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Post-Game Quotes: Boise State
 
 
 

 

 
 

Sept. 1, 2012

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Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio

Opening Statement...
"I thought our guys came out in the second half and played really hard. It is difficult to win with four turnovers but we got the job done. I thought Le'Veon Bell had an outstanding day with 44 rushes and over 200 yards. The defense also played outstanding. They played very well in the red zone and had a big interception. We knew this would be a tough game but the thing that impressed me was that our players responded. We knew we were going to have to grow and play hard. Our young wide receivers had to step up and make some catches and we did that. We had some guys that dropped some and fumbled some but that's part of the game. We have to look at getting better and moving forward, but if you look at the positives - 400 yards, 92 plays and a balanced offense - I was pleased. The two things we have to stop are the unforced penalties and the turnovers. But we live on, and the goal is to win a football game. The play-calling down the stretch on those last two drives really helped us take the air out of the ball and that was impressive."

How the victory will help the team move forward...
"There's a sign in our building that says `they all count one.' And right now we are 1-0, and we go to Central Michigan next week. That will be exciting for us I think to be back playing again. We played a tough Boise State team who has beaten Georgia, Virginia Tech and Oregon all on the road (in their last three openers). They are used to winning, confident and very well coached; to get a win is an accomplishment. We have won 15 straight at Spartan Stadium, and I'm very proud of how our football team responded and continued to play. These are the type of games with the turnovers have a way of deflating you, and things just kept happening. Going into the fourth quarter we needed the last two drives to get the win and we got them, and that's what impressed me. Guys grew up a little bit."

On the play of quarterback Andrew Maxwell...
"I just kept telling him to play. There's going to be a learning curve here. He had one ball tipped for an interception, another one dropped, and he threw one poor ball. I thought he threw the ball pretty well though for his first time out."

On the success of the red zone defense...
"It was a critical part of the football game. Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and the staff did a great job, and our guys responded very well. They played near shutout football against a team who averages over 40 points a game traditionally. I thought we tackled well in space and were very successful against their bread and butter plays."

On the statement that this game does for his team and running back Le'Veon Bell...
"We said this was going to be a game with a lot of media exposure, and our young players had to prepare for that environment. I thought the crowd and atmosphere was outstanding. It helps everybody when you play on a big stage like this. We were fortunate to win, and I want to credit Boise for continuing to play and keeping it close."

On the importance toughness and success of the running game...
"It's a nice feeling, and we need to have more of those. We have found a way to win close games, and I think when you do that you start to believe in yourself, and that was there tonight. Not only to come from behind but to win a close game. We will continue to grow and I think we left some plays on the field with turnovers, but that happens. Credit their players. They are going to win a lot of football games."

Boise State Head Coach Chris Petersen

On the performance of the Boise State defense...
"I thought our defense played really hard and really well, we just kept them on the field way too long. Michigan State is a big, physical team on offense, so if we don't give them anything with our offense, we don't stand much of a chance."

On Michigan State junior running back Le'Veon Bell...
"MSU was playing him right in his wheelhouse. He is one of those guys that if you keep giving him the ball, he is going to get stronger and eventually you are going to get worn out on defense. We need to help ourselves on offense so we don't let players like him do that to us."

On the offensive problems...
"The problems start with the run game; we had 24 rushes for 37 yards. Michigan State has a really good run defense and one of the top defenses in the country. But, with that being said, we are going to have to run the ball more than that or things like that are going to happen. We have to do better in the red zone and we have to be able to run the ball better. If we can do those two things, we will be okay on offense."

On the biggest possessions of the game...
"You can always go back and pull out a handful of possessions. We had some opportunities tonight and when we look at the tape I'm sure we will be kicking ourselves. Michigan State is a very good team and they created some things, there is no question about it. I just know our guys can make more plays."

On the performance of Junior quarterback Joe Southwick...
"I think Joe played well today. I think tonight was a good learning environment for him, with a big crowd and playing against a good defense. I think there was a few times where he didn't trust his read as much as he should have, but we will work through that."

On the Boise State defense forcing turnovers...
"I think our defense did their part tonight. But, I think we can stay on the field a little better and punt the ball a little bit better. If they had to play catch-up with us, it would be a different game."

On having to change the 4th-down play after the MSU timeout...
"We had a play there and then they called the timeout. But, you just go to your next-best play. We knew we were going to like that play and we hadn't shown it yet. We thought it would be really good, but it wasn't good enough. We just didn't connect."

On the environment...
"I think it took us a while to adjust on offense, and then we never really got into a good rhythm whatsoever. We made a few plays here and there, but we never got into a rhythm. I think it will be good that we have a bye next week, so we can go back and reset the table. I will say that these kids have practiced really hard and I think they've learned a lot about themselves out there tonight."

On what the message to his team is...
"We played a really good team tonight. We will continue to get better and to grow. We had chances tonight and in the future we will make those plays. It will be tough for a while; these guys are going to need to get into a rhythm. We have to get better and we have to keep playing with the same intensity. We need to play a little cleaner and I think we will next time."

Michigan State Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi

On the game...
"At times I was happy about where we were. I wasn't really happy at halftime; I came in, in a storm. Just the little communication things in an opener; not knowing exactly what you are going to get offensively from Boise State. I give them a lot of credit for what they do. They have a great program and they all know how to move the ball. They are a great challenge for any defense that they ever play. We had some communications early that I wasn't really excited about. We didn't do a very good job communicating with 11 guys. But at the end of the opener, I'm excited about where we ended up."

On giving up defensive points...
"We count a sudden change when they get the ball down there on turnover. We count it if we give up three and they got the ball at the 20-yard line, that's a win. We still got the points up there; we still did a nice job. We drove it down there once. We had a couple turnovers; I'd like to have a couple more."

On the impact of some plays...
"I'm happy about plays made during the game. I don't know what else to say."

On Boise State's offense...
"They took a couple shots late in the fourth quarter. They hit one on Johnny Adams earlier and then they came back to Darqueze Dennard. But I trust him every time and that's a low set ball. They got interference one time. One look at the tape and you can see that. I think they get nervous and just want to throw it the next time there is the same type of coverage. We expect that, we press them to take shots and I have confidence in our corners."

On substitute patterns...
"Boise started getting a little tempo on us in the second half, really not in the first half. I thought our team adjusted well to that. We planned on not knowing the personnel so they had to make some different checks based on the personnel in the game. Take some things off and put some things on defensively so they did a nice job there but sometimes we weren't all on the same page."

On Boise State's failed fourth down conversion...
"Someone said `we have one guy go out and two go in' I felt like we weren't adjusting. It was a critical down so we took a timeout. We didn't have the personnel. We were rushed on the fourth and two, it went fast tempo, so we called a timeout. There was no question for the timeout; I was right next to the officials."

On Boise State running game...
"Our guys did a great job in the running game. Our defensive line obviously played well in their run game and after halftime we wanted to run some stunts to stop the runs. I said `guys we aren't having trouble stopping the runs, let's get to the quarterback.' They had 37 yards, I saw they just wanted to move up front and do some different stuff that we had in, in case we needed it. We always have different weapons and different things to stop the run play, but we didn't need it. We pretty much played a base defense, most of the time."

On pass rush...
"It was just about getting fresh guys out there. (Anthony Rashad White) and Micajah (Reynolds) are just as good at pass rushing. I just don't know how much push we got in there. Again first game we are going to make the most improvement between this and game two. It will be a good tape to review."

On Max Bullough and William Gholston...
"Max Bullough leads our defense. I promise you that. He's a leader out there. We have some communication things we want to get better. Max Bullough played well and William Gholston played a good game. Until we see the tape there are all different kinds of things we can improve on, I guarantee that."

On the tackles...
"William Gholston had a late hit on the quarterback, which drove me nuts. I had never seen a punter getting a late hit on the sideline; his first tackle he made all year, that's not fair. I think we have one offsides penalty defensively and one personal foul; so 20 yards and we had a (pass interference), but I think we had three total penalties on defense. You're okay with that but it's those unforced."

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Dan Roushar

On the game...
"I felt the second half we established the run game. We finished the game very well with a couple of drives, making some big plays. You can't turn the ball over four times and expect to win against a good football team. Somehow we did that and played great defense. We had 90 offensive plays, controlled the ball. Andrew Maxwell made some very good throws. We didn't catch it well consistently enough, but we will go back and just get better. We had too many missed cues with penalties and forced errors at inopportune times. We will have to fix that to give ourselves a chance to be a better football team."

On Le'Veon Bell's yards...
"This was pretty close to what I meant for him to run a lot. He ended up with over 200 yards rushing. He ran awfully hard and made some things happen. I thought the guys did a great job of blocking and so did the guys on the perimeter."

On Andrew Maxwell and interceptions...
"The first one comes off of Tony Lippett hands and you know we stick that last drop in there. Second one is off the screen, third one we missed right before half. Looks like we have Benny (Fowler) going into the end zone on a score and we just missed him off the back side. That one was a little bit unfortunate. I wanted him to keep his poise. For us to have a chance to develop offensively, we have to throw the football. Our guys on the outside have to make plays and we have to have playmakers out there."

On Dion Sims...
"Dion Sims did a heck of a job. He played very well and made some big plays at key times. He blocked very well, so that was impressive."

On the first half...
"We went back in and just talked to the offense. Execution was killing us. We looked at it, we were down by three. We were controlling the football and it looks like we are controlling the scrimmage. We had some situations where there was little more pressure on the quarterback then we would have liked. We reminded the guys to maintain our poise, execute fundamentals, and focus on our jobs that way. It felt like we could take control of it."

Michigan State Junior Running Back Le'Veon Bell

On his dominating performance and giving credit to the offensive line, wide receivers and Maxwell...
"I've got to give a lot of credit to the offensive line. The offensive line did a great job today. The receivers block on the edge, tight-ends and fullbacks; even Maxwell making checks at the line of scrimmage to the right play when they were showing blitz. You have to give a lot of credit to those guys."

On running the clock down at the end of the game...
"The offensive line in the huddle, they are ready to run the ball. That is something the linemen love doing, that's something I love doing of course. We just want to get over the hump and keep moving forward."

On the breakout run where he made it to midfield and looking like he was gassed...
"I was definitely a little tired, but everybody out there on the field gets a little tired."

On the last drive when he got to 200 yards and Chris McDonald hugged him, whether he knew he rushed for 200...
"I had no idea, I was just out there running. I had no idea how many carries or yards I had, I was just out there running, trying to win the game."

On reaching 200 yards...
"That is the most I have ever had in my collegiate career. It's a great accomplishment for me but I've still got things to work on and get better at."

On what the hug was for...
We hug all the time. We hug all the time, in the huddle, all the time.

On Andrew Gleichert's blocking and effort tonight...
He had a great game, blocking, catching the ball. He made a big catch in the beginning of the game, I think it was third and two or something. Those guys, all the tight-ends, played great today.

Michigan State Junior Quarterback Andrew Maxwell

On what Boise State showed them on defense that they weren't ready for...
"At the beginning of the game they were playing a lot of press coverage, a lot of man coverage it looked like, which is understandable with our youth at wide-receiver, trying to test us. Toward the end of the game, they started playing a little more off with it, brought a lot of secondary pressure which is always tough. I mean you can prepare, prepare and prepare, but secondary pressure, no matter what protection you got on, is going to be a problem. They did a great job doing that, they played traditional Boise State football and it's a good brand of football."

On battling through the mistakes...
"Not exactly how you dream the first half to go, but you have to play for the next play. Mistakes are going to happen, those are growing pains. It's a game of inches and an inch either way, those plays can be completely different. There's a character to our team to bring me back from those mistakes and just keep battling, sustain drives when we needed and happened to get the win."

On Dion Sims and hooking up on key third down plays...
"He's a great guy to go to that when you know you need 3 or 4 yards that if he's going to be there, he's going to be a guy whose hands are reliable, he's going make the catch and he can make somebody miss or make some yards after contact to get that first down. He's a great guy to look out there and you just have that assurance that he's going to do what he needs to do."

On going to Sims early and then not going to him for a while and whether Boise State took him away...
"They did kind of start taking him away, I think that's something they may have game planned for, because they were making some adjustments that made the call that we were calling to try and give him the ball, just the pre-snap look, it just wasn't there. Give credit to them for making that adjustment but the resilience again, we just kept going back to him, kept going back to him and it paid off for us."

On the comfort level of his first start and how it felt...
"It was a special experience. It's funny because before the game I was as calm as I've ever been before a football game and I think that's a testament to our preparation as a team and all the work that we've put in through the offseason and through training camp and through this week, just know that we're ready and it's game time and we're just going to go execute. Starting off with the drive we did, we marched it right down the field and that was a great way to start and get us off on the right foot."

On the defense and not allowing a touchdown to Boise State...
"They did a great job of bailing us out of situations where maybe we couldn't sustain drives and we left some points out on the field, we came up short and they had to go kind of bail us out and they did a great job doing that. That's a testament to their tenacity, really bucking up when the pressures on."

On the go ahead touchdown drive and the third-down completion to Dion Sims...
"I remember seeing on film seeing that formation and thinking that play didn't look that great because of the way they lined up. But the way they lined up, it was the perfect look we had for it and actually on the snap the safety kind of jumped down inside of Dion which isn't optimal, isn't what we wanted."

Michigan State senior cornerback Johnny Adams

On the tackle for loss...
"I just ran my keys and tried to make a play. Most of the time they see me, sometimes they don't and sometimes I fake them. I just read my keys to make a play."

On the defense helping the offense...
"We're a team, so whatever happens , we just out there and try to complement each other. The offense helps the defense and the defense helps the offense."

On keeping Boise State out of the end zone...
"We don't want to give them any touchdowns, we don't want to give them any field goals. We just try to be the best defense in the nation."

On living up to expectations...
"It's definitely early. We've got a lot of adjustments that we've got to make. A lot of guys feel like we played subpar, including myself. We definitely want to go out there and work on improvements."

Michigan State Junior defensive end William Gholston

On victory against Boise State on big stage...
"I'm glad that we finished, but a couple of our defensive leaders, we felt like we didn't play as well as we should have been able to. We didn't play up to the standards that we set as a unit. Not saying that we had a bad game. We play ok, but we can be better. "

On Boise State offense...
"Coming into the game, we knew they had a lot of packages. We knew that they had an explosive offense. As a team, we knew that they don't back down to any BCS team. "

On expectations of defense...
"You put pressure through the pipes and you make diamonds. I think we came and pulled it out."

Michigan State Junior linebacker Max Bullough

On playing the Boise State offense...
"We're excited. We wanted to come out and play fast and physical and I think we did that. They hit us with a few trick plays and we got that pass interference. Other than that, I think we were solid. I think there were a few communication issues; it was pretty loud out there. I think that it was a good game to start with and I think we proved ourselves."

On first game of the season...
"I'm tired. I haven't been this tired in a while. The first game is always hard and to have it against a good opponent and an opponent that moves around as much as they do, there's a lot of yelling so I'm exhausted."

On the Michigan State offense...
"I had confidence in the offense and in Maxwell. He did have some unfortunate interceptions, but some weren't even his fault with the tipped balls. I thought our offense line played well. The first game is always tough, specifically with our running game that has a lot of assignments up front. I was confident in our offense the whole time."

Boise State Senior Linebacker Tommy Smith

Being on the field so long...
"I feel like it comes back to some workouts where we play for these types of games. We don't know what time of game we will be in. It's hard on us, but we have to get it done."

On getting tired...
"It took a big toll on us in the end, but coming back to some of the workouts and running. We practice for it and we get all these huddles going during practices. We expect to be in a dog fight every game."

On the morale after turnovers...
"That is one of the things the defense emphasizes. The turnovers are momentum-getters and with us playing here, with 75,000 in the crowd. That was to help the offense to get the momentum and get it going."

Starting the season with a loss...
"It is all about learning. We get back from traveling either tomorrow or Sunday and we just have to learn from our mistakes and correct them when we go."

Boise State Senior Offensive Guard Joe Kellogg

On struggling to run the ball...
"First off, Michigan State is a very talented team and they have a very strong front seven. They gave us trouble. They were moving a lot. I think we could have executed better, but they just kind of outplayed us tonight. They made more plays than us."

On handling the front seven...
"[Michigan State] is probably the best front seven that I have played against in my 23rd start. They were pretty good. They did a lot of different things we were used to, but they are very talented."

How Michigan State differed from film review...
"Each game the team will give you something you are really not prepared for. It is not just Michigan State that does that. Every team you play is going to give you something that you are not prepared for."

On being so close to getting some momentum...
"The defense played fantastic. I think the offense needs to figure it out a little more, but like I said the defense played great. They kept us in the game. They got turnovers and that interception for the touchdown. Offensively we need to improve."

Boise State Sophomore Safety Lee Hightower

On playing well on defense but being on the field a long time...
When you're on the field for a long time, it does wear on you a little bit. There were just a couple plays on third down that we needed to make and we've just got to get those corrected and make those plays in the future.

On Boise State's defense performance...
I think we did play well for a good part [of the game]. Like I said, there were a couple things on third downs where we could have made some plays that would have helped us out a lot. But overall I think the defense did play well. Turnovers were a big thing for us. We wanted to get three a game and we got it, so we did play well. We've just got keep getting better.

On defending Le'Veon Bell...
He's a big guy. He's a very talented running back. There's a reason that he had all the hype coming in. He's a good guy, he's going to do good things in the future. He's definitely a good player for them.

Boise State Junior Quarterback Joe Southwick

On having problems on offense during his first-ever offensive start...
I think Michigan State has a great defense, there's no hiding that. They did a great job all night up front, taking care of the run, putting pressure. Hats off to them, they did a great job. The whole season is about getting better from start to finish.

On the two drives inside the 10-yard line that did not result in touchdowns...
That one [interception] was really my fault. I shouldn't have thrown it. And then the second time we got down there after we hit Matt on the big one, Michigan State did a great job. We threw the ball twice in a row and both times they covered it well. Hats off to them for doing that.

On the nighttime environment at Spartan Stadium...
Cool stadium, cool atmosphere. Lot of good fans. They were loud, and it was a lot of fun.

On more offensive difficulties throughout the game...
We've just got to find a way to finish. At times we moved the ball really well, and then we'd kind of hit a roadblock. That defense, they were really good. We've got to be explosive. We can't just try to get our way down there making five-yard gains the whole time. We're gonna have to take shots. We're going to have , at some point in the year, if we want to be a good offense.

On not getting a win in Game #1 when in past years having done so...
I'm excited [for the rest of the season]. We got hit in the mouth a little bit. I think this will help us in the long run and we're going to be very focused the next opponent and for future opponents. I think it's going to be very motivating for our team.

 

 

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