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December 15, 2018

Frank Maile

D.J. Williams

Jordan Love

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Utah State - 52, North Texas - 13

Q. Coach, can you just tell us a little bit about how it felt to win the way you guys did?
FRANK MAILE: Man, just winning felt great. You know what I mean? An amazing win, and it was all due to these kids right here. Their preparation and focus, I thought the changes that went down is really a credit to them of how we won and continued to do what we had been doing all year long. We struck to the blueprint, and that was the outcome of the game. So great job by them.

Q. Just talk about the job that Coach Maile and his staff did preparing you guys for this game.
JORDAN LOVE: Yeah, they did a great job. I mean, they came in. All the coaches that stayed here, they've got us ready for this game, and they came in. We didn't skip a beat really. It's just a credit to the whole team and to them just for the job they did, and just thankful for that, and Coach Maile, he's a great coach, and I'm just glad we got that win.

Q. Jordan, what's it like to look back on the season and realize how special it was?
JORDAN LOVE: Yeah, I think it's going to be a season that everybody on this team will be able to look back on their whole life and just be able to think we did a great job the whole season. We wish we could have gotten that Mountain West Championship, stuff like that, but finishing with 11 wins and a bowl game, it's a great feeling.

Q. Jordan, North Texas came in with some of the best defense in the area and you guys were able to take it to them. How were you able to roll through them? What went into that?
JORDAN LOVE: Really I'd say just explosive playmakers everywhere. It's hard to stop, and then it's also hard to stop our (indiscernible), and we've been doing it all year. Our offense is just able to really demolish some defenses, and it's just fun to be a part of.

Q. DJ, talk about why you think your defense was so strong, and in terms of interceptions, how were you able to (indiscernible)?
D.J. WILLIAMS: Well, it was definitely a team thing. I feel like the whole year we've all been really preaching the brotherhood and doing our job, everybody doing our job and (indiscernible).

Q. Coach, how big a role do you think them losing their quarterback played in this game?
FRANK MAILE: He's the No. 1 guy on the field. Any time you lose your trigger man, it makes it a little bit hard for you to move forward and continue to execute, and he'd been doing it all season. For those guys, it's hard when you don't have your QB. But like the game of football, it's next man up, and that's what they're trained to do, and he's got to step up and fill those shoes, and same thing happened to us, for whatever reason Jordan went down, next guy has got to go. But that guy is the most important guy on the field in my opinion and plays a big role in the success of the team.

Q. Coach and DJ, there are a lot of special players on the defensive side of the ball. Have you ever seen a defensive balance like you've had this year?
D.J. WILLIAMS: Well, personally this is the best team that I've ever played for. I came from JuCo, so it's obvious, but we definitely have some talent on the team. But I think people really stand out just because of certain people like (indiscernible) who never gets credit but he does his job, and it's really a team thing. That's really what I think it is.

FRANK MAILE: Defensively the defensive stuff (indiscernible), so as long as everybody does their job, everyone gets a piece of the pie, and that's the way we've done it. It starts up front, it works its way to the back. DJ mentioned that. It's a defensive thing. It's a brotherhood, and these guys have put in a lot of work, a lot of emphasis into doing their job and doing it fast, and that's the outcome you see today.

Q. Coach, Jalen and Aaron had big games and Gerold had a big rushing game. What did you see from them, and why do you think they were so effective in their roles?
FRANK MAILE: Do you know what, I think it starts with Coach Yost and the offense that he's implemented here at Utah State. A huge credit to him for putting the players in a position to be successful, and so it's allowed them to showcase their talents and abilities, and that's what's happened week in and week out. Coach Yost has done a great job with that, but at the end of the day, players make plays and players win games. We put these guys in the best situations that we can to play ball and show case what they have.

Q. DJ, clearly missing (indiscernible) put a damper on your offense, but still, these guys were in position to break several program records. You limited them to one trip to the red zone today. Talk about how big a confidence boost that is?
D.J. WILLIAMS: It definitely feels good. It's a blessing to be able to be on the team, and with the defense, we call ourselves DSD, and we just came to play today. We had a goal, and we got that goal, and that was to leave with a win.

Q. What does DSD stand for?
D.J. WILLIAMS: I'll let Coach Maile tell you.

FRANK MAILE: For us, we believe in having an identity. We believe it gives a purpose to what we're doing. These guys are the dark side defense, so they take pride in that, so DSD has been happening all year long, and we'll continue to move in that direction, and that's who they are and that's (indiscernible).

Q. Jordan, what was going so well for you guys in the second quarter?
JORDAN LOVE: I mean, really we were just making plays, I guess, in the second quarter. We had a couple explosive plays in the passing game and stuff. I mean, in the first quarter we weren't really moving it as well, I guess, but I don't know, it's just nothing really changes or anything, players just make plays at certain times.

Q. Jordan, you guys were both (indiscernible) what's the goal for next season?
JORDAN LOVE: The goal for next season is the same as the goal was for this season: Win the Mountain West championship. That's the main goal for this team, and we'll come back in the spring and get right to business.

D.J. WILLIAMS: The Mountain West Championship.

Q. Coach Maile, can you tell us about the future? What's next for you?
FRANK MAILE: You know, I haven't had time to think about that. The number one concern has always been these guys, so we'll see what tomorrow brings when tomorrow shows up, but right now these guys will celebrate and enjoy this win because that's what it's all about. All the hard work since January has come to this very moment, all the decisions they've made have allowed them to have success, and that's what we're going to do today. We're going to spend this day celebrating this win and the season, and tomorrow, I'll approach that when it shows up.

Q. Guys, just what does it mean to you that this man has stepped up to believe in you and his priority is getting you guys ready for this? What does that mean to you guys?
JORDAN LOVE: It definitely says a lot. He's one of the few coaches that's here to coach this game today, and I mean, I don't know, I have nothing to say about it because it just shows what type of person he is and what type of coach he is. He cares about us and this team. I mean, it really just means a lot. We got to get this win for him.

D.J. WILLIAMS: I've been very thankful for Coach Maile as well as my teammates. He knows how I feel about him. He's a great coach and everybody knows that, but I wish people could see how great of a person he is. That's something that you really can't see unless you're with the team. Whatever he does, I'm happy for him. I know he's going to be great at whatever he's at.

Q. Jordan, why were you so effective, especially today?
JORDAN LOVE: Yeah, I mean, the connection with all the receivers, I mean, it's not just them, but they just made plays today. They got open in windows, found some space, and then had a lot of yards after catch. But we've been doing this all year, so that's that connection right there.

Q. Coach Maile, you've been around this program a long time. You're very well aware of the history of the state of Utah. How special is it to be part of a team that broke the Mountain West single season scoring record and that record was held by BYU?
FRANK MAILE: Well, I didn't know the last part that you just said, but that just makes it even more special. Any time success here where I played ball and graduated from and being an alum here at Utah State and having put a lot of time and effort into assisting in this process of getting us to where we're at, but any time there's success here, from the bottom of my heart, I'm excited about any success that we have. I know if we stick to getting the same type of players as these two that you see up here, we're going to continue to have the same success and continue to (indiscernible).

Q. Jordan and DJ, how did you guys make sure that you kind of kept out of the distractions of the last couple weeks? Did you do anything special? How did you make sure that that had to happen?
D.J. WILLIAMS: Defense-wise, I don't feel like we did anything different. I feel like our captains helped us (indiscernible) all season. We've got real good leaders, and our seniors stayed engaged (indiscernible) stepped up and just helped Coach, and they've been around the program, and they know the accolades, and it just shows (indiscernible), so I really don't feel like we did anything different. I feel like they stepped up even more.

JORDAN LOVE: Yeah, captains just leading us, leading from the front, and then also these coaches just being able to keep us just focused on what we've got to do to get that win.

Q. Coach, I just want to get your thoughts: How is the locker room right now with the seniors playing the last game, and being able to send them out with a win, what are their emotions like in the locker room?
FRANK MAILE: Well, right now they're going crazy in the locker room, so hopefully the celebration has calmed down so we can leave. But these done a great job leaving a legacy behind. It's something for our younger guys to move forward on and continue their calling and their journey and lead (indiscernible) at Utah State, but those guys are more excited than anybody else. It's a team effort, sending them out the right way, and ending the season the way we did. I appreciate our seniors and their leadership and their commitment level to excellence and assisting us to getting us to where we are today.

Q. Jordan, North Texas are 15th nationally in rushing defense. Just talk about the job your offensive line did today.
JORDAN LOVE: Yeah, the O-line, not just today but this whole season, they've been terrific. I mean, we've been in and around the ball easy. It makes it easy for (indiscernible) back there to have the holes they've got and then also in the passing game. I mean, I got plenty of time in the pocket all the time. The number I've been hit this season is super low. It's just a credit to them. They do a good job every week just being able to protect, and can't give them enough credit.

Q. Coach, you guys were 12 of 20 on 3rd downs. Why were you guys so good on 3rd downs?
FRANK MAILE: You know, it's a huge emphasis for our defense weekly is limiting the amount of possessions the offense has and one of our goals is three-and-outs, so for us getting the 3rd down is huge and getting the football back to our offense is a big part of what we do. So I think that's why we've had so much success on both sides of the ball is us getting the ball back to them and them feeding off of that and moving the ball to the end zone. Part of our emphasis defensively is three-and-outs and getting off the field on 3rd down.

Q. I meant offense, 3rd down conversions.
FRANK MAILE: I think it's Coach Yost putting them in a position, understanding what they're looking at defensively and putting them in a situation to be successful. It starts up front. Jordan just talked about the O-line. It starts up front with protections and them communicating and picking up blitzes because they're a very aggressive football team. We knew that, and those guys did a great job up front of picking those guys up. I know Jordan had the time to get the ball to his reads, so it was a team effort with everybody, but it always starts up front.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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