Date: September 13, 2014
Opponent: Boise State
Bob Diaco Quotes
“Congratulations to Boise State. They are a tough, hard-nosed group and a class outfit and operation and a well-coached team. It was a high-level battle for four quarters and I wish them well and give them congratulations.
“I’d also like to say that I really had an opportunity to feel the stadium today. No matter how many people were there or not there, it looked pretty full but the people that were there, to me, you’re locked into the game but I felt an energy in the stadium. It was a full four-quarter locked-in energy that even the players were feeding off of. I am so appreciative of that and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that came today and stuck around and cheered hard. It doesn’t go unnoticed. We are incredibly appreciative of it.
“Hopefully the people that were there saw our DNA and what we are going to be. Hopefully they can gain some pride in that, look to the future and tell a friend because it’s a heck of a way to spend an afternoon. The wins are coming; we are getting better every game and every week.
“About specifically the game itself; 14 uncontested points where the defense or the special teams is not on the field against any opponent we are going to play, it becomes impossible to win the games. Let alone a nationally branded powerhouse. When you factor in another plus-field turnover, you’re talking about 21 points. That has to get solved. We are working hard to solve it and it’s hard to win football games when you do that. Those are the things that cause losing.
“The defense, playing basically the same system they played in week one, looked nothing like it looked in week one. So the defense is moving its game forward, not that the offense is not, but the defense is moving forward and I’m proud of the way they played today.
“The kicking game; the coverage teams, the punting answered the bell and produced points when they needed to. Justin Wain and the coverage teams did a fantastic job and the return teams held fort.
“Offensively we had another week where penalties were down and we only had one pre-snap error. We are moving forward in a lot of areas but we have a lot of work to do and the team is resolute to get it done.
On the Second-Quarter Trick Play by Boise“They are called trick plays for a reason. We were in a man-to-man coverage there and we don’t have a guy covering the quarterback. So we’re in man-to-man and have a guy covering everyone else and they threw it to the quarterback. But we gain energy from that. It’s a chance to say ‘look guys, they are having trouble blocking you and getting open so that’s what they need to go to to try and produce points; trick plays’. So we try to even flip that into an energy booster.
On How to Improve Offensively“We just have to continue to get better up front. They’re working hard, they’re trying hard and pouring their hearts out. We have a lot of young players in that lineup. When you think about the future and you read the names on the depth chart and you look all the way to the right and see all the eligibility left; that’s got to be pretty exciting for UConn Country. There is a learning curve there though and they have a lot of work to do. It’s not easy to play in that front. It’s challenging. But you can see improvement today from the first half to the second half. We surrendered six sacks in the first half and only two in the second half. So you can see improvements even as the game went on.
On the Status of the Team After Three Games
“I would say we are further ahead than I thought we would be. I’m very excited about the team and the future. Not only the future years ahead but the future of 2014. As we move from the preparation, and there is not one person in that huddle that feels good, there isn’t one person who isn’t better than where we were three weeks ago. Coach or player.”
Redshirt-Senior Quarterback Chandler Whitmer
On overcoming sacks:
“Sacks are never positive but we were able to overcome that and put up points. We made some big plays. We just have to put it all together.
On battling back despite turnover issues:
“I think that’s something we saw as positive today. Good things and bad things will happen but we kept fighting back. We have to try and find a way to correct that. Obviously, we’re not trying to give them points in the beginning of the game so we have to find a way to fix that and make sure it doesn’t happen”
On what the team learned today:
“We fought. We were competitive. We overcame adversity. It is a four-quarter game and we have to find a way to finish in the end. We just can’t let it fall apart. We have to put this behind us.”
Senior wide receiver Deshon Foxx
On how these games prepared the team for conference play:
On how the team is improving:
“Our offense is working. Each week we’re getting better and I feel like it’s showing. We have to eliminate turnovers. It’s one thing we have to do as an offense.”
Redshirt-Sophomore safety Obi Melifonwu
On his evaluation of himself and the team after three games:
“I know that I have a lot of things to work on. Every day I go out to practice and practice like it’s a game. I work on all the things I need to work on. I think this game showed we can compete with anybody. Boise State is a great offensive team. I think there are a lot of positives we can take from the game.”
Boise State Head Coach Bryan Harsin
“UConn, give those guys credit. Those guys did a tremendous job. They played better than we had seen them play in the first two games. They were a better team than they were from week one to week two to week three. Those kids played hard, our guys played hard and it was one of those games that came down to the fourth quarter, which we have all been looking for. Is this going to happen? Are we a fourth quarter team? Can we finish out a game? Can we stop an opponent from scoring and moving the ball down the field? And we did that tonight and we did it in a big way with some turnovers. We were able to get it done.”
On team’s defensive effort:
“The coaches did a great job of putting a package in this week to get after the passer and that was able to happen. You don’t score two touchdowns on defense very often. Good defenses are opportunistic. Those were big plays and on the other side we have to take advantage of them.”
On team’s 2-1 start:
“I’m proud of our guys. What we’ve asked our guys to do, they’ve done. You know before the fourth quarter, I asked are we here to finish? This is why we came. Let’s take advantage of it and that’s what we did. Don’t worry about the score, don’t worry about what’s going on, just go out there and play football and that’s what we did. With the two long trips we’ve taken and today an early game against a team that was well prepared and ready for us. We were able to fight it out when it got tight and win.”
Boise State R-Sr. Quarterback Grant Hedrick
On getting a road win:
“It’s good, that’s kind of been our Achilles’ heel, winning on the road. It was a little sloppy but it was great to come out with a win.”
On UConn stopping the run:
“The way Jay (Ajayi) has been running the ball; it seemed that was definitely their emphasis tonight. It did open up the passing game a little bit. We just ran our game plan and made some plays. Matt did a great job out there and we got some plays on third down.”
On TD catch from WR Matt Miller
“That pass I caught was kind of scary it was so wide open. It seemed like the ball was in the air forever. Matt did a great job of getting me the rock on that one and not over throwing it.
On Fourth Quarter:
“This is such a great team win. We fed off the defense really well. They got some momentum, get a turnover and we need to go out there and execute and I think we did at times today, especially there at the end when we needed to finish the game.”