Aug 29, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -
Utah State Head Coach Matt Wells
On game overall:
"We knew it was going to be an exciting game, down to the wire. They made one more play than we did. I'm proud of our kids. They've got a lot fight to them. They're going to win a lot of games. I'm proud their effort, very proud."
How crucial was the onside kick?
"I think it was a big emotional lift I think for them. The bottom line is that we had two plays in the first half that extended the drives on third downs. Silly penalties were crucial. We gave up some shots down the middle of our defense, that's unlike us. And then, you know what, we had two or three three-and-outs in the middle of the third quarter. That's a total team loss, every one of us, starting with me at the top."
Do you chalk up some of the penalties and mistakes to being early in the season?
"I'll have to go back and look at film to see exactly. A couple of them were silly; a couple of them were close. Yeah, chalk it up to early season, but we can't make those mistakes."
Did Chuckie Keeton cramping up limit him late in the game?
"A little bit. It got a little bit humid and hot, but that's unlike him. The kid played his heart out, gave it everything he had and left it out on the field."
Do you take anything positive away from this game?
"Our kids are high character and they played really, really hard; and it hurts them in there right now. We fully expected to walk in here and win. I think that belief will take us a long way, so I think that's a high point. Seeing some young receivers step up and make plays early in the game, those were high points."
Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham
On getting the victory and moving forward:
"It was great to get a win, this was a hard fought game. Statistically both teams were very even. Our offense was good and their offense led by Chuckie Keeton was outstanding. We still have a lot of work to do. We are an average team right now. Our guys showed resiliency, especially after getting down 23-14, we didn't fold and kept fighting. In the end it was just enough to get the win."
What areas played well?
"We had great efficiency in the passing game tonight. and our kicking game was the difference tonight."
On Andy Phillips:
"[Andy] Phillips who was a skier and soccer player before this nailed some huge kicks. His onside kick changed the momentum and he was our player of the game tonight."
On the play of Chuckie Keeton:
"Keeton made plays all night and found ways to extend plays as well. He is a Heisman type player."
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