Press Conference: Olson & Bragg

The quarterback and the wide receiver, <b>Drew Olson</b> and <b>Craig Bragg</b>, answer questions from the media Monday afternoon about last Saturday's game and the offense...

Quarterback Drew Olson and wide receiver Craig Bragg took questions from the media this afternoon at UCLA.

So, Drew, what did you see about the offense on film?

Olson: "When it comes to my own play, there were definitely some things I could have done better that would have made this game a lot different. The film was a lot different than I thought it'd be. There were certain reads I missed and just guys being open. There were a couple of times when there were some pretty basic reads. For some reason, it just didn't catch (with me)."

Was it a matter of checking off receivers or just looking in the right place?

Olson: "It was a little bit of both. Their defense, I never really got a grasp of their secondary the whole day. They kind of just moved it around. They played a lot of man and they'd be in and out. It was just a matter of recognizing the defense and the secondary."

Was it more comfortable behind the offensive line for this game?

Olson: "Yes, definitely. It was like night and day. I have a lot of faith in those guys. It's a lot different when you know that they're solid up front. It gives me a lot more confidence in making all my reads."

Did you feel pressure at all during the game?

Olson: "I think there was one time I got hit. That was about it."

Is this the least sore you've ever felt after a game?

Olson: "Yeah."

Have you scouted Illinois yet?

Olson: "No. All I know is that they have a defensive coordinator from Northern Illinois. So I watched a little bit of tape of Northern Illinois from last year to get a grasp of what he kind of runs. But I haven't seen Illinois yet."

What'd Northern Illinois run last year?

Olson: "They ran something I really don't know what to call it. It kind of looks like a Cover Two Shell, with man outside. I don't exactly what we're calling it. I haven't really seen it before. It looks almost like a two-man of some sort."

Craig, was this game a confidence-builder for the offense, when it looked like things were working well?

Bragg: "Yeah, definitely, especially when things were working well. In the first half, we were happy with the way we were able to move the ball so much. But you're never really satisfied unless you get a win."

Did they do anything in the second half to slow you down? Olson: "Just controlled the ball. They played the same defense."

On those two interceptions, were those throws you'd like to have back?

Olson: "I think I'd still throw them. Looking on tape, the first one the defensive lineman just got a hand on it, and got it offline. Tab (Perry) just kind of tried instinctually get the ball, and catch it, and he deflected it up. Down in the redzone everyone is down around each other. There isn't much room down there, so stuff like that happens down there. The second one it looked just like it went through Tab. It's hard to tell. I couldn't really see."

Did you try to maybe force throws in the game?

Olson: "There weren't too many forced throws. There might have been one or two. I don't think the interceptions were because of a bad read or a bad force."

Craig, what'd you think of the offense in general? Bragg: "I thought we did a lot of things well, like I said. I think we just have to be able to capitalize in the redzone. That's the biggest thing. That, and we have to secure the football. But there were a lot of things that I thought we did positive. I'm looking forward to for our development from this week to next week."

How good of a football team was Oklahoma State?

Olson: "They did what we thought offensively. Obviously they just ran the ball. I think it would have been a different game if we would have put the ball in the quarterback's hands and made him make throws all day. I think it would have been a different story. He's a young kid and inexperienced. Their passing isn't as strong as it has been in the past. We really didn't see much of it. Defensively, they play a lot of man and have a lot of good athletes. They're a pretty solid football team. But I still think it was as winnable game for us. It was in our grasp, and key turnovers hurt us."

Outside of Craig, were your receivers open much?

Olson: "Yeah. We got open. There was definitely separation there. Marcedes (Lewis), I thought we could have gone to maybe him a little bit more. He got open when we went his way. Yeah, for the most part they were."

Was the line consistently opening the hole it was supposed to open?

Olson: "Yeah. I don't know how many negative rushes we had. There weren't too many. Manuel White obviously had a big day. I felt like when we needed three yards we got four. So it was pretty positive in the run game."

With the work in the off-season, how important is it to win this next game, so you have some confidence out of all the work that went into the off-season? Bragg: "It's very important for us to win this game. I think we worked so hard in the off-season and did a lot of things, we started to see the fruits of our labor. Of course, it would be great to win any game, just not the next one. The one after that also. But we need to start somewhere. Illinois is who we have next and we have to put all of our focus on that."

Olson: "We're out there to win every game. This is a big game for us this week. It's huge."

Is it big in the sense to validate what you did in the off-season?

Olson: "What we did in the off-season, we don't need to validate it. We know what we did. We just need to validate our success as a football team, and get out there and win football games. The off-season doesn't matter much if you don't win."

Despite losing, do you still have a positive vibe for the offense? Olson: "I think we know what we have here offensively. We have a lot of weapons. We have a great coordinator, good coaches, and I don't think there is any reason why we shouldn't be positive about the offense."

Will you try to pump up the defense after Saturday?

"Well, of course. Those are our teammates. Even though we're offense and defense, we're not separate. Offense, defense, we're still part of the team. They obviously had their struggles on Saturday. The running game was pretty tough. I think we just have to let them know we have their back. We're here, too. They're trying as hard as they can, and that's all we can ask from them."


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