PLAYER POST-GAME: Lavarias and Shaw

Saturday afternoon Idaho senior defensive end JOSH SHAW played the game of his career, leading the team in tackles (10), sacks (2), tackles for loss (3), and he also forced a fumble and a QB hurry. For his efforts, he was name WAC Defensive Player of the Week. Both Shaw and sophomore defensive tackle Aaron Lavarias spoke to the media following Idaho's 20-14 Homecoming victory over NMSU.

Q: Well, how's it feel?
Aaron Lavarias: "Feels great. Easy. A lot better than losing."

LARRY JOHNSON: How did you feel about the students running out on the field at the end of the game? Did it get you fired up again?
LAVARIAS: "Yeah. It was definitely awesome. Makes me wanna win more [chuckle]."

Q: Guys, how about the defense?
Josh Shaw: How ‘bout the defense!" [laughter]

Q: It seemed like this was a total 180 from some previous games this season. What did you guys do? How did you put it all together?
SHAW: "I wouldn't say it's a total 180. I mean, throughout the season you've seen little flashes of it, that we can play well, and I think today all that hard work we've been putting in at practice has paid off finally. Everyone was clicking – secondary, linebackers, and the line – all clicking together as one, playing together, and we got a win."

LARRY JOHNSON: What did the defense say to each other at halftime? Did you say much or was it just keep on doing what you're doing?
LAVARIAS: "At halftime we always go in and reset. Score is zero-zero when we take the field, and we just start from scratch."

SHAW: "At halftime they had something like 40-some rushing yards; so we were feeling pretty good coming out at the beginning of the second half. We thought if we kept it up, kept working hard, we'd get this ‘W'."

Q: How about pass-rush wise? You guys were able to put pressure on him [Chase Holbrook]. What was it, just better rushing or did you have some things working that you knew you could do against them?
SHAW: "Well, we kinda knew what they were getting - what they were giving us - pass protection-wise, and we tried to take advantage of it as much as we could. But as far as just getting there, it's effort."

Q: The offense in the second half… there were a couple three-and-outs, but you guys seemed to come out each time and be able to stop New Mexico State. Did it wear on you at all? You guys seemed ready each time. What was the key there?
LAVARIAS: "It's like coach Akey has been harping on us: ‘You've gotta be excited to go out on the field and play football.' That's what we're here for, that's what we love to do. We knew our offense would break through, and it was just a matter of time. Our whole defense, we just love playing ball. Any time we can be on the field, I mean, we're ready to go."

Q: Do you think this team offensively maybe found an identity today rushing the ball 271 yards on the ground? Are you guys a running team you think?
LAVARIAS: [chuckle] "I wouldn't wanna say that, because we have a good quarterback. Nate Enderle can sling the ball. But, I just think today Coach Axman found a weakness and exploited it. I think we can get it done both ways, through the air and on the ground. I don't wanna short change our offense."

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