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September 5, 2009

Charlie Weis

COACH WEIS: All right. Fire away.

Q. It looked like a continuation of the last time you played, and it's been an awful long time. But how were you able to go from that game to this game pretty seamlessly from the way you performed last time?
COACH WEIS: Well, in an opener, you always worry about just being a little bit sloppy. You know, turnovers, you know, mental errors. But, you know, and I'm sure we'll find plenty of mental errors and find plenty to critique when we watch the tape. But, overall, I thought the operation, especially in the first half how everything went, you know, it went pretty much like clock work. You know the few times where something bad happened on offense or defense, we kind of knew what the answer was for that. And I just think that the coaching staff had plenty of time to prepare.
Nevada's going to win a whole bunch of games this year. There's no doubt about that. But I think the fact that we had so much time to get ready for the uniqueness of their style of play gave us an opportunity to be ready to go.

Q. What did you do to neutralize their pass-rushers?
COACH WEIS: Well, we did a little bit of everything, you know. We max protected. We cut them. We screened them. We ran right at them. We're a defensive end. Doesn't make a difference how good you are.
When you're getting all four of those elements where they're running right at you, they're cutting you, they're doubling you. Okay, and then they're screening you, you know, now what are they going to do next?
So I think in the first three plays, I think we did three of those four. Well, actually, in the first four plays, we did all four of them. So that was the mentality going in, and the players knew what we were going to do to try to slow those guys down.
He probably was injured some, you know. He didn't play as much as he normally played. And I watched him in warm-ups, he looked like something was bothering him there. So I think that helped us out some. But those two ends, Basped and Moch, they're going to present problems to a lot of teams.

Q. Surely people are going to look at Jimmy Clausen's bottom line, and it's going to jump off the page. But there are a lot of things if you watch the game, moving around in the pockets, selling the screen, can you talk about some of those subtle things?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, all the things that we've been talking about. About how his presence in the pocket, and now he's not just a bailout guy anymore. I mean, that's what you saw. I'm sure I'll find a lot more things. But, in the game, from what I can remember, I can remember him making two mistakes. The one throw to Kyle down the middle, that could be a home run if we hit him in stride on the play action. Then the one time we threw the fade ball where he got hit in plus territory, you know.
They ran one cover, and originally Golden was going to run the slant, he tapped and tried to have him run a go, and really I would have liked him run the slant and go ahead. Because you hit Golden on the slant, you have just as easy a chance for him taking it to the house there, too.
But other than those two plays, I can't remember a play that he wasn't right on. So I was pleased with his effort.

Q. Defense gave up some yards here and there, but pitched a shutout. What is your overall take?
COACH WEIS: Well, I mean, I'll take the yards any day of the week. I think the big play -- the big play came on the 4th and inches. You know, but when your offense is predicated on a shotgun quarterback and it's 4th and inches, it gives the defense a little bit more of an opportunity. And they just stuffed that one.
I think that even though there is some play down in plus territory for most of the day, I thought the defense was pretty much on track. Now I'm sure the defensive staff will all be miserable tomorrow saying how many -- at my staff meeting -- telling me how many things they screwed up. But I couldn't help but have Kyle McCarthy sing the fight song after pitching the first shutout since I've been here.

Q. Coach Ault told us that he apologized to you for not giving you a good read. How comfortable are you from what you saw from your team?
COACH WEIS: He's going to win a lot of games. We all know he's going to win a lot of games. It's just the way this game went today. It just went advantageous, and we've had some momentum.
You know, Tim talked about it, and you say well, how do you keep momentum rolling from a game that was so long ago? And a lot of it has to do with hunger. You know, these guys are hungry.
As we've talked all week long, you know, especially with all you local guys, this was the first opportunity to go out and show that they're a different team. It was just a good start. That's what today was, it's a good start.

Q. Talk about Floyd today?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, that was a big day for him. He's mad at me because I didn't let him sing the fight song, you know. But I said I'll take a team performance over an individual performance any day of the week.
But, you know, the one touchdown, on the one touchdown on the post just outside the red zone, I kind of dialed one up that was not designed to be called in that situation. And we're fortunate because everything we said was going to happen, happened. I told Armando they're going to bring a weak corner blitz, and he they brought the weak corner blitz. And he picked it up, and we hit Floyd for the touchdown.
The one play was just a run play with a pass element. If they brought pressure, and they brought pressure, and Golden gave us the block. Next thing you know, he's up the sideline. And then the last touchdown, we got the ball, backed up. We're in the third quarter now backed up. And I didn't tell the players at halftime, but I told the coaching staff that I'm throwing a go as quickly as I can throw one.
Well, when you start on the three-inch line, you can't really throw that go on the first play. But as soon as I got to the 10 or 11, wherever it was, we were going to lay it up there. And I felt when we get 40, then he breaks away and takes it to the house. But that was a big productive day for him.

Q. How far has he come from a year ago and where is he at in touching his potential?
COACH WEIS: He's a really good player because he knows how to use his body. He knows how to use his body to make plays, you know. He's not as fast as Golden, but he's deceptive, you know. He's got a lot of Samardzija in him. Everyone thinks because he's a tall guy he can't run fast, but he can. What he really does, besides having excellent hands, he really knows how to use his body to get open.

Q. Can you talk about the offensive line and what they showed you today and the questions you had coming in?
COACH WEIS: We told them we were going to mix up the run and pass, but at the end of the day we wanted to make sure that they controlled the line of scrimmage and controlled those ends. Now we were really concerned about their defensive ends, but that's why we had an extensive thought methodology to try to take those ends out of play. They were the guys we were concerned with the most, those two guys. And because any time you have a defense to those two ends, it makes it a little bit more difficult, because then you can't just chip on one and go and release on on the other side.
But I think it was a combination of the offensive line and the tight ends and the running backs, for that matter, that are all kind of in this together. I think that that bodes well for success today.

Q. Building a little bit on what you were talking about. The guys all week said they didn't care about style points. A win was a win. I can understand that. But that being said when you put together a performance, a second straight nice performance, what can that do and how can that help?
COACH WEIS: I think that not so much for the coaching staff but for players, I think that sometimes they're a little bit vulnerable to the media, vulnerable to the media during the week. I think that a lot of times they hear everything or read everything or see everything. And, you know, now all of a sudden they go out in their opening game and they just get by or they play a sloppy game. Now they continue to get hammered. And they said a long time ago, enough is enough.
I don't think they're going to have to worry about that for one week here. They get a one-week reprieve until we go to the big house. Then we'll see what happens there.

Q. This group hasn't had a day like this.
COACH WEIS: Well, they had one in Hawaii.

Q. True, they were pretty businesslike afterwards. I'm wondering how you feel the importance of how they handled this. You learn to handle disappointment, obviously. But do you need to talk to them about how to handle success?
COACH WEIS: We're thanking Teddy Roosevelt on that one. Believe it or not we've been living off this little mantra, you know, it's not a motto. We're not T-shirt bound or anything. But we're not talking about it, we just want to go out and do something about it, you know. So we're trying to carry that big stick that President Roosevelt talked about.

Q. Can you talk about how you felt today just being able to call plays? Were you more liberated on the sidelines?
COACH WEIS: Well, I missed a lot of the game on defense, to be honest with you. Somebody asked me a question about Mant's first tackle and I said that's great, because I never saw it. So there's somebody else because I'll have to watch it on tape tomorrow.
But it's a little bit different because when a series is over, where it really becomes the most different is when the series is over you now have to -- okay, what did they do? What are we going to do? And get that coach to translate it to the coaches and the players a lot, you know. And I think that was the biggest difference. A lot of times when I'm coaching offense and the defense is on the field. But when you have total confidence in your defensive staff, which I do, it makes it a little bit easier to be able to do that.

Q. How important were Brian Smith's sacks?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, Brian plays the game with a lot of passion, but he's a play maker, you know. He does two sacks relatively early, and they just change momentum. They did. They just changed momentum.
Because this team with the option they've run can, you know, gain ground in a hurry. But all of a sudden, 2nd and 20, now it takes you out of your element where you just can't run the same stuff. Now it forces you to go ahead and throw the ball in a time when the element of surprise is no longer in play.

Q. You mentioned Manti, just sprinkle him in a little bit there. Can you talk about your thoughts behind that and how you thought he did with what little you did see of him?
COACH WEIS: The uniqueness of their offense boded more towards making sure he you had the most experience guys out there to play assignment football, because it's unique. You know, it's not like things that you see very often. And I think that the combination of Toryan and Brian out there for the majority of the time, you know, was a securing type of feeling for the defensive coaches.
We sprinkled Manti in there with the ones and he stayed in there and got reps for the twos, too. There's a bunch of guys that we sprinkled in there, you know. We've got Theo in a little, we've. Got Theo in there a little bit. We've got Shaq in there a little bit. Zeke played some. Put Eifert in there. Eifert in there some because we're planning on playing him this year, as the year goes on, and we've got a chance to sprinkle him in there some. So there are a lot of guys that got their feet wet here today.

Q. Have you heard anything about Aldridge yet?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, he hurt his shoulder. When he came back and said he was gone for the day, I would have had him gone for the day anyway at that time. We'll have to see where it goes. We have the alternative plan and how he would tweak things if he couldn't go for a week or two.
But he bruised his shoulder. I don't think it's going to be anything major. But we'll have to wait until I see the doctors tomorrow after, you know, we'll see him today and see them again tomorrow and they'll tell me where we are.

Q. Charlie, in that sprinkling guys in, Danny was a guy that you probably got in as much as you would hope. Can you talk about his play and letting him get out there and throw the ball a little bit?
COACH WEIS: Well, besides my gadget play that I thought was going to go to the house, they didn't help me out on that play. And, you know, the first -- what happens is we had them long cat a couple of times, and the first two times they brought everyone from the weak side. So we had this play in there in case they brought everyone from the weak side.
So I said, oh, we got it. We got it. Well, we didn't have it. So I was wrong. So I guessed wrong on that one. But I thought it was good for him. I kept him in with the first offensive line first if you noticed, because I wanted him to get used to being in there with the first offensive line. Then we came out there and let him throw a pass right off the bat, too. You know. His first play in, we're backed up a little bit. It's going to be a run. Everyone in the house knows it's going to be a run. He goes and throws the comeback to Deion right off the bat. I thought that got Danny his first little taste where we, you know, we can start growing from there.

Q. Talk about how Toryan played today?
COACH WEIS: Toryan was in on a lot of action, I know that. I'll be perfectly honest with you, this is the first time since I've been here where I haven't seen the whole game on defense. So I'd be a little ignorant towards saying how everything happened in the game. But I do know there was a bunch of big hits in the game, and he was involved with some of them.

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