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HEAD COACH Jim McElwain
(on his general thoughts)
“We lost all three phases, we lost the line of scrimmage, third down, ball control, time of possession . . . You know, it’s one of those things where what you learn from these things really tells you who you are. Sometimes in life you maybe didn’t put in what you needed to and the result is just what happened. Those are lessons.”
“I’m disappointed for our fans, I’m disappointed for our student body, I’m disappointed for our faculty, because we didn’t play the way I expect us to play. So really, it’s what you learn from it. To steal a phrase from a good friend of mine who’s been a longtime ball coach, ‘Believe it or not, we’re not going to hire Dr. Kevorkian as the team doctor. We’re going to come back, learn from it and get better.’ That’s part of building the foundation.”
“I will give those guys (NDSU) a ton of credit. That’s a good football team, like I told everybody. They should be really proud of the way they played. They came in here and took the game from us, and we didn’t do anything to try and take it back. So give them credit. They’re a well-coached football team; they have experienced guys who know how to win and expect to win, and that’s what championship teams do. You can see why they were a championship team last year.”
“What will we learn, and how will we respond? That’ll be the big question coming up.”
(on if his players were still focused on last week’s win over Colorado)
“I think they were feeling the warm fuzzies. They were excited over what happened, but that’s not an excuse. You live each day. What you do that day says a lot about who you are. Today said a lot about who we were. We’ll get them back.”
(on if his team focused on the ‘what’s important now’ philosophy)
“Well, I think they obviously didn’t. Like I said, last week was one game. This week is one game. So what do we do tomorrow to get better, and what do we do to improve? We have a long, long ways to go. Give credit to the team we just played.”
(on third down struggles, both offensively and defensively)
“They didn’t do anything, we just got whipped up front. Obviously we didn’t get a bunch of pressure, so they controlled the line of scrimmage. When you control the line of scrimmage, you have a good chance of winning the football game.”
(on the special teams)
“Offense, defense, special teams they won it all. We knew they had a good return team. When you look at the film, it’s always, ‘was it one thing they did or was it one thing we did or didn’t do?’ I think our guys will find out the answer.”
(on involving TE Crockett Gilmore on the first drive)
“He was just the guy open. Probably the worst thing we did, scoring too soon.”
(on NSDU’s QB Brock Jensen)
“I’ve talked all week, here’s a guy who won a state championship, undefeated his senior year. Obviously, he’s a college quarterback and goes and wins a national championship. I love winners, especially at that position. I was able to coach a guy at the last place I was at who won a state championship in Texas, gets the start and gets 14 straight wins and goes 30-some games before he ever had a loss. The guy was phenomenal. He threw the ball on time, he took what the defense gave him; that’s a credit to the coaches, too. It’s a well-coached football team.”
(on CSU QB Garrett Grayson)
“We didn’t do a great job of protecting him. I thought they did a really good job of just playing harder. He never really got his feet set. His interception, I know he’ll learn from that. It’s Tampa 2, right up the pocket and no one’s in the middle of the field; just run it and use your feet as your checkdown, as we teach. Again, that’s part of the development.”
(on the offensive line, and how the run game was limited)
“Start from scratch based on today. We’ve got to find some guys who are committed to making it happen, who have a little energy. We’ll have them shaped up. We need some fire from that group, but it’s who they are. Just like every position, we need to learn how to coach them.”
(on how much not having RB Chris Nwoke in the lineup hurt the run game)
“Nothing. You never worry about the guys who weren’t here; you worry about the guys who were. (RB) Donnell (Alexander) played hard.”
(on the momentum swing after the first-quarter safety)
“It was probably a microcosm of the game. You hand the ball off and can’t get an inch and go backwards. I think that kind of sums it up.”
(on his offense getting a false sense of security by scoring so early)
“I’ve seen it happen over the years. I think the big key there is we lost all the hidden yardage plays, and special teams just killed us.”
(on moving forward)
“I’m looking forward to getting to work tomorrow. I haven’t lost many games in the last couple years, but this is the challenge; this is why you go into it. You have the chance to affect young mens’ lives, and I’m looking forward to it.
"You don’t hit the panic button; you just learn from it and move forward. I don’t look at these things as setbacks; I see them as learning tools. That’s what it is. I said it last week, it was one game. And this is one game. The sun will come up tomorrow, and those are beautiful mountains we live by—I won’t see them because I’ll be in the film room—but it’s what you do with the things that happen to you that really show what type of character you have.”
NORTH DAKOTA STATE HEAD COACH CRAIG BOHL
(On the game)
"First, I want to say congratulations to the team's performance. They came out and played hard, we had to overcome some adversity and we had some injuries during the course of the game. I think Colten Heagle has a torn ACL, he'll be done for the year. I thought the guys who played in place of them did a nice job. It was not an easy win. Our guys played very focused, disciplined, and played good football. It takes a very focused and disciplined team to come in and win like that."
(Reflection on the team with off-field events going on this week)
"I thought we had great discipline and focus all week long. We have had excellent practices and the performance tonight was reflective of that. We had some adversity during the course of the game and we rallied around each other, it was encouraging to see, but you're going to play how you practice, our guys are about business."
(about CB Marcus Williams)
"He had great focus all week long and in practice. Marcus is a great team player, he's very conscientious and he really wanted to play well tonight. He played extremely well, but he was tired. When Ryan Smith pulled his hamstring, Marcus had not returned punts before. Doing all the things he was doing, returning kickoffs, returning punts, playing man-to-man coverage on the best receiver, and coming up with an interception, it was a tremendous performance."
(on 6 wins in 9 tries against FBS opponents)
"We take them one at a time. People say that we should not be playing these. Our guys have a great resolve along with that we stick with what we know, try to get outside the box, and when we do that, more teams typically lose on Saturday than win. So we're able to go in and play well."
(on adversity and focus)
"Our football players, there's a lot of support from the teammates. This did not happen by chance, it was a methodical plan that those guys put together all week long and came out and performed really well. That occurred because the guys had a great week of practice and they beat a good football team."
(on the reason for loss)
“We didn’t have a very good week of practice. It was just a lack of preparation.”
(on coming off a win to CU.)
“Any loss is disappointing. We had high hopes. Now we’re just looking forward to what we’ve got next. We just have to rip off the rear-view mirror and go forth”
(difficulties against offence)
“There wasn’t anything we didn’t go over in practice. It just was physical, and we didn’t execute.”
(on McElwain’s calm demeanor after the loss)
“We knew how he would feel based on our actions out on the field. I wasn’t surprised at all by his reaction. He just told us bounce back next week, and we need to work hard in practice and we can’t have a week in practice like we had.”
(on getting rid of the ball quickly)
“I couldn’t get in a rhythm. We were off the field so long that we couldn’t get anything going. And they played a hell of a ball game. You’ve got to give them credit for that.”
(on the learning from the loss)
“I think this loss helped us. I think after last week we were feeling really high about what we did. This brought us back to reality and we can get back at it next week.”
(on the surprise of the loss)
“It was a surprise. In football, any team expects to win. We’ve got to prepare better and do everything better throughout the week to be ready for the game on Saturday.”
NORTH DAKOTA PLAYERS
WR Trevor Gebhart
(on third-down success)
"Third down is the name of the game, and we came out and executed. Coach (Craig Bohl) had us practicing third downs all week and especially this Thursday. We came out here and we did what we had to do to get the win."
(on the win)
"It’s exciting; very exciting. We didn't make too many mistakes and like I said we came out and executed. Coach had a game plan, we stuck with it, and it worked out well. People tend to underestimate us and that’s a mistake."
DE Cole Jirik
(on beating an FBS team)
"You know people tell us we aren't talented enough and we aren't big enough, but that doesn’t matter when you play like you're supposed to. We've done it three years in a row now. It’s definitely nice to come into a place like this with a big crowd and take it from them."
(on the CSU offensive line)
“They were big guys, every single one of them, but we had leverage and when you have leverage, you can definitely take advantage. It was tough, but we stayed tough. It's an awesome feeling."