home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 16, 2010

Brian Kelly

COACH KELLY: We are excited about the win. I know Bill Cubit very well. And the biggest concern I had was that they had beaten three BCS teams in his tenure, and it concerned me all week going against Bill and Western Michigan. I thought they handled themselves well. They played hard, represented their university in a positive way, and you know, again, I've got a lot of respect for the way their program is run and how they do it on a day-to-day basis. So my hat's off to them, and really appreciate, you know, just playing a team that is going to play hard and very creatively offensively. They scored points on everybody all year, and we knew that coming in.
As far as our football team, I was not happy, obviously, with the first half. And really, we have not played that way this year. In other words, I felt like our enthusiasm, our attention to detail, was not where I wanted it.
At halftime, we had a little chat about that, and I think that chat went pretty good. And in the second half, we played the way I expect our team to play for four quarters. I think our defense limited them to very few yards. We ran the ball in the second half effectively the way we should have, and I think we played the game the way I expected to play for four quarters.
Individual performances that stand out on the offensive side of the ball, obviously Michael Floyd started the game fast. And we protected him, and certain situations, he's not 100%. We were not sure if he was going to start today. It was a game-time decision.
And the same thing with Armando. He was not 100% during the week, and we really protected him today, as well. So it's nice to get a victory with the loss of rude off and Floyd not being 100% today, and Armando; and coming out in the second half and playing much better.
With that, I'll open up to questions.

Q. In the big picture, how important can the third quarter response be to where you're trying to take the program?
COACH KELLY: Well, I think you're experiencing different things along the way. And the nice part about it is we are doing it while we are winning football games. And the experiences we can build on are, look, you can't play that way in the first half. If you play the way you're capable of playing for four quarters, obviously we are in a better situation going in at half time.
So, look, they are learning every day, and this is a great learning experience for them to say, hey, we have got to come out and play disciplined football. We have got to play with great enthusiasm, because we are not good enough to play any other way.

Q. Inaudible?
COACH KELLY: Sprained ankle. We were really cautious. I think if we were in a tight ballgame, we would have got him back in there. I just talked to our trainers and doctors; nobody took a step back today. Just Theo with the ankle but it did not look to be a high ankle sprain.

Q. Inaudible.
COACH KELLY: He's a guy that needs to get into the flow of the game, as you know. At times you wonder some of the things he's doing out there, but once he got enough carries, he showed, obviously, that he's got great athletic ability and it was fun to watch him.

Q. You got a chance to show some of your depth at the end of the game. You got some second and third timers. Your impression of them?
COACH KELLY: We tried to control the clock. And by the way, I'm really surprised and disappointed I didn't get this comment made, but for the first time in two and a half years, we won time of possession. For all of you guys that live and die on time of possession, please note that we won today's time of possession.
I would say that obviously what we are trying to do is get Nate in there in a package that we feel he's a pretty good athlete, he can complete the football in a high percentage fashion, and we can run him.
It wasn't clean some of the things, but that was his real first experience of running that, that offense, which is a zone-read offense. And I thought he did a pretty good job.
We were trying to get Nate into the game. Tommy was really just managing it through our spread offense where we stayed in the strayed and did a lot of reads, and I thought he did a nice job there.
Again in terms of guys that got a chance to play today, I thought Tyler Eifert did some good things today. He's a big target and can move very, very well and I would say Mike Ragone blocked well in the second half. Those are guys that had not played much but I thought showed up.

Q. Was it a day of progress? Was it a day you went sideways? How would you assess the big picture?
COACH KELLY: Oh, absolutely progress. This team was 1-3. I think when we talked about that at the time, you can go in one of two directions at 1-3. You can fall off the cliff and have a disastrous season or you can work towards 9-3. I think this is another step. Our players are learning, learning how to play football games, regardless of who the competition is.
No question, a team that scores points a lot, well-coached team; we are pleased that we moved in the right direction.

Q. Special teams, it looked like you shuffled some people. Can you talk about that?
COACH KELLY: Well, we got a lot of guys in there. Daniel Smith helped us out. Obviously today we wanted more athleticism on our kick teams, and I think we'll try to protect David Ruffer from any more interviews for next week. Yeah, he's off-limits. He talked to too many people this week (laughing).
But I would say that the young guys continue to show. Collins worth, outstanding, in all phases of our kick games. Daniel Smith gives us speed and athleticism in there, and obviously Bennett Jackson. So good play there.

Q. Exactly what was Floyd's nagging thing this week?
COACH KELLY: Hamstring.

Q. I guess it's not like he was ever trying not to be this big play guy, but how big was it to get the big plays from him a day after your tight end has hamstring surgery and he's kind of the one guy left?
COACH KELLY: Well, he's got to fit in there. We did a breakdown and we threw the ball to Michael Floyd leading into this game 74 times and we fed it to Kyle Rudolph 55 times. We have pretty good balance there. Michael, as we broke down who was getting the football, needed to get the football even more than that. So there was a focus in our game plan to make sure that we were creating opportunities for him, in what happened to be some one-on-one opportunities, he's going to win one of those times.

Q. Defensively were there any scheme adjustments or was it just the attitude adjustment in the second?
COACH KELLY: It was keeping drives alive with penalties. Sloppy play. We got fished out of the croll (ph) two or three times, which is inexplicable, why we were not responding better to some of the routes we see all the time. It was just one of those, wake up and do what you do. They showed up in the second half and obviously that showed itself.

Q. Paul Hazel, young guy, kind of an undersized defensive end, pretty effective in the first half. What did you think of him and what was the answer in the second half?
COACH KELLY: Well, he was very fast off the edge. We needed to go back and run at him, and we did in the second half. Matter of fact, the first two run plays were making sure that we were going to run the football, because he's quick off the edge. Look, we were in too many third and ten situations, where, you know, it's not as manageable. So we felt like in the second half we needed to run the football, which we did. I think we rushed for about 145 yards in the second half. So that was one of the answers was he was a guy off the edge that we needed to run the football a little bit more on.

Q. Congratulations on a time of possession battle.
COACH KELLY: Appreciate it.

Q. At the same time --
COACH KELLY: Still going to be hard for you by thanks for bringing it up.

Q. Scoring drives in less than a minute, is that an example of why you don't value the time of possession stat?
COACH KELLY: Scoring points is the No. 1 thing. Any time we have an opportunity where we believe we have got a play that matches what we think we see, we are going to call those plays to score points. When we needed to control the clock in the second half, we did, and obviously took about five minutes off the clock late in the game when it was pretty much in our hands. Again, we are going to score points first and time of possession comes later down the road.

Q. Can you talk about the reverse pass from good man to Floyd?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it was the wrong read. It he was supposed to throw it to Tyler Eifert, who was wide open. You're never wrong if you're right, but great pass.

Q. Putting a young guy on the ground so early, and he's the man now, how much of a concern now is that for and you how much are you worried about his confidence?
COACH KELLY: I wasn't worried about that as much as, you know, he clearly was engaged in the game. This was not a far and away look in his eye, where, oh, my goodness, the guy is in the play now and we've lost him.
He was engaged and he knew what was going on. He was trying to get some extra yards on the play. I'm usually going to be pretty good in those situations, I don't want the ball on the ground, but you can tell looking at a kid that he's locked in and knows what he's doing. I got a good feel from him today.

Q. You said at half time that you guys were not pleased with the way you played in the first half. How surprising was that considering that you started off with a 80--yard pass from Michael?
COACH KELLY: Well, I wasn't pleased with our management on first and second down. I thought we made some poor decisions at the quarterback position. Dane didn't play very well in the first half. You guys watched the same game I did, he played much better in the second half, saw some things and made some plays.
We need to play at the level we are capable of, so the conversation with them was, this is not how we play. We need to get back to what we do, which is lock in, be disciplined, no more penalties, and they did a much better job.

Q. The outside linebackers today seemed more visible, back-to-back plays, Darius had a sack and interception. What's your perception?
COACH KELLY: Other than Terry's 15-yard penalty, which obviously kept the drive alive, they were more activated as pass rushers today more than anything else.
This was not a team that was trying to out-flank you with a run game, say, Stanford, for example, which really stresses your outside backers. These guys were really activated more so in pass rush situations and I think both of them did a pretty good job today.

Q. It seemed, also, there's a little bit maybe closer coverage on some?
COACH KELLY: Well, we wanted to get on bodies most of -- all of the players that we are going against, we think we can. Describing has to be coaxed to get down there and be on body a little bit more at times. But our corners are starting to play tighter to the line of scrimmage. We want to force them to get balls down the field more that San slants and hitches that keep drives alive.
I think there were two of 15 or two of 14 -- yeah, two of 14. So if you go back to the Michigan State game, we played some man, we played some off-man, and we kept too many drives alive. So we made a decision earlier in the year that after that Michigan State game, that we were going to play a little more press.

Q. And with describing who was starting at safety, is that a reflection on his play?
COACH KELLY: Jamoris is still hobbled. He tweaked his knee in the Pittsburgh game.

Q. However you got the message across at half-time, how confident were you that your defense would respond?
COACH KELLY: I was pretty confident that they were going to play much better in the second half. I felt like, you know, we were not getting knocked off the ball, we were getting pretty good pressure with the four-man rush. We just needed to play with a little bit more of a sense of urgency in the second half. And we got off to a good start. I knew the wind would make decision, I told them, three and out, get in position and score and we were able to do that.

Q. Inaudible.
COACH KELLY: I think you go into it understanding that at any time when you are in a game that needs to be put away, and we have had this conversation three or four times, Purdue and maybe BC, we have been talking about this. This is something that's been an ongoing conversation. When we feel like we can put this thing away, let's do it. I thought we did that in the third quarter. We made this game hard to reach from Western Michigan's standpoint from the way we played in the third quarter.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297