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SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


September 4, 2012


Jake Fely

Alec Johnson

Ryan Katz

Leon McFadden

Tim Vizzi

Josh Wade


Q.¬† Going into the Washington game, Coach didn't know exactly what to expect and how he would be the best coordinator but those looks he gave you guys‑‑ did they give you something new?
RYAN KATZ:  You know, I think we prepared for a lot of things.  Some things they did, we were not prepared for.  There was a couple different looks that we had not seen before.  We just had to make adjustments and go from there.

Q.  What kind of stuff did they throw at you that maybe surprised you a little bit?
RYAN KATZ:  Some of their fronts were a little different, some of their blitzes on that aspect. 
They weren't doing too much different stuff coverage wise.  I would say mostly in the box.

Q.  What would be the outcome if you had a chance to play them against this weekend?  Seemed like you were pretty darned competitive all in all.
RYAN KATZ:¬† Yeah, I mean, you know, we watched‑‑ inaudible.

Q.  You were running more times than passing it, and Coach did say that very few of those were designed runs.  What were you seeing and are you working on sort of staying in the pocket a little longer, something he said he would like to see out of you this week?
RYAN KATZ:¬† Yeah, I would definitely like to do that.¬† You know, I think at times, I had to run and there was some pressure and other times guys just weren't open.¬† I'm not just going to stand back there; if nothing is open, I'm going to try to make a play.¬† Our offense is designed‑‑ I like to stay in the pocket.¬† I think we'll do a better job of that this week.

Q.  Tim, can you talk about the touchdown play?  Did you have to talk with the officials about that before the game to put them on alert you might try that play?
TIM VIZZI:  Yeah, coach talked to the reps before to make sure it was all go.  That was something he with talked about and knew that it might not be legal, especially with the Pac 12 refs.  So he checked and got the okay.  Then had the perfect opportunity at the start of the second quarter to run the play and we ran it.

Q.  And then what is your job on that?  Do you have to run inside the numbers or inside the hash marks?
TIM VIZZI:  Wet a sideline huddle and I had to proceed inside the numbers and then just jog right off, a couple yards away from the sideline and they didn't take notice of that.  You know, that's what we wanted.

Q.  What was going through your mind when they were calling out signals and no one came out?
TIM VIZZI:  Catch the ball.  That was my first and final thought, catch the ball and then run with it.

Q.¬† What were you thinking‑‑ it's your first touchdown for SDSU, and you're a transfer‑‑
TIM VIZZI:  I was excited.  I knew we were down two scores and I knew one play of the game could put us in one possession.  So that's what we did and when we completed the pass and got the touchdown, and knew we were only one more score away from tying the game up.

Q.  How do you feel the offensive line did?
ALEC JOHNSON:  We were all right.  We were shaky at times.  Way too much pressure, and four sacks is not acceptable.  But there were times where our protection was pretty good and that's something to build on and something to learn from in the film and work on for next week.

Q.  What do you guys see out Army's defense?  What do you see that they do differently?
ALEC JOHNSON:  It's a different defense, we have the experience of playing against it last year so the guys who played it last year will have some experience with it.  It's unconventional, just like our defense.  So that helps us a little bit, just going against unconventional defenses.

Q.  What's hard to do against them?
ALEC JOHNSON:  We were decent at running the ball last year.  We converted a couple passes early last year and got us a lead but we really stalled offensively, I remember.  We have got to get the run game going; what I would say for this week.

Q.¬† Do you guys have to block any differently‑‑ as a line do you do anything differently or is it the exact same stuff?
ALEC JOHNSON:  It's the same thing.  We try to block as long as we can and finish blocks downfield and protect our backs as much as we can and give them yards, open up holes for them.  So the change of the backs doesn't really matter at all.

Q.¬† On offense, what is the preparation coming into this week?¬† There's been some controversy about not going for the short field goal, going for the extra points.¬† Did you practice more on two‑point conversions or short downs‑‑
RYAN KATZ:  That's what we did all during camp.  You guys remember on our scrimmages, we went for two, went for fourth down.  In the game, I didn't really think about it.  That's what we do.  That's what we did going into the game and that was our game plan.
So just we go from there.

Q.  What's that say about your coach?  Do you admire him for being innovative?  Do you question him or think what's going on?
RYAN KATZ:  Yeah, we were playing the game to win.  Coach tries to put the team in the best possible chance to win, and just because it's not by the books doesn't mean it's wrong.  That's what we were doing, and you know, players, we just have to go out there and make plays.  If we make those plays, it's great job, who thought of that.
I think you've just got to do what your coach wants you to do and that's what our game plan was.

Q.¬† The first two‑point conversion‑‑ had a chance at the ball; and the second, what happened there?
RYAN KATZ:¬† Yeah, I had time.¬† I got to my third read.¬† Might have been a little window, as I watched the film, maybe I could have got the ball in there.¬† The second two‑point conversion, they had it pretty well covered.¬† They only rushed four and had a lot of guys in the end zone.¬† I just tried to make something happen and unfortunately it got tipped.

Q.¬† Coach was saying this week that one of the things that Army does, they hang on to the ball forever, which is perhaps a little more pressure on the offense to be mistake‑free and to score as soon as you can.¬† Any thoughts on that kind of pressure going into this game?
RYAN KATZ:  Yeah, just as an offense, we want to score every time we get the ball.  I was a little shaky as a whole this past weekend.  I mean, we are going to learn from it.  We watched the film.  I mean, it's going to be nothing different.  They keep the ball for a long time, but you know, our goal is to score, put points on the board and we are going to try to do that every time we get the ball.  They weren't doing too much different stuff coverage wise.  I would say mostly in the box.
LEON McFADDEN:  We have a lot of respect for those guys and they run the ball hard.  It's a difficult offense to prepare for within a week, but all we can do is go out there and work hard and try to understand to the best of our ability.

Q.¬† Seeing this offense before‑‑
LEON McFADDEN:  Most definitely helps a lot due to the fact we have played the offense a lot a couple of times with the different academies, so it does help.

Q.  Do you enjoy it or a challenge, do you grit your teeth?
LEON McFADDEN:  We enjoy it because like I said, we have respect these guys.  They always come and play through us, and that's all we can ask for.  We love the competition.

Q.  Coach said last week you started out a little slow on defense the first half; what was the issue going in and how did you guys fix that, because the second half you played great.
JOSH WADE:  I think guys started settling into the game a bit more and progressively I think we started playing better as the game went forth.  You can see that statistically in the second half compared to the first.  I think just settling in and guys getting back in the rhythm of the game and trusting things and not all flying around to the ball.

Q.¬† Jake, going back to last year, you guys were down 21‑0 at Boise, 21‑0 to Fresno, down in the Bowl game, down 14‑0 this game; obviously it's something you have to work on but what do you think the reason for it has been?
JAKE FELY:  I'm thinking the first half we always come out and think that we are just going to play our ball and the second half we always try to correct our mistakes that we made the first half; when we should just correct our mistakes in the very beginning and start off fast.  You know, that trend started last year and we are definitely trying to stop that trend so we don't start off slow this year.  We definitely need to work on that.  Even though we started this game like that, we are going to try to work on it this year so we eliminate that. 

Q.  How do you guys prepare for them as a quarterback?
LEON McFADDEN:  We just have to be prepared to make a lot of tackles going into this game and that's basically it.  We really have to key in, though, because they will run the ball, run the ball, lull you to sleep and then they will try to do a big play.  So we really have to pay attention to details.

Q.  Jake, how good was Keith Price compared to some of the quarterbacks you faced in the past?
JAKE FELY:  I mean, he was good and elusive.  He knew where to throw the ball a lot.  But he's the same quarterback, just a quarterback.  We should have been able to adjust to it.  But he was a good quarterback.  Give him the credit that he deserves.  Next time we need to go out and show him that we are a good defense.

Q.  How was it playing in that stadium?  Was it as loud as you guys thought it would be?
LEON McFADDEN:  Yeah, it met our expectations.  It was very loud.  But we feel privileged to be able to play in that stadium.

Q.¬† Jake, when you go up against him in practice‑‑ what are some of his strengths as a running back?
JAKE FELY:¬† I would say being small, not too small, but being shorter than others, he's able to stay under the view of the offensive linemen, which opens up holes for him.¬† He can find‑‑ he's able to search the hole that he can fit through with his size, and he runs hard.¬† He doesn't give up.¬† He just keeps running.¬† That's the thing I like about him.

Q.  Who would you say is the most elusive runner of backs that you guys have?
JAKE FELY:  I mean, I can't just pick out one.  But I would say that Kazee and Adam, because they run the ball consistently hard.

Q.¬† And how weird is it spending most of fall camp preparing, and then having a quick turnaround and then preparing‑‑ for another running back.
JAKE FELY:  Well, I mean, it's always a challenge always to adapt to every game and always to have a new game strategy.  You know that Army is going to be mostly a running team, so even though the last game it was mostly pass, we are going to have to adapt and just play ball like we know how to play.

Q.¬† When Coach first told you that he was thinking about doing this‑‑ going for fourth down on conversions, what was your reaction?¬† When did you first hear about this from him?
JOSH WADE:¬† Coach talked about it through camp and we were practicing it. ¬†I'm excited about it.¬† We knew as players that doing this kind of strategy, we would have to execute.¬† We have faith that we can convert over 50 percent of our two‑point conversions and going for it on fourth down and things like that, that's more of an offensive strategy.
But defense is ready to go out and play with any field position.  Every time we go out to the field, we feel like we have to stop the offense no matter what the situation.  Is we are ready for any situation on the field and we just go out and play defense every week and try to stop them in any situation.

Q.  How do you feel like the game plan worked out for the team last week?
JOSH WADE:  Well, we were not effective enough.  We did not execute enough to win the game obviously.  But we'll see, we'll see how this game plan goes.  I mean, it's still early in the week.  Coach is probably going to come out and give us the game plan, the statistics and break it down.  We'll do what's best for the team, the smartest decisions.  We are going to roll with it and practice hard and see if we can make the proper adjustments to win this week's game.

Q.  How excited are you to be playing football at the Q?
LEON McFADDEN:  I'm very excited to play at Aztec World Stadium.  It's good.  This is the best time of the year.  The San Diego county is supporting us more and more these last couple years.  We are excited, this being our game opener, we are very excited.
JAKE FELY:  Not every team gets the opportunity to play in a professional football stadium and we obviously get the opportunity.  It's always exciting to play football in our stadium.  We just have to go out every game, excited to play each game so we can win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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