By Lizelle Brandt
Coach, what are your thoughts following the Arkansas State game?
For the first game, a lot of first game mistakes. That first game is your first true opportunity as a coach to see how guys are going to react to real game situations. I give them an “Okay” grade. Those guys play hard but there are some details and things that we have to correct as we go into our next game.
Was the plan always to distribute the ball that much, or was that something that just opened up during the game?
Yeah, yes it is. We’re playing a lot of guys and we want the guys to touch the ball. We don’t want to be one dimensional, or a one-headed or two-headed monster. Like we say, we don’t substitute, we platoon. We want the guys who come in as substitutes to be just as good as the ones who start the game. I want everybody to know that they can get the ball, and we call plays, and we expect them to execute.
There were a couple of deep throws there that were kind of just left there. Was that timing?
You just gotta make the plays. You know, whatever it is. Whether it’s timing. Whether it’s route-running, or overthrows, or whatever. We just gotta, as a unit, quarterbacks and receivers, we can’t leaves those plays on the field. You know those are the types of plays that we want to make as an offense. All of them were explosive plays. All of them were down the field type plays. So this is something that we have spoken to the guys about and we will correct.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, is he maybe even more explosive than he’s given credit for?
Well, we’ll see. It was really good to see him score the 61-yard touchdown. It was a play that was called to get the first down, and he got the first down and then some. Yeah he is real strong and real fast. He’s everything that you want in a wide receiver and he can be explosive when given the opportunity.
How excited are you about how young this team is and how well they are playing?
Yeah, it’s great. A lot of our leadership is in the young guys, which is really good for the future of our program. So I’m excited about that on offense, defense, and special teams. A lot of guys we are playing are young. A lot of guys are getting reps. They’re getting better. That’s good for us moving forward.
Idaho is coming up, and you are 43 point favorites. How do you not overlook them with Stanford coming up the following week?
Well we focus on ourselves. Every week, that’s the motto. Our opponent gives us information, but we are worried about getting USC better, we’re worried about getting our offense better, our individual group better, and as individuals getting better. So that’s the focus every week, and each week we are presented with a different opponent that gives us different information. So, you know, Idaho is going to give us a challenge and we gotta be ready to go out and play.