Oct. 15, 2017
Final Stats |
It's one game, in the middle of the season but with all the momentum you guys had as a program and what was in front of you in kind of almost historic ways, does it feel like one loss or does it potentially feel like it could be more than that? How do you feel about it as one loss?
Christian Chapman: I hate losing more than I like winning. This was a big loss. We had a goal. We were trying to go undefeated. That's out the window now. That's out the window now. They beat us fair and square, man. You've got to tip your hats off to them. They were more physical than us. They just beat us at the line of scrimmage. They were just a better team tonight. But the goal still remains the same, trying to win a championship out here.
I'm hoping to get there, too. I want to play them again. I want another shot at them, so we've just got to handle business. We got to take next week, Fresno, take it week by week, just keep this thing going.
Q. Trey, do you think, did they catch you flat footed, or were they more physical?
Trey Lomax: It's probably a combination of both. Our defense, we started off playing pretty well but towards the end, we need stops, we gotta get stops. We haven't had a turnover now in two games, so that's something we take pride in. We gotta start creating field position for our offense and get some turnovers.
We gotta get timely stops there at the end. We had a chance, we were down 10 points, we gotta get a stop there, they came out and beat us in all three phases of the game, offensively, defensively and special teams. I think they won each phase of the game. It's hard to win when you don't win like that.
Q. Both scores were within two minutes, what was going on in your head?
Trey Lomax: As a defense, you try not to pay attention. The offense, we have faith in them that they would pick things up, so it was just on us trying not to worry about them struggling early but just trying to got out and get stops. Once they started scoring, you know, it was on us to get stops, and we didn't do that. It's not on one side of the ball; it's a team loss.
Q. I know it wasn't the outcome you wanted, but what did you make of the fan support and the crowd out there tonight?
Trey Lomax: It was huge. We got the big crowd we wanted. I'm disappointed in the way we played. We didn't go out and play to our potential to reword those fans for showing up like they did, so hopefully we've just got to win out and continue to have that foundation at home and get fans to show up and hopefully we can continue to win games and get big crowds at home.
Q. Fred, at halftime did they tell you, we're going to start going deep to you?
Fred Trevillion: Yeah, the second half we wanted to open things up more, try to get the ball deep, and we just didn't get the plays that we need to do make.
Q. Christian, talk about how important Rashaad is to this offense. It showed tonight the way they were able to stop him and took momentum out of that offense tonight?
Christian Chapman: Yeah, I mean, our run game is our foundation. The run game opens up everything, and when they stop the run like that, we kinda gotta try to open up the pass game but it's tough, because we're built on the run game. Tonight, yeah, they were just more physical, and they were able to stop the run, and that's our offense. When you can't run the ball, we're going to struggle a little bit.
Hats off to them. They were able to stop our best guy on offense, and that helped them a lot.
I thought it was obvious they were the most physical football team out there tonight. We had a couple of things go poorly for us that got things started in the wrong direction. Quarterback probably made a mistake trying to lateral to a running back and it ended up a touchdown, and then we didn't cover a punt. They have a great punt returner, and we didn't cover our punt.
So things didn't get off the right way, but the real reason they won is because they were better at the line of scrimmage. Their defensive line was better than our offensive line, and in the second half their offensive line was better than our defensive line. It's a very simple game.
Q. Coach, were you happy with the effort your players gave tonight?
Rocky Long: Never happy when you lose.
Q. What's the mood of the offensive line?
Rocky Long: I have no idea. I told 'em what I thought, and we'll go back to work on Monday.
Q. Based on what you knew about them on film and what you knew about your team, even with a young team on the offensive line, were you surprised at the outcomes at the line of scrimmage in any particular ways?
Rocky Long: I wasn't surprised, because I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. I was surprised in how the game started, though.
To this point we've been pretty good on special teams. Tonight we were terrible. To this point we've done a pretty good job at the line of scrimmage to let a good running back have good days. Tonight we weren't good. The offensive line was terrible. Obviously then our running backs can't do what they need to do, and when you are 14 down early in the game, you have to throw it a little bit more. We made a couple of nice throws and catches, if you want anything that was positive.
I thought the defense played pretty good the first half, and then when we had a spark at the end, we couldn't stop 'em on defense. It was a well-rounded loss.
Q. When you guys have gotten down, like with Houston, you found a way to come back. Were you looking for that this time and making adjustments? Or was it just nowhere to be found?
Rocky Long: The first two things that went wrong, you can comeback from that if you block at the line of scrimmage. I didn't think we blocked at the line of scrimmage the whole night. Obviously you have to have some positive vibes to get back in the game, and when we couldn't get a first down running the ball, that's not a positive vibe for us. I didn't see anything -- the long pass probably should have sparked us a little bit. It did a little bit but not enough to make a difference.
Q. Rocky, I know Jeff looks more at the defensive film for the opposing team than you do, but had you guys seen stuff on film on them of how strong they were that was concerning, given the youth on the offensive line?
Rocky Long: Well, no, when you watch the other team on film you can tell if they've got good players or not, and they do. They have very good players, and they've been playing good defense all year. They've been hard to run the ball against. They're one of the better run defenses in the country. But when you watch 'em on film, they don't -- you know, they're pretty good, but they don't seem any better than a couple of the other teams we played, that we had more success against. So I would say it's a combination of them being good and us having a really bad night.
Q. On their last drive, the game-clinching touchdown was your defense kind of tired at that point? It looked like you were rotating in guys. Maybe it was just they were moving at a fast pace.
Rocky Long: No, we were trying to get some fresh bodies in there, but they were obviously blocking us better at that point in the game than they did earlier.
Q. You guys have been on the positive side of the turnover battle so much this year. How big was that tonight, not being on that positive side?
Rocky Long: The last two weeks we haven't been on the positive side of the turnover deal. So tonight I thought that was probably the biggest play in the game. I mean, every once in a while you give up a touchdown on special teams, and you can overcome a one-touchdown deal, but when you lateral a ball and they pick it up and run for an uncontested touchdown, that kinda puts the momentum into swing.
It's hard to break the momentum and get things going the other way, especially if you can't move the ball on offense.
Q. Tough field position battle for you guys.
Rocky Long: We were backed up the whole time. But when you're backed up you gotta get a few first downs so you can punt the ball and back them up. But they were stronger at the line of scrimmage, and we weren't able to get any first downs.
Q. Given the ranking and the -- the bigger picture stuff not just the one game, the ranking, the history, getting nearly 50,000 announced, Christian said earlier one of the goals was to try to go unbeaten as a team. Does this feel like more than one loss in the middle of the season, or not?
Rocky Long: I don't think so. And all that other speculation was by everybody but us. Obviously we're disappointed we lost. Every team -- every team in America goes into their schedule hoping to win every game. They do. I do that every year. I hope that we're going to win every game when we start the season; I hope we're going to win every game.
I've said this a thousand times, but I will say it one more time. There wasn't one team in Division I football that went undefeated last year, not one. So the chances of that happening aren't very good, and you realize along the way there is a chance you're going to stumble and have a bad night and lose the game. Even though you don't want to, and you prepare and try really hard not to.
I think I saw four or five top-25 teams this weekend lose. I saw two on Friday night. Last year's national champs lost. That's the way the game is. The only way you win every game is you have to be physically dominant, and I don't see there is a physically dominant team out there, especially if there's injuries involved.
Q. During the first half, I think you were punting more often than not, but there was one drive you ran 10 plays. That was your only positive drive the entire first half, ending with the dropped pass over the middle. For a defense when you are preparing the players at halftime, does it get in their head when they're thinking the offense isn't helping us out at this not point?
Rocky Long: No, I don't think -- that's however coaches handle that. You're supposed to be a team. If your offense is struggling, you're supposed to make a spark on special teams, and the defense is supposed to keep it close enough that if the offense gets going you have a chance to win.
It's the same on the other side. If the defense can't stop 'em, that means the offense has gotta score a bunch of points, so the attitude about calling plays changes and that sort of thing.
The attitude on defense changes. We gave up some decent runs tonight, because we were taking chances trying to cause a fumble. You know, you stump people and blitz people and if they don't get home, it's a pretty good run. But if you happen to hit 'em at the handoff, maybe you cause a fumble and maybe you get a little momentum going your way. So when games start going one way or the other, you change how you call your offense and defense to try to get back in the game. Sometimes that means you get beat worse, but that's better than just giving in and not trying to win.
Q. So the whole going for the fumble thing, was that kind of apparent to you during that last scoring drive for Boise?
Rocky Long: No, I thought they dominated the line of scrimmage in that last drive. I thought they played better at the line of scrimmage the whole game. It's funny how the team that plays the best at the line of scrimmage usually wins, not every time but most of the time they win.
Q. You guys were finding ways to win before when you weren't at your best. How do you think this loss resonates with the team going forward?
Rocky Long: I hope it bothers the hell out of 'em. I hope they're disappointed, sad, upset. I hope they have all those emotions, because I do. And if you're a good competitor that just fuels the fire, and you try to come back to try to get better and not let it happen again. If you're not a competitor, you give up.
Q. As much as like the blocking overall just kinda disappointed you, there is part of it injury related. Nick Bawden he can't really play and Ryan Pope, I don't think he started but he came in later and he has a club on his --
Rocky Long: I think a lot of it has to do with injuries but that's an excuse. We don't make excuses.
Q. Ryan Pope didn't start though --
Rocky Long: Joe Salcedo started.
Did he get hurt?
“No, he was having a bad night so we tried somebody else.”
Boise State junior linebacker Leighton Vander Esch
On winning the game:
“I think we played great has a team. It is a great feeling. We all came together. This win is great for us. We just have to stay disciplined every game and keep the same mentality we had tonight against [San Diego State].”
On if he could tell that SDSU senior running back Rashaad Penny was frustrated:
“Yes. When you run the ball 100 yards every game but you don’t tonight that has to be frustrating. I am going to speak for him and say that it is frustrating for him.”
Boise State sophomore running back Alexander Mattison
On what the mentality was coming in this game:
“We know we have a great offense and defense. We knew we had to keep a physical mentality coming into this game in order to win.”
Boise State freshman cornerback Avery Williams
On how the punt return touchdown transpired:
“Just watching film and studying their punt team and having trust in our return team. There were 10 other guys that did their job for the team and blocked all their guys.”
On special teams playing a role tonight:
“You know, you might not get certain points on a drive, but if you keep winning the field position battle, you’ll eventually get your offense closer.”
On being able to stop SDSU offense:
“It was a big emphasis for us tonight to get them behind on first down so it was harder for them on second and third and give us a better chance on third downs. We did a great job with emphasizing those things, our coaches made a great game strategy for us, and we all just did our job.”