Arizona State kicked off the Kenny Dillingham era on Thursday night with a hard-fought, grind-it-out victory over Southern Utah. After the game, Dillingham met with reporters to recap his team’s performance, the lengthy weather delay at halftime, and overcoming adversity in a 24-21 win.

Here’s everything he said:

On playing like they practiced last Sunday

“Luckily, we played one half like Wednesday and one half like Sunday. Luckily we didn’t play both halves that way, we only played one half that way.”

On the weather delay at halftime

“It’s unfortunate, but both teams have to do it. So, there’s no excuses whatsoever. We have to come out and play better in the second half. The first half, I think we played as good of a first half… I mean obviously, we had one personal foul penalty which led to their only scoring drive. We were three-of-five on touchdown conversion rates while also milking the clock in a simulated mid-to-late situation to score with two seconds left with a young quarterback, which is good. We had one penalty, and didn’t have to waste timeouts. We played really really really clean in the first half. Then you come out in the second half and you play the exact opposite. And the question is why? How do you let a circumstance affect us like that? That’s something that I have to find a resolution to and myself and our staff have to find a way to not let it happen. Rain delays are very easy pieces of adversity, when you talk about football. That’s not a difficult adversity to overcome. We’re going to have to do better moving forward overcoming adversity. It starts as us as a staff and myself.”

On QB Jaden Rashada

“I thought he did really well. Poise, collected, no turnovers. He hitched up and ran a few times. There were some pictures where the guys matched off, some different looks. Obviously, Week 1’s for freshman quarterbacks are even harder. You can think you know the looks you’re going to receive, but they have an entire offseason to put in new looks. He knew our looks and our plan, but when you’re seeing different looks on defense as a freshman quarterback, it’s really hard to grasp, “Whoa that’s what I’m seeing and that’s what this is” when it’s the first time out there. I thought he did a phenomenal job. He came out in the second half, and he just couldn’t get in a rhythm. His eyes were right. He was throwing the ball where it was supposed to be, I have no question about Jaden and his ability. He was getting the ball where it was supposed to be, but he just wasn’t in a rhythm. I got to do a better job, and we have to do a better job on offense getting him back in a rhythm. That’s our number-one job, getting the quarterback in a rhythm. After a two-and-a-half-hour rain delay, we have to get him back in a rhythm better. So, that’s on me.”

On whether he sensed nervousness from Rashada before the game

“No, he’s very calm and mature. Do you see freshman when you’re quick on some throws, the games just faster and you’re getting excited on third downs? A little bit. Not mentally, not from body language, not from leadership. None of those freshman characteristics showed up, which is awesome to see.”

On giving Rashada the fourth down throw in the second quarter

“No risk it, no biscuit, right? Isn’t that Bruce Arians’ saying? You got to play to win the game. If you look back at the game, thank god we did. Thank god we threw a fade with five seconds left. We trusted our freshman quarterback to make sure he catches and throws and if the ball’s incomplete we have one second left to kick a field goal. Those two plays are the difference in the football game, when you look back on it. You have to be aggressive to win in college football, I firmly believe that. We’re going to be aggressive. We’re not going to play the game scared. Does that mean everything will always go in our favor? No. But we’re not going to play the game scared. We’re going to play to win the football game.”

On adjusting to coaching on the sideline

“It was good, it’s harder to see run-game movements. That was the most frustrating part for me. The game starts up front. When you’re in the box you can really see fits and run-game movements and the big picture of how teams are taking away the run. When you’re on the field, you can’t see that big picture as well, or it’s just newer for me. I’m not going to say I can’t ever adapt and change from that picture. It is newer and different. That was the biggest change for me. The clock stuff was really no different. You can tell at the end of the first half and end of the game, not having to waste useless timeouts, and our guys did a really good job preparing for those moments. Which, in a Week 1 with a freshman quarterback, that’s pretty good. That’s the only difference for me. The run stunts were a little bit more difficult to see.”

On whether the delay and the weird circumstances make it difficult to assess the performance

“No, because you are what you put on tape. Doesn’t matter what happens. A rain delay is one of the smallest circumstances you’re going to face in a football game. There’s going to be a game you’re down 21. It’s a lot worse than having a rain delay. We got to learn how to respond. When we lost the momentum or didn’t keep the momentum, how do we respond to that? The thing I did like was those are the games that you panic. Holy cow, It’s 24-21, you’re on your own 15, you’ve had 97 penalties in the second half because you’ve lost control, and you’ve lost your focus. Completely opposite of the first half. You go down, and you operate a four-minute drill to win the football game. There was a positive, that at the end of the game they got it done. That’s what football is about. It doesn’t matter who you play, it matters that you get it done. At the end of the day, the guy’s got it done. That sets up the locker room. You got it done, you’re 1-0. We got a lot of crap to fix, but you got it done. Let’s move along and let’s get better.”

On if he soaked in his first game as a head coach

“No, sorry. I know it’s not the answer you might have wanted, but no. It’s football. Get out there and let’s play the game. I wish, but that is not how I am wired.”

On how long he thinks it might take for him to process it

“I don’t know, but I know I got more time than other people, so that’s a positive.”

On if they planned to be as aggressive with deep shots as they were

“Well, I think when it was raining in the second half, and it’s kind of crazy to say this, but it’s harder to catch slants in inward breaking routes with the ball coming at you when the ball is slippery, then throws when it wasn’t raining horribly that are over your shoulder where you catch it with your body more. It was just part of one, his strengths, and two, just harder to catch slants in those inward breakers in the rainy conditions. He was just more comfortable with those during the first half so we were trying to get him one of those to get back in rhythm, but like I said, I thought I did a bad job of getting him in a rhythm.

“We never got him in a rhythm in the second half and when you play quarterback – especially young – we got him in a rhythm, he was 3-for-3 in the first drive, right? Easy completions were shot (because of the delay). We never got back out on the field. He did not have a lot of time to warm up. He had seven minutes to warm up or eight minutes they put on the clock, he had to stretch. Three minutes of throwing then he takes the field and we did not do a good enough job of getting him re-warmed up. He makes a lot of those throws, I mean in practice and he’s going to make a lot of those throws for the next three years.”

On the second-half defensive performance

“I thought they played really well. They were the ones who won us the football game just to be brutally honest. They won the football game, but that’s going to happen. It’s a team for a reason. Both sides of the ball come together, all three phases to win the football game.

“When our defense got the ball back… Like I said, the drives that they gave up touchdowns were usually penalty-aided. That’s where we’ve got to be better — not getting penalties. Especially personal foul penalties and really those showed up in the second half other than the ones that showed up in the first half.”

On Clayton’s targeting call

“Field level, I looked up at the screen and saw the same thing you saw. He tucked his head a little bit and I think anytime any bit of the crown on your helmet hits them, they’re going to call it. I just told him it’s a good learning experience and you’ll be back next week and try to keep your facemask up. That’s all you can (say).

“That’s the hard part because you never hit quarterbacks in practice, so maybe we can do something as a coaching staff in which we simulate keeping your head up while sacking a quarterback or something different. Maybe we’ll go get one of those robot tackling dummies or something. I don’t know. They’re out there. They’re at the coaching clinic every year running around chasing people.”

On the team overcoming adversity

“Yeah, I thought the best moment was when Jordan Clark was running off the field in the fourth quarter and he just said, ‘We got ya’ll.’ That’s leadership. That’s what I was pleased about.”