Postgame Quotes - Army vs. Air Force

Nov. 3, 2012

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

Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: opening statement)

“It was a hard fought game. I’m really proud of the way the guys prepared. The story behind this is how well our guys prepared. I made the statement earlier – this is a good football team that doesn’t have a good record. It’s done the things that good football teams do. It’s stayed together. It continued to come to practice and focus and work hard. It kept itself focused on the next opportunity. It competed on every snap. We started to build that fundamental base to do the things that win on Saturday. That’s what happened today. From a coach’s perspective, Air Force is a fun week to coach because the guys are so zeroed in. They’re excited to play. What I want to say is that our guys have managed to do that every week. They’ve come out and answered the ball and tried to play hard, and try to prepare to play hard, every week. This is a milestone for us.”

(Ref.: Army’s defensive performance)
“We didn’t have a lot going on. We did a few things really well, which you can do with a young defense. Now you could see as the climate changed and all the sudden it was a different offense and a different situation, we struggled a little bit. All of our time and energy went into what we’d be doing against an Ai Force team in a close contest. We are tackling better, and we’re playing hard. The guys that had struggled with the effort because they didn’t have the effort habits, have worked so hard to get those habits. There is no substitution for being on the field in game situations where your eyes and feet are going to be challenged. Air Force really challenges your eyes and feet, but those young guys stayed in there. We tackled better. Sometimes in comes down to something as simple and basic as that, but that’s a product of a lot of hard work in the Foley Center and on the practice field.”

(Ref.: his halftime comments after going into halftime with the lead similar to last year)
“We just made sure that everybody understood what we were saying to one another. The mantra is, ‘the next snap.’ How do you win a football game? You win the next snap. If you do that enough times, you will like what the scoreboard looks like. Sometimes you have to control the voices around you. That was the message at halftime. We need to understand how precious these games are, and how precious these snaps are. If you don’t believe me, ask a senior. This is a huge part of their life that we’re getting down to the last few acts. They all believed that, and held onto each other and reinforced it with each other.”

(Ref.: the difference Nate Combs made on defense)
“Obviously, Nate loves to play the game. He communicates. He knows what’s happening out there. He can talk to his teammates, and they’ll listen to him. Certainly, he’s a dynamic player in his own right, but I know there is a sense of confidence that surrounds him. The guys think that if Nate says it’s okay, it must be okay. I really do think he’s a force multiplier in that regard. Guys feel better about what we’re doing and what they’re doing, everything is under control because we have Nate with us.”

(Ref.: whether this is the biggest win of his Army career)
“It’s the biggest win of the week! No, it is. When you get here, on day one, it’s Beat Navy, Beat Air Force. We’ve got half the equation right.”

(Ref.: the 4th-and-goal stop in the first quarter without replay)
“There was no replay, yeah. Remember last year. There was a play at the goal line that went the other way so I figure there is some balance in the universe.”

(Ref.: scoring on the first two drives of the second half)
“To continue to be productive, and to make some adjustments and put them to work was good. We did what we do. We ran the ball up and down the field. I don’t think there was any lack of confidence. Frankly, that’s what we expect. We talk about the formula for success for this football team, and our offense leads the charge. Now our defense played out of their mind, but for us to be successful week in and week out, our offense is going to have to stay on the field and be productive.”

(Ref.: Robert Kough’s performance and development)
“He’s a relatively young guy from a football standpoint. He’s been here awhile, but he hasn’t played a lot of football. You can see every week he’s getting more and more comfortable with the job description. He’s one of those guys with some real playmaking ability.”

(Ref.: winning the turnover margin)
“Winning the turnover battle is always going to be crucial. To do what we do on offense and play 60 minutes without a turnover is tremendous. You’re going to be successful if you keep doing that.”

(Ref.: building on the win)
“I want them to enjoy this win today, but I want them to come back in tomorrow and refocus. This team can do that because we do it every week. It’s more fun to do it this week. It’s still a challenge. There is always someone trying to pull you back into what happened last Saturday. This one is a little more seductive because you want to think about what happened. To keep this going and build on it, we have to clear and focus.”

Sophomore LB Geoffery Bacon
(Ref.: causing turnovers on defense today)
"(The turnovers) just fueled us. We were hungry today so we just wanted to play with a lot of tenacity. As you saw, we got it done. Nate (Combs) got his, Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires got his and I got mine. We were just hungry. That was the main thing that fueled us today."

Senior LB Nate Combs
(Ref.: what this win means to him, personally)
"I think this win is bigger than just me. It's for the team, the organization and the people down rank who are going to talk smack to all the Air Force guys for a whole year. This is a big deal. We're going to celebrate now, but we're also going to focus on Rutgers next week."

(Ref.: support of the Corps of Cadets)
"Those guys are always behind us. They're doing a great job. I know they're heckling the Air Force sideline, too. That helps us, and I owe it to all those guys. There were a lot of football alumni that are out there, and they're doing great things for us."

Junior OL Michael Kime
(Ref.: success of the running game versus Air Force)
"When we get Trent (Steelman) and Raymond (Maples) in space, we know they are going to make us look really good. We have such a good backfield and our defense was putting us in such great positions that we were able to capitalize on."

Sophomore DL Robert Kough
(Ref.: posting a career game against Air Force)
"The guys around me, even if I mess up on a play, keep me going. The entire defense played with amazing energy, and I owe it to them. We go out there and play for each other and have fun."

(Ref.: pressuring the quarterback throughout the game)
"I think it was the energy coming out. All the defensive linemen were getting to the ball. We were just working hard today; we were excited."

Senior QB Trent Steelman
(Ref.: beating Air Force and singing the West Point alma mater second)
"It's a feeling I had never experienced before. It's a feeling I wouldn't change for the world. It's a big win for our program, but we have to turn around and go back right back to work. It's going to be hard controlling a lot of voices that just want to talk about the Commander in Chief's Trophy and get to that Navy game, but it's going to be our job as a team and individuals to focus on the next game, which is Rutgers."

(Ref.: his second-quarter touchdown and the play of the Army offensive line)
"(That touchdown) was due to the second effort of (the offensive linemen). Without them, we wouldn't' be anything. I draw inspiration from the guys that are working up front. They go unnoticed about 99 percent of the time and I get asked all the questions, but we owe it to them. They pour their hearts out every game, and they're the ones that make this offense run."

(Ref.: leading at halftime)
"It was huge. We've had momentum rolling at half against these guys the last three years and we've never been able to finish it. Our nemesis has been the second half against Air Force and we changed that voice today. We changed that attitude. I'm so excited and emotional that it's hard to put this thing into words."


Troy Calhoun, Head Coach
(Ref.: Opening statement)

“At the point of attack, I thought there was a pretty clear differential today. Anytime you see a variation of over 200 yards rushing, it tells you that one side played really, really well, which they did, and one side did not. I think probably the telling parts were a little bit late in the second quarter and end of the third quarter. I thought the third quarter was convincing with what happened, with the third quarter, they went down and made a first down…they made a good number of first downs in the third quarter.”

(Ref.: Connor Deitz’ failed scoring attempt)
“I couldn’t see. I haven’t seen video of it. It’s one play. That’s all it is. How about one responding, right after that stop to go down and get points and make it a 10-7 game. That was an important stretch, but it wasn’t the only stretch, not at all. There are more aspects of the game than that. Today was convincing, that’s a credit to Army, big-time credit to Army. I thought they executed really well, I thought the quarterback played exceptional, he’s one good player. For those kids to get a chance to win a service academy game, they deserve an awful lot.”

(Ref.: Army successfully running the option)
“That had an awful lot to do with it. On the flip side too, we didn’t budge them, we didn’t move them an inch. Our offense had the ball to start the second half and some of those drives of 2nd-and-12 and 3rd-and-13, in a service academy game, you make it even more difficult on yourself. We didn’t do what we had to do, and they had a lot to do with that, I won’t take anything away from them, by any means.”

(Ref.: health of Cody Getz)
“He was fine, he was good to go, completely fine. I thought maybe the third-down run when it was 7-7, I thought he had a chance to get in the end zone. He didn’t get in.”

(Ref.: explaining the different performances against Nevada and Army)
“Part of it is college football a little bit, the other part was they played with a very vibrant pitch today, tremendous fever. We got knocked back, they did a good job knocking us back and knocking us on our heels today. They did it. We didn’t help ourselves by any means.”

Senior OL Jason Kons
(Ref.: feeling after the loss)

“Army played a great game, they did everything they had to do to beat us and they did a great job doing it and that was the bottom line, they played better football than us today.”

(Ref.:  surprised at all after dominating Nevada in their last game)
“Just the way Army had prepared for us, it’s not that we let our guard down or anything, but it was just that they played a great a football game. They were prepared for our attack and handled us well.”

(Ref.: game shift after lack of replay due to power outage)
“There was a little bit of swing in momentum maybe, but that’s done and gone, water under the bridge. Bottom line is that it shouldn’t be close, if you want to win a football game you have to punch it in; don’t leave it up to a replay, just get it in the end zone and make it happen and we didn’t do it. On the goal line you expect a big push, but the call was made and that’s the bottom line, don’t leave it to the official, put the ball in the end zone and that’s it.”

(Ref.: Tougher losing to Army than other teams)
“It’s always tough to lose a football game no matter what, no team in America comes to a football game to lsoe and that’s something that we have to choke down now. It’s (CIC Trophy) out of our hands now, we dropped the ball twice this year and that’s kind of where it stands. It’s between Army and Navy and it’s their cup to win, I wish them the best. [Army’s] a good football team no doubt about it, they came out and did what they were supposed to do and had to do to win the game, and they did it.”

Senior LB Alex Means
(Ref.: feeling after losing)

“It hurts, it sucks, that’s what is going through my mind right now. Down here at Army is a tough place to win, they hit us right in the mouth and they kept hitting us and we didn’t respond so that’s how it goes.”

(Ref.: momentum shift after not getting into the end zone)
“As soon as it happened, going 99 yards on us, deflated what we had going, any momentum we had going, we just felt gone. We tried to come back and bounce back in the second half. That’s a good team, they run the ball hard, they’re not the No. 1 rushing team in the nation for no reason, they do real well with it and so they did. You can’t let stuff like that (99-yard drive) dictate the rest of the game, but it did.”

(Ref.: difference between the Nevada and Army game)
“Nevada probably has never seen what we do on offense before so it’s probably for them to defense, Army has been playing against us for years so this is what they’re geared up for the whole season; Army’s entire season is this game and now they’re entire season is the Navy game. Defensively, Nevada was a very tough offense, but Army is the No. 1 rushing team in the nation and they hit us where we were hurting and they gassed us on a lot of plays. We just didn’t step up.”

(Ref.: Army’s success passing the football)
“I mean, how many times did they pass it? Six times? It’s like us, we don’t pass that many times, and with six passes you’re probably going to complete a high percentage, especially running the option, guys are wide open. Everyone is playing the run, it happens. It is what it is, I’m more worried with how many yards they rushed against us.”

(Ref.: whether Army showed any wrinkles in running the ball)
“Not really, we prepared for what they had, they run the counter-dive, the counter-dive option, a lot of misdirection, things are going every which way and they’re making plays.”

Senior QB Connor Dietz
(Ref.: second interception)

“As soon as I threw it I knew, it was a very dumb move and decision.”

(Ref.: feeling after losing to Army)
“They played a great game, offensively, defensively, they did everything we didn’t, they smacked us in the mouth all game, they deserved to win this game.”

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