Postgame Quotes: Utah vs. Arizona
Utah 38, Weber State 29
Tucson, Arizona (Arizona Stadium)
Sat., Nov. 13, 2021
Kick: 12:10 p.m. MT | End: 3:28 p.m. MT
Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch
"It was a tough one today. I thought our team played extremely hard and battled until the end. We asked them to be extremely physical and they were today. I give credit to our players because we've been so banged up this season. The team battled all week long in practice to get where they were today. You could see how committed our team is to playing hard and finding a way for a win. It was the most upset I've seen our locker room and it was because they're there and they have an expectation of winning. When you have that expectation, you walk off the field with a bad taste in your mouth. Stanley Berryhill and BJ Casteel had great messages to the team about these final two games. We knew Utah was going to be a very good football team and our guys matched them head-to-head on every single play. Credit to our special teams and the huge punt block for a touchdown. Our defense had some big time stops but we also had some bad penalties. We have to be smarter and this is a learning curve."
On the intent on the two-point play…
"We were trying to run a variation of a run-pass option where Berryhill was going to flip it to Wiley and Wiley would flip it back to Plummer. Plummer was trying to go in the endzone, but Utah was playing cover. They showed more blitz zero in that situation. We were hopeful that the corner would play up and try to tackle Wiley so he could flip it over the top to Plummer, but it didn't work out like that."
On Arizona being a tough out…
"I think the last four games have been an example teams need to be ready to play when they face us. I think Washington, USC, Cal, and Utah knew that. It was a two-point game and we went for two to tie the game up. I absolutely believe that we are a tough out and soon, the tough outs are going to become tough wins. And the tough wins will hopefully become bigger wins as we continue on this journey.
Arizona wide receiver Stanley Berryhill:
On the postgame locker room vibe…
"The game was down to the wire for the most part and we know that we could have won that game. Of course, we were going to be upset and we just have to work on execution now."
On playing your last game in Arizona Stadium…
"As a team we played for our seniors. There was an emphasis to play for them and we knew that we had to put our all into the game because we knew it was their last game in the stadium."
Arizona linebacker Anthony Pandy:
On the defense in the fourth quarter…
"I don't think we were run down at all. I feel like that last drive with the facemask call messed us up the defense. I didn't think we were run down, I feel like sometimes the defense is just hard on ourselves."
On Utah's last drive…
"Defensively, it doesn't matter how long we're on the field we don't try to depend on anybody. We just try to play hard and get the ball ack for the offense."
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham
"First off, let's give credit to Arizona. That's a hard playing team and athletes. They had a nice scheme coming in, they took that offense and did a nice job with the Wildcat package they had and did a nice job taking care of the ball. We weren't able to generate any takeaways and we didn't have any of our own. It was a clean game in that respect. That's what you call winning ugly and you have to do that once in a while. If you are a good team, you'll do that, you'll win the ugly ones."
Speaking to the penalties, what would you say about some of those calls?
"I never complain about refs, I'm not going to start now. We have to clean things up. I guess each play that was called could have been called. I'm not going to say they missed the calls we just have to be smarter. All season long we've been very good in that department, but today the wheels kind of came off."
With Tavion Thomas out, how did you think overall your running backs did, big picture, against the Arizona running defense?
"I think we did a pretty good job. TJ Pledger had 119 yards, he was the lead back tonight and that comes out to near five yards a carry. Micah Bernard added some big yards in the throw game. He's an exceptional receiver out of the backfield. Cam Rising didn't get his usual production, but we came away with 468 yards and that's a pretty balanced attack when its 294 and 174. So, I think our balance was pretty good."
Utah quarterback Cam Rising
This win wasn't easy, it wasn't clean, but is it satisfying to have a road win?
"It's not about how pretty it looks. It's not about doing this and having glitz and glamor going with it. It's about getting the job done and that's what we did here today."
What was it about the Arizona defense that put you a little off rhythm?
"They're a great defense, I think they do some good jobs. They like to move around. They have some great players on that side, and they did a really good job at the start especially, but then the O-block kicked in and we got going with T.J and Micah especially."
Utah running back TJ Pledger
It was a pretty physical game, what was it like to play in that environment?
"It was a very physical game, but we knew that it would be coming in. We knew Arizona was coming off a big win and over the season, they have progressively become better and better, and we knew it was going to be a physical 60-minute fight and that's what we got."
I know everyone expected you to dominate Arizona but what was it about them for them to be able to make this such a hard game?
"They are a Pac-12 team too. It's championship November."