Aggie Football Team Talks About Boise State Game

Nov. 6, 2000

LOGAN, Utah - UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS Football Press Conference Quotes Nov. 6, 2000

Head Football Coach Mick Dennehy

ON THE NEW MEXICO STATE GAME -- "As a result of the New Mexico State game we are exactly where we thought we would be and where we set our sights to be going into the Boise State game. With as good as they are (New Mexico State) on offense, we felt like it would be a game in which we had to score some points. They were going to get some rushing yardage and we would have to keep them out of the endzone a few times. That is kind of how the game unfolded with the exception of two or three plays and a couple of missed tackles I thought our guys played very well defensively. However, against teams like that a couple of missed tackles will lead to touchdowns. I was really pleased with the resiliency or our team overall. Offensively we did what we had to do. It was great to see the kids come from behind, to not panic. I didn't sense any panic at all on the sidelines. I felt like the kids went in with confidence with under a minute to go and knew that if they went out and did the things they had done all ballgame, we would score another touchdown or give Brad Bohn an opportunity to kick a field goal. I thought field position had a big part in that game. I thought our special teams for the most part, especially kickoff returns, helped us immensely in that area... I think it was a game in which everyone contributed. It being a league game, getting us to 4-0 is really huge... It was the kind of game that if you win, it is a huge, huge confidence builder in terms of understanding why we preach why you have to play the game for 60 minutes and that it is not over until the final gun. If you work hard and keep it close you are always going to have a chance. It kind of hammers home some of the points that we try to make throughout the season. It has some far-reaching effects. It will be an example that we can use as a big game, exciting game, come-from-behind game that we can use in the future with some of our younger athletes. Plus the fact that it was a league game makes it a huge win for us."

ON EMMETT WHITE -- "Emmett White had a pretty decent evening to say the least. I didn't really realize that Emmett had as many yards as he ended up having. He had a great night returning kickoffs. I thought our offensive line did a great job of coming out and making it easy for him for most of the night in the running game. Although when they are doing their job they are creating a crease that is going to make it easy for him to get five yards. The thing that happened Saturday night is that Emmett did such a good job of getting into the second and third level and making people miss, which he is very good at. He had some great blocks downfield, particularly on that last play (52-yard screen) by some of the wide receivers that turn some 15-yarders into 50-yarders. I am sure that he would be the first one to tell you that. He is such a humble kid and that is one of the reasons why I feel so good for him, because he is that kind of young man. He kind of spreads it out. He is very comfortable with himself. He knows he is a very good football player, but he doesn't necessarily have to tell you those kind of things. He is more interested in passing things around, which is why he is such a fine young guy to coach."

ON BOISE STATE -- "They are at or near the top not only in wins and losses, their record is better than the rest of ours, statistically they are at the top in almost every statistical category and there is a reason for that. They are an outstanding football team. Our kids have come along at the right time and they have set themselves up for an opportunity to play (for the bowl game) and I think the two best teams are playing at this point and time for the championship of the Big West Conference. We couldn't be more excited. They are truly an outstanding football team. We are going to have to play as well as we can possibly play and as error-free as we possibly can in order to have a chance to win."

"They are a team that is very veteran and they have seniors all over... They have got good leadership and I think that helps them immensely. They are coming off a conference championship and a Humanitarian Bowl win, which automatically puts them in a position to feel very good about themselves and look forward to the next campaign. They do play very well together. There is something to be said about lining up next to a teammate that you have lined up next to for two or three years, in terms of knowing what they can do and knowing what they can't do. It is huge playing together as a team, kind of covering each other's backside so to speak. I think as a coach you really get into a comfort zone, provided they are kids that are willing to work and get better and I think Boise State has that mentality. They have done a nice job. They are very well coached. They execute very well. They don't have what I would perceive as any real weaknesses. They are a team that if you are going to beat them, you have got to go out and execute and play as well as you can play because they are not going to beat themselves."

ON PREPARATION FOR THIS GAME -- "I don't think we prepare any differently. I don't think we will have to worry about our kids having big heads or going in overconfident. I would be more interested in our kids going in feeling very comfortable with where they are at and poised to play for the big one."

ON BART HENDRICKS AND EMMETT WHITE BEING TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS IN THE BIG WEST -- "They are two guys that their teams rely very, very heavily on. I think it was a foregone conclusion that Hendricks is an outstanding talent. He is a very, very good player. They have surrounded him with very good players as well. He is the one guy that gets his hands on the ball every single down. It is very obvious that the experience he has combined with his athletic ability is a combination that has helped them get where they are. The guy just makes plays. He doesn't make mistakes. To a certain extent, I don't think we would be where we are at if we didn't have Emmett playing as well as he is playing. Emmett's personality, as much as anything, is as important to us as anything else. The way Emmett is, I think his teammates enjoy playing with him and doing things for him, because they know that he cares about them and he is going to spread the credit around where credit is due. He has been a huge part of what we have done."

ON JOSE FUENTES -- "He started off about six or seven weeks ago as a young kid that was out there just trying to survive. Each week he has gotten better to the point where he is a legitimate good football player. He has grown with the position and he understands the position. He is not prone to make errors. He is not prone to panic. He has got tremendous poise in there and I think that is immensely helpful in the offensive huddle, carrying over to the rest of the guys."

Senior Linebacker Blake Eagal

ON HENDRICKS' ABILITY TO RUN AND PASS -- "We played against him last year and he gave us a tough time. I think of all the quarterbacks we have faced he probably does both of those things the best. (Darnell) Arceneaux (Utah) is a great scrambler, but not quite the passer that Hendricks is. (K.C.) Enzminger (New Mexico State) last week could run, but isn't quite the passer. Hendricks really combines both of those aspects of the game and that is why he was the MVP of the conference last year."

ON EMMETT WHITE -- "I don't ever want to play against Emmett White. He is a great player. He does everything so well. We sit on the bench going over our plays most of the time while they are out there playing, but at the end of the game there wasn't a whole lot more for us to go over, so I was standing there with Brent Passey (linebacker) watching him on a couple of runs where he made three or four guys miss in the matter of five yards. We were just watching in disbelief at what he was doing. It was a spectacular show. I am just glad that I get to be on a team where a guy broke the record.

ON APPROACH TO THE BOISE STATE GAME -- "I think you approach it the same way we have been approaching it. We have won four games in a row for the first time since I was a freshman. You don't want to change it too much. I am guessing both coaches and players will come into this week with a little more enthusiasm because it is for the league championship, it is for the bowl game and it is against Boise State, which has beaten us the last two years. There are a lot of motivating factors. I don't think there is going to be any lack of motivation going into the game."

ON HAVING COACHES' POLL POSTED ON EVERYONE'S LOCKER SINCE LEAGUE STARTED -- "I still use it (as motivation). Before the first league game they posted that on the front of everyone's locker and I have my blue pen that I have taken and crossed out each team as we have knocked them off the list. Now there is only us at the very bottom and Boise State at the very top for the league championship. It is something I look at every day when I walk to my locker. This is one more step. This is where we have got to go and now Boise State is the only team left, so our goal is to knock them off too."

Sophomore Quarterback Jose Fuentes

ON BEING OVERSHADOWED BY WHITE -- "That is alright. I am not trying to be in the spotlight. I am just trying to win games here. Whoever gets it done, gets it done. I am just happy we are winning... I am just out there doing my thing. I get coached-up well during the week and go out and execute and everyone gets coached-up and we play pretty dang well."

ON GAME-WINNING DRIVE AGAINST NMSU -- "We knew that if we got the ball again that we would have a good chance to score, so we weren't down at all (when NMSU tied the game with :55 left). We just wanted to get the ball back. We knew we had enough time to get downfield and we did it... We have a lot of confidence now that we have been winning and things have been going well for us and we have been executing things. I think our confidence has gone up."

ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE -- "They are doing a tremendous job blocking for Emmett and blocking for me. I felt like I had no pressure. Even when they were blitzing I felt comfortable out there. I thought the o-line was doing a great job."



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