Oklahoma State – 38, Colorado – 8
THE MODERATOR: We’ll start with Colorado. Sefo, did you want to start with a statement about the game.
SEFO LIUFAU: The game sucked. It’s kind of obvious. I don’t know what you guys want me to say.
It’s pretty frustrating the way kind of things happened. Just didn’t come out with all things firing. I think in the beginning we moved the ball a lot as an offense but weren’t able to capitalize.
Like I always say, it falls back on me, not being able to get the ball going, not being able to get the drives finished. Just a tough one overall.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Phillip, you guys obviously have taken a lot of pride in your preparation, focus all year. Didn’t seem to be there tonight. Did you feel like it was not there?
PHILLIP LINDSAY: I mean, we prepared the whole two weeks, three weeks we had. We had a good game plan.
I mean, it comes down to pretty much just playing football. When the scheme goes out the window, when you have people on both sides going at it, it’s a dogfight. It’s about who is going to be more physical. We knew that going into the game.
Oklahoma State is a physical team. You could see the experience of them being in a bowl game, and us just not getting there, getting back to how it was before.
Q. Sefo, what was your injury in the first half? What happened on that play? Did you have a hard time convincing coaches to put you back in?
SEFO LIUFAU: It’s the same injury from Michigan. High ankle sprain. Hurt it again. Against University of Washington, the PAC-12 championship game. I don’t know how much the guy weighed, but when he landed on it, it’s not comfortable. Even if you don’t injure your ankle in the first place, I think it’s still going to hurt if a larger fellow lands on it.
Coming out of the halftime, I didn’t say anything. Coach just said they’re going to go with Montez. When that happens, you just accept it and move on.
Q. Sefo, you see coach there as you’re coming off the field. What is going through your mind when you see him? He’s waiting on the field to give you a hug and a high five.
SEFO LIUFAU: It’s all over. I’m pretty composed now, which is kind of surprising because I didn’t think I would be. I think I left it all out on the field.
Just to see that and know that you’re not coming back, it meant a lot to just kind of see the guy who helped start it all, who believed in us, trusted in us, and gave us the opportunity to help turn the program around.
Q. Phillip, what did they do defensively that slowed you guys down? Did they do anything you didn’t expect?
PHILLIP LINDSAY: We just didn’t execute. That’s what it comes down to. First we have to get the first first down. That’s how our offense rolls. Two, we have to complete passes. That’s big in our offense, our receivers.
That’s pretty much what it is. We have to get in a groove. That’s what our offense is based on, based on tempo, getting the first first down and moving the ball. When you’re off balance and you can’t do it, do both things, it’s kind of tough.
Next season we have to go back to the drawing board and tweak things up. We pretty much have this whole offense coming back, other than Sefo and Alex Kelley. We have a good start on next year.
Q. These last two games, Colorado wasn’t there, how much does this hurt the pride?
PHILLIP LINDSAY: It definitely hurts. Anytime you lose a game, it hurts. People can say we’re overrated, all that. But when you go out there and you win games, you win 10 games, you know that’s not a fluke.
We just didn’t put a game together. When you deal with injuries, as well. You look at our receivers, we had a couple on defense that weren’t as healthy as we wanted. That matters going into a game, making sure all your starters are healthy.
Q. Sefo, after two tough losses in these last two games, I’m curious how you view the entire season? It was a great season for Colorado football, but it didn’t end in the last two weeks like you wanted.
SEFO LIUFAU: Let’s put all the X’s and O’s aside. We got out-executed tonight, okay? We can all agree on that.
If you take our season as a whole, look at what we’ve done in the past, going four wins or less, those four wins are against teams that are not powerhouse teams or teams that are fully recognized on the national stage, to being double-digit wins in the PAC-12 conference, I think it’s strong.
Of course we lost to U-Dub, they’re in the national playoffs. We lost to Oklahoma State. They’re a very good team. I think they finished 10-2.
X’s and O’s aside, I enjoyed the season a lot. I love these guys. The big chin sitting next to me, I love him, too.
We did something special. We didn’t finish with an exclamation point. The wheels on the bus kind of fell off. But I wouldn’t trade this season or these teammates for anything.
Just to be able to get Colorado back into people’s minds, not just saying, They’re just another team, to be able to get 10 wins and set a good foundation for Phillip and Steven, who all have good potential and promise. I’ll be watching in years to come because I think they’ve got something good going. It’s just a start, in my opinion.
Q. Sefo, when people look back on your career at Colorado, what do you want them to remember about you?
SEFO LIUFAU: I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m just one of the guys.
Quarterbacks get too much of the blame and too much of the praise. I’m just a cog in the machine. Obviously you saw when I came out that Montez fully excelled in this offense. The offense is in good hands.
I just want to be remembered as a guy for my teammates, someone that would put it all on the line for them. Just want everyone to know I gave everything. I may not have been the most talented, but I gave everything I had.
PHILLIP LINDSAY: He’ll be remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks coming out of the state of Colorado. He has numerous records he broke. He’s a warrior. That man, he puts his body on the line for us 24/7. Everybody sits here and asks questions and stuff. If you go out there and get hit by a 340-pound man all day, get up every down, remember plays, put myself and other people in the right positions, that man right there, he’s going to go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in Colorado. Everybody knows that. You guys should know that.
Q. As a returning player, what will these two final games stick in your craw heading into spring and next fall?
PHILLIP LINDSAY: We got a taste of something great, something that Colorado is used to getting back in the day. Now it’s back.
Everything is kind of new for a lot of us, a lot of these young ones coming in. Now that we kind of got our feet wet, been in the PAC-12 championship, the biggest stage in the PAC-12, the Alamo Bowl, one of the biggest stages. Now it’s about going back to the drawing board. Now we know how to get there, and it’s about finishing. It comes down to finishing. We were inexperienced.
Oklahoma State has been in numerous bowl games for many years. They keep going. Now it’s time for us to get back on that track and start going to many more bowl games. It’s going to be second nature to us again, just like this year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Sefo and Phillip.
We’re now joined by Coach MacIntyre.
COACH MacINTYRE: I’ll take any questions.
Q. With their downfield passing attack, especially with James Washington, how much of that success is attributed to just straight line speed, and how much of that can you make adjustments for and coach against?
COACH MacINTYRE: He made some great catches. We were in good position. Quarterback made some good back shoulder throws. He’s a good player. He’s done that all year long. He’s an excellent football player.
Q. You waited on the field to have a moment with some of your guys. Why was that important to you?
COACH MacINTYRE: It’s important because this is the first 10-win season in 15 years that these seniors have done. They truly rose this program from the ashes. It was a burnt house when these seniors got here, totally burnt to the ground. They built a new one.
The most improved team in history of the PAC-12, over a hundred years of football. Top 25 for the first time in 11 years. Top 10, I don’t know how long that’s been, finished the regular season in the top 10. I don’t know how many years that’s been. Played the nation’s seventh toughest schedule. If you add the last two teams, I imagine we’re even higher. Wasn’t a cupcake schedule. All the teams that beat us were top 10-teams when it’s all said and done. First sellout in how many years, I don’t know. First bowl in 10 years.
The future is bright because of these guys and what they’ve done. Not going to hang my head or have them hang their head or anything whatsoever in what they’ve done this season. That was a very good football team out there. We didn’t execute as well as we would like.
They truly did it. I’m so blessed that Jesus Christ gave me the opportunity to coach this group of men and how much they’ve helped me mature, how much I’ve watched them mature.
In the locker room after the game, it was a really neat, neat time. Those young men will be remembered to me, should be remembered for a long, long time for what they’ve done for Colorado football.
Those are a lot of reasons why. I also wanted to see a lot of them. Instead of doing it in the locker room, I wanted to see them one last time coming off the field. They’ve given everything they’ve had when nobody believed in ’em. Now everybody believes in ’em. If anybody says one negative thing about them, they’re totally wrong.
It didn’t end like we’d like it to, but wow, what they’ve done, they set a foundation for us to keep improving. That’s the next step in the process.
We got to this point, now we got to get through this process. It’s all been a process along the way. I am so proud of them, of those seniors, and everybody in that locker room, but especially those seniors, the way they’ve led, the way they fought, what they’ve done. It’s to me really, really impressive.
Q. As talented as you guys are in the defensive backfield —
COACH MacINTYRE: We were hurt. Two of them were hurt. They played hurt.
Q. How difficult is it for you as a staff and those guys on the field to come up with a plan to defend Washington, as good as he is?
COACH MacINTYRE: Tried to play. Tried to play as hard as they could. We had some freak injuries that were crazy that happened in our practices. It was just crazy. They tried to play. They hadn’t even practiced in over a week and a half. They tried to play and give all they could.
They’re a good football team.
Q. We talked going in about Oklahoma State’s experience in this type of situation, your guys’ inexperience. Did you see anything tonight that had anything to do with that?
COACH MacINTYRE: Like I said, these guys are unbelievable. I’m proud of what they’ve done.
Q. You talked about the seniors as a group. Specifically Sefo, just a few words on the end of his career.
COACH MacINTYRE: Sefo helped us get to a 10-win season this year. He battled. He was our warrior all the way. Helped turn the program around. Had, I don’t know, almost a hundred records he broke while we weren’t a very good team. This year we were a good team. If he had that team around him for four years, think about how good he’d have been. He would have broke every record. Very proud of him. Proud of his leadership, what he’s done.
He set a great example for our juniors, sophomores, freshmen, redshirt freshmen, of the way he leads, how he handles and carries himself. He’s an amazing young man.
Q. Mike, you said you got to this point now, the challenge is to get past it. When you look at your team’s offensive inefficiencies in the last two games, what do you see there and how does this team go about getting better?
COACH MacINTYRE: I saw a bummed up quarterback on an ankle that couldn’t throw as accurate as he would like. We tried to go with Steven. He wasn’t as accurate as we would like. He wasn’t where he usually is. I don’t know why. So we put Sefo back in and tried to go. That’s what I saw in these games, a little bit of inaccuracy. He was trying on his ankle.
The third play of the Washington game, and those teams are going on defense, they did some good things, too. But if you’re just off a little bit here and there, a third down here, a first down pass, you could gain 15, 20 yards, kind of get your momentum going.
We broke a ton of records on offense this year. Our offense is light-years ahead of where it’s been. We’ll just keep working on it. We’ll had a have a lot of guys back. We’ll have some young guys that we redshirted that I definitely think can help us. We’ll have some linemen that can help us that have gotten bigger and stronger like Timmy Lynott did this year. We’ll be able to add some guys in next year and bulk up our line better. We’ll have some skill guys, plus some guys that got hurt in camp that are really good. Steven will have a lot of reps, some other quarterbacks on our team, some hopefully that are coming in that I think will help us.
Q. Would you share with us anything about what you told the guys in the locker room after this game tonight?
COACH MacINTYRE: It’s just really between us and them. They kind of did everything. It was really special. Haven’t been in a locker room on a final game when it ended that way with that much respect for the seniors. A true love and respect of those guys. That’s what I expected to see. It was pretty special.
Q. The guys you’re talking about that were hurt, was it Ahkello and Chido?
COACH MacINTYRE: Yes.
Q. What was the injury?
COACH MacINTYRE: Chido had turf toe, which was freaky. He had the same turf toe in high school that had him stay out nine months. He was doing nothing really. So he stayed off of it and tried to play. Played okay, but wasn’t quite himself.
Ahkello got fell on top of accidentally. It was a weird deal. Hurt his shoulder a little bit. He wasn’t able to lift his arm above his head till yesterday. He wanted to try to play. So he toughed it out and tried to play.
Q. Although you had the injuries, do you feel like you missed a beat because you had to change your defensive coordinator?
COACH MacINTYRE: No, I don’t think we missed a beat at all. I think that Washington caught the ball on us some. They made one run at the end, we were trying to blitz it. They didn’t really have much running. You wouldn’t say they ran it down our throat. Rudolph made a couple good throws, which he does. Washington beat us on a couple things.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.
COACH MacINTYRE: Thank you.