Postgame Quotes: Maryland 52, James Madison 7

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Postgame quotes following Maryland’s 52-7 win over James Madison.

Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall

Opening Statement:
“That was a fun game today. It was nice to get our first win. We did a lot of good things today. I’m proud of how our team came out and started fast and was able to get ahead and put some pressure on James Madison. They stayed focused throughout the game and I was very happy that I was able to play as many players as we did. That is really going to help with the depth and experience that we are going to need to have as we continue to go through this season. I’m just very proud of their effort and I thought it was a clean game as well. We executed well and had only five penalties.”

On quarterback C.J. Brown’s play:
“I really thought C.J. did a lot of really good things out there. You take a look at some of the runs he had out there and how he got in the end zone, I couldn’t be more proud of him. I liked how he conducted himself and handled himself today. He might have not lived up to his or our expectations in terms of completion percentage, but that’s something we can work on. He’s a competitor and warrior, and goes out there and lays it on the line.”

On the defensive takeaways:
“If you look at the numbers on possession down, we were really good. When you can get off the field on third down, that makes life a lot easier. It was a combination of guys putting pressure on the quarterback and the guys in coverage. To hold James Madison to what we did, is tremendous credit to our players and how hard they played. J.J. [Johnson] had a great interception at the end of the first half, he battled and came down with it. Anytime you can get that first turnover, is good. Our defense played well.”

On defensive back Sean Davis’ play:
“He’s worked very hard. He’s put a lot of time and effort into his game this summer from both a physical and mental standpoint. I’m very happy for him. The experience he got in his younger years, is really paying off right now. He made some great tackles today and played well on special teams. He does it all and we all love being around him.”

On playing younger players on defense:
Yannick Ngakoue has come a long way. It’s nice to see him get his share of reps today. He looked to have done his job and executed his assignments out there. Jesse Aniebonam is very talented. He’s got stuff you can’t teach in terms of speed and athletic ability. He is going to be a very talented player for us. I thought the guys that went in and played did a really good job.”

On the new coaching staff at James Madison:
“Well, we thought we had a pretty good idea of what they did with the information and film that we had available to us, so they will be a really good football team in the CAA. Everett [Withers] is a good coach, he has a good coaching staff with him there. He is in the process of building his program and defensively they were really given a lot of different looks, they were doing some of the stuff that BC did on film. But, they mixed it up quite a bit and they gave us a lot of different variety on defense, which should prepare us for future games.”

On the progress of linebacker Alex Twine:
“I thought Alex played well. I thought he went in there and I thought he maybe got a little tired towards the end. I was teasing him about that on the sideline. But, he executed and did the things that we asked. I am pleased with him and L.A. [Goree]. That is the good thing, when you have guys who have been around the program and who have the experience and knowledge, we expect them to go in and play the way that Alex did today and I thought L.A. [Goree] just had a great game. That is the great thing for me as a coach and that we are able to take guys like L.A. [Goree] and Sean Davis and say to our team it is no wonder L.A. [Goree] played the way that he did or it is no wonder that Sean [Davis] played the way he did because of how they have prepared.”

On the positivity as a result of the victory:
“Well, as I said to them in the locker room after the game, it is one down and one to go. We came out and we challenged them to start fast and finish strong at halftime and I thought they did that. Again, for a first game we accomplished what we set out to accomplish. Was it as executed as we wanted throughout the 60 minutes? No, and I do not think you ever get that in any game because there is still that opponent over there that you are competing against and if you go out there and grind, stick to that mindset and everybody is into it, then you are going to come out with the results that you want.”

On the special teams:
“I think our guys know on special teams that if they get a body on a body and you give William [Likely] or Stefon [Diggs] some time and some opportunity to grow they can make things happen on the special teams and that is huge. On one punt, we did not take advantage of the field position, I think we went three-and-out, but when you can add that to your arsenal, that is huge from a punt return to kickoff. The other thing is I think William [Likely] just did a tremendous job out there fielding those punts, especially after getting interfered with twice. There are sometimes guys might start looking at the coverage and he did and he handled all of those flawlessly. I was kind of surprised they kicked to Stefon [Diggs] to tell you the truth, but it is good to have weapons like that throughout the game.”

James Madison Head Coach Everett Withers

On season debut grade:
“I grade today an “F”. We lost. I grade all loses as “F’s.”

On first game jitters:
“I don’t really believe in first game jitters, but I do think we shot ourselves in the foot with the penalties. Nine penalties with only 102 yards, that’s too many. You can’t win many ballgames with that many penalties.”

On what caused the big deficit:
“The nine penalties for 102 yards had a lot to do with the big deficit and the fact that they were a good football team.”

On front seven defense play:
“We didn’t play very well up front, and we have to fix that. When a team rushes for 285 yards with 50 shots, clearly we’ve got some work to do. Some of the young guys like Cornell Urquhart and Ascene Jacques played fairly well for us. I think we have a chance to be good up front.”

On what is the biggest improvements that need to be made:
“From week one to week two that is when you hope a team makes its biggest jump. I hope we improve on penalties that we cause, which put us behind the chains; that was the story of the first half – self-inflicting wounds. We have got to be able to protect the quarterback better, throw the ball down the field and stop the run. I have to go back and watch the film and narrow it down to one or two things. Then we’ll start working on those things tomorrow.”

On Vad Lee’s performance:
“I think he was under pressure and Maryland had a lot to do with that. I think, and if you ask him he’ll probably tell you himself, that he made some poor reads. It was the first game in a new offense and in a new system. But week one to week two, I hope he plays better next week than he did today.”

On expectations when playing Maryland:
“Offensively, we thought we could run the football a little better. They were a lot more aggressive up front and brought a lot more pressure. Defensively, I thought we would stop the run.”

On Maryland’s team speed:
“I’ve been around this block way too long to not know that boys like Stefon Diggs and them guys can run.”

On no huddle offense:
“That’s our offense. Anytime you get behind the chains, the tempo is thrown off. There were a couple times where we were able to tempo down the field and then we stalled. We can’t run our offense if we are going to put ourselves at first-and-5. But we stayed true to our game from start to finish of the game.”

Maryland Players

Quarterback C.J. Brown
On his low completion percentage:
“I didn’t do too well today in terms of throwing the football. The stats speak for themselves and that’s unacceptable. I didn’t prepare for that. It helps that we got the win. I didn’t play well today, I understand that and I’ll get better.”

On his touchdown run on fourth-and-goal:
“I wasn’t surprised. In the situation that we were at I wanted to get a good look. The offensive line was doing a great job all day. I think that the coaches had confidence in them. We were running the ball well all day. I just knew it was fourth down and don’t hold anything back and just try to get in the end zone.”

On the depth that the team has at wide receiver:
“I think the biggest thing for us is that we’ve been through the injury adversity before. People understand that you’re only one play away. We have a lot of depth at that position and the competition that we’ve had guys are going to have to step up. I don’t really know the injury situation so we’ll play it by year.”

Wide Receiver Deon Long
On how the offense can improve after the win:
“We just need to execute better, just take it one practice at a time, come in and watch film and just do the little things we didn’t do. Just get better for the next game.”

On C.J. Brown’s play today:
I wouldn’t say his passing was unacceptable. We just need to come in and watch film and correct the things we need to have corrected. He’s actually gotten much better over the summer. His accuracy has improved. His balls have improved, I wouldn’t say that he passed the ball poorly.”

Linebacker  L.A. Goree
On his 14 Tackles:
“Things just started opening up, the defensive linemen did a good job holding up their responsibilities and allowing me to do that. Quinton Jefferson and Darius Kilgo, who I play behind, they held the blockers off me which allowed me to shoot through.”

On the defensive play throughout the first half:
“I think we played well and I think we can play better.”

On the team’s motivation:
“It’s easy to get complacent when you’re winning and everyone is packing their bags, but we need to not get complacent. We need to take the good and the bad with the same energy.”

Defensive Back Sean Davis
On whether the amount he blitzed was planned:
“No. That wasn’t part of the game plan, but we saw the opening and it worked so we just kept going with it.”

On his pride playing on special teams:
“Every time I’m on that field I’m going to give it my all, whether it’s defense, special teams, or anything, but yes I do take a lot of pride in special teams.”

On Will Likely’s performance:
“Will had a really good game today. I’m not surprised. We’ve been working hard in the spring and in the summer trying to perfect our cracks and fine tune the little details. Right now this is his chance to showcase his skills. Like I said, I’m not surprised of anybody’s performance today. This is what we came to do.”

On A.J. Hendy being gone:
“We really can’t dwell on that. It is what it is and it’s an opportunity for the next man to step up. I’m going to continue to do my job and coach the guys up behind me, so that if anything does happen we’re ready.”

James Madison Players

Center Matt Williams:
On the offensive performance:
“We shot ourselves in the foot way too many times. Any offense has to be in rhythm. They can’t be behind the chains and we did that too much early in the game. We did a lot of good things and we did a lot of bad things. We just have to be more consistent.”

On Maryland’s defense:
“They were everything we prepared for. We got coached on them. We saw them on film. It was everything we saw all week. We just have to execute better.”

On the pass protection:
“Our job is always to protect him [Vad Lee], so we have to get better. We just have to look at the film and see what we did wrong.”

On the mood of the locker room:
“It’s a loss, we’re not happy about it. But we’re going to stay positive and learn from today. We’re going to take it as an experience and not focus on the negatives. We have to worry about us and focus on next week.”

On Maryland’s pass rush:
“On a couple blitzes we were outnumbered or we didn’t pick them up right. I have to look at the film of each individual blitz to see what else went wrong. We were prepared for most of the blitzes”

On the positives from the late game interception:
“Whenever the defense takes the ball back for the offense it makes you feel good and we scored off of it so obviously that was a positive. Having that field position for the offense makes things easier for them.”

Safety Dean Marlowe:
On containing Maryland’s running game:
“We missed a lot of tackles up front. As a defense we could have done a lot better than we did. We have to get better.”

On the biggest takeaway from today’s game:
“We’re a very close unit and I just think that we need to work on our fundamentals a little bit more. As coach [Withers] said, we shot ourselves in the foot with too many penalties. We have to get better for next week.”

On the performance of Jimmy Moreland and Aaron Peak:
“They did pretty good. It’s their first game so there were a lot of nerves out there. Overall, we just have to work on our defense and they’ll be fine.”

On the learning experience from covering Stefon Diggs and Deon Long:
“They have a bunch of good wide outs and we were able to do our best against them. We will use it to learn for next week.”

On the positives from today’s game:
“We played tough. We played hard. That’s the kind of culture our coaches told us to come out with. I think we played well and tough. We just have to correct the mistakes.”