POSTED: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - 5:40pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 5:33pm
Tuesday Press Conference Quotes
(December 27, 2011)
“We are excited to be here in El Paso. We came in yesterday and have had good preparation leading up to the bowl game. We practiced up until the 22nd of December then let our guys go home and we’ll finish up this week.
“We have a quality opponent in Utah. Certainly the strengths of their football team coincides with what looks like the strengths of our football team if you compare the rushing defense to (our offense) and those types of things.
“Their defensive line is as good as anybody we have played against or possibly better, so it will be a challenge for us.
“They run well. The tailback wide is a great player; he has put up a lot of yards for them so that will be a great challenge for our defense as well. But we are looking forward for the chance to play in a bowl game. We haven’t had a lot of success in the past couple years and we are happy to have the chance to play again.”
On the biggest challenge against Utah
“I think the biggest challenge despite what you’re doing offensively is to try and block the down guys. They’re certainly very good. Another problem we’ll face is that they run well to the ball. This group of young men worked real hard throughout the season and in bowl practice. We’ll continue to work hard and see if we’re good enough.
“We have to make sure that we can stop their rushing attack as well. We’ve struggled with power running. It’s going to a big challenge to our front seven to see if we can stop them from running the ball. If we don’t stop them it’s going to be a long game.
“So far we have had a great time. The events last night (Monday) were a good time and we look forward to an exciting week and game here at the Sun Bowl.
“Coach Johnson and his Georgia Tech squad are a good team. They have one of the best rushing offenses in the country, so we definitely have our work cut out for us. You never completely stop a rushing offense, the best you can do is try to slow it down.
“They have a lot of great players; the quarterback is really the catalyst for what they’re doing. He leads the team in rushing, and is very efficient when he throws the ball as well. They have a big time receiver who’s catching 30-yards a catch. I’ve never seen such a thing.
On preparing for the bowl game
“We practiced until December 23rd then sent the boys home for Christmas. Met back up here yesterday and we were able to get a walk through and some conditioning in.
“We’re treating this like a normal game week. Today will be a normal Tuesday practice and then the rest of the week will unfold like a regular game week.
We jumped right into defending the option during bowl prep. I hope our offenses doesn’t suffer too much because there’s been very little crossover.”