Sept. 27, 2004
Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the San Diego State game week. We had a good week of practice a week ago with only a few days of practice. We used (the bye week) to get our health back for some of the guys that were ailing, particularly on defense. We are going to start our preparation for San Diego State on Monday, which is usually a light day in our normal game week. But given our bye situation, we will have a heavy schedule of practice both today and tomorrow, and then lighten up by Wednesday and Thursday. We are eager to get started. San Diego State is off to a very good start. They are a very good football team. They play an aggressive style of defense. They have created a number of turnovers already for this point in a season. We need to do a better job of limiting those turnover issues. This team that you'll see Saturday evening is a very potent offense. They have a quarterback that is a returning starter and has weapons. They have a good backfield. They might not have their best back from a year ago, but they have another back that has replaced him and done a very good job. He is a very good pass receiver out of the backfield and also runs the ball very well. They have some experience in their offensive line. Defensively, they have us a lot of fits a year ago and I know they will do the same this year. They have an aggressive, blitzing style of defense. They put a lot of pressure on an offense. Our hands will be full this week, particularly coming off a bye week. We have to keep the momentum and the continuity that we've established the first three games of the season. Even though we've had this bye week, we need to improve and build upon our win the last time we played against Washington. With that last comment, I'd like to open it up for questions please.
What is the injury status of the team?
We're okay. We're not completely healthy, but most of players on defense will be back this week. Justin London will be back in the fold. We will see what his status will be by the end of the week and he will practice today and through the week. He will be ready to go as planned. The only one of significance for us who will be missing is Nikola Dragovic, who had a high-ankle sprain last week in practice. In all likelihood, he will not be playing in the game this weekend. He is one of our reserve defensive ends. But everyone else is back and getting back into the fold.
What happens at wide receiver with Craig Bragg not available?
Tab (Perry) is his replacement. He is ready for the challenge and he is excited for this opportunity even though it's a situation where we are losing our best receiver right now. He is excited about his chances to not only fill Craig's shoes, but to do a great job keeping up the level of play at that position. He'll be our starting flanker and Brandon Breazell is the backup behind him.
Any update on Craig's situation?
Not since last week. He is still in the sling and is rehabbing. It is going to be at least three to four weeks before we know anything.
Do you have a grasp of how good your team is right now, especially since you saw what happened to Washington last weekend?
They were disappointed after our game and I don't know how much of a recovery period they had before going into the Notre Dame situation. You know, that's part of football. A year ago we played 12 straight and we didn't have time to sulk when things weren't going good - you had to keep moving forward. That's a difficult task when things aren't going well. That's what this profession is all about, to find a way to get your team to rally and get your team to make the necessary plays to get out of those situations. That is a situation we are trying not to get ourselves into this season. We are guarding hard against that and trying to keep the momentum going in our favor.
What type of challenge are you expecting against the Aztecs?
It's a great challenge. That's a pretty good football team. They are really good on offense and their defense makes you earn everything you can get off them. They proved how good they were a year ago when they played against us. It's going to be a tremendous challenge for our team, particularly after a bye week.
For Karl Dorrell's complete press conference, please click on the audio link at the top of this page.