Army vs. Air Force Postgame Quotes (11-3-06)

Army head coach Bobby Ross was unavailable to speak to the media following the game due to a family matter. In his absence defensive coordinator John Mumford addressed the media.

Army Defensive Coordinator John Mumford
"To echo what coach Ross said after the game, it's difficult to overcome seven turnovers. That's the most glaring factor of the game. Nevertheless, speaking from my end of it defensively, when we get put in that situation, we have to step up and keep them out of the end zone. We took the approach at halftime to get back out (and play as if the score was 0-0); and play hard. We made a few adjustments on both sides of the ball. But when you turn the ball over like that, it's very, very difficult on the entire team."

(ref.: what can you say to Army fans about the rest of the season?)
"We've got two formidable opponents certainly in Notre Dame and Navy. Nobody in their right mind could see this coming. Army fans, hang with this group of young men. They fought in there and battled. And really when it comes down to it, it's about these players. Stay behind them; finish this thing out."

(ref.: how team responded from early fumble)
"(At that point) it's only 7-0 with a large part of the game to go. We had excellent momentum offensively. From my vantage point in the press box, we were moving the football. The offensive line was coming off the ball, getting three yards of push. That's not an insurmountable situation B 7-0 with that much time left. If you buy into that, you buy into excuses. You've just got to go out and keep playing hard."

(ref.: have you ever seen anything like the stretch where Army turned the ball over on four successive offensive plays?)
"I've been doing this for about 26 years. I've been around at times where the wheels fall off. But something like that in a rivalry game like this, where the emotions are high, it can set you back pretty quick. I haven't seen that, no."

(ref.: anything positive to come out of this game)
"It would be difficult to find anything. We've got to get beyond moral victories, or playing good teams tough. We're here to win. It's a team game and the object of the game is to win. I think it would be very difficult to find anything positive in this."

(ref.: are you concerned at how the team will respond?)
"No. I think they'll come back. We've got a week off to evaluate things as coaches. We've got a week off to evaluate individuals and players. The only thing I can assure you is that the staff will in here at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning trying to figure it out to get on the right track."

Army QB Carson Williams
(ref.: the challenge of getting over this game)
“The first thing I’m going to do is try to forget about it. You have to try to forget about your losses. Right now, the next game is the most important game. I’ll do my best to just let go of it.”

(ref.: his first quarter fumble)
“My hands went numb after the third play (of the game), and I’m not sure if (the ball) ever hit my hands. I just know that I didn’t have it when I put my hands together.”

(ref.: the momentum swing that occurred when Air Force returned Williams’ fumble 98 yards for a touchdown)
“I think we had a lot of momentum on our first drive, and (when Air Force returned the fumble 98 yards) it was kind of like a stake to the heart. It stopped us in our tracks.”

Army DE Cameron Craig
(ref.: losing to Air Force in the home finale)
“It’s a horrible way to go out, especially for the seniors playing our last game at Michie Stadium. It is in the past now; there’s nothing we can do about it now. We can’t lie down in the dirt and die. We have to get back up and start getting ready for Notre Dame - it’s the only thing you can do. We have to keep fighting.”

Army RB Wesley McMahand
(ref.: Coach Bobby Ross’ message to the team at halftime)
“I thought he was very calm. He just told us to go out there and play like it was 0-0. He seemed a little frustrated, but he just tried to remain calm and told us to start over. He told us to play like it was a new game.”

Army LB Cason Shrode
(ref.: Shaun Carney’s pregame prediction that Air Force would defeat Army, 49-7)
“We were all aware of it. Of course, it was motivation because we don’t want them to come in and beat us in our own house. We just didn’t get the job done tonight; that’s the bottom line.”

Air Force Head Coach Fisher DeBerry
(ref.: opening statement)
“Beating another service academy always feels very good. I think you could all tell how joyous our dressing room was. We had two very tough weeks, so it was important that we came here and played good. Obviously, we didn’t get off to a good start, but when they were knocking on the door they mishandled the ball and Adam Zanotti was right there and was able to go the distance. That really ignited our team. They played with a lot of confidence. I really salute our defensive staff. We looked liked the team we had early in the season when people had trouble running the ball against us. When they tried to throw the ball we had our guys in the right positions and the turnovers and interceptions gave our offense good field position. We were able to convert on all of the turnovers. We were able to get our running game going. This was a great win for us because of the way things had been going. We knew it was not going to be easy. It’s never easy coming up here, but today was just a little bit easier than it has been in the past.”

(ref.: creating turnovers on defense)
“We were hungry for the ball. We were like piranhas going for the football. We knew that they had turned the ball over before and we had put a great deal of emphasis on that. We thought that if we could force some turnovers it would give us a good opportunity for success.”

CB Garrett Rybak
(ref.: impact of Adam Zanotti’s touchdown)
“A turnover for a touchdown is a huge momentum swing, especially when they’re about to score the first points of the game. That gave us momentum, and things started going our way.”

(ref.: making a statement after tough losses)
“Any loss, no matter who we’re playing, is a hard loss. One thing about this team is we’re real resilient. If you knock us down we’re going to get back up. We’re not going to stay down.”

QB Shaun Carney
(ref.: team’s reaction to your prediction of game, 49-7 Air Force)
“Everyone was pretty excited about it. I did it to fire up my guys, but with no disrespect to Army. I wanted us to get motivated and come out excited.”

RB Chad Hall
(ref.: turnovers setting up offense)
“The turnovers put us in a great position to score and we capitalized on pretty much every one of them.”

(ref.: reaction to Adam Zanotti’s fumble return)
“Before that play, the offense was on the sideline talking about how we were going to have to respond to a touchdown. Then we saw the ball pop out and Adam (Zanotti) got it and started running down the field. We were going crazy. What a turn around.”

(ref.: getting the running attack going)
“I think we ran the ball very well. Shaun (Carney) made some great decisions, and it showed. The coaching staff installed the counter plays thinking they would work, and it paid off for us.”

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