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August 31, 2018

K.J. Costello

Stanford, California

Q. How great is it to have Arcega-Whiteside out there at the other end?
K.J. COSTELLO: It's awesome. You saw it out there. We still missed a couple. This definitely was a first-game-type feeling, a lot of things we want to clean up.

But at the end of the day we slowed things down late -- or early late in the second quarter in terms of really seeing what they were doing, and we're finding relationships and putting the ball where they needed to be. And we're having great communication on the side line. I liked it a lot.

Q. With Trenton's play to force the fumble, first, I don't think he's going to flip over to DB, but can you talk about how important that play was?
K.J. COSTELLO: I've nicknamed him Mr. Reliable in every facet of the game. It was a big play. I was ready to light that guy up if he got past Trent. But Trent was right there. And I mean that's just an effort guy. The guy works harder than anybody else I've ever seen.

He's out there an hour before everybody else. In fact, he's catching Jugs. And he starts his activation an hour before that. The guy's a workhorse and he deserves a lot of credit. And I'm excited to see what he has to do this year.

Q. We've talked about and Coach Long talked about how much San Diego State blitzed tonight. He said maybe the most he's seen from any team he's seen in 12 years. From your perspective, the challenge of dealing with that?
K.J. COSTELLO: Rocky Long, he's been doing it for a long time; he knows what he's doing. They wanted to heat us up and they want to stop the run game. They wanted to heat us up and force us to get the ball out of our hands, get me to get a little sped up on my clock. That was clearly their goal.

I think once we settled in we countered that. Hats off to Drew Dalman, did a hell of a job getting us in the right protection. And then Nate leading that line. Nate, he's a vet out there, (indiscernible) doing unbelievable stuff.

And we had Fobs (phonetic) out there doing some really good stuff as well with Devery. We gotta get a lot better on a lot of little things, but it was a solid game at the end of the day.

Q. Your talking point coming into this year was emotionless decisions when you're in the pocket. How would you grade yourself in that category tonight?
K.J. COSTELLO: I'm going to have to go back and watch the tape. I'd say my decision-making is right about a B-minus, C-plus. There were certain times where I didn't see exactly what I wanted especially early on.

But in terms of decision-making, I feel like I did pretty well. I'm still missing throws that I want to go back and make. But at the end of the day that's what first games are for.

Q. At this point how confident are you in those two-point conversion fades to JJ? Doesn't seem like much of a surprise at this point?
K.J. COSTELLO: Yeah, you got JJ. I Colby right there in the slot. And I got Kaden backside. I'm going to take whatever they're going to give me at the end of the day. But, once again, something we work countless, countless hours on and the season.

But at the end of the day we've got to be able to do both. We've got to be able to do -- we've got to be able to run the ball and pass the ball. We've got to work play-action outside. We've got to do all kinds of things.

At the end of the day we ended up taking what the defense gave us and we'll get back to the drawing board in a couple of days and see what we need to do going forward.

Q. How important is JJ (inaudible) down field?
K.J. COSTELLO: It's very important. It's no secret. Bryce is the best running back in the country. We all believe it. And they clearly did tonight.

There was times I came to the line there was 11 guys coming down hill, ready to go. Light 'em up. And being able to counter that is what you have to do to be a good offense. And once we settled in we were able to do that.

Q. How much trust do you have in JJ? And when he's covered (inaudible)?
K.J. COSTELLO: Yeah, I mean it's a combination of trust and feel. There's not a lot of wideouts that I've come across that have his knack and ability to position themselves properly countless, countless times in between the corner, outside the corner, sometimes slipping inside but still staying wide away from the safety. He's a basketball player; he's taking the ball off the rim.

We do want to develop certain things, taking guys more vertical and not necessarily having to always go to the jump ball. But I'm excited to work on that going forward.

Q. (Indiscernible) where he doesn't look open but he can still get to the ball? Is that something that he had to learn last year a little bit?
K.J. COSTELLO: I think he got a good feel for that last year. I think going week-to-week as teams start to bring pressure I pride myself a lot in the offseason to work through progressions.

We've got a lot of weapons. We've got Colby doing great things, Kaden doing great things. So if I don't really like the front side, I want to be able to work through my progression. Again, in those one-on-one type scenarios, when they looked covered, we're kind of feeling that, throwing them open and that's what we've got to do.

Q. After the first two, were you surprised he was still single covered on the third one?
K.J. COSTELLO: Coach Shaw alluded to it, they brought a lot of pressure, and when you bring that kind of pressure you can't double on the perimeter, especially outside.

Q. (Indiscernible) take me through the play with that Trenton Irwin made right before halftime from your perspective.
K.J. COSTELLO: You have to remind me which one?

Q. The one that was intercepted --
K.J. COSTELLO: Oh, yeah, got you. The D end got a pretty good jump (inaudible). He timed up the jump really well. I was throwing a basic, a little in route, and he timed it really well, tipped it up in the air, and I thought I saw the guys go up. And played out perfect for them.

Once again, I was ready to let that guy feel me a little bit, but Trent did an unbelievable job. He's a workhorse going to give everything he's got for this team.

Q. Seemed from there started to go more (inaudible) what was your assessment overall?
K.J. COSTELLO: I think things slowed down for us right in that first, second quarter. I think the safety was huge. Kind of switched the momentum. Take a little bit off our shoulders. Defense played great tonight. They put us in good field position multiple times to get the ball rolling. Started off pretty well. No points, long drives, no points. But later in that game really started to slow things down get on the same page.

Q. What's on your plate this year (inaudible)?
K.J. COSTELLO: Do my job. Lead this team. I want them to understand our plan week by week exactly what we need to do and I want to go out.

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