Cincinnati - Akron Quotes

Sept. 17, 2011

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Cincinnati vs. Akron Postgame Quotes
September 17, 2011

Cincinnati Head Coach Butch Jones

Opening statement:
“Obviously a good team won today. We were very opportunistic on defense, it was great to see. I like the confidence our back end played today. There break and drive, they attacked the ball in the air which we talked about all week. We were able to generate a pass rush and I thought our defensive line did some good things. Offensively we did a good job; we took care of the football until the end, which was great to see. We still have to clean up a lot of things. Winning can hide a lot of things and we go back to work tomorrow for a short week. Tomorrow is actually Tuesday on the football calendar. We just have to come out and continue to progress and be a good football team. I’ve said it from training camp and I’ll continue to say it, it’s one game at a time. We just need to continue to progress and get better as time goes.”

On second big win of the year:
“I like the way we managed our business and you look around the country and I think we forget that this game is played by 18 and 20 year olds and I still have to educate some people on that. You know they make mistakes and I thought we handled our business well. The big thing for us was being able to take the practice to the game and play fast. That is the biggest thing. We do everything correctly in practice and when you get to the game you have to trust in your practice and your coaching and I think we did that today. We played faster on defense, we were more confident.”

On leading on turnover margin:
“It’s a great sign. It is something that we take great pride in, this football program takes great pride in. It is a point of emphasis. But even last year it was a point of emphasis. I think we are just doing a much better job taking the ball away on defense. As the season progresses, each game gets more important. The physicality of the game Thursday night will be turned up a notch. We will continue to coach it but is great to see that we are taking care of the football and we need to continue to do that.”

On the short week:
“It’s all about the turn-around; it’s us taking care of our bodies. It’s making Bob Mangine earn his pay check and you know getting out there and play our best football Thursday night. It is a very short week. It’s about your rest and how your hydrate and with a short week the mental preparation is of upmost importance.”

On biggest question mark going into NC State:
“I think a number of areas we have to clean things up. First of all, the kicking game we need to take great strides with our extra point field goal team, with our kickoff team we are still nowhere where we need to be at. I think we need to take great strides in those areas and overall consistency; consistency on defense of getting off the field on third down and continuing to generate a pass rush. Even on offense, on third down we had third and one early in the game and we had an illegal chop block and it took away a conversion. We can’t have that happen. Good football teams cant beat themselves and there is always teaching to come out of that.”

On what he was telling defense after Tennessee:
“We have a group of young men who are extremely pride full and we told them that they just have to focus and you have to come to work each and everyday to become a better football team, a better unit with everything. You can’t let those things effect you, if you do you let Tennessee beat you twice. There is no looking back, always looking forward.”

On NC State:
“First of all it was a great environment, they had a great home field advantage. Coach O’Brien is a great football coach and they have a very good football team. I think that was evidence by the season that they had last year. They were a good football team and they were a better football team that night. I thought they were physical, they ran the football, they stopped the run and I think that we have great challenge this year.”

On freshman running back Jameel Poteet:
“I thought he ran the ball hard. We have really challenged him to get his pad level down and I thought he had some good runs on second and third efforts. I thought sometimes he made the first individual miss in space and again those are the reps that are invaluable and we need to continue to progress him.”

Junior defensive back Camerron Cheatham:

On rebounding from the Tennessee loss:
“There’s no secret about what happened at Tennessee. We had to step up and play a better game.  All week it was about snapping and clearing. Coach Jones came in and told us to put Tennessee behind us and play a big game. I think we did that. People may not see it but the safeties played a good game. Now, we have to be ready for N.C. State because it’s no secret what happened with them last year. It’ll be a test like Tennessee, or it can be like Tennessee."

On his pick-six:
“It was a dream come true. I’ve been waiting a long time for that to come true. It was a blessing from God.”

On his defensive touchdown:
“It was good. It’s always good to score defensive touchdowns and bring the crowd into it. So, it was big to cause three big turnovers no matter who we play. So that was definitely big for our defense to get some confidence for this next game.”

On the turnover margin:
“All season we worked on ball skills. Before and after practice catching balls, that was the main thing we wanted to work on. I’m glad to see it all paying off.”

Senior defensive lineman Derek Wolfe

On the defensive play:
“No matter the opponent, you have to dominate the play – even in practice. You have to play every snap hard.”

On getting a big hit:
“It was nice to get in pass rush.  I’ve played plenty of snaps. I have been itching to get back on the field since that Tennessee game. That’s that thing about when you lose: you learn a lot more than when you win. I was like, ‘Wow, I really need to get better on the pass rush.’”

Junior linebacker Maalik Bomar

On being opportunistic:
“Most of those occurred under pressure. We emphasized this week being aggressive. Period. Just when the ball is snapped, go get it. Don’t worry about being perfect, just make a play."

On the changes from last week:
“We just let go this week. We were playing for ourselves. Everyone had to be in this week and we did that.”

On the importance of early turnovers:
“We were just aggressive today and we executed the play.”

On not playing the second half:
“I feel like that’s a good opportunity for the young guys to come in and get experience on the field. And it’s an opportunity for (senior linebacker) JK Schaffer and I and all of the older guys to coach them up, a fix the mistakes their making – if any. Like I said, it’s a great opportunity for them.”

On playing in five days:
“It’s good to have a break here and there, but we have to attack the week aggressively. We have to prepare for the short week and dial in.”

Senior defensive back Dominique Battle

On the meaning of this week’s win:
“We redeemed ourselves.  It gave us real confidence going into next week against N.C. State.”

On his big play:
“(Associate head coach/special teams/defensive backs) Coach Coombs gave us the scouting report, so we know they like to do the comebacks to the sticks. So I decided to stay and look into the quarterback’s eyes. And I jumped it. The coaches did a good job this week at just knowing what the other team was going to do in certain situations. First pick six feels great.”

Akron Head Coach Rob Ianello

On what he said to the team:
“It was obviously a two-part situation. We knew we weren’t going to win the game at half time, that was pretty evident. So now we got to find out a little more about who we are and what we are and re-establish a goal at that time of winning the second half. We’re going to play our regular offense and defense. We’re going to play our regular special teams, just like the game plan was. And when we came out, that was the opening kickoff of the game, in our minds. No consolation for the final score, absolutely not. But as far as getting our guys to continue to compete and grow and play for something in the second half, and I felt like we played in the second half with that in mind. I thought that we showed that we were trying to play for something. Certainly you cannot turn it over six times in three for touchdowns for them, that’s unacceptable offense performance. That put us in a huge hole against a very good offense, and you can’t dig out of those holes. Because the idea is that you got to run the ball, you have to eat the clock up and you have to have possessions on offense so you keep their offense off the field. Now we kept their offense off the field, but for the wrong reasons, obviously. So we have to look at ourselves critically to what we’re doing on all sides of the ball and there’s some things we got to tweak, that will be personnel related, which some options are limited.

On how tough it is mentally to have three defensive touchdowns scored on the team:
“I have never been in a game like that before in my entire 25 years, those were back breaking plays. Plays like that are game-changing plays, and you have three of them in one half. That’s the kind of momentum that you’re not looking to give to the other team.”

On if he felt quarterback Clayton Moore needed a break:
“I thought he needed to settle down, absolutely. Clayton’s our quarterback, and he will be our quarterback. I thought he needed to settle down. The train was kind of moving fast for him at that time and I thought he needed some time to watch and think, and that’s exactly what we did with him.”

On if he could point to a turning point in the first half:
“I don’t know if I could point to one single play because there were several that went in the wrong direction. Obviously the strip fumble for a touchdown. We had a seven man protection, we were throwing a one-on-one route over here and I bet when I watch the tape tomorrow I’d like the route and how it looked and breakdown in protection and we had moved the ball, I thought that we moved the ball on them a couple times early in the game to run it from the pass. We just had too many breakdowns offensively in the first half.”

On where the team will go, offensively, from here:
“We go back to looking at what we do, we go back to looking at our scheme, our personnel. We believe in our offensive system, we believe in what we’re doing and we just got to get better. Where do you go? You go forward. You try to improve, you got to work to keep improving, work to get better. And next week come out and be a much improved football team than this week. We certainly did not transfer what I thought was a good week of practice to the game field today. And we have to go back and have another good week of practice and then transfer that to the game field.”