bleedCrimson.net: The UTEP game wasn't the result that you wanted, what were you able to take away from the game?
DeWayne Walker: When you look at the last two games, the last eight quarters, I think we probably stunk it up in two out of eight quarters this season against two very good teams. And these are bowl teams. When you look at it from that perspective you can take some positives out of that. I think the most disappointing thing was the first quarter. I was just very disappointed with all of us, anybody involved in that game. I was very disappointed to come in a rival game… it's embarrassing to the alumni, everybody involved. But then when you look at once we settled down, I thought we kind of made our mind up that hey we can play with these guys, despite other mistakes. But it was a better football game outside of that first quarter.
If you play against bowl teams like this and I think both of these teams will play in bowl games this year, you've gotta play four quarters. In our last two games we've stunk it up in a quarter in each game to keep us from putting it in a position where the fourth quarter would decide how the game was going to go.
That was probably the most disappointing thing.
bc.net: When you look at the game I thought there were two pivotal moments in the game. The first was the offsides penalty in the first quarter where UTEP scores a touchdown and they go up 20-0. Then the third quarter after you had cut the game down to 27-14 and I'm sure the UTEP players and UTEP fans were starting to sweat a little bit and they get a big kickoff return and the "maybe" catch on the sideline which they score a touchdown two plays later.
DW: There's no question but these are the moments in these quarters that you've gotta take care of the fade route, your kickoff team can't allow them to get the ball to the 47. These are just teams that bowl teams just don't allow to have happen. That's what we have to continue to try to work on those things and call it out and try to fix. You can put guys in position but guys have to execute it too. I think that's on all of us.
bc.net: When you guys came out of the halftime break it looked like you did a reset. You had guys out there almost doing the pre-game routine again. Was that something that you had decided before the game in the week of preparation leading up or was it something that you kind of called an audible on at halftime and said, "Hey, let's hit the reset button here."
DW: No, that had something to do with the bad third quarter against Ohio. I'm always looking and trying to think out of the box and how do we improve what we're doing? I don't know if it had anything to do with the third quarter but we played a pretty good third quarter. That's something we'll continue to do throughout the year.
bc.net: One of the best plays of the game, it didn't matter a ton in the end but second quarter but Akeelie Mustafa looks like he's trapped in the backfield and Austin Franklin comes in and absolutely decleats a UTEP defender to free Mustafa up.
DW: Austin is a football player, he's a guy that I think of just in terms of when it's time to line up and play you know that kid is going to line up and play for you. He's not going to be perfect for you all the time but he's going to give you good effort. I was not surprised that he was involved in that type of play because that's who he is.
bc.net: When you take a look at this game on Saturday against New Mexico, you've got a chance to do something as a coach and as a team that hasn't been done for a very long time and that's beat New Mexico four straight years. As a coach it's something that Warren Woodson wasn't even able to do.
DW: Well I'm definitely aware of it. It's not something that I'm really going to share with the team or coaches. I just think what we need is to win a football game for our program. I think that's probably a little bit more important. Now afterwards if we can get it done on Saturday and it's something I can celebrate behind closed doors, I'm sure it'll be a nice moment. But at this stage of it, before the game, we've gotta find a way to win.
bc.net: UNM has lost 24 straight road games dating back to their last win against the Aggies in Las Cruces. What does your team need to do to keep that streak going?
DW: Play four quarters. That's something I'm just going to keep beating. Once this team learns to play four quarters as a football team then I think we're going to win some games. That's just something we've got to continue to beat up until we get it done.
bc.net: They've got a first year head coach in Bob Davie. What kind of style of football do they play?
DW: Offensively he's from the Lou Holtz family and they want a ball control on offense and not screw it up and play solid defense. That's his vision and he's just getting his program going. I'm sure at some point where he gets it to where he wants it I'm sure he'll have his team playing ball control and playing solid on defense.
bc.net: What have you seen from them on film that they appear to be doing well early in the season?
DW: Well, you start with the offense. I think option football is always tough. I think they've done a good job running the ball which will be a good challenge for us and if we're not careful they can do some gimmick plays to try to throw one over our heads. I know defensively they want to be multiple which I think a lot of good defenses are multiple. You can see what he's trying to do, we just hope that it doesn't get started until after our game.
bc.net: When you look your own offensive attack and you look at the run game, against Ohio you had a good first half and against UTEP you started to pick it up in the second half. How do you get those two to meet where you've got a good rushing attack the whole game?
DW: We've gotta continue to develop that area. I think that area is very important to our football team and I think that's going to help Andrew Manley even moreso in the passing game with our receivers and tight ends. It's something we want to try to continue to develop.
bc.net: The defensive secondary is obviously a very young and inexperienced group. What have you seen from them growth-wise from week one to week three?
DW: It's just inconsistency right now. The big plays showed up again on Saturday. They're doing some good things, it's not like they're giving up big plays the whole game. We've seen 25 balls thrown at us in three games of 20-plus passes. That's a first. I think they know we're young and they know that our style of schemes on the back end and they've taken advantage of it at times. That's something that we're going to have to pay attention to as we move forward.
bc.net: One of the big areas of concern for you through the first three seasons has been depth. How has the depth been this year and are you pleased with the depth on this year's team?
DW: It's better but just because it's better doesn't mean it's good enough. I think that's always going to be a concern with us. Even though you have better depth you want to make sure there's not a serious drop-off from the starter to the replacement. I think that's always going to be a concern.