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Press Conference

BYU at Cincinnati Postgame Notes and Quotes

(Photo by BYU Photo)

ATTENDANCE: 37,522
AMERICAN FLAG BEARER: DB Dayan Lake
TEAM FLAGS: QB Beau Hoge, DL Logan Taele
ALUMNI FLAG BEARERS: Lee Johnson, Graham Rowley, Hebron Fangupo

TEAM NOTES

PICK CITY
BYU recorded an interception in the first quarter, giving the defense 15 on the season. BYU was one of the national leaders entering the game.

STREAK ENDER
BYU snapped a Cincinnati streak of 30 consecutive non-conference wins at home.

THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
The Cougars held the Bearcats to 4 of 13 on third down and converted 10 of 16 on the offensive end.

LONG DRIVES
BYU’s 92-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter was the longest scoring drive for the season. At 9:41 scoring drive in the fourth quarter was the longest TOP on a scoring drive this year.

200 RUSHING YARDS
BYU’s offense has rushed for 200 yards in five games in 2016 after another 207 against Cincinnati.

TIME OF POSSESSION
BYU held the ball for nearly 38 minutes at 37:57. It was the most time BYU has possessed the football in 2016. BYU has possessed the ball for 30 minutes or more in six of nine games this season.

SECOND QUARTER
BYU outgained Cincinnati 115-9 in the second quarter and took a 10-3 lead into halftime.

OUT OF THE END ZONE
The Cougar defense held the Bearcats out of the end zone with just three points. It is the first time BYU has held a team without a touchdown since 2014 against Savannah State (W, 64-0). It was the first FBS opponent since SDSU in the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl (W, 23-6).
 

PLAYER NOTES

Troy Warner
Warner had three pass breakups in the first half for a new career high. The BYU record for a single game since defensive statistics were officially recorded in 2000 is four (Corby Eason vs. San Jose State, 2011, Daniel Sorensen vs. Texas, 2013).

Austin McChesney
McChesney recorded his first career interception in the first quarter. He returned it 37 yards.

Taysom Hill
Hill recorded his 30th career rushing touchdown in the first half, moving into a tie with Lakei Heimuli for 6th all-time at BYU. He also went over 2,600 career rushing yards (2,659) with 75 on the day.

Jamaal Williams
Williams rushed for 92 yards, giving him 1,034 this season. He became the fourth BYU player to have multiple 1,000-yard seasons at BYU after 1,233 in 2013. The others are Harvey Unga, Curtis Brown and Jamal Willis. It is the first time BYU has had a 1,000-yard rusher since he and Taysom Hill (1,344) both did it in 2013. He also went over 3,500 (3,560) career rushing yards, extending his career record.

NOTEABLE CAREER HIGHS

Pass breakups: Troy Warner (3)

FIRSTS (The following players recorded their first in a respective category)

Interception: Austin McChesney
Pass breakup: Handsome Tanielu

BYU Head Coach Kalani Sitake
Opening Statement
“Our defense did a great job after that first drive. I think it was regrouping and playing outside our set football. They made some great throws and that one drive that extended the drive a little bit but overall I think the defense did a great job. Offense was a little bit slow, didn’t really cost us but once he got things going and we got the run game going. I thought we were able to get some momentum and sustain drives and get our defensive target a rest. Special teams was efficient so I was really happy as an overall team win and we talked about it with our guys and this is a time we need to step it up more and this is what we worked hard all summer for, for our guys to be in great shape right now so I am really pleased with the way they worked and thought they looked good overall.”
 
How the defense turned it around after that opening drive:
“I mean I think it is really difficult to. They made some great throws so it is hard to critique everything when there’s an offense that made some great plays you know and some of the stuff, we made some tackles but it is nothing out of the ordinary. Once they got used to the speed of the game, scout teams are never going to look as fast as when you get to gametime but especially when you have sixteen days off, so even though we did some crossover stuff I think it was just getting used to the tempo and getting used to the game and they settled down but I think you have to give some credit to Cincinnati. They made some great plays and after that we were able to capitalize on some. They still made some plays and we were able to be fortunate for them to miss a field goal and things like that and once our offense was able to sustain drives and got some time to rest and make some adjustments on the sideline and some reminders. I think it worked out really well for us.”
 
Offense keeping the ball for 38 minutes:
“I think something that is not really appreciated enough is time on the sideline, being able to make some adjustments and if you have to hurry up and get the punt team out there. We have defensive guys on punt team. You really don’t have much time to get everything out so when they were able to get some more time it was good to our players and remind them what we are seeing out there and give them some pointers and give them some keys. That gives us a better position for us as a defensive staff to make sure we are playing efficiently defensively but it worked and our offense. I’ve said this before, we had to stop at the line of scrimmage and I thought once we were able to settle down and stop the run and get some run yards ourself, I think they got 96 yards rushing and we got 207 and that’s the difference in the game and whenever you can run the ball you can own the clock and it just works out better for the team overall.”
 
On the drive before halftime changing the momentum of the game:
“Oh, that was huge because we weren’t really doing much before that so once we were able to just keep dives alive, and I think we were okay in our third downs in the first half, I think it was six and nine which we had some mistakes, we had chop blocker and a couple other things that hurt drives once we were able to settle down and not make mistakes then we are pretty good so it’s hard to play football when you shoot yourself in the foot and obviously if we stop doing that we will be better.”
 
On the thinking behind the flea flicker call:
“Yeah, I think that was Ty (Detmer). I think that the setup was that the run was working effectively and so if the run wasn’t working effectively, they wouldn’t have had all the DBs jump up and the safeties jump up to the run support. And so the fact that Jamaal got the ball even though the blocks looked great, they still had to get downhill and that allowed Jonah to get an open pass to the second, the DBs, the secondary, so yeah stuff that we can look forward to and just stuff that we think we can establish and start working to get out identity on the field then we can do other things. Just like I think the boot out of it, once they started respecting our run a little more, the boot works better and we were able to hit Algernon on that one play and get a first down on that so everything has got to stem off of the run and that is what we are going to try to do and I think if you force us to be one-sided then it becomes difficult.”
 
On scoring right before and right after halftime:
“Yeah, we got some momentum and I think our guys started feeling confident and started feeling that they were in good shape and we felt good and as the game went on, felt strong and our guys are feeding off of that so I think the momentum was sort of carrying into halftime with the lead like that you feel a lot more comfortable and then we get out and get the ball and drive down again. It just worked out for us and the coaches did a great job, the players did a great job executing and we were able to come away with a 20-3 win which is, some people said it wasn’t all that exciting, but that is my kind of excitement. I will take the win any way we can get it.”
 
Head Coach Tommy Tuberville
Opening Statement
“They’ve got a good football team, they’re balanced. They’re physical, we knew that going in. We matched up well against them pretty good in some areas. Defensively we played well, we made one mistake on their trick play right before the half where they got a 45-yard pass play. That should have never happened - guys were trying to come up and stop the running game but you’ve got to play your position. Offensively, I thought Tion (Green) played pretty good. Mike (Boone) got beat up pretty good, it doesn’t look good for him. But we have to get more physical on the offensive line. Gunner (Kiel) didn’t have a great game. We overthrew a touchdown pass, we didn’t make third-down conversions when we needed to. I think they (BYU) were like 65 percent on third-down conversions and we were like 30, that’s not going to win any games for you at all. There was just no consistency. We put a couple of drives together but we were just not very good to be honest with you. Just not very good. Guys were trying hard, they’re pushing hard we just didn’t have any consistency on any length of the drive to score a touchdown. Six quarters without a touchdown is not going to win any games. Everybody talks about going to a bowl and all of that, but I just want to score a touchdown. We are just struggling. But they are a good football team, they did a good job coming in with ball control. We have to find a way in the next three games to play teams that will have a high-powered offense and they are going to try and run 100 plays a game so we have got to help our defense. We can’t leave our defense out there three-fourths of the time and expect to win games in the fourth quarter. We have to find a way to score some points.”
 
On the younger players playing bigger roles on defense:
“We lost a couple of guys today and lost another guy in practice this week so we’re getting a little thin, but Perry Young has been playing quite a bit, Carter Jacobs played. We lost probably our fasted DB in the second drive and Tyrell Gilbert and Carter Jacobs came in and played well. And the corners played well. We played a pretty good game on the defense. The second half we didn’t play well on the third down, they completed too many third-down conversions and ran a quarterback draw that got us. They did a good job of catching us in the type of defense we were in to run a quarterback draw. But again, we have no consistency on the offense to help our defense. We have three games to find out if we can help them. In three weeks this thing is over with and we want to make some improvements and we haven’t seen a whole lot of improvement on the offense in the last couple of games.”
 
On what else the team can to do to generate offense:
“Well we’ve tried it all. We’ve tried every quarterback, we’ve tried every running back. The big thing is that we get hurt on first down too much. When we get a good first down play and get 4, 5, 6 yards, it puts us in a good frame of mind but our receivers just don’t have enough confidence to make that play. We will make one here or there but there is no consistency going down the field. We don’t have that big receiver like we had last year, seeing their guys out there tonight kind of reminded me of last year. Big-tall receivers that can catch the ball even when it’s not a good pass. The ball almost has to be perfect for the guys we have this year. We have gotten better at times but it all goes back to consistency and making plays.”
 
On how Gunner Kiel is handling the scenario of going from reserve to starter:
“He’s done well. There isn’t a lot of difference in all three of our quarterbacks, he is playing because he has more of the leadership qualities. Players listen to him. We went to him three games ago and Gunner steps up, you know, he’s been there and done that. Hayden has played some, not a whole lot, but we’re just trying to look for leaders on offense to get after some of the younger guys whether it’s a practice, a meeting, in the locker room. And he has done that, Gunner has done a good job. Now he didn’t play well today or last week, but he has a big, heavy backpack on his back from trying to carry the load. To answer your question, I think he has done well. I think he has done well with the situation he was thrown into and I have been proud of how he has handled the situation all year long.”
 
On the UC defense holding back the BYU rush attack:
“I thought we did pretty well. He (Jamaal Williams) is as good as we’ve seen. We made tackles at the point of attack in the first half but the second half we didn’t, he broke more tackles. It got us in second-and-short and third-and-short situations several times, but he is a good running back. He is strong and lanky and runs inside and outside. They ran a couple of different plays in practice this last week that got us early until or guys adjusted, but their offensive line is big. I talked to their coach before the game and he has put a lot of weight on his offensive linemen. Last year they didn’t have anybody weighing over 280 and you could tell they packed on more weight than when we played them last year. But he’s a good back and the quarterback is very good too. He makes plays and it is a very balanced offense – what we are looking for.”