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October 18, 2014

Michael Cummings

Ben Heeney


Q.  Michael, you threw a lot of deep balls.  I'm sure that's part of the game plan.  Just talk about what you saw and how often you thought things were there.  And feel good throwing the deep ball?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  Yeah, it was part of the game plan.  I feel like they did a few things uncharacteristic, but it was definitely in our game plan to connect on some deep shots.

Q.  You like Nigel on those?  I mean, you seem to look for him a lot, whether you guys connect or not.  Let me ask a better question.  What is it about him that you like?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  He's one of those guys that you can trust with the ball in the air.  Either he's going to come down with it or nobody's going to come down with it, and he has that type of mentality as a receiver.  As a quarterback, it makes it easier to throw to him.

Q.  You guys have been kind of a second half team the last few weeks.  What do you think it is about those first halves?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  I just credit the halftime adjustments.  We've got to find a way to come out with some fire in the first half and put two halves together so we can finish a game.

Q.  Seems like we've asked a bunch of different quarterbacks and probably you this in the past too, but when a guy like Tony goes out, what's that do?  He was in there early, and it was obviously you guys were trying to get him the ball, and then he's gone.  It's got to hurt what you guys can do offensively.
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  Tony as a player, he's probably one of the more dynamic players on our team.  For him to go out early, it definitely restricts some of the things you can do within the offense.

Q.  How about you personally?  How does it impact you?  I mean, you've got to trust that guy, and you know if you can just get him the ball, he can do big things.
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  Yeah, he's one of those guys you can just dump it down to him, and he might go 80.  With him going out early, we just had to regroup on the fly and keep pushing.

Q.  How did that rush from Tech give you pressure?  (CHECK AUDIO)?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  They didn't really blitz a lot.  They're more of a four down, drop eight, two‑man type team.  But I feel like their D‑line was pretty good.

Q.  What happened when you went out?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  I had a little stinger in my back.  I wasn't going to stay out for long.  So as soon as I was‑‑ as soon as I was able to get up and walk off the field, I wanted to get right back out there.

Q.  Did you have to talk them into it?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  No.  Murph gave the okay pretty quick.

Q.  Ben Heeney had like 21 tackles, 17 solos.  Have you ever played with a football player quite like him?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  No, no, Ben's a special guy on and off the field.  He's a character.  Ben's a great player.  He's one of those guys that's going to be hard, hard to replace when he's gone.  So he's definitely fun to watch when he's out there playing.

Q.  Michael, it looked like you guys maybe left some points out there on the first half.  There was a fourth down, and one drive where you went deep and missed the field goal.  What do you think about those things, little things, finishing off drives and stuff?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  It's the little things.
You've got to be able to execute the little things to make the big things happen.  We came up short on a couple of instances.  It is what it is.

Q.  When you guys cut it to six twice, your offense has been the one that's been slow to get going all year, and the defense keeps you in games, and then you guys cut it to six twice.  You've got to feel real confident about your defense going back out there.  Is it disappointing to see them answer that both times, put that margin back out to 13?
MICHAEL CUMMINGS:  That comes within the flow of the game.  Our defense keeps us in every game.  So that just is what it is.  Sometimes they get stops for us when we need them, and most of the times they do.

Q.  Ben, I just asked Michael, but when they cut it to six‑‑ you guys cut it to six twice.  I don't know how confident you guys are in your defense.  I'm sure you were dying to get back out there and do what you wanted to do last week against Oklahoma State.  How frustrating is it that they answered both of those times?
BEN HEENEY:  It's really frustrating.  It's obviously not what we wanted to do.  We wanted to go out there and get stops and get the offense the ball back there, especially in the second half.  They were moving the ball pretty well.  That's not what we wanted to do out there.

Q.  All that underneath stuff a handful?
BEN HEENEY:  Yeah, a little bit.  A bunch of switch routes and stuff like that.  They had a really good scheme for our defense today.

Q.  Can you talk about how good of a game this was for you?
BEN HEENEY:  I mean, I had a lot of tackles, but we lost.  So it's not‑‑

Q.  Ben, you're kind of always all over the field, but what was it about the number of tackles that warranted it?  It seemed like you were getting on almost every play.
BEN HEENEY:  Probably a little bit of luck honestly.  I just‑‑ it was just a normal game, and I ended up making a little bit more than I usually do.

Q.  Looked like you had an extra gear.  I know that's crazy to say because you play top speed all the time, but did you feel particularly better today or anything like that?
BEN HEENEY:  Well, coming in, we just really thought we had a good chance to win this game.  Before the game started, we were all really amped up.  I think a lot of that just‑‑ a lot of that energy just was out there with the whole defense.  Yeah, that's it.

Q.  What does a team have to do to get the most out of the bye week coming up?
BEN HEENEY:  That's a good question.  I don't really know.  I think just watching a lot of film, and I think one of the big things, especially for us, is getting rest, man.  I'm pretty beat up.  I know there's a couple guys on our team that are pretty beat up.  I think this bye week came at a good time for us to rest our bodies a little bit.

Q.  Ben, I know they're all disappointing when you lose, but last week you talked about really wanting to win that one for Coach and yourselves obviously too.  That was the 16th ranked team in the country, and this team had lost four in a row that you played today.  Is the disappointment the same, or are there different levels, different categories?
BEN HEENEY:  I'm disappointed after every game we lose.  I don't think there's‑‑ I mean, there's differences when you get blown out compared to when it's a close game, but a game like this and a game like last week, these ones hurt.

Q.  There's been so much talk about those little steps that Coach is leading you guys through that you're taking.  Did you feel at least that continuing today, a little bit?
BEN HEENEY:  Yeah, definitely.  I think Coach Bowen puts us in really good positions to win games.
Yeah, this one just hurts.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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