Vanderbilt-Florida postgame quotes

Nov. 5, 2011

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Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin

Opening Statement:
"Nobody said this was going to be easy. We knew that all along. I'm really proud of our kids and how hard they've played each week. I've said this before - in the end we have to find ways to win and we have to play smart. At times, we didn't do that today. Our margin of error is not very big and we all understand that. I'm really proud of my kids, I'm really proud of my coaches and how we've played every week and how we played today. I didn't think that we started out the first quarter playing with the same type of speed and aggression that we've played all year long and that lingered in the second quarter a little bit. I think early on in that game, with their speed and a couple of cut-back plays, our kids played a little cautious and we had to get them out of that. I think that was the difference in the game. We played a great second half, but we didn't put four quarters together and in this league and in this conference, with the talent and the coaching, you can't do that, especially where we're at right now in our program."

On penalties:
"Watching the game, we had penalties and critical errors down in the red zone. Their noise was a little bit of a factor and it really showed up on one fourth-down play, but throughout the game I thought we handled it for the most part."

On playing aggressively:
"We are going to play the game a certain way around here. We are going to be aggressive, but we're going to be poised, but we can't have critical penalties and we can't lose our composure and get personal fouls."

On Florida's last drive:
"You have got to stop the run. That's where Florida's athleticism and recruiting shows up. We load the box up and they get in a two-tight end, one-receiver set, load the backfield up and you have got to stop the run. That was a good call. They got their fastest player space in a situation where they needed inches and we loaded the box up."

Vanderbilt Players

Junior Quarterback Jordan Rodgers

On team second-half play:
"It was big. We talked in the locker room about really needing to open up the second half with a drive. We did that; we changed momentum. It was a point of emphasis for us to change our mindset."

On receiver Jordan Matthews:
"[He] is going to be a player who is going to make plays; I've just got to give him the chance."

On lack of discipline from team:
"It's definitely something we need to work on. Not reacting to what people say and playing within the whistles as hard as we can and nothing after the whistles. Those 15-yard penalties are huge. We've got to cut that out."

On whether crowd noise was a factor:
"I don't think so at all. I would go down in the record saying we probably have some of the loudest practices. We practice not being able to hardly call a play in the huddle with how loud it is. That's really not something that came into account. I just think we started a lot slower than we wanted to."

On strong second half and still falling short:
"It's frustrating. But we've just got to learn how to finish. We've got to learn how to start and how to finish."

Senior Safety Sean Richardson

On Jeff Demps' speed:
It's real tough when you play against someone with that type of speed; world class speed. You've got to play as a team, and to be as quick as he is, it just makes it even worse."

On penalties:
"It's the little things we've got to correct to be more disciplined. Coach talks about being disciplined so we will come back next weekend and correct our mistakes."

On strong second half and falling short:
"We're disappointed. It gets old. We'd rather win and celebrate a win than celebrate a close loss."

Sophomore Receiver Jordan Matthews

On crowd noise:
The crowd wasn't really that much of a factor doing the game. Coach does a good job getting us ready during the week with crowd noise. We've just got to come out as an offensive unit and capitalize better on our own."

On two close losses in two weeks:
"It's frustrating. We want to win, and that's why it hurts so much because we know how much we put in, and we worked a lot harder than a lot of teams out here, and a lot of teams have beat us. We've just got to find a way to get the wins. I think we will figure it out in these next three games so we can go out here and get a couple more wins."

Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp

Opening Statement:
"First of all I would like to thank our crowd. We hadn't performed very well to this point so I'm proud of our fans. We had great support. We've been through a tough time. We made it interesting in the second half even though we shouldn't have. To be able to maintain some drives on the third down was a plus for our team. We're proud from the standpoint of continuing to push, practice and compete, which our guys do every day, regardless of the circumstances. Their approach regardless of what has happened, they continue to push forward.

"Chris Rainey was a game-day decision and we just didn't feel confident putting him in there. Jelani Jenkins, Lerentee [McCray] were still a little banged up from the Georgia game, and we just didn't feel comfortable putting them in there at the time. John Brantley got injured in the game, and I won't know the extent of that until Monday. Jeff Demps helped our team in this football game. Caleb Sturgis kicked the ball really well and we managed to move the ball in the first half. We have to finish plays. More than anything, I'm really happy with our team. Their effort has been outstanding, and they needed this today."

On the second half:
"The first thing is when you get put in those situations - a two-score game with two minutes left to go, you still play coverage. We were calling coverages that we were having success with all game. Our guys thought they could play that way at the end of the game; you have to keep playing at the end of the game. It's going to be a good learning lesson for them. We have to be able to affect the quarterback with four guys rushing. We need a little more packages to handle some of the things they were doing with the route concepts. This is a defensive line issue. We have to get a lot of things figured out. My biggest issue coming into this week was stopping the run game and the quarterback runs. There were very correctible issues that we have to evaluate."

On the result of the game:
"I think that in any game there are positives and negatives. It's a lot easier to walk in after a win. But I've said it before, it's never as good as it seems or as bad as it seems. I'm looking at the big pictures - the entire season and as we move forward. We need to understand where we're going from here on out and notice where we're going. I have seen improvement and some steps back, too. The point of the game is to win, and that's the goal."

On garnering a win:
"I don't look at is a four-game slide. I look at each week as a one-game season. It is relief after games, whether you win or lose. You feel good about a win and bad after a loss."

On the downfield passing game:
"There's no question. We struggle for a number of reasons to be able to throw the ball vertically down the field. When people in this league are able to outrun you it's hard to grab a leg up. We're able to do a lot more because of a fifth-year senior. John Brantley is a huge part of that improvement tonight."

On making the change at center:
"We needed to be more consistent with our snaps, so I felt that it was necessary to make the change."

On establishing the run game:
"We want to run the ball. In order to have success in this league you have to be able to run the ball. If you become a one-dimensional team and can't run the ball, you won't win in this league."

On a downturn in penalties:
It's been emphasized every week. ... We've emphasized discipline in our program. We've explored a lot of options. This is one game. I'm not ready to wave the flag and say that we're disciplined now. We need to be disciplined all year, and that continues from here on out."

Florida Players

Redshirt Senior Quarterback John Brantley

On the passing game:
"Vanderbilt, they are a great team, they really are. They brought a bunch of different looks at us and our offensive line an our running backs did a great job picking up their blitzes and everything and that allowed us to throw the ball down field and any time you can establish a downhill run game like we did today it opens up things down field."

On October losses:
"The month of October was rough for us and to get this first win in the first game in November against a good Vanderbilt team was huge to get some momentum going for the rest of November because we have some good teams ahead of us.

Junior Linebacker Jon Bostic

On the last few weeks:
"We've had some tough times these last few weeks. We had to come out and we knew we had o get a win today. We played well, it wasn't the prettiest but we came out with a `W.'"

On recovering the onside kick:
"We just knew that it was ours then."

On game preparation:
"We had the same preparation for the game. There wasn't anything different. We came out and we knew what we had to do. We just needed everybody to focus a little bit more this week."

Senior Running Back Jeff Demps

On the victory:
"It feels good to come out with a victory today, but at the same time it isn't the last game of the season. We still have a couple tough opponents left. We have to keep going."

On the touchdown:
"It was a short-yardage play and we went over it in practice all week. We had a good opportunity to execute it and we did. The whole defense was backed in the box and once I got the ball it was me and the defender left and I just made a move on him."

On the offense's performance:
"The offensive line did a great job of opening holes all day and the receivers did a great job on the perimeter blocking."



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