"We're very excited to accept this invitation to go play a very good UTEP team down in Albuquerque at the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. I'm very happy for our players that we're able to reach this goal that we've had as a program to continue to play in bowl games. Obviously, we want to win them and this is our chance to go win our third-straight bowl and set another school record. It's a tremendous challenge, as well as a motivating factor for us. We've got a chance to win 10 games, which would be the second-best ever at this school. I think we've got great motivation. I'm very happy for our players and our fans. I think this is great timing. December 20 doesn't interfere with Christmas plans. It's a great weekend to get to Albuquerque and support the Utah State Aggies. Our players will be able to get home for Christmas to spend it with their families. The timing is great, the opponent will be a major challenge for us, but the motivation to finish on a high note will be there."
"This is a chance for us to get a bad taste out of our mouths and go out and play well against an extremely talented opponent. I don't know much about UTEP yet, but I have a lot of respect for Sean Kugler and their staff. Their offensive line coach (Spencer Leftwich) and I were at Tulsa for four years together. He's a tremendous offensive line coach. I promise you they'll be very well-coached up front. I know Jameill Showers is a very athletic kid at quarterback. I know their running game is very strong, but I don't know much else about them yet. I will very shortly. It's getting loaded onto my laptop as we speak. More than anything, it will be us. It will be our reaction to practice and to playing very well. We'll have solid leadership from our captains and our seniors."
"We were there last year. We're going to be in the same locker room. Our kids know what the stadium looks like. We'll be there and practice there. I don't think it gives them any advantage."
On if he will watch UTEP's season opener against New Mexico
"We'll be able to take a little bit out of the game. We'll go back and end up watching a lot of it. For the most part, most teams look at the body of work over the last month. We'll go back and look at everything, and absolutely compare that game."
"I can promise you, we're very, very hungry. I don't know what our record was down the stretch, but the last game is the only thing that anyone around here remembers. The comment that I always make to the team is you're only as good as your last game. Your body of work, your resume, is the last video that you put out there. For Utah State and everybody in this program, that wasn't very good. It wasn't up to our standards. We have a great desire to go and end this thing right. We've played very well down the stretch, but we didn't play very well at Boise State."
On the College Football Playoff System
"I think that's an interesting deal that they're going to look at and that I'm sure we'll talk about as coaches. I think after you see what has transpired over the last week or so on the national college football landscape, I think there's a pretty good chance you're going to see it go to and eight-team playoff."
"I'm not going to comment about other jobs. I work for the best Athletic Director and President combo in Utah State history. These guys have been awesome to me, my staff and our families. I'm an alum and this is where I want to be. I've said from the beginning, that if you're winning games and you're doing a good job as a program, then calls are going to come in. If the phone rings, I answer it. That's going to happen. I got told a long time ago that in this business as this time of year, calls are either coming in and you're saying `no thanks,' or you're listening to see if it's a better situation, or you're walking into a restaurant or a basketball game and people are talking about you behind your back. If that second thing is happening, it means you're not winning and they want you out of there. I'll absolutely take that first option. I never said I wouldn't ever listen. People know me to be straight-up and honest. I'm going to listen and if it's better for me and my family, then the process may continue. I'm very, very happy at Utah State. It will take something very, very special for me to leave here if that ever comes to be. I've turned down jobs since I walked onto this campus in 2011. I'm very happy here. When Gary Andersen asked me to come here, we sacrificed as a family to come here, but it's been the best move I ever made in my life. I coach a great locker room. We have a great support. That's my stance on this whole thing."
Last week we gave the veterans time to rest. We've gone nine-straight weeks without that and it's been a grind. There hasn't been very many series, let alone quarters, that those guys didn't play. Except for a little bit of lifting and running and some individual work, we've been able to give them about 10 days off. I look for them to be real fresh."