Vanderbilt-Arkansas postgame quotes

Oct. 29, 2011

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Vanderbilt vs Arkansas
October 29, 2011
Vanderbilt Stadium

Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin
Opening Comments:
"That was a tough loss. That was a very, very tough loss. When you play a really good team, you can't make mistakes. Turnovers, missed opportunities, penalties - you can't beat yourself. We're getting better every single week. You look at this team and how we're progressing - it's not even close. I believe in my kids, I believe in our process. We're light-years of when I came here and when I got on campus. This is not the same old Vanderbilt. We're going to find ways to finish games like this."

On Vanderbilt's Final Drive:
"We called two plays that gave us an opportunity to score. I told Jordan [Rodgers] that if it's not there, don't force it. That was the plan. We were very aggressive... I believe in our special teams."

On What Franklin Told the Team Following the Game:
"I told them I love them. We have to play better. We have to allow other teams to beat themselves. We can't beat ourselves. We're not defeated; this is a step in the right direction and they understand that. No one is going to give you anything in life. You have to go out and take it."

On Vanderbilt Place Kicker Carey Spear:
"He'll kick game-winning field goals the rest of the season and the rest of his career. I believe in him."

On Vanderbilt Receiver Jordan Matthews:
"He played extremely well. I told him when you [work hard] and have a positive attitude, things will go in your direction. That's what happened today. Jordan [Rodgers] just throwing for a higher percentage and us making catches was the difference."

On Arkansas:
"They're a good team. They're the #8 team in the country for a reason. They have an explosive offense. You'd better not get comfortable against them."

On Jonathan Krause Getting Hit on a Punt Return:
"It was handled the right way [by the officials]. The [personal foul] penalty was declined because we got more return yards. He went back into the game after that. Their guy made a play, those things happen, we moved forward. Our guys played hard and played aggressively. By no means do I feel like Arkansas targeted him."

On Vanderbilt's Offense:
"We still have a lot of ways to improve. We did some good things and obviously put up some good yards. We definitely played well, but we didn't play well enough."

Vanderbilt Players

Jordan Rodgers, Quarterback
On the loss:
"We had a bunch of guys fight till the end today so it's going to be a tough one to swallow, but we made strides today. We showed that we can play with anybody on any Saturday. It's the No. 8 team in the country and we had them up against the wall the majority of the game."

On his long pass to Jordan Matthews late in the 4th quarter:
"I've struggled in the past in those kinds of situations, not getting completions, so really in my mind I was thinking let's complete some balls, let's see if we can break a couple. I got one to Zac [Stacy] for a couple yards, on the deep one to Jordan [Matthews], they gave us a coverage that might think about throwing to the other side, but I wanted to let him make a play and he did. He beat his man and made a great play down the field."

On the team's mentality:
"We put in the work to place ourselves in a position where we can be successful. We go into every game thinking we can win, we never feel like the underdogs. I don't care what seed the team is we're playing in the country, we're going to go out there and play four quarters."

On Carey Spear:
"I didn't talk to him, but he is a great kicker. We're going to continue to trust his leg. Sometimes they don't go right, but he's one of the hardest workers on our team, one of the most dedicated guys I've been around. He'll bounce back and he's one heck of a player."

Chris Marve, Linebacker
On the stereotype of Vanderbilt as a losing team:
"That's not the feeling around here at all. Of course you guys know there's a new coach around here and we don't bow down to anyone. You saw at the end of the game things just didn't go our way."

On giving up late score in first half:
"Naturally, it's a momentum shift especially going into half time, but we were still ahead and we made some good halftime adjustments. Starting the second half they just made some good plays, some great plays and they turned out to be on top at the end of the game."

On learning from the loss:
"I guess it depends on how you look at it. We didn't win the game, so we don't take small victories in that regard. We're getting better as a team, but obviously the goal in this game of football is to end the game when the last horn rings with the highest score."

Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver
On rhythm between him and Rodgers:
"I feel like we had a good rhythm. He hit me with a tough throw across the middle...and ever since then we had a great game. He was able to get me the ball a lot today and he's a great quarterback and he does what he can on his feet and with the ball in the air."

On Arkansas drive to tie the game:
"I don't want to use the word deflating. [When] something like that happens sure it's some what disappointing, but we just look at each other like it's another opportunity for us to go out there and make some plays. We're not going to hang our heads, we're not going to get disappointed, we're not going to get down because we know there's still more minutes to play and we're just going to go out there and try and win this game."

On last drive of the game:
"It was really confidence, we weren't really thinking about how far we had to go we were just looking at each other like alright let's move the ball, let's go down the field. Everybody was confident; people were jumping around so you know we were ready for that situation. Coach got us ready each day in practice for it, so it was no different than any other drive.

Of course we're trying to score. We wanted to win, get in the end zone and score a touchdown. We weren't able to do that. Next time I know Carey's going to do better and he's going to make it. I have a lot of confidence in Carey. He's a great kicker and a great person."

On being able to overcome turnovers and remaining competitive in the game:
"I feel like we're gaining more confidence each week. I don't really think of it as a deflating loss. There are no moral victories [so] we're not looking at this as a win. This is a loss and you have to go and learn from it, but at the same time we're a confident group and there's a great bunch of guys in that locker room. We just want to go out and try and get wins."

Rob Lohr, Defensive Line
On feeling after the game:
"Any game like that is tough. We didn't make enough plays to win. We're hurting, but we have to come back next week and get a win."

On team's spirit after the missed field goal:
"You know, it hurts, but in the end it doesn't come down to one situation. We made a lot of mental errors. We turned over the ball. It doesn't come down to the one kick at the end. We had our opportunities and we just didn't come through."

On `Same old Vanderbilt:'
"This is not the same old Vanderbilt. I don't know if you guys watched the game, but this isn't the same Vanderbilt. We wouldn't have been in the position we were in a year ago. This is the 2011 Commodores, in order to be the championship team we strive to be, we can't make the errors we made today. So we're going to come out next week, practice hard week and get a "W."

On Arkansas scoring right before the half:
"We have to tighten up; I mean we can't give up that play at the end of the half that gives them momentum going into halftime. When you make that stop it's a different game the second half. We've got to make those stops."

Zac Stacy, Running Back
On what happened on the fumble at the goal line:
"[I] just made a mistake [and] seems like I just dropped it. It hurts [because] it affected the game and changed the game around giving it to Arkansas."

On feeling on sideline after fumble:
"We were still up the game wasn't over with...we still had confidence in everybody and in our defense, offense as well and our special teams. We just came up short."

Thoughts on Arkansas defense:
"They had a good game plan coming in...but we still were able to make plays. Jordan [Rodgers] had a heck of a game and Jordan Matthews...played well [also]. We're going to build off of that and get ready for the next one."

On feeling in the huddle Vanderbilt down by three:
"Excited. This is what we play for, games like these. We had confidence in that drive. We could've finished it, but we didn't."

On Vanderbilt's goal for rest of the season:
"The goal is the same every week: get better. Come out with the same dominant mentality every Saturday with the same expectation to win."

Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino Quotes
On the game:
"The thing that I'm happy about is we're going home seven and one. You know, it's been a tough go for our football team when you look at going on the road at Alabama, in Dallas against Texas A&M, and one home game at Auburn, two more on the road. I'm proud that we're coming home seven and one."

On the momentum changer:
"It was really just hanging in there and trying to make plays. I was proud of our defense that we played one play at a time. They're on the three yard line going in to score and we kept competing. The ball comes out and Jerry picks it up and gets himself a nice touchdown run. We got another one the next series, unfortunately the ball came out before Jericho was down. It certainly was the right call. And then you just have to battle. We found a way to get field goals. Zach Hocker did a great job."

On Vandy:
"It was a tough game. They did a good job defensively making us earn it. We didn't get any big huge chunk plays so we had to earn everything that we got. We had to work hard to protect them. They did a good job of mixing their blitzes up. It was a hard game."

On the 2nd quarter, 2 minute drive:
"That was huge for us. It looked a couple of times like the half was going to be over before. If you learn anything from the World Series it's that you just hang in there and keep going. We didn't have much time left, we had to make a play. Tyler (Wilson) hits Jay (Jarius Wright) and he gets it down there. We get one play and then you're kicking a field goal. That was just a great throw and a great catch on the touchdown before the half."

On fumble return with Jerry Franklin:
"That was huge. We got a lot of opportunities for turnovers but that was the biggest... It was a great scoop and score, which we've worked. "

On Overall Defensive Play:
"It was erratic. We couldn't get anything stopped in the first half, and again it came back in the second half where we did. We couldn't create a pass-rush with four guys. We had to sit down and create pressure. Honestly, we're still searching."

On team's reputation for starting slow in first half:
"I think it's a disappointment that we haven't gotten off to a better start."

Arkansas Players

Jarius Wright, Wide Receiver
On team performance, victory:
"We didn't have our best performance today but we got the win, so we're going back to Arkansas happy today."

On team expectations:
"You can't get frustrated winning. You can get frustrated not starting out the way you expect your team to do. We know how good we are, we expect to start faster."

On Greg Childs injury and recovery:
"Greg is doing great. He will definitely be back next week. We could really use him."

Jake Bequette, Defensive End
On game preparation:
"They're a team that likes those trick plays, weird formations and weird sets... We knew they had that in the playbook and were not afraid to use it. We got burned a couple times on throwbacks and reverses, but overall we were able to hang in there and pull it out. "

On Vanderbilt's final plays:
"We knew they would go for the win. They tried to go for the end zone and we held firm after that long pass-play they had. We're lucky they missed the kick. I felt like our chances were good in overtime but I'm glad we didn't have to do that."

Team attitude towards record and reputation in slow first halves:
"It's very frustrating. We're definitely not satisfied with where we are right now. We're not happy at all. We're happy to be 7-1, it's a great position. It looks good on paper, but we know we're capable of much better on defense and offense. When we put a complete game together it's going to be something sweet."



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