UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco
Credit to Cincinnati and their players and staff for a hard-fought game. From everything that I could see it was a pretty clean game and there wasn’t a lot of stuff that misrepresents college football. It was a game that was hard fought on both sides. I’d like to thank UConn Nation for coming out on an early day. The lot was packed when I got here this morning as there were a lot of people with a lot of energy tailgating. Husky Walk was full and it just speaks to how awesome the people of this state are in supporting their flagship University. Thank you for coming out and supporting the players and coaches, we all felt it. Kudos to the seniors specifically. They had a rough go of it against this team during their time here. So for them to play the way they did this afternoon is really special.
I am really proud of them and I’m honored to serve them. There were some really good performances in regards to the team. I thought it was a good team, complimentary football victory in all three phases. Once the offense got going a bit with that catalyst play at the end of the first half it was exciting how the three phases fit together.
And then overall as it relates to the preparation, the guys just came back to work. They love playing football and they like being together. They used the first five weeks, the good, the bad and the ugly, to serve them and improve. That’s what we talk about and that’s what our DNA is.
On How the Play at the End of the First Half Lifted the Team Emotionally
I think so, that’s why college football is the greatest game in the world. Young people can be excited and reinforced in a positive way rather than feeling defeated or downtrodden because they are not doing well. So I think any time you can have an explosive play that is a catalyst and an energizer, it’s a great thing. But to speak to the resiliency, there were enough bad plays that even the look in the eye showed me that they had learned that lesson. And they just played each individual play the best they could. They didn’t “helicopter” the game at 40,000 feet to try and figure it out. They just played the next play and played it hard.
On the Play of Arkeel Newsome
Arkeel is an electric player. He touched the ball 18 times. I don’t know when that play is going to be when he just squirts through there and runs for a very long way but it’s going to be a play and maybe more than that. So we just have to keep giving him the ball. He’s a fantastic young guy.
On the Play of the Defense Today
There were moments last week when we played very stout. We played 35-minutes really well and forced punts and three-and-outs but then there were 25-minute when the train was off the tracks. And that’s not characteristic of how we play defense. So as it relates position by position, John Green, Sr. is a guy who continues to grow and get better and better. It became obvious over the last few weeks that he is one of our best 11 so we have to play our best players. And how about Jamar (Summers)? Just so selfless. The conversation was literally five-seconds long and he said he’ll do whatever the team needs him to do. He’s a highly intelligent football guy. John Robinson is also coming in and I’m so proud of him.
UConn OL Ryan Crozier
On Arkeel Newsome’s 67-yard run:
Before the play, I had a feeling it was going to break. We knew we were blocking great all week, he got the crease and it was great to run after him.
On Bryant Shirreff’s performance:
He always gives us his all. It’s awesome to have that in a quarterback. Today I thought he did a phenomenal job. It was great protecting him and we love him.
On defense’s performance:
Always have to give credit to the defense – they play their hearts out. They held them to just two yards rushing and that’s pretty phenomenal.
On rushing game for UConn:
We always knew the running game was there, but it was always one thing happening. We imposed our will today and were really clicking. We were firing on all cylinders and good things were going to happen.
Cincinnati Head Coach Tommy Tuberville
Obviously I am disappointed in the outcome, as I told the players we played hard and we pretty much lost that ball game in the first half. On the road, you can’t do what we did in insurance situations, we pretty much dominated the first half, other than the last play. We made a terrible mistake on the angle and obviously our safety would love to have that back. Also in red zone penetration, we have to get the ball in the end zone. We just couldn’t get the ball to go our way, even with the replay, anything could have happened to help. If you look at the entire game it’s not doubt that if you can’t run the ball, if you are one-dimensional, if you are counting on your quarterback to throw for 500 yards a game, then you are not going to win, especially on the road. With all that said they outplayed us, outcoached us, and they got their running game going the second half.
On what they have to change to improve as a team:
Well I mean I just talked to everyone, we had a long talk, and you know it’s not one person’s fault, it’s the whole group as coaches and players we’ve got to go back to the drawing board. If it takes formations, if it takes blocking schemes, we can’t go into every one of these games and think a quarterback with his arm is going to win these games. It happened last year, we were barley over.500 last year and we couldn’t run the ball. This year we have to find a way to run it. Until we do that we are going to struggle.