Dec. 8, 2013
Fresno State Quotes
Head Coach Tim DeRuyter
"I really cant say enough about how proud I am of these guys. There resilience after what happened last week, it was a tough blow for our guys, but no one hung their heads and we came back with a great week of practice and beat a very resilient Utah State team. I was just in the hallway talking with Matt (Wells), a great friend of mine, and give that team credit because they had injuries and were able to win their division. We had opportunities to put the game away and we couldn't. It is a credit to them. Their defense forced a lot of turnovers, but at the end of the day, these resilient guys in here got in done. I love `em and can't say enough about them and I am just glad we have one more game left with this group."
On Derek and Derron being the leaders...
"We got tremendous leadership and that starts with these two guys right here. I have said it from day one, they trust our coaches, they have trained all year long and they have bought into loving each other all year long. There are a lot of talented teams out there that didn't win championships because they didn't have that glue. But we had that. These guys were elected captains by their captains over the summer and they've led us to a Mountain West Championship in the inaugural Mountain West Conference Championship Game. I love these guys and can't say enough about them."
On opponent in Las Vegas Bowl...
"We are really excited to be invited to the Las Vegas Bowl. We are going to be playing a Pac-12 team. I believe it is going to be in the afternoon on ABC, so it'll be another great venue, exciting way for the senior class to go out. I'm not sure who we will play, but we know it will be an outstanding opponent. The Pac-12 is really, really deep this year. So we are going to get a great opponent. It will be here before we know it, only two weeks away. It'll be like a bye week this week and then right into game prep the next. Unfortunately, these guys are going through finals week next week, so their plates will be full. We have to make sure we finish out strong academically and then get ready to play a bowl game and play much better then we did last year."
On importance placed on conference championships helped team recover from SJSU loss...
"If your only goal is to go to the BCS, why show up and play? As a competitor you always want to go play. That is why I love the mantra we have of going 1-0 every week because it doesn't matter if you won or lost the week before because you want to come back and go 1-0, and this time it was for the Mountain West Championship. It was something that from day one we said was going to be our number one goal and these guys have fought all year long and busted their tails to get it done. We aren't a perfect team. I mean, one week it's the offense then the next it's the defense and special teams. These guys love each other and lean on each other and find ways to win and I love `em."
On Derek Carr's legacy at Fresno State...
"He is the greatest quarterback in Fresno State history and led us to two straight conference championships. I don't see why he shouldn't be in the Heisman discussion. You look at his numbers and they are right up there with everybody. The person he is, he is exactly what that trophy represents."
On being undefeated at home and the home crowd...
"We've got guys like this that play with heart. When you watch our guys play it is fun. I see people that love watching these guys and I am proud to be leading these guys. One of the sayings we have is to protect our house and to win every game here, and you can check that one off of the list. We had a great crowd here tonight, when you consider the weather. I want to thank our administration for going overtime to get all those tickets sold to put on a great event along with the Mountain West. But, the Red Wave, especially early on, was causing penalties and formation problems. That is why you want to have conference championship games at home. I know no one in the league has fans like we do, a little shout out to the Red Wave, `thank you'.
#4 Derek Carr
Describe the emotions of MW conference final...
"This was a big reason why I came back - I wanted to win an outright Mountain West Championship. Sharing a title was great with Boise and San Diego State, but as a competitor that wasn't enough. We had to come back and finish this thing off right. Praise God because we were able to do it against the toughest defense I've ever faced. They're great and on secondary, their front seven is ridiculous and physical and they way the defense bailed me out a couple times - I got to give them credit. It was a definitely a great feeling."
Describe what the team was like when you were on the field after the game.
"That's why I do it! First and foremost, I play for my God and he has blessed with talents to play this game. So, I give it all to him. Second, to my family and my teammates, but third, it is to this community. I can say so much about them on the field. When I was going through what we were going through as a family with my son - just the letters we received in the mail and the support we had in public. That's why I love winning, not to get our name out there, but to see the joy on my teammates and my coach's faces. I love to see the joy in a city's face and that is what makes me joyful, not the selfish actions. It's seeing that community and that stadium fired up that we won a championship for them."
What is your legacy here at Fresno State?
"I don't know. That isn't for me to talk about. You guys know. I'm not going to self-praise myself because I don't believe in that. I'll let other people talk about legacies and all that. The most important thing I hope my teammates take back from this is that first and foremost I was a faithful person. Second, that I was someone who loved them more than anything. I think that off the field, that means more to me than any legacy or winning games."
Is there any special sediment for you if you get to play against a quarterback who has similar values like USC Cody Kessler?
"Oh yeah. Cody and I are good friends. He was already talking to my dad last night. He was at the Bakersfield High Valley Championship and he was talking to my dad and saying `Oh, we may be get to play Fresno State and get to play Derek.' We've already been talking about it, but we needed to finish business today, so I wouldn't get much into the discussion, but now, we'll be trash talking him and telling him to lighten up his defense. I hope we do play them. What a great challenge for us and to play against Cody would be special for me because he would have to throw against Derron (Smith) and I don't like doing that."
#13 Derron Smith
What was the key to be able to bounce back from last week and have the performance you did today?
"I've said it all week long, the performance that we put on last week against San Jose state that's not the defense that we are. you know that one performance doesn't define who we are as a defense so, we knew the mistakes that we made and we knew that they were correctable so we just have to go into practice and kinda fine tune all the little things, the technique, and even believe in this game that the coaches brought to us and go out there and play the way that we know how to play. You know, that's the way we know how to play, getting sacks, getting physical, getting turnovers so that's what leads us to have a good day on defense."
Now that all of the celebration is over what will you guys do in the next practices to prepare for the bowl game? You guys still have work to do so how will you guys stay focused in the next practices for that game?
"Going about our business like usual, nothing really changes we just got to keep working on the little things, everything needs to be fine-tuned, watch this film and just keep getting better from it like we have every week. Just go about your business, go 1 and 0 and win this bowl game."
Head Coach Matt Wells
"It came down to a championship fight. First of all I want to congratulate to Tim DeRuyter and his staff. They run a really good program. This team (Utah) has won with resiliency and character. Our kids showed that tonight. I am proud to be their head coach. We will walk out of here with our chin up and chest out, and proud to be Mountain West Divisional champs."
Coach, what did your team's defensive effort do to arouse the spirits on the sideline and help keep your guys in this?
"Well, I think they played really well at times. The highlight to me was the back-to-back turnovers in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately we couldn't capitalize on offense. They eliminated the run, but couldn't stop the passing attack. However, I am still proud of these guys."
Was there anything specific that their defense did to stifle your offensive performance, or was it just a lack of execution?
When you look back on this season, given everything that Utah State did, what are you personally going to remember the most out of this year?
"I am going to sound like a broken record, but the character of these kids. The fight in them, when we were 3-4 after losing to Boise. Just to show these kids here is the big picture and narrow focus, and week after week we just chipped away on finding ways to win. We had so many kids step up. Those are the kind of kids in this program that make me proud to be their head coach."
There is a chance that Fresno State might play USC in a bowl game, a team that you guys faced earlier this season. How do you see that game potentially playing out?
"Well it seems like two years ago when we played USC. I think it will be a really good defense playing against a really good offense, so it should be a really good match up."
You have made an emphasis this whole season of your players success. What are you telling them right now?
"I am extremely proud of them. The kids that we have in that locker room are quiet. They fully expected to come here and win. They don't hope to win, they exepct to win. The thing that I am proud of the most is that they continued to move this program step by step. They earned the right to be in this league. We will be a players for seasons to come. It has been three straight years this program has done this. All credit goes out to these kids."
What did you tell your team at the third quarter when the score was 24 - 7?
"I think we just have a bunch of fighters, kids with high character that continue to play. There is never any quit with these kids. It is the mental makeup of them."
#18 Ronald Butler
Do feel that Fresno got flustered when they couldn't just put you guys away?
"Our team is going to keep fighting regardless what the scoreboard says. With that being said, we come out with the mentality that we are never out of reach to win the game. That is something we will continue to do."
How did you guys keep up with the resiliency theme all season long? What is it about this particular group that you see kept you guys physically and mentally engaged?
"It's more of the plays and seeing it happen in real life. With that being said, we will always play our hearts out and leave everything on the field. That is what we try to do every week."
#21 Brian Suite
What was it like going up against a quarterback like Derek Carr?
"Anytime you go up against an athlete like Carr it is a great challenge. He can stretch the field with his arm, and I believe people do not give him enough credit of him being a great athlete in the pocket. His best weapon is his head. We want to play against the best so that we can prove we are the best. Give him and his whole team credit."
"When things are not really going our way we aren't the team that points fingers on each other. We are a team that encourages each other, by having one another's back. I am proud to be on this defense and proud to be a part of this team. We left it all out there."