Weekly Coach Walker Interview :: 09/25/12 What are some things that you took away from the UNM game on Saturday?
DeWayne Walker: The one thing is, you hate to point fingers and I'm never going to do that because I think we've all got a hand in it, I just think our offense really sparks this football team. It does. I think when we struggle on offense, I think we're stagnant. I really do and it's something that I've addressed with Coach Mac [McManus]. I was a little shocked about our offensive performance. Not that we were the '85 Bears on defense because we're not but I just think for them to have held us to seven points for as long as they did, I was a little surprised by that. Even when you look at our game from last year, we had to score points. We scored 42? That had a lot to do, it was 42-28. I just think in college football unless you have a great defense, and we don't have a great defense, I just think you're going to have to score some points. You're just going to have to match them. I just think there were too many series in that game where we just didn't have any production and then obviously we couldn't get off the field either. I'm not going to eliminate that. I thought the defense when we did get off the field we needed to make some things happen because that style of offense, that's what they do. If you're not better than them, they're going to have opportunities to hold that football and they did. I think again and it's frustrating, we still haven't put together that team victory yet since Sac State and I think that's probably the most frustrating thing right now. We've gotta be able to work a little better together and we haven't done that the last three games. When you look at what they were able to do with time of possession based on the first three games you played it took away four possessions from you just by them eating up the clock. How big a factor was that? Do you think that if the game had been a little faster paced with the teams trading possessions a little more that it would have played into your favor a little more?
DW: No question. When I look at the drive chart it's punt, punt, touchdown, punt, fumble, downs, punt, fumble punt. Shoot. When that happens against a ball control offense your'e going to have a hard time. Defensively it was field goal, touchdown, punt, field goal, fumble, touchdown, punt, touchdown, punt. So, looking at it from a defensive standpoint that's probably who we are but when I look at the offensive drive chart, that's not who we are at all. I just think we're more talented on offense and again, not throwing anybody under the bus but against that team we needed to get more production series in and series out and it just didn't happen for us in that particular game. One of the things that surprised me a little bit just because of the way he'd played in the first three games was Tiger Powell only had one touch in the game. Was there an injury there?
DW: No. We did more shotgun and Tiger is more of a downhill runner so he's not an east and west type of player. He's more downhill and just the offensive scheme didn't allow the type of runs that he's best at. I think too, giving Robert Clay an opportunity to play in his first game back really took plays away from Tiger. Again, we've evaluated that for this week and Tiger is definitely going to be back in the mix this week. On the touchdown drive in the first half you were able to get the tight ends involved. How important is it to continue that going forward?
DW: It's very important. I think we looked like an Aggie offense, we were rolling. We were moving the ball. We were in rhythm. We were going. I just think that's who we are. My expectations for this offense are big. We have the capability of moving the football. I really believe that. I just thought we looked in rhythm. There were two or three series in that game to where it was like, "Okay, here we go, we're flowing." But we were stagnant a little more than anticipated. The decision to go for it on fourth down there in the third quarter. I thought it was a gutsy call at the time and I really liked the call at the time and I still like the call.
DW: Yeah, I think it would about a 43 or 44 yard field goal and I just think that was out of Stampler's range. I think with what he's shown, he's 35 or 40 yards at best and I just didn't think that we had a shot to have a legitimate attempt at those three points. Defensively one of the things that has shown up the last two weeks has been tackling issues and one of the things that your defense has been very good at over the course of the last two seasons has been the fact that they were very solid tackling teams.
DW: I just think these teams that get us in space, that's an issue. These teams are spreading us out and making us have to come up and make open field tackles. We keep these YAC yards, usually if you can keep the YAC yards down. Against Sac State I think our YAC yards were good. I think the other games, any time you're over 35 yards of YAC which is meaning yards after contact, it's not a very good tackling night and we had like 90 yards of YAC which is way too many yards after contact. That's an area we have to continue to address. BJ Adolpho didn't play in the game against New Mexico. Obviously looking back that had a big, big impact.
DW: Yeah, we anticipated that. He's a veteran guy and we're really comfortable with him and not having him in there took a little bit of our leadership. Joyner, he's a sophomore and he's never played but at the same token the next guys have gotta step up, they've gotta get the job done. It was a situation where we needed him to step up and he did some good things but he's not BJ by any stretch of the imagination and we just have to play the next guy. One guy I want to mention that did have a good game was your punter, Cayle Chapman-Brown. He averaged almost 51 yards per punt and did a good job of flipping the field position constantly when you did have to punt.
DW: He's a guy that we have the utmost confidence in him and it's good to see that he's been consistent. Out of four games he's punted better than he has worse and he's continued to impress us. Looking at the game coming up against UT San Antonio what have you seen on film from them this year?
DW: I was hoping they weren't any good. No rest for the weary. I turned on the tape and it's like, "Here we go again." We're going to have to play good football. They've got some confidence and even those people talk about the teams that they've played, they're undefeated and they have some confidence and I'm sure they think they can come in and beat us so we're going to have to play some good football to beat this team. How familiar are you with Coach Coker and how much have you seen his style of play at Miami and how much of that similar style of play has translated to UT San Antonio?
DW: I don't really know him that way. I just know he's a veteran coach and he's done a great job putting the team together. To look at that team and he's only had two or three years to line up and play college Division I teams and teams that have been established, he's done a remarkable job, he and his staff. You can just see the experience. It's the same thing I'd say about Coach Davie. Those guys have been around the block and they're showing it pretty quick. After studying some early film who are some guys who have stood out to you?
DW: I haven't really broken it down into individual players yet, we're still trying to get a feel for their schemes. I know they have some really good receivers. Their quarterback is good enough. They've got some good running backs. From a defensive standpoint they don't do a whole lot, they're pretty vanilla but they're coached very well and they know what they're doing. Just from a team standpoint they're just a solid coached group. For your team, coming off of back-to-back rivalry games you spend a lot of energy both physically and emotionally how do you get your guys to regroup and be prepared for this game on Saturday?
DW: We've just gotta be positive. I'm pretty honest with these guys about where we are and what we need to do and we spent the last couple of days just talking about those things but at the end of the day they've gotta play. We've gotta coach and they've gotta play. So, we can't make excuses, we can't point fingers, we can't hang our hat and say the season is over with. I'm going to continue to challenge the coaches and the players and we're going to practice hard and we're going to have to play better and coach better to get a victory. First ten minutes of the game on Saturday what do you want to see from your offense and defense?
DW: Just energy. Offensively I really think they're the fireplug of our football team. I really do. I think when our offense is rolling and making plays they ignite our team. I hate to put the pressure on the offense but I just think it is what it is. Just playing to our capability and playing more as a team and really just getting our offense going. If you look at our last two games, our offense, when they're not going, we don't go. We don't go as a team. We need them to get off to a quick start to give us a chance.