SDSU Football Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 15, 2016

San Diego State Football Press Conference
November 15, 2016

Quotes | Coach Long | Student-Athletes

Football head coach Rocky Long

Opening statement:
“Obviously we’ve got a big challenge this week. After watching Wyoming on film the last couple of days, I think they are the best football team we have played this year. Hopefully as we move on we might play some one equal to Wyoming or better, but Wyoming is by far the best football team we have played to this point. Playing in Laramie is difficult and going on the road for two straight weeks is difficult. The motivation that they have is enormous - it’s their last home game and it’s Senior Day. Because they lost last week, they are 5-1 and tied for first in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference. They have the tiebreaker against the other teams and can’t afford to lose another one. We’re going to play against a real good team that’s highly motivated and desperate to win. It’s going to be a very difficult situation.”

On playing at altitude:
“We talked about this (last week), altitude makes no difference anymore because this game is on TV like most of (the games) are. You get plenty of rest time and plenty of timeouts. With CBS Sports Network, those commercial breaks seem to about three minutes long and there are a bunch of them each quarter, so altitude has no effect anymore. It will be cold by our standards, but the long-range forecast for Saturday is sunny and 38 degrees or around that and in Laramie, Wyoming, that is not cold, that’s a great day. The biggest factor in any game is not wetness or anything like that, it’s the wind that makes a huge difference in an outcome of the game. The wind is not supposed to very high, so that’s good, but at times it blows very hard in Wyoming and if it blows hard it changes the complexion of the game dramatically.”

On the motivation of the team:
“Our team wants to win the conference championship. I’m sure they are happy that we are back in the top 25, even though I told them that it doesn’t matter until the end of the season. Our motivation is that we want to win the rest of the games because there are a lot of good things that can happen after the season if we can win them all. We might get to play in a New Year’s Day bowl game, we’d be the conference champions. There are incentives out there, but the real incentive is that we get to play another football game.”

On Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen:
“He’s a really good player. He throws it very, very well, he can get out of trouble and throw it down the field. He’s got two really good receivers who, in our opinion, do the best job in our league of going up and getting the ball and taking it away from the defenders, even when they are covered. One of their receivers has been on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 two times for the unbelievable catches he’s made, one of them last week. That wasn’t fun for me to watch because I know we are playing against them (this week). The quarterback has done a great job.”

On playing in a day game rather than a night game:
“That’s an interesting question. I don’t think it makes a difference, but we are used to playing at night. Now we’re very happy that it is a 1:30 game because we are in Laramie in November. No matter how cold it is, it would not be as cold if it were 7:30 at night. We’re happy about it (being a day game).”

On if the wind is going to affect SDSU kicker John Baron:
“I’m worried that the wind is going to blow. Right now the wind is not being predicted to blow very much, so it shouldn’t make a difference. But in the mountains that could change in 24 hours. It would make a difference for both kickers.”

On throwing in windy conditions:
“Since I’ve been in that climate a lot of my life, going into the wind you have to throw control passes and going with the wind, that’s when the bombs come out. If you’re a quarterback that practices up there all of the time you obviously have an advantage over a quarterback that doesn’t practice there all of the time. To control the ball is different with the wind at your back as opposed to into your face. I’d say (the Wyoming quarterbacks) can still throw it just fine if the wind is blowing because they have experience up there throwing in practice. I coached there for five years. I think the wind blows in all directions there.”

On the Laramie atmosphere:
“It’s a great football town. It’s a great football state. They love football. The population is not very large and (Wyoming) is the only four-year school in the state, so the whole state supports (the Univ. of Wyoming). And when they are having a year like they are having now, which is a dramatic turnaround from the way they were predicted to be, they get great fan support. If the weather is good it will be a full house.”

On the job that Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl has done:
“I’m glad you brought that up because the last time they were here to play us there were all kind of grumblings that maybe he wasn’t the right guy. I said it at the time that a guy that’s won three national championships and over 100 games knows how to coach. And guess what? Now they realize it too. I think the turnaround is amazing. This is only his third year and to turn it around that quickly is amazing. It shows you what kind of coach he is. He’s a great coach and he’s in a place similar to a place that he has recruited to before. He knows what kind of kids thrive in that environment and play at a very high level. It’s not shocking to me at all that they’re good.”

On being able to stop some of the best running backs in the conference:
“The only reason you are successful on a football field is the players making plays. Every game and every year is a challenge. They are a much better football team this year than last year. They throw the ball much better this year than they did last year, which makes it more difficult to put guys in positon to stop the run because you have to worry about the pass. Just because you were able to do it last year does not mean you are able to do it this year. Every week is a challenge, so we’ll see if we can slow them down. Really it’s about players being able to stop other players.”

Sophomore quarterback Christian Chapman

On playing in the Laramie weather:
“Nothing too much different for me. I have some family that live in Wyoming. My grandma lives there. Kind of windy, kind of flat. We played in Boise as a freshman and that was much worse. It was cold there. Nothing compares to that.

“When you are playing you are sweating and warming up. It’s not like you are standing there like a fan, you’re out there moving and warming up.”

On looking ahead to bowl season:
“It’s definitely game-by-game. We are wrapping up our regular season. We have two weeks left. We’re just enjoying it and taking it week-by-week. A lot of these seniors it will be their last game here at (San Diego) State. Winning is our mindset. We’re going into each week just trying to get a win.”

On Wyoming:
“It’s do or die for them, we know that. We’re coming into a hostile environment. This is their last home game as well. They need a big win. If we want to do what we want to do with our goals in our mind, we have go out there and play one of our best games and leave it all on the field.”

Junior running back Rashaad Penny

On the job that the Aztec offensive line has done this year:
“They’ve become a big part to the success of our running game. You just see what they did Saturday (at Nevada). Teams get worn down and they get on top of them. They create so many big holes for us and we take advantage of it. (The running backs) can’t thank those guys enough. They do so much. All the execution at practice, it’s like a game at practice sometimes because they work so hard at what they do. Everything they do at practice they do in the games and that’s why they are so successful. For them to go unnoticed is crazy. Even our fullback that converted from fullback Nick Bawden it’s like he plays a lineman. He jumps on top of linebackers or d-linemen that sometimes come open free. I think they do a great job of what they do.”

On not playing in close games this year:
“It’s week-by-week. We have to go out there and execute. They’re going to give us their best shot because there is so much at stake for them, but there’s so much stake with us too. We can’t go in there with a big head. We need to act like it’s 0-0 all game and that’s the mindset we have as an offense. We want to score on every drive and take if from there.”

Senior defensive lineman Kyle Kelley

On playing a day game rather than a night game:
“It’s not that much different. We practice during the day so we are pretty used to playing in the sunlight. It’s just getting up and getting ready to go right away instead of sitting in the hotel all the day. That’s the only difference.”

On the defense’s improvement in Mountain West play:
“Every position group just started playing better. We started clicking. We know the defense better and have had a great game plan. I think we’ve gotten more comfortable with the defense. There’s more familiarity (playing against the same teams), knowing the offense a bit better.”

On losing at South Alabama the last time SDSU was ranked:
“That was just a tough game. We had some bad luck in that one. We had a good mindset, but some bad luck happened in that game. We don’t take into account the rankings that much. We’re just worried about the (Wyoming) game itself. I don’t really care if we are ranked right now. It all depends if we are ranked at the end of the year. That’s my main goal.”

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