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August 28, 2012

Alec Johnson

Ryan Katz

Josh Wade

Q. Is it really the same as last year against Michigan, or why is that?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ Totally different game.テつ This is just the first game of the year.テつ We are just excited to play.テつ Three weeks at camp, you look forward to playing anyone, getting ready to play another team is awesome.テつ So, different.

Q.テつ And also going into Washington, everyone wants to talk about SDSU's poor record in the past against the Pac10 and Pac 12.テつ How big of a win would this be for the program?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ To start 1‑0 in any season is a good start.テつ The opponent, doesn't really matter, I guess.テつ It would be good to just start off 1‑0 in our season.

Q.テつ Ryan, you played up there‑‑ different stadium, anything that you share with the guys about the fans, the loudness, anything?
RYAN KATZ:テつ Yeah, it's going to be a live stadium.テつ It's a big stadium.テつ They are going to have a lot of people there.テつ But once the game starts, it's 100 yards and everyone in between those Lions are the only people who matter.テつ So just go out there and play your game.

Q.テつ Coach said you've become more effective with the offense every day; is that true and if so, where are you now compared to when you first got here?
RYAN KATZ:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ At first I was just trying to get the terminology down.テつ And now, you know, I'm just starting to feel a lot more comfortable with the concepts and what we are trying to do, talking to Coach Lud, just really fine‑point what he wants and what he expects from the offense, I think I have a good grasp on that.テつ You know, like you said, just try and get better every day.

Q.テつ What is it about San Diego State that drew you here, and has that been reinforced since you've been here, whatever it was that drew you here?
RYAN KATZ:テつ Yeah, I started following San Diego State last year towards the ends of the season.テつ I liked what they had coming back, and it's definitely shown since I've been here, I've grown close with the guys and it's been great working with them and getting to know everyone.テつ I'll just look forward to getting out there Saturday and playing with them for the first time.

Q.テつ When you said you started following San Diego State, did you watch film intensely or highlights or box scores?テつ How did you follow them?
RYAN KATZ:テつ I would say more box scores.テつ I tried to watch as many games as I could.テつ I seen the Boise game last year, the Bowl game last year, and so yeah in, that aspect.テつ So it was usually a later game, so I was able to check that out and just try to catch anything that I could.

Q.テつ When you were watching it just as an innocent bystander, were you were analyzing what they looked like, possibly for you?
RYAN KATZ:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ I mean, I tried to see if I could fit in here; and the different pieces that they had coming back, and if I had a good opportunity to come here and play.

Q.テつ Cash, what have you seen on tape from their passing game, their wide receivers and their running bash?
JOSH WADE:テつ Well, a lot of their receivers are a lot of younger guys and their No.1 receiver had broke his wrist.テつ So we think they are going to come out and they are going to throw the ball around.テつ We are going to try to be prepared for anything that comes at us.テつ They like to do a lot of shifts and motions, and line their receiver up deep‑wide out there.
So just got to cover the receivers and be prepared for most anything, because there's not a lot of film on the younger receivers.テつ SO we are keeping the game plan open and just get excited and ready to play and expecting whatever comes at us.

Q.テつ Has not really seen the 3‑3‑5, do you feel like you guys have some looks for the quarterback?
JOSH WADE:テつ Definitely, we are going to fly around.テつ We're going to try to play our game, throw some things at him that he has not seen, different blitzes and things like that.テつ We are just going to go out and keep the energy up, fire on the football and hopefully be able to confuse him a little bit and see if that works out for us.

Q.テつ It is an interesting situation for you guys, people expecting to score 33 points or more a game‑‑
JOSH WADE:テつ Well, people have high expectations but we are going to play our game.テつ We believe in our program and we believe in our school so we can go out and play with anybody, and we want to be able to do that, show the country what we are made of in the first game.
We have been hitting each other here for a long time so we want to go out and have the opportunity to play another opponent and prove to people what we are made of.

Q.テつ Do you think you guys have received a lack of respect in some of the preseason prognosticating?
JOSH WADE:テつ Well, you would like to be ranked high and all that kind of stuff, but it's nothing to be worried about.テつ We are going to go out and play our game.テつ We are excited.テつ We want to do it.テつ So now it's just going out every week; this season is a marathon, going out and doing it over and over and being consistent and playing fundamentally, technically sound football.

Q.テつ Is there something to be proven by the Aztec program; has this program arrived or what are your thoughts about that?
RYAN KATZ:テつ Yeah, I think so.テつ I think you should try to prove yourself every day and we are going to try to do that every week.テつ You know, just take it week by week, and this one is the first one.テつ So I'm not going to say it means any more than the other ones.テつ We just want to come out this week and try to get the W.

Q.テつ Does the fact that it's against a Pac 12 team make it a bigger game than other games?
RYAN KATZ:テつ Not at all.テつ This is the first one of 12 during the season, hopefully 13.テつ So I would not say it's a bigger game than any of them.

Q.テつ Coach said that one of the things that he is interested to see is the offensive line, because there are so many new starters on it, do you guys have a bit of a chip on your shoulder, because if even your own head coach is not doubting but just interested to see how you're going to play?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ A little bit.テつ I think we need to prove ourselves up front.テつ We have three new starters coming back and the two starters that are coming back are coming off injury.テつ So I think we have something to prove.テつ So I'm excited to go out there and play, and I think the other four guys in the line are, as well.テつ So I'm looking forward to it.

Q.テつ How acquainted have you been able to get with your new offensive line mates?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ Good.テつ We lot a lot of reps in camp, so the continuity is there.テつ We just have to go out and play in games.テつ It's totally different.テつ Things will be flying around.テつ Got to stay calm.テつ We'll be all right.

Q.テつ The Aztecs program, the last two years, Bowl games, first time in school history.テつ You had maybe one of the best quarterbacks ever to play here and one of the best running backs to play here; how important is it to keep the roll going?
JOSH WADE:テつ Well, the belief around here has changed a little bit in the sense that guys are going out every week knowing what we are capable of, a little bit more faith in what we are doing, and game planning and going through with the game plan and fighting through adversity as far as toughness goes on the team.
We know how to win now.テつ We have seen it.テつ We got a taste of it.テつ So now it's just going out and understanding that wins are just not going to come.テつ You have to go out and take them every week.テつ It's going to take an hour‑long football game to do that.

Q.テつ Ryan, what do you think will be the toughest part of this game?
RYAN KATZ:テつ You know, I think just getting the first game‑‑ first time we are going up against a different opponent.テつ Being any game one, it's just really trying to find your identity, how you are going to be during the game.テつ You know, just try to stay positive, and things are not going to go your way all the time.テつ I think it's just seeing how people are going to react to the moment, and I think it will go well.

Q.テつ Invariably in games like, this you get the topic brought up about being the conference and the talent; you've seen the talent levels here and at Oregon State.テつ Is there still that big of a gap?
RYAN KATZ:テつ I don't think so.テつ I don't know how it was before I got here, but all of these guys have confidence.テつ I feel like all of these guys that I play with on the field going up against practice‑‑ not sure about other teams in the Mountain West, but I think we can play with anyone.テつ And you know, I think we'll be ready to play against anyone.テつ We are going to go out there and play our game, and, you know, just try to get better every week.

Q.テつ What have you learned or gleaned from playing with McFadden?テつ What makes him special?
JOSH WADE:テつ Well, he's an athlete.テつ He's fast.テつ He's quick.テつ His reflexes are acute.テつ I mean, he goes out every week with a chip on his shoulder and he's very competitive.テつ So when you see that and you get that kind of a mixture in a player, there's greatness.テつ So you can expect good things from Leon, great things.テつ And just seeing his work ethic in practice, he doesn't like when guys catch balls on him.テつ He has that competitive nature and he's going to go after it.テつ It gets everybody in the corner room going, he doesn't say a lot but you don't need to say a lot when you lead by example like he does.テつ That's the thing that separates him from a lot of other players is his aggressiveness and being an athlete on top of it.

Q.テつ He does seem like he's intense in practice.
JOSH WADE:テつ He's very intense.テつ He doesn't like‑‑ if he's going up against somebody, he's not letting them‑‑ he's going to play aggressive and he has the athleticism to back it up.テつ That's going to make him a great player.

Q.テつ What is the difference for him do you think, the which I am on his shoulder?
JOSH WADE:テつ It's just his competitive nature.テつ A lot of guys on our team have that where we hate to lose around here.テつ We play with a chip on our shoulder, with a toughness, with a fight, a chip, like you said, and yeah, he just stands out, because with athleticism, like I said, it stands out a little bit more because he has the ability to make plays that some guys in some other places might not be able to do.

Q.テつ Coach said you have a lot of good receivers this year‑‑
RYAN KATZ:テつ I think he uses his body really well.テつ He's not the biggest or the fastest guy on the field, but I think he has a real knack for making plays.テつ He uses his body well when he's running routes and holding off defenders.
I think he's done a great job during the spring and during fall camp and he's just improving every day.テつ He has not gotten a lot of playing time but I look for him to be a big factor come Saturday.

Q.テつ At some point during the game, that stadium sort of erupts, and they are probably going to score a touchdown, but that stadium is going to erupt and get loud and it may start to roll; what will you say at that moment to try to make sure that things don't get out of hand like they sometimes can?
RYAN KATZ:テつ I'd say just try to calm everyone out.テつ People have played in big stadiums before ‑‑ and we have crowd noise out here.テつ Those speakers out there get pretty loud.テつ We'll probably do that one more time before the game.テつ I think we'll be ready for it.テつ You know, like I said, things are going to happen during the game.テつ You just have to roll with them and try to get past them.

Q.テつ Do you think anything to add on what you might say to your line mates?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ Stay calm.テつ Do what you do.テつ Listen to each other, communicate, tell us what the defense is doing and if something happened, or what did he beat you with.テつ Things are going to happen in a game.テつ Communication is the biggest thing up front for us.

Q.テつ Coach said that if a team is overly excited to play an opponent, he believes that means the team doesn't think it can win, like if you are really excited, like the Super Bowl or whatever, but he says he has not seen that from this team.テつ Is that a point of discussion or is that just the way this team is?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ I think it's just the way it is.テつ Last year at Michigan we kind of got worked up and kind of made a bigger deal than we should have.テつ Don't really get that feel this year.テつ So, we'll see.

Q.テつ Do you think that is from a level of confidence?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ I think so.

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