Army vs. Rice Postgame Quotes (PDF)
Army Head Coach Bobby Ross
"I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to our fans, our administration, our corps ... everyone for our lackluster performance. When we play like that, the blame needs to be put right to me. And I accept that blame and absorb it. Obviously we weren't ready and didn't do a very good job in any phase of the game. I don't know that there was one thing that I can think of that was a positive, whether it be individually or anything else.
"As I look at the film, and I'm going to look at it very close, the biggest thing I'm going to be looking for is the effort. The thing that bothered me the most about this game was it was like we were playing on ice on defense. We were just not reacting. One of the keys to a football team being ready is the tackling. Our tackling was horrendous today. We've been a good tackling team.
"You can point to a lot of things, but ultimately I'm the person responsible for getting them ready to play and I didn't do a good job of that, and I apologize to our fans and our supporters, our administration and our Corps."
(ref.: how do you explain what happened today)
"I wish I had the answer to it. I don't know that I can give you the answer because I don't know it right now. I didn't see signs of this type of performance in our week of preparation, I did not. I didn't see the intensity that we have to play with in our practice sessions, but at the same time I thought that our execution was pretty decent and it looked like we were doing some things pretty well. It's a mystery to me to. I won't sleep much (tonight). It will bother me."
(ref.: whether team overlooked Rice)
"I don't think that at all. I thought they were a pretty good football team. That quarterback is something special. You've got to give them some credit. Let's not put it all on us. Give them some credit for doing the things that they did. We got outplayed; we got outcoached; we got outhustled; we got outefforted. It all happened. They did a much better job and they were much more ready to play. They were dealing with some very tough circumstances as well. You've got to give them an awful lot of credit for that."
(ref.: disappointment of being close to achieving first winning record since 1996)
"It's agonizing. To be that close; be at home and rested. It's really agonizing. It's agonizing because it was something that I wanted so badly for this program, I really did. To just fall on our face like we did is agonizing."
(ref.: reasons for poor performance)
"We started out offensively okay. We drove the length of the field, had a nice drive and went in for a score. It looked nice. It looked good. But they came right out and they answered us; and they answered us; and they answered us; three times. We had two series in a row of three-and-out after that when we needed to move the ball and we didn't. On top of that, we didn't stop them. First down, second down, third down, it did not matter. We gave up big plays, little plays, the whole thing. We were like on eggshells; no reaction, no 'suddenness' to what we were doing. I sensed that very early in the first drive, defensively speaking. Offensively, it got that way later on - no 'suddenness.' We were just playing very tentatively. That's what I saw. We weren't aggressive. We showed no confidence either back there. We had a couple of bad things happen and what you have to do there is you have to have a little fire lit, things have to happen, and you have to make a couple of plays."
(ref.: reaction to Ricky Lay's injury)
"It's always scary. That's understood. When a young man like that goes down, it's always very scary, you've got to understand that. When you work with them and you're around them every day. It's very scary. I've been through it before, but it's still a very scary thing."
Army DE Cameron Craig
(ref.: his reaction to the game)
“I’m disappointed and very embarrassed. To put it bluntly, we didn’t come out to play tonight. That showed out on the field. We had a lot of missed assignments, a lot of missed tackles, a lot of errors and turnovers. When you do things like that you can’t expect to win. We’re a lot better football team than this. It will be a test to see how we come back next week.”
Army SS Caleb Campbell
(ref.: the play of the Army defense)
“They just came out there and kicked our (butt). They ran a no-huddle, but it wasn’t a fast tempo no-huddle. For some reason, we weren’t getting our calls from one corner to another corner across the field, and that hurt us a couple of times. We’re going to bounce back, I know that. It’s not going to happen on the field again this year.”
(ref.: playing Rice)
“Going into this game, we were told several times that we were going to go over the .500 mark. I think our focus went away from the game to just doing that. We went out there on the field thinking that this game was going to be handed to us. Obviously, when they put 14 points on the board in the first quarter we knew we had to play. From there, they kept us down and just kept stepping on us. It was definitely disappointing.”
Army CB Sean Grevious
(ref.: the play of the Army defense)
“We didn’t come out to play today overall. We didn’t perform today. I can’t say exactly what happened. We just didn’t come out and do our part. We’re a good defense, but we just didn’t come out to play today. I give (Rice) credit; they played well.”
Army QB David Pevoto
(ref.: the play of Army’s offense)
“When we had a chance to keep our defense off the field we didn’t make third-down conversions, and that’s what it came down to. When we’re put in a position to execute, we have to in order to win games. The last few games, we’ve done that. We came out tonight and the offense didn’t come ready to play. I don’t know what happened. We didn’t get several key third downs. In order to win games, you have to keep your defense off the field and we didn’t do that. We dug ourselves in a hole with that interception. We tried to come back, but give credit to Rice; they played a good game. We just have to come back this week and focus. This one hurts a lot; this one really hurts a lot.”
(ref.: his reaction to seeing Army RB Ricky Lay injured)
“You never want to see that on either side. That’s a situation where you get down on your knee and start praying, and a lot of us did that. Ricky’s a tough guy.”
Army WR Jeremy Trimble
(ref.: bouncing back from today’s game)
“I think we’ll definitely bounce back. It was one of those games where we thought we were going to play better than we did, and we just got beat today. It’s tough right now. We’ll sulk tonight and think about what we did. Tomorrow’s a new day; the sun is going to rise and we’re going to bounce back.”
Rice Head Coach Todd Graham
(ref.: opening statement)
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the kids. After the emotions they have gone through this week, to come out here and focus the way they did was very challenging. I feel like we got better at every phase this week. We’ve got a good football team and I’ve known that all along. What a difference it makes to put (Chase Clement) back at QB and be able to use (Joel Armstrong) at WR. People don’t even know what (Jarett Dillard) is capable of. I’m proud of Major Applewhite and our whole offensive staff. Our defensive staff did a great job. Naturally there are some things we can improve upon, but I’m pleased with the way we played today.”
(ref.: Clement’s return in offense)
“It allows us to do what we want to do. It was frustrating to not have him. I told you we’ve got talent on this team. I was proud of our offensive line and the way they played. I knew how much Clement meant. He manages the game very well.”
(ref.: limiting Army’s time of possession in the third quarter)
“Being on the field and not having so many deficiencies or mismatches, it was easier to make adjustments at halftime. We made some great adjustments defensively. Going back to the second quarter, our kids have learned how to make reads, and Andray Downs called for an audible on that interception he ran back for a touchdown. Our kids are playing really smart, and today they gave me lots to be proud of.”
(ref.: getting team ready despite adversity)
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. We had a memorial for (Dale Lloyd) with just the team and his parents on Thursday night that was incredible. Thursday night really helped our team. The student body held a candle light vigil in his honor that meant a lot to our players as did spending with his family. We go home tomorrow to bury him, and that will be difficult. I think the whole experience brought us all closer together.
“Thursday wasn’t a downer. Dale’s parents made it a celebration of his life. I think that helped our kids. I know it helped me. The faith that the Lloyd family has shown to this coaching staff and our players has really helped this football team. We’re going to go home and naturally celebrate this victory, and then tomorrow we’re going to have a victory celebration of Dale’s life.”
(ref.: getting the first win)
“At the beginning of the year, I told everyone that were three things we needed to do to be successful: stay healthy, have a quarterback that manages the game and have a solid defense. After that first game we didn’t have either of the first two. We haven’t arrived or anything like that, but that was a heck of a good football team we beat out there tonight. Army beat Baylor and should have beaten Texas A&M.”
Rice WR Jarett Dillard
(ref.: having Clement at quarterback)
“It felt real good. It was just like back in the summer, playing catch with him. It also helps to have Joel opposite me. It opens up our offense and allows for all of our weapons to be utilized.”
(ref.: play of the Rice offense)
“It seemed liked nothing would fail. We went out there and no matter what we had to do it was there. Everything we practiced happened in the game. It gives us so much confidence moving forward.”
(ref: getting the first win)
“It felt great. Joel (Armstrong) and I were on the sideline when it was 28-7 and we were praying that it was the fourth quarter. It felt real good to get a win.”
Rice DB Andray Downs
(ref.: interception return)
“We had actually called an audible on that play. We were looking for that route and when he threw the ball I was able to jump it and I timed it perfectly. Once I saw the open field my only thoughts were don’t let the quarterback get you. When I crossed the goal line I thought of (Dale Lloyd) and said to myself this one’s for you’ it was kind of bittersweet.”
(ref: play of defense)
“The last two weeks we didn’t play that well. Defensively, we couldn’t stop the run. We felt like we had to come out today and make a statement. Army’s a very good football team. They played two Big 12 teams hard and beat one of them. We felt this was something we had to do, come out and re-establish ourselves.”
(ref.: team responding to adversity)
“On Monday, the last thing on our minds was playing a football game this weekend. Once we spoke with (Dale Lloyd’s) family and saw the faith they had. They told us to go out there and play for Dale. That motivated us and helped us to focus.”
Rice QB Chase Clement
(ref.: playing against Army)
“Ever since I knew we were coming up here for this game I got excited. I know what Army is all about, having been recruited by coach (Bobby Ross). Having the chance to play against them was very special for me.”
(ref.: breaking school’s touchdown passing record)
“It’s not something you think about when you’re out on the field. You have to stay focused on the task. (Jarett Dillard) just kept making plays for me and he’s really the one ho allowed for it to happen to be the case. My main concerns all game were leading the offense and trying to score points.”