Post Game Player Interviews vs USM

Safety Nate Gaines, RB Jarveon Williams, and RB Jalen Rhodes talk about UTSA’s 55-32 win over Southern Miss.

Video Safety Nate Gaines, RB Jarveon Williams, and RB Jalen Rhodes

Transcript (provided by UTSA)
Jarveon, when Coach was talking to us about vindication, can you expound on how Coach meant that to you all?
JARVEON WILLIAMS: He just told us to keep fighting and try to put a full game together. We've shown spurts here and there, you know, start fast or starting the second half strong, but today we actually put a full 60 minutes together, and it showed.

Jalen, can you just talk about what you were seeing as far as from the offensive line and them creating some space for you?
JALEN RHODES: Yes, sir, I saw a lot of hard work and determination. They opened up a lot of holes for us. They were relentless at the point of attack and just did everything they could 

Has the relationship with you guys and your offensive line become stronger?
JARVEON WILLIAMS: It's always been there. We practiced with those guys and were dealing with those guys since January. It's no surprise to us. We might have a slow start. But it just comes with execution and being consistent. We had a chance to regroup over the bye week, and we came out here and, like I said, we just put four quarters together and had complete execution?
JALEN RHODES: I'd have to say overall, like I said, great team. Those are our brothers. And after you go out there with a new offense, it takes some time to gel together, so I just believe that we came alive today.

Did you get a sense of vindication on the offensive line, how people were knocking them the first two games of the season, the way they opened all those holes for you guys?
JARVEON WILLIAMS: Like I said, I've been with those guys since January, so it's kind of hard for people to understand outside of the program what these guys can do when you've seen it day-in and day-out. Like I said, it's just a slow start. It's a long season, we still have seven games left. So before this game it was eight. So like I said, those guys just came up today, showed up, ready to work and put four quarters together.

Q. Is there a vindication?
JALEN RHODES: Well, when a lot of people are on the outside looking in, it's hard to see what's going on. Those guys have been working really hard. No matter what anybody says, they've been working hard and we noticed that and just came through for them today.

Q. Nate, can you talk about Josiah Tauaefa’s interception?
NATE GAINES: It was huge. There were questions about Josiah coming in, but he's a phenomenal player. He's young, but he's a young leader. When he got the interception, it really gave both the defense and the offense the confidence to win the game, to steal the game. Like I said, Josiah, he's a great guy on and off the field, and he's going to continue to make plays for us.

Q. Nate, can you just talk about what the energy was like on the field with the defense? You guys were out there making plays, breaking up passes. It just seemed like probably one of your better games this year.
NATE GAINES: It was exhilarating. That first possession just proved that we played these guys. We can stop them. We held each other accountable, and we had goals. You look at the statistics with Southern Miss, they're leading first in every category in the conference. So that was a challenge to us to go out there and kind of deplete their offensive game 

Q. Nate, I wonder if you could talk about what this might have meant to Coach Golding as far as beating his old teammates? Also, did it seem like maybe you guys were playing Kevin more inside defensive tackle than you probably have so far this season?
NATE GAINES: Yes, Kevin strong is a big impact player for us on the defensive side. He disrupts a lot of plays on the interior. Coach Golding, I know it's huge for him. He made the transition over here to a team that went 3-9 last year as opposed to now we're talking championship. It's big. Anytime you leave a school and you're trying to build a new school up, you want to win. I mean, you just want to win. And it's bigger when you're playing the team that you just left from. So it's big for him?

Q. I wonder if all three of you could talk about the importance of hitting them early. You had the two huge plays in the first four or five minutes and kind of knocked them back on their heals?
JARVEON WILLIAMS: Yeah, Coach said it was going to be a fight, so we came out swinging. It was one thing that we've been preaching a lot about in practice is starting fast and starting strong. I think today we showed that.
JALEN RHODES: Just to go off of what he said, yeah, when you're throwing punches, it's hard to come back from that early in the game. So we just got them on their heels and attacked.
NATE GAINES: Like these guys were saying. We jumped out early, and both offense and defense played phenomenal. Really us jumping out early gave us that momentum all throughout the game.

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