Florida 31, Vanderbilt 17 October 13, 2012 Vanderbilt Stadium
Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin Opening Comments: "Our kids played really hard. We had a game plan, but you can't make those types of mistakes against the #5 team in the country on your own field. We had opportunities in the passing game. We had too many dropped balls in critical situations... Defensively, we can't give up big plays... We did not adjust well to the quarterback running game... On special teams, I didn't think we played well all night long."
On the Atmosphere: "For the fans that showed up, I appreciate them. We need them to show up early and stay late. We need their help. We have to create a home field advantage. I need everyone's help. Everyone is a part of getting this in the right direction."
On Florida Quarterback Jeff Driskel's 177-Yard Rushing Performance: "There is always someone responsible for contain [defensively]... We put too much emphasis on stopping their running back that we overcompensated and were susceptible to a big run by the quarterback."
"He's explosive, athletic, and fast... Jeff is a big, athletic guy who is fast. If you give him an opportunity to make big plays, he will."
On Vanderbilt's Offense: "Overall, our offense played well. If you take away the two turnovers, it's a different situation. We had a touchdown called back [by penalty]. That was a huge play in the game."
"We were able to run the ball against one of the better defenses in the country."
On Vanderbilt's Special Teams: "We didn't play well on special teams. That's my responsibility and I'll get it fixed... [Florida] has recruited well. They have good athletes. Their athleticism shows up on special teams."
On Vanderbilt's Game Next Saturday Against Auburn: "We get another opportunity to play an SEC opponent. There will be a sellout crowd that will be 99% Vandy fans going crazy. We are going to find a way to win that game."
On Vanderbilt Playing Three Top Ten Teams in the First Five Games: "We have a very challenging schedule. Two weeks ago, we had the toughest schedule in the country. Last week, we had the #3 toughest schedule in the country. It is what it is. A lot of the schedule was done five years ago by a different regime... We're excited about Auburn."
Tailback Zac Stacy On gaining momentum then losing it right away: "We just didn't do a good job of executing and taking advantage of opportunities tonight. We have to do a better job of that, and I think we'll be fine later on in the season if we do that more."
On having more creases for running: "For the most part the O-Line did a great job tonight. We knew coming in to the game on the ground it was going to be a grind. A 3-4 yard gain tonight was a good gain for us. Offensive line, like I said just emphasizing them, they did a good job tonight of giving us a little crease because in this league those creases close mighty quick. Like I said earlier, we have to take advantage of opportunities and execute a little more."
Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews On one-on-one coverage on the outside: "It feels good, I mean, that's basically what the coaches say their job is--to get you in one-on-one situations--and your job is to win. I felt like the offense really got going. They were really able to help me maximize those opportunities. Jordan (Rodgers) played a great game throwing the ball and the offensive line protected really well."
On the two touchdown plays: "Jordan threw a great ball in the red zone. It's a play we like to call sometimes when we get down there. He gave me time to push the guy up field then be able to make my cut and he was able to put it in the back box of the end zone where the coaches like it. That was really good. Then the play down the right sideline, that's one of me and Jordan's (Rodgers) favorite [plays]. He was able to make a good throw. I didn't even know it was a pass interference because the throw was so good, so I was glad I was there to make the play for him."
On Momentum swings: "There was a lot of momentum swings. I felt like we did a good job offensively and defensively of putting each other in good position, but then there were just plays that Florida made. They're a great team. They're not just number four in the nation for nothing. We played a great game. I feel like my team is great also. We just have to start showing it in the win column."
On if it's bothersome Vandy's five-year losing record against ranked teams: "I don't really worry about the past too much, I just look forward. James Franklin's only been here two years, so I think he's helping turn that around. You know, we didn't have a chance in those games when I first got here, and now I think if you really look at it, we're fighting. We're putting ourselves in position to win those games, but like Coach Franklin says, we have to take that step from good to great. I think we're making those strides every single day. We just have to go out on the field and actually do it."
Linebacker Archibald Barnes On the difficulty in reading the ball: "The fakes weren't that great, they executed better than we did. We had a plan to stop it, and we did stop it a couple times, and a couple times it spurted out. And that turned out to be a big play, so execution needs to be better and more consistent."
On stopping Gillislee and still coming up short: "We knew Driskill was a threat, and you don't stop just one guy when you go up and play a team. There are 11 guys and they executed together, so props to their O-Line and their team for executing better than we did tonight. It is bitter to swallow, but we'll move on."
On optimism in the upcoming schedule: "Every week it doesn't matter what's on paper. People will see what we have on paper, people will see what anybody else that we play in the future will have on paper, but we have Auburn next week and that's what we're going to take care of. It's one game at a time, and the optimism is going to fly because it's not an effort issue. We can clean up whatever mistakes we have and we have complete confidence in our coaches and our teammates that this season is still our season and we can make of it what we want to."
Linebacker Karl Butler On what Driskill was doing so well: "We didn't do a great job of just reading our keys. If we would have remained consistent in reading our keys throughout the game we would've been there. I know I messed up a couple times. We just have to remain consistent. (Driskill) broke a couple of runs, but they could've easily been stopped. It was a lot on what they did as a team, but it was a lot on us of what we didn't do"
On special teams: "Special teams are just as important as offense and defense. It's a huge facet of the game and tonight they were better than us on special teams. That played a huge role in the outcome of the game. It's definitely something that's important and something that we have to improve on as well as offense and defense."
DB Andre Hal On Florida's speed: "They were pretty fast. The quarterback was way faster than we expected. I didn't think he was that fast. They're a pretty good team and they have speed everywhere--the receiver position, the running back position, and the quarterback position. We knew they had speed, we knew they'd come with speed, so it didn't catch us off-guard, but I think the quarterback did."
On why Driskill was so effective with the fake: "We just had to read our keys and contain the ball. We didn't do that tonight, so I think he was effective, but it was mostly us. It's mostly on us."
On holding Florida to 77 passing yards: "We're never happy with a loss. He threw a lot of screens. (Driskill) didn't really try to throw it deep, he didn't try outside. He threw mostly inside and on the hash down the middle, so he didn't try the corner really."
Florida head coach Will Muschamp On the game: "Give credit to Vanderbilt and James Franklin and his staff. They're a much improved organization. They play hard, they play fast and they play physical. I'm very happy to get a win on the road. You've been around as long as I have and you know it's tough to go on the road and win."
On quarterback Jeff Driskel: "Jeff had an outstanding night running the football and we did a lot with him in the passing game. His legs create a lot of things for our offense and we need to continue to take advantage of that."
On the defense: "We need to get off the field on third down on defense. It was quite evident we didn't do that well enough. When we have those opportunities, we need to capitalize. We had some silly penalties that we need to get out of our system as the games get a little bigger and the stakes get higher. We need to end the game better. We had a deep ball there that was on a double move on the second to last drive. But you've got to credit our defense - six redzone trips, two touchdowns. When you're able to stop people from scoring touchdowns you can win some ballgames. You can win a bunch of ballgames."
On the offensive line: "We were a little bit of a M*A*S*H unit on the offensive line, so I was really proud of those guys. As many looks as Vanderbilt gave us and being able to rush for 300 yards, I'm really proud of those guys. I'm really pleased we were able to rush for so many yards and have three offensive linemen out."
On the fake punt: "I felt good about it (the fake punt) all week and we've been running it in practice for a few weeks. I got tired of practicing it and wanted to run it. We got the edge there. Jon Bostic made a fantastic block. Frankie Hammond made a fantastic block. Solomon Patton does the side sweep very well. I felt good about the extra point. We'd been working on it for a while but the numbers and we felt we had it."
On the play calling: "A large part of it was what they were giving us. They were showing us some packages and they were a little feast or famine. When you stunt and do as much as they do, you've eventually going to hit them on some things. We feel much more comfortable with our passing game than maybe it looks. We had some things, we had a couple of drops so we feel like we're further along than we've seen. At the end of the day, we're going to do what it takes to win games."
On Andre Debose's 60-yard kick return in the fourth quarter: "Huge. It flipped the field. They had the momentum at home, all that good stuff. We blocked it very well, they did a great job of coaching it up and I thought it was executed very well."
On why the zone read was so successful for Florida... "For different reasons. Number one, Bob Shoop, their defensive coordinator, does a fantastic job. When you move and pressure as much as he feels like he needs do, and I don't disagree with what he's doing, you're going to create some opportunities. It's feast or famine. You may hit us some, but you're going to give up some things against good athletes that can run. When good athletes hit the open field, that's what happens."
Wide Receiver Solomon Patton On if the team has been practicing the fake punt: "We've been planning to use it for like two weeks now. I've just been waiting for the coaches to call my number. They called it tonight and I took advantage of it."
On Jeff Driskel's play tonight: "He did an awesome job. With him being able to run like that, it opened up a lot, as far as the run game and passing game. Teams don't know if he is going to pass it or take off running."
On if he gets nervous or excited when they call the fake punt play: "I get excited. I try to take advantage of every opportunity I get. When I'm at practice I work my butt off and that's all I focus on. I work real hard on those plays and I'm hoping my role expands. Obviously, I did my best on that play."
Quarterback Jeff Driskel On the success he had tonight: "They (Vanderbilt) were keying in on (Mike) Gillislee all night, which they should because he's had a great season. When two or three guys go for him, it opens up lanes. We had great blocking from receivers and also from fullbacks and tight ends. It was a full team effort tonight."
On what he saw on his last touchdown run: "We really just kept running the same play and they didn't make adjustments, so we kept going to it. If something is working, keep going to it."
On if he thought he needed to have a big game tonight with all the injuries on the offensive line: "You always have to have good quarterback play, so I guess I did feel like I had to have a big game, which I do every other game. We had guys step up. When one guy goes down, the next one steps up and I felt like not much was missed. We played well across the board and came out of here with a big win."