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September 3, 2016

Frank Wilson

San Antonio, Texas

Alabama State - 13, UTSA - 26

Q. How does it feel to be 1-0?
COACH WILSON: It feels fantastic. I'm so excited for our players, our program, this city. We've invested so much into just being attention to detail. To come to this moment and to be victorious is certainly gratifying.

Q. What about Dalton's play?
COACH WILSON: Yeah, I tell you, when you go 20 of 25 for 274 yards, that's pretty impressive, and rush for another hundred-plus yards. That type of output will put us into position to achieve victory in many games, despite the unfortunate turnovers we had collectively as an offense and special teams.

Q. Do you have an update on Jarveon?
COACH WILSON: Yeah, ankle sprain. Ankle sprain. Will be day-to-day. We'll gauge him tomorrow. We started treatment right now, as soon as we got off the field, got it checked out. Doesn't look like a ligament or anything's broken. It's just an ankle sprain, so it will be day-to-day progress.

Q. As far as letting Dalton knowing about the start today, when did you make the call, when was the decision made in your mind and how did both those guys take it?
COACH WILSON: I met with both of them this morning for breakfast. Right after breakfast, or after breakfast, should I say, I sat down with them and shared with them the decision was made based on how they had been performing throughout the duration of camp, and what's best for the team; who gave us the best opportunity to win the game and shared with both he and Jared the rotation, and wanted to be transparent with them.

Sometimes you may want to meet with one at one point and then the other, but I didn't want to do that. I wanted to be honest with them. I wanted to be up front with them and allow them to know my thought process, our thought process going into the game. And so they handled it well, and so we went with it.

Q. How tough was that decision?
COACH WILSON: It was tough. It was very difficult because they put -- both young men put so much work in it. At the end of the day, Dalton had a slight lead and we just felt the game plan that we set forth was best -- most efficient with him leading us at the beginning of the game and it proved to be right.

Q. When you look at the rotation with the quarterbacks, is that something that you planned before the game or something that happens during the game?
COACH WILSON: No, we shared. I told them before the game, that we would let Dalton go the first two series because he had earned the right to be the starter. We would get Jared in on the third series and then go back with Dalton again to get him in some type of rhythm.

I didn't want to go every series or every whatever. Just wanted to try to establish some rhythm and then let's see where we're at, and then at that point, Dalton had got in a groove and we continued to play him.

Q. The very first touchdown, did that take the pressure off you?
COACH WILSON: Yeah, you know what we told the team if we win the toss, we're kicking the ball off; and we're going to kick the ball off and we're going to run down the field as if we were on I-10.

The analogy we used was that if you get in an accident on I-10, it's a high-speed collision and someone's going to get hurt. If you get in an accident on UTSA Boulevard, it's a little different. So we were on I-10. Our intention was to go down there and try to knock the ball loose and set the tone for our season.

It's the first play of the 2016 season for us, and we knew that if they won the toss, they would decide to return the ball and that's exactly how it played out, the way we thought it would, and we were fortunate that it turned out exactly the way that we kind of visualized it happening.

Q. I wanted to ask, Josiah Tauaefa seemed to be everywhere, what do you think of his performance, and can you talk about some of the others? He was mesmerizing, watching him on almost every play, but there are some other players that stood out.
COACH WILSON: Yeah, as we were going through training camp and leading into the last two weeks of the game, we talked about our linebacker core and the improvement, leaps and bounds we had taken since January from last season and you look at our top three tacklers in today's game that were all linebackers, Josiah leading with 13 tackles.

So we thought they were one of the groups or units in this conference that was fast, that was tenacious and that knew what they were doing and one of the strengths of our defense. I thought those guys played extremely well. I thought Josiah was lights out, as well.

Q. As a team on defense, you guys had success. Was that a main priority for you going into this game?
COACH WILSON: The main defense was to tackle in the first half. We didn't do a very good job of tackling.

At half-time, we challenged our defense to do a better job of tackling, but here is what happened. They are so overzealous, they are so eager to go out and compete, that they do things that they are not asked to do or required to do, and all you really have to do is play your role, and if it requires you to have gap integrity or to contain or to push the play to a certain area, then you do that.

In the first half, everybody wanted to make the play. And you've got to realize, it fits like a puzzle and everybody have a role to play and once we started playing disciplined football in the second half, we cut it in half. They were 180-plus yards total offense in the first half and I think 80-something, 90-something yards in the second half and so we cut it in half, and then we were able to put some pressure on the quarterback and get some sacks, and a school record, six sacks.

Q. After half-time, you guys seemed to make a concerted effort to go downfield in that one drive right out of the gate. Did you just decide to turn Coach Scelfo loose?
COACH WILSON: (Laughs) we wanted to take advantage of what the defense was giving us and so what we did, they started rolling their corners over, or safeties, down in the box to stop our run game, because we knew they were barely effective in the first half. Once they started putting eighth man in the box to deny us the running, we were able to take some shots downfield.

Unfortunately a couple of them were called back, but at least we were able to get them on their heels and know that we were willing to do so and complete some balls downfield.

Q. The offensive line held up tonight, only had a couple of sacks.
COACH WILSON: Yeah, you know what, and even the ones that were given up, it wasn't necessarily someone just getting beat. We had a communication issue on one of them with a protection. But outside of that, I thought they did a very good job.

And what happens is from a protection standpoint or when sacks happen, people automatically assume it's the offensive line, and sometimes it's the drop of the quarterback or the route of the receiver. And so I thought we got on the same page for the most part tonight and we're able to give our quarterback throws so he could get it out of his hands fast, and at the same time, the offensive line were pretty stout in stopping the pressure.

Q. How would you characterize this game: Three turnovers, four turnovers, some of the penalties; would you say it was a clean game?
COACH WILSON: How about that question: The four turnovers, the penalties; was it a clean game? (Laughing) I think it was a perfect game. I think it was a first game; unfortunately like the National Football League, we don't have preseason games for trial and error. It's live the very first time it happens.

The thing I told our team after post game was be excited, man, we just won a game. They are hard to come by. There are teams that are in power five schools in this country that lost to FCS schools. There are teams that hung on by the skin of their tooth. And so we were able could claim victory, and they are hard to come by every Saturday. You only get 12 of them. So we'll take it how we can get it. And then on Sunday we'll deal with the rest and we'll build on it.

But tonight, we're celebrating. We're excited about this victory. This team achieved something tonight and they found a way to win in spite of the four turnovers and at times played not the way this we had practiced and hoped it to be.

But I'm extremely proud of our young men and their effort, this coaching staff, the support for my fans in the stands and this city for this victory. So we won't relish on those things that were not in our favor tonight. Sunday is about the truth, so we'll deal with it Sunday when we get to the meetings, but tonight we're celebrating.

Q. Along those lines, you talked a little bit about it, but can you take us through the day of what the whole experience was? You're here for spring games and of course it's different. I'm sure you're going to be celebrating tonight --
COACH WILSON: How about that spirit walk. Did you see the spirit walk?

Q. No, but I've seen it before. You've been to a lot of different stadiums --
COACH WILSON: It was comparable to any other spirit walk I've been a part of. I was absolutely blown away. Early in the spring, we did a walk-through and we kind of talked about the traditional spirit walk that we had taken, and we had input from our administration and had in some new ideas and with the construction happening.

And so we tried to curtail it and push us in the direction where our fans can enjoy the team and the team could enjoy the fans, as well. So we went a new direction today, and it was phenomenal. It set the tone for the day, as we talked through there and to see our fans to, see our band and pep squads lead us through there with Rowdy (ph) and Dr. Romo and Lynn Hickey and the whole crew. It was just phenomenal. It gave us the ambiance you look for in a big-time game atmosphere. I thought it was fantastic.

Prior to the game at the hotel, our preparation was business as usual. I thought our team was locked in and focused and lasered in on the things necessary to prepare us to play well today.

Thank you guys so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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