Nov. 29, 2012
Coach Long, Wade, Dingwell quotes | Coach Long, Wade, Dingwell presser
SAN DIEGO --
Rocky Long: We had one practice since last week's game, and it was enthusiastic and it was fast. Then we scrimmaged the younger guys afterwards and we got a whole bunch out of that. If we continue to practice like that before we get into game week and we actually get into game week under those circumstances, we'll be well prepared for the game.
Q. What day was that practice?
Rocky Long: Yesterday.
Q. Josh, with you guys being co champs, do you feel you get as much satisfaction as compared to winning it outright?
Josh Wade: We are happy with the championship. We got a championship. We played well. We won seven games in a row. It's all you can ask for is that we're being a part of the championship.
The other team played good and we didn't start our roll early enough with the Fresno State game. We did what we had to do after that to make sure we could still win a championship.
Q. Would you like to see a one game playoff to get an outright winner for a conference?
Rocky Long: If we are in a conference that has enough teams to have a Championship Game, that's a good deal. The Mountain West Conference doesn't have enough teams to do that. This year I think there's going to be three teams tied for the conference championship, so one game wouldn't get it done. Not until you have enough teams to have a true divisional championship.
Q. What has Walter Kazee meant to this program?
Rocky Long: Walt has meant a lot of things to the program besides just being a good player. I think his attitude and his want to and his toughness, both mentally and physically, have helped a whole bunch of other guys in this program that have questioned some of the things we do at times, because Walt is the ultimate tough guy.
He's the ultimate warrior. Any time you have a guy with his attitude in your program and he's a good player, it helps everybody else in the program.
Q. And Josh, you were nodding your head. Do you see Walter Kazee as an emotional leader for this team?
Josh Wade: Oh yeah, definitely. Walt is a very inspirational guy. You see him getting fired up and you know he's going to break his back for you every play. He'll run through a wall for us. When you have guys like that to feed off of, you feed off of him, believe in him and you know you can get anything done because you have people who are willing to sacrifice so much that he has done for this program.
Q. Adam, can you take us through being the backup to starting quarterback?
Adam Dingwell: It's been exciting, but through it all I've just tried to be the same guy and try to show that to my teammates and everybody else around. I couldn't ask for anything better for myself or this program. It's been a whirlwind, but I've enjoyed every minute. I'm just happy that we got on this roll and won a championship. Now we're getting ready for the Poinsettia Bowl.
Q. Do you see the current BIG EAST almost like a Conference USA 2.0?
Rocky Long: I don't compare it to the Conference USA at all. Now, I believe and to be honest with you, I don't know. I believe it's going to be truly a national conference.
I think we are going to have six or seven or eight teams that kind of are on the west of the Mississippi River and I think we are going to have six, eight teams on the east of the Mississippi River. I think it's going to be the ultimate national conference. I think it's going to be a good deal. I don't know that. I believe that's what's going to happen, though.
Q. When you foresee those conferences, I'm certainly hoping that you're considering the BIG EAST as one of the conferences in that mix.
Rocky Long: I think there's going to be a merge of several of those conferences into one of those super conferences, yes. And I think you have to be in one of those traditional conferences to be included or have a chance to be included in those super conferences, yes. And the BIG EAST is a traditional conference.
Q. Do you think that's good for football to shift toward these super conferences?
Rocky Long: It doesn't matter what I believe. I'm an old guy. I wish it was still the way it used to be, but I'm in a new world. I'm in their world and I love football, so I live with however it is.
Q. The idea of playing in this national conference, is that an exciting thing?
Adam Dingwell: Yeah, it's definitely exciting. It's going to be a great thing for this program and it couldn't have been done without the seniors this year and the guys before them. So we are thankful for that.
We're excited to go to the BIG EAST and play there and get to play some new teams. It should be fun for us.
Q. At least you get to play at home, perhaps in Texas?
Adam Dingwell: Yeah, that will be exciting. My parents will get to go to that hopefully. It should be nice.
Rocky Long: I forgot about that part. He's all for it.
Q. And Josh, how does it feel to be in the Poinsettia Bowl and end your career at Qualcomm Stadium where it started?
Josh Wade: It feels really good. We have the opportunity to play in front of our families and friends one more time.
Being at home, you just have that crowd. It's easier on travelling and you're able to stay in the hotel and you can have family come see you at the hotel. It's a lot easier.
I'm excited that we had the opportunity to finish it off here and I know a lot of people that I grew up around and friends that I played with before can come watch my last game. So, it should be fun. I'm excited to get that going.
Q. You said you liked what you saw from the other guys in the scrimmage yesterday. What stood out?
Rocky Long: I must not have explained. I liked the enthusiasm and the effort we had yesterday.
Did I like what I saw from the young guys? No. They had been scout team players all year long and it looked like they had never played full speed football before.
That's what's so important about being in a bowl game for the development of your program. I think we have 13 total practices, so we have 12 more practices. They will scrimmage another four or five times and the way they will play in the fourth or fifth time we scrimmage will be dramatically better than yesterday was.
So that puts them so much farther ahead than the four or five days they would have had to go through spring practice to get to that point. So when they get to spring practice, they will be four, five, six days ahead of where they would have been. That's good for the future of the program.
But they did not look like a polished product yesterday. In fact, it looked terrible. But we're going to do it again Saturday. We're going to do it again Saturday.
Q. Were they terrible or was your first offense that much better?
Rocky Long: Well, I don't know who was better, the offense or the defense yesterday. It's just whoever the scout team offense is playing against the scout team defense and I don't know who is better or worse. It was all bad.