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November 29, 2012

Adam Dingwell

Rocky Long

Josh Wade

COACH ROCKY LONG:  Appreciate everyone coming.  There has not been much change since the last time we did this earlier in the week except that the players are up here with me.  Don't you think that's a great idea?  Don't you think we should do that every week?  Then you can get all your information all at once, and it wouldn't take quite as long of bringing them in here and all that kind of stuff and if they started to say the wrong thing, I could elbow them in the side or something.  (Laughing).
We had one practice since last week's game, and it was enthusiastic and it was fast, and then we scrimmaged the younger guys afterwards and I think we got a whole bunch out of that.  I think if we practiced‑‑ if we continue to practice like that before we get into game week and we actually get into game week under those circumstances, I think we'll be well prepared for the game.

Q.  What day was that practice?

Q.  Josh, with you guys being co‑champs, do you feel you get as much satisfaction than over winning it outright?
JOSH WADE:  Well, we are happy with the championship.  We got a championship.  We played well.  We got seven games in a row.  It's all you can ask for is that we're being a part of the championship.
And the other team played good and we didn't start our role early enough with the Fresno game.  I mean, we did what we had to do after that to make sure we could still win a championship.

Q.  Would you like to see a one‑game playoff to get an outright winner for a conference?
COACH ROCKY LONG:  I think if we are in a conference that has enough teams to have a Championship Game, I think that's a good deal.  The Mountain West Conference doesn't have enough teams to do that, and this year I think there's going to be three teams tide for the conference championship.
So one game wouldn't get it done, not until you have enough teams to have a true divisional championship.

Q.  What has Walt Casey meant to this program?
COACH ROCKY LONG:  I think Walt's meant a lot of things to the program besides just being a good player.  I think his attitude and his want‑to and his toughness, both mentally and physically, has helped a whole bunch of other guys in this program that have questioned some of the things we do at times, because Walt is the ultimate tough guy.
He's the ultimate warrior.  Any time you have a guy with his attitude in your program and he's a good player, it helps everybody else in the program.

Q.  And Josh, you were nodding your head‑‑ was he emotional the leader for this team can?
JOSH WADE:  Definitely an inspirational guy, you see him getting fired up and you know he's going to‑‑ (audio drop).

Q.  Do you see it almost like Conference USA?
COACH ROCKY LONG:  I don't compare it to the Conference USA at all.  Now, I believe and I don't know, to be honest with you, I don't know.  I believe it's going to be truly a national conference.
I think we are going to have six or seven or eight teams that kind of are on the west of the Mississippi River and I think we are going to have six, eight teams on the east of the Mississippi River.  I think it's going to be the ultimate national conference.  I think it's going to be a good deal.  I don't know that; I believe that's what's going to happen, though.

Q.  When you foresee those conferences, I'm certainly hoping that you're considering the Big East as one of the conferences in that mix.
COACH ROCKY LONG:  I think there's going to be a merge of several of those conferences into one of those super conferences, yes.  And I think you have to be in one of those traditional conferences to be included or have a chance to be included in those super conferences, yes.  And the Big East is a traditional conference.

Q.  Do you think that's good for football to sort of shift toward these super conferences?
COACH ROCKY LONG:  I think‑‑ it doesn't matter what I believe.  I mean, I'm an old guy.  I wish it was still the way it used to be (laughing).  But I'm in a new world.  I'm in their world and I love football, so I live with however it is.

Q.  The idea of playing in this national conference,  is that an exciting thing?
ADAM DINGWELL:  Yeah, it's definitely exciting.  It's going to be a great thing for this program and it couldn't have been done without the seniors this year and the guys before them.  So we are thankful for that.
But we are excited to go to the Big East and play there and get to play some new teams.  It should be fun for us.

Q.  At least you get to play at home, perhaps Texas?
ADAM DINGWELL:  Yeah, that will be exciting.  My parents will get to go to that hopefully.
COACH ROCKY LONG:  I forgot about that part.  He's all for it (laughing).

Q.  And Josh, how does it feel to be in the Poinsettia Bowl and end your career at Quallcom where it started?
JOSH WADE:  It feels really good, we have the opportunity to play in front of our families and friends one more time.
Being at home, you have that crowd and it's easier on travelling and you just be able to stay in the hotel and you can have family come see you at the hotel and it's a lot easier.
I'm excited that we had the opportunity to finish it off here and I know the people that I grew up around and friends that I played with before can come watch my last game.  So, it should be fun.  I'm excited to get that going.

Q.  You said you liked what you saw from the other guys in the scrimmage yesterday; what stood out?
COACH ROCKY LONG:  Well, I must not have explained.  I like the enthusiasm and the effort we had yesterday.
Did I like what I saw from the young guys?  No.  It looked like they had been scout team players all year long and it looked like they had never played full‑speed football before.
That's what's so important about being in a Bowl game for the development of your program.  When those guys scrimmage over‑‑ I think we have 13 total practices.
So we have 12 more practices, and they will scrimmage another four or five times and the way they will play in the fourth or fifth time we scrimmage will be dramatically better than yesterday was.
And so that puts them so much farther ahead than the four or five days they would have had to go through spring practice to get to that point; so when they get to spring practice, they will be four, five, six days ahead of where they would have been, and that's good for the future of the program.
But they did not look like a polished product yesterday.  In fact, it looked terrible.  But we're going to do it again Saturday.  We're going to do it again Saturday.

Q.  Was your first offense that much better?
COACH ROCKY LONG:  Well, I don't know who was better, the offense or the defense yesterday.  I mean, it's just whoever the scout team offense is playing against the scout team defense and I don't know who is better or worse.  I mean, it was all bad.

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