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September 25, 2014

Willie Fritz


COACH FRITZ:  Just really proud of our guys.  Did an excellent job of preparation all week.  It was a short week.  A lot of the preparation was mental.  You could tell today we were going through walk‑through, pre‑game meal, before the game the guys were really locked in and ready to go.  We came out of the box and got a little excited there for a period of time, but then came on in the fourth quarter and really did a great job of finishing.  Big win for our football program, the University, and all the alum, so we're really excited about this win.

Q.  A lot of the guys on this team have fought three times Appalachian State; so what was it like in the locker room after getting that win?
COACH FRITZ:  Oh, very calm.  (Laughing).  No, they were jacked up.  They were pumped up.  It was a big win and a lot of the team was saying, Coach, this is my last crack.  It was a big deal for them.  It was a big, big deal.

Q.  We watched you coming off the field; you had a little bounce in your step more so than normal.  All wins are big, but this one seemed to you to be a little bigger.
COACH FRITZ:  They're all big.  We're just excited to win.  We worked so hard and put so much into it.  You know, I have to hand it to the players and everybody associated with the program.  It was a great day and the ceremonies and just fabulous facilities, the media walk, the bus trip here, you know, it's a special place.  So it was a great win.

Q.  Is that the largest crowd in the stadium's history.  What can you say about the turnout Thursday night?
COACH FRITZ:  A great turnout.  (Indiscernible) but, you know, it was a great crowd.  They were extremely loud. (Indiscernible).

Q.  How do you feel your defense did?
COACH FRITZ:  I thought they were really good.  Second half, we looked in the first half with the long drive with 8 seconds left, and they scored, so that was a big play trying to get them back into the game a little bit.  And then from the second half on, they drive and get the big kick down there.  So they really had three or four times tonight with receptions and stops, so great job tonight.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
COACH FRITZ:  Yeah, he's an excellent football player.  He really is.  It's hard to do anyplace, much less Georgia Southern.  A smart, smart football player.  He did everything well, blitzes well, he recovers well.  He's a great tackler, so he's an excellent football player, very good game.

Q.  You talk about how all these wins are big, but what does this win do for the program on national television.  Lot of eyes on Georgia Southern and the product you're putting out there and a great way to kind of showcase what you're doing here.
COACH FRITZ:  Everything you said.  It's Georgia Souther.  We've got a lot of people excited.  I might have had 30 texts from friends and family, players talking about how they're going to watch the ballgame.  So it puts us on a national stage so it's a big deal, without question.  We really felt like we had an opportunity to show the great university and the facilities.  It's a great stage for us to be on.

Q.  You guys lead the nation in rushing coming in.  You get 408 today.  Is there something in particular you're doing particularly well or is it just making the right decision?  The offensive line blocking, more speed than the other team, what is it?
COACH FRITZ:  If we can run the zone play, everything has to come together.  The offensive line (Indiscernible) off the ball, the second round of the linebackers.  The quarterback understands whether to keep the ball, hold the ball, pitch the ball.  So everybody's got to work in sync.  But for us to be successful, we really need (Indiscernible) the big guys got to play well up front.  If they do their job, that opens up the zone play and we have so many things open up.  It opens up all aspects of our run game and it opens up the pass game as well.

Q.  A lot of people talked about here at Georgia Southern.  Why do you think you guys have been so successful so quick?
COACH FRITZ:  Well, we have good football players, number one.  I know we have some guys that are really good football players.  I think this offensive line really helps to perform.  When we play hard, our guys match‑up without question up top.  I've been a lot of places, and sometimes we haven't matched up really good in front, and it's kind of been smoke and mirrors.  You have a tremendous staff, and doing a great job (Indiscernible).  The kids believe in what we're doing.  It's a credit to them.  Hadn't had much success here and I come in and things changed, and they did a great job of executing the game plan.

Q.  Can you tell us anything about Zack's injury?
COACH FRITZ:  Well, he looked okay there, but I'm not sure.

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