Gophers Post-Game Quotes: Minnesota 51, UNLV 23 (Aug. 29, 2013)

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Aug 29, 2013

Aug. 29, 2013
TCF Bank Stadium
UNLV at Minnesota

Jerry Kill, Minnesota Head Coach

On making big plays in the second half…

“They don’t get much bigger than that. We talk about how important our coverage teams are and our return teams are. It couldn’t happen to a better person than what Marcus Jones has been through. Two ACL injuries and it was well executed. I think maybe one guy got his hand on him. The special teams are so important and I’m not sure who kept the ball rolling on Ra’Shede’s block but whoever did that… that’s tremendous football playing. Instead of falling on it he pushed the ball and then we were able to scoop it up to score. We work on all those things so it is neat to see the things we work on, and there is a lot we need to improve on, but some of the critical things we work on took place in the game so I think the kids will listen even better as we go along and as the season runs.”

On Marcus Jones’s two ACL injuries and position change…

“That is his just natural position. I recruited him all the way back when I was at Northern and he was a natural corner. But you always get caught up on the height and weight and playing in the Big Ten and so forth, so we moved him to receiver. But his natural position is there and we had to go through a ton of people because of all the snaps we had to take on defense. He got out there and made a heck of a play right away. They went and scored but he ran a guy down and showed that he could really run. It couldn’t have happened to a better kid. We’ve been talking about being good teammates and not being selfish and not worrying about how much you play and he has never complained one time. He is sitting there running three corner and so forth, and all of a sudden he’s playing and making a difference in the game. That is what team football is all about.”

On the performance of true sophomore Phillip Nelson…
    
“Well I think he did a good job. It was a very strange game. It really was. It was full of big plays from special teams and the defense so then the offense wasn’t out there so I don’t think we got into a good rhythm offensively. It was a bit sporadic but it is early and we have a lot to improve on to be the type of football team we want to be offensively. I think Philip, just by watching, has a lot of confidence and the one pick he threw could go either way. It’s a team game and we have to work together. I think we have to continue to work and we have to get better at executing. Like we are there ready to score and he trips over the guard. That’s stuff that just drives me nuts. However, we didn’t have a false start tonight and those things are important. But we can’t make mistakes like that from inside the red zone so we will be critical from film and we still have a long way to go but it is easier to teach from a win than it is from a loss.”

On Maxx Williams…

“Max is a good football player. I’ve said all along that he is a gifted player. He is a gifted young man from a gifted family.”

Philip Nelson, Minnesota Quarterback

On the two-minute drill at the end of the first half…

"We knew we had to score at the end of the half. In practice we worked a lot on the two-minute drill and I think tonight we executed it very well. When we practice against our own defense, we have a tough time scoring on them in two minutes. I think we did a really great job finishing off the drive the way we wanted to."

On getting into a rhythm with receivers…

"We definitely have some things to clean up. We knew that they had a new defensive coordinator and they mixed things up on us this year. Their secondary did a great job of playing well and covering us. We need to complete more plays and move the ball better, so we have to execute better on offense."
 Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota Defensive Lineman

On his blocked field goal creating momentum for team…

“I think it was a big boost for us. (Martez) Shabazz caught everybody off guard on the other team. He's been doing those kind of plays all through practice so I wasn't surprised by his play. I was able to get the block and then I pushed the ball forward and Shabazz picked it up. It was definitely a game-changer."

On defensive momentum going into the second half…

"As a defense, we had to play the game one play at a time. There were a lot of things going on in our heads. Nevada's quick tempo offense tired me out, but when you get tired it becomes even more important to stay physically and mentally focused. All we had to do was generate turnovers and put the offense in a position to win."

On the details of the blocked field goal attempt…

"I was focusing on the ball as it was snapped and the first thing in my mind was to come at it full speed. I got by the guard and as soon as I was back there I jumped and put my hands up, then I felt the ball touch my hands. I'm not as fast as I was back in high school, so I wasn't able to run it down and score. I tried to keep the play moving and then (Martez) Shabazz picked up the ball and made a great play."

Maxx Williams, Minnesota Tight End

On his touchdown catch…

"First catch in college and it's a touchdown, I couldn't ask for anything better. It's been a dream to play college football here. My parents played here. I give credit to Philip Nelson. He waited until I was open and we knew we had to convert in the red zone. It felt amazing to have my first catch be a touchdown."  

Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota Defensive Back

On defense adjusting to UNLV’s no-huddle offense…

"It took us some time to adjust. When it's the first game of the season, you never know what to expect from the opposing team, so I think we were all getting our feet wet in order to see what Nevada would come out and do."

On his interception return for a touchdown…

"It was initially a whip route and as he went on the slant I was right on his hip. I rolled with him and once I saw the ball had been thrown I jumped the route."

On preparation for game…

"Coach Kill tells us all the time to be ready to play when someone else goes down. Whether you're a third string or fourth string, you need to work as if you're starting. That's what we did as a defense and as a team."