Nov. 30, 2013
Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Russell's Photos | USATSI Gallery | Green's Gallery
Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin
"This team finds ways to win and I am proud of them for that. I still don't know how Jordan Matthews made that catch... We lost the turnover battle and I'm disappointed in that. We won the penalty battle. The possession time was big and being 4-for-4 on fourth down was important as well. I'm excited that this was our final game. Our seniors have done a lot of things. I want to thank the fans who came. This game was during Thanksgiving break. I've seen the Tweets about kids flying back for the game. Thanks for that."
On Jordan Matthews' catch to set up the go-ahead field goal:
"Schematically, we shouldn't have thrown the ball there. That's who he is [though]... Jordan Matthews had an unbelievable catch that put us in position to win the game."
On Vanderbilt's turnovers:
"[Wake Forest] made it hard for us. Last week, we turned it over. This week, we turned it over. We have to get that straightened out. The fumbles are something we haven't done this season."
On Vanderbilt's defense:
"I thought our defense came through... We really couldn't get to their quarterback all day, so to get that last sack at the end of the game was huge. The crowd was also a big part of that."
On Vanderbilt's Wildcat packages with QB Patton Robinette:
"You're wildcatting with a quarterback. If we wildcat with [running back] Jerron Seymour [for example], they know there's a very low percent chance that we're going to throw the ball. With Robinette, if you over-commit to stopping the run, you'll leave Jordan Matthews open in one-on-one coverage. We'll continue to use it."
On Vanderbilt's development:
"We have won 15 of our last 19 games and it's our first back-to-back eight-win seasons since 1920-something... Think about every aspect of our program that has changed... Everything is so different now. It's how they practice, it's how they lift weights, it's walking through the airport and seeing all of the Black and Gold... We still have a long way to go."
On Vanderbilt's upcoming bowl bid:
"We are not bowl snobs. Wherever they tell us to go, we will be happy to go there."
DE Walker May
On defensive mindset of having to make plays:
"It's one of those things you just take a mentality, you don't really care what is going on in the game. You take one play at a time and you take one snap at a time and you dominate that snap. That was our mentality coming into the game and that's what we try to do."
On the sack at the end of the game:
"There are 10 other guys on the field that did a great job on that play. Stephen [Weatherly], Kyle [Woestmann] and Jimmy [Stewart] got great pressure inside. We had great coverage down field. He was able to hold onto the ball. I just did the easy part - I just ran around the edge."
On pregame senior day ceremonies:
"I was good until I saw Coach Franklin and broke down a little bit and saw my family. Up until then, it was one of those things that wasn't really hitting you. I'll look back at it tonight and think of the moment and everything. It was very special. And I can't give my thanks enough to the coaching staff and [athletic] training staff and everybody that was a part of this and the young guys that helped us out. It was a special day."
Vanderbilt Kicker Carey Spear
On the game-winning field goal:
"From the get-go, you had all the trust in the world in Austyn [Carta-Samuels] and the offense of just getting us in range. The defense did a great job stopping them prior to that. It was a team effort. It wasn't just that one play. But within that play, I have all the trust in the world in our holder and snapper, Taylor [Hudson] and Andrew [East], and the other eight guys blocking. So, again, it was just an easy part. I just knocked it through. I just took it one play at a time and it was good. It was a good kick. It was a good operation. The guys did a great job blocking. Taylor got the snap down and they did a great job."
Reaction to Jordan Matthews' catch:
"We expect that from Jordan Matthews and Austyn [Carta-Samuels]. They are playmakers. They are all-stars. Like I said, we had all the trust in the world they were going to get us there and give us an opportunity."
Vanderbilt LB Karl Butler
Celebration in the locker room now that bowl game awaits:
"We celebrate after every win. We're just looking forward to playing another game together. We only have one more opportunity left so we are just glad to do that. We're just excited to play together."
Vanderbilt QB Austyn Carta-Samuels
On the fourth-down pass play to Jordan Matthews:
"We read the defense every play and, honestly, they were in the same coverage Tennessee ran. It was the same play we ran against Tennessee. I just figured if I put it in the hole high enough he'd go up and make a play. It all starts up front. In that situation, they're going to bring pressure. They know, 4th-and-12, they are going to pin their ears back and rush. The O-line did a great job. I was able to get that one off just high enough so Jordan [Matthews] could jump up and do what he does. Unfortunately, I've come to expect that out of him.
On this team's ability to execute the offense in late-game situations:
"Now that the regular season is over, in the grand scheme of things you just look back at this team and how resilient we've been. There have been days where the offense hasn't played well and the defense has played very well. There have been days the offense has played extremely well and the defense hasn't played as well. Either way, we're just a team. Despite anything we've faced, we just stick together. As an offense, we feel comfortable in those situations regardless of the success we've had just because as a team we know we have each others back. It is unbelievable just to have that sense of belief and feel that confidence on the sidelines being exuded by everybody there, including your coaching staff. Once you build that tradition it is something special. I think it has started to be built and it is going to continue to be built."
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews
On making the catch in double coverage:
"This was more of a two-man, last game was like a true cover-two. Both plays, you are taught to take the hole and, like Austyn said, put it high enough to where I'm the only one who has a chance for the ball. Even if I'm not able to come down with, at least get a [pass interference penalty] or something like that. That is just an older guy like Austyn playing with savvy, knowing the game plan, knowing the situation, then just making a great throw. When he does that and trusts me, I have no choice but to go up there and make a play for them. I had a good idea it was going to come to me so I just had to go make a play."
On mindset after dropping third-down pass:
"I knew we had one more down so I wasn't worried. I really let the play go, honestly. I knew we had one more down so I thought, `OK, let's get another play call in and try to get first down.' I really wasn't even thinking about it."
Seniors laying the foundation for program:
"I would say some of the guys who came before us, like the Chris Marves, the Casey Haywards, the Larry Smiths, the Zac Stacys, those are really the guys who started really laying the foundation. Coach said something a little bit in pregame, we're starting to build the house a little bit. I feel like once we're gone and those guys Coach Franklin is bringing in, that staff, that camaraderie in the locker room, right now, that is going to start making it a home, making it a championship program. We're starting to build the house and everything. I'd be wrong to say our senior class has done the whole foundation. There were a lot of guys who came before us that gave us the tools and the equipment we needed to go further."
Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe
On what happened on the second to last play:
"We got over the ball but there was no football to snap. We felt like we had about one second for the same type hail mary play."
On the late catch by Jordan Matthews:
"I thought we had good coverage but it was a nice play by him. He's done that all year for them, it was a very nice catch."
On the pick-six:
"That was the only way we got on the board in the half, I thought it was huge. The problem is you can't only rely on your defense to get points. We played good on offense in the first and went flat in the second."
On Vandy's two-quarterback system:
"We were expecting to see that. [Patton] Robinette was more of a runner and [Austyn] Carta-Samuels the passer. They are both good quarterbacks."
On the seniors effort:
"Thought it was disappointing we didn't win. This would have been a nice final game for our guys. We've had some tough losses down the stretch and these guys didn't pack it in, they played really hard."
Wake Forest DT Nikita Whitlock
On overall performance today:
"It was ok, I think I played well today. I made a few mistakes and one big one that I think they got about 12 yards on. It wasn't a perfect game for me, other than that I think I did well. I knew their schemes, I knew their plays, and I was able to read the O-line a little bit and my coaches prepared me, so it was a good day."
On familiarity of Vanderbilt:
"I have much respect for them but I really can't stand them. We've played them for the last four years and I always looked forward to getting a W against them. Familiarity doesn't really help you with the schemes because he [Coach Franklin] changes it up. The thing I do remember about last season is they are one of the most physical lines I play every year. They're coached really well."
On the senior class:
"I'm really proud of how we played today, offensively and defensively. I wish we could have played this way all season, especially on defense, we had a lot of fire and made some plays. I'm proud of the senior class, but most of all I'm proud of the team."