Player Post Game: Idaho vs Northern Illinois

Idaho mounted a furious comeback, battling back from a 35-7 first half deficit to be in position to tie the game on the last play. Idaho fell short, stopping at the NIU 17 yard line and falling 42-35 to the Huskies. Defensive end Taylor Rust, strong safety Shiloh Keo, and quarterback Nathan Enderle met with the media following the game to answer questions about Idaho's performance.

Taylor Rust, Defensive End, Junior

About how the defense played: "I thought the defense played really well. We were put in some positions where we had to get a stop and get the ball back, and we were able to do that. Really what hurt us is they had two big plays on us, and those were the two biggest plays that hurt us on defense."

About the mood of the team in the locker room: "We're all really disappointed, we know there are a lot of things that we all could have done to maybe get us a win there. But, the one thing we did was show a lot of character there at the end of the game, being able to respond to the adversity and almost take that game into over time. We've just got to play like that all four quarters, and not just the last four minutes."

About Andrew Blevins [playing for Ben Alexander today, who made the hit that caused the fumble in the fourth quarter that Idaho almost recovered]: "He played well. He plays hard every down. He's one of those guys that is going to give you everything he's got on every down. He was kind of put into a situation where he hasn't seen a lot of playing time all season. He played all game, and he did a good job for us."

About the fumble, did he think Idaho had it: "From what I saw, I thought we had it. But it was a ruled a ‘joint' possession. I guess you don't see that a lot - In a joint possession, the ball goes to the offense. It would have been nice to have that ball down there."

About Hawaii coming in, and what can be taken from this game: "There are some really good things. That last quarter - there at the end - we just showed so much heart. It just seemed everything had not gone our way all game. We have just got to take that into Hawaii, because Hawaii is a good team and they're going to come out. We're going to have to play like that all 60 minutes of the game."

Shiloh Keo, Strong Safety, Sophomore

About the punt return: "It's a funny story. Right before they snapped the ball I checked to see where I was on the field. I think I started on the fifteen. As he punted, I realized it was going over my head, so I took a few steps back. Then I remembered I was on the fifteen, so I was thinking ‘Should I fair catch this', and by then I was saying ‘No, I went too far back already….should I let it go'. And then when I looked up again I saw the ball was about ready to fall into my hands, and I was like ‘oh [shoot]'. I caught the ball, and I didn't realize I was on the goal line….they just now told me I was on the goal line when I caught that, I thought I was on the ten or the five or something like that. When I caught it, I looked down to see where the defenders were, and shoot - I only had to beat one guy. The other ten guys on the field did their job to a tee, they made their blocks and they blocked them outside, and it was just a straight run all the way to the endzone."

About the broken play that went for a Northern Illinios touchdown: "Both corners didn't get the call. It was supposed to be a corner blitz from the other side, and our corner was supposed to be playing a cover three, but he jumped the route in front of him. It was just a miscommunication. But I put that on my shoulders, because I really think I should have made that play. I took a bad angle when he let go of the ball, and I put that on me."

About how the big plays changed the game: "That's what won the game for them. Sometimes big plays make a difference, and this was definitely a game where it did. They scored twice on defense, they blocked a punt and scored. If you do that in a game, it's expected for you to win. I was just disappointed that we couldn't battle all the way to the end…we tried, but we came up short."

About Idaho battling back: "If you looked into eyes of the players, you knew that they still believed in each other. Coach Robb Akey has really been making a difference. He's really been wrapping it into our minds that it's just us out there…we're all we've got. We've got to believe in each other. I really believe in that. If we strive to do that, we can do anything. We almost did, we almost pulled off the impossible [with the huge comeback attempt]."

About how the Vandals will put this behind them and prepare for another tough football team: "Take the good things in, realize what we messed up at, go over our adjustments, and don't look back."

Nathan Enderle, Quarterback, Redshirt Freshman

About the game today: "I thought we battled back at the end and we showed a lot of heart, but you can't spot a team 21 points in the first half."

About the team battling back from such a huge a deficit: "Our team believes in itself, and we know it. You've got to keep fighting. You've got two options, you can either quit or keep playing, and we decided to keep playing. We fought back hard at the end, but it just didn't work out."

About true freshman Maurice Shaw's impressive performance, getting better every week: "We expect our young guys to get better everyday. They have to, because we're playing them early. I agree, he's really starting to show a lot of things, making big plays and being a physical wide receiver, and that is something we need right now."

About checking off into the interception that was returned for a TD: "I thought we had a good look on that particular play, and the corner just made a good play on it."

About the inconsistencies early in the passing game: "Incomplete passes are kind of everyone's fault. There are some times when I throw a bad ball. There are some times when the route is a little off. But we need to get more consistent with that, because there are just too many incompletions."

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