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October 23, 2012

Adam Dingwell

Alec Johnson

Chance Marden

Q.  Adam, Ryan Katz goes down in the first quarter, and coaches tell you to start warming up because you're going into the game.  Tell us what was going on in your mind?
ADAM DINGWELL:  At first my heart went out to Ryan.  That's a tough way to go out for him.  I hope he recovers well.  After that initial feeling, I just said I've got to go win this game, and I can't do it all by myself, so I'm going to need the guys around me.  I talked to them and said this is a big game.  We're going to pull it out.  I got ready to go and I was excited to get out there.

Q.  Rocky was saying that last week you were kind of thrown into the fire.  It's a little bit different than the situation this week where you're actually going to be able to prepare to be the starting quarterback.  How does your preparation change or stay the same?  Mentally, is that a different spot for you to be in?
ADAM DINGWELL:  It doesn't change at all.  I've prepared all year the same way.  I'll continue to do so.  It all starts in the film room where can you get to know your opponent.  It's not much different for me at all.  I'm the same guy, and I'm going to try to be the same guy constantly, and I'll prepare the same way I have been.

Q.  Alec, Coach Long said that Adam Dingwell and Ryan Katz are almost the same kind of quarterback.  Do you see that as well?
ALEC JOHNSON:  Yeah, I have faith in both of them.  Adam and Ryan have a lot of similarities that I can see from both of them, yeah.

Q.  Alec, you've been around a while.  How high does that win last week rank against all the games that you've played in your career?
ALEC JOHNSON:  It's up there.  A win is always good.  That one was sweet.  First overtime game since I've been here, so it was good.

Q.  Does that do anything for this team's morale?  What are some of the intangibles after a win like that?
ALEC JOHNSON:  It means that we only have one loss in conference, and the conference championship is still a possibility.  So we need to prepare hard this week.  UNLV is going to be a good game.

Q.  How do you guys avoid sort of a letdown?  Last week you were so up for this game that you won in such a dramatic fashion.  How do you avoid that lull that comes the following week?
ALEC JOHNSON:  You can't.  You've just got to prepare hard, do the same thing we've been doing for the last three weeks and all season, and get after it in the film room.  And out at practice, we need to practice hard.  We can't let down at all.

Q.  Chance, take us through the game type process.  They call timeout, what is going through your mind at that point?
CHANCE MARDEN:  Just a little bit of everything, except for the kick itself.  In that situation it's crazy what thoughts pop into your head.  How you take yourself out of the situation and then once the whistle blows and you're getting back into your steps, everything goes blank and you just have to perform.

Q.  Give us an idea of what you're putting in your head so you don't think about the kick?
CHANCE MARDEN:  Just a little bit of everything.  Just the culmination of what got me here.  Just the journey I've been on, and how I'm so thankful.

Q.  Did you think at the beginning of the season that sometime during the year you would end up winning conference special teams player of the week honors?
CHANCE MARDEN:  I wouldn't say conference special teams player.  Definitely just having a chance to help my team was the most important thing.  Giving them the opportunity to win is my job as a kicker, and to come through like that on this stage is an amazing feeling.

Q.  I see twice you missed the first one.  Does that make it more or less pressure after the second time?
CHANCE MARDEN:  Well, the first time out they called it pretty early, so I heard it.  I wanted to kick it, and Dingwell grabbed it away from me.  The second one they called the timeout, and I heard the whistle, and I made sure he got down.
I didn't want to miss the practice kick, so to speak.  So I took a little extra second.  The timing was a little off, and just getting good contact on the ball, just getting that release and just the third one putting it through.

Q.  The second one you heard the whistle, so you knew it was a practice shot?
CHANCE MARDEN:  Yeah, I knew it was a practice shot well before.

Q.  Have you ever been in that kind of pressure situation when you were a soccer player on the soccer field?
CHANCE MARDEN:¬† Penalty kicks, but nothing compares to that.¬† Nothing where all the people are just looking at you.¬† A PK is a five‑shot shootout, so you can miss and your team can still win.¬† That was all on me, I had to do it.¬† But I'm grateful that a great hold, great snap, and then the line blocked.¬† It was a team effort.

Q.  After starting out the season 0 for 3 on field goals and hitting seven in a row now, what's been the biggest change since your start of the season?
CHANCE MARDEN:  Just getting used to the routine, I think.  Just going out there every day, doing the same things.  Knowing how to manage the game properly.  Knowing that I should take a couple of kicks into the net and not overkick throughout the game, stay mentally in it.  So it's just a learning process, and it's going well now.

Q.  What kind of response have you had on campus from other students, and not just necessarily by you, about the team in general?
CHANCE MARDEN:  There's definitely more of a buzz.  In one of my classes early this morning, there were a couple people talking about the game and overhearing it brings a smile to the face.  It's a great feeling.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
CHANCE MARDEN:  No, not really.

Q.  Any more dates?
CHANCE MARDEN:  No, not at all.

Q.  What about you, Adam, increased buzz about this game?
ADAM DINGWELL:  Yeah, like Chance says, there is a huge buzz around campus, and that's cool to hear when you're walking and overhear people talking.  It's really exciting and just makes you want to get back out there and go do it again.  Kind of like Alec said, we've got to refocus.  That one's behind us, and it's all about UNLV this week.

Q.  Did you guys learn anything about yourselves as a team in the last game that you didn't know before or maybe weren't sure of before?
ADAM DINGWELL:  I don't believe so.  I mean, we never had a doubt in our mind.  Not many people gave us a shot to go into Nevada and win.  But we believed, and that's one thing we preach around here.  Never give up and play until there are zeros on the clock, and we did that and we showed that we can overcome certain circumstances.

Q.  Adam, you struggled a little bit in the beginning.  Talk about what got the ball rolling for you?
ADAM DINGWELL:  Everybody around me.  I knew I couldn't do it by myself.  Maybe in the start I was putting too much pressure on myself.  But once I got into the flow of the game, everybody around me just picked me up, believed in me.  That was huge.
The O‑line did a great job for me all night.¬† Not much pressure at all.¬† The receivers were making plays, running backs working hard downhill, and that opened everything up for me.

Q.¬† Can you talk about the two‑point conversion?¬† Rocky allowing you to win the game with the ball in your hand.
ADAM DINGWELL:¬† Yeah, that was sweet.¬† We wanted to win the game, and when we called that timeout, we knew we were going for two.¬† It was my job to get the ball into the play maker's hands.¬† And the O‑line did a great job.¬† I had more time on that play ever since we've been repping it.¬† Adam Roberts made a great catch.¬† It was nothing about me on that one.

Q.¬† Have you been practicing two‑point conversions more this year than in years past, or was it the same?¬† I know there was a lot of hype about the beginning of the year?
ALEC JOHNSON:¬† No, we always practice two‑point conversions.¬† It's not like this year we practice it more than any other year.¬† It's been the same.¬† As an offense you need to prepare for two‑point conversions, and we've been doing that this year as well.

Q.  Your team is doing very well.  The men's basketball team is pumped, getting some good props.  The women's soccer team is ranked in the Top 10.  What kind of atmosphere among the athletes, not just the football team, but among the athletes here on campus, can you talk about that and the success that's been going on right now?
ADAM DINGWELL:  I think it's exciting.  Everybody's getting into the sports around here, and that's exciting to see.  There is a nice buzz on campus.  As far as we go, you got to put it behind and you just get ready to put it behind and you win the next one.

Q.  How's Brandon?  Have you seen him or talked to him since Saturday?  How's he holding up?
ALEC JOHNSON:  It's tough.  It's always bad when you go down with an injury.  It's a rough one, especially being a senior.  You never want to see it happen like that.  I think he's doing all right.

Q.  Is he still around the building?
ALEC JOHNSON:  Oh, yeah.

Q.  Do you know if he's going to still come to meetings and stuff like that?
ADAM DINGWELL:  I'm sure he will.  He loves football.  He loves the game and he's a great teammate, so I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be around.  We'd love to have him.  He's a great leader, and that is something you can't take away from him.  We're proud of him.  My heart goes out to him, but I'm sure he'll be around.

Q.  Has Ryan said anything to you about what you have to do stepping into his role?
ADAM DINGWELL:  A little bit.  We spoke briefly at halftime.  He was in the locker room, and I told him we're going to win this one for you, man.  You got us here, like I said.  I mean, I feel terrible for him.  That's a tough way to go out like Alec said.  But he gave me some words of wisdom, pumped me up a little bit and said go win the game.  That's all I needed.

Q.  Alec, what is the difference between Ryan Katz and Adam Dingwell?
ALEC JOHNSON:  Same thing.  Ding is a little excited at times, and you can feel that.  But it's no different.  It's the same play calls, same everything.

Q.  Adam, was there anything you learned from watching Ryan Katz on the field?
ADAM DINGWELL:¬† Yeah, leadership, that was the main thing.¬† He led those guys up‑and‑down the field when he was out there, that's one thing you can learn, not just from him, but previously when I was here, Ryan did the same thing.¬† So I've learned from two great guys that were ahead of me, and I think that carried over in the game.

Q.  Adam, you've gotten game time action early in the season.  Do you feel that helped you when you went into the quarterback role?
ADAM DINGWELL:  Yeah, I do.  Getting on the field is an unbelievable experience, and doing that early in the year was nice.  You kind of got the jitters out of the way, you could say, about my first college play or however you want to put it.  But, yeah, I think it helped me.

Q.  What does Gavin Escobar bring to this team in terms of his ability?  Because you have so many receivers, but it seems that he's caught a lot of key touchdowns for you guys.
ADAM DINGWELL:¬† Yeah, Gavin's a great player.¬† He makes match‑up issues for defenses all the time.¬† They want to play him tight and kind of take him out of the game.¬† We have guys on the edge that can go make plays.¬† So offensively, we've got a bunch of key guys that can make plays that I just need to get the ball to and let them do what they do with it.

Q.  Chance, you think that coach is testing your ability to handle stress by throwing you out here in front of the media?  He was fairly protective earlier in the year, and I think that says a lot towards the confidence that he has in you.  What do you feel about the situation?
CHANCE MARDEN:  About speaking to you guys today?

Q.  Yeah.
CHANCE MARDEN:  Same old, same old.  Nothing too different, not that big of a deal.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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