UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco
"Credit goes to Coach Rhule and Temple. They fought to the end and were a class outfit the whole time. Four quarters, pregame and postgame they were a class outfit and did a fine job today. I’d also like to thank all the Husky fans that came out today. When the busses rolled into Rentschler today it was energizing to see that tailgate scene. The stadium was energized and rocking. It’s appreciated. This is a young football team and one that you can rally behind. There are names that you can cheer for that you are going to be seeing for the next three or four years. So, UConn fans and UConn Country, please keep coming. You’re going to see wins and we are going to turn this team around. We really appreciate the support and we are going to keep fighting and will be resolute and indomitable in turning this around. We appreciate everyone coming out; it was a wonderful crowd.
About the game; I don’t want to inundate you with coach speak and give you 15 one-liners and walk out. We can’t play half a football game and have a game look like a tale of two cities. The opponent couldn’t really do anything in the first half offensively and our offense possessed the ball for about 20 minutes and went up and down the field. No points were produced and we have to be better in the red zone.
But we executed the plan and exited the half 7-3 before creating an explosive play; a fumble recovery in the end zone off the opening kickoff of the second half. We would have been ahead 10-7 but … penalty … freshman. So that is just where we are at right now.
We are taking turns with young guys doing bonehead things, which they will eventually stop doing. They will stop doing this because we are going to stay the course and with love, care, diligence and respect in how we communicate, we are going to keep getting better.
I know you saw the run game tonight so there is no way to say it isn’t getting better. The run game is improving and we just have to get that protection shored up and we will.
Some of the other facts of the game; 16 uncontested points make it impossible to win, period. When you look at it defensively, you have some exposure there that creates some of those circumstances. They had two scoring drives. We are unhappy with the four explosive-play passes because that is just not what we do. We don’t have our defense structured to give up explosive-play passes. So those four plays were disappointing. The other couple of field goals (produced by Temple) were plus-field setups. And then obviously 16 uncontested points.
We are disappointed but not crushed. The players understand what we are going to. We have a bye-week so we are going to practice a bunch and get better. So we are resolute and our spirit is not cracked. The team and coaches are upset but we also know, big picture, where we are going."
Senior Wide Receiver Deshon Foxx
On potential future role in offense:
“I don’t want to speak on the future because I need to correct the things I can correct at wide receiver before I can focus on playing quarterback. That’s on the coaches and I am going to do whatever they tell me to do.”
On opening drive result:
“It got us again. It no one’s fault but our own and we just need to stop doing it. All we can do is go back to practice and work on it.”
Redshirt-Senior QB Chandler Whitmer
On start of second half fumble called back:
“It could have been a huge turn, but it wasn’t. To be a good team we cannot let things like that ruin the rest of the game. We can’t rely on a fluke play like that. It would be nice to change momentum like that but if it doesn’t happen, you go out play defense, stop them and go move the ball on offense.”
Redshirt-Freshman DT Cole Ormsby
On second half difference:
“We have to go back to film and see what happened and adjust for next game.”
On feeling going into halftime:
“We felt strong, we felt confident. We held them to about 30 yards, and went into the locker room with our heads held high. We wanted to come back out and handle them, but that didn’t happen. We need to go back and look at film, see what happened, and fix it.
Temple Head Coach Matt Rhule
“I couldn’t me more proud of our team. I think for the first time, really in a long time, things did not go well early and our kids were just ready for the second half. They understood that the way we win is we just keep playing; playing, playing and we wait until the fourth quarter. When Khalif (Herbin) dropped that kick-off to start the second half, our defense just ran out there ready to go. No finger pointing, no yelling and that’s a mark of a good team. Just so proud of our team and I just can’t give enough credit to our coaches. We are happy to get out of here with a win. We played these guys five games ago and collapsed in the second half. Our coaches and our kids bought in to playing four quarters of football tonight.”
On first half vs. second half:
“I hate to say we were flat because our defense couldn’t have played better. That first drive, kind of on our heels then Tavon (Young) returns that pick for a touchdown. Really if anything, it was just the offense that couldn’t get going. I thought we were pressing. It was great to come out in the second half and finally get a ball over the top and open things up. That to me is when P.J. (Walker) is playing his best, when he is confident. I thought Kenny Harper ran with purpose. I don’t think we were flat, I think we just were looking at a good football team that is getting better.”
On defensive effort:
“Give credit to our defense. In all three wins this year, our defense has outscored the opponents offense. To score three times on defense, two touchdowns and a safety, that allows you to find your rhythm on offense. I think our players are working really hard and getting better. Our kids have bought in to what we are teaching.”
Sophomore Quarterback P.J. Walker
On his play in the second half:
“GO out there and get comfortable. Just stop playing tense, I feel like I have been playing tense the last few games. Today, I felt I played more like myself. Felt like we went out there and executed what coach was calling. And in the second half I thought we did a great job executing, playing fast and being physical.
On big plays in the second half:
“I think we just came out flat tonight in the first half. We didn’t get that many snaps on offense, too many three and outs. We have to overcome that as an offense and I thought we did a great job of that in the second half. We really pushed the ball down the field. I feel like we got back to playing our game and playing the way we want to play in second half.
Junior Linebacker Tyler Matakevich
On team’s defensive effort and 3-1 start:
“This is a great win to start out in conference 1-0; we couldn’t be happier right now, especially with how this defense is playing, getting four turnovers and a couple touchdowns. We really played our brand of football. We played our brand of football. We have a lot of work to do but things are going pretty well right now.”