Quotes from the UH-Fresno State game 10/4/08

HA = Honolulu Advertiser
HSB = Honolulu Star-Bulletin
AP = Associated Press

——————————- Quotes from the UH Coaches —————————

Asked if he considered kicking the FG on 2nd or 3rd down in overtime, Mack said:
“I thought we might make the first down and take it all the way in. We were setting up for the field goal because I have faith in (Kelly).” (HA)

During their walkthrough of Bulldog Stadium the day before the game, Mack told his team:
“Listen to this stadium. It’s quiet. This is what we want to do tomorrow. The way to control stadium noise and (the Bulldog fans’) enthusiasm is to make plays.” (HA)

About how Dan Kelly earned his “Iceman” nickname back after this game, Mack said:
“He got that Iceman name back tonight.” (HSB)

About how they are in the WAC race after this game, Mack said:
“Every (WAC) game is going to be a fight. So we’re right back in the thick of things.” (HSB)

About the win, Mack said:
“This is the best total team victory I’ve ever been involved in. The kids competed to the end.” (HSB)

“a great, great team win.” (HA)

About the 6 turnovers they got in this game, Mack said:
“Like I always said, turnovers come in bundles. I knew they were going to come because we have playmakers. We worked really hard this last week. Fresno is a great football team, they don’t turn the ball over much. But we were very fortunate to put some pressure on and get some turnovers.” (AP)

About why they did not do the ha’a after the game, Mack said:
“Pat Hill asked if we would please not dance on his field afterward ’cause it was a great game; that’s why we didn’t do the ha’a. I told the kids, ‘let’s celebrate with the fans.’ I respect Pat Hill.” (HA)

About Inoke’s play in this game, Rolo said:
“In this game, he really became the quarterback we thought he could be. He created some big plays in some big situations.” (HA)

“I’m so proud of him.” (HA)

About how the coaches never lost their faith in Inoke, Rolo said:
“I asked him: ‘Do you want to be the starting quarterback? and he said, ‘yes.’ I said, ‘this coaching staff, everyone believes in you, so go out and do it. We know you can.’ ” (HA)

HA Note: “Quarterback Inoke Funaki completed 17 of 25 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He also rushed — either by design or necessity — for a team-high 79 yards.”

Praising their players on special teams, special teams coordinator Ikaika Malloe said:
“The kids on the unit take a lot of pride. I just thought the special teams unit did such a good job of executing.” (HSB)

About Tua Mahaley’s block of the kick that would have won the game for Fresno State at the end of regulation, Malloe said:
“Tua studies film on how to block a kick. He goes out for that one thing, that’s his only chance to make a play and he took advantage of his opportunity.” (HSB)

—————————— Quotes from the UH Players —————————–

About what he was feeling after his first win as a starting QB since the 2001 Hawaii high school championship game, Inoke said:
“Happy can’t explain how I feel. I’m so proud of these guys. It was like us against the world when we came to Fresno. All of Fresno was against us.” (HA)

“This is is just … just the greatest feeling. I love these guys.” (HA)

About how they never stopped believing in themselves, even after the booing by their fans during the SJSU loss, Inoke said:
“I felt I had a big part in that loss. I think a lot of people stopped believing in us. But not the guys in this locker room. We all believed in each other. I feel so honored and humbled that they believe in me. … I don’t have the greatest arm, but I wanted to do well for the team. And for the state. That’s who we play for. That’s who we represent.” (HA)

“It was like all odds were against us and we felt we were on our own. We’ve been struggling up to this point, but everyone in this locker room believed in each other.” (HSB)

About how he had no interceptions in this game, Inoke (who had 3 INTs vs. SJSU) said:
“I took a lot of responsibility for that San Jose game. The big thing in my mind was don’t turn the ball over. It’s better to punt the ball because we believe in our defense. Better to punt it and make them drive.” (HSB)

About the line of fans who wanted to get his autograph and shake his hand after the game, Inoke said:
“this is much better than last week.” (HA)

Inoke said that their team had been:
“down, really down.” (HA)

About how his teammates still believed in him, Inoke said:
“We were hurtin’ (after) last week, but we believed in each other. The guys believed in me.” (HA)

About his kickoff return for a TD, Ryan Mouton said that their blockers:
“opened it up, and all I had to do was hit (the hole).” (HA)

“The wedge hit it and opened it up and I just had to run. And I don’t have a problem running.” (HSB)

HA Note: “Mouton’s touchdown was a result of a change in strategy. Instead of using two deep returners, UH used only Mouton. Spencer Smith, who was aligned 10 yards in front of Mouton, was assigned specifically to block Desia Dunn, the Bulldogs’ top attacker on kickoffs.”

About the 10 penalties called against UH vs. none called against Fresno State, Mouton said:
“God works in mysterious ways. He made up for it.” (HA)

Comparing this win with their 68-37 win in Fresno in 2006, Sol said:
“This is a lot sweeter. We really needed to win as a team today and that’s what we did. Everybody had each other’s backs.” (HSB)

About how they believed in Dan Kelly, Keao Monteilh said:
“The Iceman was skating on ice. (But) we believe in the Iceman.” (HA)

About his INT off a pass tipped by Josh Leonard, Monteilh said:
“You know I get my interceptions when somebody tips it to me. I was in the right place at the right time.” (HA)

About deflecting a pass that led to Monteilh’s INT, their first INT of the game, Josh Leonard said:
“We were running (the) kamikaze (scheme). My job is, if the center comes to me, I’m supposed to drop into (pass) coverage. I dropped, and I saw the ball coming. I knocked it up and let somebody make the play.” (HA)

About the 6 turnovers they got in this game, David Veikune said:
“We’ve been in a dry spell and like Coach Mack said, when turnovers come, they start coming in bundles.” (HSB)

About how they learned a lot about their team in this game, Keala Watson said:
“We found ourselves, our identity.” (HA)

Asked what he thought about when he kicked the game-winning 33 yard FG, Dan Kelly said:
“I thought of nothing. I think I kick better when I don’t think. I think thinking while I’m kicking, for me, should be off limits.” (HA)

“That’s something I should do more often. I should just stop thinking, because when I think I screw up. I should just be a dumb animal, run out there and do my job.” (HSB)

“I think all kickers should have a rule that outlaws thinking because thinking is the worst thing that a kicker can do. If you’re playing Division I football, you have the ability. You need to rely on that ability and just kick the ball.” (AP)

“I didn’t think at all and it turned out fine. Which is the way it should be. I’ve been thinking too much the last two games, that’s why I had trouble. It should just be against the rules for me to think. Every time I think I screw up. No thinking for me from now on.” (HA)

About what he did during the timeout that Fresno called to try to ice him before his game-winning kick, Kelly said:
“I was thinking about normal stuff, every-day stuff. My girlfriend was here this weekend. I had a fantastic weekend with her.” (HA)

“I was thinking about her and the weekend we had, and after that my mind shut off.” (HSB)

About the timeout, Kelly said:
“I did my business.” (HA)

Kelly said that the key to his kicking was:
“not thinking. Not thinking at all.” (HA)

“I shouldn’t think; I should just kick.” (HA)

About how he wanted to make sure that that he kicked the ball high enough to get over the blockers, Kelly said:
“I knew it wasn’t straight, but I was more concerned about getting height. All I had to do was get it over that line. I didn’t feel a single rusher next to me. All the credit goes to them.” (HSB)

About their fans, Kelly said:
“We will always have the bandwagon (open) to anyone who wants to join us. But extra kudos to the fans who never left. We have thousands of fans who are busting their guts yelling for us, and we appreciate them.” (HA)

About missing the extra point after their first TD, Kelly said:
“That was a rookie move on a veteran’s — my — part. We weren’t ready. I should have let the clock wind down and taken the five yards (in delay of game penalty) because we ended up rushing it and kicking with only 10 guys on the field. That was a bad move on my part. It won’t happen again.” (HA)

Comparing this kick with the game-winning kick at Nevada last year, Kelly said that this kick:
“didn’t have as much on the line as our Nevada game last year (when UH was 9-0) but for our morale and our team, this was a more intense win in every shape.” (HA)

Asked if the Iceman has returned, Kelly said:
“Yes, he’s back, but I kinda think he never really left.” (HA)

Feeling bad for the Fresno State kicker, Kelly said:
“My heart goes out to the Fresno kicker. That kid has loads and loads of talent. That kid has loads and loads of potential. I hope he keeps his head up because that kid has a cannon on his leg.” (AP)

About how he knew that Kelly would make the game-winning FG, Jake Ingram said:
“When we got that shot, I didn’t want to say it, but I knew in my heart it was going through the uprights. I knew we were going to win.” (HA)

About blocking the FG that would have won the game for Fresno State with 43 seconds to go in regulation, Tua Mahaley said:
“I made sure I jumped in the right spot. I think Christ lifted me up and gave me the wings. I thought I took a Red Bull, but I took a Jesus Christ pill this morning, and He lifted me up, and pushed me in the air. The ball came to me.” (HA)

HA Note: “With 43 seconds to play, Kevin Goessling was summoned for a field-goal attempt from 36 yards. Earlier, he converted from 24, 32 and 33 yards. But this time, the Warriors’ front line gave a strong push, and the 6-foot-4 Mahaley, who was in the back row, soared with his arms raised. The football struck Mahaley’s right forearm, leaving a bruise.”

—————————— Quotes from the Fresno State Coaches —————

About the devastating loss, Pat Hill (who has coached Fresno State for 12 years) said:
“This is as tough as loss as I’ve had since I’ve been here. I’ve never been around a game with that many turnovers.” (HA)

“This is as tough a loss I’ve had since I’ve been here. This wasn’t a loss where we lacked effort. We had plenty of effort out there tonight. We just didn’t take care of the ball and didn’t take care of the opportunities when we had them.” (AP)

About the 6 turnovers they had, Hill said:
“You just can’t make that many mistakes. It’s very hard to overcome that. You can’t put your defense on a 30-yard field most of the night.” (HSB)

“Obviously, that was a very, very tough loss. But I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Hawaii. Six turnovers — I think that’s a record since I’ve been here.” (HSB)

About the Mouton’s kickoff return for a TD, Hill said:
“You just can’t win football games when you turn it over six times and give up a long kick return for a touchdown.” (HSB)

About their 3 straight missed FGs at the end of regulation and in overtime, Hill said:
“I’ve got great faith in our field goal kicker. That’s the way it goes sometimes.” (HA)

—————————– Quotes from the Fresno State Players —————–
About how they still want to win the WAC, Lonyae Miller (161 yards rushing including an 80-yard TD) said:
“Even though the BCS is now out of the question, we’ve got to go out there and win the WAC.” (HSB)

Feeling they would have blown out UH if they hadn’t had the turnovers, Miller said:
“We need to capitalize on the opportunities that we have. Without the turnovers, without the fumbles and interceptions, it’s easily a blowout.” (HSB)

About how they kept having to come back in the game, Miller said:
“It was a real sloppy night for us. We were playing from behind the whole game. It wears on the offense. We had turnovers and penalties that make it that much tougher. When we get a chance to take the lead you have to take advantage of every opportunity.” (HA)

“It was a real sloppy night for us. We have a lot to do to polish up our mistakes.” (AP)

About how UH blocked his FG attempt that would have won the game with 43 seconds left in regulation, Kevin Goessling said:
“It felt like a good hit, but the ball was probably a little low. Credit Hawai’i. They got a jumper up there.” (HA)


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