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Louisville-Rutgers Postgame Quotes

 



Oct. 22, 2011

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Head Coach Charlie Strong

(Opening statement)
“What we talked about all last week was just finishing the game. We were in the same position last week against Cincinnati. We were up 16-14, and we were able to go out this week and finish it. We talked to the team at halftime and to our offense at halftime. But it was just a confidence thing, to get our guys to believe in themselves. When you play with a lot of confidence, and you play with that belief, then good things are going to happen for you. When you look at us early, we started off well, we had two turnovers on defense, two interceptions by (Calvin) Pryor and (Adrian) Bushell. We were able to take the ball and intercept it and score. Right before halftime, we get on a fourth-and-1, just defensively, we didn’t get lined up. If we got lined up, probably could’ve held off to a field goal. We actually got a quarterback in the same situation last week, a large scramble. Quarterback gets out of pocket, scrambles there, and gets the ball on the one-yard line, and then we score right before half. But this football team still has a lot of growing up to do. It wasn’t a pretty game, but our guys did it. They played, and they wanted to win this football game. It was so good to finally see this football team put it together. “

“We did a really good job of blocking the ball, and then we were able to run the football. We didn’t give up any sacks. They come with so much pressure, but we did a good job of picking it up.”

“We did a good job of running into the pressure. A lot of times, when people blitz you, if you can get a hand on everyone and run at the pressure, that’s what we were able to do. But tonight, we ran right into the blitz. It’s just the way it was designed. You just see the field pressure coming at you. Teddy did a good job also spinning and redirecting it to the other side. A lot of runs by Jeremy Wright were spins. He ended up taking the ball away from them.”

(On Anthony Conner)
“With Anthony Conner, it is so sad. Our prayers go out to him and his family, but he ended up breaking his neck. He isn’t paralyzed. We’re going to miss him. Just on the field, he was talking, and squeezing his hand, that was it. We just found out. It’s just so tough any time a player gets injured. It’s what happens in this game. With our players, I told them right after the game, not to put a damper on the game. They actually didn’t know. The team didn’t know until a few minutes ago in the locker room. They didn’t know how severe it was at the time. They just kept playing.”

(On Teddy Bridgewater’s interception)
“I think what happened was they brought pressure. He was really trying to throw it away, and the ball got away from him. He was trying to get it out of bounds, so they were in field goal range.”

(On the delay of game)
“What happened with that call was, we gave Teddy a time out. But I think what Teddy was doing was he gave Dominique (Brown) the calls, then all of a sudden the referee gave us a delay of game, and I asked him if we could just take the time out.”

(The offensive line play)
“They blocked people finally. We protected the quarterback. It was the same guys, (Ryan) Kessling, (Jake) Smith, (Mario) Benavides, (John) Miller.

#2 Michaelee Harris, r-Fr., WR

(On how big of a win this was)
“This was a big win to send a message out to the Big East, not only that, but we needed to play hard to earn our respect back in this conference. We wanted to show people that how we have been playing is not us.”

(On your touchdown catch)
“It was in the game plan, they played the coverage we wanted so we checked to the play He threw the ball up and somehow I came down with it.”

(On the message you are sending to the BIG EAST)
“The message is that just because we were 2-4 that doesn’t mean to count us out. We’re going to come and play hard every week and show up.”

(On how much the running game affected the ability to open up the passing game)
“The running game played a huge part, because on certain downs we needed to throw to get a first down but they were expecting run. They were respecting our run which helped complete passes.”

#29 Hakeem Smith, So., S

(On the defense keying in on a freshman quarterback)
“It was part of the game plan, their defense coming in has created a bunch of turnovers so it got in our mindset that we have to create turnovers and outplay their defense.”

(On how big it was to be able to hold on to the 16-7 lead and finish the game)
“We just kept talking like it’s the same as last week; we need it today not tomorrow we have to hold it today.”

(On the feeling when Anthony Conner went down)
“It’s a sad feeling; he is going to pull through. He’s good, we are all going to come together and keep playing for him.”

(On the receiver that got behind you in the fourth quarter and the dropped pass)
“That was my fault, I lost track of No. 1 and he got behind me while I was keying in on the quarterback too much.”

#46 Dexter Heyman, Sr., LB

(On the Rutgers offensive line doing a great job)
“I am not really sure, that’s not something I can really tell you right now. I have to wait and go back and watch the film. More often than not it is really good protection or it’s an error in the assignment, somebody not getting lined up correctly.”

(On your interception)
“I didn’t really see much. They run that route a lot; I knew they were going to run it. I called out to the man next to me that I was going to jump it and to cover for me. It worked for our defense and team.”

#5 Teddy Bridgewater, Fr., QB

(On what he thought of the game)
“It’s a great win for the program and it’s a great step forward. I’m just so excited right now. This week we prepared well and it paid off.”

(On whether he feels more comfortable four games into the season)
“Each week the coach prepares us well for every opponent that we face and this opponent was no different. We prepared the same. We watch film and we came on to the field and executed everything we were taught. It’s all a learning process.”

(On how proud he is of Dexter Heyman’s last catch)
“I’m very proud. All game Dexter was just saying go out and get me one. It turned out that he gave us one. It worked out in his favor.”

(On his interception)
“That was an option route that Eli Rogers was running. If the corner was sitting he would run by him and if the corner was on top he would stop. I guess it was just bad communication between the two of us but if something like that happens you just have to throw the football away. That’s something I have to learn.”

(On how far he feels he has come since the Murray State game)
“Coach Watson prepares us with top class. He teaches us that the number one thing is just to manage the game and that’s what we work on every week.”

(On the difference in the running game)
“We kept it simple with our basic running plan. Our goal coming into this game was just to beat Rutgers pressures. If we had a run play going one way and they sent pressure that way then we would just flip the play.”

(On less pre-snap penalties)
“Coach Strong always talks about playing with a fast tempo and tonight I just feel we played with that up-tempo. Starting with the offensive line those guys did an awesome job opening holes and protecting all night. I just take my hat off to those guys.”

(On how he is adjusting to life in Louisville)
“I’m adjusting well. We have guys from all over the country and all of us have the same personality, so we all just fit in and bond as one brotherhood, on family.”

#21 Adrian Bushell, Jr., CB

(On what the win means to him)
“It’s a big win and we needed every little bit of it. Today we finally finished the game. We have been up a couple of games and just lost it at the end but we finally brought it all together as a team.”

(On the injury of Anthony Conner)
“It’s a big loss but somebody else has to step up and make some plays. I’m planning on going there (the hospital) right now.”

(On his interception)
“I saw a tipped ball and was just like I have to get my hands under it.”

(On the turnovers the forced)
“We were real big on getting turnovers. That’s how you win the game. You have to get more turnovers than the other team. We have been stressing that the whole year but finally we got some turnovers today. We got the win so we have to keep that going.”

(On Dexter Heyman’s leadership and his interception)
“That was big for him. He has been one of our inspirational leaders, so for him to make a play at the end of the game that was big for us.”

(On whether the win gave them momentum)
“We have a lot of big games coming up. Five more games and all of them are conference games. This can be the difference between us going to a bowl game and sitting home.”

(On if this was a must-win game)
“I feel like all of them are a must-win. This one really was a must-win. You could feel it.”


Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening Statement)
“This was a real tough loss. We had our opportunities. This was a game of missed opportunities. Louisville played well. We had our chances, but we weren’t able to cash in on them. We played very inconsistent defense tonight. We missed a lot of tackles. Credit goes to Louisville. They were the ones running the ball. They make you miss tackles.”

(On the defensive effort)
“It wasn’t good. It was uncharacteristic of us. We had opportunities to make plays, but we just missed tackles. There wasn’t just one guy, there were two or three guys in the backfield. We have to get that fixed. Obviously, we’re not doing a good enough job coaching that. We’ve got to watch the video and see why. It’s very frustrating.”

(On QB Gary Nova’s fourth-quarter interception)
“We’ll keep him together. He’ll come back and make that play. He’s made it before and he’ll make it again. We had a lot of plays before, and after that, that could’ve won that football game. That was just one of many. We’re always evaluating as the game goes. Early on, I think Gary was a little juiced up and was sailing the ball a little bit. He got that under control, and I thought he played well.”

(On playing Gary Nova over Chas Dodd)
“That’s just the decision we made. It’s the decision we make at every position. If we felt that Chas gave us a better chance, we would have played him. In retrospect, we didn’t win the game, but if Mark Harrison catches that ball you wouldn’t be asking me that question. That’s it. When we won three close games people felt good about that decision, but that’s sports. He didn’t catch the ball so now these questions are validated. I think that when you’re a coach, you make decisions. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.

(On kicker San San Te)
“We missed opportunities. They were two big missed opportunities. At the end of the day they were very important points. A lot of things happened tonight that we were supposed to do and we just made mistakes in a lot of areas. Good tacklers missed tackles. Kickers missed kicks. Quarterbacks missed throws. Receivers missed catches and coaches made bad calls. There were a lot of things we didn’t do very well. When you play a team that has the athletes Louisville does and you make mistakes you’re going to get beat.”

(On which calls were bad calls by coaches)
“I’m not even going to get into that. I’m one of the guys making the calls. There are always calls you wish you had made. Games take on a life of their own. Sometimes you’re chasing it; sometimes you’re in it, and sometimes their chasing you. We went through stages tonight when we were chasing the game. “

#38 Joe Martinek, Sr., FB

(On big screen play)
“Louisville’s defense played a great game, and we just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we had.”

(On not taking advantage of turnovers)
“All the other games it could have been one play and it could have been a different result. Today, we had the opportunity and we just didn’t execute when we needed to. We are going to get back on this Sunday and do what we have to do to correct this and make the most of this opportunity.”

(On what West Virginia’s loss means)
“We have to take care of what we can control. We have to do our job week in and week out. We are going to look at the film and make all of the corrections, and starting Sunday, get on to next week.”

#15 Gary Nova, Fr., QB

(On last interception)
“I didn’t see the guy, and it’s not going to happen again.”

(On what West Virginia’s loss means)
“I didn’t even know they lost, but a loss is a loss. It hurts but we are going to get back at it this week, we’ve got a lot more football left.”

(On whether nerves played a role)
“No, not nerves, it was just that the ball got away from me.”

(On last TD drop)
“Just move on to the next play. You can’t hold your head down. I was talking to Mark the whole time; I didn’t lose trust in him. If I had to throw it to him again I would throw it right to him. We just have to make more plays as a team.”

(Is this the worst you’ve ever felt after a game?)
“Definitely, I haven’t lost in a while. I don’t like this feeling and I don’t plan on feeling like this again.”

(When was your last loss?)
“In the eighth grade.”

(On lack of big plays)
“I don’t know what it was tonight we just weren’t clicking.”


 

 

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