home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


December 17, 2011

Steve Addazio

Chris Coyer

Tahir Whitehead



COACH ADDAZIO:  Well, first off, I just wanted to say I'm awful proud of our team.  I'm awful proud of our seniors, some great accomplishments from them.  That is our first bowl win since 1979 and our ninth win of the year for our seniors, their 31st win.  It meant an awful lot to our program and our university.
We're awful appreciative to the Gildan people having this Bowl and inviting us out to Albuquerque.  It meant a lot to us.  We were very honored to be here, and we really wanted to come out here and play very, very well and represent our university well.
I also want to thank our reporters that are here.  The guys that have been with us all year long.  I appreciate you guys covering us and being by us.  It means a lot.
Today's game, we played against a great football team.  Our team played real well.  We played a team game today.  Our team goals are to play great defense, battle and score in the red zone, to win the turnover battle, to play great special teams and to be able to run the football.  If we do that, we feel we execute as a team.
Today this was a team victory.  On offense we had 424 yards, rushing 255 yards, passing 169, 32 minutes of possession.  And on defense, we held them to 267, 140 rushing, 127 passing, and that held their time of possession down below 30 minutes.  We had three interceptions.
Obviously I have the defensive MVP and offensive MVP right here with me, and these guys along with their teammates battled today.  I'm awful proud of our football team.
We beat a good football team.  Wyoming's a real good football team.  They have a great program and a great staff, and I know they'll have many great times ahead of them.
So I couldn't be more proud of our guys and of our team, as I said, and I'm awful grateful to the guys and the media that traveled out from Philadelphia.  We're excited to go back to Philadelphia representing our university and our great city, that's a great sports city, with this win.
Great future for Temple.  Temple's here to stay.  Temple is a program that is on the rise ask we'll continue to battle and compete and represent our university in a first class matter.  Any questions?

Q.  Can you talk about the way Bernard set the tone.  Not just Bernard, but you gave the ball to Bernard a lot the first couple of possessions to just sort of open the game up.
COACH ADDAZIO:  He had 25 carries for 100 yards, two touchdowns, 31 yards on the first drive.  The first drive set the tone.  Our whole offensive line and everyone that was involved with that, Chris and, you know, I thought that was a great opener for us.
You could see that our team was ready.  Mentally and physically ready to play this football game.

Q.  Before Streater's touchdown at the end of the half, did you have the urge to sit on the ball at the14‑point?
COACH ADDAZIO:  I did.  Coach Loeffler really felt strong, our offensive coordinator, on calling that play.  Certainly our kids wanted to execute that play and Chris and Streater and the protection was great.  We took a shot, and it ended up being a very, very important touchdown for us.
In terms of momentum psychologically we answered a score with a score going into the half, so it was a big play.

Q.  Did Joe Jones' return factor into that at all?
COACH ADDAZIO:  Right.  That's what gave us that opportunity.  We probably would not have done that if we felt we had poor field position.

Q.  Chris, can you go over a little bit the emotions during the last minute of the first half there?
CHRIS COYER:  We knew it was going to be‑‑ we knew they had swung the momentum their way.  It was a big touchdown for them.  Going into the half we weren't sure, as Coach just said, whether we were going to sit on it or go with it.  Thankfully we got a great return by Joe after the 40.  We decided to go with it.  Ran a pretty critical play.  The protection was outstanding.  Streater won and thankfully got it and made a great play to get into the end zone.

Q.  Can you just talk about what your defense did against a quarterback?  It just seems like you guys forced them into a lot of bad decisions.
TAHIR WHITEHEAD:  The goal going into this game was to keep them rattled and throw the cage around them because he was a very good and explosive quarterback.  Just wanted to make him one‑dimensional and pass the ball, and that's what we did throughout the course of the game.

Q.  Steve, can you talk about your defense's performance in this game particularly and throughout the season?  They had been phenomenal, but it seems they always take a shadow to the running game.
COACH ADDAZIO:  Our starting point is playing great defense.  That's what our program's built around.  We lead a lot of statistical categories in the country, and we have a lot of pride in playing great defense.
Came out today, and they were an outstanding offensive football teams, outstanding.  Their quarterback was a great competitor, and I thought our defense just did a phenomenal job as they have done all year.
As I said, that's our plan to win, and our kids and our coaches executed that way.  But we're very proud of our defense, extremely proud.  As I said, if you go through the categories, they lead in most, and that's very, very impressive.  So it's a great job by Chuck Heater, our defensive coordinator, our defensive staff, and our defensive players.

Q.  Tahir, yesterday you spoke of you guys weren't able to complete things in years past.  Now you guys got the bowl victory that you wanted to get.  How does it feel to finish your career with four consecutive victories and a bowl win?
TAHIR WHITEHEAD:  It feels great.  Coming into college, that was my goal.  I wanted to be in and compete in bowl games and championships.  Being though we missed the MAC Championship this year, this bowl game was considered our championship.  So we came out with a chip on our shoulder and we came out with the victory.

Q.  When you guys have been able to get ahead a lot this year, how much does that make it easier to play offense when it sort of opened things up for a lot of other plays?
CHRIS COYER:  Getting on top early, of course, was going to be a big deal in this game.  We knew that they had a very explosive offense, and throughout the year that's been big for us to get ahead early.  It really opens up everything that we can do, in this game in particular with their offense, knowing it as good as it was and how the momentum could swing at any time.  It was big for us.

Q.  Chris, can you talk about how you started your year as the second or third guy on the depth chart?  And you finished this season as the offensive MVP in a bowl game?
CHRIS COYER:  Well, it's definitely been an interesting ride throughout this year.  Starting the year, coaching staff thought maybe I wasn't quite ready for the opportunity for a starting job.  And as the year went on, I feel like I showed the coaches in practice more that I was ready to take on a starting role.  Thankfully these past three or four games I got a chance and took it and capitalized on it.

Q.  You said earlier this week that one game wasn't going to define your season.  But now that you've gone out this way, what exactly does this do for the program going forward?
COACH ADDAZIO:  It catapults you.  The most important thing, we really‑‑ it was really important for these seniors to go out with this win.  A bowl win, a ninth win, and as Tahir said, it was our championship game, and that was what was most important.
Our season, we had a great year and that's terrific.  But this allowed us to put that exclamation point on it.  I think the way we played this game really was important.  It was important for our conference, the MAC Conference.  It was important for our team, important for our seniors and our fan base.
So it gives you great momentum.  We're obviously grateful for that win.  It didn't define our season, but it put a nice exclamation point on our season.  As Keith mentioned, the momentum from continuing how we've played now in November and December because, we hadn't finished well in the past, and we knew that that was one of our goals was to learn how to finish.
It's very satisfying to see our kids enjoy this experience.  I mean, they enjoy that on the field.  That is a memory they'll have forever.  That will never go away.  They'll be able to take that with them forever, and that is what college football is all about.

Q.  Chris, it certainly didn't look like it, but was the shoulder at all a bother for you today?
CHRIS COYER:  Not at all.  Thankfully the three‑week or so rest was just enough for me to be able to play 100% today.

Q.  Were you playing through any pain?
CHRIS COYER:  Actually not at all.  Thanks to a great training staff and great rehab program and got me prepared to play this game.

Q.  The senior class is now the winningest class in Temple history and one of two classes to ever win a bowl game.  What's that mean to you?
TAHIR WHITEHEAD:  It sets the foundation for the younger guys.  Obviously you want the class next year to extend the winningest class.  Like we want them to be the winningest class.  We set the foundation for the young guys to keep winning over the next couple years.
COACH ADDAZIO:  I'd like to say one thing, just a little bit of a sidebar.  I've been fortunate to be in a lot of bowl games.  Just the way the people here are treated, this bowl game is fantastic.  The hospitality that was here that was given to our program, this is a big time bowl game and really had just a terrific time here.
When you've been in them before, you know when they're run really well.  This was run really well.  It's a great experience for our program, and I know that future programs that come here will really have a great bowl experience here in Albuquerque.

Q.  Chris was kind of the forgotten man during the build up this week.  Could you just talk about the game he had?
COACH ADDAZIO:  Well, obviously, he did a great job in directing our offense.  Throwing the ball, running the ball.  It gives us such an element that becomes much more difficult to defend.  Option football is in our game, and Chris can handle all of that.
He can throw it; he can run it.  We have some critical called draws, QB draws, and we had a couple of broken escape from the pocket plays that were critical.  Chris can do all of that with his legs, and that gives an element that is very hard for defenses to defend.

Q.  Chris, I thought the 40‑yard dash to Rodriguez kind of served notice on them that they couldn't load the box.  Did that kind of loosen them up from then on?
CHRIS COYER:  A little bit, but they played a tight ballgame.  They tightened the box on us the entire game.  It was tough to run against them.  That was kind of a scheme pass for us.  We had been kind of scheming it throughout this period leading up to this game, and we thought that play in particular would be able to work early on them, and thankfully it did.
COACH ADDAZIO:  The thing with us is our mindset, my mindset is there was a lot of opportunities in the throw game.  But when we get up like, we get up, we're going to go pound that rock, run that clock, help our defense, and that's how we view it.  It's a team game.  So that is kind of our philosophy.
We probably had several other opportunities that were there in the play‑action pass game, but at which point where that game was, the most important thing is to preserve that victory.  So that's kind of a mindset.
I know Chris and our receivers would love to take a few more of those shots, and they were there to be had, because they're loading the box in the run game.  But at the end of the day, the plan to win is to play great defense.  How do you play great defense?  You possess the ball, keep the defense off the field and be able to rush it and preserve the win.  That was our mindset.

Q.  You talked about finishing and Bernard a lot this year talked about finishing and being able to get through a year, and he did miss one game.  Can you just put his season in perspective that he did get through and finish it off like this?
COACH ADDAZIO:  Yeah, I thought he became a much better practice player and was able to become more durable through the games and finish the games and finish the season.  That's part of growing up and the maturing process, the physical toughness and the mental toughness that goes along with all of that.  But he had a terrific year as did a lot of guys on our team.  We had to become mentally tougher as a football team.
That's all part of the progression of building a program.  First phase is kind of getting your organization together.  Second phase is learning how to win.  The second phase is learning how to stay out in front and be a team, handle success and finish.
There's a lot of tiers that go into the building of a program.  One season of winning doesn't mean that you've arrived.  We've experienced more of those learning curves along the way as has Bernard and other players on our team.  It's a process and we're still on that journey right now, but we're making great steps moving forward.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297