Here’s What The Utes & Cougars Said
KYLE WHITTINGHAM, Utah Head Coach:
It was a good win for our program. We started off and played real well the first quarter, very average in the second quarter, then pathetic in the third quarter and half of the fourth quarter, then finished off pretty average. So, you add it all up and evaluate it as a whole, the entire body of work wasn’t bad.
You are not going to lose a lot of games when you are +5 in turnover margin. Even though our offensive numbers were not good at all, we took care of the football.
You have to credit (BYU) for hanging in there and fighting back. They have a lot of resiliency and heart and we saw that today.
I am very proud of our guys, of our seniors. We send them off with a 10-win season and a guaranteed Top 20 ranking. A lot of good things for our seniors coming out of this game and I am really proud of them.
In some ways it is (hard to play with a 35-0 lead). But, it is our job to make sure we do not get complacent. We did that. We got complacent, and that’s on me.
TEVIN CARTER, Utah Strong Safety:
I had a hard time at times catching the ball this year. But today on the first one (interception returned for a touchdown), Reggie Porter made a great play on the ball and I was just there to make it (pull down tip for the interception). On the second (interception), Jason Fanaika made another tip and I was just there again to make a play. So, all credit goes to my teammates.
JOE WILLIAMS, Utah Running Back:
(On 3rd and 1 option play that led to first down late in fourth quarter) The main focus of the play was just to get a first down. We practice that situation every week. I knew from running it the two previous times that the linebacker would take Travis (Wilson, Utah QB). So I knew I would get the ball and just have to get that one yard.
(On getting second first down on final drive) We huddled up and talked about it as an offense. Two more first downs and then one more first down and this game is ours.
BRONCO MENDENHALL, BYU Head Coach
I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud of my team. They stayed together and unified and battled back and made it a great football game.
Our team tried really, really hard all the way to the very end, maybe if we make one more stop it gets interesting.
I wasn’t able to help our team quite enough to overcome the early setbacks, but I am certainly proud of how hard they played and how they battled in returning to make it as close as it was and giving us a chance to win.
The setting of playing this game in Vegas, at a neutral site is really intriguing, and I thought it was a really cool setting to play in and a great one for our players and a great environment and we just came up a little bit short.
There was certainly nothing else that can happen, when it goes to seven and then to 14 then to 21 then to 28 then to 35, at some point that’s got to be enough. I think there was just finally a set point of ‘are we going to play clean and execute and consistently’ and we thought if we did it would be an evenly matched game and that’s how it played out.
The credit goes to the players, they’re the ones that chose to keep playing hard. They were positive on the sideline, which is an amazing thing. It was 35-0 and I don’t even know how much time had expired. It could’ve easily gone to 70 if they hadn’t of responded the way they did.
ON Tanner Mangum:
Tanner is an optimist and that’s a great quality to have at quarterback. He thinks he can make any throw and who are we to tell him any different. And even after 35-0, we weren’t going to score points just by running it. Our M.O. has been dropping back and throwing it, and having our receivers go up and make catches and that kind of played out.
To Utah’s credit, the defensive front, they were on him very fast and harrassed him maybe more than he’s used to. Nobody was down on him, we were frustrated, but our guys believed in Tanner.
BRONSON KAUFUSI, BYU Defensive End
This team, since January, that’s something we definitely practiced and worked on. No matter what happens or how much we get down by in anything, this team will fight back no matter what. And that’s something I’m so proud about, is that no matter what happened in that game, everyone had the mentality that we were going to get ourselves back into it.
Tanner’s not a freshman to any one in the locker room; Tanner’s one of us. He’s mature. You can tell how he bounced back. I think the game was a little big for him at the beginning, but man he turned around and played a great game and ultimately gave us a chance to have the ball at the end.
REMINGTON PECK, BYU Tight End
I think a lot of credit goes to the way we’re coached and the group of guys, because quitting or giving up has never been an option. Even our wins, in many of the games this season, we trailed. There was no question that the team was going to keep fighting.
I think it was key to get some points on the board right before half and I think it helped the attitude in the locker room a little bit. I was just grateful to help to be honest, I didn’t care if it was me. I’m glad that it helped us a little bit and there was no doubt in the locker room that we were going to come out and fight, and battle in the second half.