Oct. 14, 2003
HEAD COACH Rocky Long
Question: Have you noticed in practice that the bye week was beneficial?
Rocky Long: "At Sunday's practice they were pretty lively, which is a good sign. We already put in the game plan for San Diego State last Wednesday, so they didn't have anything new to learn. We're going to put a couple of new things in today after we got to watch [SDSU] play Utah. The game plan was based on what they did before Utah, but they did a couple of different things in the Utah game. There will be changes in the game plan both offensively and defensively. I think that if one team is coming off a bye week and the other team isn't, the advantage goes to the team that had a bye. You get healthier than you've been and you get a day or two of extra preparation time. You also get a new perspective on college football when you get a chance to watch games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sometimes you get into your own little world, and people expect you to be better than everyone else in the country. During the bye week, I get to see how everyone else perceives what's going on around the country outside of just our little football world."
Q: What does San Diego State's defense look like?
RL: "Basically, they're playing what they did last year, but they're doing it a lot better. They're not running any 3-3-5. They're blitzing a little bit more than they did last year. They have two outstanding corners that are playing really good coverage. When you have corners playing real good coverage there's a lot of extra things you can do on defense."
Q: How is the team health-wise heading into San Diego?
RL: "At this time of year, we're as good as you're going to get. Jason Lenzmeier has practiced the last couple of days, and though he doesn't look as good as he was before he got hurt, he still looks pretty good. He looks like he can play and has looked decent in practice. Our running backs are a lot healthier than they were a couple of weeks ago."
Q: How much did San Diego State change offensively without Adam Hall at quarterback?
RL: "Early in the season, they were quite a bit different. They really pulled in the reigns when Adam Hall went down, but they really started to expand the offense to a lot of the things they had done last year as soon as he came back. They played really good against BYU. They got one-dimensional against Utah because they couldn't run the ball. One of their receivers, (Jeff) Webb, has really merged into a guy like they had last year. So their offense has really expanded since Adam Hall has gotten back at quarterback, and they're a lot more dangerous with him in there. The freshman running back (Lynell Hamilton) is better than anyone they had last year. He's got good quickness and he can break a tackle if you let him get started. He's had some really good games. I think Tom Craft (San Diego State head coach) is an excellent offensive mind. I expect him to throw the ball about 90 times on Saturday. We're a pretty good run defense and statistically we're not a good pass defense. He has real good ideas about throwing the ball."
Q: How important are the next two road games?
RL: "Every game is important at this stage, especially if we want to do anything in the conference. I believe that whoever wins our conference will have two losses. There might be co-champs with two losses and three teams with three losses. I think the league is so close. Utah is probably playing the best right now, with Air Force right behind. I would be shocked if anyone went through the league undefeated."