Postgame Quotes - Army vs. Temple (Nov. 17, 2012)

Nov. 17, 2012

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Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: opening statement)
"That's on me. I didn't give the guys on defense the tools they needed to have a chance to compete in that game. They need to let that go as quickly as they can and focus on the next opportunity. The good news is we have another opportunity. That mess out there belongs to me."

(Ref.: what happened during the game)
"It's not one thing. There are a bunch of things. I think you saw when we get stuck in space. We struggle in space. One of the things we'd done really well the past couple of weeks was play on the opponent's side of the ball and minimize the space. The quarterback's legs thinned us out a little bit. They did a nice job up front, and once they get started they were hard to get down. I suspect we'll see some guys trying to be a little heroic at times and trying to do things outside of what we're trying to do, but you can understand why you would start to doubt what you're doing when you get kicked in the gut like that early. We need to double down on the things we've done well. I didn't give them the tools they needed to counter that outfit."

(Ref.: the defense's plan to stop Montel Harris)
"You don't really scheme for a player, you scheme for the style of play. Its' a system of gap cancellation, and you have an extra gap when you have the quarterback's legs back there. You borrow your secondary. Our secondary was committed to that part of the game. We were going to challenge them to throw the ball, but they never got around to it - they didn't need to."

(Ref.: whether Temple's line was more physical)
"Certainly that's part of it. Part of it is some mistakes, just flat out mistakes. Some of it is guys not managing the space they were given. Their line did a good job of creating space, and their back can use it. There are some where there is nobody home, and that's on me because my job is to get people in the position to make plays."

(Ref.: the difference on defense from the last two weeks)
"The style of offense and the quarterback's legs were a big difference. When you started to load up on the back, they (Temple) got to the quarterback's legs quickly. They did a nice job. They anticipated us well and got to the right stuff. They made the right reads and we had a heck of a time getting them on the ground."

(Ref.: the offense's performance)
"The offense competed. They were frustrated in the first half a little bit, but they came back out swinging. I don't think our defense stopped competing. I think our defense got frustrated and lost confidence in what we were asking them to do, which you can understand when you have guys running up and down the field. Our offense, to their credit, kept coming back out and tried to keep up with them. That's a competitive outfit, and in a game like this you can't miss a turn if you want to keep up."

(Ref.: how to get the team on the right track for the Navy game)
"I don't think we have to worry about them being excited to play Navy. They will be. It's just a matter of how quickly they can let this disappointment go. It's worse than a disappointment, it's getting kicked in the gut. We have to let that go as quickly as we can. This one is on me. They need to let it go and get focused on the next opportunity."

Senior RB Malcolm Brown
(Ref.: thoughts on losing to Temple in his final Michie Stadium appearance)

“Obviously, we wanted to win our last home game, but we just weren’t able to come out with it.”

Senior LB Nate Combs
(Ref.: whether or not the Army defense was confused today)

“I don’t think it’s confusing. It’s just details. I don’t think the defense came ready as we usually are. Right now, we just have to clear that and get ready for the next one.”

(Ref.: whether or not Temple’s size up front made a difference)
“I don’t think it’s any of that, honestly. There were some long runs that were made basically because we had guys that weren’t in the right gap. Eyes and feet are essential in this defense, and it wasn’t here today.”

(Ref.: the performance of the Army defense)
“They ran all over us, which is kind of an understatement when they have over 500 rushing yards. We just have to come out tomorrow and be ready for Navy.”

(Ref.: whether or not he ever felt that the Army defense could not stop Temple RB Montel Harris)
“No, that’s never been in the back of my head at all, actually. I’m going for the next play, and I assume that everyone on the defense believes we can stop the next play. As a defense, we just didn’t come out today. The big thing with our team right now is consistency. One day, our offense will come out and have a heck of a game and our defense will not be there. That’s something we’re going to work on over these next three weeks. The seniors and leaders on this team need to come together and make sure we are consistent every day and get ready for Navy.”

Senior DB Josh Jackson
(Ref.: the performance of the Army defense today)
“It’s hard to put this into words. Being the last game I’m going to play in this stadium, it’s unfortunate. At the end of the day, hopefully there’s a new day. We have a Navy in our sights, and we have to clear and look forward to that one.”

(Ref.: how the Army defense can regroup and prepare for the Navy game)
“As seniors, this is where your character is tested. We’ve been tested this whole season, but true character and true leadership is how you overcome both good and bad situations. At the end of the day, we get another chance and we’ll get our team together and get ready for the showdown (versus Navy).”

Senior QB Trent Steelman
(Ref.: reflecting on his final game at Michie Stadium)

“I don’t think it’s the way you want to finish any game. At the same time, we have one more. We can still go out on the right note and finish the season the right way.”

(Ref.: thoughts on breaking a pair of Army records in today’s game)
“A loss is a loss, no matter what happens on the field you’re going to have that same feeling. I would trade (all of the records) back for a win, to be honest. When we have a total team effort, you’ve seen what we’re capable of doing, and today it just wasn’t there. We have to go back to work.”

Temple head coach Steve Addazio
(Ref.: opening statement)

“Obviously we went out there today and ran the heck out of the football. Montel (Harris) broke the school rushing record for 351 yards and broke the touchdown record with seven TDs, and we tied for the most points scored in the history of Temple football, and all of this I guess is some of the most stuff done since the ‘70s.

“I thought we went out there and made a statement, our guys played hard. I thought our team competed really hard. Obviously that’s the number one rushing offense in America, that’s no slouch rushing offense. They had their plays on us; at times we got a little banged up during the course of the game.  We all saw Matt Brown got banged up, and guys on defense, that’s the nature of playing this game. I thought our guys played really hard and really physical with great heart and great competition. We needed that game, we needed to play like that, and we did and I’m real proud of our team.”

(Ref.: attribute to Montel Harris’ success)
“Obviously the offensive line blocked really well today. I thought we knocked them off the ball, I thought there was great holes in there. I thought he also, when there wasn’t, he bulled his way and twisted his way and drove his way for those extra yards on those scores. He just ran really hard. He was a little tentative early, and then of course Matt (Brown) came whipping out of there and Matt went down, so Montel said ‘I’m ready to roll, I’m good, I’m good.’ He was a little tentative coming off his injury from a week ago. It’s been one of those years, man, with the injuries here, but what are you going to do? Our team got it done – Jamie Gilmore got in and popped off a good run.”

(Ref.: where this win ranks among the others in his career)
“It just was a great win. We needed this win for our team. What happens is this, and this is the under-known thing to me, I think about making the jump we made. What goes unnoticed, you come off a run of games you’re playing, week-in and week-out, and you can lose your confidence a little bit, you get beaten down, you’re tired, and that can wear on you. And no one really understands that, and that’s why scheduling is everything. The Rutgers of the world and the Connecticuts of the world figured that out a long time ago – they’ve got those wins in there that they can count on, and then they battle out for the rest of them. We’re experiencing all those things right now. This win for us was a great win because it was a statement win. A statement that we’re still fighting and the team has a lot of fight in them. We needed that today – get a little confidence and go enjoy the heck out of that win. You get a little catatonic with not having a bye week in weeks on end, with a young team, you have no idea what that means. I see Connecticut has a couple bye weeks right now, we could use one. Honestly that would be a great boost-juice for us, but we won’t get it. We’re down the home stretch right now, we have to play Syracuse, I told our team we’re playing for a bowl team right now.

“Last thing I really want to say is that this is a great feeling up at West Point; this is a special place. I’ve been up here a few times – these are the guys that are going to protect our country; this is the United States Military Academy. This is a cool place to be and I have a lot of respect for that team and what those kids do and how hard they have to work in school and they’re getting ready to play Navy and we wish them the best. We’re just so proud to be able to come up here and play hard and physical against a team that’s loaded with guys that know what it’s all about to have great character and toughness and resilience, and we had to come up here and have some of that, so it’s special to do that here.”

Senior RB Montel Harris
(Ref.: his performance)

“It was a great performance, a great achievement, the offensive line blocked the defensive line and linebackers up well, gave me some running lanes. I just appreciate the o-line, it’s a blessing to have a record like that.”

(Ref.: having the game he did without practicing the week before)
“Our goal is always to run the ball well and have a great game, but I didn’t see this coming. I started off kind of slow in the beginning of the game and I definitely didn’t see this coming.”

(Ref.: stepped up his game when Matt Brown went down)
“Whenever you have a big player go down, you know you have to step it up and try and fill his shoes, and that’s just what I was trying to do. The offensive line picked it up, we all knew we had to pick it up with Matt down, and that’s what we did.”

(Ref.: was he aware of his yards)
“Towards the end when I just needed like 10 more yards, they were telling me to go get these 10 yards and we were able to do that. The rushing record for Temple is great to have.”

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