vs. Weber State
Sept. 1, 2016
UTAH STATE HEAD COACH Matt Wells:
“I’m really proud of our guys for a great opening-night win. I’m proud of their effort, especially right out of the gate offensively and finishing the first several drives with touchdowns. The biggest thing was that they came out in the second half ready to dominate the third quarter. We tried to run the ball and establish the run. I thought there was good effort by the running backs and the O-line. It was a good overall win, good start for us. We’re excited to be out in the new renovated stadium. That’s a Weber State team that I think is going to make a run in the Big Sky. They’re very well-coached and I have a lot of respect for Jay Hill and his staff. I wish them nothing but the best.”
On Devante Mays’ game:
“It was very solid. I thought he ran behind his pads really well. He broke some big runs. It’s a reflection of what he did all summer and what I saw through August. He just played like he practiced. I’m proud of him for his good start.”
On going into the fourth quarter with a bit of a cushion:
“It doesn’t do much for my blood pressure from 2 p.m. until now, it’s still boiling. Honestly, a win is a win, whether we win by a point or two, or by whatever the margin is. I’m happy for our guys. I’m happy we got to get some guys in there in the fourth quarter who have been practicing hard and got a chance to get in there and play. We got it on tape and they’ll be able to look at it and improve their game.”
On opening with a win before USC:
“Every win is a much-needed win. We work our tails off for eight months to get a chance to play 12, or hopefully 13 or 14 games. Every win is special. We take a lot of pride in playing well at home. I think that’s our 16th win going into year four and we’re proud of that. Our players play well at home and get tremendous support. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing next week, that win was important and we’re glad we got it.”
UTAH STATE SENIOR RUNNING BACK Devante Mays:
“I thought the offense did pretty good. The O-line did a good job making holes for the running backs. I thought the running backs did a good job of running the ball and finding creases. Overall, I think we did a really good job as a team and got a great win.”
On using this game to set the tone for the season:
“It’s very important. You never want to start the first game with a loss, so right now we’re feeling great. We want to keep the momentum going.”
On the offensive spark in the game:
“It speaks a lot about how hard they work every day at practice. We do a lot of drills. Our coaches coach us really hard, so it says a lot about how we work. I’m happy with it.
UTAH STATE JUNIOR SAFETY Dallin Leavitt:
“I thought the defense played well. There are some first-game things, little tweaks here and there that we need to fix. We played hard for most of the first half, but let up there at the end a little bit. At halftime we talked about effort and our guys responded and played hard. That’s what took care of the rest.”
On his interception:
“We talk about it all the time, we ball search, trying to create turnovers. The more times we have the ball, the more likely we are to score. It’s something that we preach. The guy ran a good route, but the ball went high and he bobbled it. It was in his lap and I happened to be there and rolled with it. If the ball goes somebody’s way, they’re expected to make the play and I was able to do that. “
On seeing the field for the first time since transferring:
“It was an emotional game for me. At the beginning, it was almost too emotional. That’s something I have to learn to channel and control. It’s been almost two years since I’ve played in a live football game, so I felt very blessed. I’m very grateful that my teammates and coaches are so supportive and it was good to be out there with my guys.”
WEBER STATE HEAD COACH JAY HILL:
“Devante Mays (Utah State running back) was tougher than nails, he’s hard to tackle. We knew it, and we did a poor job preparing for him. I did a poor job putting us in the right place to make plays, and quite frankly, we did a poor job tackling. We’ve got a lot of self-reflection to do, starting with our coaches. The most important drive of the whole game was the first drive of the second half where they (Utah State) drove right down the field and scored, so bottom line, when a team runs the ball like that you’re never going to win.”
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