Post-Game Quotes: Northern Colorado at Northern Arizona
Head Coach Scott Downing
Obviously, I'm disappointed we lost the game. We had some opportunities to win it. I thought we came in and played very, very well. We gave up a couple of big plays to some pretty good players at NAU, make no doubt about it, they played hard to come back and really get after us in the second half. I thought our players executed well on both offense and defense for the most part. I was really proud of our offense. After last week against Montana State and Eastern Washington, they came in and put up quite a few points and had our opportunities to score more. The biggest thing we've got to do is finish off drives when we have the opportunity. Defensively, NAU had some good players who made some good plays, we had guys in position to make the plays and they couldn't make it on them so hats off to them they did a nice job.
We're disappointed we lost another game but we continue to fight. The players are resilient, they continue to give us great effort in practice and it's a sad locker room over there. Our guys invested a lot and we'll come back next week and play great against Portland State.
I thought our offense executed. That's been the big difference the last two weeks against Eastern Washington and Montana State. We didn't feel like we executed in our offense very well. Give the credit to all the players on offense. Alex Thompson played a great game. I thought our running backs did a great job of running hard. I thought Wags (senior quarterback Bryan Waggener) was on target with his passes and I thought the offensive line gave us an opportunity to throw the ball. I thought some of our young guys stepped up as well, who were replacing some of the injured guys.
We had the offense we practiced with for 44 days, 15 in the spring and 29 in the fall and in two games we lost half of that offense to injuries so it was like starting all over again. We're kind of fortunate we're at the end of spring ball with this offense right now and they're showing that they've got a lot of fire power.
On final drive:
I was really proud that the kids kept making plays. NAU kept bringing pressure and doing some good things defensively, not letting us break out. There were several times in that drive (the final one) and other drives we're one hand away from pulling out and having either a 40- or 50- yard gain. Again, it just comes down to when you have one play left, somebody's got to make a play. To get down there showed a lot of resilience and a lot of character on our behalf, and it showed a lot of character on NAU's behalf because they could have laid down and given us a touchdown and played for overtime, but they didn't. I thought it was two good football teams playing out there tonight. It was a great game, it was a nice game to be a fan because it was back-and-forth and big plays on both sides of the ball. I thought it was a well played football game.
On Halftime speech:
Our message was we knew we were going to have to come out and play a good second half. We've been around this league long enough to know that NAU is a quality football program, I mean you watch them last week and they take the number-four team in the country into overtime. We knew the game was 60 minutes long, we knew we had to do that so I don't think we had to get our guys re-fired up, they were ready to go for the second half. We just fell a little short of our expectations.
receiver Alex Thompson
When everything is clicking, it's fun, but at the end of the day we still have to win the game and I'm just upset that we lost.
I respect NAU, I think they came out harder and with more intensity than we did in the second half. They changed a little bit up, but nothing we hadn't seen on film.
We showed that we can move the ball. We showed that we can run and pass and play the game just like all the other Big Sky offenses so I think there's positive things we can take from this.