UC - NC State Postgame Quotes

Sept. 23, 2011

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Cincinnati Head Coach Butch Jones
Opening statement:

"Obviously very proud of our kids, I really felt we won this game with our short week of preparation. Our kids had a great focus about ourselves and I just knew that we were going to play exceptionally well. I thought we did a great job of answering and when we don’t do a good job they catch a hitch and it goes a distance. They have some very skilled players. But I thought we did a great job of responding. We take the ball and we answer. I thought all night we answered, which was great to see. NC State is a very good football team and (quarterback Mike) Glennon poses so many problems for you in his receivers, so to be able to have that defensive effort was very good. Special teams, we challenged our special teams all week and Tony (Miliano) made a couple of key kicks for us. I just thought our kids were very focused and that our staff did a great job preparing them. Obviously we will enjoy this one and have a great challenge playing the defending Mid American Conference champions next week."

On their first punt changing things:
"That was a big play. Even though we gave up the PI to give them the first down, still the field position was critical. I thought that was a big part of the game with Pat's (O'Donnell) punt. Obviously we answered the call and we were very opportunistic again on defense which is great. I thought our defensive front did a great job of applying pressure and we knew we couldn’t let him sit back in the pocket, he is too good of a quarterback. We needed to disrupt their rhythm of their timing and their throw game and our defensive front did a good job."

On revenge:
"I don’t know if you want to say revenge. We were really disappointed in the way we played last year. They dominated us in all three phases, it wasn’t even close. The thing is they really dominated us in the physicality of things and we take great pride in being a physical football program. That has kind of been a rallying cry. I thought our kids took great pride in being a tough football team tonight and we need to progress in that area."

On this win leading to a good season:
"We have a lot of football left to play and we are going to be challenged. Thing we have to do is to focus on becoming a better football team week in and week out. I truly believe that and we are going to be challenged. But the leadership we have from senior class and even our juniors, sophomores and freshman, this team has something special to it. They come to work each and every day and the more you win the more that is at stake."

On the short week:
"There are always a lot of challenges and concerns with a short week. I could tell in the locker room after the Akron game that our team would be ready. We came in on Sunday and had a practice and there was a lot of energy. I could just see a look and the amount of time they spent coming in on their own. As the game got closer you could see that focus grow and grow. We went out on Wednesday and I think we were tired of practicing already. We had already put in so much effort and they just wanted to play. It was great to see them come out and be able to see now when you work hard in practice and prepare, what happens on game day."

On the significance of this win:
"Thursday night primetime ESPN, that is the equivalent of Monday night football in the NFL. There are only 24 Thursday night primetime football games the whole season and there are only 12 that get to host them. The University of Cincinnati was one of those 12. It is obviously very special for the entire country, everyone in our profession watches Thursday night football. I thought it was great commercial for the city of Cincinnati, for the University of Cincinnati and for our football program, fan base. I can’t say enough how much our student section means to us. It was an hour and 15 minutes and it was jammed packed with the thunder sticks and definitely the crowd and our fans made Nippert a great advantage for us tonight."

Senior linebacker JK Schaffer
On his interceptions:
"I’m not complaining about it, but if someone else was getting them, I’d be just as happy. Every since I dropped those picks, I’ve been having telling our student manager ‘Even when I’m not looking, throw balls.’ It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, if I’m drinking water – throw the ball at me. My hands have gotten a little bit better."

On the presence of ESPN:
"This was a great experience. I tried telling our defense that we’ve played in these games before, it’s nothing to get overexcited for and be yourself. Like Coach Coombs says, ‘who you are is good enough’. It’s really fun playing these big games, but you can’t get too over the top with it or you make mistakes. Our team handled it well and we played like we’d been there before. And I’m really, really proud of that."

Senior defensive lineman Derek Wolfe
On the defense’s performance tonight:
"I’m definitely happy with six sacks. We made it a point of emphasis all week. We have to get after them and we have to get after it. Because he (Mike Glennon) is smooth. We just knew we had to get after them. We left a couple out there."

On the defense’s performance this season:
"It feels good because when we were at camp, they had us ripping balls at each and tearing balls out of each other’s hands. We were giving out prizes for whoever had the most strips at camp. They said that whoever had the most turnovers at the end of the year gets the ‘strip stick’."

Senior quarterback Zach Collaros
On if this game is a turning point:
"It’s a great win for the program. I don’t know if it’s a turning point because we’re going to approach each game the same way. It’s great for the program to get a win over a BCS caliber team, an ACC team. Now, we’re excited and going to celebrate a little bit tonight, then come in tomorrow ready for our rival, Miami."

On the importance of this win:
"I think it’s great for the city. To have more people come out and notice that we are winning games and we will continue to win games for years to come under Coach Jones. It’s great for the city and it’s great for us as a confidence builder."

Senior running back Isaiah Pead
Whether this game has national implication:
"I still feel like there will be doubters, but that’s part of the game. We are a close knit team and family. We’re all heading for the same goals. They can say what we’re going to do and they can keep saying it. We practice hard, we train hard and we’re physical."

On coming off the short week:
"It was all the mentality. Right after the Akron game, we got right to practice. We had no walk thrus, no slow tempo. That’s the mentality we have to have – the hard hat mentality especially going into this rivalry week."

NC State Head Coach Tom O’Brien
Opening statement:
"Defensively we need to change the whole concept now. I think two things stand out tonight: we have to contain the quarterback on defense which would solve a lot of problems and we do not protect the quarterback well enough to consistently throw the ball. When we are behind we have to throw the ball. I know its tough. They know we’re throwing, they are going to be coming but we still have to do a better job than we did."

On targeted win total or expectations after two tough losses:
"If we get some guys back and get some guys healthy it may give ourselves a better chance to win. We lost Slay early in the first half again. We played McGill almost the entire game and a walk-on defensive back played. So we are not the same team that played last year."

On the spark on offense by wide receiver T.J. Graham:
"There was a spark but once again when you get behind like we did then it turns into a certain game. Then you don’t give yourself a chance to have a balanced attack which we would rather be. It turned into a throwing game."

On what gave the team trouble to run the ball:
"Just blocking, generally speaking. We came out and tried to block them early but we didn’t and the next thing you know we are down 14-0. We came in knowing they were tough against the run. Their guys inside are big powerful guys."

NC State wide receiver T.J. Graham
On the spark he provided during the game:
"It's on the road. You have the crowd against you . They came out fast, furious, and intense and we didn’t match it. As you can see, the score showed it."

On what his numbers tonight mean to him:
"I don’t look at numbers at all, I would rather win. In the past I never had this many catches before but I had a lot of simple drops today and a fumble that was recovered by the defense."

NC State quarterback Mike Gannon
On whether UC was trying things up front to get pressure on quarterback:
"What we saw on film is what they did. They didn’t bring too much. You have to give them credit they are very strong up front. Their defensive line is very strong but we are going to get it straightened out."

NC State linebacker Audie Cole
On how tough it was to contain Isaiah Pead:
"He was running all across the field so we were getting tired. They played well. We gave up contain a lot instead of keeping him in the box and we let him get to the sidelines. Collaros was a great athlete and we let him get to the sideline and that hurt."

On whether he was embarrassed by the loss:
"Anytime you give up that many points it is embarrassing. Credit to them but we didn’t perform and we haven’t performed yet and we better figure something out."