Matt Wells: We're going to have to stop 'the QB run game (against BYU)' (+video)
Transcript of Utah State football Monday press conference
“He can run the ball very well. He’s fast, he’s athletic, he’s strong, he’s a good player and we got a little taste of it when we played them last year down in Provo. He’s a good player, but we’re going to be able to scheme to the point where we can contain him. We’ll be able to do what we need to as a defensive front, as well as a front seven, to be able to stop the run. That’s our number one objective, don’t let anybody establish the run. That’s what we do best so that’s what we plan on doing.”
On BYU changing up their offensive line:
“This might be incorrect, but I think it’s seven or eight guys that have switched places. There have been two solid guys, the left tackle and the center, that have stayed most of the time with, but other than that they’ve been moving positions around, putting different people in to get the results that they want. I’m not really sure what that means, we’ve looked at them all and we’re just going to look at each player, look at the scheme and plan accordingly.”
On BYU running a lot of plays each game:
“That kind of goes with the pace, they don’t really huddle. That’s something we have seen before. If you remember last year, Louisiana Tech was the most hurry-up offense I’ve ever seen. We got in shape for that and I think with our off-season training, we do well enough as well as our in-season training that we’re going to be fine cardio-wise, being able to keep up with the pace. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but they do run a lot of plays.”
On how the defensive line has held up without Connor Williams:
“Connor Williams, I wouldn’t count him out of what we’re being able to do right now. He may not be able to be out on the field playing, but he still has a large leadership role on the defensive front. He’s on the sidelines, he’s at practice and he’s doing his regular defensive role. He’s encouraging as well as coaching, he’s definitely helping us perform where we need to be, but I definitely miss him out on the field and it will be nice to get him back.”
On what he’s seen out of the reserves stepping up like Paul Piukala and Ricky Ali’ifua:
“Paul Piukala, he’s done so well the last four or five games, his production is through the roof. Ricky has stepped up to the plate and he’s done what he needed to, he’s done his job and gone above and beyond the call.”
On playing with a high motor:
“I would say it’s my nature. Most people that know me off the field, they might say I’m a little calm, maybe a little shy, which I don’t think I am, but people always say football is an emotional game and I agree with that. People say it’s just a game, but as student-athletes we invest our lives into this so it does become more than a game and we really like to put everything we can into it. I guess I would be known as a high-motor guy, I just like running around. Once you get in that state of playing you kind of get lost in the game and just go play football.”
On the play against Utah where he had his helmet ripped off and went and made the tackle:
“First off, that wasn’t a smart play, it was a penalty. The helmet got ripped off, I didn’t take it off and obviously the rule wasn’t going through my mind. There’s a Clay Matthews play, I believe it was two years ago, where his helmet gets ripped halfway up his face, he rips it off and goes and makes the tackle. Obviously, I’m no Clay Matthews, but I tried to go make the play. Like I said, it’s an emotional play. Once you get in the game it’s hard to remember the helmet rule. Like I said, it wasn’t the right thing to do.”
On the number of penalties the team has racked up:
“There have been a couple of games this year where penalties have killed us and we need to work on that. That’s not to say you should play passive, I think you should play aggressive with a high motor. We need to work on that and stay off the quarterback.”
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