Press Conference - 9/11/00 - Pre-San Diego State
"I think San Diego State is very comparable with Utah, Fresno State and those kinds of teams in their conference. We've played (San Diego State) twice in the last three years. In 1998, we were up 28-0 at the half on them, but they dominated us in the second half. Over here (in 1997), they were up 21-0 before we started to come back and turned things around on them. They have a lot of good players, and they are going to be hungry for a win.
On Aztec running back Larry Ned: "Larry Ned is a big and strong running back. A couple of years ago, he was the most powerful big back we played against all season. He does a lot of things well, but he just punishes you when he runs the ball up the middle.
On Aztec defensive lineman Jerome Haywood: "Haywood is so short (5-foot-9), but that is one of the things that makes it so hard to block him. He was an excellent wrestler in high school, and he is a short, but very compact and athletic player. He is so hard to block because there is really not a lot there to block on him. Some guys are very tall, and they have a lot of surface to get your pads on to block them. With him, there is not much to get your pads on. He is a tenacious player, too. In the second half of our game against them (in 1998), we didn't block him much at all. He is still a fine player as he was then. He creates a mismatch for a lot of people.
On Arizona's running game: "So far, we haven't been very good in a lot of situations. But I think that we are better this year than we were at this point last year. We have played two very good defenses that were very hard to run the ball on. We have a chance to have a decent running game, and hopefully we can develop that into a good running game. This week, we are going to mix-and-match some of our offensive linemen, as well as our running backs. So far, it has been mostly (Larry) Croom and (Leo) Mills, but we are going to use Clarence Farmer more this week. He gives us another dimension because he is so big and strong, and just as fast.
On Arizona punter Chris Palic: "This summer, I told Chris that to earn be more effective and earn a scholarship, he was going to have to improve his sky punting. Last year, the major difference between us and our opponents in a couple of games was that we were kicking the ball into the endzone (for a touchback), and they were kicking it to the 4 yard-line. (Palic) can go to the left or the right, so it makes it hard for teams to rush him from straight up the middle. He's made a real contribution this year because he has punted the ball a lot of times - too many times - but sometimes you have to punt too many times. He's been terrific so far.
On Arizona quarterback Ortege Jenkins: "I have a lot of respect for his stick-to-it-iveness last weekend. He was getting assaulted, and he kept getting up off the ground and kept his head up. He looked at the guys in the huddle and kept trying to find the receivers downfield.
"I hope this game is going to give us some opportunities to people who haven't played much. We need to create more depth on our offensive line, especially. Some years you need it, others you don't. In 1998, we didn't need it because we didn't have a starter miss a game. This year is not going to be the same way."
Notes... Tomey said starting LG Steven Grace will be out 3-4 weeks with a left shoulder injury. He will be evaulated further at that point... WR Brad Brennan is also not expected to play against San Diego State because of hamstring and back injury... Starting RG Marques McFadden is questionable for the San Diego State game because of an ankle injury.