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


January 1, 2009

Brian Kelly


JASON ALPERT: Coach Kelly, you had talked earlier in the week about the difference between making it to this game and what it meant to the program and winning it. What does just being in this game being, in a BCS Bowl game, for the future of your program?
COACH KELLY: Well, obviously this is what you play for. You know, you play -- you work out in the summer and preseason camp to get an opportunity to get to this point. But you want to finish it off, so there's a lot of disappointment obviously in our locker room. Our players are certainly a group that wanted to win this football game.
I told them after the game that I was proud of the way they prepared themselves to play. We just did not play our very best, and I want to credit Virginia Tech and Frank Beamer and his staff because they were a large reason why we didn't play our very best today. They made the plays when they needed to, kept us out of the end zone. We left a lot of points out there. But I think it's important that Virginia Tech understands that they won this football game today, and they earned the victory.

Q. The defense has been very good against the run this year. What did Virginia Tech do that enabled them to have such a big day on the ground?
COACH KELLY: Well, Evans is a great back, obviously, and Taylor obviously was very elusive. But you know, we didn't tackle very well. That's the first time this year that -- and again, give Virginia Tech credit; they're a good football team, but that's not the kind of defensive performance that I'm used to seeing from our team. Again, I don't want to take anything away from Virginia Tech, but we tackled poorly. We just didn't play physical enough, and Virginia Tech played more physical, ran through a lot of tackles.

Q. You alluded to just leaving those two touchdowns on the board so close. Is that going to nag at you? It was a fairly even game if not for those two turnovers.
COACH KELLY: I felt like it started with the three points we left out there. That was a field goal we had to make, kind of chippy for us. Again, you can point out individual -- the quarterback is always going to take most of the blame because that's the nature of the position, but when you throw four interceptions and you don't get in in short fields in the red zone -- we didn't score enough points. We moved the ball, did the things that we wanted to do, but didn't put points on the board. Seven points is not enough to win against any team.

Q. Can you talk about the last -- Tony Pike, the first and goal in that play-calling series and the decision to -- the 4th down call? At the end of the fourth quarter right before the 4th down with Pike going around the end --
COACH KELLY: Yeah, the one he got stopped on.

Q. Right, the play calling through that series.
COACH KELLY: Can you take me back? I'm just asking because there's a lot of plays. I think we converted a 4th down.

Q. You converted a 4th down and then it was down to the 3.
COACH KELLY: We ran twice.

Q. You ran up the middle to the 1 and then Pike around the end.
COACH KELLY: Right, 4th and 1 for us in that area was our short yardage goal line offense. We felt like that's a play that we had run against -- I think we closed the game out against Syracuse with it where he kept it and went around the edge. We felt like we had a hat situation, 4th down. We knew we were going for it on 4th down so we took a couple of shots, ran the ball on 3rd down when we thought that they were expecting pass, tried to get the ball up inside because we knew we had another shot at it and ran the ball, which we thought was our best play at that time to score on 4th and goal from the 1.

Q. The success you had early on in the first drive, just talk a little bit about that and then why you weren't able to sort of cull that momentum and carry it through?
COACH KELLY: Well, most of them were mistakes. I think two of the drives were stopped on interceptions and one was a field goal. You know, again, we stopped ourselves in the sense that -- again, I want to be very careful. Virginia Tech has a very good defense. Bud Foster did a good job. In a lot of instances we didn't take care of the things that we needed to. I just thought we executed the first drive very well.
I think the change in the next couple of drives, they brought more pressure. We didn't make some great decisions when they brought some pressure. And then it's just one of those games where we got close every time and just couldn't put it in the end zone.

Q. Were there two bigger plays in the game than the interception they got going in, when you could have made it -- you would have had 14 at the half, and then the goal line stand at the end? Were there two bigger plays in the game than those two plays?
COACH KELLY: No, obviously those result directly in points. The other big play in the game, I think it was 13-7, and again I could be wrong, and correct me if I'm wrong, and we got the ball out. Normally we scoop that and score; that's what we do. We kicked it around and didn't get the ball back.
You know, we just didn't play well enough today. We could -- give me another play. We just didn't play well enough, the little things. We didn't tackle well on defense. Virginia Tech is an outstanding football team. They run the ball. I thought we did a pretty good job in all other phases. Offensively we turned the ball over, and when we got opportunities to score points, we shot ourselves in the foot, and that really -- that's a wrap, folks (laughter). I don't know how else to put that. You can still ask questions if you'd like (laughter).

Q. You guys allowed more rushing yards by the end of that third quarter than you guys had to any team in an entire game all season. What were they doing?
COACH KELLY: Well, they didn't score 50 points against us; it was 20 to 7. They're a good football team. The back runs hard, and we contributed to not tackling at the level. We had hats -- let me tell you what. We had hats to the point of attack. I think they out flanked us one time on a hand off sweep out of their wildcat of offense. Other than that structurally we had hats in position that normally make plays. If we're playing Pat White and West Virginia in terms of their speed, we lose -- there's big chunk plays out there. We would have given up 250 yards to West Virginia today and their run offense if we didn't tackle the way we did. So we just didn't tackle the way we needed to. I wish I could give you a better assessment of it.
Having said that, maybe I didn't prepare them the right way. Maybe we didn't tackle enough with 25 days off. That will be for me to figure out as we leave here and over the next five and a half months: Did we prepare them the right way because we did not tackle so well? So that's the things that I've got to kind of figure out.

Q. There's been so much positive about what happens this season. How does this color the end of the season when you look back on it, the loss as opposed to losing here?
COACH KELLY: A loss is a loss, it stinks, it's lousy. Does the foundation crack in our program? No. Does the expectations change? Absolutely not. So from a big-picture standpoint, the things that we want for this program are in place. We're on a journey; we're not there yet. We showed that today; we're not there yet. But if you keep knocking on that door, if you keep putting yourself in that position, you know, we'll finish the deal.
So yeah, it doesn't feel good to lose, not when you put in as much time as we do. But we're not going to -- I'm not going to be jumping off the Fountainebleau tonight.

Q. Talk about fan support. It's been a topic all season, and they really answered the bell and stepped up here tonight.
COACH KELLY: Just a great question. Feel-good question. It was just an incredible experience to pull into Dolphin Stadium with the number of fans that we had greeting us. It was energizing. You know, I don't think there's any doubt now about the support that you're going to get for your college football team in the town of Cincinnati. It was a great feeling.
Our guys were -- we should have played right there. We needed to get out of the bus right there because we felt really good about that kind of reception. It was great to see the stadium and our side really active and in the game. Great feeling.

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