bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Walker Interview :: 11/06/12

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the Auburn game? I'm sure if someone had told you before the season started that you'd only be down 7-0 at halftime that you would have taken that.
DeWayne Walker: There's no doubt about that. It was fun to see these guys battle in the first half. Even getting into the third quarter. I say it every week, if you can't score at some point the roof is going to fall in on you and that's what happened. Defensively I thought we hung in there as long as we could and then they made a couple plays. I think the fumble that went for six points, that kind of put us in a position and I think once adversity hit, we couldn't stop the bleeding. I just continue to enjoy their fight and we just want to continue to get these guys fighting for us until we're done.

bc.net: A couple of guys that did have good days on offense, especially against an SEC defense, Germi Morrison had 19 carries for 79 yards and Austin Franklin showed he can play against any defense in the country.
DW: Yeah those two guys, they've played pretty consistent ball for us. Morrison has really turned out to be what we thought when we recruited him. He's not fancy, all he does is get positive yards for you and does his job for you. We really need to find somebody that can help him but in terms of what he's done, he's done a very good job for us.

bc.net: Your defense did a pretty good job of containing their freshman quarterback.
DW: He was always a concern. I really felt like we handled him pretty good. He's a pretty good little football player but he's still a freshman. I thought we really held him in check pretty much the whole game. They took the ball away from him and put it into their running backs' hands, I think that's when they started to wear us down with No. 21 and No. 23. They're pretty good football players.

bc.net: Looking ahead to the game against San Jose State, you've been at New Mexico State now for almost four seasons, what differences have you seen in their team over that span?
DW: I just think Coach McIntyre has done a good job. They really don't have to leave the state of California to recruit and I think they've done a good job recruiting. Really similar to Utah State, they've made a commitment to their football program from a strength and conditioning standpoint and really just allowing him to do some things to move forward. They've done a good job using the resources that they have to put together a pretty solid football program.

bc.net: Teams have had some success running the ball against their defense. Is that something that might be a little bit more of a focus for the Aggie offense this week?
DW: Yeah, but I still think you've gotta do both. We've moved the ball at times but if you look at the last two games we've been awful on third down. We're 3-for-30 on third downs. If you're not getting first downs on first and second down when you're moving the sticks and you can't convert on third down it's going to be hard to score when you're not getting any explosive plays. We've still got some issues on offense that we're continuing to sort out. I know with Morrison, he's going to get his 85 to 100 yards but all-in-all you still need a little bit more in the running game to put yourself in a position to score some points.

bc.net: San Jose State has 32 sacks on the season and the Aggie offense line did a good job Utah State in protecting Andrew Manley. What can you take away from that game plan to help you against the Spartans?
DW: I think you probably use the same philosophy. You really try to identify where the sacks are coming from and what guys and try to scheme your protection in a way to try to alleviate those guys that are active in that department. We're going to look at their rushers and where they're coming from and create a scheme to try to keep those guys off of our quarterback.

bc.net: With a team with those kind of sack numbers is there anything they're doing different versus any other teams?
DW: No, it's just probably more timing. I think the scheme of it, if they're running a lot of games or stunts or they're getting them off of blitzes. You can sack the quarterback a lot of different ways, or if they have very good coverage you have a lot of coverage sacks. We'll identify where these guys are getting their sacks and when they're getting them and try to alleviate those situations.

bc.net: When you look at the last couple of games, what are some improvements that you've seen over the course of the last couple weeks that you're really pleased with?
DW: I think the running game is really starting to evolve. I think we're still short another running back to help Morrison carry the load. I think with our passing game, Franklin, at some point during the game is going to make a couple big plays for you. I know from a penalty standpoint, we've done a good job. We're first in the WAC in terms of penalties. Defensively, they're just improving. Schematically we're definitely improved and our kids are executing. We're keeping our team in games long enough to try to get some helps. Special teams I think we've made some minimal improvements with special teams but I know our punt team has definitely improved, we've just got to keep improving the other areas in our special teams.

bc.net: This game on Saturday really feels like a game you can go out and pull off an upset in. What are the keys to making that happen?
DW: We've gotta score points. I know I sound like a scratched record but if you don't score points you're not going to win and we've gotta find a way to score points. Defensively we can't let the game get away from us. I really thought these last two games we've played well enough, long enough for the offense to get something going and we just couldn't get anything going fast enough to make it a game where we could compete for a win. Special teams just keep us out of harm's way. Don't put us in a position where we're having to fight mistakes on special teams along with another area that may be struggling.