Nov. 9, 2013
COLORADO STATE HEAD COACH Jim McElwain
"That was a relief. We talked to our guys at half time about... We've been so close and the line is so fine. Are we willing to take it upon ourselves, each and every one of us, and cross that line? Quite honestly, we haven't crossed that line this year too often. I can't tell you how proud I am of this team, the seniors, and the resolve in which they understand and build and work. As a coach, as a teacher, and to some of them a parent, it makes you awful proud. Credit the whole team. Credit the way they came in at half time. We flopped around in the first half. We just flopped. To see us come back and say, `That's enough, let's give that extra push and react to that snap quicker.' I'll tell you that's not easy because you put yourself out there when you do that. We've got some guys that did that, and I'm so proud."
(on Kapri Bibbs)
"Kapri did what he was supposed to do. The guys up front didn't quite get the second level guys on the ground like they needed to and after half, what happened? They gave the extra edge and pushed. Once we get by the first two levels, now that's the easy part. Just go hit your head on the goal post. That's what he is supposed to do, and he did it."
(On Kapri breaking school record, when did he know)
"When I was walking into the locker room, or on the radio here earlier. Good for him. That's what he is supposed to do. He did his job. Does he bring a little extra juice? Does he have the ability to hit some home runs? Darn right. Now, let's see what he learns... He should've had 420 yards. Let's see how he learns and steps through this. I love his attitude. I love the way he competes and how much he cares. I've seen how much he has grown up here.
(On Kapri's attitude)
"He understands there's a lot more to life than him. There are people that care for him and about him, and you have to give back. He's doing that."
(on the defense)
"They had a look in their eye that said, `I'm going to compete and do my job.' And for the most part, they did their job. And that guy is a big guy, but we competed. I thought (Shaq) Bell and DeAndre (Elliott), and I could go on and on... I felt they studied the game plan and executed. I'll be darned if they executed the game plan and it didn't work."
(on true freshman safety Jake Schlager)
"What's his first name? (smiling) He's a freshman, right? I should probably figure out who he is. I would not have doubted that he would compete the way he did. He never took a snap off on special teams; he's on every single one. That speaks volumes for guys that are giving up themselves and don't really care. They do everything they can for this team and family and for this university to be successful. And for some this may not have been a big game; some may have panicked, but not in his case."
(on Schlager on special teams)
"We can afford more valuable reps for him in team drills with (Kevin Pierre-Louis) being out, and he really proved that he's ready. I go back to it, he did his job. That's what it's about."
(on DB Jasen Oden)
"We felt that he had more comfort at `nickel.' And Bell, we felt the corner spot, because of how physical some of their guys may have been... we felt was a better spot. Yet, you saw a lot of rotation and a lot of guys playing."
(on CB Bernard Blake's injury)
"He played awesome, didn't he? He definitely has a bad toe. The guy has grown as a person, as someone who is accountable to his teammates, and he really wants to play. That speaks volumes for where he is at."
(on impressive pass rush)
"I thought we caused him to be a little unsettled in the pocket. And sometimes it's not all about getting sacks. We have to make him adjust his feet and not be comfortable in the pocket, and I thought we really did that."
(on blitzing from the corner?)
"It was either that or let them cover."
(on what went on at halftime)
"I think when you talk to the guys that are going to be at the podium, that's something to ask them. It wasn't like I gave them a real fire-brimstone talk. Like I said, I know how close we are. I know what we're building. I see it, but it is up to each individual to cross the line.
(on his offense reversing its habit of strong first halves and slow second halves today)
"No, I wasn't surprised. They do it just to drive me nuts. (smiling)
(on Shaq Bell)
"One of the things, as you know, we talked about at the beginning of the season is keeping the guys fresh and subbing. And we've done that. We've got some depth at that position, which allows guys to really give it their all."
(on Martavius Foster)
"Yes, he got in. We made that change a few weeks ago, trying to get a little more pass rush on the inside. You're going to see more of that."
(on Foster's quick transition being impressive)
"Well, we've been working him, on the scouts as well, and when we recruited him, he played tight end in high school. I think he realized that might be the best place for him."
"Garrett's just growing game by game. I'm sure he'd like to have some plays back, but he'll learn from it. That's a position that preparation and learning about what you did and moving forward... Preparation, preparation, preparation. That's what makes the game slow down, and I think it's slowing down for him."
(on second half being a breakout)
"You know what I've been waiting for... I've been waiting for us to cross the line. Rather than having to plead with them and beg them, there comes a point in each guy that says, `Let's just do it without making excuses.' I think today's second half had some of that in it."
COLORADO STATE PLAYERS
CENTER Weston Richburg
(on the major change that led to the second half outburst)
"We kinda took it upon ourselves to cross that line. We'd been stressing that all week, and like Coach said, it wasn't a big speech at halftime, he just got up there kinda posted up, put his arms on the lockers and just shot us straight. We needed to come out and play like we know we can play. The first half wasn't clicking like we wanted it to. So coming out second half we had that attitude and we wanted to get the run game going and get the passing game opened up as well."
(more on the offense)
"It felt really good, it always feels really good when you're trying to run out the clock and you score a touchdown your first play. That felt really good, especially because I got to go sit on the sidelines for the rest of the game. It felt great, that's how it needs to be, with the development of the players here and the guys we bring in its just going to continue to be like that I think."
(on whether the team feared it would regret having to settle for field goals in the first half)
"I don't think so because we knew we could move the ball and I had the feeling that we were going to get a touchdown because you know if we can move the ball like that, we're going to get the chance to make a touchdown. We were inside the five yard line several times and sometimes we didn't get the touchdown but we stretched and told the guys that we needed to get the touchdowns and needed to get those points on the board so we could shut the other guys down."
(on the running game and Kapri Bibbs)
"As an offense lineman you take pride in your running game. And a guy reaching 1,000 yards with three games to play (and) breaking that record, we take pride in that. That's awesome."
(on what it takes for this team to get to a bowl game)
"We want to go three for three. We want to win every game. We've got a big one next week in New Mexico, so we're going to start preparing and get ready for that one because it's going to be the same type of game."
(one the team's approach)
"Yeah, I think that was the problem a couple of years ago. We started off the season 3-0 and then everyone started thinking `oh we've got two more games then we'll make the bowl game' and then those two games never came. We're gonna keep stretching and try to win the next three games, that's the most important thing right now."
(on Kapri Bibbs)
"It's awesome, we take huge pride in that. He's a really talented running back who is able to hit holes, and sometimes it's not a clear-cut hole but he's able to make a play. The second half we were able to get the linebackers up better and then he was able to cut those holes. He's been a really good threat for our offense."
(on the play of the offensive line)
"It's about attitude and effort. We came out sluggish, but second half, after the talk we had, we looked at each other and we knew we could go out there and do what we wanted. It was just a matter of getting everybody on board and getting everybody to go out there and do it."
(on reversing their previous trend of strong first halves and slow second halves)
"It just depends on the game and what's going on. But that makes me really happy that we were able to come back after a first half that wasn't very good. History shows that we're not very good at coming back after halftime we proved that that's all out the window now."
QUARTERBACK Garrett Grayson
(on how good this game feels)
"It feels really good. We're obviously that much closer to a bowl game. That's been our goal since the beginning of the year. We obviously want to take it week-by-week, approach New Mexico, treat that as any other game. But obviously it feels good and to know that we're that much closer to a bowl game."
(on what was said at halftime)
"Coach Mac just talked to us and you could tell he was kind of disappointed but he just told us `it's on your shoulders. Whether or not you want to win this football game is up to you guys.' He told us all week that we're a better football team (than last year), he believes that we could come out here and lose the football game if we want but he knows what kind of football team we are and he believes. That first half, that wasn't us. We were doing things that were just dumb mistakes and things we don't usually do. So we came out that second half and I think how he talked to us, he wasn't yelling at us, he wasn't mad, we could just tell he was disappointed because we came out flat, no energy and he could and wanted to just get us going and that really helped us the second half."
(on the team's tougher mentality)
"First half we came out flat, no energy, and it was all across the board offensively. Defense, they were flying around, they kept us in the game there; it could've gotten ugly if they weren't doing their job. Kapri Bibbs, hats off to him. That second half we came out and showed everyone the football team we really are."
(on Kapri Bibbs)
"There's times where he just makes things happen when there's nothing there. Just like that game against Wyoming there were a couple times where he ran into an o-linemen or ran into a defender and just bounced off them and made something happen. I have no problem turning around and handing him the ball every time if that's what we need to do to win a football game."
(on how close they are now to qualifying for a bowl game)
"It's really exciting...obviously we haven't been here in some time. But we need to keep ourselves calm and we can't get too far ahead of ourselves and think people are just going to hand the wins to us. We obviously got to expect people to battle. There's teams that are going to come and try to ruin our season and keep us from being bowl eligible so we've to be able to battle back. If someone punches us in the mouth we've got to be able to punch them right back."
LINEBACKER Shaquil Barrett
(on the defense keeping this game in check)
"It felt real good. We knew we had a weakness as a defense and we knew we had to address it in practice throughout the whole week. It paid off on Saturday."
(on getting an aggressive pass rush on Nevada QB Cody Fajardo)
"Just discipline and doing your job. Everybody had pass rush lanes, everybody just did their job and stayed in their lanes."
(on the jobs of his fellow linebackers, Aaron Davis and Max Morgan)
"It feels real good to know that you have got teammates like AD (Aaron Davis) and Max Morgan that are going to come and step in. I'm just happy that they're our linebackers and they're not on somebody else's team."
(on flipping a switch at halftime)
"I don't know about flipped a switch, but I guess you could say that. Everybody knew that the first half was unacceptable. We knew we were better than that (and) we knew we had to get touchdowns instead of field goals. So I guess you could say the switch was turned on."
(on tempering their emotions and not getting too excited about the possibility of a bowl game)
"It's going to be hard to do that, because everybody knows that, that's the goal at the end of the season to make a bowl game. Especially after losing to Boise State, conference is going to be hard to win, but you never know...people lose everyday. It's going to be hard, we just have to take it one game at a time. If we just focus on right now and do our jobs the bowl will take care of itself."
(on how important it is to make a bowl game)
"Really important. That's the goal for our whole organization because it's been a long time since we made a bowl game (2008). I just know it's a goal for Jack Graham and Coach Mac, because they're just trying to change it from when they came in to `A Bold New Era'. A bowl game would be a huge step for us to become a better organization."
CORNERBACK Shaq Bell
(on how it felt for the secondary to play that well)
"It felt great. We didn't give up any passing touchdowns. We gave up a few plays, but overall it felt great."
(on him going down a couple times with injuries, but coming back in)
"I just wanted to be out on the field making plays for my teammates. I don't like being on the sidelines, so whatever it is, I'll come off for a couple plays and I'll be back out there on the field."
(on freshman safety Jake Schlager)
"Jake is a warrior. You see him on special teams every week; but coming in at safety making plays just shows how much he loves the game and how hard he works in practice. He was back there competing and he wasn't nervous."
(on Jake Schlager's progression)
"This week he was in at safely with the ones and twos. If he messes up one time he's coachable and he'll get it done the next play. He's growing, he's still a freshman, but he's growing."
(on why Jake Schlager is a "nut")
"He's just a warrior. On the sideline before kickoff he's just down there getting jacked and trying to get everybody going. I'm not surprised to see Jake making tackles, he does it every week."
(on this being a redemption game)
"We wanted to prove ourselves. We wanted to prove that we can defend the pass, and not give up touchdowns every week. We just came in to practice this week and tried to not give up the deep balls."
NEVADA HEAD COACH BRIAN POLIAN
(on his team's second-half performance)
"The second half was just awful and embarrassing."
"I can't understand why we can look as solid as we did for the first 30 minutes, come out and see the same stuff and not keep our poise. If I had an answer for it, it would be fixed."
(on CSU's defense)
"I thought the offensive line, given where we're at health wise, battled. It wasn't great, I understand that, but the strength of the Colorado State defense was their front seven."
(on CSU's offense)
"Their offensive line is really good, it's really veteran. The way that they're able to run the ball was key."
(on QB Cody Fajardo's first-quarter injury)
"He got a little blurry in an eye. I think he got poked in an eye or something, but he needed a couple of minutes to let them clear it."
"I don't believe it was a shot in the head, but the entire medical staff sat with him and cleared him."
TACKLE JOEL BITONIO
(on not going to a bowl)
"We wish we could do something more, we wish we could be here longer, you know, it's tough, and we haven't been able to execute the way we want to, and we're losing games that... we should be winning."
(on playing with Nevada's "battered" offensive line)
"I thought they fought well. It's tough, offense line is one of the positions where you need to work together to be able to accomplish your goals; and we had a couple new guys in there, and a new center, and the center makes a lot of the calls and stuff. But they fought hard, they played well."
(on the defense)
"...We thought we had a good game plan both ways, and they [Rams] just out-executed us. They were the better team. We didn't capitalize on our chances, and they out-played us."
(on CSU running more blitzes in the second half)
"They teed up a little bit more. They were bringing some corner fires and stuff like that. We knew they had some pretty good pass rushes... but nothing we couldn't handle, it wasn't anything we haven't seen in practice."
QUARTERBACK CODY FAJARDO
(on 5 straight losses for Nevada)
"It's tough, you know. We didn't get a win on the road this season, and we don't have another opportunity to get a win on the road, so that's going to hurt a little bit... but obviously we didn't make enough plays to win the game, and Colorado State did a great job and moved the ball and held us on offense; they did a good job."
"It's really frustrating, especially being the quarterback associated with that."
(on what he wants the younger players to do next season)
"To not repeat this season obviously. Especially it being my senior year, I hope that the guys understand how tough it is to lose, and you know, understand three wins in a season is not good."
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