Sept. 10, 2013
FOOTBALL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Head coach Rocky Long
On running back Adam Muema's ankle injury:
"We're going to watch how much work he does this week. He won't do anything (Tuesday), but we'll see how he is (Wednesday). We're
trying to get him completely healthy. It's the same injury, he just re-injured it."
On if Muema will be back to 100 percent by the Oregon State game:
"He should be. You would think he would be 100 percent by the Oregon State game. We thought he was pretty close to 100 percent last week. He practiced on Wednesday and Thursday."
On if Muema will be limited in practice this week:
"He's not going to do anything (Tuesday), and we'll see how he feels (Wednesday). It's kind of day-to-day thing. We'll just adjust as he feels better. We'd like him to get a few reps, he hasn't had many since the season started, including training camp. He missed a lot of training camp with a lower leg injury too."
On if it's hard for running backs when they don't get many reps in practice:
"I think it all depends on the person."
On how much Muema's injury has affected the team so far:
"I think it's a combination of things. First of all, (Muema) is the best running back on the team and he's not playing, or not playing at 100 percent when he does. I don't think our offensive line is performing at the level we thought they would yet. It's a combination of him not being healthy and getting the ball enough, in addition to the offensive line not blocking well enough, and we're having trouble running the ball."
On if the offensive line will remain the same going forward:
"I think every position on the offensive line except for left tackle Bryce Quigley is up for grabs."
On if there's any drawback to switching up the offensive linemen:
"There's a drawback to that, but you've got to find out who the five best are because they haven't performed very well since the season started."
On if he saw any improvement from the team against Ohio State:
"We didn't play well, but I saw some improvement. We can say Ohio State wasn't into the game in the second half, but I know they had a bunch of five-star recruits out there. I thought our team played much better in the second half. It doesn't mean that we're anywhere close to where we need to be, but there was some improvement."
On quarterback Quinn Kaehler's performance against Ohio State:
"I thought in the second half, it looked like he was in control and calm. He executed pretty well. His first series or two, he looked a little shaken or unsure of himself, but he seemed to throw the ball OK. He put the ball on target most of the time and threw it to the right guys most of the time."
On how he'll handle the quarterback situation heading into the Oregon State game:
"Well, it's kind of been handled for us. Adam Dingwell's back is really bothering him, so we're going to give him four or five days to get well. So (Kaehler) is going to get all the reps with the first team, and we'll alternate some other guys in with the second team. So going into our next game, Quinn Kaehler will be the starter."
On if Dingwell's injury is something that is lingering from the offseason:
"Yes, he hurt it in the summer and we thought he was well. He got hit a couple times against Ohio State, and he thinks it will restrict him from performing at the level he wants to. I think it bothers him a little bit all the time, but according to him, he's played with it all his life. He had it in high school too."
On how Dingwell handled being pulled from the Ohio State game:
"He seems to be handling it OK. If you're not performing at a level that gives your team a chance, a team player understands being taken out of the game."
On the difference between Kaehler and Dingwell:
"I don't think (Kaehler) has quite the arm strength as Dingwell, but he is a little more accurate with the football. So (Kaehler) has some positives and some negatives, just like (Dingwell) does."
On if he saw any improvement from the cornerbacks against Ohio State:
"I thought the cornerbacks played better. I don't think we're anywhere close to where we need to be, but I thought they played better. I thought the secondary as a whole played much better. Even on (Ohio State's) two touchdown passes, if you watch closely, those were great catches by those wide receivers. That's one of the reasons (Ohio State) is good. It's because they have great athletes out there."
On if the defense played better with him calling the signals instead of the players doing it:
"I think the defense cut the number of mental errors by two-thirds. I think the defense played much, much harder and more physical (against Ohio State). Did they play good? Not good enough. But once they got used to the tempo of the game, they played much better."
On the status of linebacker Derek Largent:
"He's not going to practice all week, but hopefully he'll be able to practice on Sunday."
On the play of linebacker Vaness Harris against Ohio State:
"I think Vaness Harris has played well the last two games, probably better than he ever has."
Junior tight end Adam Roberts
On the performance of Quinn Kaehler against Ohio State:
"I thought he did a really good job. It was his first Division I college game, and he came in and did a great job. He was a great leader in the huddle. He got us all organized. I think there were little mixups in the beginning, but we got it going. I think he gave us a little momentum on offense."
On what Kaehler brings differently to the offense than Dingwell:
"I think (Kaehler) is very accurate, that's one of his best skills when throwing the deep ball. He did a really good job of that."
On how Muema's injury affects the offense:
"It's hard without Muema. He's a great running back. It's fun blocking for someone like that, who breaks a bunch of tackles, so we really miss him. We have a lot of other good running backs, but you can't replace a player like Muema."
On more pass plays being called than running plays in the first two games:
"We got behind pretty early in both of the games, so we had to throw the ball to try to catch up."
On if players knew that Dingwell was hurt:
"No, Dingwell is a really tough guy. If he's hurt, he's not going to let anybody know about it. When (Kaehler) came in, we didn't know about (Dingwell's injury). We just had to keep playing."
Senior defensive end Jordan Thomas
On the development of the defensive line from the first game to the second:
"We went into the (Ohio State) game looking to make a statement as far as toughness, and I feel like we did that pretty well for the majority of the game. We need to work on doing that consistently the entire game."
On defending Ohio State's read-option offense:
"It's something different. We haven't seen a good read-option team in a while, probably since last season. It's different, but if you just play your assignments and have discipline, you'll be fine."
On if the defense progressed in the second half:
"I would say we just really settled down and played football like we know how to play. We came out in the beginning very excited, and then we got a little down on ourselves once the score got out of hand. But once we just relaxed and started playing like we know how to do, things went well."
On if the pass rush is as far along as they would like it:
"Definitely not. If it was where we want it to be, (Ohio State) wouldn't have completed three long passes on us. We really need to step that up. We need to defeat our blockers better and get around the edges."
Senior linebacker Nick Tenhaeff
On the toughest part about defending Ohio State's offense:
"They execute well, they know what they're doing and have a good game plan."
On what Kaehler brings to the offense:
"He's similar to Dingwell. I think they have the same type of mobility and things like that. He throws it well, has a strong arm and good accuracy."