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2017 Las Vegas Bowl Post Game Quotes

Posted December 17, 2017 | lasvegasbowl

2017 Las Vegas Bowl Post Game Quotes



Obviously we’re all disappointed. There’s a lot of tears, very emotional in that locker room, because certainly we thought that we prepared well. Guys, the entire season, just fought hard, trusted each other. (Coach) Will (Taggert) did a great job getting us to this point right here, but we shot ourselves in the foot a bunch tonight. We saw the negative plays and turnovers, but these guys, I want to say, they never stopped fighting. They always competed, because that’s what they are, competitors. I told them I wish I would have done a better job for them, I’m going to take that upon myself, and our coaching staff.

This team has no quit in it. I think a lot of teams would fold their tents when they’re down 24-0, or things don’t go their way. You look at the way they just kept fighting and scratching and clawing to make this thing a competitive game, to me that’s the positive. There’s trust and belief in that locker room. The part that’s negative is the way that we executed. And you don’t point at players for that, we’ve gotta take that upon ourselves as coaches.

When you’re building a program, or rebuilding, and you want championship performances, you can’t allow mistakes. You can’t allow penalties to creep into the processes cause then you really get sidetracked by it, especially against good teams. So in all this stuff there’s a tremendous amount of teaching, and that’s what we have to focus on – teaching. Because ranting and raving and doing all that kind of stuff, it doesn’t help anybody get better. We gotta make sure that we buckle down, that we understand the opportunity that we had, learn from it and be ready to push forward.

Getting down 24-0, with penalties, and turnovers, and that kind of stuff. And then the defense doing a great job giving us two scores right before the half certainly gave us an opportunity … but it’s a lot of stuff to overcome, and when you put yourself in that situation you have to find a way to overcome it. We didn’t.

On the Penalties:

You have to educate, you have to teach, you have to make sure you that you keep highlighting that and creating situations that let you practice circumstances. … It certainly is a problem. There’s been some spurts where we got better at it, but certainly not today and it hurts.

On Tony Brooks-James Unsportsmanlike Penalty:

He knows it’s unacceptable. We have a really good understanding amongst us as a team, as players and coaches, so confronting and demanding is part of football. And if a coach has to tip-toe around that stuff, well then he shouldn’t be coaching. We’re hard on each other about that, I was hard on him about it and he understands that, he feels terrible about it. You’ve got to take the emotion out of football, you’ve got to play with passion. When you let emotion get into it, something like that happens, the result is not very positive. That’s not the reason that the game went as it did, but certainly did not help it. We have a lot of work to do on penalties. But I wanna keep saying, these guys, I trust them with my life and I wish we would have done a better job for them today.

On the Rushing Game:

We thought we could run the ball better than we did. We didn’t block em up and run it like we have throughout the course of the season and change the dynamic of the game particulary on short yardage in the first half. Royce is a difference maker. But these guys are also, and they’ve done a great job for us this year. So we certainly don’t want to put the blame of the running game not being what it has been on one person. That’s a collective effort by the offensive line, the tight ends, the perimeter blockers and the running backs.

On Letting Running Back Royce Freeman Stand with Team on Sidelines:

In discussing Royce’s choice, we had made the decision that we were gonna sit down and talk about it. When we did, it’s something that we agreed we’d be supportive of, and the team did as well, and it’s something the team wanted. I respect our players and their decision, it’s a choice that we made.

On Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson’s Big Game:

Explosive player, he’s a good football player, good athlete. He does a lot of things, very dangerous and made some big plays today in critical situations. Changed the game when we had an opportunity to get off the field, he’s a really good football player.

On the Coaching Change:

I don’t think our guys were uninspired, we just didn’t play well. That’s something that maybe you want to ask the players and they’ll be honest with you, I’m sure.

On Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch:

He’s certainly a good football player. Very rangy, long, really makes a lot of plays, has a good nose for the football, responsible for line calls. We had a tremendous amount of respect for him coming into this game. He’s exactly what we thought he was. He’s an excellent football player. Really instinctive and made a lot of plays.



On Cedric Wilson:

He’s an explosive player. I tried to do the best I can just to let my teammates know where he was on the field. But he’s one of those players where you can move him anywhere on the field, but they’re going to field him the ball. He did a good job at attackin our weaknesses. We just gotta play better and play more tougher.

On the 100-yard Interception Return for a Touchdown:

I was just studying my tail off all this week we’ve been here. I did (say) I would love to get into the end zone for my last collegiate game as a Duck. My teammates did a good job blocking for me. There was no better feeling that I could just help my team before we went in at the half.

On if Coaching Change was a Distraction:

I don’t think so at all. We got a guy like this, leading our team, we just wanted to do whatever we can, lay everything on the line for him. We’re not worried about the decision that coach Taggart decided to make. We’re playing for this coach now and that’s all that matters.



They were just playing real hard and bringing it every play.

On his Last Game Being at Home:

I wouldn’t say disappointing. It sucks but you lose occasionally if you play enough football. I’m just glad I could be in front of my home crowd and glad I could be here with my team.




I think the one thing going back to last January and this football team, just the goal they set to put themselves in this position to play to play for a championship, to play in a bowl game and have a chance to win it; you don’t very often get a chance to come to work everyday where you have a group of guys that have a vibe about them that they believe in each other, there’s not duplicitous behavior and all that, they’re just bought and they go to work. That’s certainly what we’ve got. We’ve talked about this team having a great vibe. You guys asked about that at the beginning of the year, and I think you see what that is. I’ve been around Boise State football longer than anybody, and I’ve been part of great teams, and I can tell you this right now – you can focus on the records all you want, but this football team and the type of character they have and this coaching staff is as good as any we’ve had at Boise State. I know that, and the best part about is that these guys realize that throughout this season. They took advantage of it. It’s really what showed up tonight. Our players and coaches did a tremendous job. They focused on each day. They focused on the things that mattered. They focused on how do we truly get better, which a simple concept, but hard to do.

The reason we put ourselves in the championship game and won it is because of that. The reason we showed up today and played against Oregon and whatever about everything leading into the game had nothing to do with us. It was really just about us going out there and playing, hopefully, our best game of football. In some areas we did that. I thought the defense was dominating today. We spotted them a few points, otherwise the score is completely different. I thought our offense moved the ball up and down the field and Oregon had a very tough time stopping it. I thought special teams made plays and won the field position battle when needed.

At the end of it, still a great game, but overall you know what we came to accomplish. I couldn’t be more proud. I’m just very humble and proud of what our team and coaches were able to accomplish this year, and just to be a part of it. I told our guys in the locker room; enjoy it, don’t ever take this for granted. We’re never going to be the same. This 2017 team is done. We’ll come back and we’ll start working on next year. But today, something special happened this season.

On What He Said To His Team At Halftime After What Transpired At The End Of The First Half:

I didn’t have to say anything. We’ve been in that position before. We had a trick play in there. The statue play that I wanted; they did a good, they played it well. They played a little bit of a corner route, that we had, too. Defensively, Oregon is very good. They have tremendous speed. We respected this team, we knew were going to play them. We know what type of athletes they have and they showed that on the defensive side. They made plays, which is what good defensive teams do. So, that last couple minutes we came in and it’s always 0-0 at halftime. The vibe on the sideline was not very good, but the leaders, once again, I didn’t have to have to say a whole lot. The leaders stepped up. Guys that were involved – it was shake it off and we’re on to the second half. We’re a second half team in our minds and we’re a fourth quarter team. Get to that and we’ll find a way to win it. That was the message from the guys. So, very little from me. Very matter of fact what we had to do in the second half.

On What Stood Out The Most About Guys That Had Not Played Much Before Today:

I think all those guys. I think the one thing that everybody is thinks about the guy that’s playing who hasn’t played, it’s about the guys that have played. They have to elevate their game. They’ve been in a fight all season. Don’t put it on one guy that he’s got to step up and go out there and put a cape on. Everybody else around them has to play well and they did. Kekaula (Kaniho) had an interception. We had some big plays from the d-line. I don’t think Oregon was able to get in any kind of rhythm throughout the game because our defense and defensive line was getting them all out of sorts. When you do that and the quarterback is very good, but he didn’t have a chance to set his feet – he did it a couple times and made a few good throws in there – but that didn’t happen very often. We had a turnover and we had to score on defense. There were some big plays. I just felt that the plan the staff put together, the way the defense prepared themselves, which they’ve done all season long. Having Jalen (Walker) out there, it’s a matter of here’s is your opportunity. It doesn’t matter if it happens in the first game, everybody looks at if it happens this late, well the opportunity came in the bowl game, the last game of the year, against a really good team. You never know when it’s going to happen, take advantage of it, and he did. He played well. He didn’t play perfectly. That’s OK. Nobody on our team played perfectly. We never expect that. Just play well more consistently than they do.



On The Team Withstanding The Two Turnovers In The First Half:

The whole year, I think it’s just being resilient. We have a great group of guys on defense; even on offense, too. You know they’re going to bounce back and, you know, we’re going to bounce back. It’s moving on from those plays. Just focusing back up, not worrying about it, to being resilient, you know we’re going to comeback the next series, the next play, and give it to them every time.

On What Impressed Him About Boise State’s Defensive Performance Today:

Discipline. Coming together as a unit. Just knowing we’re all on the same page and playing together, that’s the main thing; winning the pre-snap. We knew what they were going to do and we knew what we had to do to stop them. It just came down to executing it and applying it on the field. Just take everything the coaches gave us and make sure we’re all on the same page when they snap the ball.

On The Halftime Conversation:

New slate. It’s whole different half. We gave up a couple (touchdowns) right before halftime and there’s nobody playing the blame game on any of that. The defense still has to step right up and come right back and play in the second half. It’s a whole new half. As far as we’re concerned it was 0-0. So, we’ve got to come out and play the second half better than we did the first half. One touchdown giving up the whole game is pretty good.

On What It Meant To Have A Productive Day In What Could Be His Final Game At Boise State:

You’ve got to play your best football at the end of the season. It all shows up. We’ve been putting 13 games together for this, so to come out and showcase it all and put everything together that you’ve learned all season – I know there were a lot of guys that showed up, the whole team playing together. It was a total team dominating performance, and I couldn’t be more impressed with the guys around me and playing together and everything. It’s not just me. It’s the guys around me that make me better, too, and put me in the position to make plays.

On What It Meant For The Defense To Perform The Way It Did Against Oregon’s Offense:

I knew going into it we had a lot of respect for them. They have playmakers all around the field. They’ve got receivers that catch the ball. They’ve got the dudes that run the ball. They have a quarterback that can throw and run and they have one of the best o-lines in the nation, probably. It shows with the No. 8 rushing offense in the nation – if I’m right. To have that kind of performance against an offense like that is pretty special.

On Whether Or Not The Team Felt Disrespected Coming Into The Game:

No, I don’t think we felt disrespected at all. But, then again, you have to come out and prove it every game. It doesn’t matter whether you have respect or whether you don’t have respect; you have to something to prove every single game, and this is the last game of the season, so it has to be the biggest. And, we’re playing against one of the best offenses in the nation, and we took that upon ourselves to go out there and get things done and prepare the right way. It shows up on the field.

On The Team Responding To Adversity:

That’s what, I think, is the most special thing with our team this year. It’s hard to put a word on it, exactly what it is, but the way we come together – for the most part, we’re a pretty young team. We’ve got seniors that can play ball and they’re going to move on to bigger and better things, but we have such a good group this year. Everybody was so close. We’re a pretty tight-knit group, all around, offense and defense together. It just shows up on the field, and we’ve got offensive and defensive players playing together on special teams, too, and that shows up. We’ve got a special group, and I think we responded well to adversity this year. It’s pretty special.



On Setting The Program’s Single-Season Receiving Record:

It’s just an honor, obviously, to get the opportunity to come to Boise State, but personally, it just feels good that all the hard work that I’ve done has worked out, and that I’ve been blessed to play for good quarterbacks every year that I switched to the position of receiver. I feel like it starts our o-line; obviously, Brett (Rypien) and (Montrell) Cozart can’t get the ball out without them blocking. I think it starts there and them putting the ball where I have a chance to get it and then me doing my job. Like I said, it’s just an honor to be on a winning team and that’s what I came here to go to Boise State.

On Coming Back Into The Game After Injuring His Ankle:

It was hard on my body. I talked to (wide receiver coach Eric) Kiesau, he was like, ‘it’s a mental thing.’ I just remembered what coach (Bryan) Harsin said, ‘play for the guy to the left and right of you’ and the pain started to east. Obviously, when the team starts going up you don’t have to worry about any of the negativity the pain eases, as well.

On The Team Needing A Big Play And Him Coming Through:

Really, it was stick with the play calling and execute your job. Coach (Zak) Hill called some great calls when we needed it, and it was our job to go get it done and that’s what the offense did. Obviously, we didn’t play our best game, but we did just enough with the help of the defense.

On The Big, Third-Down Reception After Oregon Cut The Lead To 10 Points:

I just knew going out on that drive when we got to third down, I think they called a timeout, and we were just talking in the huddle that we were going to take a shot, and I don’t think they (Oregon) was expecting it. Brett (Rypien) threw almost a perfect ball. I couldn’t have asked for a better one, and it was my job to catch it.

On What The Last Two Years At Boise State Meant To Him:

It’s actually been a phenomenal opportunity. Just blessed to be able to play Division I football and, obviously, to do it at a place Boise State; obviously, the only blue turf in college football. You can’t really think one second about it when they offer you, just come here. And, obviously, the coaches put each and every one of us in this position to graduate, one, and then play this great game of football that we all love. And, then, just play the game of football with the guys next to you, and just going through this whole season. I said in the beginning, it just feels different around here and that’s what I felt from my first year to my second year. I was just talking to Jake, this is our team, and, obviously, we’ve got to tell them what to do, and each and every one of them helped us get our goals accomplished.