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Postgame Quotes - North Dakota State vs. Arizona

Sep 17, 2022

Postgame Quotes – North Dakota State at Arizona
Sept. 17, 2022
Arizona 31, NDSU 28
Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch

Opening Statement:
"The ZonaZoo was great, our fans showed up and I think they will continue to show up as we keep building. Our players did a fantastic job, it was a very clean football game. Four for four in the redzone, no turnovers, one penalty. Our goals are to protect and take away the football, and we did that. Hunter Echols' sack and fumble was a huge part of the game. We were the underdog with Lee Corso being the only one to pick us and we embrace that."
On the defense having to dig on those 3rd and 4th down stops
"There is no doubt, it was a man's game tonight, tough as nails. They put their wildcat QB and our guys did a great job getting the ball back for us… great stop by our defense and then got that three-and-out."
Everyone wondered why Jayden de Laura didn't rush last week and he set a career high in carries tonight, what changed?
"Jayden and I have only done this for three games together and we are just building our relationship. We are building trust, trying to learn how to coach him every day of practice, what he needs, and what I expect from him. He is a sophomore just learning things, just how last Saturday was a learning experience."
How much does Jayden rushing open up the pass?
"We ran the ball 36 times for 156 yards, that's good football and what we need. We have talked as a staff and say that having your QB rush for 40-50 yards, we can play competitive football. He got us 58 yards this game… most of the runs were more of a scramble, instead of forcing the ball down the field he made great decisions."
Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura

On choosing to run the ball more…
"We're just getting comfortable in the game flow. Coach Fisch calls plays and when I couldn't use it, I was second-guessing "I have to throw the ball into someone's hands." As I look back and watch the film from last week and even the week before, when stuff wasn't going our way and I didn't run, that was when our offense went down. So, this game, I put it on myself so if everything's covered down field, they still have to come stop me. I give credit to our guys for running their routes, the O-Line blocking and giving me gaps."
On winning the final non-conference game of the season…
"This win is a big confidence booster for us. Everybody counted us out and it'll probably be like that the whole year, but we just know that we've got each other's backs. We've got to play four quarters, it's not one half, the game's not over until the clock says 0:00. I would say it's a good confidence booster going into Pac-12."
Arizona wide receiver Dorian Singer

On Coach Fisch's postgame message to the team…
"Coach Fisch's message after the game was 'whoever counts us out, just make sure we count ourselves in. Whoever is not in the locker room with us, they don't know what's going on inside. Everybody has their own opinions about us, but we know the truth.'"
Arizona defensive line Hunter Echols

On North Dakota State's defense…
"They are very competitive. They wanted to compete and finish blocks, but we want to compete too, and I think we're physical as a D-Line and we pride ourselves on being physical so it was a fun, competitive game. We got the job done."
On the team's preparation for NDSU…
"Credit to our scout team, they do a great job every week. Our coaches make sure that we're prepared for each and every game so it wasn't a lack of preparation, just more of actually facing those guys. You can be a scout team all you want to, but until you come play this game on that turf, you can't get a real feel for it. But credit to our guys, we're prepared every week to play."
On Lee Corso's pick…
"Tell Lee Corso he can come to Tucson anytime."
Arizona linebacker Jerry Roberts

On Roberts' message to the team on defense…
"When the time came where we needed a stop, I told the team, 'These are moments that define our defense. These are big time moments, let's go out there and get a stop.' If we get a stop, our offense is moving the ball really well so we can move into good position."
On the team's attitude going into the game…
"I love when people doubt us. I told the team, "The only people who believe in us are the people in this room." We love that chip on our shoulder."

North Dakota State head coach Matt Entz
Opening Statement:
"Always disappointing when you get beat. Arizona played really well, and Jayden de Laura was what we thought. He extended plays and did a great job of moving the pocket and he did some things out of the 'naked'. They even ran some reads with him, so they took advantage of a guy who was a very good athlete.
"Otherwise, it comes down to we weren't very good on third down on either side of the football. That series in the third quarter where we had a penalty on the third down and we gave up a long third-and-14 were critical mistakes. (On) the fourth down (where Arizona stopped u), I felt like that was the right move with about seven minutes left in the game and we didn't get it. I thought it was the right play calls right body, right people in the game.
"But I'm frustrated for our kids. We played really hard, and I don't think anyone can ever question how hard our kids play, how well our coaches coach and how well our kids go about their business out there. I've been here long enough, and I've seen losses galvanize a team, and that's my anticipation. My most frustrating thing about tonight is the number of kids who apologized to me walking off the field. And that's not acceptable and but there's nothing wrong with that. We got beat by a team that was better than us tonight. But (our players) have nothing to be apologetic for."
On the decision to go for it on fourth down midway through the fourth quarter:
"We're going for it, there was no hesitation. Based on our week of practice, it was the right decision and I don't think there is any second guessing."
Do you feel like you made a potential FBS win got away here? 
"Probably. Yeah. I think we were at it. We had our opportunities and that's why I'm frustrated for our young men."
On using the power running game tonight:
"We questioned how much (Arizona) had defended it in the past. With all those big body personnel in there, and when you got a guy like Hunter Luepke carrying the ball 18 times, that's probably a little bit outside of our normal how we do things. But the situation created a need for big backs and I thought those guys did a really good job offensively. Minus the last series, we did a great job all game long taking advantage of some of our gap scheme."
North Dakota State linebacker James Kaczor

What made their skill guys so tough to bring down?
"Props to them, they were a good team they played well. They ran through tackles and ran their feet well. We have to do a better job of wrapping up and finishing tackles."

North Dakota State safety Michael Tutsie

Do you feel like you were one slip away here with an opportunity to beat an FBS team?
"I mean I would be lying if I said no. We came here to win. We came here expecting to win. We knew it was going to be a dog fight. We didn't expect to come here and do anything crazy. We expected to come in and do what we do. And yeah, it felt like it slipped away but we're going to learn from it and we're going to go back to work and do what we need to do. We'll correct what we need to correct and move on from it, use it as fuel. Our goal, our first goal of every season, is to win the Missouri Valley and we still have that ahead of us."

North Dakota State fullback Hunter Luepke

You guys went to the power game pretty frequently today, what was that like out there? Why was that to your advantage?
"I think the O-Line was just moving people off the ball and we were just getting three yards or more of a push each play so I think that's just what we wanted to stick with. Keep the ball moving. Game, time, and possession."