Head Coach Bob Diaco
Credit to Villanova. They are a great team and are going to win a ton of games. They have a great quarterback and are a class outfit. Coach Talley is an icon in our business. They do it the right way and fought hard so kudos to them.
I definitely want to acknowledge UConn Country and the Husky fans. The players were so energized by the attendance in the stadium and the energy in the tailgating when we pulled up. The players put so much in; they make such an investment every day. They have tried to reshape their lifestyle and they do it in part for the University that we are serving. For our vision statement, which is turning this team into a winner for the University for the state and for the people. The players have really bought into that. So to see everybody there cheering and excited all the way was so fun and so awesome. Thank you … the players thank you.
Kudos to the players. It feels so good to win the opener. It feels so good to win. It gets you off to a great start and reinforced all the stuff that you do for them. All credit to those young men who have worked so hard. And for them to get a win against a formidable opponent like Villanova, who is going to win a lot of games is exactly the kind of contest we needed to play in in preparation for the rest of the season. I’m proud of them and it’s so good to feel a winning feeling based on the fact that you have made an investment and having the results payoff is awesome.
On Tommy Myers:
That (play in the second quarter) would have been a hard catch. It was off the side and when you are running that fast in a particular direction and that thing is off a little bit, it’s a very hard play to make. It looks a lot easier than it actually is to do. We have to grade the tape but it looked like he had an excellent football game, which isn’t a shock to anyone in our football family. This guy has reshaped his body he has become a formidable in-line tight end, an at the point blocker and winning on the edge. He’s a weapon in the passing game and he bleeds blue. This guy bleeds blue. So it’s infections to everyone on the team; he’s a great teammate. When you make an investment like that and you bleed blue and that’s your whole mission, how could something good not happen to you.
On Bryant Shirreffs start:
So great. That was the one X factor. We watch Bryant every day in a lot of areas. We watch him strength train, we watch him in class and you get reports back. And you watch him in practice. You watch him in a lot of areas. This guy has produced in every single area, but he hasn’t played in a football game in a long time. That’s we were wondering ‘when the lights come on, what will it look like.’ Well he can throw the ball, he doesn’t put it in jeopardy he’s smart, he drives, he’s checking plays, he’s alerting plays and he’s managing the clock. He can win at times with his legs. He did a fantastic job in game one.
Redshirt-Senior Andrew Adams
How hard work in the offseason paid off tonight:
Definitely, everything he speaks on, it’s a process. We see it pay off more and more as last season went on. Tonight it showed up on the scoreboard and if we follow coach’s plan we will be ok.
What was the key defensively
Containing the quarterback, he was probably the most electric guy on the field. I think we did a pretty good job containing and because of that we got the win
On the interception
I made a check and then I was in the right spot at the right time, I read the quarterback’s eyes, diagnosed the route and high-pointed the football and made sure to hold on.
Redshirt-Sophomore Tommy Myers
On his catch that set up the touchdown to start the second half
My teammates didn’t acknowledged the great catch, they started joking with me that I got caught at the one yard line. I guess I wanted Ronnie [Johnson] to get the touchdown instead of me
On the importance of the catch
It was big, going into the half trailing, to come out and get a play like that to start the half is huge. Have to give credit to my teammates to make the blocks help me get open to make the catch.
Redshirt-Sophomore Bryant Shirreffs
Importance of the first drive
It was extremely important. I feel like last year we didn’t get great starts so I told the guys that we needed to get off to a good start and we were able to do that tonight.
On Tommy Myers and the line
It’s amazing when you have a player that can make plays like that and it makes my job a lot easier. The offensive line did a great job blocking for me tonight.
On playing tonight
I felt really comfortable, I visualized the entire game before going out there. I really didn’t have to focus on nerves but instead focus on preparation and trying to execute.
Villanova Head Coach Andy Talley
Opening Statement - “We felt that we had to come play hard and I think we did. I was pleased we were able to play four quarters and really be physical. I think we were spent, I think we played as hard as we possibly could. Turnovers certainly didn’t help us. We had three turnovers and when you are playing anybody, three turnovers can do you in. We needed to play a better game offensively than we did. We were able to move the ball at times and we were happy with that. But we just didn’t get in the end zone enough to keep the game tighter. We ended up making the mistakes on offense and it cost us a little bit. I thought our defense gave great effort, really happy with them. We had a lot of young guys in there tonight and they got a lot of really good experience.”
“For us, it’s a disappointing loss because I think it’s a game we could have won. I thought it was a toss-up game going in and I felt that if we played pretty good on both sides of the ball that we would have a chance. I just think that at a point in the game our defense broke a little bit.”
On UConn scoring drive to open the second half - “Big play to the tight end there after we kicked off in the second half. Really was a heartbreaker because they didn’t have to earn it. We were hoping to get some 50, 60, 80 yard drives and maybe they break down. But when you give them a big play like that and they score really quickly, that really was the backbreaker in the game early on because they didn’t have to earn it. I am very proud of our team, we played hard. Connecticut is a team on the rise, but we just couldn’t afford the mistakes we made during the course of the game in a tough first game like this.”
Junior Linebacker Austin Calitro
On defensive effort – “I am satisfied knowing we gave it all we had. They are definitely playing more guys than us and we knew that coming in. I thought we stopped the run. They got two big plays. Coach always says make them earn the drives. They had that one good drive, give them credit for it, but those two big plays if we had made maybe one there maybe it’s a different game. We gave it all we had, that’s all you can ask for.”
Senior Quarterback John Robertson
On first half touchdown drive – “We definitely needed that. We started off slow, and throughout the whole game we played inconsistently, starting with me. We gave it a good effort. We had a lot of young guys out there, so looking at it I think we got a lot of guy’s good experience. We have to take what happened tonight as a learning experience, not dwell on it, and get ready for next week.”