DiNardo Press Conference
Head Coach Gerry DiNardo Quotes Opening Statement:
GD:"This week, we continue our coast-to-coast tour. I have some concerns not only on the field, but off the field as well. The players will report to this facility at 10:30 on Friday morning. We will land in Seattle at 7:00 p.m. our time. We will get to the hotel nine and half hours after players report and then we will meet for two hours. It will be a good 12 and half hour day. We will miss 48 classes because of the schedule. We usually don't miss any classes on a Friday. We typically meet at 2:00 or 3:00, usually 3:00 on Fridays. Like today we meet at 3:00. If you keep your meeting schedule the same as during the week and everyone is done with class. We don't have any priority registration for special needs students, not only student athletes, and that causes us some problems. The other thing is there is no official University policy on excused absences if you are representing the University. So, I hate to miss those classes. We return at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday and we start treatment at 12:00. So we are on a little bit different schedule, we will be in Seattle for 24 hours and spend 15 hours traveling."
GD:"Once we get there we will have a heck of a challenge in Washington. Washington is the 12th winningest football program in history. The only teams in our conference that have more wins are Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. They have only lost five non-conference, home games in the last 20 years."
On Joe Gonzalez and Herana-Daze Jones' status:
GD:"I really won't know until practice on Tuesday or Wednesday. They have to practice Tuesday or Wednesday to play in the game."
Worst-case scenario that both guys are out:
GD:"You have to put 11 out there. I guess we would go with Will Meyers, Will Lumpkin, maybe Ryan Skelton, Ty Henderson, Matt Foss. You just have to get those guys out there."
Any thoughts of changing the way you play:
GD:"We didn't play very well. I think this week if we don't fumble the ball, if we can secure the football, if we can do better in the red zone and do better on the goal line, it will be a good week on offense. On defense, if we cut our missed tackles down and big plays down, it will be a good week. I think those are our goals going into the week, red zone offensively, goal line offensively, turnovers offensively, missed tackles and big plays on defense."
On Isaac Sowells:
GD:"He has worked really hard and kept his movement and his quickness as well as gaining weight. I think he is just at the age in his life where he can do all this and stay up with his body as far as a movement standpoint. He is a left tackle. He is a Big Ten caliber left tackle. A lot of the reasons he is where he is now is because of his work in the off-season. He has done a terrific job. "
On the conservative play on offense:
GD:`I knew I was conservative because I wanted to protect our defense. Having looked at the video, it would have been worse if I didn't do it that way. They had 500 yards on offense, so if I had stopped the clock on offense, they would have gotten more. As conservative as we were, we turned the ball over three times and kept the clock moving. Just figure what would have happened had we turned it over more and stopped the clock. It was definitely conservative; I don't think there is any question about that. I was trying to stay into the game until the end. Before they scored late at the end, before Haney's fumble and before Taylor's fumble, we have Josh Moore's pick and we are almost in the game."
GD:"They have a big, physical offensive line. Pickett is the real deal; he is a Heisman candidate. Reggie Williams is the real deal. Charles Federick is a tremendous competitor. You have a very good offensive line with two Heisman and All-American candidates in the backfield. Obviously Alexis is a good running back. On defense, I think Terry Johnson is probably the best defensive lineman we have played against to date. In my opinion, they are a more talented team than Connecticut. Marquis Cooper is fabulous. Roc Alexander, who was out last year and is back this year, is a tremendous athlete. They are your typical, ranked Pac-10 team. There are not many weaknesses. They are very good players and athletes."
On the game plan:
GD:"I think you have to put the game plans together; they can't be separate entities more so than last year. We threw 21 interceptions last year. There were times we threw caution to the wind and it was our first year in the program. At some point you have to show improvement. We have to teach the team how to play football. I don't think being reckless is the way to teach football. On the other hand, if the offense would have scored when they were on the goal line, if they wouldn't have fumbled in the red zone, if they wouldn't have turned it over early on our own side of the 50, the offensive game plan would have been fine. You can't go back and say it was too conservative, look what happened. I say how about scoring on the goal line, how about being more efficient in the red zone and not turning it over three times, then lets see if it was the right game plan. Those things go through your head."
On the running back by committee:
GD:"We will stick with it this weekend. I am going to play a lot of guys this weekend, so bring your game program. We are going to shuffle guys in and out. We are bringing 70; I would like to play 55 or 60 guys, but certainly this week we are going to play three tailbacks. We are going to play multiple guys at multiple positions."
On naming a starting tailback:
GD:"I haven't thought about that at this point that maybe where we are going. I just think with as young as this team is, the best thing to do is to play three tailbacks. We all know Brian can do this and is an experienced veteran. He has his niche. Chris Taylor has his niche and BenJarvus Green-Ellis has his niche."
On the offensive line's performance on Saturday:
GD:"It was ok. We had a lot of first time kids in there. It wasn't a disaster; they hung in there ok."
On Matt LoVecchio in his first game:
GD:"He was ok. It was his first game and it looked like a first game to me. He was rusty having not played for a year."
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