Matt Wells: 'That's correct, Darell Garretson will start this week'
USU press conference transcript and video
“I would say we’ve got to clean up our alignment a little bit. There were a couple of times where we were lined up wrong. Also, being physical. At the beginning of the season, we were known as that group to get after them a little bit, get after the corner and physical him up, but I feel like ever since Chuckie (Keeton) went down we kind of went away from that. We’re going to go back to being that physical caliber group and clean up those mistakes.”
On what it would mean to get a win before the bye week:
“It would mean a lot. You talk about team motivation and confidence for the rest of the season, because the season is far from over. I tell my guys everyday that you never know what can happen. All we’re facing is adversity right now, and great teams overcome adversity, so we’ve just got to keep fighting. A win before this bye week will definitely put us in great position.”
On gaining some confidence from the final drive of the Boise State game:
“It definitely gives us confidence going into the next game, but as an offense we know that we can execute and find rhythm, it’s just been the minor mistakes that have kept us from doing that. As an offensive unit, we’re not too surprised by us getting into rhythm like that because we normally do, we’ve just got to clean up the minor mistakes and penalties and stuff like that.”
Senior defensive tackle AJ Pataiali’i
Recapping the Boise State game:
“In the Boise State game, I thought our front seven played well. We played the run pretty well, we just had a few missed assignments on the back end, and that’s how they got their touchdowns. There are things that we have to fix in the back end. The physicality and the talent that the defensive players have is there, it’s just the mental side that we have to fix on game day. We just have to lock in on game day so the defense can win games, because it starts with defense. Our goal is to be Mountain West champions, so it starts with defense. Defense wins championships, that’s what our coaches always stress.”
On looking ahead to New Mexico:
“They’re ranked second nationally in rushing, so it’s a big game for us defensively to stop the run. It starts with the defensive line. If the defensive line doesn’t have a great game, our chances of winning the game go down, so it starts with us. We are the backbone of this team and it starts at the defensive line and works its way out. They’re going to run the ball and they’re very good at that, obviously. If we play with great technique, as we have all season, we will have a chance to win the game.”
On New Mexico’s offensive line:
“Their offensive line has pretty good size up front, but it comes down to our technique on the defensive line to be stout and stop the run. That’s our goal as a defensive whole, to stop the run every game. Week-in-and-week-out we’ve got to stop the run to give ourselves a chance to win games on Saturday.”
On if the team felt at a point in the Boise State game that things were going wrong and needed to be turned around:
“At the beginning of the game, we played good. The first series, they went three-and-out, but their offense just kept moving the ball. We just had some missed assignments on the back end, but I trust our defensive backs and our secondary to clean that up and they’ll fix it come Saturday.”
On having Connor Williams back:
“It’s good, I’ve missed seeing him out there. He’s a great leader, he’s been here for five years, and he’s a guy that you’ll be seeing on Sundays. He’s a great athlete, he leads our core and we look up to him. When he speaks, we listen. His experience helps the younger guys, and we have a lot of young guys, especially at the defensive end position. Our D-line is very talented, we take to heart every week that we have to play well to win. We take that upon ourselves to win games on Saturdays. The defensive line just has to play great to win games.”
On what happened that helped him blossom as a player:
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