From Hawaii to Boise: Q&A with McElwain

Coach Jim McElwain admits the Rams made a few mistakes against Hawaii Saturday night today at the weekly press conference. However, he believes the team is starting to see tangible results from their effort, and the team should feel good about the win at Hawaii.
Coach Jim McElwain admits the Rams made a few mistakes against Hawaii Saturday night today at the weekly press conference. However, he believes the team is starting to see tangible results from their effort, and the team should feel good about the win at Hawaii.

The Rams won two straight road games for the first time under Coach Jim McElwain’s tenure. Because of this, Monday’s weekly press conference was a lively affair. Linebacker Max Morgan and wide receiver Charles Lovett joined McElwain; take a look at what they thought about Hawaii and what they expect this week from Boise State.

Q: Talk about the second half against Hawaii; what happened?

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Mac: They [Hawaii] seemed to get stronger as the game went on, that’s a credit to them. This was the first real game we lost in special teams. All that being said, this was the first time we figured out how to win those kind of games, and that’s a positive.

Q: What can you take away from the Hawaii game?

Mac: We have to feel good about the win. We won ugly; I’m not sure you could say that around here for a while, and we should feel good about that. Sometimes it’s not going to be perfect, but you have to figure out a way to finish it, and we did. I feel really good about that.

Q: Is the offense of the past three games the offense that you want?

Mac: In a perfect world, I want to be balanced. I don’t want a team to say ‘if we take away the run, we got ‘em; if we take away the pass, we got ‘em.’ I believe in balance, call me crazy. When you look at those top programs, offensively they are pretty balanced, they can run it — they can pass it.

Q: How are you going to approach Boise State?

Mac: If you were just to look at it, they’ve beaten us 638-4, it’s not even close. Let’s face the facts, it was that bad. Do we show up? Based on history, we don’t belong on the field with these guys, so let’s talk about the next opponent. But this isn’t the same team that’s showed up the past two years; they care about each other. I’m not saying we are going to go out and win the game, it has nothing to do with the opponent, it has to do with what we can control and that’s us. Are we going to be scared? That’s the question.

Q: What does the game against Boise mean to you, coming at such a critical time?

Morgan: It’s a great feeling, and it’s a credit to everyone in the organization to give us an opportunity to be this late in the season with all of our conference goals ahead of us. The last couple years we got pushed around by Boise, so we know what to expect, we are going to be a lot more ready. Experience is the best teacher.

Lovett: It’s something I’ve never seen around here, it’s huge for us. It’s a game that really matters, it’ll tell us where we are going to sit in the conference. We hope to fill up Hughes Stadium for this important game. We are ready for this moment.

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Q: Have you been paying attention to the Bowl game predictions?

Morgan: Not so much the predictions, we know we have to get 3 of the next 5, so that’s what we are focused on. Doing what we can do to win a bowl game as well as playing in the conference championship.

Q: Are you impressed that you were able to hold out for the win in Hawaii?

Lovett: We won the game, that’s really all that matters, that’s all we are trying to do the whole week. We came out sluggish in the second half, but we held up enough to win the game.

Q: Do you pull on your performance at Alabama for this game?

Lovett: We are at home, and they are not Alabama. But we can’t take these boys lightly, they are real disciplined. The last couple years Boise has been comin’ and putting a good little spanking on us, but I don’t think that’s going to phase us. We are on a roll right now; nobody can stop us but us.

Football Beat Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at sports@collegian.com. Follow her on Twitter @c_rasta5.