Army Postgame Quotes

Sept. 14, 2013

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Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: opening statement )
“We played hard enough. We didn’t play well enough against an opponent that doesn’t give you much margin for error. We competed. We continued to fight. We continued to play hard. Emotionally, guys were in a good place. When I say that I mean, they were as emotional as I’ve ever seen them, but they used the emotion and didn’t fall off the edge. That doesn’t excuse some of the mistakes we made, but we’ll look at this film and see a way forward. If this team will stay together, and they will because they’re the best in the world at hanging on to one another, then there will be a very crystal clear way forward for this team.”

(Ref.: if the team gave its best effort today)
“We played hard. I don’t think it’s their best football. I think there is some low-hanging fruit out there that can make us a better football team. There are some things fundamentally and technically that we can really grow at. In terms of our effort and our combativeness, the internal culture of our team is intact. I knew this was going to be an emotional game for them. They were excited to play, and they held onto that emotion throughout the contest. The emotion was not our enemy. The emotion never got in our way. We used it to effect. They love to play. They care about one another. If we keep those things going for us, there is a way forward.”

(Ref.: the decision to go for it on 4th-and-1 from the 29-yard line in the fourth quarter)
“We made the decision to go for it on third down. We were going to take a shot, and if we didn’t get it we were going to go for it on fourth down. That’s our identity, 4th-and-short, we’re going to go for it and we’re going to go for it a lot. At that point, you’re not trying to keep the score close, you’re trying to win the game. If I second guessed myself, it would be whether we take the shot downfield on third down instead of using two downs to get the first down. That’s the do over. We made that decision we were going to take the shot.”

(Ref.: using two quarterbacks)
“We’ll see, frankly. We’ll slow it down and look at the tape. Those guys are both doing fine. To evaluate them fairly, you need to let them play in a stressful environment like that when the game is in doubt. We’ll see. We’ll find out a lot more about them both when we slow it down. Clearly, they can both play. It’s not going to be easy for Coach Shields and myself to make that call, and that’s to our quarterbacks’ credit. I don’t necessarily see us continuing to play a lot of two quarterbacks, but we need to find out who that guy is.”

(Ref.: taking a moral victory)
“We didn’t come to be close. We didn’t come to get a moral victory. We came to try and win the game. We are as disappointed as can be. The take away is that if we’ll stay together and fight like that, and grow as much as we did, and prepare as well as we did, there is a way forward for this football team. There are some wins out there for us. Clearly, there is work to do. That will be crystal clear when we slow this one down tomorrow. It will break our heart a little bit because there will be some low-hanging fruit. Having said that, the character of our football team and the toughness of our football team is exactly where it should be.”

(Ref.: updating the injuries to the backfield)
“Frankly, I don’t have an update. That was a little bit of a concern. We got a lot of guys nicked. It was a physical football game.”

(Ref.: offensive line play)
“I think it’ll be a mixed bag. They had an uphill battle in there at times. Between our splits and our angles, we try to give those guys some advantages and let them use their athleticism. We were successful sometimes, and not some others. It’ll be a mixed bag. We were playing against some gifted folks.”

(Ref.: the defensive line’s play)
“There were some adjustments and some really subtle things going on in there as we tried to keep our numbers straight. Against a power offense like that, you’re always trying to keep your leverage and keep your numbers straight. They were trying to make it hard us. There was some punching and counterpunching going on inside. I thought our guys battled. I think we can do some things better. We were out of position a couple of times which hurt us. We have to eliminate that. In terms of our competiveness and combativeness in there, I’ll take it.”

(Ref.: why Army is using two quarterbacks)
“They are so close in the practice environment that I feel like, until somebody establishes themselves as the clear starter, we’re going to take advantage of the fact that we have two guys who can make plays. They both can make plays with their legs. They can both throw it. There are some ups downs with both of them. We’ll slow it down and see what it looks like tomorrow in the final analysis. There is some great things on there, but there are some things that have to get right.”

(Ref.: not having Raymond Maples and Larry Dixon in the fourth quarter)
“It doesn’t affect us in terms of play calling or anything like that. We had a lot of guys touch the balls. We had a lot of guys productive with the ball.”

Junior Free Safety Geoffery Bacon
(Ref.: the defense's performance )
"They scored 34 points on our defense. They had 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing. That's not good. We didn't want them to score more than 21 points, and they did that. Yeah, we did some things better than last week, but they put up 34. That's a loss."

(Ref.: playing Stanford's offense)
"It took discipline. They really didn't do anything crazy. They are very simple. They do what they do very well. We have to be disciplined and make plays in the open field, which is something we didn't do at Ball State. We just need to continue to get better against the deep balls and play action."

Junior Quarterback Angel Santiago
(Ref.: having the attitude of no moral victories)
"We come into every game believing we have a chance to win. We were moving the ball and driving on them, but every now and then we would have a mental mistake, and that can't happen. If we can get rid of those then the score is definitely different."

(Ref.: playing in a two quarterback system)
"A.J. and I both run the offense very well, in my opinion. He did some great things out there. I felt like it was giving the defense a different look."

(Ref.: what the Stanford defense was giving on the option)
"The whole game the linebacker was taking away the inside so the quarterbacks couldn't cut it up. We just pitched it out to Terry (Baggett) and the rest of the backs, and they did the rest on the outside."

Junior Defensive Lineman Robert Kough
(Ref.: playing the Stanford offensive line)
"We're taking no moral victories. We wanted to win that game. We knew they were a power team. They were going to line up and just run the ball at us. We did some things very well up front, but they did put up 34 points on us. We have to take the good things and put them toward next week and the rest of the season."

(Ref.: on whether they earned Stanford's respect)
"I think they respect us a lot more than they did when they were preparing for us during the week. That's something we'll take and put toward next week."

(Ref.: the defensive line's strategy)
"We knew they were going to run power so in practice our whole thing was just to play physical and get to the ball. Mike (Ugenyi) and Glove (Richard Glover) did a great job of that. They did put up 34 points, but I think up front, we established ourselves a little bit more this game."

Junior Running Back Terry Baggett
(Ref.: on the team taking a step forward today)
"Offensively, we definitely made a lot less mistakes, but we didn't play the game we wanted to play. Our goal coming into the game was to win. There were about three plays offensively that changed this game. We have to make those plays every time. It's a step in the right direction, but it's not the final step for us. We have to keep going so we can win games."

(Ref.: his performance)
"It was a result of the great blocking. The other backs were out there getting good cuts. Our line was getting down field and getting people down. It was pretty easy to run the ball when there is no one there."


Stanford Head Coach David Shaw
(Ref.: opening statement)

“The bottom line, which I learned a long time ago, is when you’re playing a triple option team, it takes a half to get used to the speed, to get used to the tempo, the misdirection that they have. Our guys eventually got used to it. We started to slow them down. It’s a hard team to stop. You never talk about stopping a triple option team, you talk about slowing them down and trying to get them to third downs and put them in passing downs. From that respect, our defense, after halftime, felt really good about what they were doing and finally started to slow them down. They got them to some third downs and fourth downs. Offensively, we moved the ball well. We have to take the error out of our game. We had a touchdown to (Devon) Cajuste, and he has to finish the catch. Kevin Hogan took another shot down the field; he’s got to see the corner backing up and we threw an interception when we shouldn’t have thrown it. Offensively, it’s got to be the execution. I thought the backs ran extremely hard. The offensive line played decently up front. We got off to a slow start. We turned the ball over on the first possession, but steadily started to fight back. What I loved about the team today is when people are telling you that you’re supposed to win a game by a lot and you come in at halftime and it’s close. If you listen to the outside people, you get a little anxious. At halftime, we were not anxious. We knew we hadn’t played our best. We knew we had to play our best, and our guys came out in the second half and played great.”

(Ref.: on Stanford’s play in the second half and specific halftime adjustments)
“It was better. Honestly with this team, it’s trusting your eyes defensively. When they motion a guy to the field and they run the triple option, they create another gap because they brought another guy to the party. When they pull the linemen, they create another gap, so you’ve got to make sure that your pursuit is there. If our guys are slow getting there, they create more gaps. That’s why they had that big play up the sideline, because they pulled the linemen and cut our safety, so we’ve got to make sure our guys get where they’re supposed to be on the back side. They showed us the same thing again when they ran the quarterback draw away from us. So it’s being able to trust your eyes. Everybody has to be where they’re supposed to be, and in the second half we did a much better job of that.”

(Ref.: was the defense frustrated in the first half)
“It’s not about frustration; it’s about figuring them out. I got a couple chuckles earlier in the week, but it’s like Oregon, it’s like Chip Kelly’s offense. They’re going to prod and probe, and whatever you’re doing they’re going to try to use that against you. If you overrun it, they’re going to go back side. If you don’t bring enough guys to the party, they’re going to pull the tackle and get to the edge. If you’ve got guys running both ways, they’re going to hand it to the fullback. If you’ve got one guy for the fullback and everybody else is running, they’re going to fake the ball to the fullback and the quarterback takes the ball. There’s a reason why for 40 to 50 years, everybody ran the triple option, it’s hard to defend. It took our guys a half to get used to it, to understand what they were doing and make sure our responsibilities were taken care of.”

(Ref.: on Tyler Gaffney’s rushing ability helping the team overcome its slow start)
“I want to include both of our backs, they run so hard. Gaffney’s 220 pounds and (Anthony) Wilkerson is 215 pounds; they’re big, physical guys who drag people. To be the team that we want to be, to be a physical, between-the-tackles running team, we need guys like that. Those two guys are our horses right now. We need that for our identity. It also helps the play action pass game, which we saw a couple play action pass plays go for touchdowns.”

(Ref.: are your surprised on how good Gaffney looks after missing all of last year)
“No, not since I saw him when he came back last year when preseason was over. It was obvious he had been lifting like a football player, not a baseball player. He left about 215 pounds and he came back at 220. He’s been staying in shape, he’s been lifting. He’s extremely strong right now and can take the pounding.”

(Ref.: on Gaffney being hungry about coming back)
“I wouldn’t describe it as hungry, I would describe it as loving the game of football. He got what a lot of us don’t get, which is a year away from the game you love and getting the chance to come back and play it again. He came back with such appreciation. He loves all the little things in practice now. I haven’t heard him complain about long days or short days. He loves the game of football and loves playing.”

(Ref.: was this the most dominant you’ve seen Josh Mauro)
“Outside of practice, yes. From the beginning, I considered Josh a starter. Like I said last week, Josh Mauro is going to play in the NFL, there’s no question about it. He’s gained the weight, he’s strong and he’s kept the weight on. He made some plays that I haven’t seen guys make in a while as far as beating the center, grabbing the dive and then grabbing the quarterback. He took out two guys on the play about three or four times, and I love watching that.”

(Ref.: on difficulty defending the triple option)
“I love our coaching staff because we have such wide-ranging experiences. We have two guys on our staff who prepared for it for years and have seen it against other teams. So I trust our preparation, but when you don’t practice against it every day, it’s hard to prepare. We tried our best, we’ve got some running quarterbacks, but we can’t duplicate the speed and that’s why it takes a half to playing these guys.”

(Ref.: on being able to stretch the field)
“As far as the overall offense and what we want to do, we’re more diverse than we’ve been in years. We want to be a team that can put out eight linemen on a play and bring in three receivers on the next play. We want to be able to change personnel groupings and have the diversity to be good in everything that we do.”

(Ref.: on your team’s explosiveness so far this season)
“So far, so good. We’ve still left some points out there, but the emphasis is there because we’ve got the guys to do it.”

(Ref: your thoughts on Kevin Hogan)
“We as coaches continually remind ourselves that this is game seven (for him). He hasn’t truly even broached his sophomore year yet. There’s so much growth that’s happened, he’s so mature that you forget how young he still is. For the most part, I would say he’s operated at a B or B-plus level, but we’ve got to get him in the As. He’s a great scrambling quarterback and he’s got to protect the ball.”

Senior Running Back Tyler Gaffney
(Ref.: on playing football after baseball season)
“It’s been awesome. It is a surreal experience to be out there with the guys. The guys in my class have graduated, for the most part but its family. Stanford is something special and you can’t get that feeling anywhere else. I am blessed to be a part of it.”

(Ref.: biggest adjustment from baseball to football)
“I actually feel better this year coming off of baseball because I was actually able to participate this time around. I was in the second half of spring and I was able to have my first hits there opposed to having my first hits in training camp. I was a little ahead of schedule coming from Stanford baseball and just showing up in the summer.”

(Ref.: quick adjustments to football)
“The guys around me have made it pretty easy. We have a pretty good team. We had some falls today but you know I try to go out there and do my job and when everyone else takes care of their job it’s like riding a bike.”

Junior Wide Receiver Ty Montgomery
(Ref.: offense being more diverse)

“I feel like our offense is very balanced. With the guys outside doing their job in the run game it helps with our passing game and we run our routes and get open we look for the ball and we catch it.”

Fifth-Year Senior Defensive End Josh Mauro
(Ref.: on what it was life at halftime)

They came out there with a different approach then what we had seen but it took guys having the will to do their jobs. Most of it wasn’t different but it was one block here, one block there and try to take it upon myself to see the opportunity if the guy missed a block to get extra yards and to make the right reads.”

(Ref.: understanding the different reads)
“You can practice it all week but you don’t know until that first snap. It’s nothing new that they showed us it’s just a different type of game to prepare for and obviously execute when you’re out there. They did a really good job, they played their butts off and we had to as well. We had to make some second half adjustments to get the inside run but we got the look all week but it is so much different when they are actually coming from the team. But all the credit to them they played their butts off and we tried to match it and raise it.”

Knight Vision


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