Oct. 15, 2011
Head Coach Pat Hill
"That was a heck of an effort from our football team and I have said this many of times and it is a young football team that is growing up and like young people they have their ups and downs. Last week we were probably at our lowest point as a 2011 football team but I was really proud of the way they responded in a very, very tough game tonight. It was a veteran team that has both and offense and defense that can give you a lot of problems. The first half our youth showed up tremendously with the fumbles and lost about 20 yards on a snap. So we showed our youth there early but our defense kept us in the game. We really responded well at halftime. We had a really good talk with our team defensively and we did a pretty good job of controlling the game. Special teams was huge tonight once again. I thought our cover team did a really good job, our punt team, and we are still struggling with punt returns. From a standpoint of effort we played outstanding. It was a must win tonight and it is a must win next week and they are all must wins at Fresno State and I think that's good. We need to get started on next week and start focusing on Nevada. We need to get up to Reno and change the way we do things against the University of Nevada; they are a very good football team.
On Jalen Saunders:
"That was an exciting, exciting play by Jalen. On that run he was moving and that was a great individual effort. Derek did a good job at carrying out the fake and Jalen did the rest once he got the ball in his hands. That will go down as one of the big plays here as far as just special play. Anyone who watched that game has to know that was a special play."
On Second Half:
"We were making tackles and started adjusting. There was a lot of adjusting going on during that football game. In the second half we did a great job and Utah is one of the best offensive teams in the country and shutting them out in the second half is a great tribute to our defense. They are going to get their yards but that isn't what it's all about. There were a lot of great efforts out there tonight. I thought our defense played against their offense at a very high level."
On the Fans:
"I want to thank our fans, I thought they were awesome. The crowd was great and it was great for our team. Our team really responded tonight so I wanted to thank the fans because I think they did a really great job."
Utah State Head Coach Gary Anderson
"Fresno State finished the game and we didn't."
"For Utah State, it was a great team victory a week ago. It was a big team loss today, I say that for offense, defense and special teams. We lost it in all three phases and there is a lot of examples of that, that is the bottom line."
"I thought that Fresno came in with a good plan on offense. I thought we came in with a good plan on offense, both units adjusted, their defense adjusted, our defense adjusted and the ability to execute in key situations for them were better than ours. Example: Third and 15, five missed tackles for them changes the game. We can't protect the quarterback late, we can't rush the quarterback. In a nutshell that's what I see."
"Not one phase of this football team played well enough to beat Fresno State, in Fresno--no chance."
"We'll bring our best 64 players, we travel with more than 70 kids since we've been here and at this point you got to get to 64 for league games, and that's the fact, we bring our best 64 guys."
On the importance of the win: It's a win. We're ecstatic about it. The feeling of the locker room was just amazing. We're growing together. You always hear that we're a young team but we're growing pretty fast to play a good veteran team like Utah and come out with a win.
Adjustments made: We came in at halftime and adjusted based on what they were doing on offense. They were sticking to their run game, sticking outside and throwing short passes. So we adjusted at halftime and came out and executed it. It showed right away and it continued throughout the night.
On holding Utah State scoreless in the second half: We came in at halftime and the coaches came out with the right game plan and we came out and stopped them.
The importance of the win at home: We emphasized all week how important this game was to win. I think Utah State is one of the better teams in the WAC and this was a huge game for us. This really was a make-it-or-break-it game to see where we were going to go from here and I think this win made the team a lot stronger and gave us more momentum going into next week. Our goal since the beginning of the season has been to win the WAC title and from the way we played tonight I think we're on our way there.
What he was thinking during the run for a touchdown: I was just trying to get as many yards as I could and I saw there was another man and thought I can't get tackled for a loss here so I made the first guy miss and I made the second guy miss and it went on from there.
At any point did he feel like he was going to be tackled: After making the second broken tackle I thought I can't go down after this and I'm going to score right here. After I scored I think the momentum really shifted to us.
Energy after the touchdown: I felt really good. That was one of those plays that just helped to get us really hyped and we were able to feed off of each other's energy and make big plays.
On Utah State: With their offense they have a lot of different things showing to you so you have try to see what's going on. Sometimes our eyes weren't right. The big plays we made were because we could see them correctly.
On the last big play in the third quarter: I was just thinking get the ball. Get the quarterback.
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