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October 30, 2012

Alec Johnson

Josh Wade

Q.テつ Guys, coach said you guys practiced on the blue turf in the off season or in camp.テつ Is there a difference at all?
JOSH WADE:テつ No.テつ I didn't see any difference.テつ Just different color.テつ I mean it didn't affect anything, and a lot of guys felt good after the practice, and we realized it was no big deal, just another field to go play on.

Q.テつ Do you guys feel like you've played your best football yet this season?
JOSH WADE:テつ I don't think so.テつ I don't think we've like put everything together in a full game as far as offense, defense and special teams, so it's a lot of potential still there for us to improve and we know that and we just come out every week and try to execute and do our job a little bit better and play for one another.

Q.テつ Josh, is this your biggest regular season game in the past four years since you've been here at San Diego State?
JOSH WADE:テつ It's a big game in the sense we got a chance to play in the conference championship.テつ We're still in the running for it.テつ But we've been in important games before.テつ Every game you take as a challenge and you go out and try to win it.
So it's a big game, but it's nothing out of the ordinary, and we're just happy we got a chance to play for this conference championship and still in the battle for it and we want to go out and put a full football game together.

Q.テつ Is it tougher to prepare for a team that you know likes to run some trick plays on offense?
JOSH WADE:テつ Well, you always gotta keep that in the back of your mind, and if you know it's coming, I mean it could be a little better, so we should be able to have good eyes and make our reads and know that something's going to come at us eventually during the course of the game through their tendencies.テつ So it's kind of good that we know they like to do that kind of thing.

Q.テつ Rocky was saying in addition to the trick plays and stuff, he was just talking about extra point formations and they have 13 different ones.テつ Just watching tape and trying to prepare for this team, how are they different than previous opponents?テつ How much more difficult is it to just try to ‑‑
JOSH WADE:テつ Well, the coaches will come out and try to simplify it for us as best he can.テつ Today is still early in the week.テつ We still gotta get the game plan, but I'm sure coach has probably been watching a lot of film, trying to figure out the best positions to put us in.
And we're going to go out and make sure we're focused in the sense that we know we're going to get a lot of different looks and some things maybe we haven't seen before.テつ So we gotta be able to see them and read it and play fast.

Q.テつ Alec, what does the offense have to do to succeed against this defense?テつ They're like Top 10 in pass efficiency defense.テつ What do you guys have to do going into this week?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ Run the ball.テつ Our offense has to run the ball.テつ And execute up front.テつ Our backs run hard, and hopefully we'll get some yards and sets up play action game.テつ Sets up everything we do on offense.テつ So we want to sustain drives and keep our defense off the field and hopefully put up points.
They're a good defense.テつ We haven't put our game plan in yet, but I've seen a little bit of film and they're definitely good on that side of the ball.

Q.テつ It looked to me like the last couple of games Adam Muema kind of got off to a slow start this past game and the game before that as well.テつ Does it help you guys to have two guys who seem to be able to feed off each other, when one is not running as well, case I seems to come in and pick it up?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ Definitely they complement each other, and that's big.テつ Definitely helps our offense.テつ If one guy has a slow game, the other one can pick it up and they work well together and it's definitely good for us as an offense.

Q.テつ You said they're good on the defensive side of the ball.テつ What about it that you've seen makes them look good on the defensive side of the ball?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ They're solid.テつ D line's good.テつ Linebackers are real good and the secondary is good.テつ They're a good unit overall.テつ Nothing really stands out.テつ They're just sound defensively.テつ So we're going to need to execute.

Q.テつ And Josh, last year the game was pretty much over in the first quarter of your guys' game against Boise State.テつ What's real key to make sure that doesn't happen this time out?
JOSH WADE:テつ We gotta play great defense, force some turnovers and put our offense in position to score and don't let them have any big plays.テつ Like you said, with the trick plays they like to do, we can't let any of those get out behind us, and we gotta be able to stop their running.テつ If they get that run game going, it's going to open up play action pass and some more fake plays.
We just gotta be on top of our game and stay really focused because they're a good team and we know they're going to play well and we gotta execute and play better than they do.

Q.テつ Alec, what progress did you see from Adam Dingwell last weekend?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ A week of preparation helped him.テつ He didn't get thrown in the fire.テつ He's progressing.テつ I think this week I think he'll progress more.テつ Just getting used to throwing to different receivers in practice, and I think he'll do well.

Q.テつ We've asked a lot of different players about what kind of quarterback he's like.テつ A lot of people think he's just like tough.テつ What is it about him that makes everyone say the kid is just tough?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ Just watching him play around here for a while, he'll practice when the quarterbacks are live, so he'll try to run some people over.
He just has that mentality, just go out there and sling it.テつ And I guess that would be the only way to describe him.

Q.テつ Josh, Chris Petersen for Boise State was saying that he'd love to be able to take your defense and be able to copy it because coaches are such copycats, but it's really difficult for him to do it.テつ He can't just do it on tape.テつ Can you talk about or just explain how much time it took to acclimate and for you to get it, because there's some complicated schemes.テつ How much of an adjustment or how long did it take for it to finally set in?
JOSH WADE:テつ Yeah, it took a while.テつ It can be very complicated, but when you actually understand the unit of the whole defense together and where you place as part of the defense, I mean it gets very simple.
But I mean we do a lot of different things and guys are all over the field.テつ So it can be tough in the beginning, but once you get it, it all makes sense.

Q.テつ What were the first couple weeks like?
JOSH WADE:テつ It was tough.テつ My head was spinning.テつ I'm lining up in all kind of wrong spots and after a while, just repetition and you see it over and over again.テつ And the coaches do a really good job of explaining it.テつ Coach Long, he knows it like the back of his hand, and he does a really good job of teaching it to the guys.テつ So once you get it, you get the ball rolling.

Q.テつ Question for both you guys, how does it feel to be bowl eligible for a third consecutive year?
ALEC JOHNSON:テつ Feels good.テつ It's not our main goal as a team.テつ It's nice to have that, but we want to win a conference championship, and that's our No. 1 goal.テつ And it's good to still be in that hunt, but there's some work to be done.
JOSH WADE:テつ Yeah.テつ Like Alec was saying, it feels good to have that accomplishment, again, of bowl eligible, but we got a bigger goal still in front of us and that's being champions of the mountain west conference.テつ So we're going to attack this and try to play as hard as we can.

Q.テつ Big theme this season seems like week in, week out you guys have said this is the most important game of the season every week.テつ But with you guys practicing back on the blue field in training camp, has this kind of been in the back of your mind ever since the start of the season?
JOSH WADE:テつ Well, I mean we knew that they would be a good team.テつ They've been playing really well, so we knew it would be a challenge to play them.テつ But like you said, we've been taking every game as the most important game.テつ It's one game at a time.テつ And right now it's Boise week, so we're preparing for them.テつ They're the most important game right now.
Last week it was UNLV; week before that it was Nevada.テつ So taking it one week at a time, and that's how we've been successful at this point, we just focus on who we're playing and not getting ahead of ourselves.

Q.テつ Marcus Andrews had that really nice tip at the end of the first half of the last game.テつ What did you guys say in the locker room after that?
JOSH WADE:テつ I was hype.テつ I was on the field when he did that.テつ It was a big football play for us.テつ If he hadn't broke that up, the guy behind him probably would have caught the ball.
So it was a huge play for us.テつ I felt like it carried some momentum into the locker room, and we came out and was able to play good defense in the second half as well.

Q.テつ What are his strengths as part of your defense?
JOSH WADE:テつ Marcus is really good.テつ He has really long arms, big defensive back.テつ He's been playing well.テつ He's been having good eyes and playing really good man coverage for us.

Q.テつ Could you guys talk about just the hype and excitement as this season goes along?テつ Not a lot of people put you guys in this position, and now to be in this position, just talk about the progress with the hype and all the excitement in the locker room?
JOSH WADE:テつ It's been very exciting.テつ I mean as we've been going on and we've been winning more and more games lately, we're very excited.テつ We've been putting up a lot of points and defense has been getting a lot better.
I mean earlier in the season we were struggling a little bit with the pass defense, and last couple games we've been doing really well in the passing game and running game for the most part.テつ And it's been feeling really good.テつ Got a lot of momentum going into the rest of the season, and it's going to be exciting.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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