicer to come off the field and have him there to talk to in person."

How tough for a quarterback would it be to come back after sitting out a month with this offense?

"There'd probably be a little rust there for a week. It's not impossible. Someone's capable of doing it. It's a timing system, so it would take a week probably. I'm sure Matt (Moore) would have no problem getting his timing back in a week getting back in the flow of things having not played football for a month."

Was it good to see Junior Taylor have a good game?

"It was good to for him to have a solid game and make plays. We have Craig (Bragg) to make plays. We've seen him do that. And Junior and Ryan Smith. All three. And Marcedes caught some balls. It was good. It's always good having our receivers making plays. It's easier on us, easier on the offense, and me as a quarterback."

Is your confidence level as high as it's been?

"It is for so far this season. This was obviously my productive game as a college quarterback, and our most productive game as an offense. So everyone's confidence should be high, but not overly confident. We know we have a lot to work on. But we feel good about our performance."

What's your opinion of your overall performance so far?

"I'm not real satisfied with my play the first couple of games. There were some things that could have been better to get this offense sparked and lead the offense. I don't think I did a real good job of leading, and that's what a quarterback is supposed to do, get the guys going. This past game I felt pretty good about it. But looking back, there were the three fumbles. Some were good hits, but still I have to take care of the ball better than that."

How do you explain some of the mishaps when you get pressure?

"There are chances. Sometimes it will happen and sometimes not. Sometimes it's instinctive to get out of the way. After being in the pocket too long, and you try to dodge a couple of d-lineman you're probably not going to be too successful. If I see a blitz coming I'll maybe have to take the sack. Not duck under and try to make a play. Be a little more comfortable with doing that."

Was SDSU overplaying the run?

"They blitzed a ton. They brought backers all the time. They had four lineman to cover four holes and three linebackers covering three other holes. It's tough to run when they have so many guys flying around. It's tough for our O-line and our running backs, especially when you don't know where they're going to be, and to be making adjustments every play. They ran their system really well. I was impressed with their defense. Their corners are good corners. They played really aggressive and hard. We just happened to find creases and seams and get some plays on them. Their run defense was one of the better we faced all season."

What do you know about Washington's defense?

"We haven't studied film yet. I know, since (Washington defensive coordinator and defensive backs) coach (Phil) Snow was here last year, I know what kind of defense and blitzes they have, remembering practicing against our defense last year."


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