Oct. 19, 2013
UConn Interim Head Cach T.J. Weist
Opening Statement: "We have to find ways on this team to get momentum and keep it. We show signs on offense, defense, and special teams of making plays but we have to put it all together. We haven't had a game yet where we have put it all together. We had great emotion and energy. We get momentum and then we lose it. A lot of it stems from our offense whether it's blocking or catching. We put our defense in bad positions. We have to learn that it is not just about effort, but it is about making plays. It is a tough thing to learn. It's not easy. Especially on days like today. We have to learn that it takes every man on a football team to win a football game. As soon as we can put it together, we will get momentum, make plays, and we will win games. The first thing I talked about is that this is not a 0-6 team. The character, energy, and playmaking ability on this team is not an 0-6 team. This game demands that you put it together on the football field and we haven't done that yet."
On if it is tough to get momentum when UC comes out and has a big play right away: "Sure. Sure it is, but we expect that. They have some players. They have some good talent at receiver. Mekale McKay had a great season as a freshman at Arkansas. He transfers here and he plays right away. They have a whole group of receivers and they must have played about ten of them. They kept their guys fresh. Kay really has a good command of the offense now that they have gone to kind of a spread set."
On what it was like coming back to UC and playing against guys he coached: "You know, it's bittersweet. My focus is on our team. It is nice to see these guys, but you can't really spend the time focusing on anything else but our team. I would like to, but I can't. I'm too invested in our team. I am committed to this team. Sure I would like to come back here and get a win. No question because these guys are competitive. I couldn't let myself get distracted."
On how important it was to honor Ben with the number 77 today: "As I have said before, this community is a very proud community. They take a lot of pride in their program. The city rallies around this team. It really makes a difference when they come together for teammates, community members, family members and I think it is critical for us to support them just as teams have supported us. It doesn't become about football, it becomes about people in this game. We celebrate good things and we mourn the bad things that happen. It is tough for anybody. We wanted them to know that we were with them. Our team was with their team. Our school was with their school because it is not about sports anymore when that happens."
UC head coach Tommy Tuberville
Opening statement: "That was obviously our best performance since I have been here on both sides of the ball as well as our kicking game. We made some mistakes but our defense caused turnovers and our offense made big plays and you have to do that. We could actually have another one, but we fumbled the ball out of the end zone. I am proud of everybody. I know everybody always looks at the quarterback, and Brendon (Kay) played well, played gutsy and he was playing out there like an ironman because he is so beat up. He needs these days off and we're going to give him pretty much the whole week off this week coming up. We have to get him back at hundred percent. But I tell you when we needed him he was in there firing, and he only practiced a day and a half this week and it even surprised me when we came out and threw the ball deep on the first play, because you don't think our timing is going to be there because he hasn't thrown it a whole lot down the field, but it was a great throw and a heck of a catch. So it was a good start and our offensive line and defensive line played very well and that's how we are going to have to play for the rest of the season.
"We got after the quarterback, we gave up a few runs but we got after the quarterback, we had eight sacks, we pressured him, made him throw some interceptions. I know the kid is a freshman but he is tall, he has a good arm on him and they are working the right guy for the future. Number 85 (Geremy Davis) was hard to cover, we did some things today that we haven't done in a while, we probably blitzed more today than we did in the first six games and we did because number one you go after a young quarterback and number two we have to learn to play man coverage and press and make the quarterback throw in time and not just let him sit back there all day and get the ball down the field for a 15 or 18 yard gain. But again I thought it was great effort from all of our kids, they were ready to play and we had a very good practice this week and I think the change of temperature has helped us a little bit. It was a good homecoming crowd and we appreciate them staying with us in the rain early and the cool weather but it is getting to be football season so were excited about the weather change coming up."
On who called the first play of the game: "Eddie Gran called it, and we have plays that we call "home runs" and we had another play that we had worked on to be our opening play of the game. Eddie likes field position and he has full control and he called it. It set a tone real quick. The thing you worry about is an under throw and possible interception on the first play of the game. But it was a good read, a good route and No. 2 (Mekale McKay) is going to be a force for us as we go through the rest of the year and next couple years. He is a guy that is a good target and has very good hands and so it worked."
On Brendon's Kay improvement: "We really changed our offense in the last few weeks, we kept the same things but were not as much of a power team as we were and we have to find something that would open it up. When Munchie (Legaux) was in the game people really feared his legs in terms of getting out the pocket and when you put Brendon in it is totally different, they come under blocks, try to force him out of the pocket, they just try to get in his face because they know he isn't going to out run a lot of people. So we had to come up with something and by spreading it out it got a guy out of the box, made him play a little bit more zone coverage and Brendon is very accurate and it just started clicking for us last week against Temple. I tell you in practice our defense has a tough time covering him and it's just been good to find something that works for Brendon and it is also going to help our running game, help our speed guys in the backfield and I think today we were over a hundred yards again. (Jordan) Luallen had a quite a few and it was good to see him do that and we are going to use him a quiet a bit going down the line just to help Brendon out. We have five tough games coming up and were going to have to create some more running game other than just a running back coming out of the backfield."
UC Player Quotes
#94 Jordan Stepp, DT On how he likes the aggressive play-calling on defense: "Absolutely, that's part of being a defensive player, you want to tackle people and sack the quarterback. At the end of the day everyone on our defense completely trusts Coach Kaufman, he's got our back and we've got his, whatever he wants to do everyone trusts. He makes fantastic halftime adjustments and all of the guys respond well to him and he really sets the tone throughout the week at practice."
#11 Deven Drane, CB On his interception: "It was a perfect play call, we ran over that play at least five times in every practice. When you execute the coaches play call perfectly hopefully good things will happen for you and this time it did."
#11 Brendon Kay, QB On if he's concerned about staying healthy throughout the year: "It's football, it's a violent sport, a physical sport and you're going to banged up as the year goes, I just have to keep going and keep rehabbing but I'll be out there."
On his comfort level with the up-tempo offense: "I'm going to adjust to whatever is called, whether it's pro-style, spread, up-tempo, it's my job to go out there and execute it. The up-tempo helps spread out the defense and helped open up of offense and our personnel are really taking advantage of it."