Sept. 21, 2002
Final Stats |
Coach Ralph Friedgen:
On the team's overall performance:
"I thought we played real well tonight. I thought we made a lot of improvement. We worked very hard this week to improve our offense. I realize the competition wasn't the same as it was last week, but our execution was better. We made better decisions, our timing in our passing game was a lot better and our accuracy was a lot better. I'm looking for us to grow from here. I think this should give us some confidence. I told our players we have to come back next week and get better. We have to move on and keep on improving and hopefully as the season goes on, we'll just keep getting better and get where we want to be. It was a good night. I feel a lot better tonight than I did last week on this time."
"I was concerned at halftime that we weren't running the ball as well as we needed to and I thought that improved in the second half."
On Josh Allen and playing a lot of other youngsters:
"I think half of our freshman class has now played in a game, and I might add playing pretty well. In Josh Allen, I think we found another guy that can play tonight. He's improving in practice. I'll look at the tape, but in my mind right now, he's elevated himself."
"When he scored the touchdown, I said, 'I'm so glad I took you.' Josh was a kid that we knew was a good player and we had already assigned a running back in the class and I [have] a lot of running backs, probably too many. But, Josh came to our football camp, and I was just blown away with the kid. Not only could I see he was going to be a really good back, but he's such a class act. He's a great student and a great character guy. He's going to be a very, very good football player and...I'm glad he's playing for us."
"It's like we're playing a freshman team out there. Everybody worries about playing freshmen, but we have to go out and recruit more. That's the way I look at it. If they're good enough to play, let's play them. That's my philosophy, if they're good enough to play as freshmen, let's play them."
On the play of quarterbacks Scott McBrien and Chris Kelley:
"I thought Scott McBrien
played real well and I thought Chris Kelley
played well except for the fumble. I was very pleased with our execution [and] we ran better routes."
"I thought that [Scott] threw the ball very accurately. The big thing that I've been concerned with is throwing [the ball] on time. If you'll notice last week he was back there holding the ball trying to make a decision. I thought he was much more decisive [tonight]. We're working very hard with all of our quarterbacks, Scott in particular, to try to gain knowledge because I really think quarterback play is not just throwing the football. It's how fast and how accurate you can make a decision, and to do that you have to be able to anticipate certain things. You have to be able to read coverages and anticipate where a defender is going to go. It's kind of like you react to what they do, not just pick a guy out and force the ball into him and he didn't do that tonight."
"[Scott] made strides tonight. Is he there yet? No. He does throw the ball very well. He's got a gun, and in practice, he's very accurate. He hasn't always been that way in the games, and that's what we have to get to. I'm hoping with the more knowledge he has, he'll be more confident of where he's going with the football."
On the play of the defense:
"I think the defense gave up a little more on the running game than what we anticipated, even though it wasn't a lot. They were getting five yards on first down, and I was on the phone with Coach Blackney and I know he wasn't very happy. But, when they had to make the play, I thought they made it. We played our whole second team, probably from the middle of the third quarter on and we took them out there that one drive to try to keep a shutout. But they came out and played that whole fourth quarter and played pretty good. I'm trying to build some depth on that side of the ball, because we're very thin and very young."
On the receiving corps:
"I thought they made some plays tonight and what I really liked was the yards after the catch. We were spreading the ball out pretty good. The biggest criticism I get is we don't throw the ball to the tight ends, and we even hit [them] tonight."
On the 91-yard touchdown pass to Steve Suter:
"We went to a four-wide receiver set and I saw the defense they were in and I knew if Scott read it right, it was a touchdown. I knew it before the play. He read it right, hit the right guy and Steve made a great run. I kind of anticipated it before it happened. The kids did a great job of executing."
On achieving the team's goals for the season:
"We had five goals this season. One was to beat Notre Dame. Two, was to win all our home games. Three was to win the ACC. Four, was to go to a bowl. Five, was to stay together as a team. I told them last night, 'It's time we come together as a team, because if we don't come together as a team, we're not going to achieve the other two goals.' We've got to keep doing that and get better and I think if we do, then we'll have a good season."
On this week's improvement:
"We had the chance tonight to make plays and we made more than we did last week. That was obvious. And when you do that, things are going to come out right. Our receivers ran great routes and our linemen protected well so we made plays tonight."
On his football education:
"When you gain knowledge, the game slows down a little bit-not only for myself but for everybody. The receivers played well; they are gaining knowledge. We get better week after week so that is what it's going to take."
On Steve Suter's performance:
"Steve is my best friend and last season it was hard on him because he wasn't traveling with the team and wasn't making plays. As his best friend, I try to keep him up and this season I just know every time he gets the ball it is exciting. Before the game we both talked about how we wanted to make big plays and it worked out that way. I was happy for him, happy for myself, and happy for the team."
On his interception:
"Early in the game [Eastern Michigan] was still in the contest and if they scored on that drive, I think it might have been a different ballgame. It certainly took a lot of momentum away from them. I just make the play when I get the opportunity. I know that if they would have thrown the ball to Curome [Cox], he would have done the same thing. If they tried to run it at E.J. [Henderson], he would have done the same thing also."
On getting his first college playing time:
"I just wanted to come here, have fun, and play college football."
"Because [the coaches] gave me an opportunity, I wanted to take advantage of it."
On the offense:
"We played together tonight. The wide receivers made plays, the offensive linemen made blocks and we just came together as a unit."
On how he will celebrate:
"Go home and call mom and dad."
On Friedgen's simplified offense:
"Before I was picking [the offense] up, but a lot slower because he has so many schemes. I am picking it up a lot better now that he has simplified it."
On seeing the field:
"Here and there, there were big holes. There were small holes that I had to find a way through. The big holes, I just wanted to hit hard."