Michigan State vs. Idaho
Sept. 2, 2006
Michigan State Head Coach John L. Smith:
"It's a good win to have under our belts, a good first game. The guys played hard, they didn't execute as well as we would have liked at times, but they did really well at times. When we had to run at the end to take it down and score, we did. It was a pretty clean operation throughout the day. It's the first time I've ever held Erickson and his team to 17 in my life, so that's a good thing. They ran the ball on us more than I would have liked to see. We have to work on that. Up front, they deserve a lot of credit. They play hard. I would have liked to see us work the ball a little better. I think our offensive staff is going to take a look at this and learn a lot from it. Overall, our kids are good kids and we'll get moving on and see if we can't come in tomorrow and continue to improve."
About not kicking a field goal in fourth quarter on fourth down with 24-10 lead:
"The reason that we did, we thought about kicking it at that point, but we practice a certain play, a temporal play. We came out and we thought we'd hang onto it. We thought we could run it."
About the play of Otis Wiley:
"Otis played his tail off. Otis is a good football player. He kept people in line from the standpoint of getting aligned and not making a bunch of mistakes and making Idaho earn its way down the field. You're not going to hold their offense scoreless so it was good from that standpoint."
About the play of the kickers (2-for-3 in field goal attempts) during the game:
"Yes, I have confidence in them. They played well."
About the play of Ervin Baldwin and Nehemiah Warrick:
"Baldwin played well. They ran the ball a lot better than expected so I was a little bit disappointed in that. Nehemiah played pretty well. He had a lot of big hits and did some good things. He needs to wrap up a little bit better."
About the play of quarterback Drew Stanton:
"There may have been a pass that was a little high or a little low, but everyone expects Drew to be 100 percent. Drew did some great things today. He's a playmaker. There were probably five plays where he had to run around and he came up with big plays. He's a great kid to have on our side."
Idaho Head Coach Dennis Erickson
"I thought we played well at times. My guys came out with the thoughts in their mind that we could win this football game. There isn't a football game you can go into that you can't win. We played hard enough to win. We made some mistakes that were critical. Obviously the interception in the second quarter was a critical mistake, and they turned it into a touchdown. All in all, I thought our guys played really well on both sides of the football."
On his team's overall performance...
"Michigan State is very physical, particularly offensively, and they ran the football pretty well. And for us, I thought we ran the football extremely well. We went in with the mindset that we were going to run the football, and we ran the football with great success against a darn good Big Ten football team. We've got to continue to do that so we can take some pressure off our quarterback, and we know what our strengths are. But the bottom line is we lost the football game. There's no such thing in my life as a moral victory. I don't believe in them, and neither does this team. We played well, we did some good things, and we'll make some corrections for next week."
On what this game means to the program...
"It does a lot of positive things. When you go into a place like this, a hard place to play in the Big Ten against an outstanding football team, and play well, you start believing in yourself."
Michigan State Player Quotes
David Herron Jr., LB, Sr.
On the defense...
"We just need to stop the run better, and we need to take it upon ourselves to improve on that. That wasn't our best showing, we can be better than what we showed today. We have to give Idaho credit though - they ran the ball hard."
On the game...
"Bottom line was we knew that Idaho was going to be tough and we did what we needed to do to win the game. No matter how you do it, you've got to put up wins on gameday."
On the first game...
"It felt good to get out there and hit new people. You get sick of hitting your teammates every day. We just have to take these games one at a time and we are going to have a good season."
Otis Wiley, S, So.
On his contributions...
"First things first, we just need to come out and work hard. My teammates came out and worked hard and I did my part, and that felt good for everyone. I know I made my share of mistakes but I just have to watch films, adjust, and come out hard against Eastern Michigan."
"They had a tough run game and they really came after us. We knew coming into the game that they were going to be a difficult opponent."
Drew Stanton, QB, Sr.
On the game...
"First of all, our goal every week is to come out and win the game and we accomplished that. Offensively we need to work on our drives. We can't go three-and-out, especially against an offense that is going to control the ball like that. We need to help our defense and keep their offense off the field."
On the gameplan...
"We weren't sure what to expect from them defensively. We thought that they couldn't match up with us when we were in four or five-wide sets, so we stuck with that most of the game. They seemed much more disciplined than what we had seen on film in the past, and they threw a lot of different looks at us."
Clifton Ryan DT (SR):
"First of all, from a team standpoint we did some good things, and we did some things that we are not so proud of. We have to get in there and review the film tomorrow, look back and see what we can improve on."
On missing the goal-line tackle:
"That's something I have to improve on, when I get tired I have to bring my feet on tackles."
On his personal performance:
"I give my self an average performance. I just have to keep getting better every week. I really have to improve my pass rush to take the heat off of the secondary."
Ogemdi Nwagbuo DT (JR):
"The game speed was much faster than at the junior college level so I was trying to adjust as the game went on. As a defense, we didn't play up to the level that we thought we would. We have a lot of room for improvement and I don't think that we put our best foot forward in this game.
On Clifton Ryan attracting attention:
"Cliff attracted a lot of attention and freed me up on a couple of plays. As for the rest of us, we are just trying to learn as we go on."
Kyle Cook C (SR):
"We obviously made some mistakes on the offensive line, we have to correct those. It was the first game though and we have five new guys on the line. We made some mistakes and we are glad we pulled out a win. Idaho is a good team."
On his first game at the center position:
"I am very comfortable at the center position and glad I moved over. I think we are comfortable as a line, we just had to get those first-game jitters out."
Demond Williams, Sr,. CB
On the play of the defensive backfield
"I think we played well, despite the touchdown, that I had good coverage on. I've just got to make that play. Other than that, I think we played pretty good."
"We came in ready to fly around and do we need to do to help the defense. That's what we tried to do - step up today."
"We've got to be better next week. All we have to worry about now is next week, so we've just got to concentrate on Eastern Michigan."
Brandon Fields, Sr., P
"Other than the very last punt that got away from me a bit, we had good coverage on the other ones. I was glad I was able to help out the team."
On his punt inside the 10-yard line that was called back due to a penalty
"That has been something I have been working on - getting the ball inside the 20. I had two balls that were deep, one at the 21 and the other in the endzone. It is something I'm aiming for, I've just got to shorten my sights a bit and I'll get it right."