Northern Illinois-Eastern Illinois Postgame Quotes



Sept. 21, 2013

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NIU vs. Eastern Illinois - Sept. 21, 2013
Huskie Stadium - DeKalb, Ill.

Postgame Quotes - NIU Head Coach Rod Carey

On the defense's performance...
"You know, our defense was very opportunistic.  Three takeaways tonight; had some key stops when they had to. You know when you play a guy of that caliber, he's going to make some key plays. I was, overall, happy with defense."

On NIU's offensive performance...
"I was pretty happy with how we scored, how we ran the ball and how we moved the ball pretty much all night."

On how they went about stopping EIU's offense after the first half...
"We tried to slow down the run first. That was the first thing we had to do because you've got to get a player of that caliber in situations where he's going to pass, and then you can get after him some."

On the fans...
"Isn't that good to feel? I mean, that's unbelievable. I was so happy. I'm proud of our fans. I mean that's what we had in the Orange Bowl. We had it again here tonight. The expectations are we're going to have it every time we're home. I was so proud of our students and our community coming together like that."

On the defensive play versus Garoppolo...
"He's going to be playing on Sundays. So we made some good adjustments to go ahead and shut him down. I'm really pleased with the defense from an adjustment standpoint and being opportunistic."

Eastern Illinois Head Coach Dino Babers

Opening Remarks....
"Obviously, Northern Illinois, what a fine team; MAC Champions, I thought they represented themselves well. I thought they were well prepared and it was one heck of a football game. Unfortunately, we had to come in on the short side of it. I thought it was an excellent game and I thought it was well played on both sides." 

On Eastern's Illinois' fast start....
"We could've gotten 21. That would've been better. We knew we were playing a good football team. We knew we needed to start fast. We thought that would be the best thing for our team - to let them know that we're going to go after this thing. We also knew that there was a certain number that we had to hit if we realistically thought we could win the game. We didn't hit the mark that we were shooting for, but I thought it was a way for us to start fast and give us a chance."

On how much of EIU's strategy keeping the ball out of Jordan Lynch's hands was...
"Not at all. Mr. Lynch can have it as much as he wants. As long as we get our opportunity after he scores, we're fine with it."

On Eastern Illinois' strategy to go for it on fourth down...
"Coming into the game, some fan told me that we were 17-point dogs. I figured we were going to have to make up the 17 points some kind of way, so I though that going for it on fourth down a couple of times might be a good idea."

On there being any sense of a moral victory for Eastern...
"You play the game to win and we did not win. We know that we played a quality opponent and we know that some of the mistakes we made on our part were because of what they were doing on the defensive side of the ball. You guys have an excellent football team. We knew we were playing up a level. We knew we were playing a champion. We knew they wouldn't quit. We wanted to get the game into the fourth quarter and have a chance to win it. As far as that goal went, we had an opportunity to win it."



Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo

On the Eastern offense slowing down after the fast start...
"We got stalled up once we were up 20. They got a good pass rush after us. They were only rushing a couple guys and got after me. There were some bad decisions on our part. They're fixable things for next week."

On how hard it is to lose after getting out to a dream start...
"We killed ourselves. We made some dumb decisions throughout the end of the first half. We picked it up in the second half, but we can't stall like that and be successful."

On the importance of this game being an opportunity for Eastern to show what it could do against this level of competition...
"This is the best team we'll face all year in my opinion. They're a tremendous defense. They have some good athletes out there. They're good."

On his performance...
"There's a two on there: two interceptions. That's never a good night. I've got a lot of things I can fix up for next weekend and I'm going to do that."

Northern Illinois Players

Jimmie Ward
"It was an emotional game. The crowd gave us a lot of enthusiasm. In those tough breaks, the crowd was out there to help us out."

"Our defense has a lot composure. After the 20-0 start (for Eastern Illinois), coach made some corrections and then we went out there and played ball."

On Wide Receiver Eric Lora...

"I wanted to challenge him. Our coaches always talk up good receivers. They say `If they have a good wide receiver, go up and challenge him.'"

"Coach talked about that we need to finish the fight. I think we need to start the fight and finish it."

Keith Harris Jr.
"Our running game had a lot of success thanks to the offensive line. We just lowered our shoulder and kept it going."

"We have a certain mentality when it comes to games. We have to get a certain amount of rushing yards to please our offensive line."

Cameron Stingily
"I have to give a lot of praise to our offensive line. If I can get into their secondary without being touched, that's at least four yards right there."

"When we were down 20, it didn't phase me. There are four quarters of football to play."

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