Weekly press briefing--Boise State

The following comments are from head coach Bronco Mendenhall's Monday post-practice press briefing; including comments from sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill and senior defensive back Mike Hague.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall:

Opening comments:
After watching the film, what an amazing game. It was a draining experience. Every emotion was exhibited by not only myself but our team as well. We overcame a lot of adversity and we made a lot of plays. We created some turnovers and made some mistakes. But ultimately, after 115 plays on offense and about 82 plays on defense and about four hours later, we made enough plays to win the game. I was proud of my team for that. It was a gratifying win and a lot of hard work is paying off but there is still more to go.

After last year's defensive slug fest, what are you expecting this year?
I am expecting something very different this year. Boise State is completely different offensively than they were a year ago and with an entirely different system. They are scoring a lot more points and I think they are more potent. But I think that we are better as well. I wouldn't anticipate 7-6. I don't know what the score will be but it probably won't be duplicating that one. 

Injury update on Jamaal Williams, Craig Bills and Terrance Alletto:
Jamaal will play. He received a hip pointer in the first half and we held him out in the second half. I think he will be full speed by Friday night. Craig will play. He practiced today which was great and his head was clear with no headaches. We thought that would happen last game but for some reason his headache came back. Terrance is being held out until his strength completely returns and he is pretty close to that. 

With the injury to Boise State's starting quarterback, what do you expect to see from them this week?
We saw their other quarterback come in. Every team has good players and the other quarterback came in and ended up having a pretty successful game not only running it but throwing it as well. Boise is a good team with a good system. Their game plan was for their starter and it shifted quite a bit when the backup came in. Where it goes from now, I don't know.

Can you describe your relationship with Coach Peterson?
He is a great friend and a really good person. In the head-coaching world, he is one of the good guys, meaning that I think he has balanced priorities in his life. A really good marriage, a great family and I think he runs his program with a lot of class. 

Are you concerned with Taysom's workload?
Yeah, eventually I would like the execution to alleviate that to a certain degree and again, it's kind of a work in progress to this point. He's so good running it and the game was really, really close. Fortunately for us, we had him and he could carry a little more than we had anticipated.

Sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill:

On the progress of the offense:
It was a fun game to be a part of. I thought our team--our offense, our defense--showed a lot of character in a game like that. To be able to come from behind and win the way we did, we've got a lot of good things to build on after a game like that.

On the pace of the game:
It does start to take a toll on everybody, I think. But again, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to win the football game. Saturday night I was okay, but Sunday morning I woke up, and I was really sore. But nothing major. You can imagine how I felt after a game like that.

On the importance of winning the game, with Hill being from Idaho:
I want to win the football game. Boise State's a good program. I've got a lot of respect for them, but I want to beat Boise State. I want to win. And it's not any different than any other game. I don't want to win it more than I wanted to win last week. That's just who I am.

Senior corner Mike Hague:

How did the team played this past weekend?
We came out on top, which was definitely the number one thing. We scored more points than they did, that’s basically how we won. Defensively, we gave up some big plays and we made some mental errors. It was a really emotional, physical game and Houston is a great team.

What can you take away from the game?
We made some mistakes in coverage, not really in zone but in man coverage. When the quarterback scrambled, we didn’t stick to our receivers and our eyes wandered. As a defender, when your eyes start to wander, receivers get open.

What do you expect to see from Boise State?
They’re a good football team. They have a young quarterback and a veteran receiver corps. They’ve got running backs that runs really hard and a heck of a coaching staff. We match them on everything: our coaching staff is great, our scheme is great and we have some good personnel as well. It’s going to be a battle.