Aug. 31, 2004
Holder and quarterback Mike Reilly leaving the team... "Mike Reilly decided to leave the football team. He will transfer at the end of the semester. He wanted a better chance to play. He is a great kid and we love him. We wish him the best. Alex Brink has worked as the holder in the spring and all fall. Kyle Basler will work as the backup." The kicking game... "Right now we are still in a little bit of a battle. Loren Langley might have a little bit of an edge, especially on short field goals and extra points. He has great height on his kicks. He gets the ball up quickly. It's a great situation to have. We might wait and see how they warm up Friday. Graham Siderius will kick off. He is also the backup punter. When Graham kicks off, he is also another tackler." New Mexico's defense... "They are a lot like we are. They have a great linebacker back (Nick Speegle). They lost something like seven of their top eight defensive linemen, and we lost a lot of our guys up front. They have two starting corners back. I don't think they are going to change their scheme a whole lot. It's an excellent scheme and very difficult to run against. They mix their linebackers, bring them in and twist them. The only thing good about opening with them is we get a couple of extra days to prepare our offense to pick up their blitzes and schemes." Players ready to play somebody else... "Our kids psychologically want to play against somebody else. We have had 41 practices, if you count spring, where we have been going against each other. Whether they are ready to play somebody else, I'm not sure. I'm ready to go and see them play somebody else, I know that." Cutting down on penalties... "They are really going to be sticky about celebration penalties. Any kind of a pose or fraternity sign is going to get flagged. We put striped shirts on our managers and had our kids hand the ball to them after the play. I've been the highest-paid head linesmen in the country. I stand on the sideline and make sure guys are on the line. Those are simple things we want to eliminate, penalties before the snap and after the whistle." Officials announcing the offending player's number on penalties in 2004... "They do it in every other sport. I think it's fine. There is a difference of opinion. You want the rules in college football to stay the same and officials in Division III don't have microphones to announce those numbers. But at least I know that the official is sure who jumped offside because they have to come up with a number." Gambling nature of New Mexico's defense... "It's a big play defense both ways. They will make big plays and we were able to make some big plays last year. It's similar to our defense. It will be exciting." On true freshman defensive tackle Ropati Pitoitua making his first start... "I would assume that they will try to run right at him. I think they will test the line to see how well we can defend the run. They do a great job with play action passes and they are a great screen team. They run a hundred different screens." Linebacker Steve Dildine... "Dildine and Pat Bennett will probably share time at that linebacker position. He has some potential. He has great speed. He can run and makes plays. I expect him to probably be offsides on a blitz and I expect him to miss a tackle or two, but he is a unique young man. He is a former BMX bike racer, he is a little bit crazy, and that's what it takes to be a good linebacker. He is the guy that hit Allen Thompson on the play in practice and sent him into Never Never Land. He can deliver a punch."