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Postgame Quotes vs. Oregon State

Oct 1, 2022
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Utah Quotes

Head Coach Kyle Whittingham
Opening Statement…
"I am pleased with the way our guys responded in the second half. We didn't play poorly in the first half, but it wasn't our best football. We were way too soft in the run game in the first half, but we buckled down and played better-run defense in the second half. The offense did a great job of protecting the football and taking care of the football. Cameron [Rising] made a bunch of timely plays and was extremely accurate, but we didn't throw for as many yards as I originally thought we did, but we were close to 80-percent completion percentage, and we really had some clutch catches. Devaughn Vele had a good day. The disappointing thing on offense was the inability to run the ball. We couldn't really ever take over the line of scrimmage, and that is something that we usually do. That was a negative for us, but overall, the defense had four picks, three by Clark [Phillips III], a pick-six, and another one that set up a touchdown. RJ Hubert's interception put us in a great scoring position, so the defense gave us a lot of big plays, and if you intercept four footballs, you are going to win most of the time. I think this football team took another step forward this week and we just got to keep doing that. That's the key, and if you want to win a championship, you have to get better week after week."
 
What changed in the second half to make the run defense better…
"Better technique with the front and more downhill with the backers not catching blocks and putting them to the punch and just being more active versus the run."
 
What is it about Clark that made him go out and half the game he did today...
"He has exceptional quickness and speed, first of all. He is not the biggest guy, but he is built well and is physical when he needs to be, but speed and quickness is his big thing, along with film study. There is nobody that studies more films and Clark and that leads to big plays. The more film you study, the more big plays you're going to make."
 
How concerned are you with the run game…
"I am very concerned. We had too many linebacker run-throughs. That was the real key when you are coming off the combination blocks, you have to have your eyes up and see the linebackers, and we weren't doing a good job of seeing that. Consequently, they were getting into the backfield, especially early in the game, and being disruptive. We have to do a better job keeping our heads and eyes up on the combinations and coming off the combinations, and picking off the run-throughs."
 
What was the biggest positive takeaway from this game…
"Our efficiency in throwing the football on offense was the biggest positive, but we didn't throw for a ton like I thought. I thought we had thrown for more, but we were 200-yardsish, but it was a very effective and efficient 200-yards with no drops and protecting the football. I don't believe we turned the ball over, so that was a big positive, and then the big plays on defense. We are an opportunistic defense, and anytime you are plus four in the turnover margin, it's a good thing."
 
How beneficial is it for Cameron to be targeting so many different receivers…
"That is what needs to happen, and that is what we talked about all week. It is going to be a concerted effort by a bunch of people to pick up the slack for Brant [Kuithe] not just one guy. Everybody's got to elevate and I believe we did that today."
 
On Rising running the ball against Oregon State…
"I wouldn't say it was too much today. I don't know how many times he ran it. A few of them were escapes on drop-back passes, and you know that's obviously not designed, but he is designed to carry the ball six to eight times a game. The big thing is not to take big hits at the end of the run. He has a great running ability, and we need that week in and week out."

#1 Clark Phillips III, Cornerback
On his three-interception game…
"I'll be honest, a lot of preparation goes on every single week, but this week god said this was the week that I was going to get three."
 
On the pick-six…
"We noticed formational tendencies, and Coach Scalley put us in a position to be able to capitalize on it, and I just happened to be the outside corner on that play. As soon as I saw the ball snapped and the quarterback look, I said this is the one, and hopefully, we score."
 
When do you think the game changed…
"I think the game changed with turnovers and then just consistency on the defensive side of the ball, and even the offensive approach and consistency after halftime was big. We are staying together and realizing this is the game where we really need to force some things and continue to stick together and make plays. I felt we did that and capitalized on that."
 
#11 R.J. Hubert, Safety

On his interception…
"I think it's very telling of all the work that we put in throughout the week. Clark [Phillips III] did a great job owning his role, like out on an island. The stats come in mine and Clark's names, but we don't hear enough about the guys up front that forced those throws."
 
On the success in the red zone…
"I think it's just guts. We have worked so hard, and we have gone through the ringer, in spring ball and fall camp, and we found our toughness, and I think once you get in the red zone, it's like, alright, they are close, and they could get points out of this but let's minimize that. This team has guts and passion."
 
#7 Cameron Rising, Quarterback
On the first game without Brant Kuithe and Brant being around to help out…
"It was different, but the guys answered and did everything they needed to throughout the week and really took ownership and made sure they were ready to go with whatever they had, and they took advantage of the opportunities. He has been in the facility, talking to guys and making sure that everybody's still working, and he is still the captain of this team and is still leading."
 
On getting Cam more involved in the run game…
"Some of them were just scrambles, some were a little more designed and just taking advantage of whatever the defense was giving me, and the offense did a great job blocking it."
 
On his touchdown run and showing his strength…
"I think a lot of people don't really look at me as a runner, and any chance I get, I like to take advantage of it."
 
#17 Devaughn Vele, Wide Receiver
On what he saw from the wide receivers to pick up the slack with Brant Kuithe out…
"I see a lot of growth as we have a lot of young guys in Makai Cope and Money Parks, and then we have guys like Jaylen Dixon, who has been around a while, getting the opportunity to make plays. As big of a loss as it was with Kuithe going down, we understood as a receivers group that we needed to be the playmakers on the outside. We always attack the middle, and we will always have a good run game, but we understand that we have a vital role in the offense in igniting and sparking the offense in making big plays. We just attacked this week, and we know all of our assignments and just made sure that we are physical in the run game, and then when we get our opportunity, make big plays."
 
On what it meant for Jaylen Dixon to have such a big game this week…
"I am like his biggest fan. I am always the first one excited for him. Jaylen has been working his tail off, as you see it at practice every day. He is always going full speed and giving it everything he has. I even told him before the game that this is your game. This is your opportunity to start making plays, and he made the most of it. I was so excited for him. He has been a part of this offense for a long time and is one of the guys I look up to as a veteran leader. Seeing him get the publicity and success he has worked so hard for is a blessing."

Oregon State Quotes

Head Coach Jonathan Smith
Opening statement...
"Well, obviously we played a good team and when you don't play well you're gonna get exposed a little bit. I thought that showed up tonight, obviously it started with the turnover and credit to
them for creating some of that but you give them the ball like that, it was tough. I did appreciate the effort in the first half. I didn't think we executed cleanly giving them two picks early on, but you know, regroup got into halftime, it's a one-score game, get a three and out and then we go down and get points to make this thing competitive after the way we played. But then we couldn't sustain that throughout. I mean, they go and turn around and get a score, give them the ball again, and it just went downhill from there. So, we got to improve, we've got to execute, and do a lot better. We got to make sure we're giving them plans and positions and all of that so this is the ultimate team game. It started with me to the coaches to the players. So I do believe in this group, I enjoy coaching them and I appreciate the effort they're putting into this and came in here to play well enough against a good team."

On the two first quarter interceptions by quarterback Chance Nolan...
"The first one, I think the corner was sitting on the route, maybe reading the shoulders or what not. You know, we're trying to push it deep and give a good separation. He didn't, [the cornerback]
was sitting on the route and made a nice play. Second one, I don't think we're claiming. He needs to see that that the route's not clean that the pick-six that was on."

On what he needs from the quarterback's play...
"Well, we can't turn it over. Again, I think we got guys to help score points, we just got to do a better job, so it starts with that. Their managing the game and urges the players to get some
shots down the field. Again, going back to the chance early on, making some throws there so obviously I think this is back-to-back weeks with four picks and that ain't gonna get it done."

On how the defense played...
"I was proud of them. First half you look at what we were doing in the run game in particular. We had to stop them in the run game and I think the traditional hand it to the tailback run game
was minimal, it came down to a few pulls by the quarterback. They got us which we get we got guys but we have to tackle better. He's ripping off 20 yard runs with three guys who have a
chance to make a tackle."