Oct. 13, 2012
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Fordham at Cincinnati
Oct. 13, 2012
Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones
“Good win for us obviously 5-0, a much better second half. We scored every possession in the second half. When you play a team that does a great job of possessing the ball, every possession counts. I think it was a great learning lesson from our football team in terms of on offense, you have to make every possession count. Every down is critical. On defense the first half, we didn’t do a good job of getting off the field, especially in third downs. The second half we got off the field on third down. I thought we made some critical plays on some downs. We had some individuals step up and make plays for us, but again we only ran 57 plays. Time of possession was only about 24 minutes, but we were 7-11 on third downs and that is critical possessing the football. We knew Fordham would come in here. They are a senior oriented team, especially on offense and are very efficient on what they do. They are very well coached and I have the utmost respect for them. But again, I thought our kids showed some resiliency, no panic and our players know how to win. There was no panic at halftime. We knew what we had to do. We went out the second half and we were able to do that.”
On what was said at halftime:
“Calm, poise. Our players work extremely hard during the week. They know how to win, so to go in there, they were playing a team that possessed the football. I thought we made some great corrections at halftime and we possessed the ball, so I didn’t have to go in there and yell at them. They know. It was a part of being refocused and they understood what they needed to do.”
On if he is usually calm at halftime:
“I think each game is its story in itself. Different things and circumstances dictate how you approach your football team. We have individuals who take great pride in their performances, so I didn’t need to go in there and yell. I think they needed to see a calmness from me, instead of going off and showing any panic because there was absolutely no panic.”
On if he was concerned about the time of possession:
“It is the nature of Fordham’s offense. With the spread, no huddle offense and what they do, but no. All I am concerned though is that we are 5-0 and thinking about Toledo. Thinking about on how we can become a better football team this week. That was the message to our team, but at the end of the day, it was still 49-17. You never take winning for granted. Our players understand that.”
On playing a FCS team:
“Well, I think we forget, you tell me how many scholarship players they have on their football team. Do you know? They have 49. So all of their players are on scholarship. When there are 22 players on the field, they are all on scholarship. I think we found out across the country that there have been 12 FCS programs that have won. Because of the scholarship limitations and recruiting, there is not that much difference. That quarterback, he is poised, he is a senior. He has played a lot of football. I think at times mentally when you think of playing a FCS opponent, you extend yourself. Our football team, our margin of error is very small. It doesn’t matter if we are playing Delaware State, Fordham, Louisville or Toledo. It does not matter. We just can’t show up. We aren’t good enough to just show up and beat anybody. We have to follow the plan to win and the formula to win. That never changes and I think our players understand that. We didn’t have very many big plays in the first half. We didn’t get off the field defensively. As the season progresses, we have to get a lot better. The only way we can do that is roll our sleeves up and become a better football team. We need to do better in our man-to-man coverage. When we play man-to-man coverage, we have to be able to win those one on one battles. We have to get better in a hurry and that’s going to be the challenge to our football team.”
On if the team is better after that game:
“I will know more when I watch the film tomorrow. What I am interested to see is the line of scrimmage. In our interior line, offensive line, and defensively. Where I stand, you really don’t have a good assessment of that. I will know more when I watch the film. The thing I liked about the second half was the way that our kids came out and competed. It’s hard to score on every possession and our players did that. We got off the field defensively. We got some valuable players. Drew Frey didn’t play tonight. Anthony McClung didn’t play tonight. Danny Milligan stepped up tonight and provided a great spark for us. Not only on the offensive side of the ball for us, but also on special teams. That was great to see.
DE Dan Giordano
On how the team played in the first half:
I feel like we came out a little slow. We need start faster off the get go, but overall I think we adjusted, especially at halftime, came back and did a good job.
On the sack and forced fumble that led to Deven Drane’s fumble return for a touchdown:
I just came off the right side, got low and just beat him with speed. For the quarterback it was his blind side, hit him up high and the ball came out. Fortunately Deven Drane was right there to run it back.
On Butch Jones in the locker room at halftime:
He was real calm. He did a good job. I think the whole team was calm, the players were calm. Especially the older guys, we’ve been in a lot of games with adverse situations. It was really calm because we knew what we had to do to adjust.
QB Munchie Legaux
On the consistency of the offense:
It is all about finding a rhythm in our offense. It’s about finding a rhythm, playing our tempo. We want to play fast. In the first half we didn’t do a good job of playing fast. In the second half we did a better job of playing faster, scoring touchdowns when they needed to be scored. In the first half we were kind of slow. We came out kind of rough, kind of slow, didn’t find our tempo. But like I said in the second half we did a better job of that.
On the help of having plenty of playmakers on offense in staying calm and finding a rhythm:
That helps out a lot. I depend on any one of those guys. I have faith in any one of those guys to go out there and make a play for us. There is no selfishness among those guys. It doesn’t matter who is out there catching the ball, everyone knows to do their job, whether it is blocking, catching the ball, running with the ball, I have faith in all those guys. It doesn’t matter who is out there.
TE Travis Kelce
On what the difference was in the second half for the offense:
Just execution. Winning our one-on-one match ups. We knew up front we had to get more push. We weren’t running the ball as successfully as we wanted to and penalties. We hurt ourselves. We put ourselves in bad situations and stuff like that. It was just recuperating from the penalties and the running game.
WR Danny Milligan
On the great throw from Munchie Legaux on the touchdown catch:
It was perfect. It was the perfect ball. I didn’t have to do anything but put my hands there. I stacked my man and the thing is, we do it every day in practice. It is a simple corner route, he rolls out, just touches it over my shoulder and I expect nothing less from Munchie.
On if the coaches were upset at halftime:
No not at all. Coach Jones came in, very well spoken, very calm. I think he had a lot of faith in us as seniors and as the team and he kind of let the seniors take over and make our adjustments. We know we are a good team and we know we have to be mentally locked in at all times. They’re a great team. They killed on possession in the first half. They are a great offense and I give a lot of props to them.
Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead
On what traveling to Cincinnati and playing the Bearcats was like:
“It was an unbelievable experience for the guys. We talked about that being part of it. I’ve had experience here from UConn, so I was familiar with the environment and we utilized crowd noise throughout the week to prepare the team. Butch Jones is a first-class guy and one of the top coaches in the country. We knew we had to play our best football to have a chance to win. And when you play a team like this the margin of error is very small. We made enough mistakes that you’re not going to overcome it. It’s a great experience for the kids. The message that we gave them is ‘we went toe-to-toe with one of the best football teams in the country. So it’s going to be to our benefit for the rest of the year.’ That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for these seniors. We’ll never accept defeat, but I was very proud of how we approached the game and our execution for the most part.”
On Cincinnati’s football team:
“I think Butch Jones is one of top football coaches in the country and how they play is a reflection of he and his staff. He’s high energy. Kids have great work ethic. They’re disciplined. They play very hard in-between the whistle. They execute. They’re explosive. I’ve gone against Coach Jones when he was at Central Michigan, when he was at Cincinnati. You know what you’re in for. You’re in for a street fight when you play a Butch Jones team. They’re going to win a lot more games this year.”