Aug. 30, 2004
Keith Gilbertson Press Conference 8/30/04 On the keys to the game: "We need to be careful with the football. Not leave it lying around on the ground or throw interceptions, things that would get you in trouble particularly early in the game. So be careful with the football and not get too ahead of ourselves offensively and just get in the flow of the game." On Fresno State's strengths: "Offensively they've got an experienced, veteran offensive line. Particularly at quarterback. They've played a lot of big games. They've got two terrific tailbacks. Excellent speed at wide receiver, I see the one guy is listed at 4.3. So you're looking at real quality athletes. You're looking at big, strong guys on the line of scrimmage. A preseason award-winning candidate at the one tackle. Kids that have started and played a lot of games. Eight veteran offensive linemen. Defensively, great speed, great quickness, all experienced players. A secondary that's been together for awhile and really knows how to play. Everywhere I look I see a real quality football team." On Fresno State's reputation: "Well, they've got a great reputation up here. Number one, for a long time Jim Sweeney coached some and he was really well thought of here in Washington state. Very popular and did a great job. And of course Pat's come in and just taken off with that program. They are a quality football team, great tradition. So that's a solid program. I'm not sure where you get this mid-major stuff. It sounds like college basketball to me. These guys can play, they have good players, they have a very good coaching staff. I know a lot of them, they're solid." On Joe Lobendahn: "Joe is a really good football player. He likes to play, he likes to study the game. He's a tremendous hitter, he's got great speed. He just has an attitude about playing the game and we really missed that last year. I think Joe will bring a lot of spirit to the defensive group." On being a better team than people think: "Well, we've still got to prove it and play. So I'm not going to talk about it. We've got to prove it." On if he knows when Isaiah Stanback will play QB: "No, I think for the most part we have an idea of when we're going to give him his opportunity." On who had strong fall camps: "I think a lot of people have had outstanding falls. I think the youngsters jump out at you. It's a pretty quality group of freshmen. I think there's five or six of that group that could be in the two-deep here Sunday and play in a variety of ways. So I think the freshmen class. And, you know, the people you would hope would have good camps. Khalif (Barnes) and Casey (Paus) and Isaiah (Stanback) and Kenny James. Brooks and Meadow, those people had good camps. I thought Manase Hopoi and Mapuolesega. Joe Lobendahn and then Derrick Johnson, Dashon Goldson. So a lot of kids had good camps. I thought Sean Douglas kicked for the most part very well, punting and kicking off so we had a lot of quality work in our preseason." On playing on Sunday: "It's a little bit like being in the NFL except the players won't have a union and we won't have to give them Tuesday off. At least I don't think they have a union yet. It's more like an NFL schedule. Thursday is your Wednesday and Wednesday is your Tuesday and Friday is really your Thursday. Have I confused you yet? You just move everything back a day." On the differences between last season and this season: "It was insane around here. It was way different. This year's different also." On the class of 2002: "I think that's a good group. There's a lot of those guys in our depth. Probably the place that we don't have a lot of guys from that class is offensive linemen. But we're like everybody else. 85 scholarships is not a huge number. You're going to have some positions due to wear and tear and due to guys not going to school for whatever reasons. You're going to have some attrition and you're going to have some openings. In this case we think we have some freshmen that are ready to go be in the two-deep, get coached, and be ready to play. I think a month from now with playing and practicing they'll really show improvement." On other true freshman who may see playing time: "I think you take Greyson Gunheim, and I think you take Jordan White-Frisbee, Daron Harris. I think Trenton Tuiasosopo has a chance to get in that mix." On if Joe Toledo is healthy: "Yes, if there were limitations he wouldn't be playing. But I would prefer to start Jon Lyon where he has been all the way through training camp where Joe has been on the every other day schedule." On UW's quarterback inexperience: "Well they won't be inexperienced by the second quarter. You've got to go in and throw it around, you got to do what we do. You know how we play. I like our receivers, they're fast, quick and playmakers. And I know those kids at Fresno are really good cover people, they're corners. They've got a bunch of them. But you've got to go in and try to do what you do. You can't get talked out of things. You've got to throw the ball, throw the ball upfield, work to get open. But the fact that we have an inexperienced quarterback is just the way it is. But they won't be forever and down the road a ways we're going to have two or three really experienced quarterbacks. But that's the hand you have so play it." On the defensive line: "I think Manase (Hopoi) has had a really good camp. Donny (Mateaki)'s been slowed a little bit with that hamstring. Jordan White-Frisbee inside has really opened up some eyes, he has a chance to be a really fun player in there. On the outside you have Ty Eriks who can play either side. Mike Mapuasega has had really a good camp and is a good player. Brandon Ala's progressed, but until we go out and do it, you've got to see it. And plus, Fresno's going to bring the blast and the power and the iso. They're going to really get at you with the tailback. So you've got to be able to handle that. They'll be very physical like Ohio State and like Michigan in previous openers." On keys to the game: "They've got a really experienced team and so I think one of the keys is because we're not as experienced that early on we're probably going to make some mistakes but it can't rattle us. We've got to play through it. Particularly at quarterback where it's going to be kind of brand new for them. I think that's a huge key. They've played a lot of tough games on the road so they're pretty veteran about that. So we have to be very sharp early and get into the flow of the thing." On if he feels like an underdog: "I don't pay much attention to the scores or lines or those kinds of things. We've got a healthy respect for them. We know they're really good. We know they beat two Pac-10 teams last year. They beat UCLA in a bowl game. Pretty handily beat Nevada, we struggled with them obviously. They're veteran, they're well-coached and they're talented so we know it's a tough test."