In preparation for the BYU/Utah State game on Friday, Coach Gary Crowton addressed local media in the weekly Tucanos BYU Coaches Luncheon. Following are excerpts from his opening statement and the ensuing question and answer session.
OPENING STATEMENT -- Gary Crowton, BYU head coach
"I was very excited about the win. It had been a long time since we had played and we were back on the road again. We got going into the game and then the opening kickoff and we fumbled it. They picked it up and then before we ate ten seconds into the game we were down 7-0. I was very happy with how we responded. Right after the turnover we turned around and drove all the way down and we scored. It set the tone and I thought that was very important. When we started the second half we missed a block and Reno caught the ball and then fumbled trying to get extra yards. We put the defense in a bad situation and UNLV scored. Some of the things that happen when you have a long layoff are fumbles and missed tackles. We missed some tackles defensively and we had the fumbles offensively. We have been playing too good of football for that to happen. I was disappointed in that, but I was happy with how they hung in there."
" When we got down late in the game, we had to go down the whole length of the field. They kept their composure very well. It was really good to see them believe that we could win and they went down and they did it very quickly. We got into one bad situation in our drive when it was fourth and four. Other than that we were moving the ball in chunks and we finished strong. The defense had two great stops. Other than the one drive where they ran the ball down the field pretty well, our defense stopped them. Even though they had a 90-yard drive, our defense still stopped them and they only got a field goal. One of the big plays of the game was the two-point conversion in the first half. The two-point conversion gave us a chance to have a four-point lead. Otherwise, UNLV would have been in field goal range at the end of the game. I thought that was a huge play by Brandon and our offensive lineman."
"As far as Utah State, I'm excited to be back home after a long time away from LaVell Edwards Stadium. Utah State is a very good football team. They have played three ranked team and they are playing very well. Even though they are 0-4, they are very capable of winning a lot of games. So we have to play really well to beat them."
QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION
Q: What do you think went wrong with the defense stopping the rush?
A: I think they did stop the rush. They gave up zero big plays. They had one drive where they drove the ball down the field, but it was hot and our defense was tired. When they needed to make the stop, they made it and only allowed UNLV to kick a field goal. If you look at the statistics, I think Luke Staley had more rushing yards than their leading rusher.
Q: Coach, can you comment on Doman's status right now?
A: He practiced yesterday and was ful-go in the practice. He's got an AC sprain. I've had four of those and I didn't miss any games with it. It hurts, especially the first time, but when you do it again it doesn't hurt as much. It's as far separated as it'll be but it's not tender. His strength is coming back and he should be ready to go. He told me he thought it felt better now than did after the Nevada game so I think he'll be fine.
Q: Can you talk about Aaron Edmonds and what it's like being the punter on the nation's highest scoring offense?
A: He's gotten mad at me a couple times when he said he wants to play and I said I don't want you to. I hope we don't have to punt too much. I think he's an outstanding player. LaVell Edwards once told me that he thought he was as good as the best he's had in all these years. So that's a pretty high compliment. He came off in the Nevada game and said "Coach, you're killing me. I can't get out there." He did it with a smile on his face and I said, "Well, hopefully we won't need to use you too much." He's holding on the PAT field goals and he's kicking off so that's keeping him involved somewhat. He's made some great punts and put it down inside the 20. He's been extremely good at that. Just about every time he's tried he has done it. When we needed a big punt last week he got a 50--something yard punt that time. He's a very smart, level-headed and responsible young man.
Q: Do you sense the intensity of the teams coming in to play you as a ranked team?
A: I believe that everybody thinks they have to go through BYU for a conference championship in this conference. Even though we were picked third in the conference this year, I still believe that everyone thinks BYU is someone they are going to have to deal with. That's the reputation our team has built up through Coach Edwards, so I think everyone is going to get up when they play BYU no matter what our ranking is. When you are ranked it just intensifies that. I think our players are used to that and the team will get up for every game knowing that. I just let them know that everybody is going to want to go through you to make their season. We'll respond positively to the pressure of knowing that we are the team to beat right now.