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September 8, 2012

Nat Berhe

Ryan Katz

Rocky Long

ARMY – 7

COACH LONG:  We didn't do any of the team stretching.  Basically what we did was we warmed up just like we do before practice.  Instead of a pregame warm‑up we did what we do every day in practice.

Q.  Do you feel like that helps the team get off to‑‑
COACH LONG:  To be honest with you, I don't think that made a darn bit of difference.  I think our players were ready to play and I thought they played very, very well.  I think they were excited.  They were physical, flew around and acted like the football team I thought they could be.  We're not as near as we're going to be, but that's a good start.

Q.  Can you break it down a little bit?
COACH LONG:  Of course, we won't see another triple option team until Air Force.  But I thought the defense played really, really well.  I thought they went out there in the second half one series of downs that we didn't play as hard as we needed to and they drove it down and scored.
But to control a wishbone team like that, you don't see that very often.  And then I thought our offense, we caused a couple turnovers early in the game and our offense stuck it in the end zone.  And our offense was able to run the ball.  And once we got running the ball pretty well, Ryan and the receivers started connecting.
We dropped a few passes early.  But we started catching the ball really well after that.  And I thought we made a huge improvement from Game 1 to Game 2.  It's really fun being a part‑‑ obviously the most exciting part is the winning.
But the next most exciting part is how many students we had there.  From the first year when I got here, there was maybe 50 students over there, that student section was unbelievable tonight.  Guess what, I even looked up there in the third quarter and most of them were still here.  Usually they're gone by halftime.  Looked up in the third quarter and most of them were still here, then they got a little bored with the game, and I think they left at the start of the fourth quarter.  Nice to be ahead so you can check to see how many students are there.

Q.  (Question off microphone).
COACH LONG:  It's the only reason you play well on both offense and defense.  If your scout team gives you a legit look, you prepare better.  If they don't give you a legitimate look, you're not really well prepared.  Obviously they must have given us a great look, because we looked great on offense and defense tonight.

Q.  Special teams, how would you validate (inaudible)?
COACH LONG:  I thought our kickoffs were a little short early.  Our coverage was pretty good.  Thought we could cover the last couple of kickoffs a little bit better.  Only one poor punt in the group.  We missed two field goals.  So the field goals weren't good enough.

Q.  Ryan, how do you feel that the offense is coming along?
RYAN KATZ:  I think it's coming along well.  We came out, ran the ball very well at the start of the game.  Opened a lot of play action stuff downfield.  They blocked really well today and it turned out good.

Q.  Nat, talk about your performance.
NAT BERHE:  Just gotta give a bunch of credit to Coach Long and the defensive scheme they planned.  We went out and executed how we were supposed to.  Wish we would have shut them out.  But you gotta give all respect to Army.  I mean, they're a great team.  And I think we just came to play and we're physical.

Q.  What kind of statement do you think tonight says about this team moving forward?
NAT BERHE:  We can be really good.  We can be really good.  I think it's kind of scary.  But it's exciting.  It's exciting.
RYAN KATZ:  We're just scratching the surface.  We had a really good week of practice this week.  Like Coach said, with the scout teams giving us a great look.  I think if we just keep preparing the way we did this past week, showing it on Saturday, we can be a pretty good team.

Q.  You seemed to look at him a lot.  Was he just sitting‑‑
RYAN KATZ:  A few of those, they were just hitches.  He took them for, I think, 60 yards on one of them.  And that's my job.  I mean, I have a lot of play on my hands and let them run with it.

Q.  Were you making a concerted effort to (inaudible) looked like you just (inaudible)?
RYAN KATZ:  I want to be a passer first.  That's what I tried to do this week.  Great blocking up front.

Q.  Was the stuff you do based off of play action, establish the run, try to get, create some space?
RYAN KATZ:  Definitely.  That's what you saw tonight.  We came out running the ball very well.  And it opens up stuff downfield.  Guys were getting behind their players and more of a cushion.  So I think it went well.

Q.  Ryan said there was a huge amount of progress between Game 1 and Game 2.
COACH LONG:  Ryan mentioned it.  First, you don't run the ball very well unless the offensive line is blocking very well.  I don't think you pass it very well if the quarterback's under duress and he's scrambling around with people in his face all the time.
So I would‑‑ I thought our running backs ran hard.  And I thought Ryan threw the ball well.  And I think the second half we caught the ball well.  But being an old quarterback myself, none of that works unless your offensive line has a good night.  So I think the offensive line played extremely well.

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