CW met with the media yesterday evening for a quick Q&A before the Washington State game, and here’s what he said.
* Freshman Ben Turk won the competition this week and kept the punting job.
“I think the incumbent will stay. #35 (Turk) kicked significantly better than #43 (Eric Maust). He’ll be the guy. When the head coach comes out and tells the media that it’s going to be an open competiton this week, and then he goes out as a freshman after having a bad day at the office and clearly out kicks the guy, I think he handled it pretty well.”
Here’s hoping the climate controlled settings of the Alamodome will get a little confidence back in the freshman punter. (Actually, here’s hoping the offense doesn’t give him a lot of opportunities.)
* We will not be talking about Jimmy Clausen’s professional prospects until December. So any talk about the NFL will have to wait.
“We’re not even going to address the subject until the first week in December. We’ve already addressed the fact that we’re not going to address it. So we’re just worrying about the next five games, starting with Washington State. First off, let’s see how we play. But we’ll revisit it then.”
Good approach. I think the last thing this team needs are distractions, and the NFL question would inevitably become a bigger distraction as the weeks go by.
* Ditto for Golden Tate, although Weis mentioned that Tate has baseball as an option as well.
“Golden has another set of encyclopedias, because we’ve got baseball to deal with, too. Golden and I had a long talk in the summer before the season. We went over football, baseball, this year, next year, we covered a lot of territory. And we also decided we would revisit it in the first week in December, after the season had played out.”
Tate hit .329 last season, with 15 doubles and a .399 OBP. Not elite numbers, but obviously you’ve got to like his athleticism, and he was already drafted in the 42nd round by the Rockies. I don’t think this will be that big of an option for Golden -- nothing like Jake Locker or Jeff Samardzija -- but it’s still a good problem to have.
* Injuries seem to be a worry for Weis, although you can almost gather from his comments that he thinks this one should be won even without a bulk of his starters, including semi-starter Darrin Walls and running back Armando Allen.
“I didn’t know if Darrin Walls was going to make it, because he’s been sick, but he practiced today. We got some guys with bumps and bruises that I’ll go right until game time to decide whether I’m going to do something with them or not. I want to do everything I can to win this game. At the same time, if there are some players on the cusp of being able to go or not being able to go, and I think a week would do them good, then I’ll give them a week.”
Here’s what Weis had to say on Armando’s outlook for Saturday.
“He’s one of those guys who could play in the game or not play in the game and I’ll just wait and see how it goes. I’d like to think Armando could be full-speed for a significant amount of time. for me to pull the trigger and say yes on Saturday, we’re going to have to continue to make progress.”