Vanderbilt vs. UConn
September 10, 2011
Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin Opening Comments: "It wasn't pretty, but it's a W. It was more in that we found a way to win a tough game and overcome adversity."
"Our defense started slow. It's tough because [Connecticut] is a big team. When you beat a team like that, there are a lot of positives."
On Vanderbilt's Mindset Down 21-14 in the Fourth Quarter: "[I thought] we were going to win the game - that's what we do. This is the 2011 Vanderbilt - I say that over and over. We've been talking about it since December 17th."
On Vanderbilt's Miscues: "On offense and defense, we weren't as clean as last week. There were just some communication things. Once we cleaned those up, we started making plays."
On Being 2-0: "We are 1-0. We have 12 one-game seasons. We've been focused on this week. We're going to enjoy tonight as coaches. I have to make sure as a staff and as a team we enjoy the win. Right now, we're talking about UConn. Tomorrow, we'll talk about the other guys [Ole Miss]."
On the Failed Larry Smith Throwback Play: "[After the play, I told him] that's not going to be the play that defines us or him. That was a big play. Everyone knows it. We make that play and it might have been a little easier. This team found a way to win a game with adversity. That's important."
On Larry Smith's Health: "We didn't take him out because of injuries. We had some things we wanted to do with Jordan [Rodgers]. Is [Larry] sore? Yes, but a lot of our guys are. He's a football player."
Vanderbilt Running Back Zac Stacy On his game-changing play late in the 4th quarter: "It was just a basic outside zone play and I saw daylight and tried to do what I can to put the team in the best situation to score. It was a big play for us and it was good we got the W tonight."
On teammate Jerron Seymour's performance: "Seymour, he did a good job tonight. He stepped up as a freshman, you don't get that a lot, he stepped up real big and made plays for us. Hopefully he can continue to get better."
On winning the game: "Anytime you win it's always good and at the same time it gives us confidence so we have confidence coming into next week but it was a good win for us. We worked really hard, we played really hard, we made little mistakes, and we just got to get better.
Vanderbilt Defensive End Tim Fugger On his back-to-back quarterback sacks: "I really didn't feel like I was in a rhythm until then and then I just started flowing and got some more quarterback hits. The whole D-Line was really coming off the ball and getting after it, so we have a lot to work on to get better for next week but I'm excited to get into SEC play."
On adapting to UConn's offense: "On the D-Line you don't know how exactly they're going to come off and attack you, so once we got that first drive we kind of got a better feeling of how they were going to block us, how hard they were going to come off and we really got in a rhythm. And Rob Lohr was making plays left and right in the backfield so that always helps out."
Vanderbilt Defensive Back Casey Hayward On returning interception 50-yards for first career touchdown: "I didn't think he was going to throw the ball to my side on that play, but when he did there was a lot of space out there. The defense made a lot of key blocks for me to get into the end zone. If you're going to get a pick, Coach [Franklin] said don't go out of bounds, go try to score."
On Defense after half-time: "Defense came out to execute, to a T.
On new approach this season: "It's a big momentum booster. We try to take one game at a time, and we took care of UConn tonight. We've got Ole Miss next, and we're not going to look past any opponents. That's something we've changed this year."
Vanderbilt Defensive Tackle Rob Lohr On preparations for UConn: "We went into the game knowing they had a good offense and we had to adjust to all the quarterbacks. It's nice to be able to make some plays."
On Defense successes: "The offense struggled a little bit today but we're happy the defense was able to step up. I think we gave up less than 100 yards rushing, and for any defense that's a really good day. I'm really proud of that."
On changes from last game: "We needed to make more plays last week. We didn't get in the backfield enough. We adjusted. Tim Fugger made big plays, as you know two sacks in a row. That'll change the game. Colt (Nichter) made some good plays, T.J. (Greenstone), and even some of the young guys like Vince Taylor stepped up today."
Vanderbilt Quarterback Larry Smith On Zac Stacy's run: "Zac made an excellent run and our offensive line and receivers did an excellent job blocking the whole play."
Reaction to UConn's 7-point lead: "We got nervous. Coach Franklin did an excellent job keeping us motivated. Last year this team wouldn't have won this game. Our resiliency and hunger for success paid off for us tonight. "
UConn Paul Pasqualoni On the number of turnovers: "In a game of turnovers, we made one turnover too many, and you can't go on the road in 1A football and make the number of mistakes we made. It's very, very hard to overcome the number of turnovers, although our defense did a good job with creating some turnovers tonight. You just can't go on the road and do that."
On sticking with Johnny McEntee at quarterback: "As the game went, I stayed with Johnny just to have some continuity. We put Mike [Nebrich] in, and put him in at the start of the second quarter, which we did a week ago, but it's just hard to get into the flow of the thing with what they were doing. There were a few things they were doing on defense that were a little different, so in an effort to have just a little continuity in the game, to try to create some tempo to the game, we went with Johnny and just stayed with Johnny. That was the reason. It wasn't necessarily Mike, just the issue of keeping one guy in the game."
What happened with the third down play at the end? "Talking about the critical third down at the end, the one that was returned for the score, I think it was a four seam route, and they blitzed, and whether he's going to the inside guy or the outside guy, the ball got compressed, got squeezed, and the DB just squeezed it and made the play."
"We discussed about three different plays in that situation, and felt like we had a good safe play, but it didn't turn out that way. The combination of the squeeze and the blitz kind of got us."
"It was a great effort, just needs to be a little bit more consistent. You know, you're playing great defense, at the same time you're playing a great defense, you can't give up a big play like that, especially at that point in the game. It's a 21-21 game, and all the other side is trying to do is get in position to kick a field goal at that point, so it's unfortunate, because they played hard and we made some plays."
What adjustments did you see Vanderbilt make in response to your game? "They probably at the end of the day played just a little bit more base defense, their movement style of defense. If there was an adjustment they made, it was probably playing a little more base and getting another defender down in the box. That was probably the adjustment they made. But what we're doing is designed to handle that too, so at the end of the day, we've got to execute that stuff."
UConn Linebacker Sio Moore On the game tying interception return: "We didn't execute when we needed to. We need to go back to the film and look at what went wrong. We're a good team that can make plays; we just need to make the plays that give us a better chance to win."
On the extra pressure on the defense coming out of the half: "We knew the game wasn't over, and that we didn't lose it in the first half. We knew we had to come out and make plays in the second half, but we left some plays on the field."
On coming up short after the second half comeback: "The game came down to the fourth quarter so were pleased about that. We just left plays on the field and come next week we can't do that. We need to go look at the film and get it corrected right away."
UConn Quarterback Johnny McEntee On the turnovers and the game outcome: "We had a good game plan coming in and I just wasn't able to execute it. That's all there was to it."
On the fourth quarter interception: "I read it out wrong and threw a bad ball. That's what happens sometimes."
On the aggressive approach on the fourth quarter interception: "It wasn't that right approach and I feel bad because it lost us the game and my teammates don't deserve that."