FROM PROVO, UTAH — They're limited, but we do have some postgame quotes from both teams to pass along for you. Read on.
Coach Mike Leach
(On what went wrong) “I think there’s a variety of things. I don’t think coaching wise we had them prepared to play for whatever reason. I thought we had good practices throughout the course of the week and we have for quite some time in camp. If you really wanted to see us play well you should have been there for Monday’s practice. We played really well that day.”
(On BYU) “The biggest thing you saw that BYU did is they had a lot of context to their plays. It was like, OK, we need a big play now and they rose up and got a good play. We need to conert this third down they got it. I thought our defense tightened up the second half. I thought about the time we were going to get some momentum they took two touchdowns off the board and I think that hurt. Any time we were about to ignite or catch fire something negative would happen.”
“We’ve just got to get those guys ready to play and I think as a team we’re a lot closer than we realize because the good stuff’s great, but then also out of the blue you’ll see street ball out there.”
“We vasilcallted between playing frantic and overly conscientious where we’re trying to not make a mnistake. At some point we’ve got to get the happy medium where each play’s separate and you’ve just got to do your job on each play.”
(More surprised or disappointed about the offense?) “A little of both. I was surprised and obviously I was disappointed. I was surprised and about the time we did, either of those two touchdowns, the momentum we get from that you probably play pretty good the next series. The other thing is we’ve got to be a mentally tougher team. When something happens we can’t have all these bassett-hound ooking faces on the sidelines. … we squandered too many plays. We’d get a play or two going that was pretty good and then we’d squander two more and never really got into a rhtythm.”
(On Riley Nelson) “I thought he really had good leadership there, the biggest thing is you can see they draw a lot of confidence from him, he’s used to being there with those guys in those positions.
“He’s a tough, gritty guy and I thought his leadership was one of the biggest weapons they had. I didn’t see any particular skills where you said, 'oh jeez, that’s awesome.
“He did a great job herding their offense and cricling the wagons at the right time.”
Coach Bronco Mendenhall
“I thought they gave a really good effort. I thought our team played hard and physical. I liked the competitive nature of our team, and I liked the tempo. It was a nice way to start the seaosn and to kick off the 2012 season. It was a cool atmosphere with the fans, and it was just a cool, cool night too for our players to play football.”
(On Riley Nelson) “Riley is competitive and so tough. He has great leadership and that suits him really well. He demands respect, and when it's hurrt up, he gets everyone to the line and pushes the ball forward.”
(On WSU) “I thought WSU was a quality opponent. They have a good coaching staff and a good team. But our team was hungry.”
“I was impressed with our team in general. I like their mindset: in the way they started, they took the field, and the way they finished. The players did a great job executing their assignments.”
“Any time you have experienced players, you hope to put them in critical situations where they make plays. It was fun to watch this team play tonight. Again, hungry is a great way to describe them.”
Tight end Kaneakua Friel
“All of us at tight end have been taking the role pretty serious. We are trying to be like what it was in the past. We want to bring back a strong tradition of tight ends. We are not claiming to be like them, but that is our goal.”
(On WSU) “I think we could tell we were wearing them down at the end. It even looked like they were faking some injuries.”
Linebacker Brandon Ogletree
“We did really well against the run.Overall, I thought it was a really good start.”
(On WSU) “The times Washington State got yards on us, it wasn't because they did anything special. We made some mistakes, and I still expect them to have one of the top offenses in the country. I think that also says something about our defense, to have held them to what we did.”