Head Coach Rickey Bustle & Offensive Coordinator Kevin Fouquier talk about last weeks loss to UTEP, and the prospects for the FAU game.

Coach Bustle spoke first.

Thank y'all for being here.

Obviously, it wasn't as much fun this week. Our plan was to keep the ball away from UTIP, we did not do that well. They threw some deep balls one-on-one, and their one was better than our one.

What Michael Desormeaux is dealing with is some meniscus in his knee. It won't clear up until after the season.

Brad McGuire could not play because we found out Friday that he had strained a hamstring. We didn't have a plan to get Chris Masson ready.

Our kids played hard, and they fought hard, they just didn't get it done. I thought the offense played better the second half.

We have to get ready to play this week. Our goals did not end in a loss to UTEP. FAU is playing better now than they have been, as is everyone.

We had a lot of people banged up, we had 11 starters who didn't practice last night. We had a couple of linebackers who are questionable.

Tyrell Fenroy bruised his shoulder, he hurt his MCL on Wednesday, but he was able to run well. He should be ready to play.

We're going to try to get Jason Chery downfield more.

People asked about the confidence of our players, there's no problem. They played hard. The defense did not play the way we wanted, but they played hard.

Will we run the 'I' against FAU?

Yeah. But when you change your people, they change theirs.

UTEP gave us a couple of looks we didn't recognize. We didn't adjust early. They were going from a double eagle to a 4 man front, to an 8 man.

Our deep snapper, Hayes Scott, seems to have a trouble to getting up. Is he hurt?

No, he's not always where you want him, but that happens all the time.

Their line did a good job of protecting their quarterback.

They did a good job. We got some pressure to him because we brought in some linebackers. But they picked them up, too.

We'll get the kids well, and get after FAU.

Defensive Coordinator Coach Kevin Fouquier spoke next.

In the UTEP game, Chris Richard was hit really hard. His helmet, I'm telling you, it was totally twisted. Our equipment people said they have never seen anything like it. It was lucky he wasn't seriously injured.

He went down on that play. Jez Washington went down with turf toe. We went with Kyron Benoit, and the other freshmen, Devon Lewis-Buchanan. We had to go with what we had. It is what it is, we had to go out and play.

UTEP was running three man routes, they were keeping 6 or 7. So if you bring 5 or 6, you can get burned.

UTEP's #2 Kris Adams was the 200m champion for Texas. #6 Jeff Moturi was pretty good, too. The quarterback, if you watch him, he doesn't step into his throws, he steps back. So it's hard to catch him.

Most of the quarterbacks we've been playing have been able to adjust our defense. The UTEP quarterback could make what amounted to a 60-70 yard throw across the field, and put us us in a bind.

Mike Price said this is one of the better quarterbacks he's had, and at Washington State he had Drew Bledsoe & Ryan Leaf.

The defense played hard. I think it was the least amount of loafs we've had, 10. We also made one of our goals, a turnover for a score. It was close, the kids played hard, but it is what it is.

Our kids fight you, they will fight you. In the prayer after they saw Caleb Rubin, the UTEP players were saying, "Look at how small he is!"

We're still missing linebackers. Grant Fleming? I'm missing him every day. Last year, he could run with anyone. Look at him against the kid from Kansas State, we never had to go to a nickel back. Now we have to go to nickel or dime.

We've lost a lot of guys. Last night we had our own little blackout, we had a lot of kids in black shirts. But we'll figure out something.

We had a good practice last night. The team knows we're sitting in first place, we're in a good position. It was high spirited last night.

FAU is playing better right now. Their offensive line is pretty good, but it's not like what we just saw.

FAU's running back Charles Pierre is back, he's running hard. Rusty Smith at quarterback has been throwing well, their wide receiver Cortez Gent is their go-to guy. Their tight end got hurt before the season, but they're not bad.

On defense, their defensive tackle Jervonte Jackson is a wall, and their All-American linebacker Daniel Joseph is playing well.

It's gonna be fun. We'll be all right.

The UTEP quarterback said it's easy to hit them when they're that wide open.

We had two blown coverages. They weren't assignment errors, but execution errors. But as far as someone wide open, no. Again, it's technique, but as far as knowing where they're going, they're not making assignment busts. You roll the dice, blitz or coverage. Sometimes we were OK, sometimes we weren't.

Can we jam at the line against FAU?

You would hope that Scooter Rogers & Justin Branden could do that, but athletically, we can't always.

Orkeys Auriene is about 5' 9", 170 lbs, but he thinks he's 205 lbs. He's a little chihuahua. But if you miss on that jam with a wide receiver, it leaves your safety in trouble.

The FAU quarterback had good numbers last year. They're -11 turnovers right now.

Their tailback has been stripped of the ball. He threw a couple of interceptions, and against ULM he just slipped and threw it right to the safety. That was one of their turnovers.

FAU also keeps that tight end in there, but bring him out wide. Then they're in an I-back. They run different things.

Are there limits on the traveling squad?

The Sun Belt Conference says you can bring 67. We won't have any problem meeting that. You usually bring 32 on defense, we're bringing 27.

When I was at FIU, after the fight at Miami we had 18 kids suspended, most were on defense. We played 'Bama the week after, and we could have taken a 15-passenger minivan on defense. Literally. We had 15 guys there. We were blitzing every snap.

We were close at the half, but Alabama came back.

What about the turnover failure of the fair catch call in the game?

It just got away from them. But they don't get down, these guys are a really good group, they stay excited, they keep focused.

Lanier Coleman has been a really good leader, he came over from offense.

After USM, we weren't quite as good up front as I thought we would be. So we had to go to slant packages, it helps them out a lot.

It seems we're having problems with fair catches this year.

Orkeys Auriene is one of our better return people. He almost returned one here at home. He's probably our biggest threat. After that, there's not a whole lot left.

Lance Kelley did well in the Spring.

Last year with a minute to go against FAU, we let them score. What will we do this year?

I don't know if we LET them score... [laughter]. We were trying to play a little defense.

With 54 seconds we went to 3 down for 2 or 3 snaps, then we went 4 down. We play a lot of cover 4, but it leaves center field open. They threw to the center of the field.

Down in the red zone, we're calling it a little different. You learn each game, we learn, the kids learn. I think if we bring Scooter Rogers again, he kills the guy. He can't believe he missed the kid.

Is FAU primarily a run or a pass team?

Pretty balanced. Coach Schnellenburger is old school, he's tough.

You talked about Orkeys, and the other guys who are small. They were here before you got here. From a recruiting standpoint, what are we looking for? Next year, are we looking a multiple fronts?

We're looking for 2 corners, and big corners, no one less than 5' 11" or 6', maybe a safety.

At linebacker we're looking for two. I'm very pleased with the young guys we have. We moved Matt Desormeaux over, he's still learning the position. He played linebacker in high school, but it's different in college.

We're not looking for a true Mike linebacker, we're looking for some Sam & Will, people who can run.

We're looking for two inside line guys, maybe one or two junior college players.

People get caught up in the 4 & 5 star rankings, the fans, the writers, and even the coaches. I'm looking for kids who fit our program. Derrick Dean was 1 or 2 stars, and look at him.

Yes, but he had 18 sacks as a senior.

Yes And you look at his highlight, he was all over the field.

We looked at one kid who was 4 or 5 stars, big kid, he didn't make any plays. Then we look at somebody who's only 6' 1", he's making plays.

Back in the day, they had Blue Chip players. I remember a kid who wasn't even on the radar, one influential person says he's a good player, suddenly he's a blue chipper.

Can he play, can he fit your program? That's my philosophy.

Are you going to keep Matt Desormeaux on defense next year?

Yeah. He's gonna be fine. He's got OK speed, he's not as fast as Kyron Benoit or Richard Brooks, but he's good.