Utah State is coming up on Friday. They are a very good football team and have outstanding skill. Their quarterback is a very good player. It is going to be a dogfight. It's going to be a battle from start to finish. Our guys have worked hard and so far we've had a good week of preparation. We're looking forward to getting underway.
On the offense:
We dialed up a few big plays and didn't connect on any. We had a 21-play drive, and those are going to be few and far between if you don't have any big chunk yardage. It's tough for the offense to put that type of drive together without finding a way to mess it up. Typically you have to get chunk yardage somewhere in the drive. It's something we're going to have to do to continue to be successful.
On the tight ends:
We are excited about the tight end group, and I'm hoping that what we saw Thursday are shades of things to come. Jake Murphy had a big night, and that could have easily been David Rolf or Dallin Rogers. We have five guys whom we really like at tight end. It's a group that we feel is one of our strengths and I think you're going to see them utilized week in and week out, whether it's Jake or someone else. As long as we get production, it doesn't matter who it is.
On the in-state rivalry:
Without question, we view this as a big challenge. Gary Andersen has done a great job with their program. He has recruited well and their speed and athleticism now compared to three or four years ago is night and day. They should have beaten Auburn last year at their place. If they are able to hang on to the three or four games they let get away from them in the fourth quarter last year, they are a good football team.
On the relationship with Utah State Head Coach Gary Andersen:
We go way back together. He was my defensive line coach when I was a coordinator, and he was my coordinator when I got the head job. We have maintained our relationship. It's not as frequent as it was at one point, but we still talk to each other several times a month.
On the familiarity of the coaching staffs:
I think it's a wash on both counts - there is no advantage either way. It's not a big factor, as we create specific game plans week in and week out. There is familiarity, yes, but when all is said and done I don't think it's going to be a factor.