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UConn Vs. East Carolina Quotes

Oct. 31, 2015

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Head Coach Bob Diaco
Opening Statement
"I’d like to start by giving credit to East Carolina. They are a class outfit that plays hard and loves each other. You could see it on the tape. They play hard for their coach, who is a great guy and who I consider a mentor. Coach McNeill is one of my favorite people in the business. They fought hard and played with class, character and integrity.

Thank you to the Husky fans. They were great. They were out there tailgating and on our Husky Walk. They all had their hands out and made the team feel so special. They cheered hard and it is much appreciated. The team could feel it, they love it and I want to say thank you so much.

We are getting better. We had one of the best weeks in practice that we have had all year. It paid off; we beat a heck of a football team tonight. We played fundamentally sound football in all three phases and did all sorts of things that cause winning. They were excited for the work and are excited for the work on Monday.

We took another step as a team, independent of the outcome of the game. I told the team that today in the morning. We took another step forward as a team this week; we got better and we grew. Barriers come down and new fortified energy is going up. They prepared to win, showed up confident to win and won.”

On UConn’s Defensive Effort
"We tried to keep it simple and put the puzzle pieces in place to defend the things that they do. We got the calls in quick and let the players do what they do and they did it. They settled their feet and quieted their energy and read their key, ran, hit and tackled. When you do those components, you play good defense. I was pleased with how they tackled today, absolutely.”

Redshirt senior linebacker Marquise Vann
On How It Feels to Come Away With the Win
"It felt great. It’s expected because we know what we are capable of. It’s great to finally see the team put it together and get the "W”.”

On What UConn Did Differently on Defense Tonight
"We just focused on playing for each other, loving each other, playing fast and having fun.”

On His Interception
"That was extremely fun! First one of my career so I’m going to definitely enjoy it.”

On the Importance of Tonight’s Win
"Every win is important. Every time you come out there you want to win. You expect to win and we are glad we got the "W”.”

On This Week’s Preparation in Practice
"I think the big thing we did was come in here and have fun. We trusted each other to do the right assignments and made sure we went out there and had fun.”

Sophomore linebacker Luke Carrezola
On the Defense’s Performance Tonight
"That’s how we should be. Everyone played like their hair was on fire and it was just awesome to be out there. It was fun.”

On This week’s Preparation in Practice
"After the Cincinnati game, everyone knew we had to step our game up and that’s what we did in practice. But you don’t just want to do it in practice, you want to do it in the game. When you were there on Tuesday, that was a fun practice just like this game. This was a fun game.”

On the Importance of Tonight’s Win
"We had everyone on the team buy in. When you have every guy buy in like that these are the results you get. This was such a big game and now we just need to continue on the path that we are on.”

On the Team Getting More Pressure on the QB Tonight
"I’ve been working on it; I never stop working on it. I was able to get loose a few times tonight and it was awesome. Everyone up front kept grinding up it out. I was just incredibly happy to get loose and get a sack.”

Sophomore, running back, Arkeel Newsome
On his 90 yard touchdown run
"I didn’t realize it was a career run. I felt someone right near me. I looked back at the UCF game like I cannot get caught.”

On breaking out into the open space for the touchdown
"I got between the tight end and the tackle. That’s where I saw the seam. Our line was blocking great today. All I saw was green. My eyes got really big.”

On his game plan
"I just think I’m going to do my best to help my team win. I’m going to do whatever I can. If I get the ball then I’m going to just keep running, get whatever I can get.”

Redshirt-sophomore, quarterback, Bryant Shirreffs
On watching Arkeel break away
"That’s just the best feeling. We need big plays like that and I feel like that’s something we’ve been lacking this year. Seeing an individual player make such a huge play with a collective effort, using his speed at a point in the game that really sealed the deal for us is a great feeling.”

On looking ahead
"All the focus is on Tulane now. We’ve got a lot to fix, I’ve got a lot to fix personally. By no means was it a very good game for me but offensively we did a lot of good things, a lot of people stepped up and the defense played their best game of the season.”

East Carolina Head Coach Ruffin McNeill
Opening Statement:
"Tough loss. I felt like we had a great week of practice. The first half, we needed some answers from our offense. Our defense played extremely well in the first half. UConn did a great job, I give Bob (Diaco) a lot of credit. They had a tough loss last week at Cincinnati and their kids bounced back. It was back and forth there early and it comes down to critical makes and execution consistently. You can’t turn the football over. And we needed to take advantage of some opportunities. I thought we had some chances for some makes there early. We talked about all week critical errors and it bit us again.

"We felt like we needed some offense and wanted to get James (Summers) a little bit longer look, some more reps. We went with Blake (Kemp) there late but came up short. Hats off to Coach Diaco and his group. We get back to a normal week with South Florida coming up and we will get back to it.”

On offense:
"Coach Diaco is very sound defensively. I thought we had some opportunities. That is where it comes down to making plays. You have to make plays. We talked about that all week and right after the Temple game. Critical makes and stay away from critical errors. When you have the opportunities you have to make those, on both sides of the ball. I thought defensively we played tough. Two weeks in a row our defense has really fought but our offense is still finding its way.”

Junior Quarterback James Summers
On offense and moving team forward:
"Lack of execution. We have to execute, have to cut down on the mistakes and penalties. We can only get better from here. We have to stick together. The team knows that and we are going to be better. We have to be better. Period. We need to focus on the next game. We have to take it one by one.”

On UConn defense:
"They played well. They played fast out there on the field. They were more disciplined and were in all the right spots.”