bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the game. Even though you lost the game, I saw improvements on both sides of the ball and had me feeling more optimistic about the rest of the season.
DeWayne Walker: Yeah. I agree. I have to complement these coaches and these players. Any time you're going through something like this it's hard. It's hard for all of us, me included. Just to see these coaches continuing to work late hours and our kids coming in and continuing to work hard in the weight room and in practice. Even myself, just rolling out of bed when it's tough to come in and put my best foot forward to really keep this team competing. To me, it's not about the wins anymore. I know that's the objective of lining up and playing people but it's about improving and if nothing else at the end of the day that people can say what you said, this team is still fighting, this team is still trying to improve and at the end of the season we'll just have to look at what's next.
bc.net: Offensively you only scored seven points and you left some points on the field but as far as the entire game, I thought it was the best played game since the Sacramento State game.
DW: I thought our offense did a great job. I thought we had a great scheme offensively, we moved the ball. Gary Anderson gave our offense a complement and said, "You guys did a good job of moving the ball." Unfortunately we couldn't score points to keep us in it but when you're looking for positives, that's a positive and hopefully we can build on it this week.
bc.net: One of the things you talked about last week as far as game plan goes was coming out and trying to control the clock and as far as that part of the game plan goes, you guys really accomplished what you set out to do from a time of possession standpoint.
DW: Yeah. That's something we're going to try do the rest of the year. Control the clock, move the sticks. I thought we did both of those things. Now we've just gotta go out and score touchdowns. I think if we can get that formula to continue to work for us, I think the last addition is getting into the endzone.
bc.net: Germi Morrison had a good day on the ground against Utah State. What's been the key to his rise to the top of the pile of running backs?
DW: I just think he's emerged as our guy because he's steady. Nothing fancy, he gets first downs, he can catch. I'm really happy to see him emerge. He was out last year because of injuries and it's just good to see him having some success.
bc.net: Defensively I think the team put together two pretty solid games back to back.
DW: Yeah, I just think schematically we want to continue to be diverse. I think our kids are buying in and our coaches are working their butts off to grow that part of our defense. I know sometimes it hurts when you've gotta keep putting those guys back on the field and when you're not scoring points it's something that you're always going to be in harms way when you can't match but at the same time just looking at the execution and looking at the schemes, I think we're improving week in and week out.
bc.net: When you take a look at this game coming up against Louisiana Tech, what are some things that you saw from your team against a very good Utah State team that you think are things you can carry over into this game?
DW: I just think that if you take away those three explosive plays, that's 21 points and it's a different ballgame and then if you add the 17 points that we probably should have had in the first half I think it would have been one of those games we've had over the years against Utah State. But when you have a Utah State team that's much improved and you can't match them point-wise and you give up explosive plays to give them a jump start, it's hard to rebound from that. Like I mentioned earlier, continue to be creative on offense, milk the clock, try to get in the endzone when we have our opportunities, defense cut down on the explosive plays that turn into touchdowns and try to keep teams to scoring field goals then you have a chance to really compete at a higher level in this last part of the season.
bc.net: When you look at a team that averages 56 point per game you kind of figure that they throw the ball a lot but they're actually very balanced and they actually have more rushing touchdowns than passing touchdowns. What do you see when you look at their offense?
DW: The one thing I see is that you have gotta tackle. They're kind of comparable to Ohio. They have a strong football team. We've got to do a good job of tackling, we have to do a good job with our gap integrity. This is going to be a tough game. I know when you look at them and their points you say, these guys have gotta be throwing the ball all over the lot and they've got the one great receiver Patton but I just think it's a solid team but their run game is just as impressive and we've gotta tackle.
bc.net: One of the numbers that got thrown around a lot last week was Utah State's 13 sacks against San Jose State but your offensive line did a good job against them and for the better part of three quarters had limited Utah State to just one sack before you gave up a couple late ones.
DW: Yeah I thought our o-line did a good job. Obviously you see a team get 13 sacks, your antennas are up and I know they worked really hard. I thought for the most part they did a good job protecting Manley. I think you've gotta tip your hat to our guys for not giving them a chance to kill our quarterback.
bc.net: When you look at Louisiana Tech's defense, what are some areas you think your team might be able to take advantage of?
DW: I think one thing with them schematically is you know where they're going to be so I think that helps us tremendously. Their defense is pretty multiple and they obviously have great athletes so it's going to be a challenge with them doing different things. LA Tech, they're going to line up, they have a very good front four, their front seven is solid and their secondary is solid but at least we know where they're going to be so hopefully that will help us a little bit.
bc.net: You came off the bye week and you wanted to see your team come out of the gate and compete against Utah State and I thought they did a good job of that. Have you seen a little bit of renewed confidence from your team in practice?
DW: I talk to the team every day and I think what's helped me keep our team together, I tell them, guys, this is a life experience. This is tough. This is adversity. You may have to live your life like this to a certain degree but you've gotta keep fighting and you've gotta keep working hard. We'll worry about the score when the game is over with, we'll talk about the game and we're just going to take one game at a time. I'm very lucky to be around a coaching staff and a bunch of kids that are continuing to compete because this is hard for anybody to go through, including myself but we've all gotta lock arms and get through it. I think that has a lot to do with how these kids are trying to improve and not taking a knee so to speak on the rest of the season.
bc.net: When you look at Saturday's game what are you looking from your team, especially in the first quarter because they've really put it on teams in the first and third quarters.
DW: It's almost like when you get ahead on them you piss them off which is not a good thing. You just have to play possessions. You can't really worry about their spurts and you've really got to worry about what you've gotta do play in and play out and series by series. These guys, they can pop at any given time and it's pretty obvious that they've done that pretty much all year.
bc.net: When you play a team like this that can score a lot of points, how do you approach a game like that from a mental standpoint?
DW: I don't think you can panic. We've got to tell our guys that they're going to be a quick tempo type offense and they're going to make some plays but we've got to weather the storm and regardless we've got to get off the field or force field goals. I think if we can keep them out of the endzone as much as possible we want to milk the clock and if our offense can score touchdowns when they get the opportunity, that's how we want to approach this game.