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On defensive play:

“First of all, I give honor and glory to God. This was such a tremendous victory to be a part of. To play a game like this, everything just kind of comes together. Defensively you’re faced against a task where this is the best offense college football has in terms of ground-gaining and points. To come together, to put a game plan together that the players believe in and execute it, for the most part very, very well. There were some big stops there. We went for it on fourth down; we didn’t get it. There were some other issues: having to punt. I think the last two punts came in maybe the last quarter. They just had big stops. As you take care of the dive, then the quarterback starts to do his thing, and as soon as you take the quarterback, then the guys on the perimeter, the pitch guys, start to do their things. I thought Coach Reed and the defensive coaches did a good job of adjusting to the tempo of the game. When you look at our defensive linemen, a lot of them made a lot of plays. I’m recalling the Maryland defensive linemen who made a bunch of tackles in that game in order to be successful. Your guys up front have to be able to get off the blocks because there are so many low scramble blocks. There are so many different kinds of low blocks, that you try to just capture the edge. I’m anxious to see the film and see how they played because I think that those guys up front played well. “

On why “it” came together during this game against one of the few undefeated teams:
“We go to overtime against Idaho. ‘Well, you guys barely beat Idaho.’ It’s hard to win football games. When you have the opportunity to put all of the aspects together, offense, defense, and specials teams, then you give yourself a chance to win games. The offense was a specialty offense that we had an opportunity to get ready for. I think with the bye week, and all of those things, that it was kind of the perfect time. I just said before that we’ve got guys back: Cam Johnson, Kevin Parks. We’ve got guys back from injury. We’ve got guys focusing on some special teams aspects, making decisions, good decisions. The game just fell in line with the preparation and all of those other entities, getting well and being excited to play. It’s Homecomings. I don’t know what they were ranked, but you have a lot of respect for a team that when you look at all of their games, you’re like ‘oh my goodness. You’re putting points and yardage on people.’ So, like I said, my hat goes off to the players and coaches that executed this thing. We said at halftime to the coordinators, ‘just call the game they way you’ve been calling it.’ What happens is that you get a lead, and you think you need to do things differently. We just wanted to call the game the same way, and those guys did an excellent job of doing it.”

On second-half offense:
“We were going to run the offense. I know there were a couple of incompletions, and some pressure. We had to throw the ball out. The good thing is that instead of trying to force a throw that could lead to turnovers, we recognized it’s not there, threw it out of bounds, and lived to see another day. As you say, the running game, particularly the power running game, appeared to be working, and it was a matter of just guys staying in bounds towards the end and utilizing the clock. With that going on, we decided to stay with what’s working. The ground game appeared to be working best.”

On post-game talk with players:
“I told them I was proud of them. I loved the effort. This is one of those wins that can change the perception of what you think about yourself. Last second play against Indiana. Last second play against Idaho. Overtime. This is one of those wins against a good team with a lot of accomplishments that you can try to turn the corner on about how you think about yourself, and how people view your program. There’s a long season yet to play, but it’s a great start to the second half of the season.”

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