Nov. 3, 2007
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Head Coach Brian Kelly
On the game-
It wasn't your typical game - we said it was going to be exciting. We certainly are not cookie cutter when it comes to the game of football. If you like exciting football, if you like it coming down to the last play, that's what happened today. The story for me is our defense was put in a tough situation in the second half and really did a great job forcing eight turnovers.
On Cincinnati's offense-
Oh, we couldn't get anything done. The biggest problems that we have are still the inability to close out games and running the football. Clearly the fourth down where we couldn't get a yard, less than a yard, those were all key plays. Give South Florida credit, they are a good defense, but we've got to close out games, we couldn't do that and it left our defense exposed because we couldn't close it out.
On Jacob Ramsey not producing a lot of yards-
I have to see how we did up front. Maybe we were manhandled, maybe we didn't block very well, maybe we could have been in some different checks and plays. For a start, the kid ran as hard as he could. I don't know that he had a lot of huge holes out there. He just slugged it out and got what he could get.
On the fake field goal at the end of the game-
I wasn't going to kick it again. The ball came off really low and Jake had two real poor kicks - the short miss on the right hash and then the block, which the ball never really got up. I was not going to risk another block in that situation. So I wasn't going to throw the football. So it really was, do you leave your offense out there and do you run the ball on third and 11 and you go "ok, wow, great! Nice job, coach" or do you try to do something where you know you're at least going to run some time off the clock. They got into a safe field goal situation and they were able to contain the play. If they came off the edge, maybe we could have got it outside and ended the football game.
On calling the fake field goal-
It was pretty safe for me under those circumstances.
Head Coach Jim Leavitt - Head Coach
On the game -
"I'm really proud of our football team, really proud of them. I'm really proud of the way they fought and battled until the very end. I'm proud of those guys. Too many mistakes we know that. We had some big things in the kicking game, but the blocked punt hurt us. Mike Jenkins we put him back there, put in another return, and it worked. We spotted them too many points, and our offense had a lot of opportunities in the second half. We made a lot of mistakes offensively. We weren't able to run the ball, threw too many interceptions obviously. But I am as proud of Matt as you can be, the guy's a battler. I'm going to battle with him forever. I love the guy. If we had a little more running game it would help him out more. No excuses at all, we didn't play well enough to win. But I love the way they battled. I love their heart, I love their fight and I love everything about them."
On having a chance to win at the end -
"Three losses, all three times we had the ball in a position to score. Carlton (Mitchell) had his hands on the ball in the end zone. What a great effort and I thought he was going to come down with it and I thought we were going to win the game. Then I thought Jessie (Hester) for sure, there was a lot of stuff going on back in there (back of end zone). I'm not right on the spot, I don't know. It seems like there were some things going on back in there. It seems like it wasn't really a clean play. It is what it is. I think he had his feet in, if he would've secured it, game over, we win. What do you do, what do you say? I don't know."
On the way the team responded the second half-
"The way the defense fought the second half to hold that group down, to shut them out the second half, despite all the turnovers, is really something. But the offense kept fighting too. You just can't turn the ball over that many times and expect to win. It's amazing that we were in it with the turnovers that we had."
On the final drive-
"I thought we used the clock about as good as you can use the clock. I didn't really want to use a timeout on the first down but I did. I told our guys we would have 30 seconds left, I was off, it was 29. Not only did we have 29 seconds but (the ball at) midfield. I really thought we were going to win the game. I really thought we were going to win the game. I'm not disappointed with their effort. Whether we're 6-0 or 6-3, I'm proud of this team."
On possible pass interference on the final play of the game-
"I will be so broken up, my heart will break if I look at this play and there's interference."