Quotes from the UH-Utah State game 11/1/08

HA = Honolulu Advertiser
HSB = Honolulu Star-Bulletin
UH = University of Hawaii Athletics Official Site

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

About the loss, head coach Greg McMackin (Mac) said:
“I don’t know if it was (the after-effects of) Halloween or I don’t know what. I’ve never been involved in a game like this. I’m very disappointed.” (HA)

“I don’t have any excuses, we didn’t get it done. As much as last week’s game all three phases of the team had a part in the win (over Nevada), all three phases of the team had a part in this loss. I don’t know if it was Halloween, or I don’t know what, I’ve never been involved in a game like this.” (HSB)

About the game, Mac said:
“I don’t have any excuses, we just didn’t get it done. I am very disappointed. You have to give credit to Utah State, but it’s still a devastating loss.” (UH)

About Diondre Borel, Mac said:
“I knew he was good coming into today’s game, they said he was good. We put pressure on him and did everything we could do, but he runs around and we couldn’t tackle him. He is quicker than anybody else we have faced this year. I give him a lot of credit.” (UH, HA)

About Utah State coach Brent Guy, Mac said:
“I know they were all over his case, but he is a heck of a coach and he does a great job. He has got young players and players that are playing their tails off. He gets his team ready to play and I have a lot of respect for him. Anybody that is trying to get rid of him doesn’t know what football is all about.” (UH, HA)

“Anybody that is trying to get rid of him doesn’t know what football is all about. They need to get off his case.” (HA)

“Give him credit. He needed the win.” (HA)

Asked if Alexander should have tried to sneak the ball on 3rd down from inside the 1 instead of how Farmer was stopped for a 1-yard loss, Mac said:
“The running back is a better runner than he is. I didn’t see anything wrong (with the call). We’ve been running that play and having success.” (HA)

About how Dowling chose to play the run instead of jam the WR, which led to the 62-yard TD pass, Mac said:
“All we had to do was get a jam on him, and (Borel) can’t throw the thing, and we’ve got a sack.” (HA)

Interviewed after the game, Mac said about his players:
“right now they’re really down. It’s a down staff and its a down team.” (HA)

About the NMSU game, Mac said:
“Now, it’s going to be a tougher ballgame. It’s going to be a tougher week.” (HA)

About how Josh Leonard wasn’t able to play in this game, Mac said:
“We thought he would be ready, but he was still hurting.” (HA)

About how Adam Leonard played well in this game (8 tackles including 1 for loss) after being hampered by hamstring and quad injuries and a broken finger, Mac said:
“I think he’s finally back to being himself.” (HA)

“You can tell when he’s feeling like his old self.” (HA)

Declining to name a starting QB, Mac said:
“They both did some good things. I want to look at the film.” (HA)

“I’ve got to watch a lot of film and see just what’s going on.” (HA)

About his minute-long discussion on the field with the refs about the game clock running off extra time, Mac said:
“I felt like we were losing time off the clock. I thought we lost (in the course of the game) a lot (of time).” (HA)

Mac said that he was told by the officials that:
“we couldn’t go (put it) back on. Had we scored on that kickoff return (by Malcolm Lane, who returned it 91 yards to the USU 5 before fumbling), it (the lost time) could have made a big difference.” (HA)

About how they should have scored more (they were scoreless on 4 of their 5 trips to the red zone), Mac said:
“We left too many points on the field.” (HSB)

About how they can still win 3 of 4 to make a bowl game, Mac said:
“It’s a devastating loss. The thing is we still have our goal, it’s just going to be tougher now.” (HSB)

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

About how they need to execute better, Alexander said:
“I don’t know about the Halloween effect. It was the we-didn’t-execute effect. If we don’t execute, we’re not going to win. That’s what it comes down to. When we’re in the red zone, we have to come away with points, whether it’s 3 or 7. We have to come up with something out of it.” (HA)

About how Utah State played a basic defense, just rushing 4 linemen and giving up the short passes, Alexander said:
“It wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen.” (HA)

HA Note: “The Warriors were successful on timing plays — quick outs — but had difficulty when trying to throw deep. Nine penalties and three slips placed the Warriors in several difficult down-and-distance situations. That’s when the Aggies rushed three and dropped eight into pass coverage.”

About their troubles in the red zone, Alexander said:
“It doesn’t really matter what you do unless you punch it in the end zone. We can be the greatest team in America between the 20s but it’s nothing unless we put it in the end zone.” (HSB)

“We just have to execute better. Three times we’re inside the (10) and we came away with no points. That’s just unacceptable. We were in it, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We had penalties, we had turnovers in the red zone that just killed us. You can’t have that.” (HSB)

About his option pitch that was ruled a fumble, Alexander said:
“I don’t know if it was forward, I don’t think so. It was just a straight up option play.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Hawaii later lost the ball on downs after Inoke Funaki drove the Warriors to the 8-yard-line early in the fourth quarter when a false-start penalty erased what appeared to be a touchdown pass.”

HSB Note: “Hawaii entered the game among the WAC’s most efficient teams inside its opponents’ 20-yard line, converting on 19 of 22 chances with 13 touchdowns and six field goals through eight games. Utah State, meanwhile, had kept teams from scoring inside its 20-yard line just five times in 39 such situations. The roles reversed yesterday when the Warriors went 1-for-5 in the red zone, coming up scoreless three times after moving inside the Utah State 10.”

About losing his grip on the ball after running 90 yards with a kickoff return only to turn the ball over with a fumble, Malcolm Lane said:
“It’s the sickest feeling.” (HA)

“I didn’t want anybody to push me out (of bounds). I was right by the sideline. I wanted to dive into the end zone. I was putting the ball up to dive into the end zone, and it flew out. This was a crazy game.” (HA)

“I’m just sick to my stomach right now. It’s very frustrating, especially when you’re 5 yards away from the end zone and try to score and get your team back in it and just can’t capitalize. There’s so many things I should have done better and so many plays I should have made.” (HSB)

About how they players need to execute better, Lane said:
“The coaches will probably say it’s their fault, but it’s our fault. … We have to be able to execute better, especially in the red zone.” (HSB)

About how Utah State wanted to win the game more than them, Lane said:
“They wanted it more than us. They came out and played harder than we did. They played a hell of a game. They capitalized and made big plays when they needed to make big plays, and we didn’t make big plays when we needed to make big plays. That’s what hurt us.” (HA)

About how their mistakes cost them, Greg Salas (who dropped 3 passes) said:
“We killed ourselves. We shot ourselves in the foot.” (HA)

About how the option pitch to him was a forward pitch and should have been an incomplete pass instead of a fumble (the play was not challenged by the UH coaches), Daniel Libre said:
“I thought it was forward, for sure. Either way, I should have caught it. I looked at the defense too long. I take full responsibility for it.” (HA)

About how they were moving the ball well but had drives stopped by mistakes like on the fumbled option pitch to him, Libre said:
“That’s the sad part about it. It’s not like we were struggling to move the ball, we just couldn’t close (drives). I take responsibility for that one, I should have caught it.” (HSB)

About the loss, David Farmer said:
“It was a team loss. It wasn’t one play that decided it. It was a series of unfortunate events.” (HA)

Feeling that they are the better team, Farmer said:
“I would not say the better team won. I’m sure if we came out tomorrow and got a do-over, it would be a different story. It’s the way it goes.” (HA)

Impressed with Utah State QB Borel, David Veikune said:
“I must have hit him eight or nine times, and he took every one. You’ve got to respect that. He’s not that big. He’s a skinny guy, but he can take a hit.” (HA)

About how he sacked Borel 2.5 times (he had 9 tackles including 3.5 for loss), Veikune said:
“He’s a real shifty little guy. He has the best feet of all the quarterbacks we’ve seen this year. It was a challenge.” (HSB)

About Borel’s 61-yard QB draw, Adam Leonard said:
“Ten guys can do it, but if the 11th guy is not in the right gap, it could all fall apart. Each of us had one of those plays.” (HA)

Asked when was the last time he was fully healthy, Adam said:
“Florida (the season opener).” (HA)

Adam added that:
“it is hard to feel good when we lose. Winning, that’s what it is all about.” (HA)

Crediting Utah State for taking advantages of their opportunities, Adam said:
“I give them credit, because when they had an opportunity to make a play, they made it. That’s what football is about, making the most out of opportunities.” (HSB)

About how he had nearly 60 family and friends in the stands, Tim Grasso (from Kaysville, Utah) said:
“I’m not a local guy where every week I get a chance to play in front of my family and friends. It didn’t go the way we wanted team-wise. It’s a meaningful game for me, but we just didn’t get it done.” (HSB)

——————– Quotes from the Utah State Coaches ——————–

About how they hadn’t been able to compete against UH before this game, head coach Brent Guy said:
“Obviously for us it was a tremendous victory. I challenged our football team this week because Hawai’i has been a dominant team in the WAC since we joined the league. We have not competed well against them and we have not gotten into a fourth quarter game with them, and that is what we had to do today to win the game.” (UH)

About how they learned to finish the game after letting Fresno State beat them last week at the last second, Guy said:
“We had some ups and downs in the football game like we knew we would, but we learned our lesson
from last week. I feel like we finished the game in the fourth quarter like we need to finish it. We made
plays on defense and that made a huge difference. And then the offense, when they had to take the ball down and take time off the clock and score, they did.” (UH)

“We had some ups and downs in the football game like we knew we would. But we learned our lessons from last week and we finished the game in the fourth quarter like we needed to finish it. We made plays on defense and that made a huge difference. And then the offense when they had to, took the ball down, took time off the clock and scored to get separation.” (HA)

“We had some ups and downs in the football game, like we knew we would, but we learned our lesson from last week. I feel like we finished the game in the fourth quarter like we need to finish it.” (HSB)

About their injuries, Guy said:
We continued to get guys banged up like Otis Nelson going out because he hurt his ankle. I was really
proud to see a guy like Xavier Bowman who has been injured most of the year, go in and make that
catch right at the end of the game. That got us the first down and then we took the ball and scored.” (UH)

About how the keys for their win were blocked kicks, 4th down stops, and red zone play, Guy said:
“We blocked kicks on fourth down, had fourth-down stops and we scored every time we were in the red zone, while they were just one of five in the red zone. I think that’s the difference in the ball game when you look at it.” (HSB)

About how UH outgained them 374-368, Guy said:
“They had more yardage than we had, but not more points and that’s what counts in the end. The defense did a tremendous job, and we scored 30 points on them, too. It was an all-around good victory.” (HSB)

Earlier in the week, Guy said that they needed big plays on special teams:
“We gotta create some plays on special teams.” (HA)

After they blocked both of UH’s FG attempts and recovered a fumble on a kickoff return, Guy said:
“I was really proud of special teams today.” (HA)

About how they have been able to compete despite having so many players injured, Guy said:
“I think this is a pretty good indication that when we can still survive even when we’re beat up. We’ve got the numbers up to 85 (scholarship players) and have recruited enough young talent that we can compete with some of these teams even though we’ve been devastated by injuries.” (HSB)

—————— Quotes from the Utah State Players ——————-

About his 61-yard QB draw after UH had cut the lead to 6 points in the 4th quarter, QB Diondre Borel said:
“I was sitting there and I was like, ‘Man, we need to make a play. We can’t just let them back in the game like this,’ because last week was kind of like that. We just made big plays, made a big play. We just took advantage of that and just kept putting points on the board.” (HA)

About how they had planned to use Sean Setzer at QB for a series in the second quarter, Borel said:
“(Coach) told (Sean) he was gonna get in third or fourth series, try to do a two-minute drill at slow space. He got in there and the ball got tipped. He threw an interception and then coach took him out, but it wasn’t really his fault.” (HA)

About what he noticed about UH’s cover-2 D when they took over at the 38-yard line after Kelly’s second blocked FG, Borel said:
“The safety (Desmond Thomas) was on the hash. He was pretty far away from the go route. … I told (right wideout Nnamdi Gwacham) before we called the play, ‘Get ready.’ ” (HA)

“I told him before the play, before he called the play out, I was like, ‘Just get ready.’ And I threw the ball and he made a good catch for the touchdown.” (HA)

About how he caught a 62-yard TD pass on that play, Nnamdi Gwacham said:
“The defense stepped up on the route and left me wide open.” (HA)

About how the win felt great to him, CB Roy Hurst said:
“The game was won as a team effort, and it feels great. We know we’re a team that can compete with anybody that’s on our schedule. Sometimes we prove it, and sometimes we don’t.” (HSB)

About how he blocked UH’s second FG attempt (after Paul Igboeli blocked the first attempt), Hurst said:
“Coming in, we knew that the wing was either gonna block the guy that was just inside of me, which is Paul, or me. And the first one actually Paul blocked, so he was focusing more on Paul (the next time) and I was able to come free off the edge and get my hands up and block it.” (HA)

About how they blocked UH’s FG attempt after UH had 1st-and-goal at the 3-yard-line, De’von Hall said:
“Any time that they get down to the red zone or any time the defense can take points away when typically an offense is supposed to get points or get at least three is a big momentum swing.” (HA)

About Joshua Taylor catching up with Lane and knocking the ball out of his hands at the 5-yard-line on the kickoff return, Hall said:
“That was an unbelievable play. It was a great play, biggest play of the game — the last big play of the game. And the guy was rolling. You see that guy on film and he’s a fast guy, so for Josh to come up and catch him and strip the ball … was just huge. It was an unbelievable play.” (HA)

About how Joshua Taylor was shaken up on the play, Hall said:
“I think he got the wind knocked out of him. Josh has been banged up, but he’s a warrior, he’s gonna keep coming out there and playing day in and day out.” (HA)


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