Army vs. Ball State Postgame Quotes

Oct. 27, 2012

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

Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: whether the 14-0 deficit was too much to overcome)

“We got ourselves back in scoring position a couple times. We can’t be three-and-out. When we battle ourselves into scoring position, we have to get points. It’s frustrating. We’re doing some good stuff, but we had a penalty in a critical situation, we went the wrong way in a critical situation. Defensively, we struggled, but if you told me that we would have gotten that takeaway, made them kick field goals and got them to punt a few times, I felt like that was the script. The script was that they wouldn’t get many turns, and we were going to possess the football and be productive. That was the key to victory. It was going to be hard enough to move the ball and score on these guys. We don’t need to double-down on those things.”

(Ref.: his assessment of the offense’s performance)
“We weren’t good enough. Given the opponent we were playing today, the formula for victory was staying on the field. We need not to have a three-and-out, and we had a bunch of them. We need not to have a turnover in scoring position, and we need not miss a relatively short field goal. Good football teams don’t do those things, and we’re playing nothing but good football teams.”

(Ref.: trying to improve defensively)
“Maybe you can’t see it, but we made some progress. We’re getting some stops. We’re stopping a good offense. We’re creating some opportunities. There are opportunities to improve on that side of the ball, obviously, but we’re on track there.”

(Ref.: getting his team ready for Air Force)
“I just told the guys that we have to unload this one as quick as we can. We can salvage so much and drop so much of this frustration and hurt. We know we can compete. We’ve stayed together through all this stuff. We’ve continued to compete through all this stuff. We believe in one another. We believe in what we’re doing. They’re hurting, but they can see it too. This is a relatively easy week from a coaching emotion standpoint. We’ll be excited to play, and want to play so badly. We have to make sure we prepare as smart and as thoroughly as we can. Get this thing behind us as quickly as we can, and get ready for the next one.”

(Ref.: Ball State running back Jahwan Edwards)
“He’s patient. He’s a big strong runner, and he’s very patient. We managed the space reasonably well, but we have to be better tacklers than that and get guys off blocks better than that. What you saw was our second row guys losing their patience and just burying themselves into the pile. That’s how you end up out of position. We needed to keep our patience and keep our depth. If the back can be that patient, then our linebackers need to be. That’s not in their DNA though. They want to go jump in the pile as soon as they can, and that’s how you can get yourself out of postion.”

(Ref.: the size of the defensive line)
“We’re big enough. We have to better, but not bigger. We have to be explosive. We have to be consistently in our gaps and play across the line of scrimmage. We don’t need any more pancakes. We just need to play better. We have some young guys out there, but we can do it.”

(Ref.: Hayden Tippett’s performance)
“Hayden is a guy that we trust. He’s a good player. He’s hard to tackle. He’s reliable, and he’s a good blocker from back there. We feel like we have a really good one-two punch at the fullback position.”

(Ref.: the young players on defense)
“It’s grueling progress, but there is progress out there. There really is. We just can’t be more frustrated with the production, but we’re getting closer to it. Those guys are seeing it better. We’re gaining on it, but we’re not there. We need to find ways to get takeaways.”

Sophomore LB Geoffery Bacon
(Ref.: whether or not falling into an early 14-0 hole affected the defense)

“I missed a tackle on that first drive, and that could have gotten us off the field. We have players making plays. Alex Meier made a lot of plays today and stepped up. Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires made some plays, too. It wasn’t really us getting into a hole. It hurt us, but it didn’t kill us. It didn’t get us down. We were ready to make plays, and we did that, but we just didn’t make the plays we needed to make when we needed to make them.”

(Ref.: defending Ball State RB Jahwan Edwards)
“It had a lot to do with patience. Their running back was being more patient than we were, a lot of times. He was just sitting behind the line waiting for us to make a move. We should have been waiting for him to make a move. That’s pretty much what it was.”

Senior OL Michael Kime
(Ref.: mindset of the team heading into the Air Force game)

“Air Force is such a big game for us that we’ll be mentally there. The defense that Ball State ran is pretty similar to what Air Force is going to run, so we saw a lot of what we’re going to see next week. We’re just going to fine-tune some of the things we did, especially up front on the offensive line, getting the calls right and technique-wise. I think we’ll be fine as an offense next week.”

(Ref.: helping Army rack up 341 yards rushing)
“We feel good, but there are a lot more yards to be had, especially with the talent we have at running back. With Trent at the helm and guys like Raymond Maples and Larry Dixon and Malcolm Brown back there. We need to give them some more opportunities to get in space. It feels good to get that many yards, but there are still a lot more yards that we can get.”

Junior DE Jarrett Mackey
(Ref.: coming back from injury this season and posting a career-high 13 tackles today)

“I just try to vibe off the other guys on the defense. I look up to them as much as they look up to me. Standing on the sideline watching them make plays pushed me to work harder in the training room and the weight room and on the field so that I could get back on the field and make plays. Luckily enough, I made some plays today, but we still have to make more. It wasn’t enough.”

(Ref.: what he was thinking on his game-winning touchdown run)
“They weren’t the biggest line we’ve faced. They weren’t the strongest and they weren’t the meanest. They were just staying in front of us and mimicking us, and letting the back find the hole. They weren’t mauling us on the line, but we were making the first move and the back would make a cut off of that. That’s what makes this loss so much tougher on the defense because they weren’t spectacular on offense. They were good, but we’ve faced better. That just shows that we need to play better and practice better this week.”

Senior QB Trent Steelman
(Ref.: whether he thought Army would come back to win after Malcolm Brown’s touchdown run in the fourth quarter)

“Absolutely. We always have faith in our plays and what we can do as an offensive unit. We were ready to go, and we had full confidence that we were going to get the job done. Unfortunately, we just came up a little short. We just have to put this one behind us. What Ball State showed us today is exactly what we are going to see next week (against Air Force), so we just have to go back to work.”

(Ref.: his 35-yard run in the fourth quarter)
“It was just another triple option to the right, and that guy had kind of been slow-playing it all game. I finally baited him with that fake pitch and found an alley.”

(Ref.: getting Malcolm Brown and Trenton Turrentine involved in the offense)
“We’re just taking what the defense gives us. That’s really all we can do in this offense. Just go out and execute, and take what they give us. We feed off of long runs and big plays, but we need more of them. It wasn’t enough today.”

(Ref.: his performance on read plays, and the performance of the Army offense)
“I think I did pretty well. I know I missed one read for sure. They were giving us the inside, so we tried to take advantage of that. There weren’t many read plays that we really had today, but we did a heck of a job as an offensive unit. We just have to keep cashing in; there is more to be had.”

Ball State Head Coach Pete Lembo
(Ref.: Opening statement)
"This is special. It was a really great opportunity to play here and come in here and win in a very well-played game on both sides; very few penalties, very few turnovers, just a lot of good hard-hitting football. I really liked the way our guys handled the highs and lows of the game.

"Defensively, this was a really good day. We gave up a couple longer runs here and there, a couple passes, but this was a really solid day by our guys. We got some critical stops when we needed to in both halves.

"Offensively the things that jumped out were that we got off to a really good start, we knew that was going to be critical in having a chance to win the game. We were able to maintain some kind of balance, run the ball and move the chains, get some critical first downs and stay on the field, running the ball. Then the drive where we kicked the field goal, I wrote a note down about that, we were up 27-20, 7:57 left, we had just gotten a huge stop by the defense, we marched down to the 20 and banged a field goal home to go up by two scores, and those are the things you need to do in this game. You need to respond, you need to seize the momentum, you need to stay on the field offensively. It was just a hard-fought game, obviously a close game. I thought Army came in and gave us a great shot. They really played well. I think our guys handled the highs and lows extremely well.

(Ref.: Getting off to a quick start)
"I think it goes back to our coordinators doing a great job putting a plan together and then having a really good week of practice. We ran the three-down scheme last year against them. Our players have a lot of confidence in it. Jay (Bateman - defensive coordinator) has a great handle on all the adjustments and the different things that we can see out of that. That really helped us to get out to a great start on the defensive side. Offensively, we came out and were able to do a good job on first down and balance it between the run and the pass early. We just executed extremely well early in the game.

(Ref.: Offensive execution after first two drives)
"That's the kind of team you're playing. This is a team that's playing a lot of one-on-one on the outside, loading the box. So you're taking shots on the outside and some of those are just not real high-percentage throws. That's just the way it is. We had a few that were off fingertips and those kind of things. It's sort of hit or miss, you just don't want to get one-dimensional and run it three downs in a row, so some of the throws you have to make are going to be longer throws. That's just the nature of their defense.

(Ref.: Defense against the triple option)
"There were a couple runs here or there and that's going to happen against a team that does what they do, as well as they do. But it starts with having a good plan, our guys believing in the plan, and practicing extremely hard during the week. Our guys did a lot on their own, they watched a lot of film on their own. Guys were hanging around the office all week, just trying to get a little bit of preparation here or there, and that's what good teams do. Good teams are going to make sure that they go into the game feeling good about their preparation and that's what these guys did. And when we had a couple minor busts out there today, guys did a great job taking responsibility for it. There was no `woe is me,' it's `I have to go back out there and be focused next time.' And you saw a lot of different guys step up and make plays today.

Senior DE Jonathan Newsome
(Ref.: Moving to outside linebacker)
"It really was nothing different for me, I still played on the edge, it was just how we adjusted to their offense. My main responsibility was to protect the edge and read what the offensive tackle did. Like coach said earlier, it was everyone doing their 1/11th and when the play came to you to just do it.

Senior LB Travis Freeman
(Ref.: Defensive effort)
"First I just want to say that we have tremendous respect for the team we just played. Things they do, Coach Lembo set up a tour of the campus and things like that and just gave us a new outlook on the life they live. We have great respect for them. It would just be selfish to just take the credit on the defensive end. All of that work it went to the preparation of the scout team, hands-down, simple as that. The scout team gave us a great look out there today. They made things essentially easy to read and that's basically it right there."

Junior QB Keith Wenning
(Ref.: Why the first two possessions were successful)
"I think we just started off the game, we had a good feel, a good game plan, the offensive coaches put together a good game plan for us. We tried to stay on schedule with that and if we stay on schedule we move the ball well down the field."

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