Steve Sarkisian Quotes - San Diego State

Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian was very happy to get a 21-12 win over San Diego State to start the season, but he admitted there were some things that happened during the game that frustrated him. He said he and the team have a lot of work to do to get ready for their game next week vs. LSU on the road...

Opening Statement "It's good to win and good to be 1-0 and win a different style of game then we are accustomed to playing around here. We had to rely on our defense. Our offense sputtered a bit and to find a way to win that type of a game for us was encouraging on that front."

"It was an odd game in that we started out with so much energy and enthusiasm and were moving the ball well offensively. We got the turnover on defense and some things just didn't go our way and I didn't think we responded great. That probably goes back to me more than anything. We had a couple of penalties on us offensively that negated a big play and a couple of other of big plays. We got out and got into a little bit of a funk."

"We had a couple of guys go down so the huddle changes a bit. Jesse injured his knee, he's getting an MRI so we'll find out what that is. And then Ben Riva fractured his forearm essentially. We tried maybe a little too hard offensively. We got out of ourselves and held onto the ball too much at quarterback and a credit to SDSU, they did a nice job of pressuring us. When they were blitzing and throwing the quick stuff we just couldn't quite step out of the tackle to create some big plays that you need to do when a team is playing that way against you."

"We leaned on Bishop quite a bit obviously, we'll have to find a way to fill Jesse's role if he's out a significant time. I thought defensively especially early, we played really really well. Guys were flying around, they were playing hard, we got beat on a play that I still don't know if it's legal or not, I still got to find out. My interpretation of the rule is that you can't substitute or you can't run a play with the intent to deceive and I sure thought there was intent to deceive and then I thought we called timeout and we didn't get a timeout called. Sometimes that just didn't go our way on that play and then we missed the quarterback. Katz got out on some scrambles that I think is an area that we can fix quickly. Whether it's Timu, being free in the A gap blitzing or not losing contain on 3rd downs, we covered them well but we lost contain and he got out on some long runs. For guys that had to move positions, I thought Feeney first game, wasn't perfect, played hard, Shaq doing what he did out there, we saw a lot of new faces. Tre Watson with the interception. SO on that end it was good. Special teams wise, I thought we were ok. I would have liked to see Travis hit the field goal. All in all it's good to be 1-0 but I think we're a better football team than this. But they have to be addressed and we have to start on that first thing on Monday."

On how not having Callier affected the offense: "A little bit of ourselves there. We had a pretty decent plan for the two backs being in there together and it just wasn't at a comfort level of getting to that stuff. That's not an excuse. We should run the ball better than we did. We got to find our identity in the run game, who are we? And how are we going to become that. To where our run game is, I don't know if we're going to lead the country in rushing but it needs to be a good compliment to our passing game. Tonight it wasn't where it needed to be."

On the trick touchdown play to start the second quarter: "They hid him on their sidelines coming out of the timeout. We'll have to see. Part of the rule is that he has to come inside the numbers before he comes back out and it has to be after the official blows the play into play. They can only have 11 guys in the huddle so there is a lot of things to look at on the film. The rule at the end is with the intent to deceive, and it sure felt like there was an intent to deceive because they got us. In talking back, this happened a few years ago, I was part of this very similar play, I want to say I was at USC, and I want to say it was against the Huskies and we did it on a field goal and threw that touchdown and I thought at that point that's when the rule got changed. I kind of got burned on one of my own deals here."

On Desmond Trufant going down with an injury: "Tru's okay, he tweaked his hammy, we don't think it's serious. He was running, we kind of held him out precautionary, he went to run and his foot gave out. Kind of an awkward play. We think he's going to be okay. And Princeton kind of banged his head, they don't think it's serious at all. Minor at best. He was kind of woozy on a big hit. That's what happened with Jesse, there was no one around him and he kind of just fell down."

On concern for offensive line and Ben Riva likelihood of playing soon: "I don't know, I don't know enough. I would say that's doubtful for it to happen that way. Mike Criste got in and got to look at the film to see how he did. Again that's why we practice and move guys around and be prepared for stuff like this. Potentially moving Atoe back in at guard full time and moving Kohler back out there at Tackle. Or leaving Criste in there and seeing what he can do. We got some options which is okay."

On changing play calling the way the game went: "The game got a little funky. I've called better games and I'll call better games than I did tonight. I've seen Keith Price better than I have tonight. He just didn't feel quite right, comfortable all the way through it. We're probably not going to be great on offense if Keith and I just aren't in the rhythm of the game so we'll get better with that." On the pressure Keith received: "There was times where there wasn't as much pressure and Keith maybe thought there was. And we can help him. We can do some better stuff to take car of him that way. I was glad that we were able to get the ball to Austin and Kasen. I wish we could have got the ball to Jaydon Mickens a bit more. Maybe Kendyl Taylor and some of our speed guys. Because when you play a team like that, that's playing so much man to man and so much pressure you have to try to get the ball out to one on one settings. You have to win one on one settings because when you do, you make big plays. And you're not going to get them out of that style of defense unless you make plays. If you're nickel and diming your way down field, they will just keep eating you up. And we weren't able to create enough big plays to get them out of that."

On the team relying on the defense to win: "We treied to lean on them and work the clock a little bit late in the game and try to do some things just to move the ball around. We had some pretty key injuries there, and guys started to cramp and got to the idea that maybe we need to shorten this game down here and win this thing and that's a nice thing to know that you can lean on your defense that way and it hadn't been a big luxury of ours here in the past."

On being prepared for all the fourth down attempts: "I think we were. I thought we were prepared for it. So much of early in the season type games, and I saw it all day today and on tv and with our stuff tonight. Substitutions are always an issue. Special situations within the game are always issues. Some of those plays like we saw tonight. And penalties and how you respond to them. We were prepared in that aspect of it. They got us on a couple other things. That's a good team. Rocky Long does a nice job. They are going to win a bunch of games this year."

On the playbook compared to Eastern Washington or Baylor or somewhere in between last year: "Volume wise we had a pretty decent amount in the game plan. A bit of my concern in the gameplan coming is I'm trying to protect our guys as best we can. We're playing some young wideouts and I wanted to ensure they could have some success and not put too much on them. Two new tackles making their first starts. I wanted to take care of those guys. And when we lost Jesse there early in the first quarter, I wanted to make sure I could protect Bishop there too. We probably got scaled down there quicker than I liked. What I didn't want to do was lose our stinger. I thought a little bit in there we lost our stinger. When we're at our best, we're an attacking football team and we stress you whether it's through how we run the football, how we throw the football down the field with our up tempo stuff in no huddle how we change personnel groupings and that was probably mostly on me."

On the kickoffs being shorter than he would have liked? "Travis has just had a bit of a fatigued leg here as of late and so we almost went in with trying not to just burn yourself out here. And his groin had been a bit sore and the last thing I wanted was to swing and try to hit it as hard as he could and injure it to a worse degree. We just told him to strike it well and place it in the left hand corner and he did exactly what we wanted him to do. We just didn't fit the first return. We fit it completely wrong. There were some things we are obviously going to be able to fix, they are glaring and we will be able to address them and fix them quickly."


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