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Listen to Audio (11:43)
“We are thrilled to win the game. Certainly a big story in the ballgame was
Bruce Carter’s performance. It was outstanding. He was terrific as a
linebacker. Certainly the blocks set up some great field position that led
to one score. Our defense continuing to create turnovers --¬ Mark Paschal’s
interception, Trimane Goddard’s interception, [and] Marvin Austin’s interception.
I told Marvin in the locker room that they are going to start timing guys
with hour glasses after watching that run. That was the longest [23-yard] run
that I’ve ever seen in my life. It was great pressure by E.J. [Wilson]
getting the ball tipped up and Marvin being in the right place at the right
“We are happy to have won. We are very pleased with the way in which we
were able to run the football tonight. We had a great deal of respect for
Connecticut. They are a good football team. They are very well coached, very
athletic. It was a challenge. We were concerned with their kickoff and punt
return guys and we thought we made some strides and improvements in our
special teams today. We covered kicks much better than we did a week ago
against Miami. I think that certainly helped us and the ability to run the
ball as well. Shaun Draughn had an outstanding game, popped some big runs. Ryan
Houston had some runs and as I have had said, we need all three of these
guys. They each bring a dimension.
“I thought Cameron did an outstanding job of just managing the game. There
were lots of emotional ups and downs. It was kind of hard offensively to get
into a rhythm, because you would score in a couple of plays or the defense
would get an interception or block a punt. It was kind of a bizarre game.
I thought he managed the game well. He made some good throws. Certainly
Hakeem [Nicks] made a phenomenal catch on the sidelines on a third and 20.
There’s not many guys that can make that catch.”
“I think the most healthy thing this team is willing to do is to learn to
look at themselves in the mirror after each ballgame and say, ‘Okay guys,
where are we going to get better each week?’ I think they’ve learned a lot
of lessons over the last year and a half. If you don’t fix things that go
wrong the week before, you have a tendency to get exposed the following
On the punt blocks:
“UConn had a brand new personal protector. We felt like if we could kind of
confuse him a bit with some of the alignments we could get some pressure off
the edge. And it just worked. There wasn’t anything spectacular by scheme
other than guys giving great effort and being at the right edges and getting
off the ball. Certainly Bruce made some great plays.
“One of the things we try and impress upon guys is that if you are on the punt
pressure unit, you never know when the other team might make a mental
mistake. Unless you go hard you just never know. Some of the games we have
won in the last two years have resulted because of a play on special teams.”
On Donald Brown:
“We were really concerned about Donald Brown. This is a great running back.
He can score from anywhere on the field. We were really concerned about
making sure we didn’t give up big runs because every game you’d see that he would
either hit a home run for a touchdown or have a lot of big runs that would
flip the field position. The nature of their offense is that they are a big time
possession offense. They run the ball so much and so effectively, the
passing game with all the shallow bubbles is almost an extended handoff.”
Listen to Audio (2:40)
What’s the secret to blocking those punts?
“Really, I was supposed to be holding up. But Coach Davis said that if you go hard and the situation presents itself, go ahead and go block it, so that’s what I did. Every time I just went hard and it opened up and I was lucky enough to get my hand on it and block it.”
Were you shocked to get that third block?
“Yes, I was surprised on the third one. The first one I nipped a little bit, and the second I blocked, and then that third one was a surprise for me, but God presented me with that [opportunity] and it happened for me, so I’m happy.”
Listen to Audio (3:35)
On breaking the 100-yard barrier:
"It felt good. I wanted to give the team a spark like I always do. When I go into the game, I'm going to make something happen. Over 100 yards is a milestone for the team. Big love to the O-line. We practiced a lot, but the O-line just got better this week."
Were any changes made to the offensive line this week?
"Yeah, they made some movements this week. Some people have been hurt, some people are just doing better than others. As a whole, you just have to do what you have to do. As far as the team, it doesn't matter who's in there; you just have to play ball."
Listen to Audio (3:03)
On the defense’s performance:
"You definitely try to go out there and have a big-hit, big-play [mentality] and make plays on defense to take pressure off our offense. The special teams did a great job giving us field position and we just went out there on defense and tried to stop the run."
On his pick-six:
"Basically, I've been dreaming about it for years, scooping it up and taking it. It came, I bent down, and caught it. I almost fell down twice, actually, but got to the end zone. It was all E.J.'s fault -- he went out there and got that pressure. You go out and play hard like they tell us and things will come to you."