Postgame Quotes | Army 50, Eastern Michigan 25

Oct. 12, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: opening statement)
“It was a hard fought game. There was nothing about that that was easy. We competed on both sides of the ball. We found a way, a little different way. We had some personnel issues in every phase, and we were struggling a little bit in some phases of special teams and defense. (The offense) did a good job of taking the game over. We stayed on the field and kept getting into the end zone.”

(Ref.: if the victory is a defining moment for the team)
“That’s part of it. That was the most important game of the year because it was the one we played today. We’ll look at that and be proud of a lot of the things we did, but we’ll also come out tomorrow scratching our heads because we know we can find some more answers. The guys have continued to work and are positive about one another. They fact that they are excited to play as they are speaks to our senior leadership. I challenged our seniors coming into this game. Throughout the course of a contest you correct your emotion. You make sure your emotion is right coming out of the locker room. You correct it on the sideline and you correct it at halftime. You stay on it. Those guys made that their mission. They deputized some other key guys in their position groups. They worked really hard at that, and it shows. This team is so important to them. They have so much of themselves invested in it that it inspires their teammates to be their best self.”

(Ref.: the Army running backs’ performance)
“The beautiful thing about Terry is that he can finish those runs. We’re not two, three or four yards and a cloud of dust. If we hit it, he can finish it. Larry (Dixon) is getting better at that, and Trenton (Turrentine) had one of his best games with the ball. Larry doesn’t have that kind of a game, Trenton doesn’t have that kind of a game, and Terry doesn’t have that kind of a game if those other backs aren’t blocking. The offensive line is out there battling, and they’re doing great stuff, but the amount our backs and wide receivers do without the ball is the key to that production.”

(Ref.: Angel Santiago playing the whole game despite his injury)
“We didn’t know. We knew he was good enough to start the game, but we didn’t know if he’d take 70 snaps or seven. The good news is he felt fine. I was a little concerned about one of those short runs, and I got him and said, ‘Are you okay with those short yardage runs?’ and he looked at me like I had 10 heads.”

(Ref.: Colby Miller’s performance)
“He doesn’t get enough credit because in our mind he’s a known entity. We know he’s going to be right. He’s such a great mentor for those younger players who may have some more upside athletically. Clearly, he’s stayed on point. He’s always been ready for us. That line has thinned out a little bit, and he’s taking meaningful turns. What he’s done when he’s gone out there is played well. Now, there are things we don’t want to ask him to do, but if you give him a job description that’s within his profile, look out.”

(Ref.: how Colby Miller has progressed during his career)
“When you get five plays, those five plays are going to say something. Those five plays say, ‘I need to play more.’ It’s been a little bit of a tryout at mike linebacker. We’ve run some of our better athletes through that position and to his credit, he knew what his role was. He mentored those guys. He competed with them. He was ready when he got his opportunities. Every time he’s been given an opportunity, he’s been productive.”

(Ref.: if he thought the team was in trouble after EMU’s first two touchdowns)
“No. I was thinking we needed to adjust our lock on the split wide receiver. We’re busy trying to fix things. We’re just trying to get ready for the next play.”

(Ref.: Terry Baggett’s confidence building as the game went on)
“I hope that our guys think that every time they touch the ball. He knows he’s not the Lone Ranger. There are a bunch of other guys battling out there on every snap, and a lot of guys have to do things right to get that started. Those guys have had enough success that they have high expectations when they touch the ball. They have high expectations for one another without the ball. They’re coming through for one another. The foundation of a great relationship is trust, and we trust our teammates to battled and do the right things without the football so oh by the way, when I’m touching it something good will happen. They enjoy playing the game with our without the football. The whole offense feels great about those numbers. It’s not an individual.”

(Ref.: the offense’s performance)
“It’s the offensive line, the receivers, the running backs, all of them working together. Angel put the ball in right ball carrier’s hands, and Ian (Shields) did a great job upstairs keeping us in the right plays. There are an awful lot of people that have to be on point to make something like that happen.”

(Ref.: playing without some starters on defense)
“When you talk about what wins a football game, it’s not necessarily the yards and all that stuff. One of the things that correlates with success is critical situations – our productivity on third down, our productivity on fourth down, our takeaways in the plus-20 area. Those are things that good defenses do. They have really gifted people touching the ball, and they’re doing some smart things that are hard to stop, but in those key situations our guys were able to rise up and make plays. If you’re not doing that, it won’t matter who is playing. It’s that situational presence and that ability to rise up in those moments where the game can tilt one way or the other.”

Junior Running Back Terry Baggett
(Ref.: his confidence running the ball)
“When we were running the plays, I knew the line was going to execute. I knew everything else was going to be perfectly aligned and all I had to do was run the ball. On that 96-yard run, all I did was run straight down the field. I didn’t have to make anybody miss. That is a sign of great execution by everyone else, and that makes it easy.”

(Ref.: his thoughts while scoring the 96-yard touchdown)
“In my mind, I was thinking I couldn’t let anyone get close to me so I just kept running as hard as I could.”

(Ref.: the blocking in front of him)
“For running backs specifically, there was a big focus on blocking in practice this week. We knew that we could be better blockers than we had been in the previous few games. That was the focus, and we came out here and executed today.”

(Ref.: if he was aware of his numbers during the game)
“I had no idea. People keep telling me that I broke the Army rushing record for a single game. Knowing all the people that have been here before me, it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I’m just happy we won the game and I could be out there with my brothers going as hard as we could every single play.”

Junior Quarterback Angel Santiago
(Ref.: playing with his leg injury)
“Coming out, I felt pretty good at the beginning of the game. I was a little sore, but nothing unbearable. When the offense is executing like this with the running backs not getting tackled, and the offensive line getting everybody on the ground, it definitely makes the job as a quarterback very easy.”

(Ref.: if he thought the game would be a shootout after each team scored on its first two possessions)
“I trust that the defense is going to go out there and get us the ball back. When we take the field, we only have one thing on our mind, and that’s to drive the ball down the field and score. We just take each play as it is.”

Senior LB Colby Miller
(Ref.: getting his chance to play the last couple of weeks after three years on the scout team)

“A lot of times it has been tough. I’ve had to rely on my family, my friends and my brothers on the team. They’ve been my biggest supporters. I go out and play for them. I wasn’t doing anything special. I was having a good time and enjoying the moment. I know this is going to be my last year of football so I’m trying to make the most of it and make memories.”

(Ref.: if he’ll remember this game for years to come)
“I’ll remember every single game of my senior year. I still remember every game from my high school senior year. I love football. It’s been a part of me for so long. Even after I’m done playing, it’s still going to be a big part of me. It’s something special to me, and it’s always going to be close to my heart.”

Senior LB Justin Trimble
(Ref.: the importance of the victory)

“I think it’s a very big win for us, especially on the defensive side after coming out last week and getting ran over. We knew we needed to win this week to start it (the second half of the season) off right. As an offense and defense, if we play like that every game, we’ll have a pretty good season.”

(Ref.: the defense’s fourth-down stops)
“It was great. As a defense, we live for that stuff. We consider that a turnover, so our turnover margin was even better today. We got a pick, forced a fumble and got two fourth-down stops. That’s big for our defense.”

Junior FB Larry Dixon
(Ref.: what allowed the team to have the success it did today)

“The big thing for me was Wednesday which is our full pad, full speed day. On the first play of practice, Terry (Baggett) got a block on the corner. Sometimes it’s hard getting beat up in practice, but he got up and was so excited. That set the tone for the week. That’s what it was. The offensive line was crazy. The big thing today was execution. If the offense didn’t score, the defense came through, and if the defense struggled, the offense came through. We were a team. That was big today, and I think we can carry that forward.

(Ref.: the team’s chemistry)
“Every team has something to hold onto, and for us it’s our brothers. It’s having guys like Colby Miller. This is a kid who just comes to work every day and works and works and works. Being surrounded by guys like that is what we have, and it’s awesome.”

(Ref.: ball security)
“A lot of the problems last year were putting the ball on the ground too many times. It’s not okay in practice, it’s not okay in a game. That’s our mindset. The ball is the most precious thing. The ball, then the team is our priority.”

(Ref.: the offensive line’s play)
“You probably have the wrong five guys up here. They deserve all the credit. Terry is amazing, don’t get me wrong. This is a running back, and he’s for real, but the offensive line dominated the trenches today. We’re going to go watch the tape and we’ll see the offensive line just dominating the other side and impose their will on them. It’s great to be a part of, and it makes you feel comfortable as a running back. They deserve all the credit.”

Eastern Michigan Head Coach Ron English
(Ref.: on the first two-point conversion)
"Mark Ionnatti came out with a great play and Cole Gardner made a terrific catch. It was all about how they read the play and were able to reach the ball over the line."

(Ref.: Bronson Hill's performance)
"I think the stats are good but the measure of any back is, when there is a fourth-down you have to be able to get that yard. I thought that was a real turning point in the game."

(Ref.: on Dylan Mulder's kicking game)
"I think Dylan has worked through it, and I have a lot of respect for what he has done. There were such high expectations and he didn't perform well early but I think that he has done a nice job recovering."

(Ref.: on the turning point)
"I thought the fumble coming out of the second-half was a turning point and I think that as the game went on we didn't read our keys as well as we should have inside. The ball kept hitting us inside, so I want to go back and look at what we were asking the linebackers to do, but I didn't feel like we were responding as well to our keys as we needed to. I thought that fumble, that was a 14-point swing right there which was huge. Then to come back to not get the fourth-and-one on the next drive was critical. We just did not play better in the second half and I just never felt, watching it from the side line, that we never hit our triggers in terms of our keys."

(Ref.: on having turnovers after practicing so much to avoid them)
"When you're not playing well, I think things happen like that. Maybe a guy gets hit really hard and he doesn't tuck the ball away properly. It's just like when you play good football and you get good bounces. On that extra point, our guy throws the ball out there, and we catch it and reach it over and get two. This has been a situation where we haven't gotten a lot of bounces."

(Ref.: on returning home to play a more conventional offense in Ohio)
"I think it helps that they're a more conventional offense. Any time you play these guys, if you're not really well prepared, you're going to struggle. I came away questioning the way we prepared, and obviously it didn't look like that from a defensive point of view. I really want this team to continue to improve all year and learn how to fight. If we do that, it will help us going forward."

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