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Army vs. Hawai'i Postgame Quotes (Sept. 11, 2010)



Army head coach Rich Ellerson

(Ref.: opening statement)

"It was a hard-fought contest. I'm proud of how our team took some shots early and bounced back. We kept believing, and we just battled and battled and battled. That character will give us a chance every week we play. We need to build on that. We need to find another play; we need to find another play on offense, defense and in the kicking game. Every phase of the game had a chance to make a difference there. We're not talking about two plays or 10 plays, we're talking about a play. We need to make sure we don't get too myopic and just try to put it off that one play that goes to be reviewed 47 times. That's not the game; that's not football. It would be too easy if that was the game. There were 1,000 chances for us to win that game, and we're going to find that win. If we can get into an uphill fight like that physically, we can dig a hole for ourselves and battle back like that, then we can win some football games."

(Ref.: turning the tide in the second quarter)
"We kind of gathered ourselves as the second quarter wore on. We settled down and we stopped them once and then we got a drive. We came out to start the second half with a nice drive. Then we got some  turnovers, and the takeaways, as always, will give you an opportunity. That's the best thing we could do with the Hawai'i offense, and that is keeping them over there (on the sideline) watching our offense. We were able to do that with a takeaway in the kicking game and a takeaway on defense. We got the ball in scoring position, and we got ourselves back in it. Frankly, that's what it was going to take against an outfit like that."

(Ref.: the play of QB Max Jenkins, who came into the game to replace injured starter Trent Steelman)
"We run our offense, and Max can run our offense. Max is a bright guy. He knows what we're trying to do. He can fix plays at the line of scrimmage as well as anybody. There's no substitution for being in a game. He's well-prepared and he's a poised individual, but there is no substitute for being out there between the white lines with the game on the line. That will be a great experience for him, and that will help us. I hate to say that with the way we feel right now, but having Max be in that situation and guide that team as well as he did will come back to us during the course of the season."

(Ref.: the delay of game penalty on Army's final drive)
"We just took too much time. There was too much discussion. I'm at fault there. It wasn't like we were trying to do anything especially tricky."

(Ref.: having a chance to win, and what he told the team after the game)
"We had chances all the way through. When the game comes down to a single play, you have to count all of them. You can't just count the one that catches your imagination at the end. There were 100 chances, and what we need to do, as empty as we feel right now, is to be excited about how we competed. We need to be together. We talk about this brotherhood. Well, that will pay off for us. We'll hold onto each other. Each and every one of us will be accountable and will take responsibility for that. We'll get better. Our most experienced guy has exactly one year and two games of experience in this offense and this defense. The beautiful thing is where we are as competitors, and where we are as a team. If we make sure that is not jeopardized and we find a way to dig our cleats in a little bit deeper and we find a way to make one more play, this team will win some football games."

(Ref.: the play of the defense, and the challenge of containing the Hawai'i offense)

"We're rushing the passer and they're protecting the passer. There are some things that you do against their protection stuff, and when the guys were settled in doing it, we're pretty good. The difference in the game defensively was that when we played well we got some four-man pressure. In the absence of that, look out, because we didn't match up with them very well on the back end. Their quarterback (Bryant) Moniz is an outstanding guy. He's accurate and he throws the ball with great timing. The only equalizer there is pressure, and when we got pressure we had some success. In the absence of that, we had none. They're outstanding; they do what they do and they do it especially well."

(Ref.: the play of the Army running game, and difference in the game)
"We like our backfield. It was a shame that Raymond (Maples) had all of one play and twisted his ankle. We were anxious to see him in a game, and we saw in the one play he was in there that he has a little magic and we think that's going to show up in the future. We're much more physically mature at those positions and we have a little bit of depth. We, frankly, have a little bit more there. We had those three and outs early in the contest that put our defense right back on the field, and those guys were feeling it. And when you talk about the difference in the football game, you don't have to look much further than that. You have to look at both ends of the equation. You can't just dismiss what was happening in the first quarter and just focus on what was happening at the end of the fourth. There were a lot of opportunities to win that (game)."

(Ref.: the injury to Army starting QB Trent Steelman)
"He's banged up, and he's been injured before. He's obviously a tough guy and would have gone back into the game in a heartbeat. The training staff just thought that he may have been in too much jeopardy until they know more about it. My guess is that he'll battle back."

(Ref.: causing turnovers on defense and special teams)
"That's something that we really pride ourselves on. We know that will give us a chance to win, if we can take the ball away. Frankly, that was probably our only way back into (the game). As I said, the best way to control their offense was to keep it on the sideline watching us, and being productive at the same time. That was the lesson; not only were we holding onto the ball and causing turnovers, but we were productive with them. That gave us a great chance."

(Ref.: taking the Hawai'i offense out of its rhythm)"
"They're on the field with us and we're well-enough conditioned to fight through that stuff. But we don't want to let a quarterback like that to get into his rhythm. As you can see, when they're on the sideline for 15-20 minutes just playing catch they're not the same group coming off the sideline. If you let them stay on the field and get into their rhythm and feel it, they're really something. Just keeping them on the sideline and keeping them out of their rhythm and making them a little bit nervous about the clock all helped us. Early on in the game when they had their way with it, they had the ball as much as they wanted it. They were throwing the ball with good timing, and there's a reason why they're as prolific as they are on offense."

(Ref.: playing on the nine-year anniversary of 9/11)
"Today is a special day. Once we start playing the game, we're playing the game. But, we're at West Point and 9/11 is never far from our guys' consciousness. Those events, and what those events led to; our guys are definitely dialed into. We were conscious of that, but we're three-quarters conscious of that 24/7."

(Ref.: Max Jenkins' fumble that was originally ruled down)
"Obviously the guys that I was talking to said that he was clearly down, but I was talking to our coaches. Their opinion was that it was not irrefutable."

(Ref.: mindset of the team following the game)
"Our goal each week is to win the game, so we're as frustrated as the dickens right now because we failed to achieve our goal for the week. Our guys love to play and our guys are competitive. Certainly they're frustrated, like anybody would be, but we'll take from this what we need to. There's a lot of good stuff we can take from this. There's a lot of things we have to correct, and a lot of things that we can look at each other and like what we see. We'll move forward and be fine. We didn't expect it was going to be easy; we didn't expect everything was going to go our way. We decided a long time ago that when one of these days happened that we would pull together and handle it exactly the right way; that we'd use it as a launching pad for the next effort."

(Ref.: the play of the Hawaii offense, and how Army battled back)
"I'm not surprised that they were being prolific, not at all. What you do in those situations, is you look at the next snap. If you stood back and looked at the scoreboard and look at the clock, you'd go 'Oh my goodness, they're going to break that sucker.' But we don't do that. We just find a way to win the next play, and when you get to that next play, you clear from that and get onto the next one. And, one play at a time we fought our way back into it. Nobody panicked, nobody freaked out. Everybody knew what we had to do. There was no mystery out there. Some of the challenges were physical, some of them were X's and O's, and the guys managed it beautifully, I thought. We fought our way back into it. We made the challenge a little bit harder than it needed to be, and we'll hate that we couldn't find one more play. But that's okay as long as we clear and take that lesson forward. Our goal next week it to be 1-0."

(Ref.: whether or not controlling the clock and tiring out the Hawaii offense was planned)
"Getting them tired was not the plan. We wanted to control the football, but you have to be productive doing so. I think we were convinced we were going to find a way to win, and I think we were starting to convince them maybe that we were going to find a way to win. That's a sign of a good football team, when you can start to impose your will on another good football team, because (Hawai'i) is a good football team. That speaks to our character, but give them credit, they needed guys to step up and make plays, and they had guys step up and make plays."


Senior LB Stephen Anderson
(Ref.: general feelings on playing a back-and-forth game)

"It's disappointing. All we needed was one play from anyone. Offensively and defensively, we just didn't come through in a critical situation. We are just looking to take that one step to be the team we know we can be."

(Ref.: how he picks the team up after a disappointment like this)
"Grab your brother's shoulder, look him in the eye and tell him everything is going to be okay. We're still here. We still have 10 more games. All of our goals for the season are still there. It's not over yet and all of us know that. We're just one step away from showing everyone that we're the team everyone knows we can be."

(Ref.: playing on Sept. 11)

"We talked about it all week and General (Ray) Odierno was there and talked to us about it. This day means a lot to a lot of people, us included. Just having that behind us when we needed it, it's always nice to have an extra source of power out there and that was definitely there today."

(Ref.: general momentum swings in the game)
"That's a football game. It's not like we've never been in that position before. Last week was very similar. We didn't face such a huge deficit in the beginning. This team is not quitters. That's not in our vocabulary. We weren't surprised when we came back. We believe in each other. This brotherhood isn't just a bunch of teammates. We play for one another and for all of our fans. We're not going to back down from any opponent. That's the heart and soul of this team. We fight until the end." 

Sophomore FB Jared Hassin
(Ref.: the offense's mindset down 21-0)

"The mindset was very much like it was last week at Eastern Michigan when we needed to score and put points on the board. The team was relying on us to do that. Being in that situation last week and coming into that week, we put that behind that. We got the offense huddled up and said, 'We're going to do this.' We put our best foot forward and it worked out in putting some points on the board."

Junior QB Max Jenkins

(Ref.: Army's final drive ending in a fumble)

"You just trust that the refs make the right decision. It turned out being a fumble and all I can do now is learn from the mistake and move on. We thought we put a good drive together, but just couldn't pull it out in the end."

(Ref.: if he knew the ball was loose)
"It's hard to tell because things are happening 100 miles an hour. Like I said, hopefully the refs made the right decision. You just have to move on. There's no point in dwelling on it."

(Ref.: if he was surprised when the referee reversed the call)
"Of course, but things happen and you just have to try and fight back. We just couldn't pull it out."

Senior DE Josh McNary
(Ref.: how the defense turned around after giving up early points)

"Nothing necessary spurred it on. It wasn't a particular instance, but more of just a shift in mindset. We realized we had given up 21 points and it was time to get the ball on the ground and back into the hands of our offense. Besides that, it was total execution from our defensive backs, linebackers and defensive linemen. I can't get back and pressure the quarterback if the defensive backs don't hold their guys for a certain amount of time, and vice versa."

Sophomore SB Malcolm Brown
(Ref.: his memories of this game)

"It's going to be a learning experience. We're going to get back to it tomorrow and Monday. We're just going to keep working hard. We know we could have won that game, but we came up short by one play."


Head Coach Greg McMackin

"It was an exciting game. Both teams played their hearts out. Army has played a lot of games like that, right down to the wire. It looked like we controlled the first half, but they came back and controlled the second half. To take it back and get the field goal, it's a thrill for our guys. It's great to win a game like that, especially on the road, and I'm really proud of them."

(Ref.: getting the ball with 30 seconds, any thought to settle for overtime?)
"There was no doubt that we were going to march down the field. We actually should have had 12 to 18 seconds more. That's why I was talking to the officials. When we recovered the football it should have been dead right then and they kept running time off the clock. Then, when we did get the fumble the white hat official said you don't get any more time. So we had what, 21 seconds, to go down. Our offense executed a couple of great plays, got us down within field goal range, then Scott Enos kicked it through and it was a dream come true."

(Ref.: condition of Spencer Smith)
"Spencer is one of our best players and he broke his forearm so I'm not sure how long he's out, but I'm sure he's out quite a bit. That's a real loss. He was one of the captains of our first game. He's a leader and a great player. He's going to be greatly missed."

(Ref.: coming back after seeing Spencer Smith go down and Army scoring 21-straight points)
"We have a trademark that we're going to come out fighting and we're not going to retreat and they didn't. They didn't quit. The second half - we let them in the game with a couple penalties, had a couple of fumbles. Then in the fourth quarter we stiffened up and got a fumble ourselves and finished it off."

Junior QB Bryant Moniz
(Ref.: any doubt you'd be able to get into scoring position the final drive)

"Pretty much the whole second half, all they did was hold on to the ball and run out the clock, so I was a little worried if we were going to get the opportunity to get on the field. Our defense and secondary fought them the whole second half and created a fumble, their only one of the whole game, and it just worked out. We always practice our 2-minute drills - 20 seconds left is a lot of time, and it was enough time today."

(Ref.: what offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich told you after the fumble recovery)
"Same thing as in practice: 25 seconds, no time outs, get the ball out towards the sideline, get the ball out of bounds, and I just went in and told our huddle that and we went out and did that."

(Ref.: getting your confidence back after Army made its 21-point run)
"It's just one of those things where you have to let the last play behind you. All the other plays where we didn't get it - our fumble, all the bad stuff that happened to us - put that behind us and took it one play at a time. When it came down to the last drive, we weren't negative at all, we were confident in our abilities, our plays, our coaches, our talk, and we just did what we had to do."


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