Player and Coach Quotes – USU vs Nevada 11/26/2011

<strong>Utah State head coach Gary Andersen</strong>

“It’s a great day to be an Aggie; that’s all I can tell you. That was an unbelievable performance by a group of kids who just kept on fighting. All the credit goes to them. When their backs were up against a wall they turn around a make a play. At the end of the day, somebody is going to make some plays on the offensive and defensive lines that will give us a chance. At the end, Adam (Kennedy) made a terrific play and found a way to get a first down.””What a great way to send out these seniors. They deserve everything they’re getting. They’ve been through some ups and downs, good times and bad times, but nothing fazes them and that’s a great feeling as a coach, to know that the team is going to continue to fight, and fight the way they know. They’re going to fight themselves. They’re going to get themselves ready to play. They’re going to get themselves ready to face adversity, to step up and not be fazed. It’s a tremendous feeling. They’re obviously a great football team, and they continue to show that week after week.””To beat a team like that is a credit to the kids. I couldn’t be more happy. That’s what we all came here to do, to get into a position like this, an opportunity to take the next step as a program. These seniors started out this in the mind set to leave a legacy, and there’s no doubt they’ve left that legacy. They’ve done things that haven’t happened in a long time around here. They’ve left their legacy and I’m happy for them. It’s a privilege and an honor to be their coach.” TRICK PLAY AT END OF 3RD”I was talking to one of the corners at that point when I heard the timeout get called instead of the quarter. Obviously we tried to get to the quarter, but called a timeout and it worked out in the end. Stanley (Morrison) has been great in his career. I don’t know his passing percentages, but they’re pretty good. He went for the trick play, and it worked. We needed something, and he hit that screen play for the touchdown to put us back into the lead. It was executed well even though when Turbin’s arms went up he had a look of panic on his face. He wrapped his fingers around that thing and secured it. It was a tremendous play and was well-executed.”TIMING OF THE TURNOVER”Tremendous play. They’re going to go for it; they’ve got to make a play. Players make plays, players win games. We were able to make one more play than they were.”ON THE MATURITY OF THE TEAM”There’s so much to talk about it’s hard to put it into just a few words. The kids are just prepared. The ups and downs and the way we handled things earlier, those are the things you worry about when you’re trying to create a winning atmosphere. The bad things are going to happen, and it doesn’t matter. I don’t see them fazed either way. You just keep playing. That, from a maturity standpoint, is unbelievable. The effort, the consistent play, haven’t always been there, but we’ve been able to do it at crucial times. At this point, they kind of expect to be able to make those plays. I’ve never been involved in so many close games in my career, not even close. To sit back and watch that happen and see these victories is awesome.”ON BEATING TWO OF THE ‘BIG THREE’”I think it’s huge. When you find a way to get past the potent offense Hawai‘i has and the physicality they have on both sides of the football, and then the offensive physicality of Nevada, that’s huge. We’re making strides. We found a way in the second half. We tweaked some things and started to win at the line of scrimmage. These are things we’ve talked about wanting to do since we walked in here, to get more physical, get dirty, get stronger. You’re not going to beat those guys if you aren’t that type of a team. We were able to close that out today, make a big statement.”LAST 40 SECONDS”It was unbelievable. You stop and look back at the last, almost three years, and it’s the reason why you drove up the hill the first time. It’s why you took this job. You take a job and you believe in it. To see those kids and those emotions, and Cache Valley’s emotions. To see a crowd like that this late in the year for a game that means so much, it means a lot to me and to these kids. It’s what we believe in, and we want to continue to move forward. When we got that first down, it was almost surreal.””I felt like it was a huge step to get to five wins, and I said that last week. But to get to six, to get to bowl eligibility, it helps a program in so many ways.”

<strong>Junior Quarterback Adam Kennedy</strong>

“There is not much to say. You guys saw it out there, the excitement is unreal. I wish that everyone of you could have been in the locker room; it was the best football experience of my life. I think it was for everyone down there; it was raw emotion. It was a great win for the program and this team, and I am looking forward to next week and going bowling.”Talk about the last play when it was third and 10 and you rushed for a first down?”Right before the play they told me don’t be afraid to give it. My mentality going out there was that we would run it, and they would get the ball back with 20 to 25 seconds or whatever it was going to be. It was just so huge that I had to take it. I pulled it, and I went in there, I didn’t want to be that guy that fumbled, so if you see it I have both hands on the ball and fell forward and luckily with my lengthy body I got the first down.”Talk about the trick play at the end of the third quarter?”We had been setting that up all game and Coach Baldwin is really good at knowing the moment to throw the trick play in there. He felt like it was good at the end of the third quarter, and we rushed out there and got the look that we wanted. We called the time out and then called the same play.””It was just the momentum of the game, and it was coach Baldwin just doing what he does.”How fitting is to send the seniors off this way and to know that you can go bowling?”It was awesome. All week Coach Andersen was talking about doing this for the seniors. They have gone through a couple of rough years, and it was awesome to send them out this way. On the field, I had a couple of the seniors come up and say thank you to me. That was the best feeling, I felt a lot of pride being able to send out not only my teammates but also my friends like that. I have only been here a year but you can just feel how important it is, so I can only imagine how important it is to the seniors.”

<strong>Junior Running Back Robert Turbin</strong>

“Finally. It has been a long time for me, I have been here since 2007 and five years later; we are finally bowl eligible. Words can’t really describe the feeling that I have and the feeling that this team has down at the locker room. it is awesome; it is great stuff.”What were you thinking when it was fourth and one toward the end of the game?”Get the first down. Don’t get stopped. We practice those types of situations all the time in practice, fourth and one, third and one, and my whole mind set every time is that I am working to be the very best running back that I can possibly be and if I can’t get one yard then I have a problem. Fourth and inches with a big moment in the game and the opportunity for Nevada to get the ball back close to mid-field, we had to get the first by any means necessary. The offensive line did a great job; they brought the house and there was a little crease behind Robert Hill and Eric Shultz and we got it.”You gave coach Andersen a bit of a heart attack when you bobbled the ball in the end zone on that trick play.”Those balls that sit up in the air like that are the hardest ones to catch for some reason. The only thing that you think about is you wish it would hurry up and get down to you and then you don’t want to drop the ball. I made the catch, so he will be alright.”What is it like to play with Bobby Wagner?”I think that he is a great leader on the defense, I think that he is one of the best linebackers in the country and the best in my opinion. He goes hard every single play; he is always ready everyday at practice, every game he is ready to go and that rubs off on the other players. It rubs off on me, it rubs off on the rest of this football team. You know it is great; its great to have been teammates for the last four years and we finally got it done.”

<strong>Senior Linebacker Bobby Wagner</strong>

“This was a very exciting game; I think that this is the perfect way to go out in another close game. It was a great win for this program; we are going bowling, I am excited.”Talk about the fumble recovery late in the game?”I felt like they were running away from me all day, so that play I felt like they were going to go away from me so I was running that way full force and I saw the ball, so I picked it up and tried to run with it, but someone hit me.”Have you talked about where you would like to go play a bowl game at?”No. I am happy with wherever they want to send us, as long as I go bowling. It doesn’t matter to me.”What is it like for you to be in such a defense battle late in this game?”It was great to see everyone around me and myself step up to the challenge. I think that we held our own in the fourth quarter and it was they key that won the game.”

<strong>Nevada Head Coach Chris Ault</strong>

Talk about the finish, you have talked about finishing all week, how do you think you did on that?”I think it is pretty evident.”Can you talk about fumble by QB Tyler Lantrip?”We fumbled the ball. Got the first down got the chance and did not get it done. The difference in a ball game is a play like that, that was one of the differences.”You moved the ball pretty easily and scored in the red zone.”The parallels of this game and last game are the penalties. We had the two holding calls, had the holding call on the punt return. We did it to ourselves.”Does it make it more difficult since it has happened over the past few weeks?”Oh yeah, it is tough to get that. I mean these are really good teams; Utah State is a really good team. It is tough enough playing good teams and play well, but to have the penalties there that are self?inflicted, that is tough. I am really disappointed with that part of our game.”Talk about Rishard Matthews’ game?”It was a good game. Rishard is a good football player, and he did a nice job for us.”Talk about the discipline part of the game and how that wasn’t there this many weeks into the season?”The penalties were majorly holding penalties. Those are not discipline problems that is a player not being the right position. (Reporter: There were also 3?4 false starts too…) all by the tight?end. That is ridiculous that is unacceptable. But it was the holding calls that killed us. That’s the focus and attention to detail.”Why isn’t it there, the discipline?”Oh it is there but, in that moment you can lose focus and intensity in close games like this. We just didn’t do it and there really is no excuse for that really that should not happen.”Are you surprised they went on that fourth and one on the 45 yard line?”Nope I would have done the same thing.”

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