Oct. 26, 2013
Box Score |
UMass Football Postgame Quotes
Western Michigan 31, Massachusetts 30
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.
UMass Head Coach Charley Molnar
Molnar's opening statement:
"Our guys played hard. We did not always play perfect, but we did play hard. They practiced hard during the week and if there was a team that deserved to win a football game, I certainly thought our team did today. These guys, to the best of their ability, gave it their all. I am so proud of the way they hung in there to the very last seconds of the game. As far as the two-point play [the decision to go for two on the final scoring drive for UMass], that was my decision. It was something we were talking about, literally, from the beginning of the second half right down to the final moments of the game. We just felt like that if we went into an overtime situation, we would potentially get into a kicking battle. Our kicking game is not the best at this moment in time and I felt that we could put the ball in the hands of our best players. Those players were guys that not only made plays for us today but have consistently throughout the season."
On what the ideal scenario was on the missed two-point conversion:
"The first option was to get the ball to Tajae Sharpe, who came across fast to the strong flat. He was matched and Elgin Long came over the top. He was, at least from our perspective on the sideline, open for a moment. I don't know if the quarterback [A.J. Doyle] had somebody between him and the receiver, if he had too much air on the ball, or if it was just an overthrow. I cannot answer that. It could have happened on the two-point play or it could have happened in overtime. It just happened then."
On what he said to the players after the game:
"I just told them how proud I was and how hard they fought. I expected that they would do it and they really wanted to win. Just the way they hung in there, they stayed so positive throughout the course of the game and in the lockerroom, they are just a great bunch of guys right now and I am really proud of them."
On if the kicking game impacted the decision to attempt a two-point conversion:
"Sometimes you feel good about your kicking game, whether it is regarding the average and consistency. I felt, `why put it in the foot of a guy who was unsuccessful on his last time on the field?' I knew we could make the point-after, but we didn't want it to come down to field goals in overtime."
On the kicking situation for next week:
"It would be easy to say that Brendon Levengood is the kicker next week given the emotions, but we will go back and look at those guys. We have had lots of competition over the last several weeks and at the end, Blake [Lucas] keeps coming through ahead of the competition. Sometimes in a game, guys perform differently than they do in practice. We'll talk about it and evaluate it as we go on."
On losing to Western Michigan, a team that had not won a game all season:
"If you look at them, that is a pretty good football team. That was a team that grinded and embarrassed us last year. I am embarrassed right now as I sit here because any time we lose, I am embarrassed. All in all, I think we have made great strides. I don't care what their record it. They have some really good football players on their team. They were a hungry football team and to credit their team, they hung in there too. They easily could have quit after the opening kickoff and they hung in there too."
On freshman running back Lorenzo Woodley's play:
"This was Lorenzo Woodley's best week of practice since summer camp, so I can't tell you if he is one-hundred percent, but he is well enough that he can show his skills on the field."
On what he saw on the last play...
"It's a play that we have been practicing all year long. This is the first time we had it in a game. It was a bad throw and it is on me."
On the decision to go for two on the final play of the game...
"I kind of had an idea that he was going to do something like that. You kind of hear it all year long that when it is a close game and we don't have anything to lose, why not go for two and get the win. Unfortunately it did not work out for us."
On whether or not it felt like UMass had nothing to lose...
"Every week you have to go out there and play smart. In terms of my approach, I feel like I have nothing to lose. I have to go out there and just play."
On todays Offense...
"I think we changed some things up on offense that are definitely good. Obviously it showed with the amount of points we were able top put on the board today. But we have to continue to work."
On losing homecoming as a senior...
"It really hurts. This is my fifth season and I have yet to win on homecoming. If I was calling the plays, I would have gone for two too because the amount of energy that we had as an offense and the way we were moving the ball, it was in the cards and I didn't have a doubt in my mind all day that we were going to win this game. It didn't turn out that way so it is very difficult. It is what it is"
On losing homecoming as a senior...
It is definitely disappointing that we had to put the ball in the offenses' hand. As a defense, we wish we could have affected the outcome of the game. We trusted the offense that they would have gone out and scored. It is just tough.
Western Michigan Postgame Quotes
Head coach P.J. Fleck
"What a game. You have to give UMass a lot of credit. That was an exciting game, game, emotional, nerve wracking game. Ups and downs. Left and right. Missed opportunities on special teams....You saw everything in that football game.
"Coach Molnar is a good friend and he knows where our program has been and where we're going. And it is the same thing with his program. You saw two teams that were scrapping and truly wanted it. I couldn't say enough about how happy I am for Kathy Beauragard and the administration, our president John Dunn. For every person, my wife whose had to deal with me for the last eight weeks. I just want to say thank you to all of you because you truly believe in this football team. It's a small circle at times that truly believes in us. I am really proud to work for you, proud to be married to you.
"I'm really happy for those kids in there. That's what it's really about. It's not about our first victory. It's about a win for this program and going in the right direction...it's a huge step in the foundation and direction of this program. I couldn't be happier for those kids. I'm the luckiest head coach in the country right now...to have the job I have and the challenge I have ahead of me... and to be able to coach those players in that locker room... and work for the people I do. So, thanks everybody. Row the boat."
On how the offense and defense played as a collective unit...
"I thought we played better when we were needed. When we could've made a little separation (in the game), we didn't. There were times when our back was against the wall and we responded. But, you look at our entire year, we've always been against the wall and the kids have never stopped fighting. With the amount of injuries we've had, it's amazing how resilient those kids are. When Coach Molnar decided to go for that two-point conversion, our defense was pointing to our sideline saying "we got this." Joe Novak used to have a saying "you go for two at home and one on the road." I knew they were going for two. I wouldn't have done it any differently than Charley."
On Zach Terrell's play...
"It's kind of ironic. We're in the house that Tom Brady built and our quarterback goes out there and has the greatest game he's had all year. I thought Zach really showed his poise, his maturity. In three games, that guy has gotten better and better and better. Nothing rattles him. He's a completely confident kid. He's a wonderful young man. He's a redshirt freshman and he's really taken on a leadership role. I do think I need to tell him he's a redshirt freshman though because when I say "sophomores to eat," he gets up. I'm really proud of him."
On the hard count on the touchdown...
"I'll tell you, Coach Ciarrocca, that was a great job by him. I thought Coach Ciarrocca and Coach Wenger did a tremendous job of calling the game. They put our players in a position to succeed, especially with a down like that. You have to be able to see exactly what was going to happen, and that's why we do it. You either get an offside penalty or you get to see what's coming. You get to undress the defense. And he did a great job."
On how it feels going into a bye week...
"Well it's huge. We're going to take a week. We're going to have our players hit a little bit. We need this bye week. We needed it eight weeks ago. We finally get it and we're going to take advantage of it. We're going to get the kids away and get their minds fresh. They've been through a lot. Then we're going to hit the road recruiting. We're going to get out there and attack recruiting like we've never attacked recruiting before. We're going to have a lot of fun doing it. We're going to get some future Broncos and spread the word about all the positive things happening here. I know a lot of people out there didn't expect it to take this long, I didn't expect this. I get it. But this program is going in the right direction. It has the right people in place and that's what's important. The foundation has to be built. And today was a huge step in being able to start to build that house, to start to build from the ground up. We've been digging for a long time. We've got a heck of a basement. Thanks guys. Row the boat."
QB Zach Terrell
On how the first win of the season feels...
"It feels amazing. It's been a long time coming. Really proud of the guys and how hard they've worked. All the hard work, all the workouts. It's amazing to finally get our first win and hopefully we can get the ball rolling from here."
WR Corey Davis
On knowing that you had to have that play on 3rd down (and 11) and what you were thinking...
"Well, I knew the coverage, just like we studied on film. So, he (Terrell) put the ball on the money and he made my job easy."