September 27, 2010

Postgame Quotes: Northwestern

Look below for postgame quotes as CMU head coach Dan Enos, LB Nick Bellore and QB Ryan Radcliff reflect on the Chippewas 30-25 loss to Northwestern on Saturday.


Opening statement

"First I just want to congratulate Coach Fitzgerald and his team, they out executed us for the majority of the game and we were disappointed, we kind of had a lull there in the third quarter amd we didn't play very well. We lost our composure a little bit and they did a great job in the third quarter and the game got away. Really proud of the way we battled back, but we had our chances to stay in the game and take leads at times, and we were not able to do it. And part of that is what they did too, and they're a good football team. Their quarterback, he'a a great player, and I'll tell you what, he made plays on third down the entire afternoon. He's tough, accurate and he's a good football player. So we definitely compliment them, and like I told our guys, there is nothing to be embarrassed about by coming in and losing 30-25 to that team."

On CMU's offensive issues in the third quarter

"You know, I think it was more that we didn't execute. They (Northwestern defense) were really doing the same stuff they were doing in the first half, and they are probably going to tell you they did it a little better, and we're going to tell you that we didn't execute. So you can look at it from either side, we're going to look at it that we didn't execute and they're going to say the did better."

On whether the defense was tiring as a result of being on the field so much in the third quarter

"Yeah, absolutely. We didn't put them in a good position by allowing the quarter to get so long for them. And we have to do better than that, but again in the fourth quarter we really came back and it's such a game of momentum, and they had it for the third quarter and I felt like we got it back. In the first half it just felt like it was back and fourth the whole time, but at the end of that day that one quarter cost us."

On where CMU goes in the kicking game after the issues in Saturday's game and the Chippewas missed field goals and extra points

"I don't know, that's a great question. We're really going to have to evaluate the kicking game and see where we're going to be. I haven't seen the tape, but it looked liked the kicks were real low regardless of the protection. Richie Hogan is injured and Paul Mudgett is injured, so we're just going to have to find a way. And the players know what I mean, but we're going to have to blue vase it, and that's kind of been our slogan to find a way."

On what thing the team was looking to accomplish in this game

"We thought it was going to be a game where we couldn't turn the ball over and we wanted to rush for over 100 yards, and we didn't do either. And we're 0-2 when we don't rush for over a 100 yards. So we need to get better at running the ball and when they got a little bit of a lead, it kind of took usout of our balance. But the one thing we told the team is we played with great effort the whole day, we kept fighting, and the big thing we told our players is that we had too many penalties. Too many defensive penalties and you just put yourself at such a disadvantage."

On Armond Staten replacing Alex Smith at one of the linebacker positions

"Armond has been playing really well, and their both going to play, but with Armond, I give him a lot of credit. He lost his job and then he got an opportunity and he won it back, so as a coach you love to see that because he didn's pout or feel sorry for himself, he just kept working. And we try to tell these guys all the time, everyone is going to get an opportunity, and some of you are going to get more than one, so stay working and keep a positive attitude."

On A.J. Westendop's transition from quarterback to backup tight end

"I don't think he imagined his second year to be the second tight end to go into the game. But once again, it's a guy with a great attitude and he came to us, he missed most of fall camp because of an ankle injury, but he came to us and said: 'Coach I want to be on the field, and is there anyway you can use me?' And we used him as our second tight end this week after Connor Odykirk got injured during practice, so we actually only came here with two tight ends."

On his feelings about the team's 2-2 start

"Optimistic. Very optimistic. At the end of the day, you want to win every game you play as a coach and as a player. But when you look out there, and when we see the film, we're going to see a lot of really good things too. We're going to continue to get guys back. Every day Nick Bellore continues to get healthier and healthier and close to back to 100 percent. Ryan Radcliff, every week, is in situations that he has not been in since high school. The guy competes, and we're proud he's on our team, and he's going to continue to get better every week."

On the status of backup safety Danny Bolden

"Right now he is suspended for a violation of team rules and we're going to take that week by week."

Linebacker Nick Bellore

On Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa and his ability to make plays outside of the pocket

"I would have to say he is the fastest quarterback I have ever played against. You don't always encounter it, but he would take it out and scramble, and it was really hard to catch him. He's a great player, and not only that, I think he makes a lot of plays throwing the ball and one of the better quarterbacks I've played against in college."

On the play of the defense

"I don't think we played the game we wanted to play. Obviously we didn't execute, and they executed to a 't.'"

On whether the defense was tiring in the third quarter

"I think we've always been in really good shape. It was more about us not executing. I don't think anyone was really getting tired out there."

On his interception

"It's always surprising to see the ball thrown to you. I got a little lucky on a play-action there. I didn't want to run too much on this ankle, so I was a little tentative on the return, but it was obviously good to get a turnover in the red zone there."

Quarterback Ryan Radcliff

On how he would evaluate his play against Northwestern

"I don't know that I made too much progress today. I might have taken a step or two back at some times. It was a different situation here, a different atmosphere, so it was good to get exposed to it, but once again I'm disappointed with how it turned out. We're a team though. We're going to learn from it, we're going to go watch the film, everyone's going to rally around each other and we're going to be ready next week."

On his interception in the third quarter

"I had my eyes somewhere else and they brought a zone blitz and dropped the defensive end. Like I said I had my eyes somewhere and was making my read off of that, and by the time I was ready to throw it, it was almost released and there he was. I'll learn from it. It was obviously a rough position to put our defense in."

On the performance of Kito Poblah

"I've got all the confidence in the world in Kito. He's a senior receiver, he's a smart player, he knows how to get open. He's not afraid to go up and get the ball either, so there's going to be some times that I just have to put the ball up there and I know he's going to do his job and go get it."

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