Oct. 27, 2012
Fresno State vs. New Mexico
Oct. 27, 2012
"First of all, I want to start by saying that I'm really impressed with Fresno State. We were impressed with them all week. We thought we could get off to a fast start and we did get off to a fast start. A couple of things -- I think that is a very talented football team and I don't think you'll find someone who won't say that. Like I said we got off to a fast star, and had some adversity in the first half, but we created our own adversity to a degree. We fake the punt and get down to the 20-yard line and we end up missing a field goal that could have been three more points. We come back and have a play action pass to SaQwan Edwards down the field -- when B.R. was still in the game -- that could've been a 70-yard touchdown and it wasn't. It needs to be. We come back and Destry Berry drops an interception that was a touchdown. Then we lost both quarterbacks. I told our players at halftime, I'm not really sure that we embraced the diversity to the degree that we needed to. You're coming out in the second half, and we know where we are.
There's not a quarterback in this program that was recruited in the last three years. There have been five quarterbacks that have left. We have B.R. who is a senior that I love and give so much credit to. Then there's no quarterback for three years then you have a true freshman in Cole Gautsche and a guy who walked on here this summer. So faced with that in the second half, I don't think we embraced the adversity that we knew was coming. Fresno State started to heat it up at the end of the first half and we couldn't stop them at the beginning of the second half. I think you saw the talent they had a wide receiver. They made some tremendous plays on us, but I'm proud of our team. I thought our guys really played well at times in the first half. The defense did some good things. That's a team that had 69 against Colorado, 700 yards against San Diego State and 54 points. They've lost to Boise on the road, Oregon on the road and they've lost to a Tulsa team that's lost one game on the road. It's disappointing because we really did get off to a good start. We weren't able to capitalize and in the end we didn't respond enough to the adversity we had.
I look at guys out there competing and I'm really proud of this team. We have four games left and we have to find a way to win. Whatever it is, if Lamaar Thomas is the quarterback or Kasey Carrier is the quarterback we have to win. That's what it is; I'm not disappointed or discouraged. Some things are going to take time, I knew we would be in this situation at different times during the year, but I love this team. I'm anxious to get back in here tomorrow and let's see who we have and let's try to get a plan together."
Was not being able to keep Fresno State off the field in the second half pretty much the story?
"Yeah, you saw that. I tell you what, anybody that plays them, they are talented. It was a chess game. At the beginning we had him confused a little bit and then he got settled in and made adjustments and they're talented. But we saw it, if our offense against a team like that can't control the ball and make first downs we're going to struggle, and when you have no option to go to, they sat on us pretty good. They deserve all the credit they came back, on the road, and beat us."
New Mexico Player Quotes
Senior Defensive Back Joe Stoner
What were you doing that was so effective in the first half?
"We did a good job disguising our blitzes and where we were coming from. During the second quarter, they did a good job picking up on it. They did a good job, and we need to finish what we started."
When the quarterbacks went down, what was the feel on the sidelines? Did you feel the air come out of the sidelines?
"A little bit. As a defense, we have to step up and pick up the offense. We let the offense down, because you know Quinton, is young yes, I understand that's it D-I football but he is still young in the system. We as a defense have to step up and be a backbone when we lose B.R. and Cole. We need to make more plays and get more turnovers. We only had one, I believe, and we need to get way more than that."
What was that touchdown return like?
"It was a great look for the stats book and the highlight reel, but at the end of the day if you don't get the `W' it was all for nothing."
What's kind of the mood in the locker room? What are the guys saying at this point?
"We need to finish. We came out strong, and doing what we wanted to do basically. When you score a touchdown on defense you kind of expect to win the game. I think we relaxed a little bit and we got a little too comfortable. I think we had four 3-and-outs in the first half. We need to finish. Everybody knows that, and we need to get it fixed."
How tough is it not having a bye week?
"It's not real tough. I actually like it. I take a lot of ice baths, go in and get treatment. I get on the foam roller and keep lifting weights. Just need to keep your muscles loose. A bye week really I feel, kind of hurts you because you get out of the groove of things. You go week-to-week in a grove, and a bye week changes that. It can actually hurt you by thinking about the last win or loss. You just need to keep going in the groove, and that's what I like about not having a bye week."
Junior running back Kasey Carrier
Do you plan on assuming a bigger role in the backfield now? (with the potential loss of the top two QBs)
"Definitely. Having two quarterbacks that were leading the offense and the system go down, Lamar and I are going to have to step up in the run option game."
Was it disheartening to watch the quarterbacks go down?
"It definitely was. Especially watching B.R. go down, because he's been through so much since he's been here. And just watching those guys go down is hard. It's part of this game, anything can happen on one play."
"Teams know we run the ball and we aren't going to change that. We are going to come out and do what we do."
Did you think when you started this year, your role has changed from starting special teams to being a premiere player. Did you think that your role would be this big?
"At the moment I didn't, no. I've always been on special teams. Now I've been blessed to have a more dominant role on offense. We'll see how it goes next week."
How do you feel about a bye week?
"Joe is in the ice bath with me every day after practice. I feel the same about the bye week as he does. It gets you out of the groove."
Fresno State Head Coach Tim DeRuyter
On the turning point of the game...
"I don't know if it was a turning point, I just think our guys knew that we dug ourselves a hole and that coach Davie had done a great job of getting this thing turned. We were going to get their best shot early. We didn't match their intensity and we didn't tackle a couple of times. It was our responsibility to make plays. We knew that if we could get back in it and make plays with our guys on offense. We have a quarterback and coaches that don't push the panic button. We knew that if we kept doing what we were doing that we would be ok."
On playing the triple option...
"You try to simulate the triple as well as you can during the week but obviously, they executed it offensively better than our scout team does. It took us a while to figure it out. They came in with a couple new wrinkles, like most teams do, and it took our guys a while to adjust to it. After they adjusted it I think we defended pretty well. We have to tackle guys. Their quarterbacks run like running backs and you have to tackle them hard. It is different offense to prepare for but we obviously did a good job with it. We probably helped them lead in rushing or at least help them go up this game. I am glad that after we settled down that we were able to defend pretty well."
On the injury of both of New Mexico's quarterbacks...
"I feel bad for those kids because they have been banged up. It is an unfortunate part of the game. Obviously, we gained an advantage when they are down to their third string quarterback but our guys didn't let up. It's part of the game and we just had to keep on playing."
On coming back after the first quarter....
"I think offensively we had some matchups that we took advantage of this road game. Once we did that we tried to help guys on the perimeter then our running game opened up. I think offensively our guys do a really good job of analyzing what we are seeing personnel wise to get matchups. Obviously, we have some guys who have talent and make plays."
On what he told the guys when they were down 21-0...
"I said, `Don't panic, just do what we do and you'll be fine'. We have a team of high-character guys that don't point fingers. They will find a way. Our coaches do a good job of making changes on the sideline and explaining it in clear language to our guys. Tackling is a sign of football and early on we didn't do it. You have to give them credit for scheming things up that gave our guys some issues."
On the third quarter...
"There was a momentum shift. We talked to our guys and tell them that we needed to come out strong. I thought we handled it pretty well. Our defense was getting off the field and our offense was scoring. You have to put it in perspective, too, though. They were down in the third quarter and they had to do some wildcat and other things that are tough on them."