home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 10, 2014

Dave Clawson

COACH CLAWSON:  Overall I'm happy with the kicking game and just offensively, we are improved.  We are very efficient throwing it. 
Disappointed we didn't run the ball better, and we've got to get some issues cleaned up in terms of our red zone offense and some of the dropped passes we had and eliminate turnovers.
But we're still a work‑in‑progress, but again, good to get a win.  We know that the competition will get tougher and that is certainly the case this week heading out to Logan, Utah to play a very good, very solid Utah State team.

Q.  Considering you played an FCS team last week, what areas are you still waiting to find out about your team?
COACH CLAWSON:  Well, I mean, we improved on offense.  We were more efficient and we executed the offense better, and I do believe we made improvement from week one to week two.
Now we are going against probably one of the best top defenses in the country, at least statistically, in Utah State.  They are very well‑coached, they are very multiple, which gave us problems when we played Monroe.  They are extremely physical up front.  They are an older group up front, and they have some seniors and juniors that have played a lot of football.
We have got a young offensive line that's continuing to learn and grow together, and so we have certainly got to step it up, you know, certainly our ability to protect.  And then I think on defense we'll be challenged more this week than we have all year.  Their quarterback, Chuckie Keeton, is certainly one of the top quarterbacks in the country.  He can throw it, and his ability to break out and make plays on the run when the pocket breaks down is exceptional.  They have got a slot receiver, JoJo Natson, who will probably be the fastest player we've faced all year.
And again, this is a program that the last three years has been very, very successful.  We have a lot of respect for them, and we are going to have to certainly get a lot better than we did a week ago to be successful out there.

Q.  What are the challenges in just undertaking such a long trip, two time zones away, and the problems that you faced just logistically and the toll that travel takes and that sort of thing.
COACH CLAWSON:  To be honest with you, I'm more concerned with the toll the travel takes on the following week.  When you fly out west, you get a couple of extra hours, and you know, the kids will get a little bit of downtime on Friday.  It doesn't really throw you that much off your routine because it's a 5:00 Mountain Time start, which is a 7:00 East Coast start.  It's not much different than we faced the past two weeks.
The challenge is, you don't get back till 7:00 in the morning on Sunday and it really makes your preparation for the next week almost like a‑‑ it's really almost like a six‑day‑‑ you get a six‑day prep instead of a seven‑day prep.  It's really hard to get much done Sunday.  And as a staff, you're going to have to come in right out of the redeye and go to work, and you're playing Army, and that's a tough prep for that offense on a short week.
The travel does not concern me for our Utah State.  It's more on the back end when you get back from that trip.

Q.  In the two games that you've played thus far, anybody in particular who has stepped up and caught your eye that maybe you're a little unsure about after you broke camp and has really emerged and played better than you anticipated?
COACH CLAWSON:  I think there's maybe a handful of guys that are not starting for us that in somewhat limited time have played pretty well.
I mean, Thomas Brown, one of our safeties, had not played a lot of football and he's our third safety.  When he's gone in there and played, he's played at a pretty high level.  So he's a guy that we have got to continue to create more opportunities to get him on the field.
Up front on defense, Shelldon Lewinson is a guy that really after spring, we did not think would factor in there and had a great summer and a good camp and he's been productive for us and has given us some snaps up front.  And those are probably the two guys on defense.
Offensively, both of our young tight ends are making plays.  We play two freshmen tight ends:  Cam Serigne, who is a redshirt freshmen, and Devin Pike, who is a true freshman.  Those two guys were very productive for us last week.  That's a position that can help you make first downs and keep drives alive.  I'm happy with the production we are getting from that position, you know, considering they are two freshmen.  Yeah, there's been pleasant surprises across the board.

Q.  What did you know about E.J. Scott before you got him, and what kind of impact do you think he could have?
COACH CLAWSON:  I really didn't know much about him.  He was good friends with one of our corners here, Kevin Johnson, and he had graduated from Virginia and wanted to go somewhere that he could play and knew what we lost at receiver, or at least Kevin told him that.
To be honest with you, he came here as a walk‑on.  He came here and walked on in the spring and had a great spring, and since then we've been able to put him on scholarship.  I have a friend who coaches at Virginia, and I called him, more of a character reference than anything.  And he just said, hey, the kid's a great kid; he's a do‑right guy, and there will be no off‑the‑field issues.
I mean, he's been a godsend for us.  So mature; comes out there every day and gives us the same work ethic.  Very reliable and very dependable, and he's a good football player.  I mean, we are very, very fortunate that he made the decision to come here, and he's been productive for us.  He's a good football player, and I just love his work ethic.  I love how steady he is.  He is the same person every day out there, and with where we are in the program, how young we are, we need people like that to kind of show the way.

Q.  If I might ask, who is the assistant who gave him the recommendation?
COACH CLAWSON:  Chip West.  Chip I've known for 15 years.  He worked on my staff at Fordham.  We have been in touch and I just said, hey, this guy is interested in coming here, should I have any character concerns, and he said no.
He goes‑‑ you always want to make sure what transfer that the reasons they say they are leaving are truly the reasons and there's nothing that's going to catch you by surprise in terms of character issues like that, and Chip gave him a very, very high recommendation in terms of his character and his work ethic.
And those are the things I was most concerned about that you don't ever want to be bringing problems into your program.  And Chip was very accurate with his character on him.  He's a hard worker and again, does things right and we are very fortunate to have him.

Q.  As a football coach, you've invested a lot of your life into the sport.  When something like the Ray Rice situation happens, is that something that you then discuss with your team?
COACH CLAWSON:  Yeah, we always try to learn from other people's mistakes, so hopefully we don't make those ourselves.  We highlight those things in our program and not only with what happened with‑‑ not only what happens in the NFL but other college programs.
When young men make very, very poor decisions, it has an impact on their life and others' lives, we want to take that and educate our players and certainly let them know and remind them that certain behaviors will never, ever be tolerated in our program.  Just they are under a very‑‑ they are in the public eye.  The things that they do, other people are going to know about.
Yeah, any time that that happens in the NFL and any college program, we make our players aware of it and try and educate them on decisions they just can't make.

Q.  You mentioned wanting to improve the running game; what has the issue been in the first two games?
COACH CLAWSON:  Well, the first week, we did not sustain blocks and we cut too many people loose and defenders were in the backfield.
And last week, we were on people.  We just did not get the push that we need.  We run some zone schemes and I think again, we were on the right hats.  Gardner Webb, their nose guard, is a heck of a player and we struggled to get push on him.  And then even with some of our man schemes, when we down‑blocked the nose guard, he did a nice job compressing some of our pin blocks and jamming up the alley.
We have just not created the space that we would like.  And at times we have missed cuts.  There were times in last week's game that we did have plays well blocked, that the vision of the back was not what it should be; and there's times we bounced plays we should have cut up, and there's time we cut plays up we should have bounced.
So we are just not in sync with our run game right now.  We have kept it simple and we'll continue to keep it simple and continue to improve on it.  We are certainly not nearly as productive in that area as we have to be.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297