Oct. 2, 2007
"It's BIG EAST time for us now, and the opposition is steep with Rutgers. I have a lot of respect for Coach (Greg) Schiano, clearly what he's done, National Coach of the Year last year.
They have a very balanced offense, probably more balanced than last year. With (Tiquan) Underwood, obviously, having a career year. (Mike) Teel has been extremely efficient; he took a lot of pressure last year in not winning some ball games, he's responded and is having a great year. Of course, (Ray) Rice is still the guy, you've got to find a way to slow him down, offensively.
Defensively, again, Greg has his hand in the defense, what you can expect is the unexpected. They're going to give you a lot of looks, lots of pressure and try to confuse the quarterback with their pre-snap reads. He does a really great job of keeping you off balance with his defensive schemes. We've got a great challenge, we'll have to play very well, and we're going to have to play better than we've played all year.
Defensively, we're going to have to rely on an experienced group of players in order to go on the road, and then figure out what we can do offensively as we go through the game.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE:
Last week, I was very proud of our team in the way they handled themselves in going on the road and going through three time zones. We tried to down play it as much as we could to our kids, but they responded very well to play pretty good football.
If you look at Ben Mauk, his ability to come in and really lead our offense, and got off to a quick start. I thought he had a pretty good week of practice, got a chance to see a lot of things during the week of practice, didn't necessarily take all the reps but I thought he was prepared and he's a gamer. When it's game time, he's ready to play. I know he was talking about the transfer and I remember he texting me before the International Bowl, and he said get ready for a BCS bowl game. We're certainly not there, but if Ben can stay healthy and continue to do what he's doing, we have a very good trigger man for our offense.
ON HAVING THE DEPTH AT QUARTERBACK
"I think what it allows us to do now, is we know we have Dustin Grutza if we have to play him, he can at a high level. Tony (Pike) still needs some more work, we got to work some things out with his mechanics and footwork, but I was glad to get him in the ball game. I still think I've got three quarterbacks that we can run our offense effectively with. I think precisely, we're feeling more confident but we also have guys in reserve that can come in and play."
ON THE MATCHUP AGAINST RUTGERS
"We're trying to put the pressure on them, and they try to keep the pressure on us. Offensively, we're trying to give multiple looks and keep you on your heels. This will be a pretty good matchup between one coach that is calling the offense and another coach that is calling the defense."
ON HIS FIRST BIG EAST GAME
" I don't spend much time thinking about it other than it's a great challenge and that' s why I came here, to be part of a great league. But, I don't know if I take a moment to think, oh we're in the BIG EAST now, this is the time. I think I did that against South East Missouri, like we're in the fray now, there's no turning back now.