Minnesota-Syracuse Quotes

Sept. 22, 2012

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Minnesota (4-0) 17, Syracuse (1-3) 10

Attendance: 50,805

Sept. 22, 2012

Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill

On the defensive effort…

“Well I think the big thing is that that football team beat West Virginia a year ago. They’ve got a lot of returners, they’ve got a good football team, but I think our kids just riled up and played hard. We had chances, we had a couple missed field goals, had a touchdown called back. Sometimes you come apart when you don’t capitalize on those things, but our kids just kept playing. I think that’s one thing we’re doing right now, I don’t think they pay attention to the scoreboard, and I think our coaches are getting better at that. You can’t control what happened the play before, you go to the next play. I think our kids are really going to the next play mentality. The kids played hard, but it all starts up front now, you’ve got to put pressure on the passer, and we kept him pretty uncomfortable for the most part.”

On the difference from the defense last year…

“I think the big thing is speed, aggressiveness and confidence. I think being in the same system, not changing systems. I think we’re still trying to find ourselves a little bit offensively, but when you’ve got to change quarterbacks it’s going to be a little bit different, but I liked the way we ran the ball downhill, and I thought we threw it good. We had a few more drops than we’ve had, we had some opportunities, but again I’ve always said we’re going to build this program on defense, and we’re certainly getting better. I’m sure we’ll watch film, and we’ll pick it apart, but when you play well you’ve got a chance.”

On Max Shortell’s play…

“I think he was good. We had him making calls at the line, so we asked him to do some different things. We didn’t hold back on the game plan. Our coaches are confident in Max’s abilities, and he checked a lot of plays. He got blitzed probably 85 to 90 percent of the time tonight, and with a young quarterback, here they come, and he did a great job of getting the ball out for the most part. We put him in some bad situations on third and long but when we were able to run the ball and do a good job at the line of scrimmage, he got us in the right play and threw the ball at the right time. I thought he did a real good job of managing the ball and again, he didn’t turn it over.”

Syracuse Head Coach Doug Marrone

Opening thoughts…

“We came into a hostile environment for our football team. We got shook up at times with the noise. Credit to Minnesota, they are undefeated. They did a good job, they are well coached. At the end of the day you can’t have four turnovers - one inside the five (yard line), two inside the 25-yard line. When you do those things, it is difficult to win a game.”

On another slow start…

“I never talk about a quick start. Everyone asks me why do we do not start quicker. We are always trying to get off to a quick start. Honestly, what do I think about? Why do we deserve this much bad luck?”

On Minnesota’s pressure with the defensive line…

“(Minnesota) did a nice job. We got beat a couple of times early. They did a good job. We can’t make any excuses, some guys got beat. (Minnesota) did a nice job getting our guys off their spot. Credit to Minnesota, they have a front that can get after it.”

Minnesota Players

Quarterback Max Shortell

On the difference in today’s start…

“The offense has a complete different confidence level than we did last year. We stalled a lot of times. That game should have been out of hand early, just like last week’s game. As an offense, if we can learn to keep drives together and make the plays that we should, then we’d really have a special offense. We missed some things.”

On how much Donnell Kirkwood contributes to his comfort level…

“Me and Donnell have a great relationship. We crack jokes in the huddle all the time and keep each other focused and just relaxed.”

On the defense…

“Our defense has played amazing all season…Our defense did a tremendous job creating turnovers, giving us great field position. Hats off to the defense. They played amazing.”

Wide Receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts

On his extensive playing time today…

“Last game, I had a couple problems with some cramps. I got it all figured out and came out, and I wanted to play, and I wanted to stay out there and make some plays out there.”

Defensive End Michael Amaefula

On the opening interception…

“I think it was huge. When coach came out in his speech, he was like, ‘Let’s go get something big right now.’ We came out with the interception. I think it just motivated us throughout the game.”

On the defense’s confidence…

“We’re very confident now. Coaches are more confident in us, as well. They’re letting us go get them. We don’t have to do as many stunts because we’re getting so much pressure.”

Syracuse Players

Quarterback Ryan Nassib

On Minnesota’s pressure…

“They did a good job getting pressure (on me). They ran a lot of blind stunts. A lot of it, we shot ourselves in the foot. Some bad plays by myself that I wish I could have back.”

On how Minnesota took Marcus Sales out of the game…

“(Minnesota) was doubling him all game. We tried to move him around, give Minnesota some different looks. They had a plan for him and did a good job taking him out of the game. That is something we are going to have to game plan better for.”

Linebacker Marquis Spruill

On the defense responding to the offense’s turnovers…

“We responded well like we always have. We need to work hard to get better every week. When the turnovers came, we got on the field and did what we had to do.”




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