Quotes from today's football press conference

October 8, 2001 · MT Media Relations

McCollum on the Idaho game
It felt great because we won the game. The bottom line when it was all said and done is that we found a way to win the football game. A lot of improvement needs to come out of this one, but we did what we had to do to win. I thought that the first half was about as good as we could have played. They made adjustments at the half and got their offense untracked and we had trouble slowing them down. I was especially pleased with our special teams. Jamison Palmer's kickoff return for a touchdown was a huge play for us. It was a big win for us because they were picked by a lot of folks to win this league.

McCollum on his defense's performance against Idaho
I said it all last week; this is as good an offensive team as we have played since we got here. It is a team game. Last week our defense gave us the chance to win just like our offense did this week. When you get into a throwing game with another team like we did against Idaho, you can't lay every breakdown on the secondary. Things could be a lot different if we got pressure on the quarterback or made tackles that we missed before plays got into the secondary. It is a total team effort and there were problems in every area, not just one.

McCollum on North Texas
It is another challenge for our offense. They have a very solid defense and they are well coaches. I have all of the respect in the world for their staff. I have coached with some of them at different places, so I know they will be well prepared on Saturday. Their defense is particularly good. They have turned in some good defensive performances against teams like Oklahoma and Texas Tech. We have a great challenge in front of us. It will be even tougher because it's on the road.

This game is important because it's our next opportunity to move closer to our goals. Our situation defensively is that we have to be as good as we can be. Our players want to be good. We'll get back to work this week and have a strong week of practice. This team has a tremendous work ethic and we all know that how you practice is how you play.


WR Tyrone Calico
On preparing for last Saturday's game: "I was motivated a lot more, went into the game with a different frame of mind. I worked a lot more. I really didn't fell I was ready for the man-to-man coverage at Lafayette. We went over the film and corrected my mistakes. It really took me back to square one and making sure I do all the little things right, getting off the line against man-to-man press coverage."

On working each week at practice: "It's hard not to get better each week working with Coach Fedora. He's always pushing you in practice and I'm always doing this drill and that drill. I'll do the same routine this week and get ready for North Texas."

On QB Wes Counts: "Wes was just clicking Saturday. He was like a machine that had just had the oil changed. We were scoring whenever we wanted and at will. He is really the nucleus of the offense and the rest of us are just electrons floating around him. He puts in a lot of hours watching film, and however he practices, that's how we're going to play that week."

LB Michael Woods
On the Idaho offense in the second half: "It was really stuff we were doing. We weren't getting jams on receivers and were letting them get down into the middle of the field. We were chasing the ball well when they tried to run, but we weren't jamming the receivers. They were also adjusting the routes, and that was a big key."

"The Idaho offense was real good, and the quarterback played well in the second half. He was checking to a different offense, different routes. We needed to make some big plays and get turnovers for our offense. The interception was a big key to our victory."

On this week's defensive game plan: "We have to know our assignments and execute them to make things right. Otherwise, big things can happen like the second half with Idaho. We have to come out with some confidence this week. Some guy's heads are down. They'll be gunning for us and trying to mess up our record. We know we can do better. We just have to come out and prove it."

QB Wes Counts
On playing in the offense: "I have to stay within my capabilities and don't force the issue. Know that a two-yard route can turn into an eight-yard gain and maybe a first down. I have to know that sooner or later things are going to happen for us and that we have enough speed to outrun some people."

"I'm learning more and more than we have weapons and I don't have to do so much, just stay within the system. Don't be impatient about the big plays and take the dump-offs. My sophomore year I didn't understand the offense and really didn't like it, but last year and understood it more."

"One things that's really helped is Coach Fedora and I sit down on Thursday's and talk about things we like and things we see. I know what he's thinking and he knows what I'm thinking and I understand what he wants."

On WR Tyrone Calico: "He made some big plays and they were nothing fancy. He caught a 10-yard route and turned it into 60 yards. He's a big target who will go up and get the ball over a smaller corner. He has terrific athletic ability and the ability to make people miss."

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