Colorado State football is coming off of a bye week and preparing to face New Mexico. Head coach Jim McElwain, cornerback Bernard Blake and receiver Charles Lovett answered questions from the media at Monday’s press conference about the upcoming game and more.
Question: How did you make use of the bye week?
McElwain: I thought we were able to get a lot of good things done. Got some nicks and bruises handled … I thought it was really good from a standpoint of Garrett (Grayson) was able to get his body healed a little bit. Rashard Higgins practiced and was out there in pads. That was comforting.
Blake: Any time you get extra time to prepare for an opponent, especially one with as much talent and stuff scheme-wise as New Mexico does, it can only benefit you.
Question: What stands out about New Mexico to you on film?
McElwain: This is a team that in the fourth quarter has been in every single ballgame with a chance to win.
Lovett: It’s the biggest game of the year for us. Going into this week, we have got to prepare like it’s the Super Bowl. New Mexico’s a great team so we can’t take them lightly.
Question: How do you handle their pistol offense?
McElwain: Number one: You have go to stop the dive. When those guys crease that thing right up the middle and there is not a middle field safety or whatever it is and then they are running faster than you are to the end zone. You have got to stop the first option first before you can take the second and third away
Question: How exciting is it to see Rashard Higgins named a Biletnikoff semifinalist?
McElwain: That happens when you’re winning. Well deserved. His numbers probably prove that he should be in that company … he’s just doing his job and the expectation is to go make plays. That’s something I love about his confidence. He’s a guy that believes that is what he should do.
Question: How nice is it for the seniors to be able to put together such a strong final season?
McElwain: These seniors have been through a lot in this program … I think it shows their perseverance and their will to invest in themselves and invest in the University. I’m excited for them to go out on a happy note.
Blake: It’s a huge blessing. At times, it’s still surreal. It’s kind of hard to put it into words, but you can see it on the guy’s faces … guy’s are taking full advantage of this because we know where we have been. We know how that feels, and we want to see how it feels to go out on top.
Lovett: [Senior Day] is going to be kind of emotional, for me. My last game at Hughes Stadium. My family is going to be there from Florida – it’s going to be kind of emotional but I can’t let that dictate the way I play or my focus.
Question: How important has the team’s relationship with Jack Miller been?
McElwain: One of the most important things we learn in life is how fortunate we are with what we have. Anytime you have the opportunity to give back a little bit, it means so much.
Blake: He’s pretty much my hero … He just epitomizes the word “soldier.” A lot of our success this year is credit to Jack Miller, and I am not the only one who feels that way … When you know a situation like Jack’s, it makes you realize the opportunities and blessings you have with your everyday life, not only on the field but off the field, it allows you to take full advantage of every opportunity as if it’s your last.
Collegian Sports Reporter Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @emccarthy22.