2009 University of Cincinnati Football

Sept. 26, 2009


Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 



No. 14/15 Cincinnati vs. Fresno State - 9/26/09 Nippert Stadium - Cincinnati, Ohio



Head Coach Brian Kelly

Opening Statement

"Fresno State is a really good football team. They conducted the game exactly the way they wanted. We had 39 snaps going into the fourth quarter. I thought it was unfortunate for us we got one possession in the fourth quarter to close out the game. We didn't manage it well. It was a tough physical football game. We knew that coming in. I think Pat Hill and Fresno State are a good team, and I'm glad they aren't in the BIG EAST. I'm really happy with the win. It makes us 25-0 going into the fourth quarter with a lead. It says a little but about our resolve and the way our kids play.

On Making In-Game Adjustments

"The margin of error was shrinking. I had really had to question if we had not held them to a field goal, we may have had to change the way we played defense. We doubled up on the offense, and we started a wide receiver at corner back. We are really banged up at the back end of our defense. We play equal numbers in the box. I knew it was going to be a grind. I was hoping to get out early. Every time we touched the ball, we knew we would have to do something because there wasn't much margin of error."

On Filling Defensive Spots

"We made some mental errors defensively. When you have new guys, you are going to make some mistakes, but I have no problems with the way we decided to play this game. We decided we can't give up a big run or pass, and we really battled to do that. I knew it was going to come down that we would have to make a couple of big plays later in the game. Webster missed a couple of tackles in the end, but a player of his caliber stepped up.

On Ryan Matthews

"He ranks up with some of the players in the NFL. He has the explosiveness of LeSean McCoy. To play the schedule they play. That is a Top 25 football team. He is a pretty exceptional football player. If he was on our football team, you wouldn't be hearing a lot about Mardy Gilyard."

On Marcus Barnett

"He's going to help our football team where we need him. He could play wide receiver if we need him. I think he will stay there until we can get some of the reserves back. We have to rely on him until we get Dominque Battle back."

On Giving Up 3 Points in Second Half

"I thought we made a lot of mental mistakes, but we played hard. We kept in the game all the time. Nobody had their head down. For a defense to only give three points up in the second half, I think we can take a lot from that."

On Craig Carey's Interception

"That was huge. We came back and subsequently scored. It gave us the separation that they had to find a way of combination scoring. It would still force them to score three times. I think they made the right call by kicking the field goal. It changed the complexion of the game."

On the Defensive Performance

"We did it the way we wanted them to play. It is a long season, and you have to pick your spots. You have to keep putting W's on the board. The storyline, if we lose this football game, it would be because we gave up big plays. I was not going to give up big plays to Fresno State."

Player Quotes

Aaron Webster, Sr., DB

On Getting the big Tackle

"With the defense, it was designed to cut off the slants. In practice, we have been running slants. I knew the quarterback was looking at the receiver the whole time. When I broke, the ball was out, and I threw my 215 in to him."

On Moving Marcus Barnet to Corner

"Moving him to cornerback, it is a good assault. He brings ball skills and tenacity to the defense. He actually did a good job in my eyes. He played the pass and he tackled. He has improvements to make like the rest of the defense."

Tony Pike, Sr., QB

On Time of Possesion

"I wouldn't say frustrating because as an offense, we know our defense will come through. We are in sync and we pick up where we leave off really well. As an offense, you want to be on the field, but for us, we don't get bothered. We rally around our defense."

On This Year's Defense

"Without a doubt, I knew we could be a great defense as well. Going against them every day during the summer and seeing the speed, and we don't see that as offense. Anytime we can score on them in practice we are happy."

On Right Side Passes to Mardy Gilyard

"It is the same play, but what we do is take what the defense gives us. The other receivers we have, DJ (Woods) stepped up for us and made a huge catch. It just so happened that they are able to give Mardy that back box."

Mardy Gilyard, Sr., WR

On Game Statistics

"I think the thing that sticks out the most is Pike running for 22 yards, and secondly, that he threw for 300 without a pick. We are striving to do what we do and play Bearcat football."

On Time of Possesion

"Oh my goodness. To answer that question, to second what Craig said they did a good job of getting Matthews the ball. It was a good and bad thing. Good for them that they can chop away at the clock and keep the offense off the field. Our skilled players at wide receiver we need to stay warm. There was a period of time going into the third quarter that we didn't play."

On the Offense

"Me and Pike with our offense, we just spent so much time from the Orange Bowl to know with our offense. Coach Kelly does a good job that we rep everything that we need to. I don't know how it looks on the field, but to us, it is another day in the office."

Craig Carey, Sr., TE

On the Interception

"Actually before the play, I noticed the running back was staring at me. I had a feeling it was coming that way. I was blocking, and I came off my assignment. It came into my hands. I don't really remember. I feel like he looked me right in the eyes and threw it to me. I was told by other people on the defense that if I wouldn't have intercepted, it would have been a touchdown."

On the Defense and Ryan Matthews

"We weren't too tired. We were just struggling with tackling. Their running back is a great player. He ran well all day long. Today, we struggled with that. It is coming from Fresno being in the ball so much, and us trying to shut down the ball so much."

JK Schaffer, SO, ILB

On Time of Possession

"It is a concern in a way, but it is exciting because we came away with a win. It shows how much we can improve, and how much better our defense will actually be when we work on that."

On Ryan Matthews

"He is a good runner and has quick feet. We caught off their life line of big plays and I think that really helped."

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Fresno State Head Coach Pat Hil


On the Fresno State’s fourth quarter interception…

“I thought we executed our game plan very well. We ran for close to 300 yards, and we controlled the clock for most of the game. We had a couple of drives in the second half that were stalled by penalties, but we never really stopped ourselves except for that interception. I really thought we’d go down the field and score, and I thought we had enough time left, since we still had a timeout left. That was a great hit their safety put on Chastin [West], and it was just another tough game.”


On Fresno State’s overall performance…

“I’m very proud of the way our team played. There’s no other team [from the West Coast] that has made two Midwestern trips in three weeks and played with the emotion and the toughness that we have. That speaks a lot about our team. The bottom line is our wins and losses don’t show for us right now, but I think we’re a very good football team. Our next trip is to Hawaii, and that’ll be an adventure the way we travel, and it will be a 13-hour trip. So nothing gets easier for these kids. They compete hard, they play hard, and I’m really proud of their effort. Cincinnati’s a good football team, though.”


On considering kicking a field goal on their final fourth down instead…

“Whether to kick a field goal or not was a big thought at the moment, but we thought we could score on fourth and two and take the lead. There are no guarantees you’re going to get the ball back down there, and I’d already gone for it on fourth and one on three other occasions. That was a long fourth and two, but we thought we had a play. I think when we look at the film, we’ll have a guy running right up the shoot, and we just didn’t hit him.”


On Fresno State RB Ryan Matthews…

“He’s the leading rusher in the nation, so we’re going to work him. We’ve got a real good running back at Fresno State, so don’t miss out on that fact, and he hasn’t been playing against I-AA teams. We’re going to run him, and he’s our horse. In this game, we needed to run the ball a lot more than pass it. You’ve got to run the ball against a seven-man front, and we did. It’s hard to throw against two-deep, so we ran the ball, it played right into our hands, they couldn’t stop the run, and we controlled the clock.”


On controlling the clock…

“I know we controlled the game, and that’s what you want to do. You want to keep their offense off the field, because they’re very good on offense. I think the game plan was great, and I think we executed it very well. We just came up short, but I don’t think you could execute any better against them [UC].”