Homecoming Post Game: Dennis Erickson

For virtually the entire game Idaho held one of the nation's top scoring offenses to just 13 points. But with just a few minutes left in the game, an ill-fated Idaho pass play and an impressive Aggie punt return breathed life into New Mexico State as they cut Idaho's lead to 28-20, and had a chance to tie the game. The Vandals (3-3 overall, 2-0 WAC) prevailed, but not without a scare.

The following are post-game press-conference quotes from Idaho head football coach Dennis Erickson regarding Saturday's victory over New Mexico State.


About the game in general... "Well, I mean, it was a tale of two halves as far as our offense and defense were concerned. I thought offensively in the first half we played as well as we could possibly play, and then defensively we played okay...gave up some big plays. In the second half defensively we came out and shut out an awfully good team until the end and got pressure on the quarterback, all the things that we had hoped we could get. Got a couple turnovers, but we gave up some big plays which really hurt us. I thought offensively we executed well in the first half. I thought in the second half we moved it, but we couldn't get in the end zone. We had a lot of opportunities, missed a couple of field goals, but, you know, we won 28-20 and go on and play Louisiana Tech."

About David Vobora's performance Saturday... "Well...he plays like that all the time. He's one of our best football players, without question. He makes plays. He's smart. He studies the game. He's in here looking at tape all the time. He knows what they're doing. I mean, in that offense [we've] got to be able to do that kind of stuff, and to make tackles underneath like he did…pretty awesome player."

About all the blitz packages Idaho ran Saturday... "We blitzed quite a bit. We got in our three-man front, with the end standing up, which we haven't run much of, and we got to them quite a bit with that because we felt we could rush their guards with our linebackers. You can't sit there and rush four guys against those guys with their splits like they are. Their splits are so wide that you've got to try to get pressure up in the gaps, and that's what we were able to do. And then we started to get to him a little bit with the four-man rush, too, in the second half."

About New Mexico State's quick strike, potent offense even with a decent lead... "You know that they can come back. To hold them to no points in the second half until the end, I mean, is a tremendous effort. Marlon Haynes gets the onside kick for a second time; so, yeah… The thing that bothers me about the game is that we had so many opportunities in the second half on offense where we drove it down in there and didn't make a play to continue the drive going for whatever reason. I mean, that game could have been put away. It could have been put away in the fourth quarter, twice, and it didn't happen; so now the defense has to come out and play their rear-ends off, which they did. But to hold a team like that to 20 points, I haven't looked at the statistics, but to do that, is really unbelievable. I thought we ran the football; we were pretty balanced. I haven't seen the stats on that, either, but I think we were pretty balanced. Steve Wichman made some good throws and we made some big plays in the passing game ourselves."

About Idaho being .500 overall and 2-0 in Conference for the first time in...a long time... "Can we quit? Does 3-3 qualify you for a bowl game? It's great for those players and the fans - at least we've got some hope in this program. You know, I see our team improving all the time. They're getting better all the time, and they're going to have to because as you know, [we go] back to Louisiana Tech, play them, and then the schedule...I mean, [we've] got to get better to compete. It's great for us, for the fans and players, to get two wins in a row...it's been awhile. We're very realistic about where we're at, but we're also very realistic that if we work hard we'll just continue to improve. We're going to enjoy this one and look at the tape tomorrow and then start getting ready for Louisiana Tech on Monday."

About the performance of the crowd in Saturday's game, and the student section in particular... "Oh, it was great; it was awesome. When we can come out and play and do some good things, then they're going to start coming to games, because they want to come out and watch the team play well, and win, and be exciting; so when those things happen like they did today with those students it was awesome. I mean, that's what college football is all about."

About their kick returner / receiver and overall team speed… "Jeesh – He's dangerous. I mean, we had him on two returns and the one at the end, we had him pinned against the sidelines. He's flat pinned against the sidelines, and somehow he gets out of it. Just before the half, where [NMSU] intercepted that thing, if it wasn't for Max Komar running that guy down, who knows what would have happened? That was probably as big a play as we had in the whole football game right there."

About Steve Wichman's performance Saturday... "I thought he was good. I thought he was adequate. I think he made a bad decision just before the half because we were in field goal range, but it's like he said. He thought he had him; so I mean who's to say when you're out there running around. I thought he threw it well. I don't know what his stats were, but, you know, he made some good plays and found ‘em, and shoot, we won the game."

About Luke Smith Anderson's performance... "It was good to see him back and be effective. We lost Keith Greer to a sprained ankle; so he didn't play, and Brandon Ogletree we lost, too, in the first half with a knee. But Luke came in and played very well. You could tell he was a little bit sore a couple of times, but he finished the game and I believe he played well."

About the offensive line's performance... I thought our O line played well, protected well. What'd they have, one sack maybe? I thought they blocked the run game real well. We're getting better there. It's like I said, with where we're at with this program, just get better every day. You try to move forward."




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