Postgame Quotes: Wyoming vs. Colorado State
Dec. 3, 2011
Colorado State Head Coach Steve Fairchild
General: "That was, when you look at it, a very even game. Hard-fought, a little bit sloppy with penalties on both sides. I thought it was a good physical football game. Obviously, when we, even in the opening drive, when we got our chances in the red zone, we come away with a couple field goals, one time a missed field goal, and to come away at the end of the first half without anything, those will end up getting you. Give Wyoming their credit. They did a nice job. I thought there were some good efforts out there. Defensively there were some real good things going on. Raymond Carter got going pretty good. Like I said, we just need to convert a little better in the red zone and that would have been the story."
On how tough it is to lose this game and the Bronze Boot: "It's tough. It's a great rivalry game. We've been playing it for over 100 years. It's important to our university. It's important to our football team. It would be nice to have it, obviously."
On whether turnovers and big plays cost them: "The big plays, yes. On one of those we had a safety over the top. I thought our defense played pretty solid for most of the afternoon. Once we got on track in the run game and figured out what was going on in there, I thought we started cranking that out pretty good. The thing with running the football the way we did, and it was fairly effective most of the day, but when you get behind the chains with penalties and you have a freshman quarterback, that can bring a whole new dynamic to the game. Both sides, I thought, started out and even ended up a little sloppy, penalty-wise."
On the game taking a chippy turn: "Well, it started out that way. Yeah. We always tell our kids, people want to see how you play, not how you talk. I thought we settled down and played a clean game."
On summing up the season: "Well, disappointing. I'm disappointed for these seniors. We got 16 seniors in there that really worked very hard. Great kids. I'm not going to name them all but I'm talking about Myke Sisson and Matt Yemm and guys like that. Regardless of what they do on the football field, they are just tremendous kids. They're going to go on and be real successful in life, and have been a real pleasure to be around. Like I told them before the game, our record is not what we thought it was going to be; I think we're a better football team than that. They certainly have gone about it the right way. I'm proud of them for that and I think they know it. When you look at their body of work all spring and summer, it's been tremendous. Sometimes, like we all know, it doesn't work out."
On RB Chris Nwoke: "Chris was dinged up a little bit coming in and then he got dinged up a little more. When you run like Chris does, you're never really healthy as you get down to the end of the year. He's a tough, competitive kid, now. He was available and would have gone in. I guarantee you, knowing Chris Nwoke, he would have run his (rear) off. Raymond (Carter) had that look. Raymond had that groove. I think Raymond went for 150 or 160 (158) and he was over 5 yards a carry (5.4). We were fine feeding it to Raymond."
On how much this game meant to the seniors: "Yeah, but they played great all year. But yeah, they're a great group of kids."
On whether this year's loss to Wyoming felt different than last year's: "Like I've said all along, this is a good football team and it has a good feel to it."
On his own future and whether he has talked to new AD Jack Graham: "Yeah, I have talked to Jack a number of times. Today we talked about the game. I would love to be back. We have 20 starters coming back. I think we've built this the right way. There are some very, very talented kids who are going to return. That's for another day; let's talk about our seniors."
On being a better team than the 3-9 record: "There's a ton of injuries. Like today, our center (Weston Richburg) has a broken hand but our other center (Tyler McDermott) was not available, so he is snapping with his left hand. When Lee Clubb went out today, that threw another wrench into it at that point. We're getting thin and as you get nicked it puts you into some situations that lends itself to inconsistency. Could we have done a better job? Yeah, we could have done a better job; no question."
On Lee Clubb giving the team a boost on returns: "No doubt having Lee out there is great but he was out in the first half. Then Thomas (Coffman) came in and popped that one punt real nice. He's got some return ability, too. He's a redshirt freshman, probably not as seasoned as Lee back there."
On disciplining CB Momo Thomas, WR Lou Greenwood, DE C.J. James and LB Charles Favors: "Yeah, I disciplined some kids. We've got an itinerary and you've got to be on time. That's the way our program is. It's our job to win games but it's also to make these kids accountable and prepare them for the rest of their lives. We had some kids that were late and not where they should be. I'm disappointed. A lot of people think you can play this game, but you can't play this game unless you've got an edge. You're preparing to the second the way you should be preparing. They weren't, so I disciplined them."
On that decision to discipline the players putting them behind to start the game: "Well, I learned a long time ago that you can have the best player in the world, but if they're not dialed in, they're not going to help you, anyway. You're better off with the next guy. That's the way it is in any industry. That's the way it is in life. You've got to want to, you've got to be on edge, you've got to have a real drive to compete in a game like this."
On whether having those players would have changed the outcome: "No."
On his conversation with Graham on the drive to the Wyoming Border War ceremony Friday: "Yeah. It was good. I've missed a couple, but that Border War ceremony is really kind of cool. We meet at the border and transfer the ball. Just the fact that the ROTCs from both universities are so committed to that ceremony and the rivalry itself is great."
On the Grayson TD nullified by penalty: "You do the math, but that's obviously a huge play.
On the future: "I think this program is ready to compete. We'll get working in the offseason and try to put a football team together that can compete for the conference championship."
Colorado State Players
On the future of the CSU coaching staff: “I have no idea. I mean, they got us prepared really well for this game today. We left it all out on the field today and we played hard. Unfortunately we didn’t come out with a win but they got us going today. I love the coaching staff. They’re the reason why I’m here, why I came here as a transfer. I love these coaches. I wish they could stay for another year. We’ve got a talented group coming back. We’ve got a couple of key guys coming back and the team is only going to get better from here. I am really excited and looking forward to seeing the team next year and seeing how they do in the Mountain West. I think they’re going to do well.”
On how he was able to finish his career on an outstanding note: “Just the preparation at practice, Coach (Pat) Meyer and the guys getting the O-line read and Coach (Larry) Lewis getting the running backs ready, just feeding off what the O-line gave us. We’ve got a talented group of running backs. We pushed each other all week just to get the job done today and that’s what happened. None of that would have happened without the O-line. They played their hearts out today and I give them all the credit.”
On the feeling of walking off of the field given what he did on the field but they were still three points short: "Really no matter what I did today on the field today, I just wanted to win and bring the boot back to Fort Collins. That was the goal for everybody today. That was the goal for all of the seniors was just to get the victory and get this program going to get ready for next year and for the young guys. Unfortunately that didn’t happen today for us."
On being the main RB today: ”Like I said, we push each other every day at practice and Chris (Nwoke) being tremendous these past couple of games we’ve been playing. I just love seeing him run. He’s a really physical guy, a really fast guy, and I was just waiting for my opportunity to come and my opportunity came today and I just took advantage of it. I just take advantage of everything the coaches give me, running hard and doing everything for the team. The running-back group just keeps pushing us and keeps us excited for the next man to come in so they can get the team to get the job done.”
On improvement of the program since he has been at CSU: “Since I’ve been here, we’ve improved a lot. It’s only going to get better next year. We have a young team and the young team, they all played this year. So like I said, I’m looking forward to next year to see how they’re going to do because you’ve got guys like Chris Nwoke coming back. He really shined this year; he put his name out there this year, he should run the Mountain West next year. You’ve got [QB] Pete [Thomas] and [QB] Garrett [Grayson] coming back next year. They should compete and they’re only going to make each other better. But we’ve got young guys coming back next year and the program is only going to go up from here.”
On 3-9 happening again: “I think our record doesn’t speak for us. We are a much more talented team. It’s just the little things and the little things happen and we’ve just got to keep capitalizing and getting better from it. But it was nothing big. We had some games where we could have done better but it was always the little things that kept us down.”
On whether the change in athletic directors was a distraction: “No; we weren’t worried about that. It happened out of nowhere but as a team we weren’t worried about that. We were just worried about today, playing hard, coming out and trying to get the victory.”
On whether new AD Jack Graham addressed the team: “No.”
On the postgame feeling in the locker room: “Everybody felt bad. We couldn’t get the Boot back and guys felt bad for all the seniors. We didn’t get the win. I just told them, the guys I talked to, to keep their heads up because they’re only going to go up from here. Like I said, they’re a really talented group and CSU is on the rise. It’s only going to get better from here. The talent, the young guys we’ve got. I can see a big future for those guys.”
QB Pete Thomas
On going 3-9: “Disappointing. It didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. It’s on us players. We didn’t play up to our potential this year and that’s the result.”
On watching the final three games while wanting to be out there: “It’s really tough. I’ve never really missed any football games in my life. If I would have been able to go, I would have been out there helping the team but I wasn’t physically able to go. It’s always trying to help out the team any way I could.”
On being a player wondering what the future at CSU is going to look like: “Obviously, it’s in the back of our minds. Whoever said they don’t pay attention at all, I’d think they’re lying, but it really comes down to us players. We didn’t play up to our potential this year and the way we should have, and the way the coaches wanted us to, and that’s a result. People talk about the coaches’ jobs.”
On whether the San Jose State game tipped the scales away from CSU: “Definitely. It was just kind of disappointing. It came off of a huge win at Utah State and, come home, the Homecoming game, and we lost to San Jose State. That was a really disappointing loss for us and turned the tide for our season.”
WR Matt Yemm
General: “We wanted to go to a bowl game, we wanted to beat Wyoming, we wanted to go 6-0 at home, stuff like that, but another goal was ‘have fun’ and I think we succeeded with that today. It was unfortunate that they beat us but they were just the better team today and you’ve got to give it all to them. You’ve just got to thank God for allowing us to play this game.”
On the difference between this and last year’s game: “It was huge. Last year you left and it was not fun, one bit, at all. They owned us from start to finish last year and this year it was a game. Hopefully it was fun to watch. It was fun to play in. It had to switch the outcome to looking a little bit different.”
On whether that difference made it more acceptable to lose: “I would say no to that. We never really accept losing. We want to get it out of our mouths right now. The taste isn’t the best.”
On the feeling in the locker room, given the recent changes: “Right now, the focus was on this game, and that’s where all of our heads were at. We wanted to come out with a win here. It was kind of emotional in there, lots of hugs and stuff like that, and I don’t think really anyone thought too much about these next couple of days or the future or what’s going to happen with this program.”
On RB Raymond Carter: “He was awesome. Raymond’s been such a humble guy throughout this entire time that he’s been at CSU. When it’s his turn, he goes out and he makes the plays, and when it’s not, he’s there supporting the guy who’s out there right then. I am so proud of him and I’m so proud of the O-line. They blocked so hard. Everyone just played their butts off today and you can’t ask for more than that.”
On the rivalry with Wyoming: “There’s not much like for them. But that’s what it is. They played a great game and it is fun to have a game like that.”
WLB Mychal Sisson
General: “Even though the score shows different, I feel great about the game. We all left it out on the field; we played good. There were just a couple of plays that got away from us that changed the outcome of the game.”
On being 3-9 again: “It hurts to be 3-9 and not be at bowl level and not having a winning season, but at the same time, I feel that we still had some good things going this season and learned a lot from this season.”
On the future of Steve Fairchild: “No, we haven’t talked about it. The only thing we’ve been worried about this weekend was Wyoming and getting the Boot back, and after that, it’s just us being guys and worrying about our everyday life.”
On the seniors stepping up for their last game to finish well: “It means a lot. That’s what Coach Fairchild has been telling us this whole week. Just finish strong and go all out for the seniors and let the seniors have one good game. And I think we all did. We put our whole hearts and souls into this game. It’s just hard to see the outcome be different than what we expected it to be.”
On seeing Wyoming parade the Boot around after the game: “It’s real hard. That’s all our hopes were on, just finishing and sending us out on a good note, just putting that memory of the seniors in the mind of having the Boot back and having that one good thought at the end. It showed differently. I commend them for their efforts, too. They fought hard and played all the way to the end so they’re just the better team and won.”
On whether Fairchild should be here next year: “I believe he still should be here. He’s a great coach. I learned a lot from him. He’s a great leader and I feel that he’s inspired a lot of people here on this team and put a lot into these guys’ hearts. It doesn’t matter, about the record, but I feel that if a coach is still someone that all the players learn from, then I feel that the coach has been successful.”
On whether there’s been improvement regardless of going 3-9 the last three seasons: “I feel there has, especially this year. We put a good foundation in for the future of the program. A lot of the guys bought in a lot more than they have this year so I really feel that they have all the tools now and have that foundation to build upon and be successful in the future.”
On whether it was going to take time no matter what: “Exactly. It just took time. You can’t just expect a lot of young guys to come out and start winning with just the few seniors we have. But our seniors inspired a lot of guys and put in the guys’ hearts that foundation for them to build on and for them to be successful.”
On the team being better next year: “I really feel you’re going to see results next year. Like I was saying, they have that foundation now, they have the heart to keep playing and to keep fighting on. We really haven’t had that in the past. You see last year’s Wyoming game, we kind of quit and this year we didn’t. We fought all the way until the end and it shows. I feel they have everything they need to be successful next year.”
On settling for a field goal after the strong first drive, and the fumbled snap: “That’s on me. Me and Weston (Richburg) were working all week on snaps and what not. We knew he would maybe have some trouble with it because it was his left hand. I got the ball. I just pulled out a little too early, I think. So I would agree. It killed the momentum we had going. We were driving right down the field so that was definitely a momentum-changer for them. Definitely, I’ll take the responsibility for that one.”
On his shoulder: “It’s actually not my throwing shoulder. Running, I stiffed-armed across my body and that was obviously a mistake. I had to will myself to get back up on that one. It felt like it was out of place so it definitely hurts.”
On the safety: “I saw him at the last minute and then when I went to go throw it, I couldn’t find the receiver that I was going to. We were running a jailbreak screen and so, screens, that’s my job to get it off anyway. So again, that’s on me. I can’t let that happen. But I just couldn’t find him and it was too late when I finally did.”
On what he’s learned the past three games: “Going into this, obviously, I didn’t expect to play. Pete (Thomas) was obviously the guy once the season started. Now, he’s always answered my questions and today, going in, when I made mistakes he was there, the first guy coming off of the sidelines. He was there. Just little stuff like that makes you realize how much people care and it gives you more confidence. And going into now, I’ve got three starts under my belt and next year, I’ve got that much more confidence than I had this last fall.”
On uncertainty for next year: “We really don’t know what’s going to happen. We didn’t expect the AD to get fired like that. That was unexpected. This following week, or whenever, if anything does happen, we are as blind as you guys are. We don’t know anything that’s going to happen. I like the coaches. We should have got this today. I take a big responsibility in it.”
On whether the recent changes were a distraction: “I don’t think it was that big of a distraction. We still had our coaches and that’s all that matters. Our coaches are our leaders. They believe in us and we believe in them. We got a new AD and I hope for the best. Whatever happens, happens. We’ll go with it, but our coaches are our leaders so it wasn’t that big of a distraction.”
On the fact that he might have to play for another coach next year even though Fairchild was 80 percent of the reason he came here: “It’s definitely weird. I didn’t expect this to happen. When I committed here, we had a 3-9 season but his background that he had from the NFL and the things he’s done with quarterbacks, I figured we’d get it turned around. We’ve got a lot of young players and we’ve got a lot of all-conference players that are coming back so I think we can get this thing turned around. We’ve been in so many close games this year, it’s ridiculous. We could easily be 8-4, 9-3 just as easy as what we are.”
On the interception: “I didn’t see it, to be honest. I thought he caught it and went to the ground, so I was looking to the sideline for the next play and then I heard the crowd roaring and I looked and they were running around with it.”
On the interception in the end zone: “I just overshot him. That doesn’t help us obviously, but I can’t overthrow him. I’ve got to give him a chance to make a catch. I overshot that and the DB made a good play on it. We actually ran the same play to Byron (Steele), and then we just reloaded it because we felt like we should have had it to Byron. When I went to Byron, I saw number 4 bailing out so I figured they were going to do the same thing again, and double coverage him, so I went to Crockett (Gillmore) that time and just didn’t give him a chance.”
On the quarterback situation for spring ball: “I don’t know what the coaches are going to do. I respect any choice that they make. If they want to redshirt me, that’s fine. I’ll battle it out just like I did this year. Obviously, I want to play. I want to be the guy. I hope I proved myself these last three games.”
On the possibility of redshirting: “I wouldn’t like it, to be honest. After playing, it’d be hard, but Coach Fairchild’s done it, so he’s got the experience and I’m sure he’ll help me through it. I’m sure it’s going to be tough, to be honest, but I’ll do it if that’s what it takes.”
On snapping left-handed: “It was a challenge. I took it on as a challenge and I was excited about it. I was disappointed about that one (bad snap), but I felt like the other ones were good. I just had to really concentrate on it and be more worried about snapping it. I think I did an overall good job with my left hand. I’m not really confident in doing anything else with my left hand, so I thought it turned out pretty good.”
On the 3-9 season: “I’m not happy with it at all. We’ve got to make changes (in their play). Something has to happen. That’s what we said after last year but something has to be done and I’m tired of it. Everybody’s tired of it. Something has to be done.”
On not knowing what’s next: “Paul (Kowalyczyk) even came out of left field. We had no idea. I have no idea what’s going to happen but I have a feeling something is definitely going to change because we can’t do this anymore.”
On the talent being better than 3-9: “Our running game has been great this past half of the season. We’re all young. We only lost two guys on the O-line and two are hurt right now. We’re going to get big guys back. We’re going to get Chris (Nwoke) back. I think we are way better than 3-9. We had so many close games that we just lost.”
On RB Raymond Carter: “He stepped up; it was his last day ever. He stepped up and did a great job. We opened holes for him. We were pounding them. I was really happy with how the O-line played. We played great. We proved we can play with two different backs. I’m very happy with that. I’m more than happy with how we played. It was a challenge coming in. We said we were going to run the ball and we did.”
Colorado State Athletic Director Jack Graham
On the loss and 3-9 season: "It's frustrating. It was a good effort. I thought we controlled the game, substantially controlled the game, for the last three-and-a-half quarters. A couple of plays, had they gone our way, we would have won the football game. We just need to learn to take those kinds of plays and execute those plays successfully and win football games. So it's frustrating."
On the process with Head Coach Steve Fairchild: "Steve and I spent a good portion of the day yesterday together; we had a great session with each other. He and I are going to meet again tomorrow so we're in process."
On his thought process: "Well, the thought process is whether or not Steve Fairchild is the right guy to lead CSU football into the future in 2012 and forward. Can he inspire? Can he recruit? Can he do all the things a good football coach does? And Steve absolutely is a quality coach. He is a quality human being. So there is every reason in the world for me to talk to him and listen to him and make a good decision. And I will make a good decision that is in the best interest of the university."
On when a decision will be made: "I am not going to paint myself in a corner around a timeline. However long it takes me to get to the right decision, I'll take that time."
On whether he agrees the decision needs to be made soon: "Absolutely. I'm not going to drag this process out. I'm not going drag Steve through a process, or the team through a process, or the university. And you're right; it would compromise our recruiting efforts both for Steve as well as if there was to be a successor head coach, if I were to do that. So I'm not going to do that."
On the money required for buyouts, including that of predecessor Paul Kowalczyk: "We're going to make a decision that's best for the university taking everything into consideration. You can't ignore money; money's always part of every conversation, so everything has to be taken into consideration. It will be considered and we'll make a decision accordingly."
On others he'll consult: "Obviously, it's my decision and I am going to get as much feedback, I have been getting as much feedback, as I possibly can from as many people as I possibly can. It's the way you make any kind of decision like that. Don't make it in a vacuum. Get as much information and spending time with Steve was a substantial part of that process."
On thoughts on what he's heard so far: "It's like anything. There are people who want Steve to stay and there are people who want to see Steve go. This is sports. Everyone's got an opinion but the opinions are worth listening to. That's the way it works. It's a bit of a polarization process."
Wyoming Head Coach Dave Christiansen
On being down in the fourth quarter and the difference in the game: "You like to go out and play four quarters of great football every week, but it doesn't happen like that. And what these kids have done is they have found a way to win games. We've been in predicaments like that before, and every game we've been in a predicament like that, we've won the game. It's a testament to the type of kids we have in our program. Our staff, our support people, I mean it's the organization. It gives us an opportunity to have some success on Saturdays. You know, everybody in the organization works hard; from staff people to players. It's paid off a number of times this year."
On whether he felt confident going into the fourth quarter: "Yeah, I was disappointed in the way we played, but I didn't think that...you know, our defense did great stops all year in different situations that they've had to; to think back to San Diego State, where we couldn't move the ball in the second half and they had to stop them every time. They gave up some points, but we scored more in the first half. So it all worked out; it's just kind of how these kids are."
On the personal foul on Purcell: "Yeah, I don't know what happened. He got through there pretty quick. I just saw the guy go down in a hurry, and then we played the field position field there and it all worked out well for us."
On the play of WR Josh Doctson and QB Brett Smith: "We felt we could get out after them a little bit. Josh has some great ball skills. You know it's amazing, I'm sitting there going, `That is a true freshman to true freshman, twice.' The future is bright for those young guys."
On how QB Garrett Grayson escaped the pocket: "There were times in the first half where we were getting pushed up inside, but we were running by, slowing down, and keeping him in the pocket, and gave him a chance to run. He is a heck of a player. He's got mobility, throws the ball, and he's going to be a guy to be reckoned with here in the next few years."
"We work on all phases of it. Absolutely."
On the Wyoming secondary having good hands: "Yeah, they do. We've picked a lot of balls this year; it's been good. Turnover margin has helped us a lot this year."
On proving that total yards given up defensively is a worthless stat: "It means nothing; the only thing that matters is the scoring defense and turnovers. That is all we ever talk about. All I know is that they are second in the conference games, scoring defense, and that we are first in the conference, games and takeaways."
On any preference for a bowl game: "No; they're all good."
On whether he's ready to know his bowl destination: "Yeah. Well, at least we know we're going somewhere. It's hard to turn down an eight-win team. So I guess we'll find out tomorrow."
On all the penalties: "A little disappointed. I mean that's more me; I get them all riled up. We go out and do things that are not characteristic of our program, but we'll set all of that back before the bowl game."
On the play of RB Brandon Miller: "Yeah; he's big and physical. He's got experience and we just thought we were having more production on the football than when we had three healthy backs. We just thought we needed three healthy backs to have success running the football."
Wyoming Player Quotes
LB Brian Hendricks
On winning the Boot: "It wasn't pretty at all, but we got the Boot. We are keeping it here in Wyoming and that's a huge thing for the fans and the entire state of Wyoming. I'd like to thank this younger team for helping this senior class be where we are right now. I'm just glad we were able to keep the Boot for the Wyoming people."
On CSU in the third quarter: "You have to give them credit. There was a few times when we let the quarterback get out of the pocket and he is an athletic kid; he has a bright future. That's something we are going to have to look at for years ahead of us; he is just a freshman. That's good for them. There were a couple missed gaps and big plays. They took advantage of it and you have to give them credit. They came out, executed and gave us one hell of a game."
On the bowl: "It's not in my hands so it's whatever happens, happens. I'm just glad we are going to a bowl game."
On being in this spot: "A lot of people didn't expect us to be here. When I went to media days in Vegas we were picked bottom of the conference. To be third in the conference, eight wins this season, going to a bowl game, and keeping the Boot in Laramie, it's a great feeling. This senior class is extremely proud of this young team for helping us get here."
QB Brett Smith
On his first Border War experience: "In the first quarter when all the talk and late hits were going on, I started to get the idea real quick. It was a lot of fun and a little intense. I can't wait for the next one."
On what was going through his mind in the third quarter: "We never had any doubt. We were frustrated because we couldn't move the ball as well. I was frustrated and lots of other guys were frustrated so we went back to running the ball and changed some things up. It started to work so I was happy about that."
On Wyoming's bowl situation: "Just the thought of going to a bowl game is crazy to me. Whatever one it is I'll be happy."
On eight wins as a true-freshman quarterback: "I'm very proud. I feel so blessed to be a part of this team. I had no idea what was going to happen at the beginning of the year. I had no experience at all. This is a special team and I'm really happy that we were able to come together and put together and eight win season."
DT Mike Purcell
On getting the safety in the fourth quarter: "It was huge. It was the seniors' last game against CSU, a big rivalry. It was definitely huge for us."
On the Border War rivalry: "With their record right now (CSU) didn't have anything to lose except for the Boot. They came out and played smash-mouth football and we retaliated. The retaliation got us into the a little trouble."
On takeaways this season: "As Coach says, we always find a way. With them getting into the red zone twice and us getting the interceptions, it was definitely huge. We always have to find a way."