No. 19/21 Football-UNLV Postgame Quotes

Oct. 8, 2017

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San Diego State Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Rocky Long

On if this was more of a complete game that the team has been looking for compared to the last few:
“The score indicates that it was, but I didn’t see the game like that until the fourth quarter. I thought they’d come out and play well, and I thought we’d come out and play well. It was a very competitive, very physical, fun game to watch. For the longest time, for three quarters, and in the fourth quarter we were able to pull away, so it doesn’t look like it was a very competitive game, but let me tell you, it was a very competitive game. Coach Sanchez has done a great job of building this program, and I imagine they’re just going to keep getting better and better. You know, that’s not good for the rest of us, but I see that coming because a couple years ago it wouldn’t have been a competitive game and now it was a competitive game almost until the very end.”

On the team focusing on football after Sunday’s tragedy:
“I’m sure it wasn’t as hard on us as it was on them. We talked about it with the team several times because we knew they were going to do something here to honor the victims and all that, and we wanted to make sure our team had the right attitude about it. I think we started early enough in the week that it probably didn’t do anything to our preparation for actually playing in the game or it sure didn’t seem like it, but I thought everybody did a nice job with it. I thought it was classy. I thought it gave the right impression. And all the student-athletes being out there honoring the national anthem as well as the victims that are hurt and the first responders, that shows we still have great, young people in this country whether some people believe it or not.”

On the frustration level of the first drive of the game ending with a fumble:
“It’s very frustrating. For a coach, that starts making you worry that maybe it’s not that night, because we did. We took about seven minutes off the clock and drove it down there, we’re on the 1-yard line and we come away with zero. Sometimes that snow balls and you don’t ever come back from that.”

Senior defensive lineman Dakota Turner

On whether or not this was more of a complete game that the team has played in awhile:
“Yeah, I think so; on both sides of the ball, special teams, as well. Everyone was doing their assignments and making plays.”

On the emotions before the game, and it being a different start to the game and if he’s ever been a part of something like that before:
“Never. The chills I had, and I’m getting them right now just talking about it. That’s something I’m going to remember the rest of my life. My thoughts and prayers to all the family, and to be able to stand side by side with the first responders who were there was really a humbling experience. To be able to go on and play a game with my brothers is something so simple, and what those people went through is a really humbling experience.”

On second-half defensive adjustments:
“We kept the scheme; coach said, ‘scheme’s good, we just got to keep it going, guys just got to dominate and do their assignments’. I think guys kind of came together in the locker room, and you can’t take it lightly. Just everyone came together as a group, and realized that we needed to start making big plays, and that’s what happened.”

On stopping UNLV’s running game:
“We just needed penetration, and that’s what we’ve been working on all week; just getting in those gaps and causing havoc in the back field, and that’s what a lot of guys were doing – the d-line, the specialty linebackers, the front seven – everyone was doing their assignments and making the big plays.”

On whether there was frustration after some of UNLV’s big runs:
"Yeah, definitely, especially when the quarterback broke for a big run. That’s just when we’ve got to come together the next play, and just go.”

On being bowl eligible:
“It’s great. I’ve had the blessing, all five years of being here, being bowl eligible and go to bowl games. It’s definitely awesome to have that, but we’ve got to keep it going. Our goal is to win 22 and that’s all we care about right now.”

Senior running back Rashaad Penny

On if this was more of a complete game that the team was wanting to do the past few weeks:
“I still feel like we struggled in little areas, but again, I’m still emotional about it, because I haven’t recovered well. This is something that happened to this city. I honestly played emotional tonight. It doesn’t matter where it happened; we’re still in America and for a man to take so may peoples lives like that, it honestly hurt. Coming into this game, it was emotional because there is so many people from Vegas on our team and I felt what they were going through tonight, and I felt what the guys on the other side were going through tonight. Just coming out and playing, and then seeing this city rally together with all these fans come supporting is, I mean, this is an amazing job. I tip my hats off to them, but for us, we still have a lot to grow in areas of fundamental wise. I think we can just go out and play football, but it’s all about fundamentals and that’s something we’ve got to get better at. But, you know, a win is a win, so you can’t complain about anything.”

On the opening-drive fumble and if it’s frustrating:
“It’s definitely frustrating. You know, you never want to fumble. You don’t want to put the ball on the ground, especially at the 1-yard line. It’s just something like I’ve said, when you have amazing teammates like I have that pick you up when you’re down or something goes bad happens everything goes great, and that’s what they did, they told me not to worry about it and put it behind me, and that’s what I did, I put it behind me. I couldn’t get anything.”

On some big, third-quarter runs and finishing it off with a touchdown and what changed:
“Just game planning wise, picking them out, and seeing that they’re overflowing over the top a lot, so the spill was going to be open – that’s the backside. And that’s something we did great, just watching the coaches game plan us all up, and just following what they do and just executing it well. And I give it to the offensive line, because you can’t get anything going without them guys. They play a tremendous to role, and I’m excited.”

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