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August 30, 2014

Donny Hageman

Lloyd Mills

Calvin Munson

Malik Smith


Q.  Don, talk about the first field goal you made.  When you came here, were you aware of how much this team struggled with kicking last year?
DONNY HAGEMAN:  Yeah, I was definitely aware of it.  I actually wasn't nervous at all, so I went out and took my approach, same thing as always, three back, to the side, and just (inaudible).

Q.  How about the second one, the 46‑yarder?
DONNY HAGEMAN:  Again, I felt confident, but I pulled off a little bit, hooked it a little bit left.

Q.  Calvin, what was it like?
CALVIN MUNSON:  Yeah, I was waiting for the gas mask to come over and people to help me out there.  No, it was kind of one of those, you drop into coverage and he throws it right to you and it's kind of like, whoa, he really threw it and I kind of tipped it up, I'm happy I got it back down, and I just took off and I was lucky enough to get some of the guys, obviously they were faster than I was, behind me, then they'd finish up in front of me and they got some good blocks for me which helped me get down, and then I really just wanted to punch it in, get a touchdown.  I miss the offense days back in pee‑wee football.  I was trying to get it in, I couldn't, I reached for it, but it was a great experience.

Q.  When is the last time you scored a defensive touchdown?
CALVIN MUNSON:  Defensive touchdown?  Senior year of high school I had a pick six.  I was trying to get another one, but I couldn't do it.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
CALVIN MUNSON:  Well, I saw it was right there, I was like, and the one dude had my left leg and I was trying to hop out of it, and I couldn't get it.  I tried.

Q.  Damontae Kazee was behind (inaudible)?
CALVIN MUNSON:  Before the quarterback passed it?

Q.  Yeah, what was the coverage?
CALVIN MUNSON:  The coverage, I kind of had the cool flats on that one, so I went out there, and I guess he did bait it because he threw it right to that guy, and I was lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time, threw it, catchable ball, so I'm happy I brought it in.

Q.  Malik, how do you think you did today?
MALIK SMITH:  I think we did some great things and we did some bad things.  I don't think we had a terrible game, but there's definitely some things we could do better, but it was an okay game for us.  I think we had a good approach today.

Q.  Calvin, what would you say about the defense?  In the series before you got your interception they kind of pounded through you guys on that drive.  How do you feel like you guys did with the adjustments and things like that?
CALVIN MUNSON:  I mean, definitely coming out of half they came out a little harder than we did.  We're a young team, we're a young defense.  I mean, we're still trying to figure things out.  We've got to work on tackling.  We've got to work on a lot of things, a couple assignment errors, a couple of missed communications, but I think as a defense there's a lot of room for improvement, but I thought we played hard, but there's definitely a lot of room for improvement.

Q.  Was there a sigh of relief when he made that first field goal given what you guys went through last year?
LLOYD MILLS:  Yeah, I was happy because I know the history of the kicking from last year and whatnot, so I was really happy that he made the field goal‑‑ I called it a curse, he broke the curse, and I was happy.

Q.  Last year's opener (inaudible) FCS team that blew you guys out.  I think a lot of people looked at this and said, all right, it's a predictable win, but you've started the season on track.  What's the feeling?  Is it relief, enthusiasm?
CALVIN MUNSON:  Well, after last year the biggest thing this year was like, hey, we can't underestimate anybody.  We've got to come out and play our game that we know we can play.  We can't try to ease in right out of the gate, we've just got to go as hard as we can, and I think we did pretty well this year.  Like I said, a lot of room for improvement, but I think we came out and we worked really hard this after season, this camp, and that was a big goal for us, hey, we've just got to get one game at a time, we've just got to come out hard.

Q.  Does it feel different going in this year?  Is there some different sense of team this year?  You can always say that, but do you believe that there's a difference?
DONNY HAGEMAN:  I believe there's a difference.  I believe this team, we're more energized.  We get hyped about a lot of stuff.  Last year the team was like, it was kind of expected so it wasn't hyped or whatever, but I believe that this team has a lot of energy and a lot of talent, this year's team from last year's team.
MALIK SMITH:  I would say we've been through the adversity of last year and took those crucial losses to eastern Illinois, Fresno State and those teams like that, and that made us a better team.  We took those losses to heart and we remembered them in the off‑season and went to work, so every time we come out here we've got those games in the back of our mind.  We don't want those type of losses to come again.  That's why when he hit the field goal we were so excited because that cost us a game, and how he came out and got the lead on them early and then keep them in the game, and his interception was a big momentum shift because it was 24‑7, I believe, and they were driving, and if they would have scored a touchdown it was 24‑14, so that interception, get it down there, punch it in, it's a 14‑point swing, and then we got the momentum back on our side.

Q.  Talk about your punt return.  What did you see?
LLOYD MILLS:  Well, the punt return, Coach said, just hit it, trust yourself, trust the blocks, because on the first two I guess I didn't see the hole but he said there's a hole in the middle, just trust it, just hit it.  So second half I hit it, and they made their blocks, and I just‑‑

Q.  That was pretty nice, wasn't it, you were running through it and running as you were catching it?
LLOYD MILLS:  Honestly when he kicked it, I didn't see, so he kicked it‑‑ I didn't see it when he first kicked it, so I was like, oh, no, where did it go, and it was there, and I caught it and like Coach said, hit it up the middle and bounce it out because that's the way he said‑‑

Q.  When was the last time you had returned a punt for a touchdown?
LLOYD MILLS:  High school my senior year, I had a couple.  Oh, actually Corolla del Sol my senior year because that game I got hurt and I couldn't play the rest of the year.  I had an ankle injury.

Q.  (Inaudible.)  What was it like preparing for this game knowing (inaudible)?  What was that like?
LLOYD SMITH:  Yeah, it was exciting.  It was a relief to get on the field and where stats are actually taken.  I got to travel last year but I didn't play, and I got to learn from the older guys, and I got to see how they worked how they prepared for the games and stuff like that.  I learned from them, was under their wing, and I tried to implement some of the things that I learned from them in watching them.

Q.  Donny, what do you say your range is?  What's the farthest you can hit?
DONNY HAGEMAN:  My range as far as in a game wise?

Q.  In a game or in practice.
DONNY HAGEMAN:  In practice I've hit from 66, but range, I'm confident I can definitely hit from 55, and then 60, I still feel confident maybe as long as I'm not kicking into any wind.  But definitely 55 and in.

Q.  What's the longest you hit in junior college?
DONNY HAGEMAN:  In junior college I made two 43‑yarders and I hit a 47 but they called it back because there was a penalty.

Q.  (Inaudible) kind of an emotional leader, get really excited out there, sometimes too excited.  Do you feel like you were able to even things out today?
MALIK SMITH:  I definitely try not to get too down about a mistake that I made.  I feel that good energy is contagious, so I try to be hyped for any kind of good play, whether I make it or my teammate makes it because I know if I'm showing good emotion it goes to my teammates because then everybody is feeling good, everybody is hyped and jumping around and trying to make a play.  As far as me jumping the gun or however Coach G said it, yeah, sometimes I do, yeah, I get too excited.  I see it and I want to hit him, but sometimes you've got to be patient, and we call it two‑gapping or rather just hit it, but yeah, I've got to slow down a little bit.

Q.  What was it like for you guys to see (inaudible)?
MALIK SMITH:  I was happy that Fred got a sack.  I'm all for Fred.  I like Fred, so I was pretty excited when he got a sack, and if it were me‑‑

Q.  Go crazy?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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