Nov. 10, 2007
Box Score |
UMass Head Coach Don Brown's Opening Statement:
We struggled to some degree out of the gate offensively. We had a special teams gaff during the first half, which is always a deflating experience. Our defense stepped up and made plays when we needed to. At halftime, 10-7, it's anybody's ballgame. They started to get their sea legs underneath them a little bit. Ricky started to get into a flow. We came out in the third quarter, against the wind, and had a sensational drive. It's the way we like to do it around here; to be able to pound the ball, go right at you. Matt Lawrence: 27 carries, 147 yards. Tony Nelson had 8 carriers for 52, which summed it up. There were two quarterbacks out there, and we happen to have a pretty good guy here too, who happened to be 20 for 27. In the second half, on defense we held them to 60 yards total offense and had eight sacks. We were relentless all day long.
Brown on team's strategy:
We felt we could play a lot of man free and press them on the edges. We liked the matchups there. Just try to make Ricky get the ball out as quickly as possible and we really limited their playmakers. They did a pretty good job against them all day long. A great, great win. I was pleased with the way the offense responded in the second half. Especially when you go through a deflating experience like you do last week, playing in 50 mile per hour winds and you don't come out with a win. I was a little concerned on Sunday; we were a very frustrated football team. On Tuesday, our focus was impressive and it carried all the way through last night. When times were tough during the course of the game, we never broke. The defense took care of the offense in the first half. Then the offense just took care of the football game in the third quarter.
Brown looking ahead to next week:
We're now CAA North Champs, which is always a goal. First year in the CAA, that was something we were pointing to. We have one more football game in front of us, at Hofstra, which was probably one of the worst experiences we've ever been through as a football team in my four years at UMass. We'll need to go down there and play a good football game.
Quarterback Liam Coen on the offensive line:
I can't say enough about the way those guys played up front today. They've been battling through injuries all season long. Guys have stepped up week to week. We haven't had a full allotment in a long time now. To have those guys (three seniors in the middle right there) at full strength, I can't say enough. They played their butts off.
Coen on the emotion in the game:
It's tough coming off a loss. Any time you lose a game in conference is tough. We came out this week in practice with a sense of urgency. The coaches did a great job of reiterating that this is New Hampshire; it's our next game on the schedule. Obviously, there's more to it. We had a great week of practice. The emotion on our sidelines was very high. I think it was a lot to do with Senior Day. Guys really wanted to win this one for our senior class.
Linebacker Charles Walker on the defensive effort:
Coach kept throwing the plays in and giving them different looks. We caused chaos on [Santos'] reads. We came from everywhere. Mike Hanson told me he wanted to send the seniors out with a bang. We played together today; we had a sense of urgency. We stepped up, played together today, and got it done.
Kicker Chris Koepplin on his 51-yard field goal:
I just got out there, got my spot, and set my line. I knew I had the wind at my back, so I didn't need to crush it.
Defensive End Michael Hanson on the team's blitzing scheme:
It's real fun. Knowing that we blitz so much, we enjoy having the opportunity to be in the quarterback's face. That's what happens every game. [Coach] always has a scheme that is perfect.
Running back Matt Lawrence on UMass' long drive in the third quarter:
It was a long drive. It was real fun. The offensive line was going to work. The chemistry was evident. We were working together to get things accomplished.
UNH head coach Sean McDonnell on UMass:
Obviously, the University of Massachusetts executed very, very well on both sides of the ball. There offense came out and put together two big drives, backed us off the ball a little bit, and found some things that they did well. I thought they made some good adjustments at half time. I thought Matt Lawrence and their offensive line picked it up, too.
As for our offense, the pressure, as it has been for the last two or three years, seems to get stronger as the game goes on. I thought they did a great job fixing somethings, changing up their coverages, and getting after our guys. It was a touch loss.
UNH quarterback Ricky Santos on the pressure from the UMass defense:
They did a good job switching up the coverages. When they blitzed five, six guys, that put us in one-on-one protections. I thought we did a good job shifting the protection, but it's tough to protect for three to four seconds in one-on-one matchups. I think that is what makes them so dangerous as a defense. The wide receivers and the offensive linemen have to make decisions very quickly.