Quotes from the UH-Weber State 9/6/08

HA = Honolulu Advertiser
HSB = Honolulu Star-Bulletin
UH = UH Athletics Official Site (http://hawaiiathletics.com)
SLT = Salt Lake Tribune
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—————- Quotes from the UH coaches ————————

About how they played well for a half, Mack said:
“It was certainly two halves of football. Our football team did it the hard way tonight, I’m really proud of them. They really regrouped and came out and played a good second half. It would have been nice to do it the whole ballgame, but it’s still good to get a win.” (UH)

“We became a team in the second half. We came back and sucked it up. I’m really proud of our football team and our coaching staff, we came a long way tonight.” (UH)

Praising Weber State, Mack said:
“I want to congratulate coach Ron McBride, he did a good job of getting his football team ready to play. They have a very powerful offense. He is an outstanding coach.” (UH)

About the fans, Mack said:
“We have the greatest fans in the world. People want us to win so bad, we went into halftime and I think everyone was a little frustrated. I told the guys there is no need to panic, we have a lot of time.” (UH)

Praising Tyler, Mack said:
“I really think he’s a better person for what he’s been through and it showed, on the field, too. He came in and was a gamester.” (HA)

“I’m so proud of him.” (HA)

“He had to get the team back. He couldn’t just show up and they’d respect him. I haven’t made it easy on him.” (HSB)

“He has done a lot of things personally to get his life back in order. He got himself eligible and he has come along way and I think it showed up on the football field tonight. He gained the respect of his team, the coach and the fans and I think he has respect for himself.” (UH)

“I think he gained the respect of his team, I think he gained the respect of the coaching staff and I think he has respect for himself. He did it the hard way and our football team did it the hard way today. … We sort of became a team in the second half. We were down and out and sucked it up in a tough situation and I’m really proud of our football team and coaching staff.” (HSB)

About how Tyler worked hard to get himself the chance to play, Mack said:
“He got himself eligible. We didn’t help him at all. He’s doing things the right way. You can tell that on the football field. I’m glad he got a hold of himself, and that he’s going in the right direction.” (HA)

About how they planned to put Alexander in the game if they were ahead by a lot and Tyler in the game if they were struggling, Mack said:
“Offensively I was planning and going with Inoke into the fourth quarter. I talked about if we were ahead I wanted to get Greg and Brent into the ballgame. But if we were behind I wanted to use Tyler and see where he is.” (UH)

“That’s what we did. I’m glad we made that decision. We made it (before the game) so we wouldn’t make any emotional decisions.” (HA)

About how Tyler will be the starter against Oregon State, Mack said:
“Tyler Graunke will be starting against Oregon State. He looked pretty good to me tonight. It’s a no brainer.” (UH)

“It’s a no-brainer, right? I’d have to be a dumb, stupid coach not to play him next week, because he looked pretty good to me.” (HSB)

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About Tyler, Rolo said:
“The guys know he’s a winner and that means a lot.” (HA)

“He’s a competitor. He played his ass off. He gave us a spark.” (HA)

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—————- Quotes from the UH players ————————

Told that Mack said he was proud of him, Tyler said:
“That means a lot to me. Obviously, I lost a lot of people’s trust. To earn back the coaches’ and players’ trust means a lot to me. I love everybody that I play for and everybody that I play with. That’s what it’s all about — chemistry. We showed that out there. I feel like a new man.” (HA)

About how Mack suspended him (and how he was still doing punishment drills after Thursday’s practice), Tyler said:
“Coach gave me a life lesson.” (HSB)

Feeling that he earned the respect of his teammates, Tyler said:
“I felt like I earned the respect of my teammates, coaches and even myself. I went the hard road to success. And it is a good thing I got my chance this early because it could have been ugly my senior season. It could have been a disaster.” (HA)

“I was going downhill and, now, I’m going uphill.” (HA)

About how the crowd was behind him when he came into the game, Tyler said:
“It was an awesome feeling just hearing the crowd roar when I stepped onto the field.” (HSB)

“It was an awesome feeling, just hearing the crowd roar. I just blocked everything out and just played tonight. I feel like I really matured and I’m a better person now. I thank coach McMackin for everything.” (UH)

About how his suspensions has helped him mature, Tyler said:
“I think I’ve really matured as a person, not just as a football player. I’ve learned a lot of valuable life lessons and I credit a lot of that to Coach Mack. He’s made me a better person and I thank him for that. I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for a long time.” (HSB)

About the hit he took after pitching the ball late in the game, Tyler said:
“I took a hit but I’m on top of the world now.” (HA)

About Lane’s TD catch on their first drive of the second half, Tyler said:
“It was a choice route, and Malcolm ran right by him. Malcolm is a great receiver.” (HA)

Giving credit to his teammates, Tyler said:
“I don’t think I played amazing by any means. They had to catch the ball. All I had to do was throw. It’s a real team game. That’s what I love about football. That’s why I play football. Everybody has to do their part to win the game. People want to give me credit because I’m the quarterback. But I never believed in that. I feel I’m a quarterback only because I can throw the ball. These guys have other abilities that I don’t have.” (HA)

About how the team needed a spark, Tyler said:
“We needed something. Everybody’s heads were down. I was thinking ‘screw this. We gotta blow this team out.'” (HSB)

About how his teammates were happy when he came into the game, Tyler said:
“I was just played the game the way I know how to play it tonight. I saw the fire in the guys eyes, kind of saying it’s glad to have you back. I knew I had to be calm and poised out there. We played with a lot of poise in the second half.

It feels good to hear that the players have a lot of respect for me. It feels good and very heartwarming. It’s been a long road and a hard road. It was great tonight. It’s a whole new team this year and we are proud out there and we wanted to win this one. It was a halftime decision, I was told I wouldn’t get reps until the bye week. Coach gave me an opportunity and there was some urgency there at halftime. The chemistry on the field in the second half was amazing.” (UH)

About how the plan had been to not play him until after the Oregon State game, Tyler said:
“It was totally a halftime decision. When I first got reinstated I was told I wasn’t going to get a look until the bye week, and after Oregon State I could get back in there. I guess I showed them enough.” (HSB)

About how Bain and Washington have waited for their chance to play, Tyler said:
“People like Aaron, people like Mike, they’ve been very patient and it shows a lot about the guys’ character.” (HSB)

About people who doubt their offense, Tyler said:
“Because we have eight new guys on offense, people don’t think we can play like we know what we’re doing. But we know what we’re doing.” (HA)

NOT giving credit to Inoke, Tyler said:
“Inoke’s a great player and he’s been here a long time. But so have I. I think I was able to stay in there and make the third and fourth read.” (HSB)

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Inoke said that he was examined at halftime for a concussion by the doctors and:
“I wasn’t 100 percent.” (HA)

“I thought I was OK, but the doctors didn’t think I was OK. It’s a good thing, fortunately, we had Tyler. He was ready.” (HA)

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About being happy when Tyler came into the game, Mike Washington said:
“When T.G. came in, that was like a big, inspirational uplifter. Everybody was waiting — it’s like, man!” (HSB)

“We came out in the second half, no matter who the quarterback was, we had to come out with more intensity, more spiritual lift. Ty gave us that spiritual lift, we just had to go out there and make plays. It felt so relieving and relaxing (out there). It was a deep breath.” (HSB)

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Happy that Tyler was going to be the QB in the 2nd half, Lane (is the locker room divided?) said:
“Just hearing Coach say at halftime, ‘Tyler, you’re up,’ I was ecstatic. He’s been my quarterback from the beginning.” (HSB)

About how Tyler earned the team’s respect, Malcolm Lane said:
“I’m damn sure he won the team’s respect with that effort.” (HA)

Praising Tyler, Lane said:
“I’m grateful coach Mack believes in him and is giving him a second chance to perform. After everything that happened, Tyler has worked hard to get back on the team. He even furthered that by busting his ass and making plays. Everything was against him. That was adversity. How you deal with that defines what type of person you are, not what you do when things are easy. He came through.” (HA)

About his 42-yard TD catch in their first drive of the second half, Lane said:
“He played me bump-and-run. No disrespect to the cornerback, but I thought I could beat him up top. Tyler trusted me. We’ve been doing that since Day 1. It was like clockwork.” (HA)

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About how they were happy when Tyler came into the game, Aaron Bain said:
“As soon as Tyler came in and got that first drive I knew we were going to start driving the ball. It has been good to have him back. I have a lot of respect for him. He made a difference, even with the crowd, I was glad to be in the huddle with him. I think we weren’t playing up to our ability in the first half. I know if we played our hardest we will be all right.” (UH)

“Most definitely, soon as he came in he connected with Malcolm, once he got that in we were rolling. It’s good to have him back. … I’m proud of him now that he’s back, we were getting the ball moving, got that fire in our eyes back. You hear the crowd chanting his name. You feel proud, and I’m glad to be in the huddle with this guy.” (HSB)

About starting his first game at Aloha Stadium, senior Aaron Bain said:
“Every game is important to me, but starting for the first time, in front of the home crowd, that was really big for me. I was kind of nervous in the beginning, but once you get the first couple of series out of the way, everything is all good. Now that we got all of the jitters out of the way, hopefully we can have a good season.” (HA)

About how all of their WRs got the ball, Bain (who had 2 TD catches) said:
“I think the ball was spread out really great. Everybody got a touch on the ball.” (HA)

About how they got fired up during halftime, Bain said:
“I think we got the ball rolling late, but we did a good job in the second half. There was a lot of intensity in the locker room, trying to get everybody fired up. Once we got the fire in our eyes back, then the ball started rolling.” (HA)

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About how his fractured left ring finger is sore but will not stop him from playing, Greg Salas said:
“I’m not going to think about it while I’m on the field. I’ll take some Advil before the game.” (HA)

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About his 9 carries for 54 yards, Jayson Rego said:
“It felt really good, I’m thankful the coaches gave me the opportunity. It felt real good.” (HSB)

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About Tyler, John Estes said:
“Tyler is Tyler. People forget he was the starter before Colt was.” (HSB)

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About their adjustments at halftime, Sol said:
“We made a lot of mistakes the first half. The second half Coach made adjustments … like we’re not going to try to out-scheme them or try to do anything fancy. It’s going to be a man vs. man game and that’s what we did the second half.” (HSB)

“In the first half, guys were just trying to make too many big plays. In the second half coach made some adjustments and it worked. It was a man versus man game in the second half and it worked. Everyone in the locker room knew what was going on. We were making mistakes, they weren’t a better team than us. We started playing as a team in the second half. When we play our conference games it’s going to be a lot tougher. We learned we have to come out and start playing our assignments.” (UH)

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About what they did at halftime, Brashton Satele said:
“We just told ourselves to buckle down and do our own assignments. Coach was talking about it the whole week, doing our own assignments. Don’t do more than you have to. Just do what you have to do. They had a good first half, driving the ball and stuff. Second half, we came out and stopped them.” (HA)

About doing their assignments, Brashton said:
“Coach just tells us to do our jobs and all week we were just prepping for that.” (HSB)

“All week we knew we had to do our own job. We finally started doing that in the second half. I think the captains of our team stepped up. They stood up and told us to wake up. We have to stay humble and practice hard every day.” (UH)

About blitzing and forcing Higgins to ground the ball during Weber State’s first drive of the 2nd half, Brashton said:
“We work on blitzing off the ball. The ball’s the trigger.” (HA)

Surprised when told he was credited with a sack on the play, Brashton said:
“My first sack.” (HA)

About ow they shut down Weber State’s offense in the 2nd half, Brashton said:
“That’s how we should’ve been playing the whole game. Good thing we picked it up.” (HA)

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About how the D knew at halftime that they could play a lot better, Monteilh said:
“We knew we could play a lot better, (that) we could play sound football and we accomplished that in second half. In the locker room, we had our word, told everybody we have to be fired up. We have to come out and play Hawai’i football.” (HA)

Looking forward to their next game, Monteilh said:
“We got our win, but now we have to focus on Oregon State and we’re going to do our thing up there, too.” (HA)

About his INT off a ball that Roberts’ tipped, where he had to make sure to come down inbounds, Keao Monteilh said:
“They wanted me on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ but I told them I have to play this year. Calvin did a good job. He’s been practicing volleyball. It was a perfect set. That was a Kamanao set.” (HA)

“I saw the sideline, so I kind of had to reach out, do a little stutter step. Everybbody told me I should’ve stopped, turned around and run. But I got no moves, so I just went out of bounds and let the offense take the ball.” (HA)

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About tipping the ball that Monteilh intercepted, Calvin Roberts said:
“I didn’t have enough oomph in my feet. I tried to get the pick, but I ended up tipping it to my teammate.” (HA)
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About his first career sack, an 8-yard sack in the second quarter, Erik Robinson said:
“It was a blitz. I saw the opening and I took it and I just shot and made the tackle.” (HA)

Happy to be playing after sitting out spring camp due to shoulder surgery, Robinson said:
“It was cool to be out there playing with the ball, moving around and having fun.” (HA)

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—————- Quotes from the Weber State coaches ————————

Praising Tyler, Weber State head coach Ron McBride said:
“He knew all the reads; he made a huge difference.” (HA)

About the difference between the first and second halves, McBride said:
“The difference was that Funaki doesn’t have all the reads down in the offense. The other guy has a lot of experience and he gave them a lift. They outphysicaled us in the second half. They controlled the line of scrimmage and they controlled the tempo. Sooner or later with their offense, if you don’t move the ball they’re going to score points on you.” (HSB)

“The difference was that (Inoke) Funaki doesn’t have all his reads down in the offense, so he had some problems with it. The other guy (Tyler Graunke) has had a lot of experience in the offence and he gave them a little lift.” (UH)

“The difference was that Funaki doesn’t have all his reads down in the offense, so he had some problems with it. The other guy [Graunke] has had a lot of experience in the offense and he gave them a lift. They’re a good football team. You’re not going to hold them down forever.” (SLT)

About how UH’s DL dominated in the second half, preventing them from keeping the ball away from UH’s offense like they did in the first half, McBride said:
“Offensively, they out-physicaled us in the second half. We didn’t run the ball well to establish the line of scrimmage. They controlled the line of scrimmage and they controlled the tempo. Sooner or later with their offense, if you don’t move the ball on offense and you don’t get a rhythm, they’re going to score on you.” (SLT)

About the key penalty they had to extend Tyler’s first drive, McBride said:
The first drive of the third quarter is really important and we had a late hit on the quarterback. Those things make a difference and they’re a good football team. You’re not going to hold them down forever. Offensively they outphysicaled us in the second half. We didn’t run the ball well enough to establish the line of scrimmage. They controlled the line of scrimmage and they controlled the tempo. Sooner or later with their offense, if you don’t move the ball on offense and you don’t get in a rhythm, they’re going to score on you.” (UH)

Praising Higgins, McBride said:
“He’s played in real competitive situations, so he’s a proven commodity. He’s a good player. We just have to be able to run the ball better so that the pass game can get open.” (HSB)

“He’s (Cameron Higgins) a good player. He’s played in real competitive situations so he’s a proven commodity. We just have to be able to run the ball better. You can’t become one dimensional and expect win a football game.” (UH)

About their trip to Hawaii, McBride said:
“It was a great trip. We stayed in the prettiest place in the world over at Turtle Bay. You couldn’t ask for a better experience for our players. They came in here and played tough football. It’s a game we could’ve won. But give them (Hawaii) credit. They out-played us in the second half. I’m happy to come here and play. I love the people of this state.” (UH)

“You couldn’t ask for a better experience for our players. They came in here and played tough football. It’s a game we could’ve won but . . . you can’t become one-dimensional and expect to win a football game.” (SLT)

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—————- Quotes from the Weber State players ————————

About how it was nice to see his father (who was diagnosed a month ago with thyroid cancer and has had 3 surgeries and ongoing radiation treatments) in the stands, Cameron Higgins said:
“I looked around and there he was. It was just nice to see him there.” (HA)

About seeing his father after the game, Higgins said:
“He was happy. That’s all that mattered.” (HA)

About playing in Aloha Stadium, Higgins said:
“It was an adrenaline rush just to get back out here.” (HSB)

About how their offense was very effective in the first half, Higgins said:
“We were catching them off guard, mixing it up, five wide, four wide, a lot of play-action here and there. We were able to catch them on their toes.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Higgins finished 14-for-18 for 145 yards in the half as the Wildcats maintained the 10-point lead going into the break, leaving Hawaii running off the field to a chorus of boos from the hometown crowd.”

About how UH’s D adjusted at halftime to be able to stop them, Higgins said:
“Their defensive coordinators made the right adjustments to stop what we were doing. They were able to buckle down and shut us down.” (HSB)

About how he grew up going to UH games and would have loved to play for UH, Higgins said before the game:
“Back then, they were the Rainbows and we used to go to all the games. I loved the atmosphere and the way the Warriors played. I wanted to play for Hawaii, but I had to go wherever there would be a scholarship. Unfortunately, Hawaii didn’t offer me one.” (SLT)

“In some ways, I want to show them, show that I could [have] played for the Warriors. There’s some kind of bitterness there.” (SLT)

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