Dec. 15, 2012
Utah State Head Coach Gary Andersen:
"This was a tremendous football game. The second half was off the charts for these kids. Once again, they came out bound and determined to do something special and they found a way. Toledo is a very good team, just like we knew they were going to be coming in. They are tough-minded and kept on fighting. We're very blessed to be on the winning side today and very happy to be taking this trophy home."
On USU's red zone defense:
"They've been good there all year long. They bowed up once again, made a bunch of plays when they needed to. Our coaches did a good job of coaching our scheme down there all year long. These young men came out and executed it. They get their hands on balls when they're in the air, they sack the quarterback, and they bow up in the run game. It was a large part of our scheme tonight, obviously. I'm proud of these guys on defense for the way they played in the red zone."
On the difference in the fourth quarter from the first three:
"I think Kerwynn (Williams) found some creases for one thing, that's what happened. I think we just ran the same basic run plays we'd been running early on. We have a tremendous back and offensive linemen who run hard and get it moving. You get this kid a crease and he's going to go all the way. We made some opportunistic plays like we had all year long in the run game. It's nice to win this game. It's one of our goals to be able to run the ball effectively late and we were able to take that into the fourth quarter and be dominating."
On the difference in playing in bowls and winning them:
"Well the feeling right now is completely different. You play in bowls to win championships. That's what you do. This championship we won tonight will be up in our locker room and our facility forever. It's like any game. Winning or losing, you're either really happy or really sad. When it's on the line for a championship, especially for these seniors to do what they did, get the WAC Championship, finish 11-2, now to have a bowl game championship. They reached every single goal they set on Jan. 7. That doesn't happen very often in life, it doesn't happen very often in football. We talk about it all the time. Let's go turn these young men into men. This will help them through life. Whenever they get their backs up against a wall, they know they can set lots of goals and reach them. That's what they did this year. I'm very proud of them. It's unbelievable for the program. To get to 11-2 and ending the year ranked, moving into a new conference, it starts everything off right as we move forward. We get more and more recognized the more we win, and the more these young men take care of themselves on and off the field. It makes a big difference. It's a huge step in the right direction."
On the improvement of the run game in the second half:
"I said at halftime that we needed to run the ball and run it effectively. We weren't doing that. We made some mistakes tonight that weren't like us. We had some personal fouls that took us out of drives. We had opportunities to break it open earlier and we didn't take advantage of that. It was good when it started to happen. It was a good team though. Toledo was 9-3 coming into this game. They're physical, they're tough-minded, and they expect to win. We made more plays than they did and came out on top."
"The effort tonight was just like the effort all season long. These kids have done a tremendous job of wrapping their arms around a scheme and playing hard. Their ability to communicate is impressive and that's something your average football fan may not be able to understand and see. Their ability to get in and out of things, I don't know how many times you saw them tonight changing and moving. There are so many moving pieces to the puzzle when people are going with no-huddle offenses and changing calls. They're changing multiple coverages, they're changing multiple defenses. They're smart young men, they play hard, and their expectation level is to be great, every single week. Coach (Dave) Aranda, Coach (Bill) Busch, Coach (Spencer) Toone, Coach (Kendrick) Shaver and Coach (Frank) Maile have come in and done an excellent job. They've gotten better and better as a staff and as a crew all year long. They're physical and play the game the right way. We don't even have to grade effort anymore on the defensive side of the ball, which is a tremendous credit to that group of young men."
Senior RB Kerwynn Williams:
On getting the spaces in the fourth quarter and the significance of it:
"Oh man, it was big. I have to thank my teammates for that. After that fumble, they all came up to me, telling me they had my back and standing behind me. I have to thank (offensive coordinator Matt) Wells for still having the faith in me to give me the football. The offensive line did a great job blocking their front and opened up some creases for me. From there, it's history." "After that fumble happened, I was just more determined to get it going. I wanted to do something big to help the team out, to make up for it. I just have to thank my teammates for standing behind me and creating opportunities for me to do that."
Senior LB Bojay Filimoeatu:
On the play of the defense:
"I was just blessed to have this opportunity. I give it all to my coaches. They're great coaches who just told me to go." On holding Toledo to field goals: "We always have the will to stop a touchdown. Our coaching staff pushes that effort.
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