bleedCrimson.net: You've talked about building your team this season to get to the stage of being a competitive program and in this game you were competitive for 35 minutes of the game before a couple of late touchdowns.
DeWayne Walker: Yeah, it's just great, I don't believe in moral victories but just knowing more about what's going on in the inside and really just paying attention to how we're building this program it was good to see our guys fighting all the way. That's what I've mandated to them these last five games and obviously the two left just preaching more of being competitive mores than just beating them over the head with, "we've gotta win, we've gotta win." I think they've responded a little more to that than what we stressed earlier in the year. We've got to find a way to be competitive this week against a nationally ranked team.
bc.net: Lennon Creer the running back from Louisiana Tech was able to get 100 yards on the game but your defense was really able to hold him in check considering he's had some big 150-plus yard, multiple touchdown games in the past month.
DW: He's a good player. When you looked at the Utah State game, Borel, we wanted to put the clamps down on him. I thought we did for the most part. This last game, Creer was a guy we were very concerned with and I thought we didn't let him get too crazy on us. The defense has answered the bell in terms of taking away star players. I felt like we've done that the last couple games. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to win the games but at least they're responding to certain things that we're going into games trying to take away star players.
bc.net: As a defensive coach how happy does that make you when you put a focus for your defense on a certain player knowing you need to limit his production and your team goes out there and gets it done?
DW: That's just how I was raised and really I learned that when I was in the NFL. Bill Belichek was probably the guy that introduced me to it. He said, "If their star player beats you, that's your fault. Now if something happens and you go into a game and you get beat but the star player didn't do it, then that's something we have to deal with.? If you go into a game and you allow the star player to be the main factor he felt like that's not good coaching. I've always tried to remember that. This week the star player is the quarterback. We didn't get it done last year and we've got to figure out a way, we may not stop him completely but we've got to be able to control him to give us a chance. Any time the defense can do that you have to tip your hat to them.
bc.net: Your team has shown a lot of resiliency and the growth over the course of the season, against Louisiana Tech you fell behind 17-3 and in the early part of the season that would have been the "death blow" but that's not the case anymore.
DW: We're teaching these guys how to fight and we're teaching these guys how to be a team. The winning part of it just isn't the main focus anymore. It's not important anymore. It's getting these guys to be competitive and once we can continue to be competitive throughout a season then the wins are going to come. I just think our kids are learning what that means.
bc.net: Andrew Manley got his second start and played his first full game as an Aggie on Saturday. How would you grade his play?
DW: I feel like when you sit up there and watch him, those are the kind of quarterbacks we're playing against every week. He's got the quick release, he's got good size. He's not the most mobile guy but he's mobile enough that if you don't watch him he can get first downs for you with his legs. Not that we were disappointed in Matt but we have two quarterbacks and we feel good about building this program as we move forward to have a couple quarterbacks we feel we can lean on as we finish up this year and get really for 2011.
bc.net: Robert Clay got his first start and one of the things that stood out from the game was that he seems to be a very patient runner, he did a good job of waiting for plays to develop and holes to open up.
DW: He's another young player, Manley's a freshman, Clay's a sophomore, if we can continue to build quality depth with young players like those guys and continue to get more pieces, that's kind of what you need to do to catch up to our competition. He's a great kid and you love to see a kid like him be successful because he's a great example of what we preach all the time: do things right, work hard, believe in the dream, believe in the vision. He's a great example for us to show the other guys that are trying to get to the next level.
bc.net: The Aggie kicking game has been a source of frustration over the years for fans and coaches, how good does it feel to have a guy in Tyler Stampler that you know you can send in and can hit field goals from anywhere inside 50 yards and get you those points?
DW: It feels really great. He's only a sophomore too. You're talking about another guy who has some talent and he's a young guy. It's really good to have a kicker. I know a lot of our coaches say, "I hate kickers!" but I say, "Guys, I love kickers!" Kickers can score points for you, they can win games for you. We're very lucky to have him for sure.
bc.net: Boyblue Aeolua had an interception return for a touchdown in the game against Louisiana Tech.
DW: It happened at a great time. I went for it on 4th and 9, we don't get the first dwn and then the next play they throw the pick six. That's what I'm used to. Whether I was with Pete Carroll, Bill Belichek, Greg Williams, we always scored touchdowns on defense. That's just something I'm used to. I know last year Davon House scored a couple touchdowns on defense by himself. This year we hadn't had a chance to get the defense into the endzone, that was really good to see him score a touchdown for us.
bc.net: Saturday you take on Nevada and the big focus will be on stopping Colin Kaepernick. What can your defense take away from the performance against Utah State's Diondre Borel who is another dual threat quarterback?
DW: It's really two different systems, they're [Nevada] probably a little more committed to the pistol. But from an athleticism standpoint they're very similar and we're going to have to find a way to keep him caged up. If we can defense him the way we did Borel it'll be a good night for the defense. Hopefully our guys can emulate that.
bc.net: What is the Aggies' quarterback status for Saturday's game?
DW: We'll know more with Matt this week and see how he's feeling. I would think that we're going to go into the game with Andrew as our starter this week but we'll see how Matt looks and hopefully he's feeling better and if we need to play him he'll be able to answer the bell
bc.net: As a coach who has coached in the NFL, what's your assessment of Colin Kaepernick and do you think he can be successful at the NFL level?
DW: You're always going to look at the athletic ability. There's no question he can play in the NFL, I just think with more asked of NFL quarterbacks with their arms than with their legs, I know that's going to be something that he's going to be evaluated as, "can he be a thrower in that league." Everybody knows he can run and run the offense and he's intelligent enough, he can do all that. I just think that's going to be one big question, "can he throw in that league?" It's no different from Tim Tebow and he went first round. I just think when he has all his private workouts and he goes to the combine and does all those things, that's when they'll be able to evaluate him and assess if he's capable of doing that or not.
bc.net: What are some things you'll be looking for from your team this week in terms of improvements and competitiveness?
DW: We've got to fight. That's one thing about college football. Anything is possible. I know we definitely had a poor showing last year against Nevada and I've been trying to get the guys motivated. I showed them the final score of that game last year and just challenged them. We will go into this stadium and fight. I don't want to revisit what happened last year. I'm putting a lot on this one, just being competitive against a very good football team and we'll see what the final score is when it's all over. We want to just play a strong four quarters against a good football team.