Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: opening statement)
"It was a hard-fought game. Don't let anybody tell you there's anything easy about this game. That was a very physical and hard-fought contest. Give a lot of credit to VMI, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They did some smart things, and they did them very well. Offensively, they were able to hand the ball off and do some things to us that should really be hard to do. If we do that against some other folks, now that that's on tape, we'll have some challenges. I'm excited that we found a way to win. I'm excited that we found new ways to win in that we were much more poised late in the football game than maybe we have been. We love to win, it's good to win, it's hard to win and it's important to be able to win when you have a few guys nicked up and a few guys who weren't quite available. Hopefully we can be a healthier football team coming out of this week. We all hoped that coming out of the bye week we were going to wave a magic wand and be completely healthy, and the truth was that we weren't. The good news is that we have a chance now, and those guys that were 'available' today that didn't play will now maybe have a chance to practice leading into a contest as opposed to going in there after sitting down for two weeks, which will give them a chance to be effective, or give us a realistic expectation that they can be effective. So, there's a lot to be excited about. First and foremost, you won a game and it was hard-fought."
(Ref.: the lateral from Dixon to Trimble)
"That's not a drill you see us do on Tuesday, I promise."
(Ref.: the play of Army sophomore FB Jared Hassin)
"He had a productive day, but frankly, there are some things that we'll look at with Jared. We had the ball on the ground twice there late in the second half and he's in the middle of both of those. That's way more important than a couple of good runs. We knows he's got the potential to be a great player. He can make a difference in the contest, but he's got to be consistently right. He's got to make sure, along the way, that he's doing exactly the things that win. We're not proud of that effort offensively, start to finish. There were way too many hiccups, way too many misdirection, way too many missed opportunities, I suspect. We have some good players and we have some guys that play really, really hard, but against a good defensive football team, and that's a good defensive football team, you have to be consistently right. We were fortunate that he was able to rip off some long runs and change field position for us."
(Ref.: whether he thought the game was over after Trimble's interception return touchdown)
"It was a three-plus possession game at that point. We weren't thinking about the scoreboard. We were thinking about the next play or the next snap. That's one of the challenges as a football team that we have. We get in those situations where you're like 'How do we handle this?' You handle it by clearing and staying in the moment and playing the next play and turn the scoreboard off. Look up at the scoreboard when that sucker's over. As coaches, we'll do some things out there. We'll talk about four-minute offense, we'll start talk about guys staying in bounds, but you have to be able to do that without changing how you call it, without changing how you block it or attack it. You're not going to play differently in that situation. There's a contradiction there. You have to be able to run four-minute offense. You have to be doing smart things with the clock without changing how you play when the ball is snapped. That's a challenge. That's something we're growing into, where we can say four-minute offense and everybody doesn't relax, everybody doesn't get really tight. We just keep playing. We did a much better job of that today. We got a ways to go."
(Ref.: VMI playing three quarterbacks) (Ref.: whether he thought the game was over when Army led 19-0)
"There were some things that were a challenge to us a little bit on the perimeter. It was a little bit frustrating, frankly, because that's not stuff they drew in the dirt, that's not new stuff. The guys saw it just fine. It carried over from the practice environment and we settled down. I think what I was more concerned about was some of the runs. They were able to get into second and medium way too often when we were in the defend the run mode and that's a concern. That's not what they're known for, that's not what they're especially good at, and yet they had some success against us. That needs to be a concern because that will have some future opponents scratching their chin."
"We don't think that way. We're trying to win the next play. We don't think that thing is put away. We don't think any of those things. The scoreboard is a lie until the final gun. We treat it as such. There are some things that you have to be able to do in terms of the style and tempo of play, depending on the clock, but that's it. You come off the ball, you execute, you run your offense, you run your defense. You do all those things exactly the same. As coaches, we're in that contradiction. We're talking about doing smart things, relative to the clock, without changing how we play the game when we snap the ball. That is a challenge. That's something we're working hard at and growing through. That's the between the ears stuff that you go through as a football team."
(Ref.: the play of Army sophomore QB Trent Steelman)
"I think Trent's going to be very critical of himself. He had a ball dropped early, but that was not a great performance for Trent. He has a very high bar for himself. He's still effective, and he's still making a lot of the great decisions and great plays out there, but that consistency of effort really starts with him. That was a good one to experience, because there are some things he needs to learn to fight through, because we're going to be there again. He'll have opportunities to handle things differently and better. I thought he threw the ball well, but I still feel like we have some opportunities there to change the game dramatically with our ability to throw the ball if we're just a little bit better protecting, a little bit better catching, a little bit better running the right route. We're really close to doing something complementary that I think will give us a great chance down the stretch."
(Ref.: the injury to Army senior DE Mike Gann)
"To be honest, I don't know. It didn't seem like it was serious. I don't know where he is.
(Ref.: the success VMI had throwing the ball and whether they used different schemes)
"No, it was not a different scheme. They do a good job of throwing the ball with timing. They're well-schooled and they try not to take a sack."
(Ref.: the play of Alex Carlton)
"Yeah, he did. I wish I could give him a third. One fourth down I wish I could have back. That's what we've expected. That's what we see in practice. That's who he is. He needs a supporting cast and he had one and that was good."
(Ref.: having younger guys step up)
"That's who we are. When we have a few guys get a little bit nicked or a little bit banged up, that's who's got to play. Raymond (Maples) is one of those guys we talked about. Raymond was available for the game, but he hadn't been able to practice in two weeks, and he's a freshman. So Jonathan had to come up, and Malcolm's down. We'll get Malcolm back maybe this week, maybe the week after. Jonathan is a guy we lean on in those situations because he's got a great learning curve. He's got a football IQ out the room. We lean on him that way. It was good to get Brian Austin out there. Brian's a guy that's worked so hard in practice, so well. It was important that we get him out there to prove that what we were seeing has a chance to show up in a game. Reggie Nesbit played a little bit at Mike linebacker and that's something we've been waiting to do. That's something we've been seeing in the practice environment. He's been running around a little bit in the kicking game. It's just this time of the year where you have just enough guys bruised. We're fortunate because we don't have guys that are seriously hurt, but we have more that our share of guys who have a little strain or a little pull or a little something that's keeping them from prepare in practice. As I told the guys in the locker room, most of the hard, live reps that we'll have in preparation for Air Force, we just had. It's going to be a real race to get our bodies right for this next opportunity."
(Ref.: the health of Antuan Aaron and freshman SB Raymond Maples)
"Expectations are good. I don't know that Antuan was available today, but with any luck we'll be able to work him in the second half of the week. Raymond had practice a little bit on Thursday, so my expectation is that he'll be good to go. Some of the other guys, we'll have to wait and see."
(Ref.: if the fourth-down conversions were worth the risk)
"It was the first couple times, and then it wasn't. They're only good when you make it. I was a little bit disappointed in the last one that didn't work because we really didn't have a good answer for what they had done. They were a little bit ahead of us, frankly, in their design and we were scrambling somewhat. I'd like to have that one back because I don't think we gave the guys a great chance with what we called."
(Ref.: thoughts heading into the Air Force game next week)
"It's a challenge because to have a chance against Air Force we're going to have to play much better than we did. The good news is, we had a lot of guys step up and play well. We found a way to be successful against a determined and in many places a gifted opponent. The bad news is that if we don't play a lot better than we did just there, we don't have a chance. The good news is that we can play better than that, we can play a lot better than that, and we'll need to. We're going to need to be healthier, we're going to need to be smarter. What we can't do, we can't punt any better than that. We punted way too doggone much, but we're good at that."
Senior LB Stephen Anderson
(Ref.:VMI scoring to get back into the game)
"We know football is going to be tough. Just because they are down 19-0, these guys aren't going to come out and sit down for us. It shows how hard it is to get a victory against any team. That's one we just bent our knees a little bit and said, 'Okay, they got a few yards and made a drive.' That's okay. We just had to go out the next series and do what we do. It's not where we get worried or anything, we just need to bend our knees and play."
(Ref.: wearing the ACU uniforms today)
"It was great. We got to match the Corps a little bit. I think it brought a lot of excitement to the Corps and to the fans. It's just another jersey. We have to just keep playing football, but it was definitely something cool to experience."
Senior DB Jordan Trimble
(Ref.: his touchdown play in the third)
"I was dropping back in our coverage on defense. Then I saw Donovan make that interception, so I knew I had to get down field and get a block for him. He kept running so I had to keep running with him. I crossed paths with him. I saw him and he saw me. He gave me the ball, so I just took it and tried to finish it off for the defense."
Sophomore FB Jared Hassin
(Ref.: getting tripped up on a long run during the third)
"Those white lines on the field tend to jump up now and again. It seems to be a common theme. I don't really know what it was. I think I just tripped."
(Ref.: the state of his health now compared to the start of the season)
"My health goes up and down quite a bit. It kind of depends on reps and this and that. Right now, I feel pretty good. The wins always help. We have a few bumps, but we're just excited about playing Air Force. That's our focus for this week. We're just looking forward to that and it kind of cures everything."
(Ref.: playing in the open field both running and catching) Senior SB Patrick Mealy
"It feels great. I think this time of the season, our offense is really starting to click. You can't give enough credit to the offensive line. Those five guys up front, they take every rep in practice and they play every rep in the game. They are arguably the five toughest guys I know. It's because of them that our offense has been able to be successful. I think Pat (Mealy) and I, along with Trent (Steelman), would say the same thing. Our offensive line is doing a great job and it's opened up a lot of great opportunities for us. We're really excited about it."
(Ref.: feelings after this win and looking ahead to Air Force)
"This was a great win for the team, but at the same time, we know we have a lot of work to do. We played against a very strong, hard working team today. We know we have to go back next week and go to work. Air Force is an outstanding team and they are playing really well. We just have to go back to work and do what we do."
(Ref.: being named captain for the remainder of the season)
"It's a tremendous feeling knowing that offensively I'm held in such a high regard. It's very humbling. I am honored to be in that position for the rest of the year. I take it with great pride and in the back of my mind I'm always thinking 'that's what the guys think of me,' so I have to work 10 times harder in practice and in the games."
Senior DB Donovan Travis
(Ref.: his pitch to Jordan Trimble after the interception)
"On the interception return, I kind of ran out of gas a little. The next best thing was behind me so I pitched it to my brother right here, Jordan Trimble. Thank God he scored, that's all I have to say."
(Ref.: how many times he's envisioned doing that play before)
"I tell people all the time in practice that I'm going to pitch it so stay behind me."
(Ref.: adjustments to double coverage)
"It's not so much double coverage, it's just who I'm helping. I tend to look at my personnel. Some receivers are wide, some are rover, some are a linebacker-type guy. I'm going to lean towards him more. Usually they just have me free and my ability to roam around and make plays."
VMI Head Coach Sparky Woods
(Ref.: opening statement)
"Congratulations to Army, I think they're a really improved football team, a very physical team. I thought they won the battle at the line of scrimmage. We had a hard time running the ball against them early in the game, and then protecting the ball as well."
(Ref.: his defense's performance)
"I thought defensively we played two downs and not the third, credit them with converting. They did a nice job of managing the ball - they did turn it over a couple times late in the game but not early when the game was still in question.
(Ref.: general thoughts on the game)
"I thought they had a really good kicking game - their field goal kicker was good. I thought overall that the stronger team won the game today. As hurt as we were, I'm proud of our guys for continuing to play hard against a real tough team. Overall, we've got to do some things on offense to try to create some more points. We stayed on the long end of the field most of the time as a result of them doing a good job of making first downs, and then running us down there long. It's hard to go that far against a really good defense, as they have. I thought it was a hard-fought game and I'm proud of our guys for playing hard, but overall they played a lot better and they're the stronger team."
(Ref.: freshman quarterback Eric Kordenbrock)
"Eric made some plays. He did a nice job. It's hard to evaluate the quarterback when you have so much pressure. They do a good job. They come back at you. You've got to survive that, and you can't turn it over. I hated the last interception. It was a nice play by their free safety - heads-up by lateralling the ball. We contested the play because we thought his knee was down on the lateral back to the other guy, but apparently not. We shouldn't have thrown the interception. We got beat on protection. Number nine (Steve Erzinger) does a good job of coming underneath and getting in the quarterback's face.
(Ref.: the VMI offense)
"I thought Eric played well, I thought Adam (Morgan) did some things at times, trying to get something started. Cam (Jones) was poised but he missed some opportunities early so we thought were going to have to throw the ball a little bit more, so I chose to go with Adam. Then with Eric, we just kept working at that push. I thought Gabe (Itoka) and Chaz (Jones) ran the ball at times but they're tough. We had four shots down inside the one, finally squeezed it in on the last one. They have a strong team."