UC-Syracuse Postgame Quotes

Nov. 3, 2012

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Syracuse at Cincinnati
Nippert Stadium
Nov. 3, 2012
Postgame Quotes

UC head coach Butch Jones:
“This was an extremely hard fought football game. There were two football teams out there laying it on the line. Our football team has had a very emotion three weeks and through that the character of our football team has really shown through. Everyone wants to bury us and surround us with negativity and our kids just keep bouncing back. It is a very good Syracuse football team. Doug Marone has done a tremendous job. They have a hard edge and it was two football teams really battling it out.

“All the story lines of having to play with the third, fourth, and sometimes fifth defensive back. True freshman Kevin Brown was forced into action and all the little things, the resiliency, the perseverance was a tale of two halves. The first half, we did not get off the field on third down and that was the reason why the time of possession was out of sorts. We turned the football over, especially in the red zone, we can’t do that and so they got a touchdown on a botched punt return. In the second half, we played the way we are capable of playing and what we expect out of this football program. We got off the field on third down, made plays and scored touchdowns in the red zone. Our defense did a tremendous job at railing and getting us the football. It is important what we do with points after the turnovers and we did a great job with that.”

On the quarterback position:
“We are going to compete this week and I felt we needed a spark. Brendon Kay has been working really hard and I thought he deserved an opportunity. We will go back and evaluate the film, see where we are and then let those two battle it out in practice. Brendon did provide the spark we needed. He came in and provided that, but both individuals are very capable. The biggest thing is if we watch the character of a football team, the first person to greet Brendon Kay when he threw the touchdown pass to Travis Kelce was Munchie Legeaux. Those two have really developed a mutual relationship of respect, competitiveness, friendship and will continue to as the season progresses.”

On George Winn’s touchdown pass:
“We have a catalog of momentum plays, if you want to call them trick plays, but we have been practicing that since spring football and just looking for the most opportune time to use it. I felt we needed a spark and needed to create our own momentum. The kids executed it perfectly. It takes discipline because (Travis Kelce) is selling the block and can’t rush. George Winn did a great job and Sam Longo did a great job pulling and Winn is 1-for-1 with touchdown passes.”

On George Winn’s character defining the football team:
“He completely defines it. The only difference between him and Walter is that George really doesn’t say too much. Anything we ask of George he does. One of his best plays was on our punt team. We miss the ball, kicked the ball and in the middle of the field it was supposed to be on the numbers and George running down makes a big play. If George doesn’t make that tackle, they have the sideline. George Winn plays exceptionally hard. This football program means everything to him and that is great. We have something special here; looking at the amount of former players. The Denver Broncos come in Friday night and Derek Wolf calls and brings his defensive line over to the hotel. We also have Issaiah Pead’s sideline coming in on their bye week. We have a lot of pride and a lot of expectations, so obviously this was a great win for us today.”

On Brendon staying focused:
“He has learned from the previous years of what is going on with a quarterback being ready to advantage of his opportunity and Brendon has never batted his eyes, never taken a step back. He has just had a workman like approach each and every day. He has been a great teammate, comes to work each and every day, has a great knowledge of the offense. The hardest job in football is to be the backup quarterback because they are always one play away but have to prepare each and every week as if you are the starting quarterback and never know when your opportunity is going to come. I am proud of him and he has a great foundation; character, family, has his degree already so it doesn’t surprise me at all with him. And those are the things that led me to trust my gut to put him into the game.”

Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone
Opening Statement:
“Credit to Cincinnati. They did a nice job. They came back. I think both teams were going after it pretty good. We made too many penalties in critical situations. I think when you start a game off when you fumble the opening kickoff and Cincinnati took advantage of it and went up 7-0 -- you’re fighting. There was a point where we took the lead. They did a nice job running the football. We weren’t able to maintain our gap control really inside in the A gaps and D gaps. At the end of the day, we lost the football game.”

On missed opportunities:
“It gets frustrating. Brandon [Sharpe] had an opportunity to intercept it. I don’t know if it would have gone all the way. You miss a field goal, which is really on me because I drilled it all week. I just kept hammering it home. If you don’t feel comfortable about it then you’ve got to make some decisions, and that’s coaching. I knew exactly what was coming all week and we couldn’t execute it. We missed a field goal. The block is like a turnover in my mind. Again, if you go out there and commit so many penalties I’ve said it before: it’s direct reflection on the coach. Gosh, I’ll tell you that hurts when that happens because I’ve never been a part of that. I’ve got to do a better job.”

On false start penalties by Syracuse wide receivers:
“Well, false start as a receiver, you just have to look at the ball. Again, I just think you have to do a better job. [Macky] MacPherson’s false start, they called that he moved the ball. I thought the officials, really, it’s a good crew. They do a great job of communicating. I don’t have any problems with the calls, with what they’ve done. As long as they’re telling you what they’re saying, I’m good with it. They did a good job. They were right now. I thought on the fumble on the goal line if you fumbled it six inches prior to the goal line the ball went to the goal line. I thought it went out from there, but it actually bounced into play. John and the crew did a great job of explain that and I know what the deal is.”

On the fumble at the 11:
“Upstairs, they say it was a fumble. Down on the field, they didn’t really have it. They didn’t really know about the recovery issue. Again, the guys worked hard and as long as they communicate and tell you what’s going on – I’m fine.”

On if a backup quarterback replacing Munchie makes it harder after preparations:
“We looked at it and when they came in, and for a lack of better words went into Wildcat with more of a running guy, they were running the same plays that Munchie was running. We didn’t work on another quarterback coming in to run those plays. But they were the same plays that they were running with Munchie.”

“When we’ve won, we’ve executed. We’ve made plays. When things go on like this, we haven’t done those things. Not that we haven’t had the opportunities. I think that’s the most frustrating part of it. If you look at it and say, ‘Gosh, no one is open,’ then it’s like, semantically, we’ve got issues. At times, when we make them, we’ve played pretty darn good. When we don’t make them, or don’t take advantage of when we’ve had the lead and really tried to increase it, (there was a) penalty. Then, all of a sudden, you’re sitting third and something. They pressured us and we missed a pickup – the one that we worked on all week. Next thing you know, it’s a fumble. They’ve got the ball again. It’s frustrating. I’ve got to find a way. It’s my responsibility to find a way to get this team to perform at a level where it’s capable of performing. And they’re not, and it’s my responsibility. And that hurts, it hurts me."

UC Player Quotes
#11 Brendon Kay-QB

On how it felt playing:
“It felt great just a lot of time and a lot of effort put into it. It’s starting to pay off and it feels great.”

On being surprised about going into the game:
“He’s been telling me the last few weeks just be ready, your number can get called at any time.  So, you have to prepare every week like you are the starter.  It’s different when the back-up quarterback goes in. It’s different than any other position all eyes are on you.  So, I just had to keep myself mentally and physically ready week in and week out.”

On going in and completing first two passes and giving the team a spark:
“Yea I’m sure it got the guys going a little bit.  But I just wanted to go in and manage the offense and be successful.”

On being in competition with Munchie:
“It’s competition, we’re both friends on and off the field. We are both going to support each other and whoever plays. We have to allow this team to win.  So, whoever’s number gets called we have to do the job and get the win.”

#18 Travis Kelce-TE
On what it was like when Brendon came in:
“It’s full speed no matter it doesn’t really matter who is back there.  We could put Brendon, Munchie, Luallen back there it doesn’t matter. The team has 100 percent confidence in whoever is back there taking snaps.”

On Kay being prepared mentally:
“Brendon has always been prepared mentally. He’s one of the guys on the team that’s considered a leader.  He’s looked up to as a senior here and he is just waiting his turn being positive every single week. So, definitely the players and coaches are proud of him.”

#20 Chris Williams-DB
On hits on Nassib:
“I really just was going and God just gave me the strength to stay on my point on the quarterback and get there and bring some violence when I came.  I was watching the tape from last year’s game and I was coming at his waste and I missed him a few times.   I just kept telling myself ‘go up top, go up top and you will make the play.’ So, when I came on the pressure I went up top and I got him down.  Again I just thank God for the opportunity to allow me to be out there and help my team win.”

On expecting two fumbles:
“No our secondary played well and if it wasn’t for them locking down the receivers the timing would have been thrown off and he might have gotten the pass off before I got there. I just want to commend the backend, the linebackers and the rest of the defensive line that was giving pressure to the quarterback to make him move one way or the other and allow me to get there and make that play and help our defense win.”

#32 George Winn-RB
On having a career year for Cincinnati running backs whether it has been brought up to him:
“No, we are taking it one game at a time, that’s all I’m doing.”

On the win:
“It’s a real big win for a couple of reasons. We are protecting our home, the Nip. We always talk about that.  Then, (we are just) keeping our place (in the standings), trying to get the Big East Championship, so it’s a real big win.”

On what it means to have career high rushing game:
“It means a lot because we won the game. If we would have lost the game I wouldn’t feel as good about it, so I’m happy we won the game.”

On improving week to week:
“It’s our offensive line, our offensive line is great.  Our offensive line does a great job up in the post for me. We communicate well for pass protection and run plays, so I give them all the credit.”