The Vandal football team improved to 3-3 on the season and a perfect 2-0 in WAC competition with…
Player Post-Game after victory over NMSU
Middle Linebacker, Jr
About getting to blitz so much Saturday... "Yeah, I was [able to blitz a lot]. I wasn't really even focusing on their offense. I was more focused about us as a team. I figure we play…I mean we practiced pretty hard all this week; so if we had gone in there and just played with a lot of intensity, we were going to win regardless."
Were new blitzes installed this week... " Yeah, there were a couple of ‘em, a couple of ‘em. I think we executed pretty good. We could have gotten a little more aggressive. They could have sent me a little more, but I was happy to get out with a win."
About getting back out on the field after being out several weeks with an injury... "Well, it feels good. It always feels good to get back out there. I hate missing games. I didn't think I was going to play as much as I played today, but you know I started out in a red [jersey] on Monday and then gradually just kept pushing it and pushing it and pushing it, and it [the injury] responded well each time; so on Thursday I practiced a full practice and I went up to Coach Erickson and said, "You know, I really wouldn't mind starting on Saturday, I feel that good." He was pretty gracious about it, and I started. It was fun. It was good to be back out there. Our offense did really well in the first half."
About what happened in the second half... "Well, we were trying to just control the game. We were trying to run the ball instead of taking a bunch of shots downfield; so you know the less time they're on the field, they can't score. That was our strategy, to just keep running continually, run out, control the game and have it be our game instead of their game. That's what we were trying to do."
About the momentum of two conference wins and being .500 at this point in the season... "I think it's good, because we have some momentum going into our conference schedule for the first time. Confidence is what we've been kinda lacking, because we have to come in and play these big teams we have the opportunity to beat in our conference; so I think the confidence level that we have going into all the rest of the games we're going to play is really going to help us out a lot."
About how the missed field goals affected the offense... About those field goals, I was going to mention that that's one thing that we've gotten good at, adversity. I think we're getting better at it, too."
About the touchdown run where he powered through the NMSU defender... "I just saw the end zone. That's all I saw. You know, once you see something, you go get it. That's all my coaches preach. Once you see it, go get it and be aggressive when you go; so when I got there I wanted to get in."
About the running game in general against the Aggies... "Our running game today, it worked. We were really working on me and Jayson being a one-two combination to throw things off. I come in with speed, he comes in with power, and it works out real good because it keeps the defense off-guard sometimes. They don't know what they're going to get from both of us."
Weakside Linebacker, Jr
About how the team reacted to the two missed second half field goals... "Defensively coach Mills really preaches on sudden change, you know, whether it's after a turnover or after a big play or something like a field goal, and when those things happen you've just got to rise up, and today I think we did that especially, as a defense, to get the offense the ball back and give them a chance to try to put it in the end zone."
About the speed of their return specialist / receiver (#28)... "He can move. He showed it all over the field today, whether it was returning punts or as a receiver. The thing about that offense, the fact that they don't huddle…hats off, really, to our corners today, Kiel McDonald and Stanley Franks. I mean, they played every snap against some good receivers, and the defense...we got tired at times. That's what that offense tries to do to you. But I think we held our own and ended up making the plays that mattered."
About having to go back out and defend for one more play knowing that NSMU could tie the game... I saw Wichman taking a knee when we came off and were getting water. It was like, "Okay. That's it for us. All right." And then, defense alert came on. Luckily on Thursdays we practice clock plan and what we call 'victory defense' at the end of the game with [being] ready for the deep ball. We prepare for it. Our coaches are smart and they make sure we know what to do. We were ready to go, but it's not the best of feelings when you have to run back out there when you think you're done for the game."
About being .500 for the first time since the 2000 season... "Yeah, it feels real good. Like coach Erickson said after the game, I think really haven't yet put [both] offense and defense together in a game consistently. Going down to Louisiana Tech, they're a good football team. That's a long way to go and play, a hard place to play; so we're going to have to come out and put it all together. We've got some confidence, we've got some momentum going. We've just got to keep building off that this week in practice, come out and work hard and just continue to build."
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