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December 20, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
TEXAS EL PASO Â– 6
UTAH STATE Â– 21
THE MODERATOR:Â We're joined by Coach Wells, Kent Myers and Zach Vigil.
COACH WELLS:Â I don't know where to start except to talk about our seniors.Â The leadership, tremendous all year.Â It didn't start in August, it started in January.Â It's something that I as a head coach am very, very proud of, the culture of that locker room.Â It's at a very, very high level right now with senior leadership all the way down to the freshmen.
These kids today, they showed it.Â We had four or five kids out with a virus, didn't even suit up.Â We're making changes in pregame with all the special teams stuff.Â We just rise up.Â We find a way.
His brother pulls his hammy late.Â We get a guy to go down early in the game.Â He goes out for a series.Â We have a high school quarterback receiver Ronald Butler come in.Â Those are the kind of things that's hard to coach.Â My hat is off to our players.Â They earned this win.Â They earned 30 wins over three years and I'm proud to be their coach.
Congratulations to UTEP, great year.Â I got a lot of respect for Sean Kugler.Â They run the football well.Â Run behind their pads.Â Tough, physical program.Â Hats off to them.Â Very competitive right down to the very end.Â Just proud to be the coach here at Utah State.
Q.Â Talk about getting to 10 wins and how important that was for you guys, coach and Zach.
COACH WELLS:Â I always talk about opportunities.Â When they're presented in front of you, you got to take advantage of them.Â You got to grab them and find a way to do it.
This isn't a video game.Â You don't screw it up in the first quarter or two and hit reset and say, Hey, I'd like to play again, or, My guy got killed, I ran out of men.
You have to take advantage.Â In a hundred something years in the history of Utah State football, second double‑digit win, three straight bowl game wins.Â They'll never take it away from this bunch.
Again, I'm just proud to coach them.
ZACH VIGIL:Â Yeah, to be able to go out senior year, get 10 wins, pretty special.Â Be able to play with the guys we did, resilient through everything that coach just said.Â Just very proud and honored to be a part of that, be associated with this program.Â I can't wait to come back next year and watch my little brother keep playing.
Q.Â How important was it for you to bounce back?
ZACH VIGIL:Â We wanted to come out and prove we were good.Â They're a good football team, so give them full credit.Â But for the most part I think our defensive line did a really good job of keeping the O‑linemen off of us.
Q.Â When you went down in the first half, how serious did you think it was?Â Was that why you were basically trying to run out the clock?Â You had two timeouts.Â Did everything change when you had the big play by the receiver?
COACH WELLS:Â Well, Ronald Butler was the backup quarterback for the last three weeks.Â That's what we were down to.Â When Kent got dinged up a little bit, 'But' came in, let's see where we're at.Â Had he gotten stopped, we probably would have handed it off twice, probably punted it out of there and been smart with the football.
At that time it was a one‑possession ballgame.Â At that time we were going to be smart and play the clock.Â Ronald busted loose, got two plays after it, explosive.Â Throws the fade ball pretty good.Â I thought he had a good pass on Hunter.Â That was this knucklehead.Â Moved it down.
Unfortunately we weren't able to make the kick.Â I can handle that.Â That's a physical mistake.Â But I thought it was a nice job by Ronald coming in for Kent.
Q.Â Kent, when you got hit, how bad did you think you were hurt?Â How much did it mean to you to make sure you came back in the game?
KENT MYERS:Â Yes, sir, you know, it's a part of college football like coach said.Â Even if I was hurt, I was going to go back in anyways, send my seniors out right, come out with the W.Â Regardless, I was going to come out and just play hard.
Q.Â (No microphone.)
KENT MYERS:Â They brought me in for a little bit to make sure I didn't have any concussion or anything.Â Other than that, I was fine.Â I just wanted to go back out there and battle for my team.
Q.Â Matt, there's been a full‑on culture change in Logan.Â Things have changed so much over the course of the last four years.Â What has been like for you to be one of the masterminds of that?
COACH WELLS:Â I'm just a small part of it.Â I mean, I'm just the guy that gets to go to the postgame press conference.
I'm just a small part of it, and I mean that.Â I'm a firm believer that when you structure a program, you can't have rules without relationships.Â That's big in our building.
The relationships we have with the players, that they have back, I think it's pretty deep.Â It matters.Â It really does.Â But unless the kids are willing to open up their heart and be coached hard, to be loved hard, to be held to a really, really high standard of discipline on and off the field, it's not going to work.
So ultimately it is always on the players to be very, very coachable and have open hearts.Â That's what's changed right now.
Q.Â To be an outsider and come to the state of Utah, there's a pecking order.Â Seems like Utah State was always third living in the shadow of BYU and Utah.
COACH WELLS:Â These three guys up here won't declare that.Â You guys can handle that stuff.Â We'll just show up to play every single week.
Feel fine being the little brother, play with the chip on our shoulder.Â We'll prepare and train with the chip on our shoulder.Â That's for you to write.Â We won't declare we're there.Â When you put four straight teams together, it starts to become a program.
Q.Â Matt, can you talk about the last touchdown drive, what came together to make the offense do so well.
COACH WELLS:Â Well, I was kind of wishing that drive would have come two series earlier when the defense gave us great field position.
We ended up going with a couple perimeter runs.Â We were struggling in between the tackles there for a minute.Â Thought we'd try to get JoJo out there on the perimeter.Â I thought LaJuan, he did a nice job out on the perimeter blocking.
We got JoJo the ball.Â I think we saw a couple things on the edge.Â We wanted to be smart, still trying to run time off the clock.
I thought we had that early in the first quarter, but we were able to hit it.Â Tremendous job by the offensive line.Â A lot of those runs were on the left side right behind Kevin Whimpey.Â Kind of a neat way to go out if you're a left tackle.
Q.Â Yesterday you said it's about the players, not the roots that you have here.Â Was there a part of you at any time late in the game that felt pretty good walking off of that particular field with a bowl win?
COACH WELLS:Â Yeah, it did.Â After it was over, when you see a lot of guys, Coach Birmingham coming up, some of the other boosters, first‑team guys, old Lobos, the Rockies era a little bit, sure it is, absolutely.
But, again, it's not about me or that, coming back to Albuquerque.Â It's all about these players.Â They're the ones that went out and earned the win.Â It makes it special for me at the end, but it's obviously not a big deciding factor.
Q.Â Zach, obviously you and your brother had a great game on defense.Â What is it like standing on the sideline watching your brother?
ZACH VIGIL:Â That's awesome.Â I always said he's been the best athlete of both of us.Â Our little sister is actually the better of all three of us.
Knowing that he's talented, plays both side of the ball, that's the kid he is, the kid I grew up watching.Â He needs to put on a little more size so he can be more effective and last the whole game, but he did a good job.
Q.Â Kent, describe your touchdown, how you got so open, what you saw.
KENT MYERS:Â It was a zone read.Â Our offensive line did great blocking, just freed me up.Â I just took it to the house.Â Like I said, great blocking from our receiver Devonte Robinson, so...
Q.Â Kent, today you were running all over the place.Â What were you seeing out there in your first bowl game where you had so much space?
KENT MYERS:Â We have some designed runs.Â Like I say, they're a great defense.Â I took the opportunity when I saw the hole to take it.Â With the carries I got, the majority of them were reads.Â Like I said, I'm just reading my defender and going with it.
Q.Â Coach, talk a little bit about the senior class, what they've meant to this program.
COACH WELLS:Â They've meant everything.Â Winningest senior class in Utah State history.Â The coolest thing about them to me was something that I've tried to stress in our captain's meeting, but I think our seniors have done a great job of this, is leading by production.
I think your leadership platform is increased when you produce.Â When you produce when the game is on the line, the bright lights are on, you're on a big stage, when you do that, you have a platform of vocal leadership now.
From Zach to Kevin Whimpey, to Suite, Frankie Sutera, Joe Hill, those guys have been tremendous leaders.Â It continues to get passed down to each class.
That's what is important.Â When you create this culture, you have to sustain a culture, which I think is harder.Â You have to continue to teach young kids when they come in, freshmen or transfers, what it is, how it is, how we do it the Aggie way.
These guys have done a tremendous job teaching.Â But besides teaching, they've showed it.Â They're all about show and their production.Â I think that's what has made them a great senior class and obviously they won a lot of games.
Q.Â Zach ended up just short of some records.
COACH WELLS:Â I don't mean to interrupt, but there's an off‑season project for our defensive GA.Â He told me, Coach, I think they missed a couple halves earlier in the year.Â Doug, we're going to go back and look at that stuff.Â We'll let you know, so...
Q.Â Zach, your thoughts right now?
ZACH VIGIL:Â Glad we won the game.
COACH WELLS:Â He'll get some in the post‑season All‑Star Game.Â We'll add it to the total.
Q.Â Starting off the beginning of the year you had a vision for the team.Â Almost plagued with injuries.Â What was the difference maker throughout the year in the kids?
COACH WELLS:Â I don't know if you put one thing on it.Â I think the big word we've used, we've worn it out a little bit, is they're resilient.Â Next man up.Â We subscribe to that mantra a little bit.
But I don't think you become tough and I don't think you become resilient right in the middle of the season when adversity hits.Â You learn how to face adversity in the off‑season in football.Â That's called January, February, it's called June and July.Â That's when we win games around Utah State, is the time none of you guys are around, nobody really wants to do it.Â That's the hardest month at Utah State.
When guys go down, we wrap our arms around the new guy and we play a little bit better around him on the other side of the ball.Â That's been the recipe.
But, again, it's these kids that are doing it.Â All the success that they have, it all goes to them.
THE MODERATOR:Â Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports