Post-Miami (Ohio) Game Quotes

Oct. 27, 2007

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson:

Opening statement:
"It was a hard fought game and we're pleased to get the win. At times, we were our own worst enemy, but I'm proud of our second half effort. We played great defensively and overcame some obstacles on offense. Miami played well and they were opportunistic, to say the least. They kept it close and we were sweating it out in the fourth quarter."

On Vanderbilt's halftime mood:
"Nobody had their heads down in the locker room. We fought to stay cool in the second half. Nobody wants to fumble or throw interceptions, so we had to move on to the second half."

On overcoming key injuries:
"Everybody was leaving the game. It was a bunch of guys today. That's why you recruit as well as you can to have guys who are ready to go. That's why you pay attention in practice. You never know when someone is going to point at you and say, 'You're in.'"

On this game potentially being a letdown:
"We were ready to play. We made some poor choices and I don't know where that came from. Our guys came out and played hard. The effort was there today."

On Vanderbilt's defense:
"I'm a defensive coach. Our defense has pride in being a defense that's hard to score on and it makes them work harder in practice and pay attention in meetings."

On Earl Bennett setting the SEC career reception mark:
"It's remarkable. He posted that record in 2 1/2 years. There have been a lot of great receivers in the SEC getting the ball from a lot of great quarterbacks. He works hard, he's a team player. I'm happy for him and it'll be good to see his name at the top of that list. We're glad it's happened for him and we'll build on it so that no one else can pass him."

On bowl eligibility:
"I just told the guys that we're trying to win nine games, not six. We'll find out at the end of the year what happens with a bowl game. Getting six wins doesn't necessarily get you a spot in a bowl game. We're going to get ready for Florida and heading down there."

Vanderbilt Players:

Wide Receiver Earl Bennett:

Opening statement:
"First off, I'd like to thank God for giving me the talent to play here. I'd like to thank my coaches. Coach Johnson for offering me a scholarship, Coach Fisher for helping me become the receiver that I am today and continuing to help me sharpen my skills. I'd like to thank media relations for all they have done for me publicity wise. I just want to thank Vanderbilt University. I love Nashville. I felt like we played a great game. It was a hard fought game. We ended up with a `W.' We're just trying to continue to roll."

On if he will look back at this record in the coming years:
"I'm not sure. Right now I'm just taking it one day at a time and focusing on this season and worrying about getting us to a bowl game and helping the team the best way that I can. Individual stats really don't matter to me. I'm more of a team-oriented guy. I'm just delighted to be playing on a team like I am today. We have some fierce competitors on our team that go out and give it their all."

On what it means to hold the receptions record:
"It means a lot. There has been a lot of guys who played in this conference. Just to be noticed among some of them is kind of overwhelming. I never thought that I'd be in this position right now. To just be mentioned with some of the great names like Jabar Gaffney and some of the other guys that played, it's just overwhelming for me."

On how surprised he is to set this record:
"It's very surprising. Like you said, I grew up a big basketball guy. Once I got to high school, my height didn't work out for me. I turned to football and things have been working out for me. I just thank God for guiding me to this sport and giving me the talent. There's not a day that goes by that I don't give God glory because he's done so much for me."

Strong Safety Reshard Langford:

On the defense shutting down Miami (Ohio) in the second half:
"We know that we have to do that. If they don't score, they can't win. We go out and play and just to try shut down everything they try to do."

On being one win away from bowl eligibility:
"We were in the same situation two years ago, but that was two years ago. We know six games will get us bowl eligible, but we're going for nine. We want to go out and guarantee a chance to play in a bowl this year."

Offensive Tackle Chris Williams:

On winning when the team didn't have it's "A" game:
"It's a sign of a great team in my book. To go out and have four or five turnovers, not play your best ball and still win by 10 plus points, that's a sign of a team that's growing and while not playing our best ball, we got the job done today. Of course we would have liked to dominate a lot more than we did but turnovers happened and we responded well."

On Earl Bennett breaking the SEC receptions record:
"It's great. We love to see a guy like Earl, who is a great guy, come out and break a record. That's probably one of the greatest records in college football. I'm so proud of him. I'm real happy for him."

Defensive Tackle Theo Horrocks:

On being one win away from bowl eligibility:
"We're one win away, but we have a big one this week. We got four games to win. We hope to win nine."

On the play of the secondary:
"It's unbelievable. These guys do their jobs. They bat down balls, they get interceptions. They shut down the pass and shut down the long ball and give us time to rush. I feel like we're talented enough to get in the backfield against anybody. Those guys are doing a great job. We have a lot of young guys stepping up because of injuries and they're doing an excellent job."

Miami (Ohio) Head Coach Shane Montgomery:

On his team's performance:
"I was really proud of the way our guys played. For the most part we played toe-to-toe with a great Vanderbilt team. I was worried coming into this game about their offensive line, they have a very experienced, and veteran offensive line against what is a young defensive line for us. They wore us down a little, but we held our own for the most part."

On being able to force some turnovers:
"When you face a veteran team we got to take advantage of  those situations. I liked our intensity in the first half and then to come out in the second half and drive down the field and put some points on the board was great. You have to give Vanderbilt credit they came right back and put together some long drives and were able to wear us down - especially on defense."

Miami (Ohio) Players:

Wide Receiver Jared Elliot:

On the team's play today:
"I do feel like we played well today. They are a great football team. We kind of got worn down towards the end of the game. But we still have a lot play for; the MAC Championship is still in front of us."

On playing in his hometown of Nashville:
"I might have set a record for the number of tickets that I needed for all my friends and family. Growing up in this area, watching Vanderbilt and coming to games and camps here, it was very special to come back here and play in this stadium. I remember throwing in this stadium when we used to come here for camps and I was a quarterback in High School, so it was a different feeling lining up as a wide receiver today. I had a lot of fun, but obviously not as much fun with the loss."

Linebacker Chris Shula:

On his 12 first-half tackles:
"It was a kind of a game-time decision if I was going to get to start today, but I was definitely ready to go. We knew it was a great team, a real solid SEC team. We just came in trying to play good defense."

On facing three Vanderbilt QBs:
"Well we knew that Chris Nickson had started the first five or six games for them and then (Mackenzi Adams) played the whole game last week. We though we would definitely see a little bit of Nickson. I don't know if he got hurt or what, but we were a little surprised to see (Richard Kovalcheck)."

Wide Receiver Jamal Rogers:

On scoring his first career TD:
"It felt really good. I was surprised it happened. Hopefully it will happen again."

On his lengthy kick returns:
"We ran a right return, but it wasn't there. I just turned around and tried to make something happen. I think I switched fields about three times on that one. I was pretty tired after it."



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