bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the game against Hawai'i this past Saturday?
DeWayne Walker: It was close but no cigar. We've gotta make our plays when they matter on both sides of the ball. We scored some points which was good but I wish we could have spread the points out a little bit. Defensively we got some stops but we've got to get the stops when they're needed and special teams, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. For us to start beating the better teams we're going to have to start playing a little better to win these games.
bc.net: Obviously Hawai'i is a tough team to defend with a lot of the short passes and your guys had to be very sure tacklers.
DW: Yeah I thought we did a good job tackling. We keep YAC yards and I think they only had like 37 YAC yards which is excellent against a team like that. We have to make plays to get our team back in the game or keep our team in the game and I just thought we had a couple instances in which we didn't do that. But all in all, we played them better than we've ever had and that's good but at the same token we're trying to win these games too, we're not just trying to get moral victories.
bc.net: How big was the touchdown that they right before the half after you had cut the lead to seven points?
DW: Big. That's what I'm talking about. That play sticks out, the blocked punt sticks out, then the 4th down that play that we went for and we didn't get. Those are three situations by themselves that we have to capitalize on those situations.
bc.net: Special teams has struggled in the last two weeks and has been a concern the entire season. What adjustments do you see that need to be made to get that up to the level that you'd like to see it?
DW: Well we made some adjustments last week with our kickoff team and that helped. I thought our kickoff team covered pretty well. We're going to look at maybe opening up a competition with our kickoff guy. [Brock] Baca who is a freshman, we're going to give him a chance to compete for the kickoff position this week and I will have to look at our punt team because we just had a mental mistake and it cost us. In some ways we got better on special teams but when you get a punt blocked for a touchdown, that's not good.
bc.net: Matt Christian has shown a lot of toughness in playing injured. In terms of the players you've coached throughout the years, where would you grade his toughness?
DW: I've been around a lot of good quarterbacks and most of them have been pretty tough. To me he's just doing what he's supposed to do as your starting quarterback, as one of your leaders. You'd like to put him on a pedestal but to me he's doing the things that he has to do to try to help this football team win.
bc.net: This Saturday you take on Nevada, what are your thoughts on the Wolf Pack?
DW: It's going to be similar to the game we just had. It's another good football team in our conference and we have to find a way to get ourselves over the hump to find a way to compete against these teams and win against these teams. This is going to be another big test for us to see how far we've come.
bc.net: Obviously Nevada has a lot of good players to graduation and to the NFL. What changes, if any, have they made to the way they play. They run the pistol offense and they've had a freshman quarterback in there (Cody Fajardo), they've had a senior quarterback in there (Tyler Lantrip), what differences are there when those two are in the game?
DW: They do what they do. They've lost good players. Are they as good as last year from a talent standpoint? No. But at the same time, that's what makes Coach Ault a great coach. He can take whatever he has and make it go. To me it's just the same Christ Ault football team. They're well coaches, they play hard, they're tough and you can't make mistakes if you want to be in the ball game against one of his football teams.
bc.net: They have a very good running back in Mike Ball. How similar or different is he to the running backs they've had in the past two seasons?
DW: He's a good player. I don't see a lot of difference. The other backs that they had, those guys made a lot of plays, explosive plays. They could take it to the house at any area of the field. Even though he's a 215 pounder, he's still making defenses play. He's a good player.
bc.net: When you're looking at Nevada on film, what are some things that really stick out this year in how they've played?
DW: They're aggressive on defense. They make you make plays. They're not going to give you a whole lot. They're going to force you to execute which is tough on an offense. Defensively, you have to be detailed and you have to be where you're supposed to be and you have to tackle. You have to play with some toughness. Special teams, they scored two touchdowns against Fresno and he's improved his special teams. There's not a lot of room for error if you want to have a chance to beat this football team.
bc.net: What's the one single biggest key to the game on Saturday for the Aggies to come out with a win?
DW: We're going to have to match their toughness and their discipline. If we can match their toughness and their discipline, we'll be in this ballgame.