PLAYER POST-GAME: Bailey, Faumui, & Jackson

Following Saturday afternoon's loss to Nevada, Idaho's top performers on the afternoon spoke with the media, including true freshman kick returner KAMA BAILEY who had a stellar afternoon as the star of a kick return unit that had by far it's best game in years. Joining Bailey was starting noseguard Oga Faumui following his best game of the year, and starting tailback Deonte Jackson.

Kama Bailey, 5-9, 209, True Freshman
Kick Returner / Tailback

On the success of the kicking team's return performances:
"We just focused on a lot this week on the second wedge, the wedge line, and they did their job, blocked hard, and I just run the best that I can."

On whether a muffed punt the week before motivates the team to get back in the game: "Yes, that certainly does. It makes me want to concentrate more on catching the ball and actually trying to make a big play and recover from that incident I had last week."

On the kicking game getting turned around from earlier in the season: "I don't know. I just… during practice we just focused on the kick return, that wedge, just keep making us, the returners, just make sure we run hard and get into the wedge. It worked out today. I had good runs and key blocks up front."

On his prior experience returning kicks in high school: "During high school I didn't really return kicks. Just we had an all star game and I returned kicks. That was the only time I got to return kicks during my year."

On being new at returning kicks: "Yeah. I'm basically new, but I have fun with it and I do the best I can with it. It's very fun."


Oga Faumui, 6-1.5, 297, Junior
Noseguard

About rating the performance of the Vandal defense against Nevada on Saturday:
"I feel at times we were good, but then it also has to be better. We've just gotta keep going, keep coming up, keep going hard. We can't just have one play distract us and control the whole game. We just need to know how to flush that play and move on to the next one."

On the success of keeping the Nevada quarterback from having an epic day: "We'll never be satisfied how we play even if we did good. I thought he was gonna do a lot more running than he did passing. It was different from what we'd seen on film."

Regarding a period of time during the game where the Vandals bottled up Nevada's run: "Yeah. We just kept telling the boys: Go out there, have fun. Read your keys. Be able to play to where you come back in the locker room and you look in that mirror you don't regret anything you did on the field. You didn't leave anything out while you were on the field."


Deonte Jackson, 5-8, 191, Sophomore
Tailback

About having his uncle Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams) in the stands:
[chuckles] "It was a great feeling. You always love to have family, understand? You know it's to know that you've got their support and love and to be able to just look up and see him right there is a great thing."

About whether or not having his uncle in the stadium helped him have more spring in his step: "Uh, nah. I would say my spring back in my step is just me getting back to being healthy. I finally think we came across that bridge and came over the hill as far as my rehabbing goes with injuries, and I feel like I'm back."

About the status of his back: "I would say I'm about 95 or 100% now. Really, I have no issues with it anymore."

About whether he felt he scored when he went over the top: "I did. I think 100% I got it, because I stretched the ball out before I got blitzed, and then when I came down my knees were already in the end zone, but hey…I'm not the ref."

About coming up short on scoring plays and first down attempts, the mental impact: "Mentally of course things like that are gonna try to bring you down mentally, but also I think it just made us more hungry, because when you're fourth and one, man, you gotta get it whether it's just for a first down, especially for a touchdown. That makes you want to go out there and grind harder and fix whatever you did, because being that close means you're right there; so it's one more step and you're breaking through that wall and that's what we've gotta do."

About whether he planned to go over the top before the play: "No, when they called the play I was thinking, "Okay, yeah. We're getting in this. It's a big time. Got a lot of protection, gonna get a lot of poise. We're gonna pound it in there. Then unfortunately they stacked a little to that side and made some good blocks for the defense to have their linebackers be free. I just saw it and I was like, I gotta give it my all, so up and over we go."

DJ: "Thank you, fellas. Have a good afternoon."




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