THE MODERATOR: Give us an overview of the game, your side of it.
CRAIG BOHL: Well, it was an extremely competitive game. We knew it was going to be. Quite frankly I was a little bit surprised at the margin of victory in the second half. Maybe our players had a tremendous amount of confidence.
But I thought the turnovers were really critical, us being able to control the line of scrimmage. That was really important. I thought defensively we gave up some yards but did a good job keeping them out of the end zone, and it's very rewarding to win back
to back National Championships.
Q. Billy, what was going on with the offensive line in the second half? Seemed you guys took over the game at that point?
BILLY TURNER: We went into the locker room at halftime and talked with our coaches and realized that we didn't really have a lot of adjustments because most of the stuff we were doing was working and it was going the way that we planned it to. At halftime
they told us once we get back out there and get the ball, we're just going to take it and start pounding it, and you know, like it worked all year long, once we get the ball in the second half and keep pounding the ball down the middle, eventually they start
bending and breaking. And as you can see, things started moving and we broke a couple plays off, and then the next thing you know, the score ends up like it was.
Q. For the offensive guys, Brett Vigen did some of the play calling today, very unique, some of the stuff he pulled out. Just talk about how he got on a roll in the second half a little bit. Were you surprised as players when some of those calls came
into the huddle?
BROCK JENSEN: Coach Vigen is a mastermind, good offensive coordinator. He always puts us in the right position. There's no panic whenever it's a close game. We just trust the play call and we try to go out there and execute the plays as best as possible,
and Coach Vigen does an awesome job. We love him, and we think he's the best that we can have. Appreciate what he does for us.
Q. Coach, can you kind of go through that two point conversion snap, and what went through your mind as you saw the play unfold there?
CRAIG BOHL: Well, it looked like a disaster waiting to happen when it first started. We had a low snap. We do work on a two point play when there's an errant snap, but quite frankly it was not drawn up how we practiced it. I thought it was pretty resourceful
by Adam Keller to take the ball. I saw the ball in the air, and then I thought my goodness, is this a lineman who's caught it. It was. Fortunately he had an eligible number and nobody had gotten down the field. Right when that happens, sometimes there's
plays that happen in the game when you think, you know what, this is probably going to be our day. A play that we had never planned or designed turned out to work extremely well.
Q. Ryan, there's some un Bison like plays. When were those in the game plan, and what were your thoughts on and some of the runs that you had, too, for the first time this year.
RYAN SMITH: You know what, three weeks to game plan these guys, we thought they were going to come out with everything in the books, and got to practice quite a bit over these last three weeks, too. We put in the reverses and the Jets, we call them,
ran a lot of them. That was a lot of running. But yeah, I mean, we had a good game plan against these guys, and it worked out pretty well.
Q. Coach, do you feel like you guys beat a better team than you did last season?
CRAIG BOHL: Yeah, we felt coming into the game Sam Houston was a better football team. They certainly had more weapons. I think during the course of the game, the quarterback getting nicked up had an impact, and certainly Flanders, I think, was not
completely 100 percent. But the game was really closer than what the score indicated, and the yards kind of indicate that. I do think we were very opportunistic today. The turnovers were really critical, and I don't know how many turned into points, but
a lot of them.
I have a great deal of respect. I want to say and congratulate Sam Houston. I should have done that at the very beginning, because the thing about this playoff format is somebody ends up losing, and they've had a great year. Coach Fritz has done a great
job, and that's a better football team than what they were last year, so we're really pleased to beat them.
MARCUS WILLIAMS: Like Coach said, these guys are a better team than last year. They came in with a good game plan, I mean, especially on the offensive side. Their game plan was they didn't care who was their quarterback, they were going to throw
the ball. They were just going to keep throwing it. Our coach told me, Coach Klieman, it's good that they're throwing the ball because you're going to make the plays to end the game or just turn the game around, and I just wanted it, and I decided to do
my job as well as I can.
Q. Marcus, there in the third quarter it looked like they scored a touchdown to go ahead, they get it called back and then the next play you get the turnover. Can you talk about your emotions or your team's emotions as that was happening, and did you
feel that was a turning point there?
MARCUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, that's a big turning point. Whenever a team scores a touchdown but it gets took off the board it's big, because it gives us more momentum and football is a game of momentum. If it's up, you're up, and if you're high, you're high,
and in this game we needed as much momentum as we could, and them not getting a touchdown and us getting a turnover was big for us.
Q. For Coach Bohl and Brock, a couple days ago you had talked about how difficult it is to even get back to the National Championship Game two years in a row, but now to win it back to back, just your thoughts on the amount of hard work that it takes
to even get to this point, much less win.
CRAIG BOHL: A tremendous amount of sacrifice and dedication by everybody in our organization. It was certainly a long process. I also want to acknowledge my mentor, Tom Osborne, during the time that I had a chance to coach for him at Nebraska, we had
an opportunity to do this, and it's very hard to do. And the legacy that he's left, left a blueprint for me personally on, okay, what were the key points to put things in place for a program standpoint to get it done. And once that was in place, then I think
our assistant coaches and our players have done a phenomenal job, everything from our strength and conditioning staff to assistant coaches and the whole process.
And so it's very rewarding. It's extremely hard to do, and it's once you do that, I think you now transition the program into a pretty premier program when you've been able to go back to back.
Q. Marcus, talk about the fact that the last six, seven years people really have stopped throwing at you, and today they did try to go after you a little bit and you responded with the two interceptions. Talk about how exciting that was to be in the
game and have a chance to make some plays.
MARCUS WILLIAMS: I mean, it was very exciting to get an interception, because it changed the game around, and I was telling our guys, our offense is going to score, we've just got to get the guys good field position. What happened at the beginning of
the game, they were starting inside the 10 yard line, and that's not good for any offense. Me getting those takes, it just changed the field. It changed momentum like I said before. It was just big. It wasn't me, it was a whole team deal, and I give credit
to those guys at Sam Houston. They played well, but it wasn't their day, it was our day.
Q. Coach, talk about the identity of this team. It seems like every National Championship team has a certain identity. How would you put that?
CRAIG BOHL: Well, we're a really physical football team. We're going to be disciplined, play all three elements of the game. But when you really cut the veneer off the table, we're going to be really hard nosed, stopping the run, we're going to be able
to run the football, as Billy said, throw it when we need to and control the football. So that's our nature. The legacy of North Dakota State through and through in years and years has always been a hard nosed, blue collar, tough mentality, and that's who
Q. For Brock, repeating as a national champion is incredibly difficult of road. Can you just put into words what it was like for the players in the locker room to deal with that constantly week after week knowing that target was on your back and how
you were able to repeat and come out on top again?
BROCK JENSEN: Well, it's got to be the hardest thing to do in sports is to repeat a championship, go back to back, especially National Championship. It's hard enough to repeat a Conference Championship, especially when you're playing in the MVFC. But
it takes a great deal of resiliency from a group of young men like us and also our coaching staff. Can't say enough about them putting us in the right position, keeping us focused all year long, putting goals out there for us to be able to reach, and just
driving us as hard as they can to just motivate us to reach those goals, because they know that they knew that coming into the year that there's a lot of potential for this team. Just goes without saying how great these coaches are to really just motivate
this team and make sure that we captured the goals that we had coming into the year.
Q. Billy, what did you think of the crowd today? At times it felt a lot like a home game.
BILLY TURNER: Like you said, it did feel like a home game. Running out onto the field before the game started seeing more than half the stadium in green and gold was definitely a sight to see for us. Having all of our fans down here was a big help for
us, just to get the momentum from the crowd and transition that into our playing was obviously a big deal for us. And with all the guys coming down here from up north, it really just benefitted us more than anything.
I mean, the crowd as a whole is it's success for them. Success for us, success for them. With them coming down here and helping us out, it just really carries our team on a lot further than we can go just by ourselves. So congratulations to them,
too, I guess.
RYAN SMITH: Yeah, I mean, the crowd is yeah, I think we have the best crowd in America, personally, because they're crazy, and they get us pumped up and ready for games. I mean, it makes football fun, a lot of fun, coming out there every day to play
for those guys and seeing those guys cheer us on through thick and thin. Yeah, I mean, they had a lot of fun and so did we today.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the opening kickoff in the second half? I know it didn't turn out to be a big deal breaker or anything like that, but what was sort of the strategy? Did you consider an onside kick or anything like that?
CRAIG BOHL: Yeah, we certainly did. That was the plan, and I'm sure Coach Fritz knew that was going to be the plan, also. So then we started to look and say is there a hole, and we tried to bloop kick it, something that quite frankly you go through
a lot of preparation, but we've never worked on kicking off the 35, the other 35. So we were trying to be resourceful and make a play, hoping that we were going to bloop the front line and come up with a fumble, not a fumble, but a recovery of the onside
kick and everything. We went through a surprise onside to a real onside, let's go ahead and bloop it and none of it worked.
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