Nov. 9, 2004
Head Coach Rocky Long
Has anything changed after the bye week?
"I don't think so. We practiced a little more this past Sunday than we normally do. Last week we practiced three days pretty hard on offense versus defense. Today will be the hardest practice of the week. So I don't think anything has changed. We're still limping around a little, but I assume that the players will be fresher and feel better about themselves. For the players, it's really good to have a week off."
How concerned are you about BYU's size?
"Whenever a team is bigger than you are it's a concern. But our offensive line can match up with anybody, and on defense we've been little all year, and we're still okay, so I don't see any difference. However, (UNLV head) coach (John) Robinson told me it was the biggest football team he's ever seen, and I would assume he's seen some pretty big ones."
Can you assess BYU's quarterback, John Beck?
"John Beck might have the quickest release in the league. He can get out of trouble and he runs really well. He slides - they've taught him how not to take a hit. He gets rid of the ball better than anyone we've played. He doesn't get hit much. Earlier in the season, he got hit a lot because he was holding the ball too long, but now he gets rid of the ball really quick. He throws the deep ball really well. The last few games he's been completing those deep balls, and that's why they're scoring more points. Their two wide outs are really good, and fast, so when they catch those passes, they're gone."
Does that put a premium on corner play?
"It does in our case, because our guys are going to be out there, one-on-one. We're not going to change our defense just because they have two great wide outs. Our guys understand our defense. We have a lot better chance if we let our guys play our style of defense than we do if we change our style because of what they have. If they complete three long touchdown passes, we'll get beat."
What do you attribute to BYU's improvement this season?
"They're running the ball better. Their two running backs are better and the offensive line is blocking better. I think the biggest reason is that they've had some continuity this season, especially at quarterback. The quarterback is playing well, so you can't stack the line when he can beat you with his arm. And if you double-cover the wide outs, they run the ball well enough to beat you. That's why they're good on offense right now - they can beat you both ways. The pro scouts say that BYU has the best physical talent in our league. They're a good looking football team."
Senior Offensive Tackle Claude Terrell
How is the team feeling after the bye week?
"It was really nice to have a chance to get everybody rested and healthy again. It was a great week, but now it's almost game time and we need to be ready to go."
How are you guys going to approach the remaining couples of games left in your season?
"The feeling on the team is that if we win these next two games, then we put ourselves in post season play. We don't want to have to rely on anyone to decide the future outcome of our season."
From your experience playing BYU in the years past, what type of things do the Lobos need to do in order to be successful?
"I think that the number one thing that we need to do is execute on the field. The little mistakes are what can take a ballgame away from a team. We are ready for a very physical and hard fought game against BYU."
Is there a sense of desperation on the team this week to win?
"I don't think that there is any desperation on this team to win. We know that Provo, Utah is going to be a hostile environment, but all we need to do is execute and take care of the ball and the win will come our way."
Junior Linebacker Mike Mohoric
Was it nice having a little time off during the bye week?
"It was a well deserved break and it was really nice being able to rest. It allowed a lot of our guys to get healthy and stayed focused for this weekends match up against BYU."
What does BYU do offensively that concerns you?
"They have an outstanding passing game and they also run the ball very well. They run an extremely balanced offense so we need to be ready for anything."
Do you think that the Lobos are up to the task playing in such a hostie environment?
"BYU is no doubt one of the hardest places to play because of the crowd numbers that they get at their games. We just need to take one game at a time and play them hard like we did last year."
Do you think that the early game time set for 10 am is going to be a factor?
"I can't remember the last time that I played an early morning game, but I know that we will be fired up no matter what time it is."
Senior Safety Josh Bazinet
How are you feeling about the 10 a.m. game time this weekend at BYU?
"I haven't played at ten o'clock since I was little and I played on a YAFL team. So this is a different experience for me and I'm just trying to get used to the idea right now."
Did the bye week stop any momentum that you guys had?
"We kept going at it hard like we had a game, and told everybody we were going to play the 'Byes'. So we had fun with it and worked hard at the same time."
Was this break good for you guys because it let everyone get healthy, and is it hard to try and get back into game mode after not as intense practices because of the bye week?
"We went out to practice thinking and practicing like we had a game. So everyone worked hard. If you had an injury, you got some time to rest. We came to practice with the right attitude and I think this week everyone knows what is ahead of us."
Because of BYU's explosiveness, is there any kind of special preparation going into this week?
"Normally they don't throw the deep ball as much, and now they have at least ten deep balls a game that they're catching. They try to throw about twenty five, but they're good at getting their catches."