Published Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 | 9:07 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 | 9:20 p.m.
The loss to TCU on Saturday was most definitely our most physically and mentally challenging game. Those guys, their coordinators threw a lot of different looks at us. I know our offense, they said they saw looks they haven't seen before. With their offense, they were quick-snapping and really taking a good look at what we were doing on defense and made us think a little too much, actually. They made us kind of robotic.
Younger guys and new guys, when they're thrown in the fire like that, they really need time to understand what they're doing, and when they're quick-snapping, they did a lot of different things that I guess just really really challenged us. I know that it was a big challenge for the offense being that TCU's the best defense in the conference. They may have the best defense right now in the country. They have a lot of great athletes.
I never felt like everyone just gave up. I think what I learned mainly was how big of a role special teams can play. Their offense worked with a short field pretty much the entire game, and when it seemed like we could catch a break, we couldn't catch a break. My hat goes off to TCU. I think those guys really want it and really have their heads on straight. They really want a chance to get to the BCS and I think they can do it.
On Omar Clayton's injury ...
As far as Omar goes, he's been a leader every game, and of course it's gonna hurt without him. But I actually believe his dedication to this team is so sincere that he still may play at some point this season. There's a lot of quarterbacks that have knee problems and they still play. Taking nothing away from Mike Clausen, becasuse he also showed he could do a good job. I guess TCU wasn't the game to show that, but BYU was. He scored and made some things happen. I think if Omar doesn't play, Mike Clausen will be fine. I don't think that people will really freak out because they understand that Mike is a good quarterback as well. I think that Omar will be all right.
Moving on now ...
At this point in the season, we're trying to get everyone on the same page as far as buying in.
Right now, a game like New Mexico creates a decision-making time. As everyone knows, eligibility for a bowl game is six wins and it's very possible we still could do it, it's just getting everyone on board and taking advantage of that opportunity. The key is to make everyone understand we can do it and show what we're capable of. And like I said earlier, we're still working on getting that confidence back, because it's been a long season.
We won at Arizona State and against Iowa State, and some guys almost probably forgot about the good that we've done because we've had a rough trail of games back-to-back. I think that guys need to look back, take a look back and see that we can do this. They really need to understand that just because you blow an assignment or a play or the coach is getting on you or yelling at you doesn't mean you're not a good player.
Just small aspects like that can be the difference. Speaking about New Mexico, Wyoming and San Diego State, those guys, they're all in the same position that we are. If TCU or Utah gets accepted to a BCS game, there's gonna be a bowl spot, and one of four teams is gonna have a chance, so it's just how bad do we want it and how bad do we want to send the seniors out by making it a special year for them? And how bad to the seniors and veterans want it, as well?
We need to push everybody else and take a seriousness and take passion to our practices this week and just echo it and let it be contagious this week during practice. That makes all the difference. The thing about New Mexico is that it's here at home, and we're in a pretty good position if you ask me.
The thing about the TCU game is you learn how to beat somebody when you get beat like that. When something happens like that ... They gave us a lesson. They went out there and beat us in every phase of the game. There's a lot of lessons to be learned from that.
Keeping our fingers crossed, this is Jason Beauchamp.