Sept. 17, 2011
Box Score |
Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald
(Ref.: putting in QB Trevor Siemian)
"We just really felt like it might give us a shot in the arm. He has been practicing well and we weren't having quite
the success that we thought we could have throwing the ball so we made changes."
(Ref.: playing against the option)
"We had to beat two teams today. We had to beat ourselves and we had to beat Army. Penalties, we can't have
that, and when we beat ourselves that way it makes it real difficult. It shortened the field for them a little bit. The
difference in the game was Trent Steelman. We had him wrapped up at times and he still was able to fight through
for extra yards. You have to give that young man credit and you have to give their coaches a ton of credit and their
program. They stuck to their plan. We thought if we could convert third downs we would be able to possess the ball
and obviously we did not do that. So now our defense is out there way too long. Especially the first couple drives of
both halves. We had a chance to get off the field on both of those drives, and we didn't do that."
(Ref.: Army's success on third down)
"They executed. They do what they do and they do it extremely well. You can see a week ago how improved they
are - the ball was on the ground only twice today. That was it. Last week they put the ball on the ground 10 times.
You have to give them credit, they executed. We had the chance to get one more turnover, and we only got one, and
on top of that we don't convert any points and we lose yards. We just didn't play good team football today. That's
my responsibility. I thought we were ready to play, we just didn't execute very well. We have to coach our guys
better next time."
Northwestern Player Quotes
Sophomore QB Kain Colter
(Ref.: level of preparation)
"First off, I just want to say I solely take the loss today. I 100 percent feel that was my fault today. I didn't complete
the passes I needed to complete. I just didn't put points on the board. I didn't help my team, just had a really bad
game. I take the blame for that. Life's about responding so I'm going to bust my butt to come back and prove that I
can play when the team needs me. It's a pretty lowly feeling. Trevor (Siemian) went in there and did a great job. I
didn't play to the expectations that I should have and didn't help my team so they put Trevor in there and he did a
"We knew we weren't going to get a lot of possessions. They handled the clock very well. We had to have great
possessions and put points on the board and we didn't do that. They converted many third downs and we had a lot of
three-and-outs, you just can't beat a team like that. A lot of props to Army, they played very well on defense and we
didn't take advantage of opportunities that we had."
Senior WR Jeremy Ebert
(Ref.: spark after scoring second touchdown)
"I thought it gave us a little spark, a little energy. We were a little flat on the sidelines. I was hoping it did, it felt
like it did."
(Ref.: missed opportunity not going 3-0 into the bye week)
"Definitely, but hats off to Army. They out-executed us. They out-played us today so credit to them and their
Trevor Siemian, sophomore, quarterback
(Ref.: what happened when you were called in)
"Coach Mack (Mike McCall) came up to me and said get loose. We pretty much got what we expected, what we
were working on in practice all week."
Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
"Our coaches did a great job of calling that game and adjusting in that game as it went because the game stayed in
doubt throughout. It was really hard fought."
(Ref.: what the win means to the program)
"We talked about that if we were going to have the season we want, not that we're going to, but we have a chance
now. We needed one of these three. We've grown each week, and they've been able to stay together. We got our
nose bloodied a couple times, and we struggled doing some things, but we stayed together and we believed in
ourselves. We were fortunate. Make no mistake -- that was a hard-fought game. There are 10,000 plays out there
that could have gone either way. We just got one more than they did. That's all that it came down to. I want to give
them a tremendous amount of credit. We know what it feels like now. We know what it feels like to step on the field
and play an opponent like that and come away with a win. We proved last week we could get on the field and be
competitive and stand in there, and this week we proved we can finish it."
(Ref.: Trent Steelman's performance)
"Trent continues to be hugely productive, which he needs to be as the quarterback in this offense. We want more.
He's doing a great job. He's making plays, but he's not satisfied and we're not satisfied. There is still more there.
We're going to keep finding that next play."
(Ref.: the defense's growth)
"There are an awful lot of guys out there playing meaningful reps. They came out of the first games thinking, `Hey,
I can do this.' They're playing the game now as opposed to thinking, `Wow. I'm playing the game.' They've settled
in. We're still in a little over our head, but again, the coaches put a neat plan together. They played it on the edge.
We weren't trying to defend everything on every snap. We were anticipating, and sometimes they got us, but we got
them one more."
(Ref.: Malcolm Brown and Raymond Maples' performance)
"They had some great touches today. On some of those option plays, it's getting the ball kicked, but we blocked
the perimeter better at times. When we blocked the perimeter well, Trent was operating well and we got that ball
pitched. I love the way Raymond is starting to finish runs - when it looks like it's going to be two yards, it's four
yards. You don't see those things. It's kind of ho-hum, another four yards, but it keeps the ball in our hands and
gives us another chance. Malcolm is showing he's that guy that can get us some chunks. He can shorten the field."
(Ref.: the Army offensive line)
"You saw a lot of those balls on the perimeter. If you slow that down, you'll see we ask our tackles to do an awful
lot of stuff. The play inside, we were good enough, physical enough and consistent enough that we got them leaning.
The guys we're going to be the proudest of, I suspect, are our offensive tackles. I thought the tackles as the game
went along, really played well down the stretch when we needed them."
(Ref.: holding Northwestern to 115 rushing yards)
"It wasn't just the d-line. It's the linebackers. We're firing strong safeties. We've got our free safety locked down.
When you try to defend an offense that uses their quarterback's legs as aggressively as they do, we need to play with
all 11 guys. We don't have anyone playing center field a lot of that game. I thought it was a masterful job by our
coaches of managing that game as we went along. We gave them just enough to keep them off balance. They got us
once, but we were on the edge. That's what it was going to take to slow that bunch down."
(Ref.: the first scoring drive)
"We'd like to can those things. Your opponent doesn't always cooperate. What we do is unique enough that it's hard
for our opponent to prepare in the practice environment. We took advantage of that a couple of times and did some
things that are just hard to prepare for in practice. I thought they did a great job of defending some things better as
the game went on. They adjusted well, not just within their system, but how they played things. They were giving us
fits. We did a nice job of counterpunching and just having enough of a wrinkle to keep them on their heels until we
caught them with something."
Army Player Quotes
Junior QB Trent Steelman
(Ref: impact the first drive had on the setting the tone for the game)
"Our main goal for this game was to come out strong and make a statement about the attack offense.
That's what we did. These guys, Will Wilson and the entire offensive line, the skill backs and wide
receivers, they played their butts off all game. They blocked until they couldn't block anymore. You
watched us go. I was telling somebody before that I was almost in tears after that last touchdown just
because of the amount of hard work and the amount of guts it took to put that drive together."
Junior LB Nate Combs
(Ref: defense's mindset on the final stand)
"Growing up as a defensive player, you want that. You want the weight on your shoulders after the
offense punches it in. That's our time to get hyped. That's what we did as a defensive unit. We knew
it was our time to shine. Everybody's been saying `defense this' and `defense that.' I think tonight, we
proved ourselves and found our identity. We found a vision tonight, and I hope we build on that energy. It
was a lot of fun."
(Ref.: holding off Northwestern's big offensive line)
"It was a lot of fun. It was a lot harder blitzing the `A' gaps, but it's all technique. We've been working
on assignments all week. Coach (John) Mumford and the staff really worked with me and A-Rod
(Andrew Rodriguez) this week on the details. That's what it took this game, getting used to and adapting
to the big offensive linemen."
Junior C Will Wilson
(Ref: how he felt at center today)
"It was great. Our biggest thing this week was capitalizing on the mistakes we made last week. All we can
do is open up holes and the quarterbacks and the backs can make the plays. It's exciting when we make a
play and get a 30-yard gain on it."
Senior LB Steve Erzinger
(Ref.: what the win means to the program)
"I think it's an excellent win for our program. They (Northwestern) are an excellent ball club and well-
respected, which is why we took the game so seriously like we always do. It's a great thing for our entire
team. The first game (at Northern Illinois) we had trouble playing on the edge and the second game (vs.
San Diego State), we had some trouble with knowing our assignments. Now, we put it all together and are
getting that experience in this ball club to show what we're capable of. Obviously, it builds confidence
against a good team like this, and we're just excited about it."