Postgame Quotes: Vols 52, WKU 20

Sep 7, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2  |  Photo Gallery 3 


(Opening Statement)
"General Neyland Maxim Two: Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way, score. I thought we were opportunistic in the first half. I was really proud of our kids, the coaching staff. Our kids were ready to play, but we still have a lot of work to do. Particularly in the first half, we didn't get a third and short and then we gave up a touchdown, a blocked punt and a two-man rush and as we continue to move forward, we can't make those kinds of mistakes. Also I think it was a tremendous teaching opportunity for this football team, showing resilience, emotion of a game, the momentum, the back-and-forth and I thought our kids handled it well. I thought in the second half we established the line of scrimmage and made some plays. We had two receivers step up, Josh Smith and Johnathon Johnson. They stepped up and made some plays. Justin [Worley] in the second half did a much better job with his accuracy. I thought both running backs ran exceptionally hard. We challenged Rajion Neal all week about getting more out of himself. I thought he did a great job. Defensively it was the most turnovers since 1984. We were opportunistic. Again, it's a great lesson to our football team about preparing and having a great week of preparation and playing with an energy level and passion. Obviously we're going to enjoy this one, but moving forward I think we all know what's in store next week."

(On the importance of the win)
"We needed to be 2-0. That's a really good football team. We knew we were going to be challenged. They came in and dropped the ball to start the game. We needed some of that. I needed to see how our leadership was going to respond. I needed to see what type of resiliency this team has. I saw some today. Just about anything that could happen, happened and that's good as we continue to move forward."

(On speaking to the offense)
"We couldn't get into a rhythm. Even with the script, with everything and the pace of the game. The third and short is unacceptable on an offense. We have to get first downs. We have to be able to complete the ball. The game goes from playing winning football to a change. We drop a touchdown pass and all of a sudden, it's a blocked punt just like that. Those are our mistakes that as we continue to progress, we can't make. Also, that's the game of football - it's played by human beings. We thought it was critical getting the ball in the second half to have a sustainable drive and go down and get points. We challenged our offense at halftime and they responded."

(On the second half offense)
"We let them know (we wanted to win). We let them know all the time. I thought we threw the ball efficiently."

(On Western Kentucky)
"(Western Kentucky) is a good football team. Let's give them some credit too. We knew that it was going to be a battle. We were prepared and our mindset was that we were playing a four-quarter game and if it went four overtimes, we were going to be mentally ready. That's how you prepare. There's a reason why they win championships there. Again, for us to be successful, we have to move the ball efficiently and I don't think we did that in the first half."

(On the responsibility of executing plays)
"I think it's a combination. It's up to the coaches to put our players in the best possible situations and it's up to them to execute. You know that they executed when we didn't drop the football, we finished the deal and that was great to see defensively. We always talk about ball disruptions and that's big. We went back to the basics in practice and have been focusing on that. Again, I thought we had a great game plan, but our players, they're the ones who executed."

(On six quarters without a penalty)
"It's just discipline. We talk about it every week. We had two for 17 yards and I said, `we have to be a team that overachieves.' That's not a bad thing, but we have to have tremendous team chemistry, play with 63 effort and we can't beat ourselves. If we beat ourselves, we're going to have a chance. But if we start turning the football over and having key and untimely mistakes, then we're in trouble. Our kids follow the plan to win. You win the turnover battle - that's all critical."

(On changing the mindset at halftime)
"That's just execution. We didn't change the plan, we actually added to the way we were going to start the game. We went back and we executed better. Hats off to the offensive line, I thought they established the line of scrimmage again. I thought our backs went hard, but we also had a big splash of play with Johnathon Johnson. Justin did a great job of hanging in the pocket. We had a big reverse with Alton Howard. All of those things were momentum plays and they flipped the field position.

(On seeing so many turnovers)
"I've never ever been associated with anything like that."

(On the turnovers starting with special teams)
"I'm waiting for someone to ask why I didn't go for the ball on fourth-and-one. Everything is about field position. It started with special teams. Palardy makes a great kick and we downed it, so now we're playing the field position and make great things happen. That's why we didn't go for it on fourth-and-one. We were going to play the field position."

(On thinking about Oregon)
"I told (the players) to enjoy this and tomorrow we're moving forward. We work way too hard. I think the earliest I got home all week, and you can ask my wife this, was about 11:30 at night. We work way too hard and sometimes you need to stop and enjoy this. But you know I'll be at home watching film tonight. We're a great football team and it's going to be a great challenge. We're going to have to be in the best shape we've ever been in. It's a long trip, but it's going to be a great opportunity. We're going to enjoy this one."

(On what if the turnover ratio was 1:1)
"It would have been what we expected, a 60 minute game. Like I said they have weapons, they have great team speed. Coach Petrino obviously does a great job at his schematics so our kids were prepared for that."

(On applying pressure to the quarterback)
"We were able to do that. I said that is a byproduct of playing great defense in the back end. It starts with your front seven. Really it starts with your front four with the ability to generate a pass rush with four, not having to play five and then have to play fires on the coverage, match up man to man. I thought we consistently were able to apply pressure for a four man front. Obviously when you have that good things are going to happen."

(On Justin Worley's long passes)
"It is like the play before a punt. He has got to put the ball out there. I think our young wide outs have to do a better job of going and snatching the ball, owning the ball in the air. That will be a point of emphasis this week. There were a couple I thought we have to keep our feet so we will be able to catch in advance. We have to have the mentality to own the ball in the air. Justin has got to get it out there, but then again I think he is going through the maturation phase of really being starting quarterback."

(On the defense)
"We are going to have to be resilient and play good teams. Somebody said this is the most challenging schedule in the history of college football. They (the players) are on scholarship. They are coached, well coached. They are going to make plays. It is the resiliently and the snap and clear mentality. It is that edge of playing winning football. It is confidence. You are going to give up a big play, now how do you respond? Do you have the snap and clear mentality? Let it go because it is going to happen. That is what I wanted to see from our football team today. It was a great teaching point and I thought for the most part we handled some of the adversity well."

(On saving up the playbook for Oregon)
"It is not so much saving it from your opponent. It is what your players can execute. I think they are gaining confidence, so we were able to put more of our playbook in just because they are executing. The more we execute the more volume of plays. Everything is about repetition. Why does the short stop make the routine throws to first base? He practices it over and over again. It is the same in with offensive football."

(On Curt Maggitt's status of playing today)
"He was close but not quite there yet. We will see his practice (whether or not he will be back this week). We are going to make sure he is 100 percent ready to go."

(On Jacques Smith's status of playing today)
"We anticipate having Jacques back this week."

(On the right side of the defensive line)
"They were in some leverage sets with down blocks and pulling the guards, tall sweep. So we have to get some of that corrected. Football is a game of one-on-one match ups and they (Western Kentucky) are a good football team. They won some of their one-on-one match ups."

(On having other injuries)
"As of right now, no. Just guys late on the line, obviously tired. We needed a game like that. We needed a game that had some adversity. We needed a game in playing in some heat. We had some back ups that had some valuable repetitions. We needed a game like this."

(On Vincent Dallas and Jacob Carter in the return game)
"I was very, very pleased. I think Vincent has to make the decision on when to bring it out or not, but I thought he did a great job. We ask for a high level of consistency back there and that is Jacob Carter. I thought he did a nice job."

(On the confidence from the turnovers for the defense)
"It was a ton. We have to fly around. We have to get eleven hats to the football. We have to swarm. Obviously we will see a whole other level of team speed next Saturday."

(On the conditioning level)
"We still have some work to do on our conditioning level. Everything is about an outward focus and mentality. We have to have another week of great practice. We need some heat. We need to continue to develop that championship stamina that we talk about and being able to fight through the fatigue that is associated with playing football."


(On the game)
"I think we got in more of a rhythm and we had an opportunity to drive the ball down the field. We had a couple three-and-outs that hurt us in the first half, but for the most part, our defense was giving us a short field where we were only having four or five play drives. In the second half, we got in a rhythm to drive the ball 80 to 85 yards a couple times."

(On the mindset in the second half)
"We knew that if we went out and executed and came out with a good drive and scored, it would help with our momentum. They got some momentum back in the first half, so we put a lot of emphasis on going out and scoring on the first drive."

(On the third quarter rhythm with Josh Smith and Johnathon Johnson)
"They've done a great job and have learned the offense and the new responses of different routes and progressions and things like that. I'm comfortable throwing to them. It's a big thing having that chemistry."

(On his struggles in the first half)
"I wouldn't say I was struggling. We had a couple drops that hurt. We couldn't get in a rhythm just based on the number of plays that we had. We had nine or so plays in the first quarter. Not getting in a rhythm never helps, but I don't think I struggled."

(On going 0-5 on first downs in the first half)
"It hurts. And it hurts not being able to keep drives going and having our hand on third down."

(On improvement in the third quarter)
"I think going into halftime you make adjustments based on what you're seeing and things like that. I think Coach Jake did a great job of taking what the defense was giving him and really coming up with a great second-half game plan."

(On differences in Oregon week)
"You'll definitely hear some crowd noise for sure. With us going on the road to a phenomenal opponent, (Coach Jones) is intense 24/7, so I don't think we'll be seeing much of a change from him. I think he's a pretty level guy in terms of energy. He's pretty consistent every day. I don't know if you'll see much change from him."

(On dependable running backs)
"It takes a lot of pressure off me, knowing that on a third-and-four we could hand the ball off and still get a first down. It opens up our play-action game. In the past two games, I had several touchdown passes off of play-action that's been set up by our running game."

(On the defense)
"A lot of credit to the defense. They really stepped up and stopped a really good offensive team. We faced a lot of adversity today and that shows a lot of what we do in practice. The offseason workouts are starting to pay off and these guys are really buying into what the coaches are saying. Being able to push through trying times, that says a lot about our team."

(On avoiding penalties)
"It's just knowing that our coaches are going to rip us on the sidelines (if we do). I think it's a huge testament to the way we practice and the mental stamina that we have, knowing what to do each and every play, locking in to the call and snapping into a clear mentality if things do go wrong."

(On assessing himself for Oregon)
"We didn't really bring our A-game today. We had flashes of good and bad. We just have to progress. We have to know the offensive system, being able to execute and on my part, being able to execute the offense in different situations."

(On audibles)
"A lot of the checks that I can make are with protections, not necessarily a full play. But I do have full reign to protect myself if need be."

(On an eight-man box)
"I don't think we saw much of an eight-man box. They did bring their safeties down. A lot of what we were seeing was six or seven-man boxes. Sometimes, five with different people in."


(On seeing what was going on early)
"I just thought it was a lot about the O-Line, giving me lanes and giving me good reads. Much praise to them."

(On dominating in the second half)
"In this league, you have to be able to run the ball. That's something that Coach Jones wants to do and preaches to us to do. We felt it was coming and we were ready for the challenge."

(On Marlin Lane)
"We enjoy playing with each other and we know at the end what it is we want. It's fun."

(On difference in halves)
"I think we got into a rhythm. We put some drives together, gave the O-Line a little more rhythm. With me, it was getting more reads and things like that."

(On playing Oregon in 2010 and their tempo)
"I remember us coming out with a great sense of energy. We were on a pretty good drive and then the rain delay set us back. The tempo was unreal, though. With us incorporating that same tempo and using it in practice and at camp, I think our team is better prepared for it. It's definitely a confidence booster, but the real tests are starting to come and we're really going to be able to take strides and see where we are."


(On Tennessee defense)
"I mean that's really big. I think Coach said that's the first time we've done that since 1984, so it's really showing how our defense is starting to come together. I think they play really well because they got us out of some bad situations early in the first half. They put us in the red zone twice to score because we were struggling in the first half a little bit, but it's really good to see those guys coming together like they are."

(On halftime message)
"Coach said to just keep your foot on the pedal and just keep going and keep going. He said `I'm going to put you guys in situations.' They played a lot of man coverage so we're going to try and expose them in the secondary, only had two in the box, I believe, so we were able to expose them to the running game as well."

(On the importance of the performance of Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane)
"It is really good to have confidence in those guys. At first I don't think we were moving the ball as well because they (Western Kentucky) came out hitting us with a lot of pressure. They were mugging both the linebackers into the gaps. It is hard to get movement on things like. It is really good to see guys reading their keys. We changed up the game plan a little bit at halftime to be successful."

(On the second half bringing the line together)
"They were bringing a lot of field pressure, some boundary pressure. We call it Bama bringing both the wheel and the mike into the gaps. That is why it was hard to get a run game going at first, but I feel like second half we were able to adjust."

(On that being different from what WKU played like against Kentucky)
"We saw it on film. They brought a couple of blitz we didn't see. Not everyone shows their hand on the first game or the first two game."

(On things to work on)
"I don't think you would want to peek early. You look at the film and say we can be this much better. It says a lot when you beat a team like that who is in the Sun Belt, but is a really good team that could possible be in the top 25 at the end of the year. I think that that says a lot, and we can keep on getting better."

(On converting on third downs)
"We have to execute. That was one thing that I wasn't happy with today was third down efficiency. In order to win games, you have to be efficient on third downs. Like Ja'Wuan James said, we will just go back and watch the film, and be really critical of ourselves."

(On being 4 of 5 on 3rd down in second half)
"I think it was both execution and coaching. Coach Jones told us to calm down and everything would be ok. We were going to make some game plan adjustments. Coach Bajakian did a good job of putting us in good situations."

(On the first road game at Oregon)
"First, let's just say the time change. We are going all the way out to Oregon. We all know about Oregon and that they have a fast offense. It's going to be really fun and a really good experience. It's going to be a big test to see if our team has come together and glued together."


(On first half play)
"Like he said, they're just out of people in the box. It was things we can work on. We'll go watch it, but our defense did a good job of getting us out of situations, like he said. They played well."

(On gaining composure in second half)
"Yes sir. I mean, the defense, they were holding the weight most of the game. They were out there a lot. We wanted to create a drive and just go out there and stay--get a long drive where we could just work them, but I feel like we bounced back and did well in the second half as an offense.

(On Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane)
"They were hitting it. They weren't being cautious. They were hitting like we did all week in practice. I think we had a great week of practice, as a result they did really well. They were reading well and we were blocking really well."

(On the difficulty of getting a rhythm)
"It has to do a lot with offense rhythm wise. Our defense did a great job with turnovers, so we were just out there for field goals and that was it, but you can't use that as an excuse. We like to have rhythm. We will look at the film and get ready for Oregon."

(On having success against eight-man fronts)
"It was a little bit of both. We got in a rhyme in the second half. That tempo killed them. We saw guys with their hands on their hips. When we see that, that's when we attack."


(On the five turnovers off of six plays from scrimmage)
"No, it was fun to be a part of. I mean there has been many games we hadn't had five turnovers, let alone right in a row."

(On the how the turnovers gave the team momentum)
"It was just a big momentum swing for us and it gave us the opportunity to kind of put our foot down, and try to put a nail in the coffin, but it felt great. Everybody on the sideline was energized, the stadium was energized, it was awesome."

(On how the defense was positioned)
"I don't know what they were coached this week, but they need to do it again, but no, the coaches gave us a great gameplan. We knew what we were doing up front. We were able to force him out a little bit, to put some stress on him, and he made a bad decision, and it led to a bunch of points for us."

(On how the game would have been without the turnovers)
"It would have been really close. Cause they were moving the ball on us a little bit. I mean they started off with that twelve play drive. So that was a big momentum swing. It put everything in our favor, and gave us a chance to go up by a lot. Anytime you got a team coming in trying to upset you, and you can do that to them, it takes away a lot of what they're doing."

(On how this game prepares them for next week)
"We needed it. We needed a game with a little diversity to come out and fight, to do 12 play drives that are back to back to back because Oregon moves fast and they could do 12 play drives in three minutes so we're going to have to come ready to play."

(On how practice will be different this week)
"I'm sure if you're not running this week you might get kicked off the practice field. That's usually pretty normal but it's just even heightened even more this week because they've been running that system for a bunch of years now and so we have to live that 63 effort each day."

(On the defense compared to last year)
"I think it's a lot better. Guys are just playing so much harder and they know their assignments and those two things alone make up for a lot of things and even the fumble that Sapp forced you know if we hadn't had three or four people right there that would have just been a blown opportunity to get the football and so little things like that and just living that orange swarm are making all the difference in the world."

(On if the playbook is easier compared to last year)
"It's not that much smaller in terms it's just - there's not one hundred checks for each formation it's just there was one play we had last year where we literally had 21 checks on one formation. Just having simplified checks and being able to play fast will make all the difference in the world."

(On if it is good to still have things to work on despite the margin of victory)
"Yea it is. We needed things to work on in order to get better cause we've got a really good football team coming in and so we didn't want to - I mean we always want to blow them out but we didn't want to come in and not get to play 18, 20 snaps because next week against Oregon there is a chance they could run 100 plays. We really need to come in and play a complete game to build that conditioning up and get ready for next week."


(On the pressure he put on the quarterback)
"I mean we knew we had to get it on them all week with this offensive line, and I feel like that definitely affected him, and maybe helped the turnovers too."

(On noticing the turnovers affecting the Western Kentucky quarterback)
"Na, I could just see it in his body language. Oh yeah."

(On his opportunity to play)
"I mean I feel like I've been taking it as an opportunity, and just perfecting what I need to do. So, I mean knowing what I need to do on almost everything."

(On how it feels to have a couple of sacks)
"Oh yeah I mean it is rewarding, but I mean, Hood gave me that one."

(On the first half craziness)
"Nah, never been a part of something like that. I mean everyone was just surprised like it was getting hard to believe."

(On how the game prepares them for Oregon)
"I feel like we needed a game like this with a little bit of adversity towards the middle there just because we came back. We needed just that feeling and next week is going to be high tempo so we always practice to make the game feel easy so I bet this week is going to be pretty tough.


(On turnovers)
"It gave us momentum and more intensity just to see our defense get after it. If the defense has our back, then we have their back. Just to see them make plays gave them momentum, got the crowd hype, and we came together."

(On offensive rhythm in second half)
"In the beginning of the first, things were running smooth. By the end of the day, we realized that the defense was backing us up a lot. They were making a lot of plays. It was our job to get drives going, keep them off the field, and we went over what we need to do. We came out in the second half and put in work."

(On handling adversity)
"We showed that when put our mind to it and play together, anything is possible. I have to give Western Kentucky credit. It was a sixty minute fight. It was all about taking each others souls. Like I said, we are staying together and linked up. We defended our home."

(On getting big plays on offense)
"We were very close. Coach Mike Bajakian knows what he is doing. We scheme based on their defense so a lot of routes were decoys to get each other open. Overall, we did really open our offense until the second half."

(On personal play)
"I was very pleased. My role was to take the safety and create one on one matches on the outside. Regardless of the reverse, we ran that a few times just to motion and see how they react. We knew that backside would be open."

(On more reps due to Devrin Young injury)
"A lot went to me. I was mainly prepared for all the reps I was going to have to take."

(On emphasis to pick up pace in second half)
"It was a lot. We knew what our role was as a offense. In general, defense was working hard. They put up a lot of points, and it was our job to get rolling so that is what we had to do."

(On what allowed second half production)
"We came together. we talked as an offense, as a unit. We pointed out our negatives and positives. We know what it takes to win. We came together and executed."

(On confidence in practice this upcoming week)
"Oregon (No. 2 team in nation) is a good team. In general, we have a good coaching staff that will get us prepared. We are going to be mentally tuned in and locked. We are just going to focus on our game plan to win."

(On learning from this weeks game)
"I learned a lot. Western Kentucky has been playing together for a long time. A couple of them have played in the SEC in the past. I learned that we have to have each others backs. We have to lay down on the line to play for each other at the end of the day. Coaches are going to draw the X's and O's, but it takes us to go out there and make it happen."

(On moving forward)
"At the beginning, we were getting some adversity for a big upset. In general, we proved a lot of people wrong, and this boosted our team confidence. It lets teams know that we are different."


(On Western Kentucky's first drive of the game)
"They did a great job of scheming us. We did a great job. Our coaching staff was trying to figure out what they were trying to do to us as far as protection wise. I think we started to figure it out, and we started to understand what they were trying to do to us. Like I said, Coach Stripling did a great job of coming out with correct moves. I think we started to feel out our way. We started to give a little more pressure."

(On the team's mood after the five turnovers)
"We're a totally different group, we genuinely love each other and we're are happy for each other. When those guys were getting picks, it made my day. It took the pressure off and made us just relax and go have fun and play our defense."

(On what makes the turnovers)
"It's definitely the coaches. They teach us to believe in each other and just go have fun. I think that once you start to relax and just go play defense, and play your style of defense, those turnovers will come. They also teach family, they're big on family, so we just love to love on each other when they get turnovers like that."

(On handling adversity towards today's game)
"We're going to finish, we learned the past three years that you can't just go into the tank when things go wrong like that. Like I said, we all got together as a defense, the guys that call themselves leaders, and we just said 'Hey, we're going to finish this game'. We did it in a fun way, and when you're having fun, you don't really think about it. We started to just feel our way around as a defense."

(On the team's halftime adjustments)
"It wasn't really that many adjustments, they mainly just through in a few more calls to deliver a little more pressure on the quarterback. Mostly they told us to just go have fun, just relax, to believe in the defense, to believe in yourself, and how hard we worked in this off season to get to this point. I think it was just us, and changing our mindset to just going and having fun."

(On exposure of weak running lanes by Western Kentucky)
"They have a couple pretty good backs. That's just being truthful, they're a pretty good team. I'm not really concerned about it because I know if we come out with our head on fine, we have fun, and we play defense we can stop anybody. We're a confident group right now. I respect those guys because, like I said, they had some pretty good backs and we knew that going in."

(On the first two games preparing them for playing Oregon)
"I think that they were a big confidence booster. I think it helps us as far as confidence, but, like I said, we're just starting to have fun. We're loving the game of football, and I love the guys next to me. It's just genuine and we're having fun. We're excited."

(On the heat during today's game)
"Coach was telling us all week that it was going to be pretty hot. I think we were just enjoying playing so much and playing football so much, playing defense, that you really weren't even thinking about it. Our training staff do a great job of keeping us hydrated, so we weren't really thinking about it."

(On dealing with Oregon's fast offense)
"I was like 280 something in the spring and I'm down to about 260 something. I think, our coaching staff, that up-tempo offense that we practiced against everyday did a great job of getting us in shape. I know we're going to push it up even more this week, and I was telling the guys that we're going to push it this week. We're going to really go out there and see how tired we can really get. I think that's just how we are as a defense right now, we're just loving playing ball and do whatever it takes to try and get it up."

(On what he remembers about the previous Oregon game)
"How we played them tough. All the way to almost the third quarter. How we had our way with them, and somehow, how we've been doing the last few years, we just thought we lost the edge in the end. I think we showed a great job today, showing we could finish a game."

(On fatigue during the last Oregon game)
"I think the same thing, I think we started off having so much fun in the beginning of the game because we were shutting the offense down, and they had to slow the pace down. I think if we come out and stop the big plays that they are capable of doing we will eventually slow that offense down a little bit."


(On the Michael Palardy punt that was downed at the two-yard line)
"I mean it was a great punt by Palardy. Basically my objective was to go down there and cover the returner, but I seen the returner wasn't getting the ball, and the ball went a little bit deep, and I just tried my best to stop it from going in the endzone and made a play."

(On his interception for a touchdown)
"I mean it was just a play that created great energy and a huge momentum swing. The pick six, it was just something that I guess you could say the football gods offered, and because those who, basically work hard, will gain rewards from it."

"I mean as you can see sometimes you get beat, it's the effort that counts. We just gave a hundred percent effort, and I mean the d-line gave a great push, and the DBs gave a hundred percent, and when the quarterback released the ball. It was just our ball in the air."

(On getting his first interception at Tennessee)
"I mean it's just something that I was looking forward to the whole time I was here. I mean Pig is just a dbs inspiration, and I'm just happy to get the interception."

(On if the five interceptions were luck or being at the right place at the right time)
"I feel like it was just a fight between the d-line and the o-line, our d-line and their o-line. The d-line kind of helped us put pressure on the quarterback to help us get interceptions."

(On the defensive game plan coming in to the game)
"We was in the film room an awful lot. We was trying to do our best, because we knew this was a great team and it was going to come down to the fourth quarter. We was going to have to fight sixty minutes, and basically, we just tried to our best to execute everything a hundred percent."

(On having almost half of the amount of turnovers the defense had last season)
"I mean it's a huge confidence boost, and the turnovers, they're going to come. They're going to come. You got to play hard every play, and they're going to come to you."

(On how his first interception created momentum)
"I mean we're going to be a high energy team. It was a huge momentum swing like I said earlier, but everybody played well and we did our thing. We kind of played a great Tennessee football out there."


(On returning his interception out of the end zone)
"I haven't touched the ball since high school so I couldn't take a knee on that."

(On all the consecutive turnovers)
"That was very special. We work very hard. We tried to be up tempo every practice and have a lot of energy and it just carried over to today's game."

(On who to attribute the defensive success too)
"Nah they were a very good offense. They have a great offense, a great quarterback and I just believe that was 100 percent hard work for us and just being in the right place at the right time."

(On the adversity)
"At the end of the half we got a punt blocked and they came back and made it a two touchdown game. They were coming back strong so we just tried to keep it up and we poured it on in the second half, we didn't let up."

(On the momentum changes)
"Yea it was very different. I remember last year in the Florida game I could feel the tides turning and it felt like somehow there was nothing we could do about it but this year it feels different."

(On the "bend, don't break" plays)
"Nah, I feel like we have a lot of mistakes that we could get better at like especially getting off the field on third downs. We have a lot to work on but it was just good to see us not give up."

(On if the schemes helped create turnovers)
"That's a big thing. We just get out there and play and let the playmakers play. Also it's a tribute to our effort. We're always hustling every single practice. 63 strain, get to the ball and stuff like that so that contributes to our effort."

(On if it's a confidence boost to have a game like this)
"It's a confidence booster. We know that our system works and we believe in our coaching staff and they help us to believe that much more in what we're doing."

(On how rare the first half of turnovers was)
"That was crazy. I was actually on the sideline for, I think it was the fourth one - four in a row and we said if we get one more turnover I'm just going to go crazy and we all just went crazy on the sidelines. So it was crazy."

(On if he felt like he needed to get a turnover)
"Oh yea I started feeling a little bit left out. I saw my roommate, Justin Coleman get one there, my little brother Cameron Sutton - I just feel like I had to join in."

(On if they'll help going into Oregon)
"Oh yea it really does. We get to see what we need to work on, for example a run fix and little stuff like that so we can just tweak what we did out there and just make it all that better."

(On if these games will prepare them for a tough Oregon opponent)
"Yea it does. We're going to face another great offense next week. This is a good offense too so. It just prepares us with talent. We're used to the talent, we're used to the setting of the game so I think we're going to be ready."

(On what the win does for this team)
"It's just a big confidence boost like I said earlier. Just going out there we get used to the atmosphere. We had pretty good talent this game going against them so this gets us ready."

(On how it prepares Cameron Sutton)
"I can only imagine how he feels now, it's probably the best feeling in the world - a freshman's second game so I just feel like he's a blessed individual."

"I mean he works very hard, he works as hard as anybody on the team so I like to see that happen to him."

(On the tempo this week)
"It's going to be a barn burner this week. We're going to be huffing and puffing but it's going to be for the better to get us ready."

(On the caliber of opponent that Oregon is)
"It's going to be a big step up this week. They're a great opponent. We have a ton of respect for them so we know we're going to be in for a dog fight."

(On Oregon's tempo)
"We feel like we worked hard in the offseason, we ran a lot so we feel like we'll be ready for it."

(On if they're excited about Oregon)
"We're all excited, maybe get out of class a couple days early and just get to focus on nothing but football. It's just a great time to show what we're made of."

(On the tempo of this week's practice)
"Oh I bet it is. I bet it's going to be extra fast, we're going to be huffing and puffing. They're going to get us ready.



(Opening statement)
"We just got beat. We dug ourselves a hole in the first half. I don't know if I've ever been through the five turnovers that we had with a couple of them for touchdowns, but we did battle back in the second quarter. Our players played hard. I was encouraged by our defense, in the first quarter, held them to a field goal and was playing hard, we just gave them short fields. We got some momentum right before half with a nice drive for a touchdown and then a blocked punt for a touchdown and then we left one out there, throwing an interception in the end zone. Then in the second half they just took over and beat us up. They ran the ball when they wanted to, how they wanted to and we weren't able to get the ball in the end zone offensively. We have a lot of work to do. We have to learn a lot from this game and come back with a great attitude in practice this week and get ready for our conference opener."

(On if you have a quarterback throw again right away after an interception)
"That's normally what we do, is come right back out and show him we have confidence in him and throw it again. The first one, there's not a whole lot Brandon (Doughty) can do about that. It was a right read, the ball went right in his hands and popped up. They did a nice job on jumping the second one, but the ones in the end zone are the ones that you have to know that when we get down in the red zone, that you don't throw interceptions. You don't take sacks and you don't throw interceptions, and you always come away with points on the board. We have to work on that and learn on that and he's a good learner so he'll learn a lot from this game."

(On if he's ever seen anything like that before with so many turnovers in such a short period of time)
"I don't remember it. I don't remember that many interceptions and that many turnovers back-to-back-to-back-to-back. It really dug us a hole, but I was encouraged by the way we drove the ball and moved it in the second quarter and I felt like we got back in the game. We went into halftime 31-17, and we had some momentum. They did a really nice job in their first drive coming out of halftime. We got out of position on the long pass. We should have had somebody right in the middle of the field that got out of position by the quarterback's movement and he made a great throw while he was getting hit. They made a lot of play and we didn't make enough."

(On if he saw something wrong with the technique on the fumbles)
"Definitely. We have to get the ball locked up against our body and squeeze it against the ribs. We had the ball away from our body on that hit. He hit his helmet right on the ball, but that doesn't matter, you have to carry it the right way and then when we get in traffic we have to get the opposite hand over it, so we have some work we have to do on that. Keshawn's (Simpson) fumble, Keshawn was supposed to take the ball and run down the sideline and he just panicked a little bit by the linebacker running through and they dug the ball out."

(On how he felt after the first drive)
"I felt good about the start, particularly when we were converting the third downs. We weren't running the ball very well on that first drive but we were converting on third downs and protecting the quarterback so I felt like we were there. Then we moved the ball off the end zone and had the chance to drive it a little bit and that's when we hit the hands and the ball popped up in the air. It turned in a hurry, that's for sure."

(On how to handle having five turnovers in six plays)
"That's what I've never been through before; the five turnovers in six plays. Obviously, we needed to figure something else out and we got pressured on the one interception and that was a protection issue. The one they jumped and took to the end zone was just them jumping the quarterback's drop and it was a good play by the corner when he did that."

(On what the quarterback needs to do differently in that situation)
"We had a really good match up inside with our slot receiver against their mike linebacker. We got away with it a week ago by just throwing the outside easy route but you have to take the match ups when you get the match ups."

(On if there will be a shakeup with the running back rotation next week)
"We have to use all of them, we're going to need all of them. Who starts each week kind of depends on what personnel group you throw out there right away, but Leon (Allen) was impressive. He made some great runs, he's very explosive. He gave us some energy and he was playing very hard so he's been impressive both games."

(On how to help the quarterback move on from this game and look forward)
"What you have to do is go into the room tomorrow with a great attitude that I'm going to learn from this and I'm going to grow from it. It's not going to be much fun because you have to sit there and go through it and grind through it and see the mistakes and really work hard at learning from it. Then as soon as we get done with the video tomorrow we need to bury it, get a positive attitude and move forward and work at getting better each day in practice."

,em>(On his message to the team at halftime)
"Really the deal was that I was trying to tell the defense that I felt like they did a good job and we need to continue to stop the run and make them throw the ball and get pressure on the quarterback, which we weren't able to do when they did throw the ball. They did a nice job of protecting their quarterback. Offensively, we survived turnovers and we were only down by two touchdowns. I felt like we were right in it and we had good energy, they just came out and were the stronger team in the second half."

(On if there was an adjustment on the passing game by Tennessee in the second half)
"I kind of felt like they wanted to work on their passing game, that they came out and said that hey, we're going to come out here and work on our passing game and get better throwing the ball and they did."

(On the mood of the players after the game)
"We're disappointed. We're disappointed that we didn't perform well, we didn't perform the way we're capable of performing and that's hard. What we really have to do is make this a learning experience and understand that it's whats ahead of us that counts. We'll have good meetings tomorrow and then we have to come back on Tuesday and really work hard for this opener."

WR Willie McNeal

(On seeing series of turnovers)
"Yeah I've seen it before, but it is what it is. Tennessee played a good defense with good play calling, while we shot ourselves in the foot."

(On feeling helpless)
"No, I never feel helpless. This was very confident and still believed in it. We played until there was 0:00 on the clock."

(On giving away opportunity)
"Tennessee had a great game plan. They came with their defensive call, having guys where they were supposed to be, and making plays. We just have to bounce back from it."

(On offensive mindset at half)
"Like I said, it was basically on us. The tempo, the rushing, we just had to take a deep breath to calm down and get things rolling."

(On locker room at half)
"Yeah, we had that confidence. Don't get me wrong their defense was good, but at the same time it was us shooting ourselves in the foot moving the ball when we wanted to. We just knew we had to calm down, settle down, and make plays."

(On second interception)
"That was a great play on the cornerback. He read the hitch and broke on the ball."

(On QB Brandon Doughty postgame)
"Brandon was one of those guys keeping everybody up, telling everyone we're alright and going to bounce back. He didn't have his head down. He made his mistakes out there, but having a bad game is a part of football."

(On mindset to make comeback)
"That's just the way the team is, we're going to believe. Anybody who played, it doesn't matter, we still believe we have the chance to win no matter how the game goes. There's still going to be ups and downs."

(On having faith in system)
"Yes sir."

DB Cam Thomas

(On brief breaks on sideline)
"You just have to come out here and play. Every time where there's a change of game or change of pace, we were ready for anything. That's the mindset every time we take the field. We just had to stop them."

(On seeing the turnovers)
"I seen a few of them, but it happens. We just have to pick up where they left off and help out our offense."

(On being frustrated as defense)
"No it's not frustrating, it just goes with the game. We are one team and that's what we do, help out our brothers. So that's what we did"

(On bouncing back)
"Just study our film tomorrow, work as hard as we did this week just like any other week, try to keep grinding, get to the next game, and win the next game."

(On atmosphere at halftime)
"We were ready, just making corrections in certain spots that we needed. Everybody was just ready to go back out there because we knew the position we were in. We knew the defense had to come back out on the field and we loved the challenge. That's how we came back out but things happen."

(On difference between the halves)
"It wasn't a fatigue factor. They were just catching us in spots when we weren't there. It's just hard when you don't communicate well and things like that. We just have to do a better job of that next week."





  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago