PLAYER POST-GAME: Idaho vs. Western Michigan

It was a much different post-game meeting Saturday, compared to the Idaho State game a week ago. The Vandals got off to a very solid start, and with 12 minutes left in the third tied the game at 14-14 following an impressive touchdown drive after an onside kick. But things quickly unravelled and Idaho never recovered. Inside EDDIE WILLIAMS, Deonte Jackson, and Isaac Butts discuss the game.

Eddie Williams, 6-2, 251, Senior
H-Back, Captain

Q: Eddie, your general thoughts on that game?
EW: "I mean, obviously it was a tough one for us. We came into the game prepared, well prepared, and we're still a young team, and we've got to get those little things corrected. We believe, we firmly believe, that we beat ourselves. I mean, it was two on one in that game. It was Idaho and Western Michigan versus Idaho. That's why we lost. Hands down."

Q: How bittersweet is it… best statistical line you've ever had comes in a loss?
EW: "Like I said last year. If I have like zero (catches) and get the win, I'm way happy. I'm nice and relaxed at home and now…I don't even want to call it bittersweet. It's just bitter. We got the "L" in the loss column. But we're a good team, and we're gonna play hard. You can expect that out of the Vandals every week. We're gonna try, we're gonna make a solid effort to get better every week, and that's what we're doing."

Q: Did it seem, Eddie, like you guys were always starting way back in field position?
EW: "Yeah, I think so. Our kickoff return team…we've got some things we need to fix on that. We've got to correct some things. Like I said, we've got a young team, and you know we went into the game prepared, but there were little tweaks and we had to change some things at halftime and it created a little confusion for some of the guys. We weren't able to get ourselves out of that hole on offense, and that's tough on offense especially starting from behind your own 20."

Q: You had to feel after recovering that onside kick to start the second half and scoring, you had to feel like the game was right there for you, right?
EW: "It was and we planned on that. We planned on us being right in it. We went with that kick on purpose because we knew we were gonna come out and get some points on offense. We firmly believed that we were gonna win this game. Like I said just little things got us. We were right there. We were right there. We're gonna get ‘em corrected… get going next week."

Deonte Jackson, 5-8, 191, Sophomore

Q: Deonte, after you scored the touchdown after the onside kick, what were you thinking at that point?
DJ: "Let's get this game going ‘cuz it's a fight about who's gonna win… ain't saying no more. I was ready to keep it going."

Q: The third quarter – did that just seem to happen in the blink of an eye?
DJ: "Yes, probably faster than I could blink my eye, actually."

Q: Health-wise, do you feel better today than you did last week?
DJ: "I started off pretty stiff. Going through warm ups I really didn't feel as loose as I would want to going into a game situation, definitely. That first series I think it affected me. I take full responsibility for that first interception. Coverage-wise I wasn't as tight as I needed to be probably because my back wasn't where it needed to be for me to be out there for that situation. I kinda got pushed back into my quarterback and messed up his throw; so I gotta be more wise about decisions going into the start of a game next time."

Q: When you say that, do you mean you just weren't quite stretched out enough?
DJ: "Yeah. The muscles in my back…I just wasn't loose enough or they weren't firing as well as I needed them to at the beginning of the game; so I have to be more conscious about that and make a better decision."

Q: Were you guys pretty energized at the half-time break. Did you feel pretty positive?
DJ: "Oh yeah. We still felt pretty positive. It was still a close game going into the half. Being down is part of this game. You're not always going to be on top, but you can't let that determine what's going to happen in the second half. It's a whole new game when you come there. You've still got 30 minutes left to play; so I throw away the whole first half period – good, bad, or even. I throw it away and come out like it was the beginning of a whole new game in the second half."

Isaac Butts, 6-0, 171, Sophomore

Q: Isaac, what are your thoughts on that Western Michigan offense?
IB: "They're a good offense. We just…we've got to be more sound the whole game. We came out and we…we're like four or five plays from being great… being a force in the WAC. We're four or five plays from being a very good team. We've just got to shore up and just play a full game. I mean everybody, myself included. So, it's a tough loss."

Q: Do you feel that the offense is doing their part? You guys, the defense, have to pick up more slack? Is that kinda what the mood is?
IB: "Uh, yeah. We do need to take up slack. Offense moved the ball pretty good today. Just, we killed ourselves today. A lot of penalties… a ton of penalties… just a tough loss. We've got to know our assignments, got to know what we're doing, got to tackle better. Tough loss."

Q: How about in the third quarter? Did that just…it seemed like that happened just in the blink of an eye.
IB: "Aw, man. Just a couple plays. It's like…I think there was a fumble and then they came down and scored, and then I think there was another turnover and they scored off of that, just a couple of plays like I said. If we can eliminate those plays we're right in the game. I'm probably up here with my big old smile instead of the look I've got on right now. We're right there."

Q: What a about the big receiver they have? What kind of a matchup was he today…number 27?
IB: "He's good. Yeah, he's good. I thought he was gonna be faster. He looked a lot faster on film, but he's physical, a very physical receiver. He did his job today."

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