Nov. 30, 2013
UConn Head coach T.J. Weist
“It was a great team win. Our team really showed determination and pride and we took the momentum from the second half last week. We really put it together for most of the game. Part of the first half was a little bit of a letdown for us but for the third and the fourth quarter we really came together and showed leadership on both sides of the ball. We put all three phases together. We missed some plays here or there but we made plays at the critical times. We made plays in the fourth quarter. We had drives. We took it down the field and kept our defense off the field. Casey did a great job with handling the offense from a leadership standpoint, commanding presence on the sideline, in the huddle on the field. He made good decisions and didn’t make a lot of bad decisions but really handled the offense well. The defense came together. Taylor Mack obviously had two interceptions at key times and we got turnovers. That’s how you’re supposed to play football. That’s how you’re supposed to play Husky football; Physical, smart, aggressive play making with everyone playing together. We think it’s just a great team win. I couldn’t be prouder of our staff. Our staff did a great job all week long putting everything together. The teamwork with the staff and players during the game was exactly what we want.
On Casey Cochran getting the team out to a fast start:
“We always want that but we really needed it now in these last couple of games. It’s a critical time. It’s time for us to win. There is no time for anything else. Every play is critical. We need every player on the sidelines, on the field, for every play to win games. Certain things are keys for different teams. We thought it was key for us to have a fast start, not just offensively, but defensively to get some momentum. We got it early, they got it back in the second quarter, but we came back out in the second half. At halftime, we had to start over. We had to have the same hunger, drive and determination that we had last week.
On the offense when Cochran makes quick throws:
“He makes good, sound decisions but part of him making those sound decisions is everything you from a quarterback. It’s all the film study throughout the week, all the looks that he sees and those decisions that he makes in four or five seconds that it takes to get in and out of a play. Rutgers did a great job in the first or second quarter of really disguising looks at the last second. They did a good job and got us a couple of times on those. But he did a good job handling it on the sidelines coming back and talking about it.”
Running back Max DeLorenzo
On winning their second straight game:
“Coach has been stressing that once we got our first win, then we were going to go on a roll. That has been our mentality. It is unfortunate that we couldn’t have been doing this earlier in the season. We are playing really well as a team, definitely on the offensive side of the ball. Coach has been seeing great things from our younger guys (Dhameer Bradley, Brian Lemelle), scoring touchdowns and producing for this team and that means only great things for our future.
On the turnaround over the last two games:
“I know Coach Weist has been great with us and getting us to finish and win and over the past six quarters, we have been doing just that. Now we have to continue doing that in our last game next week and build for this team’s success in the future.”
Quarterback Casey Cochran:
On his game control today:
“For sure, this is as comfortable that I have felt all season. It felt different. Coach has always said it that if you prepare as hard as you can earlier, it will help you out in the long run later on in the season. It really did today. Everything just clicked for us in many ways.
On the team performance as a whole:
“All year it has almost been there. Everyone has seen that but today it was just there for us, no doubt about that. On every side of the ball, we just performed well and clicked on every play. We all knew what we had to do and we went out there and did it. We simply executed what the coaches planned out for us today.”
Head Coach Kyle Flood
“Disappointed as a football program that we couldn't be 1-0 today. When I look at the final stats and my notes from the game, I think for us it really came down to a couple of things. Just not being efficient enough in the run game when PJ wasn't in. We couldn't get off the field on third down on defense, we couldn't be efficient on third down on offense. I think for us, we have to run the ball efficient to be effective on third down. UConn was able to do that today without running the football. We lost a possession in the first half on a kickoff return. We had an opportunity for an interception, but we don't get it, we don't bring it down. Then it was Ruhann who slipped and UConn came up with the interception. We had some opportunities, but we didn't make enough plays.
On offensive production:
“I think the fake field goals and fake punts on special teams have always been a part of our repertoire. I think it's one of the positives of the game for us, but we need to be more productive on offense. It's not the NFL, you can't sign guys during the season. We have some young guys running around out there and as they mature are going to be better football players than they are now. We throw a ball in the endzone to Ruhann and Chris Muller gets called for a hands to the face, so we need to go back to film and look at it to see if there's a way we could have avoided it and to see how egregious it was. It's okay to be frustrated, and we are frustrated; I think that whole locker room is frustrated now. But I think the key to moving forward in the big picture is to make sure that frustration doesn't turn to discouragement.
On making enough plays:
I think we're going to look at the film and see we were a lot closer in our pass defense than where we've been, but that's not enough. That's not good enough, you have to make those plays. When their quarterback is 9-of-15 on third down, it's not enough to be close. But I know we were close and it's certainly better to be closer now than you were last week, but at some point we're going to make the plays. I don't have any doubt about that, it's just hard for us as a program because we're going through those growing pains of being close to making those plays, but not making. As coaches, it's our job to put them in the best possible situation to make those plays and I thought we did a better job today, but we have to do an even better job because it wasn't what we set out for it to be.”
Holder/defensive back J.T. Tartacoff
On fake field goal:
“We're always trying to draw up plays that will work and we usually like to have them in our back pocket. The look they gave us allowed us the opportunity to run it and I'm happy coach gave me the go-to.
On confidence in trick plays:
“I think it's something we're confident in. Most of the times we run these things schematically to beat the defense and all we have to do is execute the play.
On Tyler Kroft’s catch:
“He's a great athlete and a great player. If the run option wasn't there, we were hoping he would make a play. Even with the safety behind him, he still came down with it.”
Linebacker Kevin Snyder
On defensive effort:
“Defensively, we fought. We held them on the ground pretty well and we played hard, but we made some mistakes and it's very frustrating.
On similar problems from previous games:
“It piles up after a while, and a lot of times we had people in position, but we just couldn't get off the field on third down. That's been kind of our story for the past couple games, just not being able to get off the field when we have the opportunity to.
On Cochran's effort:
“Anytime a guy throws for over 300 yards, it's unacceptable. You try to make changes, but hats off to him because he played a great game. He read our defense well and they had a good game plan.”