Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: reviewing today's game versus North Texas)
"It's hard to win a football game, and it's especially hard to shut a football team out. That was a great day for our defense because our defense hasn't felt great coming off the field the last couple of games. They have such high standards and expectations for themselves. We respect North Texas and the fact that they were banged up. Keeping those guys out of the end zone and getting those takeaways when we needed them was really big in terms of the outcome."
(Ref.: whether today's game put Army back on track)
"I don't know that we were off track. Obviously, for our defense, that's a moment. This football team has more than one way to win a football game. Last year, we managed to keep ourselves in every game by playing well on defense and not turning it over much. This year, we've proven that we can score some points and get up and down the field. We were a little bit banged up on offense, and we needed a big effort from our defense, and our defense proved it could step up and make some plays as well. We understand that North Texas is playing left-handed. They're banged up and got a little bit more banged up (today). But again, I don't care who you're playing, keeping them out of the end zone for 60 minutes is hard to do."
(Ref.: the play of the Army offense)
"We were struggling driving the football (in the first half). Their coaching staff understands our offense especially well, and they were trying to make us do some things left-handed. Then we lost some of our firepower. We didn't have a lot of magic out there. I think at halftime, coach (Ian) Shields and the guys put together a short list of things that would create opportunities for our guys and we were able to string some plays together and get some first downs and we drove the ball more like we're accustomed to. I think what we're going to need to do here is routinely find those 20 and 30-yard plays. When you're playing on a long field like that, you need to find a way to create a shorter field. We need to find some of those chunks. That was the part of the puzzle that was missing in the first half. In the second half, I think we made those adjustments and found those plays. "
(Ref.: the play of Army senior DE Joshua McNary)
"He plays a position between the quarterback and the green grass. He played well. He played hard. We're learning how to complement him with some stunts and he's getting much, much more proficient at running his stuff and taking advantages of the opportunities that present themselves from that position. It's a key position in our defense and he's absolutely the right guy to play it."
(Ref.: what kinds of adjustments had to be made during the game)
"There were significant adjustments that had to be made. Part of the thing that unfolded was that we were on eggshells with a couple of positions. Jared Hassin hadn't practiced all week. Raymond Maples hadn't practiced all week, and it was determined at game time that he was not quite ready to go. So we were down a couple of guys and we had to play a little bit left-handed. We had to see how Jared could handle it, and of course we lost Patrick (Mealy) in the first half. That dominated our thinking a little bit. We were trying to find ways to get the ball into some veterans' hands. Then we just relaxed and trusted Jonathan Crucitti. He's an effective guy. He's a plebe, and that says all kinds of stuff about him. To be able to go in and handle a situation like that and execute as well as he did speaks volumes about his character because that's hard to do."
(Ref.: the play of Army senior DB Jordan Trimble)
"They were trying to match up personnel using a little bit of a substitution package. He's a good guy to match up with, but he's also a guy who can handle some different positions. He's not just a single-position guy. He can play a couple of things for us. He's one of those present individuals. He knows where he is. He knows the situation. He's got the kind of hands where if he gets around it, he'll catch it."
(Ref.: the performance of the Army rushing offense)
"They were going to make it rough for us inside, and they did, both in terms of their physical presence in there, and the way they played their defense. We still have to try to move the ball in there. We have to run inside the hashes occasionally, but Crucitti fell into that role of having to block the perimeter for those guys as the ball had to go outside. He was the one who was throwing an awful lot of those blocks on the perimeter. I thought our receivers probably had their best day blocking, especially being physical and coming back inside on safeties. The offensive line has to be battling inside to create those opportunities. My sense of it is that we're going to really like what we saw our receivers do and we're going to like what the backs did blocking for each other."
(Ref.: the play of Army senior P Jonathan Bulls)
"We like where Jonathan (Bulls) is right now. We're trying to punt the ball like everybody else punts the ball and I hate that. We'll be facing some people that we don't want to punt to their guy. We need to let him start to expand his repertoire again. He's solid back there. He's a senior and he's playing like a senior. He's being really effective."
(Ref.: whether or not the win is sweeter following last week's loss to Hawai'i )
"Our goal is to be 1-0 this week. The Hawai'i game is ancient history. It did not follow us into the week of practice. It's hard to win. It's great to win. I'm proud of the effort and the adversity the guys overcame."
(Ref.: how Army sophomore QB Trent Steelman got through the game)
"He got through it good. You know how Trent is. I said 'How you feeling?' and he said, 'Fine.' Trent would have a bone sticking out and he'd say, 'It's only one bone, I have lots of them.' He's a little bit that way, but no, he's fine. He got the wind knocked out of him a little bit at the end, but he's about as physically tough a guy that you'll ever meet."
(Ref.: the status of senior SB Patrick Mealy, who left the game in the first half with an injury)
"We'll see. It's nothing serious. That's the good news. He plays one of those positions where your legs have to be right. We'll just see how fast he can turn it around."
(Ref.: Lance Dunbar's 48-yard run that was