Nutt: 'It's always exciting to win'

The following is Coach Houston Nutt's postgame press conference after the NAU game.

Nutt: It's always exciting to win. That was a very difficult week. When you come off a loss as hard as that was to swallow last week in the SEC and you jump out of the SEC, it's very difficult to get your guys ready to go. Not that there's disrespect for Northern Arizona because there's not. They played extremely had. I just told their coaches and players that. We had some guys that were sore. Dexter, Grandy, those guys were pretty beat up from last week. We wanted to rest them. Dexter we used as a decoy on a couple of plays, but we wanted to keep them on the sideline. Our tackles, Bradley Sowell and John Jerry, we had an academic policy suspension there from missing classes in the spring. They've done great in school this fall. Been very proud of them. I knew we had a game that we'd have to hold them out. Originally I was going to hold them out of Southeastern Louisiana. But if you recall the first game and our only open week of the season, we basically got the flu. So before we played South Carolina I didn't want to go in there cold, and I thought we needed to play. And so that's why we held them out this time of year. Always good to win. Now we get back into big-guy ball.

Q: What did you think of the replacements?

Nutt: I was really proud of Bobby Massie. I thought he did a really good job. I can't wait to watch the film. I thought he stayed on his blocks. Reid Neely is so smart we could move him to any position, so we moved him to left tackle. He'd been playing guard for us, and we put him out there on the edge. That was good. And then Alex Washington. We had to make four moves, and this was very tough as thin as we are. We didn't have Rishaw. That was four moves in a short practice time. Bobby Massie did very well. Tank Washington did good. I know there were some times he may have fallen off some blocks and maybe missed a twist inside. But that's a pretty good job.

Q: What did you think of the defense this week?

Nutt: Again, it's very difficult to play a team like this. They've got some very fast backs, some jitterbug type guys. When you come off that tough loss we had, it was tough. We had to hold Johnny Brown. Again you have to give them credit a little bit. I'm not worried about them. They've held their own all year long. They'll be fine and they're going to be excited about this week.

Q: Did you get done this week what you wanted to out of a non-conference game?

Nutt: It's tough when you know John and Brad are not going to play, and you miss your continuity and rhythm there. But it is what it is. So we had to get ready to win this game. We'll start right back tomorrow and get ready to go.

Q: Talk about Shay Hodge's night and his year.

Nutt: He's done an outstanding job for us. He's really our go-to guy. We rely on him for big plays. He can catch the possession ball. You saw the speed tonight and caught a beautiful deep ball. Jevan laid it in there perfectly. We depend on Shay in a lot of areas, and he's having a big year for us.

Q: Do you anticipate the guys you held out being OK for next week?

Nutt: I'm hoping so. That's a deep thigh bruise that Grandy has. It's hard to heal. But he's got good range of motion, and I'm hoping he's going to be fine. I'm we'll have all hands on deck from here on out.

Q:Anybody else get nicked up tonight?

Nutt: Not that I know of.

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