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Karl Dorrell Press Conference Quotes
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  09/20/2004

Sept. 20, 2004

Audio

Sports Information Director Marc Dellins:
Before we get started. The San Diego State game on Oct. 2 will kickoff at 4:00 p.m. It will be televised locally on Fox Sports West 2. Maurice Drew is the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week, the Walter Camp Division-IA National Offensive Player of the Week and the Sporting News National Player of the Week. With that I'll turn it over to coach Dorrell.

Thank you Marc. Good afternoon everyone. That's a pretty good start to a week, when you have some players that make offensive recognition like that. We are really happy about Maurice Drew and what he has done. But it was a total offensive effort. Just reflecting back on that game, our offense did a great job in creating some run lanes for our rushing game. We had to make some plays to get ourselves back into the game. The defense had to slow them down and get us back into the game. You don't ever want to have a start to a game that is similar to how we started. Usually when you have a particular start like that you don't win the game. It just showed a lot of character in our team right now. We were believing in each other and really fighting our way through some issues to get ourselves back into the game at halftime. It was a great win. Unfortunately we had a few guys banged up along the way, but we do have a bye week this week. We will rest up and start the healing process with some of those players and get ourselves ready for another week of football starting with San Diego State the following weekend. I'd like to open it up for questions please.

Can you comment on Maurice Drew's performance?
I haven't seen a performance like that in my career, particularly at the college level. He did a great job. It wasn't all him, I'll let you know that. Our offensive line did a tremendous job in giving him those opportunities. Our receivers did a great job blocking down field. It was a pretty good effort from an offensive standpoint. But I don't want to take anything away from what Maurice has done. His performance was something I will remember for quite some time.

After looking at the film, did anything else jump out at you that you didn't see on the sidelines?
Just the overall effort in every phase that we were doing. Our kickoff coverage team did a a very good job. They busted one kickoff return on us that was 60 yards, but for the most part wherever the returner would catch it, he would only have about 10 yards to work with before he was tacked. So I was encouraged about how hard we covered in our kickoff. We had one punt in the game and that was a 44-yard punt with great coverage. Our concern with special teams was our field goal team. We had one snap that was really tight. We didn't get the ball down quick enough and we ended up missing an extra point. Then we ended up hitting one that hit two uprights and went through. It was one of those games where a lot of issues that came about during the course of the game, you really don't think about at that time because you have so much work to do. But when you sit back and evaluate and see all of the different things that happened, there is a lot of things we can definitely clean up. To still come away with the victory was very, very encouraging after watching the tape.

What is the situation with Craig Bragg?
Craig has a shoulder injury. It's a dislocation so it will probably be at least three to four weeks whether he'll be ready to play again. He might heal sooner than that, but that's the prognosis right now. We'll fill the shoes with some capable people. Tab Perry is next in line. Tab will do a tremendous job in helping us fill that roll. Tab had an excellent football game. Even though he had no catches, the very first TD run he had two key blocks. He had a tremendous effort in the game. He is excited about his opportunity.

Was your heart in your throat in the final minute?
I was concerned. You don't ever want to be in a situation like that, but I was confident our defense could make the play to stop them too. They had no timeouts left and there was 30 something seconds left. There is only so many chances you can get. We called our last timeout to regroup ourselves the last couple plays of the game. We executed exactly the way we needed to execute, keeping them out of the end zone.

Where is this team in terms of your expectations?
We are moving forward. The offense is gaining steps week by week and you've seen that the last three weeks. Defensively, we are gaining a few steps, probably not at the pace of the offense, but they playing with a lot younger players than on offense. That will come. C.J. Niusulu came back and played well in the game. He is not even full speed yet. As soon as he is full speed and as soon as we get some of the players that are in key positions back, our defensive production will get better. I feel good about where our defense is going.

Coach Karl Dorrel's complete press conference can be accessed by clicking on the audio link located at the top of this page.


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