Head Coach Rocky Long and three players spoke with the media on Monday.
Dec. 12, 2011
Dec. 12 Football Press Conference Quotes
San Diego State Press Conference Quotes
December 12, 2011
Head Coach Rocky Long
"I appreciate you all being here for the preview of our bowl game. We practiced the last three days and we're excited about going. Most of the people on our team haven't been to New Orleans, so they're excited about that. Our practices have gone well and our seniors have done a great job of leadership this year. I expect them to do it for one more week so that we can finish this the right way."
On if Louisiana-Lafayette reminds him of any team they have played this year:
"It makes me nervous, but they remind me of Wyoming. They run the same offense. They're a team that wasn't expected to be any good. Wyoming wasn't expected to be any good, but Wyoming turned into a really good football team by the end of the year and they're going to a bowl game, too. (Louisiana-Lafayette) has turned into a really good football team as the season has gone along. Not as many (trick plays) as Wyoming. They are very skilled; they have a lot of seniors on their team so they've got great leadership. They've got really good speed, they're very physical and it's going to be a great football game. I think that the two teams match each other very well. We think we're fast, we think we're tough; they think they're fast, they think they're tough. That's what a bowl game should be."
On working with the seniors this year:
"I think they've taken me under their wing. I think when I became the head coach; it was the seniors who accepted that. They took the new coaching staff under their wing and realized that we were pointed in the right direction and they allowed me to continue our program in that same direction. It is much more difficult for a football team and the leadership of a football team to perform well when everybody expects you to. You get everybody's best shot as opposed to, when it's happening for the first time everybody is just excited and the other teams don't believe it so they don't come with their best game. This year, we played everybody that came with their best game. The inner leadership that these guys and the other seniors gave was outstanding because it's harder to win as many games when everybody is giving you their best shot"
Senior Quarterback Ryan Lindley
On the seniors playing in their last game as an Aztec:
"I think it's just an opportunity to play and be in a bowl game. You take the external things for what they are and don't think about it afterwards. We play to win and it's the same thing regardless. It doesn't matter if it's Cal Poly, Fresno State, or Louisiana, we're going to go in to play hard and know that they're going to be bringing their best football game. We just have to put our best foot forward."
On the conference move to the Big East:
"When you look at it from the outside, administratively, it's about the money. We're going to be getting more than we have been getting in the Mountain West if the system stay's the way it is. You cash out if you're in the BCS, that's the way it is, plain and simple. I think it's going to be a great opportunity for these guys to continue to improve these facilities. It's going to be great for everybody else, too. That money is going to be flowing for all of the (athletic) programs."
On if playing in the Superdome will add to the bowl game experience:
"Coach Long says it all the time that people coming into Qualcomm (Stadium) love it because it's an NFL stadium. For us, it's a little different experience because we're there every week. It's going to be a new (experience) in New Orleans, but like we always say, it's 100-by-53 yards and we're playing 11-on-11 football. Regardless, we're going there to win and to play our game. Obviously it's going to be a great place to go and New Orleans is a great place to play a bowl game."
Senior Linebacker Miles Burris
On Larry Parker's impact on defense:
"Larry has been great for our defense. He's one of those guys who is going to come through with a big play at some point or another. No matter how much he faces adversity, he hits throughout the game. He's always going to keep his head high, give you his best bowl game and play fast. Good things happen when he does that."
On the conference move to the Big East:
"I don't regret not being around for it, but I definitely think that it's a step forward for this program. It's going to be a lot of fun to see our teammates go against some better competition. Not that we didn't have great competition in the Mountain West, but the more great teams you get to play, it elevates your game and competitive level. It allows you to expose yourself to even better athletes and make yourself better. Higher expectations and we're looking forward to watching those guys kill it in the BIG EAST."
Senior Defensive Tackle Jerome Long
On winning back-to-back bowl games:
"Our expectation is always to win. It would be the first time that we've won back-to-back bowl games in a while. Going to a bowl game is a great honor. With having a winning season and all that we have accomplished this year, to be coming home with a win is our goal right now. We're going to have a lot of fun."
On if playing in his final college game will be emotional:
"I haven't really thought about it that much. I've just been preparing as hard as I can and trying to live it up with these guys for as long as I can until it's over."