Sept. 4, 2004
Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen
"[It was] a tough football game tonight. I want to give a lot of credit to Northern Illinois. I thought they played with their hearts, as [did] as our guys ... I think we were very fortunate to win this game. You turn the ball over four times and make as many mistakes as we did and still find a way to win against a good football team, I think that's pretty good. Our kids showed their heart, they had to reach down time and time [again] and show what they're made of. I'm pretty proud of our players, and I have a lot of respect for Northern Illinois."
On the play of Joel Statham after two early fumbles:
"Give him credit. He came back. There's a lot of guys who would have packed it in ... it's lonely when you're [out] there. I think that Joel showed us some stuff tonight and I thought he made some pretty good plays too. Hopefully, next time he's going to be more confident from being able to win this game."
On second-half momentum:
"It was kind of back and forth the whole second half. We traded field goals and then the momentum was swinging either way. Of course, when they scored that touchdown, give credit to our guys, they could have packed it in too ... I'm glad we were in better shape than we were last year, or we wouldn't have won that game."
On the play of Northern Illinois QB Phil Horvath:
"I didn't know anything about him. We hadn't seen a whole lot of him on film. I thought he played very well. Obviously, Coach Novak has a lot of confidence in him. I think he played about as good as the other guy [Josh Haldi] would have."
On the running game:
"I thought both Sammy and Josh were a great combination today. I thought Sammy ran really hard. Josh has a little more quickness, he's a different type of runner."
On Northern Illinois:
"They are really tough. They do a great job of instilling a winning attitude in their players. I have the utmost respect for Joe Novak and their staff and their players, because when you look at them they don't look real big, but they have a whole lot of fight."
On TE Vernon Davis:
"Vernon is a multi-talented player. He's not only a good receiver, but he's also a good blocker, and he wanted to go in and cover kickoffs. He's really a joy to have on the team, because he likes to play football, he's very enthusiastic, he always has a smile on his face and he's really a team player."
On the remainder of the season:
"I think we have a chance ... to be a good team as we grow, and I think it's very important that we grow early in the season with the [schedule] we have coming up later in the season ... The thing I like about this team is they want to be good. They've done everything we have asked them to do from last winter to the spring and the summer ... I was proud of the way they hung in tonight. It was a whole different atmosphere on our sideline [compared to] a very similar scenario last year. Last year was a little bit of a panic situation and this year was more determination. That's what I like about this team."
Maryland Quarterback Joel Statham
On his play:
"I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. I made a couple of mistakes, it is obvious that I need more work to improve for the next game."
On the game:
"Coach Friedgen told us after the game that we can't expect to win all the time with four turnovers. It is something we have to work on and something we have to get better at before the end of the season."
On running backs Josh Allen and Sammy Maldonado:
"Josh and Sammy were both workhorses tonight. They had a lot of runs tonight because Coach (Friedgen) wanted me to get comfortable with the offense and to also get me in a rhythm.
Maryland Place Kicker Nick Novak
On the win:
"We are starting better than last year, we accomplished that goal. Now we have to win the next one against Temple.
On Joel Statham:
"I think Joel played much better in the second half. It was good for him to get his feet wet. I am just glad that we came out with the victory."
Maryland Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson
On the team:
"We have to take one game at a time and not look ahead to any opponent. Each and every Saturday is going to be a test. It is how well we react to those tests that will show how good a team we will be."
On the game:
"There were some big hits in the game. It was hitting on both sides of the ball. Rich Parson made a great play towards the end of the game, he got his helmet knocked off but he made the play on third down. That just shows you the character of our team and hopefully we can keep this momentum going."
Northern Illinois Head Coach Joe Novak
On the loss of starting QB Josh Haldi:
"Josh had not practiced until Wednesday. He said he felt good. I think he was very optimistic after the warmup but that second play down the sideline I could see that he pulled up lame right away. As soon as I saw that, of course I grabbed him. He's a tough kid. I don't know how long it's going to be before he's able to play. There is a lot of football left in the season."
On the play of backup QB Phil Horvath:
"I'm really proud of Phil Horvath. That's the first time he has ever played. It's one thing to know you are going to go out there and play, but it's another to see [Josh] Haldi out there and all of a sudden you're thrust out there into action. That's hard. The young kid went out there and made some plays. I have a lot of respect for what Phil did out there, a lot of pride."
On his team:
"You never know about your team until you play a game. We lost some good players from last year. We made some mistakes, but those things are all coachable. I'm anxious to see the film. We`ve got some kids who can make plays. I like the attitude, the kids don't ever think they cant come back, I just don't want to be in that position too often. They sure don't quit, I'll say that."
Northern Illinois Tailback A.J. Harris
On the Huskies' 4th-quarter comeback:
"I'm really glad how the team responded. It showed how much heart we have. Being down so much and being able to come back like that is just incredible."
On the rest of the season:
"We know how good we are now. We're just going to look at the rest of the season like nobody can beat us. We'll just play our hardest for the rest of the year. It's not good that we lost, but it's going to help us out."
Northern Illinois Quarterback Phil Horvath
On the last play of the game:
"All I know is it took a long time to get that ball set....If we had played better, it wouldn't have come down to that. I'm really proud. We played tough."
On filling in for injured OB Josh Haldi:
"Coach definitely told me I was going to play....Just get my feet wet, but once the game went on I settled down and began to play. I just calmed down and felt good."
On the team's play:
"This team never gives up. Josh (Haldi) went out in the first period, but the team never gave up. I'm very proud of us. We played good. The defense was solid, the offense was solid. It's just unfortunate it had to end that way."