Sept. 24, 2012
Head coach Todd Graham
"I think those three guys are very dynamic players. Will (Sutton) is a guy who's just scratching the surface. We've challenged Will to practice, walk and talk exactly how we want him to do it. He started to do that so the sky is the limit for him. In four games, I can't imagine that there's a defensive tackle in the country that has played better than Will Sutton has. He's been pretty good. Brandon Magee has been very consistent for us. He's very smart, very savvy and very experienced. Obviously, he has a knack for getting the football. He has gotten a couple interceptions. He's a very explosive blitzer. Again, he's another guy that we've challenged. We coach those two guys harder than anybody else on the defense, along with our two safeties. I've been very pleased with Chris Young's talent. It's amazing what he's been able to do in such a short period of time. The good Lord blessed him with some great skills and we're trying to take those skills and utilize them in our system. What I'm most proud of is that all three of those guys have stepped up and are going out and taking the practice field everyday and working hard to be better every single day. Those three aren't guys that because they excel, they can just go out on Saturday and think they can hang out and not work hard. These guys want to be good. I think that's one of the things we need to stay focused on. They can see that we have a lack of depth. We have to develop that depth. You aren't competing against the guy behind you. You are competing to be the very best. They've stepped up to that challenge that we've made."
On fixing the mistakes made in Missouri...
"We just have to do a better job of executing. I think that there are some things we learned in that game that we won't do again. We still had procedure penalties the other night. That's unacceptable. That's just a lack of mental focus and concentration about what we're doing. There were some things that we would have done differently. We'll hopefully be in good shape for Cal."
On how the coaching staff responded to the Missouri loss...
"There's a lot more that goes into this. We aren't as emotional as everyone else around us. We don't react to all that stuff. I'll tell you that 100 percent of the times we lose, I will come in here and take 100 percent of the responsibility because that's the way it is. Whether you like it or not, you might as well take responsibility for it. Ultimately, that's what my job is. You don't get too high, you don't get too low. You just keep getting better. You have to keep working and getting better. I really believe that great players win big games. I think leadership and coaching loses close games. I'm proud of how our coaches respond but I'm not surprised. We've been around each other for a while. We get amused sometimes. I made some cracks at Coach Norvell after the Missouri game. One of the greatest things that has helped me is that I do not read anything. I read the quotes of our players. You can't read stuff, good or bad. The danger is when things are going good, you get swelled up with importance and you're going to get humbled. You read the bad things and whether you want to or not, that effects you. You have to stay even and focused on what's at hand. You have to teach. That's what our guys have done. They're not going to flinch. They're going to work hard because we're not anywhere close to where we need to be. I'm very proud of the effort that we've had. We have a lot of work to do and we're working frantically around here. Obviously, we're excited and we're not surprised at where we are at. We have an opportunity to do something great but it's not going to be easy. I'm proud of our staff and how they respond to things. You can't get too high and you can't get too low. That's what I talk to our players about. This place is great. There's so much fan involvement. That's why it's important that I stand up here and tell you what I think. I may say the wrong thing but so be it. People don't expect you to be perfect. I want them to know that this is their team and people are passionate about it. We can't be like that. We can't be emotional. We need to be poised and even-keeled. We need to keep our eyes on the job at hand. There are so many things, fundamentally, right now that we've seen in the third week. When you're in a close game, you're going to lose the game because of those things. There were three games that weren't even close. I'm proud that we executed very well and dominated those games. Ultimately, I said at the beginning of the year that there will be a lot of close games. We have to win the close ones. We have a lot of work to do fundamentally to get better."
On the program's losing streak with Cal...
"I don't think about that. I guess when you're involved in coaching a football team, what you did last year has nothing to do with what you're going to do this year. The hardest thing you have to do is win on the road. That's not easy. It's the hardest thing in college football. We do focus on that. I'll probably focus more on correcting the mistakes we had from our first road game more than I will focus on what we did in 1999. The reason why you have something like that is because it's hard to win on the road. Each year it's a different team. They're not even the same guys. I don't see what that has to do with anything besides being something to talk about."
On Andres Garcia's role on special teams...
"John Sanders did a great job. He's involved in our walk-on program. We had a try-out and that's what we need to build here. To have a guy come out that has that kind of ability. He's a very powerful and quick guy. We identified that on special teams. That's something that I want to do. We've put five guys on scholarship since I've been here; five guys on scholarship that were walk-ons. That's something that I want to build on because this is a state university here. I want people in this valley to want it. If you have a dream of playing at this level, you can't walk-on at a better place. This place is going to give you an opportunity. Garcia came out here when school started and he's been on the football field. I think that says a lot. He's unusual because he's in really good shape, he's really strong and he's really quick and fast. We're proud of him. He's played on kick-off return. He spells Brandon Magee on kick-off return. He played on PBR last week and he went down on kick-off cover. We have a couple more guys (walk-ons) this week that might show up in there."