Postgame Quotes - Army vs. Temple (Oct. 2, 2010)


Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: opening statement)

"That's tough to take. We are going to look at that, and there are so many things we do well, but we don't play well in critical situations. We allow some huge plays. We don't match up very well in space, and I thought we got exposed in space, defensively. Offensively, we went out and went three and out in some critical situations. By-and-large, I thought we battled against a very gifted and talented football team. We battled, but in a day like that you need to take every opportunity. You couldn't squander an opportunity, and we did. The truth is we did. I'm proud of the way we battled. We continued to compete. We believed we were going to find a way somehow, some way. It was every phase. We did some great things in the kicking game, but then we get in space a couple of times and allow some field position to turn. I talked about going into this game that field position would be a huge part of it. We did some great things from a field position standpoint with the kicking game. If you're going to beat a team like Temple, you have to be hitting on all cylinders. You can't pass up an opportunity. Some of those things we see on tape are going to be things we are going to need to deal with because other people are going to look at that, and we're going to get a load of it."

(Ref.: Army's penalties at inopportune times)
"There were critical situations that we had some penalties. It's tragic because some of those just really don't need to happen. We need to have better presence. We need to work a little bit harder. We need to be a little bit better fundamentally. One of the things we really pride ourselves on is the ability to focus and be present, and clearly we weren't in a couple of instances."

(Ref.: staying consistent)
"They ran a split zone play (and had success). We see that every week from good people. We see it every day in practice, but you'd of thought we'd never seen it. Then, there are other times they run it and can't get back to the line of scrimmage. It's the same guys, the same defense, the same offense. It's a matter of consistency and precision and making plays when you have the opportunity. That's what will bother us the most and encourage our future opponents is the number of opportunities we had to make plays and didn't."

(Ref.: the turning point of the game)
"There is a play that we call momentum. Kickoff and kickoff return are momentum plays because somebody has got the momentum. The team that is kicking off has momentum, and/or the half is just starting. I would say after we had that beautiful drive coming out of the locker room at halftime and a holding call brings back a touchdown and gives them the ball at midfield. A kickoff return to midfield flips the momentum of a football team. I don't care what happened on the previous 13 snaps. The momentum shifted. That's a consistent challenge for us. That was a beautiful kick, but we need to make some plays in space."

(Ref.: improving their playmaking ability in space)
"You have to minimize it. That's where there are things we try to do. That's why we're kicking the ball so close to the sideline. That is in an effort to minimize that. There are things we can do. We need to play better. We need to be better fundamentally. We need to maximize our athletic ability. We need to look at our personnel. You're always looking to minimize the space people have to defend. We're going to face people every week that if you get in an open field tackling drill, they're going to win their share. We need to make sure we manage the space and then win our share. I don't think we won our share today."

(Ref.: the loss lowering expectations for the team's season)
"I don't think we had a long way to go. We needed a couple more plays. That's a bowl team we're playing out there. That's a team that went to bowl game last year and is playing great football this year. They have some really accomplished football players that have been playing for a long time. We had them on their heels and we had an opportunity. We have to find a couple of plays. That's going to be the case every week. That was not one of our best days. We know what great days feel like, and we're going to have some great days ahead, but it's not going to be magic. It's going to be a lot of hard work and some tough decisions and a lot of really focused practice time."

(Ref.: the offense's struggle after its third-quarter touchdown)
"There were some real battles going on out there physically, and we won our share. They're a team that is hard to move the ball against, and we did. Give them some credit. We had them dead to rights on a little bootleg, and the guy knocks the ball down. Max (Jenkins) goes in in a critical situation and we have (Jared) Hassin running wide open and we can't quite get the ball too him because he was cold coming off the sideline. There were those critical moments in the game, but it wasn't like we weren't in a position to make plays or have people who weren't ready to step up. Give them some credit. They made some plays when they needed to."

(Ref.: whether or not Temple's offensive line wore out the Army defense)
"I don't think that's what the film is going to say. Where they got us were some creative play-action and getting the ball over the top, and they got the ball on the perimeter in space. Those are the plays that will tell. There were a couple of seams inside that make you crazy because there should be a big pile there. Sometimes the pile was too far down field. Those gashes came on the perimeter."

(Ref.: Trent Steelman's performace)
"In an option offense, the quarterback is in the eye of the storm. Some of those situations are checked. In a situation like that where it's close, and you give him a chance to check, he'll generally call his own number. Not universally, but he did a lot today."

(Ref.: Temple's Matt Brown)
"Frankly, that was a little disappointing. We didn't handle him well. They created some space for him. They did a nice job of getting him started. They had enough space and, in that open field tackling drill, he won way too many reps."

Army senior LB Stephen Anderson
(Ref.: the play of the Army defense)

"We pride ourselves on being a team that plays 60 minutes. We had a great first half, and one of our problems last year was coming out in the second half and keeping the intensity and keeping that swarm-style of play. We hit some bumps in the road and our eyes started wandering a little bit. We kind of got on our heels when they started making a few gashes on us. We can't play like that. At the same time, we're not going to quit. It will definitely hurt to watch this film tomorrow, knowing how many plays that were out there that we could have made and how many big plays we left on the field on both sides of the ball. We just have to keep after it. Come Tuesday, we have to keep after it and stay up and stay together. We still have a long season ahead of us."

(Ref.: Army's penalties and other plays that could have influenced the outcome of the game)
"I could sit here and tell you that I don't agree with some of those (penalty) calls, but that's on us. We have to be smarter than that. I had a late hit on the quarterback, and I just need to let up there. We pride ourselves on mental toughness and winning the mental game. That's just one of those things that when we have those third downs and we're in that position, or when they have a fourth down and they have to punt, it's about making a play. We play on the edge, but we can't go over it. There were a few plays out there today that tried to bring us down, and that's just when we have to clear, get to the next play and just play one snap at a time."

(Ref.: whether today's loss sets Army back)
"No. Would we have liked to have won that game? Yes. Would it have shown that this program really is over the hump? Yes. But, at the end of the day, this team knows and believes that we are the team that is going to bring winning football back to Army. A loss is a loss, but it's how you respond. This team will never accept defeat and we're not just going to roll over and let teams run over us. We take this very personally, both defensively and offensively, when we know we have the game won. When we have a lead, the defense takes it personally when we give up the lead. When the offense knows they have to score and they don't, they take it personal. That's what we have on this team. Everything is personal because we want to make sure it happens for each other. We believe and we're going to go back to work and we're bringing winning back."

Army senior DL Mike Gann
(Ref.: the play of the Army defense)

"Obviously, I have to give a little credit to (Temple). I'm going to have to take a look at the film to see what kind of adjustments they made. It seems to me that they were lining up against us and if we do our responsibilities and have our hands, feet and eyes in the right spot, it shouldn't matter what they're running. Whether it is play action, whether it's zone, split zone, it doesn't matter. We have to take a look at that film and make sure we're precise in practice and continue to preach that."

(Ref.: playing against Temple's offensive line, and whether the size advantage was a factor)
"I give credit to those guys. They're not just big. They came out here and they played hard. We play hard too. We play against big guys all year. It's just about playing your technique, staying low and using your hands, just the same thing you teach defensive linemen across the country. I don't think size was a major factor today, I really don't."

Army sophomore QB Trent Steelman
(Ref.: the play of the Army rushing offense after their third-quarter touchdown)

"We will go back and look at the tape, but it's there. It's either just one block or one missed assignment, and we're springing for another 10 yards a pop. We have to be able to finish. We haven't been a really good four-quarter team this year. That's not who we are. That's not what we represent. We have to finish all the time and when it came down to it today, we just didn't. We'll go back and we'll recover. We'll forget it and clear and move onto the next objective."

(Ref.: wearing down the Temple defense)
"Temple's a good defense. They have a lot of big, strong athletes. They came to play today. That's what our offense is going to do. We're going to continue to wear teams down. That's where we take the advantage from the mismatch in size. We wear teams down. Not every offensive drive is going to work. You're not going to put it in the end zone every time. We go out there with the mentality that we are going to put the ball in the end zone and we go to work."

Army senior DB Richard King
(Ref.: the play of Army's pass defense)

"As far as the pass coverage goes, we definitely didn't execute our techniques in the second half. As far as what we're coached to do in the single and double coverage, we can do it. Clearly, we've shown it in past games. Today, at least in the second half, we did not perform to the best of our abilities."


Temple Head Coach Al Golden
(Ref.: coming from behind to win)

"That's the biggest win since I've been here, make no mistake. In that kind of environment, to stay together, to be down 15 and then reel off 29 straight, that's a big win and credit to our coaches. Matt Rhule on offense called a great second half and then Mark D'Onofrio did a tremendous job setting the defense down. That's the biggest win I've had here.

"It almost looked like Connecticut again. All of a sudden we get fired up and take the next kickoff back to midfield. It could have been deflating because we had a touchdown called back but then we just got going. Obviously Chester Stewart came up big late in the third quarter, then Mike Campbell did a great job, and I can't say enough about Matt Brown's effort today."

(Ref.:  how Chester Stewart settled himself)
"You've got to give them credit. You have to look at how they do that to a lot of different quarterbacks and how it's very unsettling for a lot of different quarterbacks. I think they've averaged 85 yards a game rushing coming into this, so the fact that we could run the ball and set up some play-action, that loosened it up for them. The offensive line did a great job and Matt Brown really ran extremely well."

(Ref.: running back Matt Brown)
"It's nice to have those kinds of running backs. Matt's proven himself in big games and big environments. He may be our fiercest competitor, and he made a lot of guys miss. We gave him good surfaces to run behind. He made a guy miss, and I thought Matt Rhule and the offensive staff called a tremendous game in really tough circumstances. I can't say enough about the offensive line and the tight ends blocking."

Strong Safety Kevin Kroboth
(Ref.: Army's offensive style)

"It's a lot different than what we prepare for the whole season, their offensive style. Our defensive coaches - I honestly don't even know if they slept this week. They did an unbelievable job getting us ready and all we had to basically do is go out and play because we were so prepared.

"It's hard because they're faking it to two, three guys and then really giving it to the last man. We always try and have at least one guy for every person that can have the ball, so if you just key your man and if he gets it you'll take him. If not then the next man gets him. It's a whole team defense. You're just doing your 1/11th." 

Quarterback Chester Stewart
(Ref.: what changed in the second half)

"I didn't do anything different. I think it was more the receivers being more confident in the second half and they made plays for me. All I had to do was deliver the ball. It gives me a lot of confidence knowing I can just throw the ball and let my receivers make plays. I got hit and I saw the opponent beat so I just threw it to the spot and Mike (Campbell) made it to the spot and caught the ball. That's all I could ask for. He bailed me out, and he bailed me out on the touchdown, too."


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