Head Coach Bob Diaco
I just pitched the stat sheet because it’s not relevant. It’s a bizarre read. I take full responsibility and accountability for what is a sad, hard loss. I saw that student section packed. They all came out and I just feel terrible that I let them down; I really do. Credit to South Florida for playing well enough to win today. We did not. I don’t need to watch the tape to see that, in particular on defense, we were not the UConn Husky defense that we are. One that has force and that is ready to keep the ball inside. One that tackles and one that doesn’t give up explosive plays. All of those things happened today. I need to be sure that I have these guys ready to play better than we did today.
The other two phases are the same tale of the tape. Beautifully executed return at 14-10 and then an unsportsmanlike penalty. Forget about the fact that you let a punt drop and roll for 30 yards. So at the end of that drive you are kicking a field goal as opposed to punting. That’s a huge deal. We need to do a better job as a staff finding ways to be successful in critical situations. We had third and fourth down (with short yardage to go) and if you get those it’s a different circumstance.
It was great to see the students (fill the student section). I hope they come back and I’m sorry.
How Do You Explain This Week’s Result After Last Week’s Performance at UCF
I don’t know. We had a great week of practice. The guys were focused and locked in. We had a strong week and we were healthy, disciplined and intense. We didn’t really have any distractions. I felt really good going into the game and really confident. You look at the tale of the tape and it’s moving the ball downfield and it’s pretty stout defense except for the explosive plays and there at the very end. We’ll peel it apart and get it fixed.
How Disappointing is it to not Take Advantage of Driving into USF Territory so Often
It’s huge. I’m not certain but I think we may have had 13 of the 14 drives end up in their territory. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time punting from deep in our territory. We had a tough time finishing today.
Senior Safety Andrew Adams
On where this loss ranks
“Nobody likes to lose and every loss is tough. One doesn’t hurt more than the other but this is tough. It was homecoming, there was a lot of people back, the fans were all excited with us playing at home and we just need to get the job done.”
On second-half defensive breakdown
“Guys just need to be 1 of 11, everybody has to do there job. When one person doesn’t do it then the ball will get outside the defense and that calls for a big play.”
Sophomore Cornerback Jamar Summers
On difference from last week
“There was no difference. The only difference that we did to ourselves was that we weren’t tacking.”
On how hard a loss it is
“It’s definitely a hard loss. We needed it, we worked hard for this one and its unfortunate that we didn’t get it.”
Junior Wide Receiver Noel Thomas
On last drive of the first half
“We work on the two minute drill all the time in practice, so guys know what were supposed to do. We’re planning on scoring there, catching the ball and get out of bounds.”
Sophomore Running back Arkeel Newsome
On not finishing:
“Number wise, looking at the stats, it all looks great but it didn’t show for the game score.”
USF Head Coach Willie Taggart
Opening Statement - “Great road victory for our young football team. Really impressed with how our guys kept fighting. We told them all week it was going to be a tough ball game and it would take our best effort. Really impressed to see our guys once again, when our opponent got some momentum, our guys got it back quick. That was good to see and to me that is what it takes to be a good football team. You are going to have all kinds of ups and downs during a football game but fighting through and making those winning plays was great to see. A great team victory.”
On Wide Receiver Rodney Adams – “On Thursday he got hurt in practice and we thought he wasn’t going to be able to play. He was ready go today. It was good to see him come out and he is a big time player for us. It was great to see him step up and make big plays today.”
On making adjustments in running game – “UConn has a stout defense especially their line up front. It’s hard to move those guys and early in the game we couldn’t get anything going up the middle. We decided to go outside with some of our speed and our guys did a great job.”
On D’Ernest Johnson halfback pass – “We practice it a lot. I told our guys we were going to be aggressive today. We are going to run it and I thought we did a good job of setting it up early running out of that formation. He has been throwing it well in practice. D’Ernest is just a gamer, a big-time player for us; just a football player. It was great that those guys went out and executed that play with Rodney (Adams) making a heck of a catch to finish it off.”
Junior Wide Receiver Rodney Adams
On Road Win – “We are a team on a mission. We are looking to win our side of the conference and get to a bowl game. We have a point to prove. People call us underdogs but we don’t believe that. We believe we are one of the top teams in this conference and we are playing like it.”
Sophomore Linebacker Auggie Sanchez
On getting a conference road win – “It’s great. A great team win today. Anytime you can get a victory and get a win on the road its big time. It helps the moral of the team and helps us get better.”
Sophomore Running Back Marlon Mack
On success running the football - “Our coaches got a feel for what the defense was doing and saw if we can get outside, and we adjusted, we could have some success running the football.”