Oct. 21, 2006
Box Score |
UMass Head Coach Don Brown's Opening Statement:
"It was a rough start. As you look up, the opening kickoff is on the ground. You always worry about the adjustment to the option offense. You blink your eyes and we're down. It wasn't a great scenario for us in terms of that. We did manage a field goal. We then give up the big play action pass. When you play those people, usually you have one big run and one big pass against you. Once we righted the ship, we just ran the ball exceptionally well. We made some timely throws after missing a couple of early third down opportunities. Our offensive line took charge of the football game. You can be a real smart coach when you give the ball to number five (Steve Baylark) 26 times. He had a great day, and made it easy for the rest of the pieces to come together. We had the game fairly under control at the half. We came out defensively in the second half and held them to a field goal. Offensively we did what we needed to do. We took care of the ball, took care of the clock, and finished off a very solid football game. The thing that impressed me the most today was that when we were down 13-3, there was no panic, there was no bickering. We stayed collective, stayed calm and stepped up and made plays on both sides."
Brown on his team's efficiency:
"Liam was very efficient, 14 for 19. The thing that I'm most excited about is no interceptions. We took care of the ball very well after the opening turnover. Just a very solid win in all phases. In kick coverage, we had a couple of things come out on us more than we'd like. We did a pretty solid job with the wind conditions, managing the football game, and coming out with a solid win."
Brown on being tested early:
"I'm not worried about us being tested. Our senior leadership has been excellent. Our guys have stayed together and stayed collective. I'm very passionate about the game, but I also think we're very mature. When we do get tested, I'm confident we can dig ourselves out of a whole, but I'd rather not do that."
Brown on the fake field goal in the first quarter:
"We had practiced it all week. We knew what the look was. We had to wait for it to be on the right hash, knowing that they block on the left. We thought it was there. The blocking was excellent. I thought the surprise factor was a positive. It ended up giving us three points. It ended up being a positive, but we would have liked the touchdown there. We'll take the three points out of it."
Running Back Steve Baylark on his offensive line:
"I told them at the beginning of the season that as long as we stay healthy, things should work out and establish the run game. This is the best year. Last year, I missed 200 by two yards. I know they want me to get it. They love me and I love them. By the end of the season, I will treat them to a good dinner."
Center Alex Miller on Baylark's quest of 200 yards:
"After a couple big runs we figured he's got to be close. We got the stats on the sideline, and it was like we just scored a touchdown. We were working for that 200. It's my fourth year now, and he's come up short three or four times. It feels good to get him over the hump because those are our stats up front."
Quarterback Liam Coen looking forward:
"As the season gets going, we have to make sure we maintain a high level at practice. Northeastern is a good ball club next week. All we have to look forward to next week is Northeastern. We had a good week of practice last week. We maintained a high level at practice, and that is a big key for us."
Rhode Island Head Coach Tim Stowers on UMass:
"We got beat by a very good, very fundamentally sound football team. We were able to get up 10 points in the first half but we were unable to really slow UMass down. They are very, very balanced on offense, they block well for the run and the pass. Liam Coen is playing well, Steve Baylark is one of the top running backs in the country without question, and they have great wideouts. They could very well play for the National Championship one day.
It's kind of hard to tell if they are better than James Madison, or if they are better than Richmond, but all three of those teams are great teams, and they are all playoff teams.
We challenged the defense in the second half to comeback. But UMass' defense, I think they had something to say about that, they stopped us three and out three times in a row. You can't go out on the road and get up 10 points, and not play defense, then also fumble the football and let them return it for a touchdown. That blew the game wide open. My hat's off to Coach Brown, he is a very fine football coach, and runs a very fine football program. I think they are definitely a playoff football team without question, and may even well be the National Champion."
Stowers on UMass RB Steve Baylark:
"Any back in 1-AA football that has rushed for over 4,000 yards is a fantastic football player. He doesn't have great, great speed. He probably does not have the speed the James Madison tailback has, but he's got a lot more experience, and probably a little bit stronger running behind his pads. If you have to run the clock out, and you have a good strong offensive line, if just give it to Baylark, that's not a bad combination."