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Tulane Head Coach Bob Toledo also held his weekly media gathering today, and below are his remarks relative to BYU (courtesy Tulane's Athletics web site):
"As far as BYU, we all know they beat Oklahoma 14-13 and they are now ninth in the nation. I've played BYU several times. They're an older, much more mature football team than anybody in the country. They've got guys going on 2-year missions and they come back. I would venture to say that I heard that there's like forty-something guys that are married on that football team and I know they have kids too. So, they're mature guys who are responsible people too. But they're an experienced football team because of the Mormon Faith they have to do the 2-year mission as I mentioned, they come back...I know one guy went away as a quarterback and when he came back he was a nose tackle. They grow and mature.
They have a great quarterback Max Hall. He's a great quarterback. I remember him when he was at Arizona State. He's really good. Dennis Pitta. He's a California guy. As a matter of fact, my house in California - I could hit a wedge and hit his house. He's a teammate of Casey Blum - one of our players. He's one of the best tight ends in the Country...I think he had about 7 catches last week.
They're really good on defense. They're very physical. Again, (Jan) Jorgensen I think is the all-time sack leader in the Mountain West Conference, so he's a heck of player. So, I guess what I'm saying is we have our work cut out for us. It's going to be a very difficult football game. What I told our football team is I don't care about BYU. I care about us. I want us to get better. That's a John Wooden thing right there. I know John Wooden - sat close to him many times...his big thing was don't worry about the opponent, worry about yourselves. And that's what we need to do. We need to get better. And that's my theme this week we need to get better. We went our yesterday in full pads because we had one extra day...so we treated yesterday like a Tuesday, which is a very physical day. We scrimmaged. We scrimmaged at the kicking game and it showed that we need more work on it obviously.
On preparing Tulane for BYU's physical play and toughness:
We can probably get them (BYU) here on Bourbon Street Thursday night and maybe that will help us a little bit - get the flu bug.
They are what they are. I've played them many times and they are a mature football team...they don't make a lot of mistakes. Mark Weber - just a little footnote - is their line coach - he was my offensive line coach with UCLA and I've talked to him...they're an excellent football team. They're big, they're strong, they're physical, they're athletic, they don't make a lot of mistakes. They're well coached and they'll be one of the best teams in that Mountain West Conference, if not, the best team this year.
On if he notices more of an emergence out of the Mountain West Conference:
I was a part of that conference. We beat Utah when I was at New Mexico and they had a lot of great football players. And then we went down and played BYU there and we had more yards against them than anyone had that whole year, but we still lost the football game. The point is there are some teams in that league that can play with anybody.
On what a win against a high-ranked team like BYU would do for Tulane's football program:
That's obvious. It would show that there's been great improvement and I don't know if we're ready to take that step yet. I want to win our conference first. We have some non-league teams that are really good. We have these guys and then we have to go play those guys in Baton Rouge and they're pretty good. Anything can happen when you tee it up. Anything can happen when you tee it up. And that's what my players are going to believe...that hey, once we kick it off...if we make less mistakes than them and we play with great emotion and intensity there's always a chance. And that's what we're going to do...we're going to give it our best shot.
On how he thinks BYU will prepare for a team like Tulane, who may not be as high on their radar...since they are playing Florida State next week:
Bronco (Mendenhall) will get his team to play. Again, they're not a young inexperienced football team...they are a mature experienced football team and they know what it takes. They are on a mission right now and having started with a great win...they know that they could quite possibly run the table and be like Utah was a year ago.