Postgame Quotes: Gophers 28, Western Michigan 23
Sept. 15, 2012
Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill
On Max Shortell's readiness to play today:
"That's a credit to Max. That's one of those things where he was ready, and his opportunity came. ...He was prepared for his opportunity and took advantage of it. Also, (credit goes to) our quarterbacks coach (Jim Zebrowski). We train them all. They get a lot of reps. People don't understand that, but that's why you do it."
"I know they've got him wrapped up. I think they're taking him to the hospital for an MRI and those kind of things to see where he's at. It's like I said in the locker room--next man up. That's how we approach it. We certainly hope that MarQueis will heal quickly, but at this point in time we've got to get the guys ready that will be able to play."
"With MarQueis being a large part of our running game, Donnell had to step it up. Again, we had some guys go down today. Some people stepped it up. MarQueis wasn't the only one that went down. Lamonte Edwards went out. ...It was a hard win, no question about that."
On his feeling at halftime:
"I was unhappy in general because of our intensity as a football team. ...I just didn't think we were playing with the type of energy that we needed to play with. ...We play too much in spurts right now."
"It's a young football team. We found a way to win at the end, and we're 3-0. Now we need to work toward Syracuse and enjoy this for a little bit, but find out how to get better."
On going for it on fourth down with about five minutes left:
"In that situation, punting the ball, if you try to pooch punt it 15, 20 yards and it goes out, they're going to start at the 20-yard line. I felt at that time, we had a guy open. We knew they were going to play cover-one, and we felt that we could take a shot. We actually had a fake field goal called. They took timeout. We made them waste a timeout. So if I had to choose to do it again, I'd do it again. We're going to be aggressive and try to win the game."
Minnesota quarterback Max Shortell
On if the game experience from last year helped in the game:
“Yeah the game experience I got last year really helped me. I’ve gotten in a few times this year and it’s clear that the coaches giving me a chance last year has really helped me to extend what I can do on the field and help me to be a better player.”
On where his poise comes from:
“We’ve all played in so many games that it’s almost second nature to go in there and do what you need to do. It’s a game so you go in there and try to have fun, whatever happens, happens.”
On what was going through his head as he entered the game:
“It was just that our offense was kind of stalled. With MarQueis going down I had to step up and get the offense rolling.”
Minnesota Wide Receiver A.J. Barker
On if he was the primary receiver on most plays:
“The quarterback just makes their reads, and they found me today.”
On his connection with Max Shortell
“Yeah I felt comfortable that he could keep delivering me the ball and he did.”
On if he expected to have this type of game:
“I’m probably one of the crazy people out there that did think that. It’s a credit to the coaching staff to put me in the positions to make the play. I don’t know if Western Michigan was ready to cover me or not but I just took advantage of the opportunities given to me.”
Minnesota Defensive Back Michael Carter
On the changes by the WMU offense:
“Going into the game they had a lot of personnel changes and coach told us that sometimes we might have a delay in our defensive switches. The coaches prepared to have maybe five to seven formations. We had a defense to suit each formation.”
On his interception:
“I read the down and distance and it was like third and 7. In film with coach Sawvel he was telling us that in those type of downs they like to throw it out quick so instead of back-pedaling I was just patient and read the three step drop and jumped the route.”
Western Michigan Head Coach Bill Cubit
"(Minnesota) made a couple more big plays than we did -- an interception, a missed pass, and a missed field goal. Then they scored a touchdown before the half. You are feeling really good about yourself. We have to keep on going back and working. Our kids played hard. It was physical. I was happy with (Dareyon) Chance. I was happy the way we ran the ball.
"We are playing without our top two wideouts. We still played the game the way we wanted to play. I thought (Max Shortell) came in and really provided a spark. He was probably the difference. We knew he was going to throw it, and we got beat a couple times. The touchdown before the half really hurt us."
On the gameplan adjustment vs. Max Shortell
"Your whole gameplan changes. Now, all of a sudden, no offense to Gray, you have a guy that can throw it around a little bit more. He came in at a time Minnesota was struggling, and he was able to give them a much-needed boost."
Western Michigan Players
"A loss is always bad. You work hard all week to put it together and when you lose it always feels bad. We want to win overall. No matter how many passing or rushing yard you have."
"It lets us know we can do it. It is easy running behind guys that open big holes. I am just picking my way. (Our offensive line) is moving everybody."
"Just a couple of mental errors. We definitely were not shocked."
On Adjusting to Max Shortell:
"Just to be ready for the pass. Needed to get our cover guys out on the field and slow down (Minnesota's) routes."