Crowton addresses media at Tucanos luncheon
Q. What experience do you have with Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech's head coach?
Crowton--When Gailey was in the NFL, I got to watch him a lot when he was with Miami. I don't think he is calling their offensive plays. He has a lot of experience and has been involved in a lot of games.
Q. Does it mean anything to you to go back to a school where you coached?
Crowton--When I left Georgia Tech I could hardly wait to get back there and play. Most of the guys I knew when I was there are gone now. The coaching staff is different, the athletic director is different, and it doesn't have the same feel as when I first left Georgia Tech. There is a great tradition there. There is a lot of old tradition and it is a neat place to play. They've won a national championship there.
Q. Do you have anything to say about the pelting your defensive coordinator has been taking over the last few days?
Crowton--People are too quick to judge. People only remember the bad and don't remember the good. We had good defensive games against Syracuse and Hawaii. I feel like defensively coach Schmidt is working hard. Nobody feels as bad about the Nevada loss as Coach Schmidt does. Our defense has been beat up lately. Kip Nielsen has been hurt, Heaney could hardly play, and Guilford wasn't able to play much. I don't want to make excuses though.
Q. Did the defensive game plan change when Nevada's running back got hurt?
Crowton--No, first of all, no one knew he was hurt. Our game plan didn't change until halftime. It changed because our secondary was too beat up to play nickel and dime defenses, so we had to switch to a 30 defense like we did against Hawaii. When we did that, they didn't score any points. Ken Schmidt made that move for us. Their receiver was better than we thought he was too.
Q. Why did you wait until halftime to make changes?
Crowton--We had to get organized. It wasn't even in the game plan. I made the correction on offense too. I felt like we needed more mobility. I was mad that Engemann threw the interception at the end of the half. I was only mad at that one play and I wanted him to learn a lesson. He has to protect the ball deep in our own territory, and when we don't, there are consequences to that. We didn't have very many plays and Bret didn't have a lot of time to get on rhythm. He is still a young player as far as starts go. I think Bret will do well this week.
Q. What do you do to correct all the penalties your team has been getting?
Crowton--We work on it in practice. I run them conditioning and then put them on the line of scrimmage and try to draw them off sides. I try to make them think. As far as the personal fouls, I feel like I need to control their poise and emotion. We talk a lot about that.
Q. Can you talk about the difference between playing on the road and playing at home?
Crowton--The Nevada game was one game. That is my only comment on that.
Q. Is your team a good road team?
Crowton- We'll see.
Q. Is Engemann still hurt?
Crowton -- No, he is healthy. He was a little hurt in the Hawaii game because of his finger that was bothering him, and then he hurt his neck in the game, but he is healthy. I felt like he had a really good practice yesterday. Another thing is Engemann has come off of a very difficult injury. It has taken him a year-and-a-half to recover from that injury, and I think he has done a remarkable job coming back.
Q. Is Pendleton going to be coming in to play this game?
Crowton -- I want to play Engemann more this game, I'll probably spot play Pendleton like our original plan. I want Engemann to get in there and get into a rhythm and just fight through any adversity he has. That's the only way he will get to be as good as I think he can be. That's my plan.
Q. Do you see what happened last Saturday as motivation for this Saturday?
Crowton -- Yes, but the thing about last Saturday is I see it as a wake-up call to us to be ready to play teams on the road like Nevada. I felt like most of the team was ready to go, but some of the guys made some errors, and it is hard to turn it on in the middle of the game. But I do give Nevada a lot of credit, they had a veteran team, a lot of starters coming back, and they were better than us on that day. Again I want to put this behind us and look forward to Georgia Tech.
Q. How exciting is it to be going on the road to play an ACC team?
Crowton -- I think it is really exciting. I think that the guys are really excited about it. A lot of them got to see some of the Georgia Tech game, as it was on earlier in the day. The guys really are excited to go down there. I love going down to those places, I did it all the time when I was at Louisiana Tech and they are tough, hard fought games. It is going to be a good game, and they are a good football team.
Q. How concerned are you about Kelly Rhino? And what makes him such a good player?
Crowton -- He is very explosive, he reads blocks well, and he's a tough kid. He does a good job. I know they were concerned about him. I just read an article that some people from their media wrote asking why he couldn't cover any of Clemson's tall receivers. But he is a very good special teams player, a good athlete, and a very smart football player.
Q. The same question for Hollings, how concerned are you about him?
Crowton -- He's really good. He is big, strong, breaks tackles, and he is fast. He is one of the best in the country, I think. Marcus Whalen is kind of like him, but Hollings is a little more experienced.
Q. Is there anyone on the team that has not played much in the first three games that may play a part in this one?
Crowton -- One of the guys we really missed last week played really well against Hawaii, and didn't play this week because of injury is David Christensen. David had a great Syracuse game, but he sprained his ankle in that game, so he was about 65 percent for the Hawaii game. He was just kind of limping around, so I elected to put him in a boot for eight or nine days and not take him on the trip even though he probably could have traveled. He's healthy now and he will return our punts and play wide receiver.
Q. Are you going to try some things offensively to get Reno the ball more?
Crowton -- I wanted to get him the ball a lot last week, but they double-team him quite a bit. I can move him around but they are going to double him all year. That should free up a lot of other guys like Rod Wilkerson, who had his best day last week. Toby Christensen had a good day, and so did David Christensen. But if guys keep having good days around Reno that will free him up because he won't be doubled all of the time.
Q. With what Marcus Whalen has been doing can we expect him to get the ball a lot again this game?
Crowton -- Marcus got 14 carries; he's had 30 carries the first two games. You can't give him the ball 30 times every game. One of the reasons he had only 14 carries is because we had only 26 plays in the first half. We also ran the option in the third quarter and they took the pitch away so Pendleton would have to take it. We want to try and get Marcus the ball between 18 and 25 times a game.