Quotes From The Tucanos Football Media Luncheon
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/20/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 16, 2004

Head Coach Rocky Long

On the secrets of Navy's triple-option.

"The coaches that think they have something that nobody else knows, they will never give it away. The only way you can get it is to hire somebody off their staff. A lot of times, with offensive coaches like [Paul Johnson] is, and he is really good, they don't tell their staff enough that their staff can go some place else and run their offense like he runs it."

On Navy head coach Paul Johnson

"He is the best player caller I have ever seen on tape. I have watched each of their games about six times each, but I am watching the Delaware game. The game is close and in the third quarter a play comes out that I haven't seen in any of the other 10 games. He must have put it in at halftime, and I don't know here he got if from, unless he ran it 15 years ago. I don't know how their players ran it, but they took it 50 yards for a touchdown. He ran it later and it went for 30 yards. He ran it again and it went 20 yards for a touchdown. I didn't see it before that game and I haven't seen it since. That stuff happens in all of their games. They have some basic stuff that they run every game, but somewhere in the third quarter they bring out a play that they haven't run all year. It is to take advantage of your defense. If you don't do anything unusual on defense, he feels out how you are playing and he runs all the plays that attack that defense the best. He calls the trick plays at the right time. The first quarter is the basic offense and he is probing to see what you are going to do, then the real adjustments come in the third quarter. I am planning on seeing stuff in the third quarter that they haven't run all year. He has been running the offense for 20 years so he's got stuff we've never seen."

On adjusting UNM's defense to match Navy's offense

"We do different things against triple-option offenses, but we still play our defense. I think the trick is, if you can, not to let them lock into what you are doing. Part of the deal is that their players adjust really well. They understand their offensive and are really bright. He can just call it a certain way and they can run it. The trick is not to let him lock in on you. No one else has been able to do it, but hopefully we can."

On Navy's offensive line.

"By today's standards they are not very big, but they don't have to be. They double team and they cut. That's the beauty of the triple-option, they leave guys unblocked and read the option off of them. Their blocking is that same style and fundamentals as Air Force."

On changing the preparation for the bowl game

"It started from the very beginning. In the past, we have started to work on our opponent from day one. We would have a normal practice with scout teams and everything, and then we would send the travel squad and scrimmage the younger guys. This year, [Dec. 16] will be our first day of practice on the game plan. To this point we have sent the seniors in early then practiced our offense against our defense. Today we are going into scout teams and the seniors will be out there the whole time."

Senior Linebacker Nick Speegle

Question: Is it awkward to prepare for this game, that is going to be played so late in the season compared to what you guys are used to?

"It is a little awkward, but we've done this before, for the past two years. I think now we kind of got the hang of things. You just got to do what you got to do."

Q: Have you watched any film on Navy?

"I have. They are a good football team, they are going to be tough, they have a great offense."

Q: Why are they so good?

"Well triple option first of all, it's confusing to begin with. Then they got a fullback that is a really good runner. They do a lot of different things, we are going to have to stick to our game plan."

Q: Have you ever faced a team that had a fullback as their go-to-guy?

"No, we haven't. It's going to be good. We have a strong rushing defense, they have a strong rushing offense. It will be a good test for us."

Junior Tailback DonTrell Moore

Q: Do you have any pressure on yourself for this bowl game, or is it just go out there and win a game?

"It's just go out there and win the game, that's our main focus. We just need to get out there and be able to dominate the line of scrimmage."

Q: Do you look at this game as whoever runs the ball better will win the game?

"Yeah. They got a great run offense and we got a great run defense. It will be a great game to watch and a great atmosphere, and great competition. I'm very excited about it."

Q: Does it bother you guys that there will be more Navy fans than there will Lobo fans?

"No it doesn't, to be honest with you. We did pretty good on the road this year. It will be like another road game, hopefully we could have the same outcome that we had in our last few road games."

Junior Nose Tackle Marcus Parker

Ouestion: How have practices been going?

"Anytime that you're practicing for a bowl game, you're able to focus on that one team, and practice becomes more intense. Practice is good, we're having fun at practice."

Senior Cornerback Brandon Payne

Question: Is the preparation better this year, than last?

"No, I think it's the same, but we're just trying to be normal, not change too much, keep players health. We don't want to do too much."

Q: When you started this season, did you have any idea you were going to be as good as you were, second team All-American?

"No, I didn't think of any of that. Before training camp, I always write myself a note, and hang it up in my room. This year I wrote, 'this is the time for me to shine,' and I just kept that in my mind all year. I just always tried to be prepared for whatever was coming at me."

Q: What happened from last year to this year that you improved so much?

"I matured. I had just came in from a year of not playing and just going to school. Last year I was getting back in shape and trying to learn the defense. Now when my senior season came, I just gave it my best. Now I know the defense really good, and am playing much better."

Sophomore Quarterback Kole McKamey

Question: This year is it a little different for you, practicing as a starter and not a backup?

"It is different. I'm making an effort to not make it be this big bowl game that we have to win, rather just another game that we have to win. It's a way to end my first season as a college starting QB with a win. I'm not thinking about the pressure, that just makes things harder."

Q: Do you think that in the past the team has not been able to handle the pressure?

"No doubt. I think that going to bowl games have been a little too exciting for us. We've been too worried about what we're going to do, what we're going to get when we get there, rather than this is a football game. I think we are more focused this year."

Q: Do you think the players have got a little used to the idea of going to a bowl and now it's time to win a game?

KM: "Our guys are definitely thinking, if we don't win this we are kind of at a stand still in our program. A win would help us get up to that next level. It would be great to get a bowl game win for our program."