|November 19 Football Press Conference|
"First of all, Saturday night was a magical night for us here. I was so excited for our kids, our coaching staff, our administrators, our school and our city. It was a lot of fun. The crowd was loud and exciting.
"The way we started the game out on offense was phenomenal. Moving the ball up and down the field, (quarterback) David Fales did a great job. They're (BYU) one of the top five defenses in America. They've shut out a lot of people and played really, really well. We got off to a good start.
"(Our) defense fought, fought, fought all night. They made a lot of big plays. I knew they would be able to make some plays. Their quarterback Riley Nelson is a little Houdini. He always is. He had a couple of Houdini moments. Our defense kept rising to the occasion. It was exciting to see.
"It was a great team win. And, it was fun to see those young men in the locker room, to see the fans on the field and our coaches, it was a great, great day for San Jose State.
"Now were are going to re-focus. We did last night. Believe it or not, we put it behind us and started working on Louisiana Tech. They are the #1 scoring team in America. I'm glad I have Coach terry Malley on the staff, because he coached in Arena Football for 13 years. They (Louisiana Tech) are putting up Arena Football scoring numbers. He's going to give me some advice on how to help us stop that.
"They are a really good football team. Their quarterback Colby Cameron is an excellent player. He's from Southern California. Their tailback is a freshman, Kenneth Dixon, who is really, really good. Their other tailback Ray Holley is a real good tailback that does a great job. And, then Quentin Patton is a dynamic wide receiver.
"They (Louisiana Tech) had a tough loss against Utah State in overtime. They lost to Texas A&M, 59-57, that beat Alabama a couple of weeks ago. It's going to be a stiff contest for us. We're excited about playing here - our home regular-season finale. It's good to have one more game after this. It's going to be exciting for our program and our kids."
Q: Since the Louisiana Tech game is not for a WAC title, what is the focus going to be?
A: "We focused on all wanting to win the WAC title. We still have an outside shot, but it's probably slim. We all know that. But, our kids are looking forward to winning 10 regular season football games, finishing out their last game. We have a lot to look forward to.
"If we can win 10 and go win a bowl game and win 11, our kids want to go down as winning the most football games of any football team at San Jose State (in the modern era). That's pretty special. They'll have that picture for the rest of their lives in their office. These seniors will be able to say they built something when everybody never gave them a chance.
For what they've done even to this point, even if we don't win the next two, which we definitely plan on and want to, this senior class has really, really persevered and showed a lot of character. I'm really proud of them.
Their goal is to be the best San Jose State team win-wise in the history of the school (modern era). We have a shot at that.
Q: Talk about Keith Smith's performance
A: Keith had 19 tackles in the game. Everybody's going hard and playing. Our motto all week was 'play harder for longer than they do.' 'Play harder for longer than they do.' And, we did that. We really did. When it looked like everything was falling apart, those kids rose to the occasion.
His play (sack, forced fumble and San Jose State recovery) in that circumstance that late in the game playing linebacker every snap, 19 tackles, rushing the passer, running all around, all of a sudden he blitzes. The running back comes to block him. He hurdles him, takes a step, pole vaults himself, hits the guy just like we work on, strips the ball, fumbles and Vince Buhagiar falls on it. I can't explain what a Herculean effort it was."
Q: What are some of the keys for victory this weekend?
I think first of all our defense has got to be able to stop them, slow them down and keep them under their scoring total. We also need to be able to cause turnovers. Utah State did that last week. They picked off two balls in the red zone and caused a fumble so we need to be able to do that. I don't think you can say you could just shut them down - nobody does. But, our defense can slow them down and prevent their scoring from getting as high as it has been.
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