Head Coach Chip Kelly opened up the conference with this statement:
Great football game. First, I want to congratulate K State, an outstanding team. A real hard?fought battle. I thought a real clean game.
They made us earn everything that we did, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They did some great things early.
I think our guys found a way to kind of overcome that. It’s kind of what we stand for. We talked about it when we got an opportunity to get invited to this game is about finishing. We had a great month of preparation for this. These guys were just outstanding. I can’t say enough about these guys, so…
Coach Kelly said this about going for two after the first score and whether he did it for momentum:
No. That’s something we do. We’ve done it for a while. We’re always going to try to see if we can steal a point here or there. We did it two years ago when we were down here, got two points on the first play.
Sometimes during the course of the game I think those things kind of go unnoticed, but it gave us an opportunity to be with a three?score game down at the end.
We’re always trying to see any way we can steal a point. We got a safety for one point today, where I have no idea where that was. When they told me they were going to give us one point, I said, We’ll take it.
De’Anthony Thomas said this about his opening Kickoff return Touchdown:
I just feel like my role in this game was just to be a momentum builder and a game changer. Once I seen that opening field, I just wanted to get to the end zone fast and celebrate with my team and get ready for the next play.
Marcus Mariota had this to say when asked what he thought about Chip Kelly possibly leaving:
He’s right here, if you want to ask him. We’ll have to see. Whatever he decides to do, we’re all behind him. He’s an unbelievable coach. Like Kenyon was saying, he’s not only a football coach, but he’s someone that you can look to and learn a lot of life lessons from.
Whatever happens, happens. But we’re all behind him. We’ll see where it takes us.
Coach Kelly finished the conference with this statement regarding their season and whether he regrets the Stanford loss:
We knew the rules of engagement coming in. We lost to a real good Stanford team. That happens.
I think the unique thing about our sport right now, an expanded playoff system, the playoffs start in week one. If you lose a game, you’re leaving it up to chance.
Alabama lost a game. Everybody said they were out. We lost and K State lost, they were back in.
It’s unique. I don’t have the magic answer. The other unique thing is no one asks us. Coaches don’t have an opportunity to weigh in on how it should be played. We’re not a “what if” operation. We control our own destiny. You can’t really control destiny because destiny is a predetermined set of events. I get mad when people say that they can control destiny.
We controlled our season. We lost to a great Stanford team. Take my hat off to them. I watched them represent this league extremely well with a big win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. What they’ve done down there in the last couple years, I think it’s great for our league.
It is what it is. We lost in a hard?fought game in overtime. But the deal for us was we had an opportunity to play one more time. It was an outstanding event.
I thought the Fiesta Bowl people were just fantastic. Our kids had a great experience. It was a chance for us to improve on our season, and that’s what our guys did. They accepted the challenge and they did it.