Aug. 26, 2003
UNM HEAD COACH Rocky Long
(On the condition of the team.)
"I think physically we're in pretty good shape. We only had one serious injury to a guy we thought would be our starter (OG Calvin McDonald), and he should be back in two weeks, hopefully for the BYU game. We lost some continuity on the line because all five linemen played together last year, so we might miss an assignment or two. But physically, Robert Turner is ready, and hopefully the other guys will fill him in on going to the right place at the right time."
(On Texas State-San Marcos.)
"I'm a little apprehensive right now because I have no idea what Texas State-San Marcos is going to run. They have 11 new Division I transfers and 30 new players on their team. Their coach came from Texas Tech but was the head coach at Emporia State and was the offensive coordinator at Wyoming. We've been watching Emporia State, Wyoming and Texas Tech film, and all of those offenses were different. So we don't know what we're going to get from them on offense and we hear they might be playing our defense, but we're not sure. With all of their transfers, we don't know how good their talent level is. Hopefully we're good enough that when the game starts we can figure out what they're doing on offense and defense and make the proper adjustments, otherwise, it could be a scary afternoon. This is the first game I've gone into blind like this."
"They might line up with three backs, or they might not line up with any backs. They claim to run the triple-shoot, which is a run-n-shoot offense along the lines of Texas Tech, Wyoming and Emporia State. That means they're going to have four or five wide receivers out there."
"We're going to play our game against them. We're going to run the ball, we're going to play-action pass, and we're going to blitz them on defense. However, the way you blitz depends on the kind of offense the other team runs, and we're not sure what they're running, so we're at a disadvantage right now. I'm not worried about it because we're a veteran football team. In my opinion we'll probably struggle early on offense and defense, then make adjustments to what they're doing, and then come out after the quarter or the half and play much, much better."
"I've been told their defensive setup is the same as ours and they're blitzing every snap. They run a 3-3-5, and we run a 3-3-5. We blitz every snap and it sounds like they blitz every snap."
(On the cornerbacks.)
"I'm comfortable with them because we haven't played anybody else except us. I think talent wise, it's the best we've had. Jerrell Malone is 6-1, 185 pounds, runs real good, and has the potential to be a great corner. Gabriel Fulbright is probably the fastest corner we've had since I started here. He's got quick feet, and he's very aggressive and competitive. Potentially, they're the best set of corners we've had."
"I've been told that Texas State has good depth at wide receiver and that they've thrown for long touchdown passes at each of their scrimmages, so we'll see how good our corners are early on."
(On the passing game.)
"The most improvement we've made from a year ago is that we're throwing the ball better and we're catching the ball better. We made a real effort in camp to throw the ball deep. We threw more deep balls this fall than we have in the past, and we were fairly efficient at doing it. I think that if our running game is what we expect it to be that teams will stack the line of scrimmage, so we'll have to make them pay with the deep ball. And if the passing game opens up things a little bit, it improves our running game. If they blitz us, the ball will go up early and often."
(On the Mountain West Conference.)
"I think the conference is the best it's been. I got a lot of questions about all of our returning starters coming back. But if you look at our league, every team has a lot of starters coming back, and seven of the eight starting quarterbacks are back. The league will be just as competitive as last year, but I believe the teams will be better. In non-conference games, I believe the league will perform better. Last year it was a young league, now, it's an experienced league. In this league, whatever team gets on a roll will have the best chance for the championship."