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Post Game Quotes

Oct. 5, 2013

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Head Coach Todd Monken
Overall statement...
"There are times where I think we're a really good football team. I see us do things that give us a chance to win. There are obviously times where we don't do enough things to beat good football teams. Obviously, we have to find a way to stop turning the football over and everyone has had a hand in it. You can go on and on. But ultimately, it falls on me. I'm the head coach. We're going to have the guys come in tomorrow. We're going to look at what we can do better as a staff. It starts with us. We have to coach better and we have to play better. That's the only way I know. But at this point, I don't know what to say. You put your name on something, the coaching staff and players, you put so much into it and to not get the results that you expect. It's hard. It's part of this profession, but it doesn't make it any easier. FIU played better than we did. They outcoached us, they outplayed us. They earned the victory."

On what he said to the players after the game...
"The most important thing we can do is to continue to get better and play better football. I think the effort has been tremendous. There's some things that we can correct, obviously. But, at the end of the day, no one is coming to rescue us. All we have is each other. We have to systematically look at what we do to get better in all aspects of the program."

On Markese Triplett...
"Markese missed all of last year. He's a hard-working guy, he's a very prideful guy. He's gotten better and better, and he can continue to get better and better, especially on his perimeter blocking. There were some where he was tremendous and there were others where it wasn't nearly what we need. He has continued over the last few weeks, with the looks he's gotten, to be a guy that we can count on to throw the ball downfield to. He's a big-bodied guy. We've just got to find a way to continue to get him the ball."

On third downs...
"The deficiencies, in a lot of ways, started on first down. That's where it usually starts. It usually starts with your inability to gain enough yards to put yourself in manageable third down. I bet if you look at our third downs, there's third-and-nine's, third-and-eight's, third-and-ten's, third-and-seven's. So you put yourself in a tough situation, especially when you're winning. When you're winning, and you're in those situations, you want to be careful. You don't want to turn the ball over. Obviously we didn't do a good enough job on first and second down, otherwise we wouldn't have been in long third downs."

C.J. Perry
About his first start of his career...
"I got to start for the first time in my career and it was really a blessing for me."

On the responsibility of playing as a middle linebacker...
"It is a lot of responsibility to play as a MIKE linebacker in this defense because you have to know what everybody is doing. You have to know what is going on out there, so there is a lot of responsibility on me. But I take it as it comes and try to learn from my mistakes and get in the film room and try to get an edge over the offensive players."

On the feeling in the locker room...
"It is kind of sad in the locker room right now. Players are taking (the loss) pretty hard, but it is only one loss and that is how we go about it. We have to come back to work next week and come back ready."

Khyri Thornton
On the game-winning field goal try...
"I honestly thought this was it. This was going to be the win to put ourselves over the top. We put in the work and practice all the time. We put in the effort and really work hard. The results just haven't come about the way we wanted them to yet."

On his energy during the game...
"I see myself as a leader right now. I never took this leadership role until this year so it is something new to me. Everything I do, people feed off of it and everything I do, people follow suit."

Head Coach Ron Turner
Opening statement...
"All we talked about before the game (was) if we want to win, we've got to win as a team. It's got to be offense contributing, defense contributing, special teams contributing. In some of the games, they hadn't. Some of the areas didn't carry their weight ... It was the best we had practiced, so it's no coincidence we went out and played better. The thing I was most proud of was we fell behind, started out the same old way. Get the ball, go three and out, crappy punt, they get decent field position. They go down and score. Our guys could have said oh shit here we go again. But they didn't. (We) went down and scored and answered. Then they scored again. Same thing, we just kept battling. So no matter what would have happened on that last field goal, I would have been very, very proud of these guys for their fight."

On Running back Silas Spearman III's performance...
"It was a combination of both (offensive line and running back play). You can't run the ball if you block anybody and you can't run the ball if you block people but you do"n't get it up in there. I thought Silas was really hitting it up in there. The last three weeks, he's really practiced well and he took it to the field.

On last-second blocked field goal by Isame Faciane...
"That was a hell of a play. (Special Teams Coordinator) Kevin Wolthausen does a great job on special teams. Our guys have really bought into special teams. They know how important it is. Obviously, it was huge. That's not easy to do, either, especially in that situation. It's tough. I thought they did a great job of stepping up."

On keeping his team focused through an 0-4 start...
"The assistant coaches did a very good job of keeping these guys together, keeping these guys rolling forward. We were 0-4 and it was 72-0 (in a loss to Louisville) but there was no fragmentation. There was no coach pointing at the offense saying the offense has got to help more, special teams have got to help more. Because if there was from the coaches, there would have been from the players. There wasn't."

On relief of getting first win...
"It was a huge relief. We needed it. Our guys have been working hard. The attitude's been great. One of our sayings is, 'Guys, we've got to believe before this happens.' At some point, though, you have to have the evidence. So it's nice to be able to get a 'W.' I'm sure like the other side, all our guys have been working their ass off. It was good to see them be rewarded. I'm sure if that field goal went through they'd have said the same thing on the other side."

Isame Faciane
On getting first win of the season...
"It's a big morale boost just getting this 'W.' We've been wanting it for the longest. I feel like it's going to help us in the long run to continue building for the conference to go on and try and win this thing."

On blocking last-second field-goal attempt...
"Me and (redshirt junior defensive end Michael) Wakefield, we have a responsibility to blow up the guard and we looked at each other and were like, 'Man we got to get this. We got to go through there and we got to block this.' And I'm like, 'Shoot, I'm going to block it, brugh. I'm going to block it.' He was like, 'Come on, let's go.' We got low, put both our hands on him, drove him back. I just jumped up, stuck my hand up and it hit all four of my fingers and fell short."

E.J. Hilliard
Overall thoughts on the win...
"It helps our confidence as a team. It was a hard-fought game. It went down to the wire. It was everything we expected. We knew they were going to come out and play hard. We knew we were going to come out and play hard. We both were fiending for a 'W.' We were both willing to do whatever it took to get a win. On offense, we tried to put up enough points. The defense stepped up. They played great. They got a big fourth-down (stop) ... They blocked a field goal. That was huge. This victory is just a boost of confidence."

On his touchdown pass to T.J. Lowder...
"We've been working on passes like that the whole summer, over the spring ... We used to go out at night and work on it. Just go out and work on our timing and that's what it was. I didn't really get to see him run the route because I looked the safety off. By the time I looked back he was up two yards on the corner so I just tried to get it to him as fast as possible."

On the mindset of the team throughout the game...
"It was no panic. We knew what they were doing. We watched film. We knew them like the back of our hand. We knew when they went two high safeties what defense (they were running), when they went one high what defense (they were running). We knew what we wanted to run to attack that. We knew we could put the ball on the ground and run the ball."

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