"I am pleased with the way our guys responded in the second half. We didn't play poorly in the first half, but it wasn't our best football. We were way too soft in the run game in the first half, but we buckled down and played better-run defense in the second half. The offense did a great job of protecting the football and taking care of the football. Cameron [Rising] made a bunch of timely plays and was extremely accurate, but we didn't throw for as many yards as I originally thought we did, but we were close to 80-percent completion percentage, and we really had some clutch catches. Devaughn Vele had a good day. The disappointing thing on offense was the inability to run the ball. We couldn't really ever take over the line of scrimmage, and that is something that we usually do. That was a negative for us, but overall, the defense had four picks, three by Clark [Phillips III], a pick-six, and another one that set up a touchdown. RJ Hubert's interception put us in a great scoring position, so the defense gave us a lot of big plays, and if you intercept four footballs, you are going to win most of the time. I think this football team took another step forward this week and we just got to keep doing that. That's the key, and if you want to win a championship, you have to get better week after week."
Question: What changed in the second half that helped the run defense be better?
Kyle Whittingham: "Better technique with the front and more downhill with the backers not catching blocks and putting them to the punch and just being more active versus the run."
Question: What is it about Clark that allowed him to go out and have the game he had today?
Kyle Whittingham: "He has exceptional quickness and speed, first of all. He is not the biggest guy, but he is built well and is physical when he needs to be, but speed and quickness is his big thing, along with film study. There is nobody that studies more films and Clark and that leads to big plays. The more film you study, the more big plays you're going to make."
Question: How concerned are you with the run game?
Kyle Whittingham: "I am very concerned. We had too many linebacker run-throughs. That was the real key when you are coming off the combination blocks, you have to have your eyes up and see the linebackers, and we weren't doing a good job of seeing that. Consequently, they were getting into the backfield, especially early in the game, and being disruptive. We have to do a better job keeping our heads and eyes up on the combinations and coming off the combinations, and picking off the run-throughs."
Question: What was the biggest positive takeaway from this game?
Kyle Whittingham: "Our efficiency in throwing the football on offense was the biggest positive, but we didn't throw for a ton like I thought. I thought we had thrown for more, but we were 200-yardsish, but it was a very effective and efficient 200-yards with no drops and protecting the football. I don't believe we turned the ball over, so that was a big positive, and then the big plays on defense. We are an opportunistic defense, and anytime you are plus four in the turnover margin, it's a good thing."
Question: How beneficial is it for Cameron Rising to be targeting some many receivers?
Kyle Whittingham: "That is what needs to happen, and that is what we talked about all week. It is going to be a concerted effort by a bunch of people to pick up the slack for Brant [Kuithe] not just one guy. Everybody's got to elevate and I believe we did that today."
Question: Thoughts on Rising running the ball so effectively against Oregon State?
Kyle Whittingham: "I wouldn't say it was too much today. I don't know how many times he ran it. A few of them were escapes on drop-back passes, and you know that's obviously not designed, but he is designed to carry the ball six to eight times a game. The big thing is not to take big hits at the end of the run. He has a great running ability, and we need that week in and week out."
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