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Post-Game Quotes: South Florida
 
 
 

 

 
 

Sep 7, 2013

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Head coach Mark Dantonio

Opening statement...
Again, a great job by our defense tonight. Outstanding job with two scores, numerous sacks and they certainly limited their passing game and their run game effectively. If you had to say anything, we had a couple of penalties that gave them a couple drives that kept going. Other than that, you're throwing a shutout other than the three points they got before halftime. I'm very excited about that. We've got to keep playing. Offensively, we've got to change things up. We've got to try to get something rolling. There were not enough points being put on the board and not enough explosive plays. I think we continue to run the ball ok, but there's got to be a compromise with that and we'll find that and continue to work it. Special teams missed the one field goal. Other than that I think Mike Sadler was outstanding again, dropping the ball inside the 10 yard line. I'm not sure how many times, maybe four or five, but he's certainly a weapon and makes it difficult to go the length of the field.

A win is important, we're 2-0. This is a family, so you don't see any bickering. We've got great chemistry. We don't pit the offense against the defense and the quarterbacks against the quarterbacks. I think people are pretty selfless in the way they approach things. Just like any family, when one part of that family is struggling, that other aspect of that family is going to come to their support. We'll line up next week against Youngstown State, try to get squared away and move it from there.

On offensive concerns...
Of course I'm concerned. How much? On a scale of one to 10, if you were the head coach I would say it's about eight. I'm concerned. We need explosive plays in our offense. We got a chance to go down the field. We got the ball too many times in possessions that I would consider a sudden change and we're not generating points. We had the one turnover on the fumble. We obviously had the turnover on the punt. So special teams, we had two instances that takes points off the board with three and gives them three unfortunately for the defense. We're getting good execution from our punter and from our coverage teams. I'm concerned, obviously, but as you can see we're trying to play three quarterbacks, trying to generate things, we're playing numerous wide outs. We took the redshirt off of R.J. Shelton as well; we'll expand his role as he moves forward. We're going to find out about people. I don't know any other way to do it other than to play it out. That's what we're going to do. You give people opportunities. I said earlier in the week that opportunity comes with opposition. When you have an opportunity to go in there, you have to move the ball if you're a quarterback and you've got to catch the ball if you're a wide out; plain and simple.

On quarterback situation becoming clearer...
I think it's a little too early to look at that because we haven't seen the film. With the film, you have a much better case of what's going on. Did they check out of the play that was called? What did they check to? There are different things in their throwing game a little bit. How did they see it? You'll see it a little bit clearer on the film. I don't think it's any clearer. We scored one touchdown today. I can come in here and be politically correct, or I can tell it how it is. I think more people would want me to tell it how it is. We need to generate points when we have opportunities. We're trying work it. We beat ourselves a couple of times. We should've scored on the drive when we got down to the three or four yard line. We've got to get the ball up inside on the option, not on the outside. I don't know if it was called wrong or what was happening there. We should score or get it inside there and have an opportunity to go for it. It is what it is.

On the deadline to decide on a quarterback...
That's a difficult thing to analyze. You're not going to sit there and say the deadline is here. You're going let it play out. We put Andrew Maxwell back in at the beginning of the second half. I think he deserved that opportunity. When he didn't get a touchdown in the third quarter, we went back to Cook and we got one. We'll evaluate everybody's play and what they bring, but the bottom line is that we won the football game. The second bottom line is that whoever is in a position of leadership, running that football team, has to generate the throw and the catch. We've got to have more passing game than what we're having. I think that's pretty simple, you don't have to be an expert to dissect that.

On reason for going with Andrew Maxwell to begin the second half...
We went to Maxwell because I believed he gave us the best chance to put the ball down the field because he knows the most about our offense. If our fullback locks a defensive end, he's got a chance to throw the football. Some things just aren't in his control. The fullback has got to get himself up underneath that defensive end and make the block, pure and simple. We've got to block more effectively at certain times, not just the offensive lineman, whether it's the tight end or the back or whatever and give him time to throw it. Quite frankly, he didn't have enough time to throw it a couple of times. On the other end of the spectrum, you've got to make things happen. I don't know any other way to say it. We did not play Damion Terry. I know everyone keeps chanting that. Terry had strep throat this week, we've got to check him for mono and he popped his thumb out of place so it was bruised and he didn't take any reps all week. That's why we didn't play him. If you need an injury report, that's what you've got. So everybody's on the same page.

On residual effect on the defense from being on the field for 28 minutes...
I think it's unique because the residual effect, which I think is a good word for it, is that we scored twice on defense and then the defense has to come back on the field. So it's a little bit screwed in terms of exactly what happened, because we score on defense twice and they get the ball back and have extra possession. It's not always the pure minutes. You have to look at the turnovers. We scored twice, they get two more possessions and I think that's unique. It's unique to score four times in two games on defense.

On what urgency from fans says about the program...
There's a sense of urgency because we want to be the best. I think we have a championship defense. I think we can do things on special teams that are championship level and I think we have to raise our performance on offense, because we're not shooting for 7-6. I'll go back to what I said initially, we've got great chemistry here, a great family and support within our football team and because of that we'll get better. We'll push it through. We just need the spark to ignite the flame. We've got guys that can catch the football; we've got guys that can throw the football. The timing has to come forward. We just need a spark. We need a couple of guys to make a play.

On if Damion Terry would have played if he were healthy...
He was in the thought process, but because of the two things that I just told you, he was unable to take any reps the entire week. We can't play a guy with no reps, and that's difficult for a freshman especially.

On Tyler O'Connor moving the ball and then taking him out...
Well he almost got a pick in the red zone. I felt like it was his first opportunity to be in there and I felt like that was the thing to do.

On who will be quarterback next week...
We evaluate things day-to-day, practice-to-practice, as it should be. Nobody is out of the mix; I don't care how many people boo me or boo us. Nobody is out of the mix. Everybody has an opportunity, but the bottom line is, you have to be productive.

On whether he has faced a challenge like this offense before...
Yes, I've faced bigger challenges. I most certainly have. Personal challenges. It's never as bad as it could be. If you want to face a challenge, how about if we lost 9-7. It always could be worse. We're 2-0, and we'll live with that.

On booing from fans...
It doesn't bother me, but I wish they weren't booing. But I can understand where they're at. I'm just trying to stay positive. I think it's important for us to stay positive, reinforce our players and attack this situation very tactically.

On the run game...
We're running the football ok, but we've got to bust it. We've got to start coming up with 200 yard rushing games as we move forward, but I do think that we're moving the ball ok. I thought we ran the ball ok today, but you can't be one-dimensional. At some point, you've got be able to do the other. When you come in at halftime and you've got 34 yards passing, that's not enough. Again, we come up with three explosive plays. Aaron Burbridge had the one in the second half, which was a great catch. We had to go for it on fourth down, but we got it. We end up scoring on that drive. It was a big decision, it's a big play by Cook and Burbridge to pick up the first down.

On decision to play Connor Cook on Monday...
It's very difficult to give three quarterbacks reps during the week. You basically give two quarterbacks reps. It's extremely difficult to get three quarterbacks ready. I felt like Andrew Maxwell has enough knowledge and enough experience to play without the reps. So we repped Tyler O'Connor and Connor Cook. I sat down with Andrew first of all because he's the one who needs to have the sit down with. I can tell you that there are not very many people in this world like Andrew Maxwell. He's extremely unselfish, he's extremely intelligent, very much a giver. What he did and the way he handled things, not many people could've handled it like that. You respect that as a coach. That's why I went back with him in the second half because I feel like I owe him that as a man and a coach. I wouldn't do it any other way. If he moved the football, then it would be his. I try to be very diplomatic about this and give everyone opportunities, but it's in their hands, it's in our offensive coaches hands, it's in my hands.

Closing statements...
Did you see Shalique Calhoun run those two things back? Did you see our sacks? We played outstanding in the secondary. Great play calls by Narduzzi. Great pressure throughout the entire day. We negated their passing game, negated their running game for the most part. They got some sprint draws on us. We've got fix that up a little bit. The bottom line at the end of the day is that we're 2-0 and I can appreciate that. It's very tough to win. If you flip things around and you look at the scoreboards across the country, it's tough to win. Some people can get off and run away with it. It's tough all over, there's a lot of parity. Give credit to South Florida, they came with something to prove to. The longer you let people hang around the game, the stronger they get. You've got to give our football team a complement because they won it in the second half and the fourth quarter. We did what we had to do. End of the story there is that we'll get ready for next week.

South Florida Head Coach Willie Taggart

On his team's performance compared to last week's loss versus McNeese State...
Well I thought our guys played with a lot more effort in this ball game. We talk about effort and you don't teach effort and each one of those guys can go out and give us great effort. It's all we ask for. You give great effort and make winning plays and we can appreciate when you go out and play the game. You talk about respecting the game and that's how you respect the game by playing all out, all the time, and I thought our guys gave great effort today compared to last week. I thought they gave great effort out on the football field, and I think that's one reason why we were in (today's) ballgame.

We've got to learn to make the winning plays. We've got to learn to keep momentum on our side by making those plays. When the receiver is wide open, he's got to catch the football. When we get a nice run, we can't jump offsides and take us five yards back after that. That's not winning football. But I thought our guys did better, and we talked about that this week. We want improvement and we want to play with attitude, and I thought our guys did that. I thought offensively we didn't improve. I thought defensively we did. I still think we can execute a lot better and put on a better show than we did.

On his team's offensive struggles...
You'll find it hard to win ballgames when the quarterback can't drop back and throw the football. We've got to do a better job. The guys have got to strain more when they're blocking (the defense). I think sometimes we just didn't strain long enough to hold up so our guys could get the ball off.

We just didn't get it done offensively, and you've got to take advantage of opportunities. We had plenty of opportunities offensively. We didn't take advantage of those opportunities. We had dropped balls. When we were moving the ball we had false starts, and that got us off schedule, and you can't do that. That's not winning football. When we throw the ball 25 times and only complete six passes, you're not doing much. And a lot of that had to do with our protection.

That 6-for-25 wasn't just Bobby (Eveld). The pressure on the quarterback had a lot to do with it. Bobby can't throw the ball when he's on his back. And you can't complete passes when we drop the ball, so I think it's a combined effort. Bobby is going to play well when his teammates play well. It's a team sport, and I know the quarterback gets the blame, but all of those guys have to do their jobs.

On facing Michigan State's defense and his opinions on what makes them special...
They're smart, they're strong, they're long, they're well coached and they've got some good players over there on that side of the ball. Those guys play with fanatical effort, (which is) what we keep preaching to our defense. You always see more than two or three guys at the ball when you get tackled and you just look at a couple times when Marcus (Shaw) had a crease, you had three or four or five guys coming to the ball and that's really good defense. When you run to the football, I don't care who you are, good things happen. You're always in position to make plays. The same thing with the tipped ball (that lead to the interception pick six), you've got a guy running to the ball, you're in position to make that play.

Michigan State Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi

Opening statement...
Another tough one. You know, it wasn't real exciting, the first half, with some of the leaky runs that were happening. We finally got to at least defend a little bit of the run. Overall, a good performance. You score twice on defense you got to be happy there again. Shilique [Calhoun], he's our running back on defense I guess, just hand it off to him and let him go. He's a great player, we knew he's a great player and it's the difference between having a guy who makes plays in practice and a guy that makes a play in the game and catches it and finishes it, so it's good to see.

On Denicos Allen...
Denicos has been a good player for us. He missed a sack, just missed it, and probably missed three or four sacks today. Denicos is a good player for us. He's blitzed hard, I think he hit the quarterback when Shilique intercepted it and took it to the house. All indications are he played a solid game. We'll see it in the tape; you never really know the whole story until you see him on tape.

On South Florida's offense...
They're a good run offense. They moved the ball, they didn't get it in the end zone as much as they'd like to but we knew they'd be a good offense. They're well coached and do some good things offensively.

On Darqueze Dennard's almost interception to begin the game...
We should have started off with a pick six there too. We got to make plays. Usually he's a guy whose got sticky fingers.

On the endurance of the defense...
I don't know what the time of possession was at the half. I think we were out there for 17 minutes or so. So yeah, I think so, they were out there for a little bit. It's hot, humid, hour delay again, just trying to get in a rhythm. They were solid.

On Jamal Lyles moving to tight end...
Jamal, he does a little bit of both. He played a little bit for us last week, and we're just going to utilize our personnel however we got to. Right now, Jamal's like the fifth wheel at defensive end, Joel [Heath] is playing well at defensive end as our third guy or really our fourth guy with Denzel Drone, so we got four ends. Whatever we got to do to win.

On Demetrius Cooper...
Cooper will be our fifth guy. I hate not to play him. We might put Taiwan Jones, let him play, or Kyler Elsworth before we try to use him right now, but hopefully we don't have that problem.

On the defense picking up for the offense...
Our guys don't even think about it. They're so locked in, they got blinders on. Our guys don't care. Just go out and play defense. Our job is to stop them, we don't worry about that stuff, we try to stay locked in to what our job is. We start worrying about other things, we'll have problems. We did a great job last year doing that and we'll continue to do it. They will get the rhythm.

Michigan State Co-Offensive Coordinator Dave Warner

Opening statement...
Started out pretty similar to last week. Somewhat disappointed is a way to approach it this week. We ran the ball with pretty good success. Our last couple drives we just wanted to run out the clock so our rushing average came down a little bit, but overall throughout the game we obviously ran the ball. We had some big plays in the running game. The pass game continues to be a big concern. We had a couple throws down the field. I think we need to continue to push the ball down field. I think we dialed up some of those plays more this week than we had in the past. We've just got to make them successful. We're going to keep pushing forward and get things going in the right direction.

On Tyler O'Connor...
He did move the ball a little bit. We made the decision at halftime that we wanted to put Andrew (Maxwell) back in there. It felt like our running game was working well without a quarterback run attack. Our passing game was not working well, so we wanted to go with the best passer.

On whether it's an audition for the quarterbacks...
That's one way to look at it, absolutely. Guys are getting opportunities. No two ways about it, but the bottom line with those guys is like I think I said last week, who puts us in the end zone? We had a field goal opportunity that was missed. We can't settle for field goals when we're first-and-goal. We went through that last year. Again, emphasis was made throughout the last seven months and we didn't get it done today as far as scoring in the red zone in that situation.

On moving back to Andrew Maxwell at the half and then back to Connor Cook...
I think it's similar to the way it was in the first half. Andrew had some opportunities to try and get us in the end zone and it didn't happen so we said let's make a change. We're trying to find the spark. Again it's not all on those quarterbacks, but still at the same time those guys have got to get us in the end zone somehow, someway. We're going to keep juggling until we find the right one.

On the possibility of looking more to Tyler O'Connor for the next game...
It's very possible. Obviously we'll evaluate the film today and see where we go from here. I mean it's been our status quo since spring, trying to find who the guy is going to be. I don't know did you guys see anybody jump out and light us on fire? It's something that we'll have to evaluate with the film. Bottom line is that's a possibility.

On Damion Terry...
Damion Terry is always in the discussion.

On the wide receivers...
I didn't see any issues with them getting off the line of scrimmage. I thought we had some open receivers down field. Whether it was an issue with quarterback decision, quarterback accuracy or protection, we didn't complete enough of them.

On his frustration level with the offense...
Well you've seen me the last two games. I mean certainly there is frustration there, but I'm going to remain absolutely positive. I still totally believe in us as an offense, in our players as an offense. There's frustration there, but at the same time we're going to get it taken care of, because our defense is playing so stinking good that we've got to find a way to help them along.

Michigan State red-shirt freshman quarterback Tyler O'Connor

On not receiving a second chance in the game...
I made a poor decision in the red zone. Truthfully, I'm not sure that helped the coaches' confidence in me, so we'll look at the film. Obviously, I would have liked another shot at it, but the whole point is to put points on the board and score touchdowns. I didn't do that so it's right for other people to get the chance.

On his performance...
For the most part, we moved the ball and everything, but in the red zone, that's where quarterbacks are judged on how many points they put on the scoreboard. In the end, I didn't do my job. I forced that ball at the end, made a poor decision on the run off to the left. Things will improve, but it's nice to get that first game experience.

On preparation during practice...
I felt very comfortable throughout the week splitting reps with the other quarterbacks. It's hard to prepare three quarterbacks for a game. There's only so many reps that can go around so it's tough, but we all got our reps and I felt very comfortable. I thought I'd give the coaches a reason to put me in and give me a chance.

On being on the field...
It was nice. I was looking around, taking a deep breath and getting those jitters out of the way. Looking across and seeing a different defense for the first time in over a year, it was a little surreal. After that first play, everyone in the stands goes away and it's just you and the defense.

On the quarterback decision...
That's tough to say right now. Really, it's the coaches' decision. I think they really have confidence in all three quarterbacks that have performed so far. We'll see what they do, but in the end, we're all looking for the same goal. We're looking to score. We're looking to make plays. We're all going to do our best to do that.

On his confidence...
I'm very confident in myself. I told Coach D that. My confidence is as high as it has been since I've been here. Today, I didn't show that. I didn't show what I needed to show to move the ball, to get the team to win a championship. So I'll watch the film and getting that first experience is great. We'll improve from here and see where we go.

Michigan State junior running back Nick Hill

On his performance...
I thought my performance was really good today. I ran the ball well and trusted the blocks of the offensive line. It allowed me to get in the open field a couple of times for some big gains, some big runs. I wanted to make sure I gave the quarterback enough time to pass the ball and be an outlet if they get under pressure. So overall, I think I did pretty well.

On the team's rushing performance...
I think, overall as a team, we did a good job. Our quarterbacks had some good plays running the ball. All three running backs - myself, Riley (Bullough) and Jeremy (Langford) - did well. Jeremy scored and Riley had two good runs back-to-back. I think no matter who was in there for running back, they ran the ball very well.

On sustaining drives...
I think that is a key for our offense, to keep it going. To sustain those long drives, that's what we want. We don't want three-and-outs. I thought there were drives where we ran the ball really well, extended those drives and had some explosive plays throughout those drives. I thought that we did a good job this week compared to last week.

On the team's greatest improvement from last week...
I think the most improved thing was running the ball and sustaining those drives. I think that the running backs and the offense as a group ran the ball efficiently. I think our receivers also stepped up. We were stronger up front. I think that overall, as an offense, we did a good job sustaining those longer drives compared to last week.

Michigan State senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell

It's difficult to get into the flow (of the game) when you come off the bench, but that's the way we've operated the first two games. So you have to be flexible. I knew there was a possibility that I'd be called upon at halftime to start the second half, so I had to lock in and focus. We moved the ball, but unfortunately, we had some drive stoppers: penalties, negative plays, turnovers. We did some good things on the ground, but we have to get production from the passing game and finish drives. We can't be afraid to sustain long drives.

Michigan State sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun

On the interception...
I mean it was a delicate play that was called. I went to go execute, as I went to go execute the play I realized that the ball was in the air and the first thing I thought was `if you catch this man, you are good. You got it; all you have to do is catch the ball.' As coach says to the receivers first thing is to catch the ball. So first thought was catch the ball, as I caught it, I looked around and I was like `I can make it to the end zone.' It was just another opportunity where I could make the end zone so I was pretty happy. I just want to thank my teammates because without them none of this would be possible.

Differences between this year and last year's defense...
Through camp we discussed being able to score on defense. Even if our offense is good, even if they are doing great, we just wanted to make that another aspect of our game to be able to score on defense. Being able to create touchdowns, we were very excited for the challenge and we were looking forward to it. To see it all play out after all that practice is mind blowing; it is a great feeling definitely. For it to happen to me I am so thankful to the lord for providing this to me.

On his speed ...
No don't test me on my 40. It might not be fast, I mean I will just stick to looking at film and guys saying I am pretty fast. I'll take that for now. A couple but I had a couple of good blocks that sprung me through. That's what helped me out those good blocks; I wouldn't say my running abilities at all.

Michigan State Sophomore Quarterback Connor Cook

On when he learned he would be starting and reps...
They told me on Monday. I got a majority of the reps with the ones. Tyler (O'Connor) got a little bit with ones he got a majority of the twos and that was pretty much it.

On evaluating his performance today...
Passing, not good. Running, I thought I did a decent job running. I thought I was effective in the run game. I have to be more accurate with my throws and I think everything will take care of itself.

On his first career start and the effects of the delay...
It was alright, I mean last week we had a delay too. We are kind of used to it. I wonder what next week has in store for us. You just have to try to stay calm and try to do whatever you have to do to stay in that calm state of mind.

On evaluating the passing game...
I'd say that it is alright we have such good athletes that we can utilize them and the ways we can on the field. We haven't even touched our potential. We have the athletes, we are going to use them in a right way. It is a work in progress and it is just the beginning for our offense. I think we are getting better each and every week and as long as we get better I think we will be ready for Big Ten play.

On how he prepares...
Just visualizing success; before you step out on the field, you just have to picture yourself making the throws, making the reads, making the runs, the main thing that I did for preparing for this was just visualizing.

On these games being an audition...
I don't really think there is any audition. With me, every time I get an opportunity I am just doing whatever I can do to help this football team win. Whether it is running the ball, throwing, creating, I am just doing whatever I can to make our team win. I know the other QBs are doing the same thing.

Michigan State senior linebacker Denicos Allen

On the importance of the defense setting the tone...
As you can see from the touchdowns we've been scoring on defense, those turnovers are a big part of our defense. That's what we've been emphasizing going into camp and coming into the season. We knew that turnovers were going to be a big factor of this team, not just the defense. It is really important to us and the coaches.

On being able to affect the opposing team's quarterbacks...
Our defensive backs have gotten a lot better and we knew our running defense was pretty good. Stopping the run and getting that pressure is important and there's not really much teams can do if we get both those things going. I think we've been doing a good job at that lately and now we're just looking to get better at it.

On being able to dictate field position...
That's definitely something else we've been emphasizing - trying to get good field position. Coaches tell us that all the time, field position wins games. If we get offense in good field position, their chances of scoring are better. It's one of the things we've been working on and it's finally showing with the sacks and turnovers. Our main goal was if we get a sack, go for the ball and I think we've been doing that.

On defensive end Shilique Calhoun's start this season...
Shilique is not your average defensive end - he's got speed. Sometimes he runs with us and he keeps up. He's a fast, athletic guy who deserves everything he's been given. He's been working hard and it's crazy to know that a defensive end has three touchdowns - it's more than a lot of players on the team.

Michigan State Sophomore Wide Receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr.

On the defining game moment for him...
Getting to start really defined the game for me. The coaches have been watching me in practice. I have been going hard - 100 percent - not only fighting for a starting spot, but to make the team better overall. I don't want to let them down. The opportunities I got I feel I made the most of and it felt good out there.

On the offense...
Offensively, we moved the ball pretty well. The running game looked good today, but we need to do a better job of capping off drives, even if it is only three points. Just capping off a drive would be a good momentum boost for us.

On the defense...
The defense - those guys are a bunch of animals. They do a great job at giving us opportunities and we just have to make the most of it.

On Shilique Calhoun's touchdowns...
Shilique has the most touchdowns on the team right now. That is crazy. It just goes to show when you work hard and practice, it pays off.

Michigan State Senior Linebacker Max Bullough

On the defense's game achievements...
It makes it fun when you cannot only play defense, but also make plays and score touchdowns. It is adding another dimension to our game on defense. I don't know if we are going to score two touchdowns every week for the whole season, but for the time being we are going to enjoy it.

On Shilique Calhoun's touchdowns...
Shilique's a good player and has always been a good player. We knew he was going to come in and make noise right away. He was young last year and the year before that, but now that he is playing, I think everyone is seeing what we have known for awhile. He is a good player.

On the defense rotation...
It just speaks to the depth we have. To be able to bring in guys, especially on the defensive line, it is tough being a defensive lineman at this level of ball. Not many guys do it. Not many guys are on the defensive line the whole game. It just shows the confidence we have in those guys.

South Florida senior quarterback Bobby Eveld

On Michigan State defensive pressure...
Well, there were a few throws that I should have made that I didn't. I think overall when you step back and look at it from a quarterback's standpoint, even if the score doesn't reflect your play, you're still going to blame yourself. I feel I could have done a lot more to help us convert on a few of those third downs or even score a few touchdowns but I didn't get the job done, so we'll check it out on tape tomorrow. We'll make our corrections and then go from there.

On team turnovers...
It's very frustrating. Obviously, you talk about not turning the ball over, period, and then having the other defense score it just kind of ruins it for you, but like I said, we'll take a look at it and get the stuff corrected that we need to get corrected. I didn't see the first fumble coming at all and I kind of felt it but, like you said, it was blind side and I don't have eyes on the back of my head, but I kind of felt it coming and I felt that I could get the ball off, so obviously I was wrong. I think we're going to be okay. I think our offense is one or two guys away. And it's not just one or two guys either - it's one guy here, one guy there. So once I think we get on the same page I think we'll be ready to go.

On not throwing to the tight end...
Like I said, they were blitzing a lot and we have built-in hot routes on some of our plays, so it's not necessarily that we're trying to keep the ball away from the tight end, definitely not. But we'll get him more involved.

South Florida junior offensive lineman Austin Reiter

General thoughts on the game...
We play to win. I thought we came out and wanted to fight adversity and we couldn't do it. We didn't come out with a win but I think as a team we came a lot closer. It's a team effort; it takes a team to win.

On team turnovers...
It's very frustrating. Coach (Taggart) always says that the people with the less mistakes, less turnovers wins the game and that was an exact example you guys got today. Offensively, we can't turn the ball over.

South Florida senior defensive end Julius Forte

General thoughts on the game...
I was just glad to be back on the field with my brothers. It was a hard-fought game; we didn't do everything that we needed to do to come out with the victory, but that's what the next game is for and that's what practice is for. It's always difficult to take a loss - no matter what the defense does, no matter what the offense does, it's always difficult to take a loss. But every game, every situation is either a blessing or a lesson, and today was definitely a lesson.

On holding the Michigan State offense to so few points...
It was definitely a large step up from last week; definitely a confidence builder for our defense. Like I said, there was a lot of work that we need to improve on.

South Florida junior wide receiver Andre Davis

On South Florida's struggles on offense...
At the beginning of the game we were moving the ball pretty good. We didn't score when we should have. My game personally, on the key third down towards the end of the game when we were down I have to make those plays. Coach (Taggart) tells me I need be that player, when they're coming to me on third downs I have to make those third down catches and keep the drive going.

On the frustration level on South Florida's offense knowing the South Florida defense was keeping them in the game...
It's most definitely heartbreaking knowing the defense played their hearts out and we keep turning the ball over and can't score when we should. We just can't turn the ball over, that's losing football.

On the number of drops by the South Florida receivers...
Drops happen, but personally I need to make those key catches on third downs. Twice on third down I dropped the ball. Those are the plays that I have to make. No excuses, I just have to make them.

On the importance of defense clicking heading into the next game...
It's very important. If we don't click, the defense can play as hard as they want and it won't matter. If you turn the ball over like we did today we won't win. We just have to come back and work hard this week try and prevent turnovers and we'll have a W.

South Florida senior running back Marcus Shaw

On providing the lone bright spot on offensive side of the ball...
I feel like I did a pretty good job but it would have felt better if we would have won. I like winning.

On whether he was motivated to face a defense that gave up only 11 rushing yards last week vs. Western Michigan...
Yes, I was very motivated I watched their defense in the film room. I watched number 40. Blocking number 40 was the big key for us.

On frustration of lack of consistency on offense...
I wouldn't call it frustration because I have faith in my coach. But it's going to take time to click.

 

 

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