Sept. 18, 2001
Below are quotes from head coach Tom Holmoe from his weekly media luncheon. The Bears return to action this Saturday when they visit Washington State at 2:00 p.m. in Martin Stadium.
The events of last week I think are still on the minds of our players to a degree. To what degree, for each player, I'm not sure, just like everyone in this room and everywhere else. We're in the process right now, just to try to get back into the swing of things, trying to get back into the swing of the season. Hopefully this will be a time where we've had a little more time with one opponent. Because we called off the Rutgers game it gave us an opportunity to start looking at Washington State a little bit earlier. The preparation for this game has been good. To be able to spend a little more time with them and go about it a little slower and get into more detail with this game, its almost like a bye week. I think that'll be to our advantage in many respects.
Our guys are just thirsty to get back on the field and try to get things right and turn the season around. Their practice sessions have been very good. We obviously took off last Tuesday and then went Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We gave them off Saturday to give them an opportunity to see their families and go home if they were close enough to. Then we came in on Sunday and practiced a little more than usual. So we're back into the normal practice schedule and routine that we would have and getting ready to play the Cougars.
On Washington State:
Washington State is a good team. I listened to coach Mike Price's remarks and I agree with his assessment. They have a very good quarterback who is similar to Brandon Doman from BYU in that he's extremely mobile and very creative. He gets out of the pocket and that's where he hurts you. He throws the ball better (then Doman). A couple of receivers are off to really good starts, particularly Nakoa McElrath who I think is leading the country in yardage right now. And their defense is typical, in respect to the Washington State defense. Very very active linebackers, a good secondary and a big, quick and agile front.
On WSU QB Jason Gesser:
You don't want to really flush him out of the pocket, you want to keep him in the pocket. You want to contain him. He's not afraid to step up into the pocket and go out the front door. He's had a great deal of success with throwing the ball on the run, so if he gets flushed or he steps up in the pocket, he's pretty good at finding his receivers. That's one area that we've really struggled with this year on defense is containing the quarterback. We may have a little coverage for a while, but when they get out and scramble around and run up the field, that's been difficult for us.
On the status of TB Joe Igber:
Joe Igber will practice this week. He's still a little bit sore, but I would imagine he will play to some degree in the game depending upon how he does this week in practice. This is a guy that we don't want to just throw him out there and use him all up in one game. He's feeling better. I saw him lifting weights and doing some pretty heavy things where he's involved with his ankle. There's no question that he's made vast improvements. It depends (whether he'll start or not) on the course of the week. Terrell Williams took all the snaps last week and Joe didn't. We just gave Joe last week off. But he was out running on the field, which was a good sign and we'll ease him into it tomorrow and the next day.
On the Wide Receiver Corps:
We have Charon Arnold and Sean Currin and Christian Prelle and Chase Lyman and those will be the four guys that will go. Derek Swafford is out with his ankle still. Chad Heydorff is out like in the past. He'll probably end up redshirting. That leaves us with four guys as I've mentioned and then Burl Toller will be our fifth receiver for this game.
On how the extra time off has affected the team with regard to football:
I think for us, definitely, considering the dilemma that we put ourselves in after the first two weeks, I think it was a time where we could just step away for a while. In the course of the season, the weeks go very quickly. You play a game, you get a day to contemplate it, whether it was good, bad or indifferent, you deal with it in a day and you're prepping for the next week. So during this time, I guess it gives us a little more time to step back and identify the things we're all dealing with football wise.