Willingham Monday Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 3, 2007

Head Coach Tyrone Willingham Quotes
Press Conference, Sept. 3, 2007

Opening statement:
It is exciting to start the season with a win. I think it is the first time since about 2001 that we've had wins in back-to-back openers so it's a great start. It was a difficult contest. Having to go across the country, play in a different time zone and play in what we thought was going to be a loud and emotional stadium provided a difficult set of circumstances for our team to walk into. Our team handled the situation very well. We got a win and that was the most important part of it.

On Jake Locker:
I thought Jake was every solid. He had no turnovers and he distributed the ball very well, especially after the first couple of series.

On Boise State:
Boise is without question a very good team. Their winning streak is now at 14 ballgames and that is extremely impressive. They have great talent and great coaches, but the most impressive thing is their attitude. You read things and you hear things about their program just being on the same page about winning being the most important thing. They have a lot of individual talent, but it is driven by the team's success.

On the running game:
We know getting 300 yards rushing is rare. We'll take the 300 yards, whether it's rushing or passing, as long as it gets us a win. To be honest if it is less than that then it is fine as long as we get a win. The win is the most important thing.

On the freshman:
I thought the two freshman that played extensively in the secondary did a great job. Anytime you play your first game your legs get a little shaky. We thought they had quality receivers going in so anytime you can come out the way [our guys] came out, you have to be pretty happy about that.

On the offensive line:
Our offensive line I thought did a good job. The only offense got a slow start, but they picked it up. We had four or five drives that were at least 70 yards and that is a very positive thing.

On tailback Louis Rankin:
If the numbers are correct Louis had a career day. Hopefully we see a lot of that this year if the offensive line and everybody does their job. I think what many may have missed in Louis Rankin's performance is what the receivers did down field. I thought our receivers did a great job in staying on their blocks and blocking the guys downfield. There was one play where Marcel is blocking the guy out of bounds and you like to see that.

On the Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma:
I didn't think their bowl win was crazy, I thought it was great football. They played they played very sound football for three quarters. They mixed in their deceptions very well and I thought [head coach Chris Peterson] made some of the most gutsy calls you can make. When I look back at it I can remember their players talking about one of the plays they ran at the end of the ballgame and they said it hadn't worked all week. That is amazing that you have a play that didn't work all week, but you have enough confidence in your team to run it and to win a bowl game as well.

On keeping perspective after a win:
A win creates excitement and good things can be just as destructive as bad things. You think you are better than you are and all of the sudden you get the crap beat out of you. Somebody might say that happened this past weekend with a ranked team. It is the person that can balance both of those that keeps perspective. I think Jake has those characteristics in his makeup.

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