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UConn 27, UCF 42 Quotes

Oct. 16, 2016

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UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco

On his team’s defense:
“We had a spell in there where they made some stops we couldn’t capitalize on that many points, but at the same time too many missed tackles, too many plays out there when we didn’t finish and kudos to them, good players. But we are better tacklers than that.”

On starting well in the second half:
“Our guys were excited. We were ready and came out at halftime and we had good adjustments, good changes that could have helped the team move forward and execute those and we were rolling there for a minute.”

On the overall impressions of the performance tonight:
“Nobody quit. Everybody played hard. Everybody coached hard. I’m in love with the players and the team. I’m proud of the way we played, we just didn’t make enough plays. We didn’t do a good enough job coaching and the whole organization didn’t finish enough in this moment.”

On forcing turnovers and taking the lead:
“It’s hard to be super excited about a lot of things right now after you lose when you compete to win. You come here to win. You play to win. You fight to win. You put your heart and your soul into it, your time and your energy and everything you have within you and all the players I’m talking about, and the coaches. So you experience a loss and it’s crushing.”

On the toughness that Bryant Shirreffs showed when he took a lot of hits:
“We need more and better execution in that pocket to protect him. He was under duress. He is a tough guy you would love him on your team. You love him as a buddy, as a friend. He is a fantastic guy. He competes. He prepares to win and he expects to win and continues to grind in the games with adversity with appropriate energy and attitude, he is a special guy.”

On Arkeel Newsome having some big plays including a 70-yard reception:
“He is a talented player. He didn’t get it enough in the season and he’s gotta keep getting it done and when he gets it he has a chance to make a play. He’s an excellent player and you have a chance to see what an explosive production looks like.”

UConn safety Obi Melifonwu

On the second half four scoring drives from USF:

“I think we just made too many mistakes and we didn’t execute. We had too many missed tackles.”

On coming out strong at the beginning of the second:

“We just knew as a defense that we needed to make plays and that we needed to step up. I think we did that in the second half. We just didn’t have enough players to win the game.”

On how tough it is to defend USF’s offense:

“It was pretty hard but I think this week we had a good game plan for them. It’s always hard when you are facing a running quarterback because you have an extra blocker but i feel like there is stuff that we need to do better in order to stop them.”

On the touchdown with Mitchell Wilcox:

“On that touchdown, it was a 50/50 ball. I wish i could have it back but he is also a D1 athlete. I should have made the play but kudos to him for making the play.”

On not getting the touchdown:

“It was really frustrating for me. That’s a play that i should have made and that’s a play that I would like to have back but i just need to make up for next time and help the team out.”

On positive things that can come out of this loss:

““On defense we had a lot of more turnovers and that's what we emphasized this week. Our offense is moving the ball around. We were running the ball hard. There is definitely a lot of positives we can take away from this game moving forward to UCF.”


UConn Running Back Arkeel Newsome

On the 70 yard touchdown connection:

“It was wide open the whole way and i just needed to get into the end zone and it felt great.”

On getting his next touchdown with four guys on him:

“I just stayed patient and just followed my blocks and they made a great wall for me.”

On Thomas Hopkins getting out of the game and game changing:

“It definitely hurt us. But we have a next man mentality, so we just kept trying to move on

USF Head Coach Willie Taggart

Opening Statement:

“We could have played a lot better, we could every week, but our guys found a way to win the ball game. I think we’ve been saying our football team is a team that doesn’t flinch. We keep playing. It’s a bad thing to have four turnovers but I guess it’s a good thing to score 42 points and win the ballgame. We have to be so much better taking care of the football on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, I think our guys played outstanding, holding them under 100 yards rushing. Our guys were really aggressive on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Woodie did a great job dialing up the blitzes and letting our guys get to the quarterback.”

On whether Quinton Flowers should be getting more national recognition:

“I think a lot of our guys should. We’ll earn that. We’re not going to ask anybody for that so we’ll earn that if we just continue to play well. He’s one of the best ones out there, but look around and unfortunately he doesn’t get all of the hype like some of them but I assure you if you watch what he does, he does it better or just like the rest of them out there. He’s one of the top dual threat Quarterbacks in the country I believe. Some of the things he does out there are like playing a video game. It was great to not only run and throw so well, but also to be a lead blocker. That’s twice this year he’s had a nice block to help the running backs score. He’s a winner. He’ll find a way to help his football team.”