Postgame Quotes | Western Kentucky 21, Army 17

Nov. 9, 2013

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Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: opening statement)
“I’ll just say what I told the guys. It was a hard-fought game against a quality opponent. We had opportunities early in the game. We had opportunities late in the game. Give them credit. They made one more play than we did.”

(Ref.: his thought process on Army’s final possession after Western Kentucky’s touchdown)
“We felt like we had a couple of things left on the chart. We were going to try and run the hook-and-ladder there, and then you have things like your home runs and your home run outs. You have to get some chunks, and you have to get it out of personality. They’re not going to make it easy for you to get behind them in that situation. We had a couple of things left on the counter, and we wanted to make sure we got it called.”

(Ref.: calling his final time out with 35 seconds left when Western Kentucky had the ball)
“I wanted that time left. They would have run that time off the clock, and we wouldn’t have had a chance to run a play. If I had two, I would have used them both.”

(Ref.: the defense’s performance)
“We had our opportunities at the end. We had a heck of a time winning some one-on-one pass rushers. We had a heck of a time covering them one-on-one. Give them credit. We got some takeaways, and we handled the running game for the most part, but we struggled to rush the passer. Unless we were absolutely reckless when we knew it was going to be a pass, we had a hard time generating any pressure. We had a hard time holding up one-on-one. They’re a good team, and they made some plays.

(Ref.: being up 10-0 and the defense’s mindset)
“They found some things along the way. They were determined to run the ball. They did a good job protecting their quarterback, and they did a good job of finding the open guys. It was hard fought. It was back and forth. We weren’t calling the game defensively any different. We were leaning forward the whole time.”

(Ref.: if this was a devastating loss)
“A devastating loss is not new. Unfortunately, we’re practiced at that. The good news is the guys handled it. They handled one last week. They were spectacular in practice. They didn’t recognize how good they were. They came out to work last Tuesday and Wednesday just devastated from the game last weekend, but they were professional and diligent. They came out and went to work and prepared. There are great teams all across America that have everything going for them and nothing else going on that day that couldn’t do what our guys did on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week. Ohio State couldn’t do that. The culture on this football team is right. The leadership on this football team is right. We have to play a little bit better. We have to coach a little bit better. We have to catch a break here with some health. I’m sick for those senior leaders because they deserve to feel better today, but the scoreboard didn’t lie. At the end of the day, they made one more play so deal with it.”

(Ref.: going for it on 4th-and-1 on their own 44-yard line)
“That was a midfield thing. That’s 4th-and-1. That has to be our personality. I was kicking myself for not going for not going for it on fourth and three-quarters of a yard inside our own 20-yard line. I punted that one, and we hit a great punt so I felt a little better. Part of me says we should always go for that.”

(Ref.: the pooch kick to start the game)
“We were trying to keep the ball out of some hands and spray the thing around. We felt like there was some air in the middle of the field so we decided on Wednesday we were going to start the game with it. X marks the spot. There was going to be a pile and we were going to come up with the thing, and we did. We had somebody just lose that presence and get into the neutral zone.”

(Ref.: the missed opportunities, including the fumble at the 1-yard line and the touchdown called back)
“There were all kinds of points left on the field there in the first half. There were some plays at the end on defense that we left on the field. A game like that will always do that to you. There were opportunities all over the place. You have to make one more.”

(Ref.: playing without many key running backs)
“I think the better story is that (Tony) Giovannelli steps in, takes on that role and delivers for the football team in a critical situation. He hasn’t had to carry that kind of weight, and he delivered against a really good football team. That’s the message. Yes, the number of injuries is driving us crazy, but every time that happens its’ an opportunity for somebody else to step in. You see some really amazing things from some young guys that haven’t had the opportunity. That’s the story – what Giovannelli was able to do with the opportunity that adversity presented him.”

(Ref.: getting some of the defensive players back)
“It does help having Thomas (Holloway) out there, and it does help having Shaquille Tolbert out there for four quarters. Those guys are practiced guys. Geoff (Bacon) had a week in the saddle. He went into last week’s game with really no practice. He’d been out for six weeks and hadn’t been really able to practice. When those guys are playing and playing together, they play well. Again, they had their hands full today."

Senior OL Michael Kime
(Ref.: his emotions after the game)
“It’s pretty tough, especially how well a lot of the guys on the team played today. Tony (Giovannelli) had a great game. The defense played out of their minds. Offensively, there were a lot of plays we left out there. We were one play away.  The emotions are pretty high right now.”

(Ref.: the hook-and-ladder at the end of the game)
“We’ve practiced it a few times, but we thought the corner and the safety would come up harder and I’d be able to get around, but the safety read it when he saw me pull around.”

(Ref.: the Michie Stadium atmosphere)
“The energy was great with the Corps and all the fans. I don’t think there is any better place to play college football than Michie Stadium.”

Senior OLB Jarrett Mackey
(Ref.: the defense’s mindset with its back to the goal line)
“We knew our back was against the wall and we needed to make a play. Someone had to step up in that moment and make a big hit or create a turnover to make sure we could hold them to a field goal or turnover. In that situation, we didn’t win that battle and the scoreboard reflected it.”

(Ref.: Western Kentucky’s final two scoring drives)
“Give credit to Western Kentucky. Their coaches figured us out. Today was not our day against the quick passes, and they utilized that. It was up to us to stop them. We knew what they were doing. When stuff changes, we need to be able to adapt and play lights out in that situation.”

(Ref.: Western Kentucky’s offensive adjustments)
“Nothing that the coaches didn’t prepare us for. Throughout the game, they went from heavy running to weak-side power. We finally stopped that, and they kept changing. We have to be able to adapt as a defense and not be so stagnant in our ways. It goes back to us having to practice harder. We’re going to get the guys fired up more and be able to adapt and change no matter what is thrown at us.”

(Ref.: the Michie Stadium atmosphere)
“That was the definition of Army Football at Michie Stadium with the fans and the Corps behind you.”

Junior QB Angel Santiago
(Ref.: leaving some points on the field in the first half)

“That’s (the fumble) is one thing we pride ourselves on. That one got away from me, and it hurt. We battled back. We fought back, but we need to capitalize on those key situations. We can’t have mental mistakes such as a fumble or a false start.”

(Ref.: his fumble at the 1-yard line)
“I’m not quite sure exactly what happened. I felt a couple of people tugging at it, and I just needed to have more pressure on the ball. There is no excuse.”

(Ref.: if the team feels that it can’t catch a break)
“There are going to be ups and downs throughout the game, and we can’t necessarily focus on the calls that don’t go our way. We need to clear that play and focus on the next snap.”

Junior RB Tony Giovannell
(Ref.: his thoughts on his performace)
“Obviously, I was sad that Trenton (Turrentine) and Ray (Maples) couldn’t be with us today because of their injuries, but I was excited for the opportunity. I thought the offense all played well, and we formed pretty well as a unit, minus a couple of mistakes.”

Junior RB Terry Baggett
(Ref.: his 20-yard touchdown run)

“I saw Tony (Giovannelli) get his guy. I jumped over him and nobody was there. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I just had to make a play.”

(Ref.: how badly he wanted to give the seniors a win)
“The most joy I get out of football is seeing my teammates smile after a win. Every single loss hurts that much, and then when it’s these guys’ last game at Michie Stadium. They’ve been here for four years working as hard as they possibly can. They go out on that field and give it everything they have, and in the last second, it’s not ours. It hurts so much because I love these guys. I come to work every day with these guys and see them give everything they have – blood, sweat and tears to do everything we can to win. We had it. Everything was set up, and in the last second things didn’t go our way. It hurts a lot.”

Western Kentucky Head Coach Bobby Petrino
(Ref.: opening statement)
"It was a great team win for us. On offense, we didn't play well in the first half, but our defense kept us in it. We played extremely hard and moved the ball well at times on offense. We also hurt ourselves with penalties and an interception in the end zone. In the second half, the offense got it going, and the defense came up with some critical stops. But that's why you play together as a team, and that's why you play four quarters."

(Ref.: on the final drive)
"It was really good execution. Brandon (Doughty) did a nice job, and our offensive line gave him a lot of time. The line knew when they were blitzing and picked up the blitzes. We knew when they were in zone coverage."

(Ref.: on difference between first half and second half)
"We just kept hurting ourselves. We didn't execute and didn't make the plays. We talked at halftime about giving the ball to our running backs and letting the offensive line take over. I thought our running backs did a great job of running power and making plays in the second half. Once we started running the ball with power, it opened up our passing game."

(Ref.: on plan going into bye week)
"We'll give them a couple days off, and then we'll practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a little bit on Thursday. Then we'll start on Sunday night with our game plans for the next one. It will be a good time to have a break. Our coaches will get out and recruit on a road a little bit next Thursday and Friday."

(Ref.: on come-from-behind win)
"It helps. We've had our opportunities. It was fun to watch our players make the plays. It was very good team win, the kind of team win that I think helps you the rest of the year."

Senior RB Antonio Andrews
(Ref:. on the outcome of today's game)
"They really wanted it, but we finished in the red zone and we got it done."

(Ref:. on the play call)
"They pretty much stuck me in the middle, and I just had to bounce it out a little without going out too wide."

(Ref.: on finishing close games and overcoming adversity)
"It felt good. You know we came in at halftime and coach Petrino made it clear that we were going to come out and run the ball like we have all year. We came out and that's what we did."

(Ref.: on head coach Bobby Petrino's reaction at halftime)
"He was upset because we were beating ourselves. Our offense was going to quick three and outs and we weren't capitalizing on anything."

(Ref.: the feeling of the last drive)
"The offensive line was overcoming all kinds of blitzes and focusing on their blocking assignments. Our receivers were making big time catches, and we got down the field. I mean we got down the field quick and took some opportunities which all happened really fast so that was exciting for us."

Sophomore LB Daqual Randall
(Ref.: on stopping the option)
"It was a great team effort. Coach was preaching to us all week on staying flat to the ball."

(Ref.: bringing it all together)
"We just came out at halftime and said we were all going to stick together and have each other's backs. That's what we did we came out and grinded it out and we got it done."

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