Minnesota-Iowa Quotes

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Oct. 29, 2011

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2011 University of Minnesota Football
Postgame Quotes

Minnesota (2-6, 1-3) 22, Iowa (5-3, 2-2) 21
Attendance: 46,543
Oct. 29, 2011

Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill
On getting the victory...
"That is the most important stat. I am happy for the state of Minnesota, the administration, the fans, but most importantly, I am happy for our kids. It is great to see them smile and have a good time. Floyd will be staying in Minnesota for a while."

On MarQueis Gray's play...
"MarQueis made some plays out there. It has to be him not me. As the quarterback he has to be the leader, and he did a great job. Our kids hung in there and that is a credit to him.  It feels good to see him step up. He is learning."

On onside kick...
"We decided 30 seconds before we did it. We needed to make something happen, and we did. Iowa had some good drives and we needed the ball. We practiced it on Friday, and I said if we didn't execute it in practice, we would not run it in the game. We executed in practice and in the game (Kim) Royston was able to get the ball."


Minnesota Players
Defensive Lineman Brandon Kirksey

On his run with the football from the hit by Kyle Henderson...
"I saw the endzone and just went for it. I just wasn't fast enough."

On retaining Floyd...
"Keeping Floyd here for the second year in a row is ecstatic."

On what this means to the younger guys...
"We needed to give the younger guys the feeling of tradition. They need to find the meaning of tradition and with winning Floyd this gave them that feeling."

Running Back Duane Bennett
On the win...
"This helped us move forward in a strong and positive way. It feels great to keep Floyd here again especially it being my senior season; it's great to go out with a bang."

Defensive Back Kyle Henderson
On sack...
"It was a miracle play. It changed the momentum of the game which really gave us the drive to move forward."

On the win...
"This win was great. We play good in the second half, but the outcomes of our previous games don't always show it. This game showed our ability to finish strong."

On the onside kick...
"We knew we needed to win the game. We kept saying it was on us, it was on us."

Wide Receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts
On the review of his 39-yard reception...
"I knew I caught the ball. I was just hoping that they saw it, too, and they made the right call."

On MarQueis Gray gaining confidence...
"As the game went on and we kept completing passes and getting first downs and everything, I felt like everybody was kind of relaxed and just went out and started playing football and having fun like we're supposed to. We went out and made some big plays and won the game."

On Gray in the huddle...
"He just keeps us all together and calm."

On how he got so open for his 61-yard catch...
"They were playing cover-two and the corner was trying to push me over the safety, so I made an inside release and the safety was flat-footed so I ran right by him."

Defensive Back Kim Royston
On onside kick call...
"We've been practicing that ever since fall camp. I knew there was going to be a moment where I had to make the play. There were a couple times throughout the year when we almost called it, but when coach told me, I had no doubt that I was going to get the ball. Big players have got to stand up in big games."

On how he feels after 16 tackles (did he take a beating?, etc.)...
"That Coker guy on the other side, he's a great running back, probably one of the best players that I've played against. ...My shoulder's a little tweaked, but that's the game of football. I'll be in good and early at rehab icing it. But, hey, I'm a safety, and you've got to make the plays."

Quarterback MarQueis Gray
On what clicked for him throwing today...
"It was confidence, believing in my guys to go up and make those plays....Devin, Duane, Da'Jon, all those guys did a great job in helping me feel confidence, and the O-line did a great job giving me confidence."

On his rushing touchdown...
"It had to be done. I was the one with the ball in my hands. Coach called my number. Thanks to Brandon Green giving me that block I was able to get in."

On his talks in the huddle...
"Coach Kill said I need to stop trying to be everybody's friend and be a leader of this team, and it showed today."


Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
Opening Statement
"Obviously, it was a tough loss for our football team and credit goes to Minnesota. They outplayed us and deserved to win. They did a good job certainly. I think the story of the game is pretty obvious, and I think the biggest thing for us is it was a team loss. We didn't play well enough in any of the three areas to expect to win, and they did."

On the onside kick and whether it was surprising...
"Not totally surprising. I didn't think it was a situation where we throw our hands team out there, but it was a great call on their part and the execution was outstanding. Excellent call by Coach Kill."

On the final series and whether there were any plays for receiver Marvin McNutt...
"You know all of our plays involve him if he's out there on the field. As you may imagine they were giving him some attention today, but we were just trying to move the football. All we needed was a field goal. It wasn't like a hopeless situation by any stretch, but as you saw, we didn't get much going."

On the defense and why they're not improving...
"Well, I can't answer that right now. The big thing--the last touchdown was a contain issue, which is a little disappointing. We had that same problem in game two. You know the big thing I would point to is, today they ran the ball really well on us and that's going to make it a challenge to play good defense if we're not doing a better job against the rush."


Iowa Players
Running Back Marcus Coker
On his career-high game...
"Doesn't matter - we lost. I came here to win football games, and that's all I care about. I don't care if I get thirty yards, thirty carries... as long as we're not winning I don't care."

On taking a positive from this game...
"It didn't matter what we did, we didn't do enough. We took a loss, that's all we took."

On the four games coming up...
"November's the biggest part of the season, we just got to finish it."

On moving towards the future after this loss...
"We'll take this loss as motivation for next week. We still have another four games, so we can't afford something like this, we can't let a team beat us twice."

On the Iowa team being "tense" today...
"There were a lot of plays left on the field that we should have made... the coaches knew that, the players knew that."

On what they took from last year's loss for this game...
"We knew we were flat last year, so we came out ready to play. We just didn't finish. "

Quarterback James Vandenberg
On the game...
"It's really frustrating - we know we have to execute down there in the red zone, we didn't get that done today. We put together some really good drives and stalled out down in the red zone. We know we have to score touchdowns, and we weren't able to do that today."

Coming in overlooking Minnesota...
"I don't think we overlooked them, we didn't play our best football, and that's what it came down to. Nobody can say they played their best football today. It comes down to executing, especially in the red zone. We got to do that better."

On Minnesota's defense...
"Minnesota brought a little pressure. They played tough, all day, and we just kind-of stalled out in the red zone."

Defensive Lineman Broderick Binns
On the game...
"It's all about being prepared, you have to tip your hats off to Minnesota, they played a great game and did a great job."

On the 4th quarter...
"We weren't coasting. I think more or less us not being in the right positions to just make the plays"

Linebacker Tyler Nielsen
On the onside kick...
"They went after it, took a chance and it worked out in their favor.

On the 4th quarter...
"Fatigue wasn't a factor, it was execution."

Defensive Back Shaun Pratt
On Minnesota...
"Their record doesn't show how good they really are, and I don't think people realize how good they are."

On the atmosphere in the locker room...
"Of course no one likes to lose, and it's always good to win."

Wide Receiver Marvin McNutt
On the game...
"We didn't execute. We didn't finish when we needed to."

On why they lost...
"There are no fingers to point, we all got to play football together, so we should have came and executed."