Oct. 4, 2015
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SDSU-Fresno State Postgame Quotes
SDSU head coach Rocky Long
On the performance of the defense:
"I'll have to go back and look but statistically, it looks unbelievable. I thought the defense played as hard as they could play and as physical as they could be, and it worked this time. There's other times where they work that hard and play that physical and it doesn't come out like that. Obviously, they were ready to play. That was two desperate teams out there that wanted to win really bad. It was kind of old-style football that was being played out there. The players really got after one another. It wasn't as chippy as I thought it was going to be because I knew they were going to come out fighting and I knew our guys were going to come to fight. I thought the kids did a nice job of handling their emotions on both sides, their side and our side. They were struggling just like we're struggling. Sometime we forget they're young men and college-aged. They try and try every time. We get down on them when they don't win like they're pro-athletes. They're not pro-athletes. I've been in a locker room just like the Fresno State locker room right now. Those are great kids and played they hearts out and they lost. This is not professional football and sometimes we try to make it like that."
On gaining confidence from this game:
"I think we'll game some confidence. We're going to have to be more diverse on offense than we were tonight. We're going to have to be able to throw the ball a little bit better on third and four, and third and five to get a first down. The big plays were all set up by running it. During the one to Rashaad Penny, those two defensive backs were at the line of scrimmage when Maxwell Smith turned to throw the ball. They were standing within two yards of the line of scrimmage. The other one was just a great throw. We beat them deep and were right on the money. Eric Judge did a nice job of getting behind them and catching the ball, but the throw was right on the money too. For us to continue to have a chance to win, we're going to have to be a lot more diverse on offense. We're going to have to throw it better."
On SDSU running the ball:
"I think we try to build our team on heart and toughness. The only way to prove your tough is to run the ball. I have a belief that if you can run the ball like we did tonight, eventually it wins the game for you. The one long pass to Eric Judge was a throw and a catch and a drop back. The one to Rashaad Penny was totally because we were running the ball. What it does is help the defense, especially against spread teams that want to go hurry-up. They're not on the field. They're sitting on the bench. They can't gain yards and score points when they're sitting on the bench. If you can run the ball consistently and continue to get first downs and continue to run the clock... There's some quarterbacks that never get into a groove. You don't get in a groove when you're sitting on the sidelines. Today, the game plan worked. Today, everyone's happy. To be honest, I feel sorry for the other guys in the locker room because I envision what our locker room would be like if we lost."
On Penny taking more snaps:
"I don't know yet. We have Marcus Stamps too and he's a pretty good running back. But you saw that the offensive staff did a nice job tonight getting Rashaad (Penny) more into the game plan. They got the ball to him more often and in different ways."
On the potential of Rashaad Penny running behind Chase Price:
"You haven't seen him do anything yet running between the tackles. Everything that he's done has been on the perimeter. There might be a reason for that. He's alright between the tackles and I'm sure that his part in the game plan will increase dramatically."
On getting into a rhythm:
"I see that as a combination of the offense and the defense. I thought that they had a lot of trouble because they weren't out there that much. I thought the defense played their hearts out. I thought the coverage was good. I thought the rush was good. They (Fresno) really struggled running the ball. I think that is due to our players knowing what their assignments are and playing really hard. Our quarterback had a lot of trouble getting into the groove because he wasn't out there. He threw 25 passes and I estimated 50 or 60 passes today. They're used to having 90-100 plays and they had 47. It's hard to get into a rhythm when you're sitting on the bench for five to six minutes at a time, especially the quarterback."
SDSU senior quarterback Maxwell Smith
On the rhythm of the offense:
"It felt good to get back to Aztec football, to ground and pound and make them feel it. They definitely felt it. We ran the ball great. We still have a long way to go. We haven't reached our full potential, which is awesome. It was much better tonight, but like I said, we have a ways to go and a lot of games left to play."
On being able to "erase" recent losses:
"I think as a team we already erased that. That's why we came out tonight and played well. They weren't conference games. We treat this as 0-0. We're in conference now; it's time to step up and play good football. We did that tonight. We can have a good time and celebrate the win tonight, but its back to work tomorrow and Monday and so on."
On what has been difficult offensively:
"We just have to get into a rhythm. I know I missed a couple. I have to stay positive and know that the coach is going to call plays and I have to capitalize. We did that in the second half. (Rashaad) Penny made a great catch, (Eric) Judge beat his guy, I was able to give him a good ball and he made a good catch. That's what you have to do, capitalize on the chances that are there and make plays."
On the run plays the first drive:
"I knew what the game plan was and I knew what we were coming out to do so I wasn't really shocked. I liked what we were doing. It worked on the first drive, so why change a winning formula?"
SDSU senior running back Chase Price
On the offense breaking through:
"I just think it's just amazing the improvement we made today. Just in the offensive run game, pass game as well. I thought we just played very efficient. And I just want to see us getting better, though, at the same time."
On the improved offensive line play:
"Honestly, since I've been in I've felt like the offensive line's been doing well, but today especially was just definitely easier to hit the hole hard and just make one cut and go. The offensive line definitely did a great job tonight."
On building a rhythm in the second half with D.J. Pumphrey out with an injury:
"I'm just happy I got a chance to help the team win. At the end of the day, me or D.J., it doesn't really matter; It's all about the W."
On his concern for the injury to D.J. Pumphrey:
"We need him to win."
SDSU senior linebacker Jake Fely
On the defense:
"I feel like our defense gives it all at practice; we give it 100 percent. We come down hard on each other when we don't make the right assignment or when someone messes up. It transfers to the field. I like that about our defense, we hold each other accountable and that showed tonight."
On the defensive scheme:
"The main factor was that the quarterback likes to get rid of the ball so if we get pressure on him quickly, he is going to get in trouble and it's going to make him try to run the ball. We felt like they struggled running the ball so we were able to get into our game. We felt like we did that."
Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter
On what he told the team after the game:
"I told our guys it's a team loss. It's on the coaches. It's on the players. It's not on one side of the ball or the other. We've got to play better, clearly. We've got to coach better. We didn't expect to come down here and not be able to move the ball. I like how our guys competed. We were dialed in but we've got to be able to hang in there and execute offensively and defensively, we've got to be able to tackle better. The first drive, it took us a while to get going. I thought we responded after that and did a good job playing special teams. Our offense took advantage of that. But after that, the second half, we were backed up in the third quarter. Field position wise, it was tough. It seemed like we had a short field and they ended up taking advantage of that with scoring. We couldn't get much going on offense but the offense didn't lose this game. The defense didn't lose this game. The Bulldogs lost this game."
On what specific aspects of the Bulldogs' game led to the loss:
"It's hard to say upfront. With what they do running through gaps, there's a lot of gap exchange, it's hard to see on the sideline exactly what was happening so I'll have to watch the film to see if it was the offensive line. We weren't getting much running game going, which made it harder on the offense and quarterback-wise, we clearly didn't play great."
On the play of quarterback Zack Greenlee:
"[San Diego State] does a great job disguising, he wasn't particularly accurate, but our quarterback didn't lose this game. There are a lot of things we have to correct."
On the state of his team's confidence:
"It's been tough and we'll see. There are guys in that locker room that are hurting right now, guys that came here expecting to win a football game. You go in at halftime, on the road, we got punched in that mouth on that first drive and I liked how we responded. We came in at halftime feeling good. We were trading punches. Both of us are searching right now. I think San Diego State is searching. I think the second half, we had some penalties that got us backed up which hurt us and some negative yardage plays. When you punt and give them the ball at midfield, now that opens up some play action stuff, which they took advantage of. That made it tough. There's not one guy to blame. We had a different guy jump offsides, we're blocking down the field when we should've been throwing a screen and some things go wrong that we've got to coach better. I've got to coach better. I think we've got a group, though, that's going to stick together come Monday when we have our captains step up. We're committed to getting this thing fixed because we know we've got a good Utah State team coming in next week. Our guys are happy to be coming home staying on the road for two weeks. In conference is tough but we've got to grow up and that's one of the things I told our team. We've got to grow up.
Fresno State sophomore quarterback Zack Greenlee
On how the game went for Fresno State after its first drive:
"I think there were just a lot of missed opportunities left out on that field tonight. I feel as though I didn't put us in the best situation to win and that's my job so I have to go and watch the film and learn as much as I can from this game."
On how hard a game like this will be for him to bounce back from:
"We have to learn as much as we can. Film is film. We have to go and see what mistakes we made and what opportunities we missed because we left a lot out there and I feel like we didn't capitalize. We just have to be ready for next week. We're back in Bulldog Stadium playing at home so we have to bounce back."
On how prepared Fresno State was for the game:
"I think we were prepared but we didn't execute. We just left a lot of plays out there. A couple of passes were high by me and I just didn't put us in a good situation. We just have to learn. I'll do whatever I have to with the ball. If I have to run the ball, I will. If I don't have to, I won't. Whatever I can do to help the team win."
Fresno State junior middle linebacker Jeff Camilli
On the brevity of the loss:
"Obviously, it's a pretty tough loss but we'll have no problem bouncing back. We have great leadership from seniors to captains. We'll just keep our heads high and keep working like we have every week and come back and get a big win over Utah State. That's the main goal."
On playing without senior middle linebacker Kyrie Wilson:
"I thought they did a great job. Kyrie goes down, you need those young guys to step up and Nela (Otukolo) kept playing a lot, Robert Stanley playing a lot, I thought they played really well for short notice coming in. I couldn't have asked for better. Great communication coming in and making big plays. I couldn't have been happier with that."
On his confidence in his team after the loss:
"I'm not discouraged at all. We've got a really good team and we have a lot of naysayers but I believe in our team 100 percent and I love every one of those guys. I fully believe we'll come back and get wins and finish the season strong. It's hard not to. If you don't think like that, you don't belong on the team."