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Barnett's Tuesday Press Conference Quotes

Courtesy: Erich Schubert, Graduate Assistant SID
Release: September 06, 2005
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By Associated Press
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University of Colorado head football coach Gary Barnett held his first weekly Press Conference Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center. The following is a transcript of his quotes:


ON COLORADO STATE GAME— “Just reviewing the Colorado State game a couple of things really stood out to us. Special teams, not only Mason Crosby’s field goals, but also Greg Pace’s snaps and John Torp in the punting game was outstanding. And of course Stephone Robinson on the last play, on the return of the squib kick. Special teams play was outstanding. We had just about everything. We had a big play in every phase of special teams. That is always a good day. With the two kickers we have I hope that that is what we can come to expect. I think that was the difference in the game. Our secondary played well, we had J.J. Billingsley as our player of the game but really there were two or three other guys who could have qualified for that as well. I thought what a big difference it was from a year ago. I think the difference was in the secondary, the way we were able to pick off some balls and not give up as much yardage. Our own sloppiness kept us from being more efficient on offense. We had a number of holds, a number of penalties and we have to get better at that, we have to work on that. I think part of it was a lack of scrimmaging and a lack of having officials to hold guys accountable for that kind of thing, so they can realize that those things can affect what’s going on. Same thing in punt return, we had a block in the back and it did not have to occur, we didn’t need to have it, just needed a better decision. I think special teams and secondary was the difference in the game.


“I was really proud of our players. We took CSU’s best shot and we were down 21-10 and we still found a way to get back. We had great composure on the sidelines and in every phase of the game--offense, defense and special teams. (Joel) Klatt was an experienced general out there the whole time and held his composure, as did our entire offense. I thought we had a couple of young kids who stepped up. Patrick Williams had a big catch there in that final drive, a huge play for a freshman to make. It was a hot throw, not only the catch, but he went north and south right away and got his critical yardage that could have made a difference in the game. (Quinn) Sypnewski’s return I think was huge in that game as well to have two tight ends that we can use the way we are right now. And of course Hugh Charles is outstanding; he showed why I was excited about him earlier in the year. 


ON INJURIES—“We lost Brian Iwuh for a week, we should have him back for Miami. He had surgery this morning and then Brian Daniels is doubtful for this game. We will have to see how he is but I do not feel very good about his chances. Other than that we are not too bad, we’re banged up as you would expect after a big game, especially an opening game where we did not do a lot of scrimmaging during the fall. The first real contact we had was Saturday so we are a little banged up but we will be alright at every other position I think by Saturday.” 


ON NEW MEXICO STATE—“We are just sort of getting ourselves back together and healing up a little from Saturday and getting ready for a Saturday night game with New Mexico State. This is a team that threw it 70 times--or tried to throw it 70 times--they actually got 62 off and were sacked eight times when the ball was supposed to be thrown. It’s a nightmare for defensive coaches, trying to prepare a package for this; they only rushed the ball 12 times. So obviously we will be playing a lot of nickel and dime defenses, calling on most of our defensive backs to be in the play.  We have to get a better pass rush out of our defensive line. You have to think if there is an area that we have to improve on for this week it has to be our defensive line and our pass rush. We will probably have to play a lot of guys in there and that is okay; we have some guys who are maybe better rushing the pass than playing the run. Hopefully that will play into our hands a little bit. On the other side of the ball we are going to see a defense we do not see at all any more. The ol’ “50” defensive and that always causes you pass protection issues in your roles and hopefully we can make the adjustment this week. They are a team much like CSU--they are going to give us a lot of pressure. CSU pressured us about 70 percent of the time and we expect the same kind of thing coming out of New Mexico State. They struggled in their opening game against UTEP. I think they gave up eight sacks and three picks. It is a completely new system for them and I know until coach (Hal) Mumme gets the core guys who have experience playing his style of football it is going to be a while until they are really ready. We all make our most improvements from our first to second game; they’re going to have a much better feel for their offense and what to do and how to protect it after the first game, and we expect them to make that kind of improvement. But we’re going to make that kind of improvement as well, so both teams should be better than they were last week. It’s a must situation for us, and every game counts exactly the same; they are all worth one, so I don’t think that our guys are going to overlook them. This is a critical game for us in where we want to go, and where we want to be in our program, and I think we learned a valuable lesson last year, especially on the defensive side. Against North Texas we allowed the running back to run for 220 yards, so I think we got everybody’s attention, plus we didn’t play well enough to feel great about ourselves so we’ve got a lot of improvement to make. We had a great attitude in practice yesterday, and I think we’ll have the same thing this week. We need to continue to improve our special teams. I was happy with the pressure we put on the punter, we’ll continue to be a pressure team, and I’m pleased with our punting game as well.”


ON NMSU’S SIMILARITY TO TEXAS TECH–“They’re from the same system, Leach actually worked for Hal, I think, at Valdosta State, so same thing that Texas Tech would do.”


ON GAME IN BETWEEN CSU AND MIAMI, NOT OVERLOOKING NMSU–“You know we can’t afford to be human at this point in time, and that’s what the average player would do. We cannot be average. If we want to be at the other end of the bell curve, we can’t let that happen and we won’t let that happen.That will be my job to make sure we don’t.”


ON 8:00 P.M. KICKOFF–“Players like it because they get three meals that day. We played a 6:00 game last year and we adjusted; they’ll get a chance to watch some games in the afternoon, and we’ll do walk through (drills) during the day. It’s one of those things you adjust to and you can’t make a big deal about it. It’s a 8:10 start and the issue is if you throw the ball seventy times the game expands so you have to figure this game to end around midnight.”


ON CU IMPROVING BETWEEN THE FIRST TWO GAMES–“For us it’s going to be pass rush, and we got to clean up our sloppiness on the offensive line.”


ON CB GARDNER McKAY–“Gardner (McKay) will play this week--he will be a week further along. George (Hypolite) will play this week; Ben (Burney) will probably play this week. We’ll probably play a number of freshmen--we have a number of kids who can run a little bit and we have to get them ready for the long haul. While they might not have been ready for CSU, what it means to be on the field for the first time against a big rival, a week later they’re a little more used to the atmosphere.”


ON MASON CROSBY BEING HIS BEST KICKER EVER--“Yes--by far. Mason and John (Torp) are both regular football players in every regard, and they’re well respected. Plus they’re consistent. Guys watch John practice and he just booms it, and everybody stops to watch Mason kick sixty yard (field goals), so there’s just a great deal of respect and admiration for what they can do.”


ON CROSBY’S POTENTIAL NFL CAREER–“Who knows, I certainly think he’s going to get a chance, but after that who can tell. If you add everything up it looks like it will go that way. He is a once-in-a-lifetime player as a coach I feel.”


ON LACK OF FALL SCRIMAGING HURTING THE TEAM–“You worry about tackling and you worry about penalties; making mistakes that there’s no consequences for. In scrimmages there’s consequences, but in practice you just line up and play it again. In scrimmages the officials bring the ball back, you are penalized and you have to try to make (the penalized yards) up. That game situation teaches you about being sloppy with your hands and committing those errors. In the special teams return game, the penalties that occur there you just can’t practice until you get into the game, I understand that, and we had one on a punt return. It’s the holding and those types of penalties that you don’t understand how it affects your team during a game. You just role the dice and take your chances, and I said I’d take that chance over not having some more players (because of the risk of injury) available for that game.”


ON THE FIVE DAYS FOR PREVENTING PENALTIES BEFORE NMSU–“The players learn, they’re all well aware, especially when they announce your name. That’s not the way you want your name announced on TV and in the stands, so that in itself is a deterrent.”


ON REPLACING BRIAN DANIELS IF HE DOSEN’T PLAY–“We’ll go with (Daniel) Sanders and play Edwin (Harrison) as well; Gary Moore can play guard, and if we have to we can move Mark Fenton to guard and Bryce MacMartin to center, so we’ve got some flexibility. Dave (Borbely) has got those eight guys and he just moves them around when he has to. Clint O’Neil played a great deal at split tackle instead of tight tackle last game, so we have got to guys in Gary and Clint that have played all the positions.”


ON GARY MOORE AND DANIEL SANDERS’ PLAY AGAINST CSU – “Gary probably played the best game that he has had since he’s been here, as did Clint O’Neil; and Daniel did fine for his first game as a redshirt freshman.”


ON DEFENSIVE SCHEMES FOR NMSU – “You change some things around but you just spend so much time in coverage and recognizing routes. What they do is a lot of what we call burst routes, where there are trips and all three guys go in a different direction. It’s very hard, you can’t man that coverage up, you have to zone it up so you can learn the various looks that you’re going to get out of it. It’s a lot of scout-team work for our defense this week. Where we normally would go (offense versus defense), this week we can’t do that because their offense is so different from ours. With CSU, there wasn’t that much difference from ourselves so we got a lot of good work every time we went against each other, but this is different.”


ON PLAYING NMSU–“It’s always dangerous when you’re going to see the ball thrown that many times; I worry more about those than I do the others, especially when its an offense that’s been productive. They are so good at doing it at Texas Tech, just look at what they did to Nebraska; not saying that (NMSU) has the same situation, but any time you have to cover a whole bunch of guys all over the field you get concerned.”


ON CU’S SPECIAL TEAMS GAME PLAN VERSUS NMSU – “Last year we did a lot of different formations to make sure that we had good coverage on the punts because we knew John was going to kick it pretty far. Against us, I think you decide on whether you’re going to try and return it or whether you try to rush it, and with John’s distance you would probably try to return it because it’s a long way for us to try and cover. Our coverage team is really good, and a year ago we won the net punting title, and our goal is to do it again. In the field goal game I don’t think there is much you can do.”


ON IMPROVED KICKING GAME FROM A FEW YEARS AGO – “I think we only had one bad year--2002 was tough. In 2001, Jeremy Flores was the All-Big 12 kicker, and a lot of people forget that. (Mark) Mariscal won the Ray Guy award, so we had pretty good kickers. We missed one big kick in that (2000) game against Nebraska. Again in 2001 we were good. 2002 it cost us the Big 12 Championship because we missed three field goals. Since we’ve had Mason and Torp for the past two or three years we’ve been pretty fortunate.”


ON CU”S CONDITIONING – “I was really impressed with our team’s conditioning the whole game, even wearing the dark shirts and being in the sun the whole game. We had plenty left on the last drive on offense.”

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