Q: Opening Statement
Tom Herman: “Well we were a young team I appreciate you having me. We are thrilled to be represented at the Alamo Bowl. We’re a young team that had some injuries and we didn’t exactly meet our expectations, but I think our kids play really hard. We’ve got some good young talent, and we’re excited to be there.
Q: What leadership does Sam Ehlinger bring to the team?
Tom Herman: “I call him a ‘marry your daughter’ kind of kid. He makes great grades he’s an unbelievable young man, he’s a great leader he was our only non-senior that was a captain. He leads by example and by his voice and his production on the field. He’s a heck of a player, a heck of a competitor and really, really represents our way of doing things the right way.”
Q: What do you think about the stingy defense you’re going to face in Utah?
Tom Herman: “I don’t know a whole lot other than what the stats say but I do know, Coach Whittingham and his reputation. I know both of us worked for Coach Urban Meyer and coach Whittingham has had some unbelievable defenses in the past and this year is not much different. The stats that you read in terms of rushing yards, yards per play all that stuff. We know that that our offense is going to be in for a big-time challenge. Our defense as well. I know their quarterback, as you said, is second in the country in completion percentage, he’s a very efficient guy that has led them to the Pac-12 Championship game. Without yet studying either side on video I do know that coach Whittingham is going to hang his hat on defense and this year is no exception.”
Q: Opening Statement
Kyle Whittingham: “First of all, we’re excited for our first trip to the Alamo Bowl. Quite a few players on the roster are from the state of Texas so that’ll be a good experience for those guys to be able to get back home and play in front of some of their family. We’ve got a lot of respect to this Texas team. They have some really good players and then obviously the quarterback with over 4000 yards total offense and we’ve seen him throw 100 catches for over 1200 yards. Texas itself is steeped in tradition and there are a lot of positives there, so we’re excited about that. We feel like our team played good football this year. We came up a little bit short on the last game but with an elite quarterback, running back and defense we’ve got some things going for us. Texas, when you’re watching them play again LSU and Oklahoma, those were both one score games. They have a lot of talent, and it should be a great matchup.”
Q: Who are some of the seniors that are the foundation of your team?
Kyle Whittingham: “This senior group is special with back-to-back Pac-12 South champs. We’re senior laden on defense, but not on offense. We have very few seniors on offense but defensively we do have a bunch of seniors particularly in the front. We have three guys we think are as good as any defenders we’ve ever had here. We feel like we have our best defense at the University of Utah, at least since I’ve been here and that’s a while. I’ve been here 25 years and statistically it bears that out. Offensively we’ve got some emerging stars like Brant Kuithe our true sophomore tight end from the state of Texas, ironically, but he has had a tremendous year and is really turning into a star for us.”
Q: What does it mean for you and your team to play in San Antonio, especially for potential recruits?
Kyle Whittingham: “We have three main footprints Southern Cal, in state here in Utah and in Texas. The majority of our team is comprised of players from those three areas. It’s going to be great exposure for our team in a program to come to San Antonio and be able to play in that state and have recruits take note of that. And, of course, playing Texas adds to that as well. That gives even more Texas flair to the game.”