NIU vs. Cal Poly -- Postgame Quotes

GO HUSKIES
GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES

Sept. 24, 2011

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

NORTHERN ILLINOIS FOOTBALL 2011
Cal Poly vs. Northern Illinois – September 24, 2011
Huskie Stadium – DeKalb, Illinois

NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren Quotes

On running the ball effectively today…
“It’s huge. One, it’s the mindset of our team. We want to be able to run the football and be a downhill team. It makes Chandler’s job easier, when he has a run game, to be a passing quarterback. It keeps our defense off the field; we won the time of possession today. When you run the ball and get off the field on third down, you’re going to be okay in that category. And we were today.”

On the defense’s hot start…
“At the beginning of the game through the first half, I was really proud of the way the defense started and did some things. They started with a three-and-out and a sack – that’s a big deal, to start off fast like that.”

On getting back on the winning end…
“There were a lot of things we wanted to do better, that we wanted to get off the film and put on the film. And I feel like we did that today. Now we just have to go back to work and have the same kind of week we did last week. That’s the reason we played well. Now we have to come back and do it again.”

On being done with facing untraditional offenses…
“Defensively, they’ll be happy to start seeing normal offenses and playing against traditional stuff. I know Central Michigan is along those lines. It’ll be good to get into a groove now; to start playing teams that these guys are familiar with. They know their personnel, and a lot of our coaches have coached in this league. Just to get into routine of playing teams you’re familiar with week in and week out, is going to be a good taste for these guys.”

On Tommy Lee Lewis’ debut…
“I was sick of trying to stop him in practice on the scout team. I think we needed a boost on our return team and these guys will tell you – he plays hard, he’s relentless, he’s from a great program, and he’s hungry. With the jet system we have offensively, it creates an issue. Not only do they know they have to have a guy there, they have to have a guy who can tackle him in space. And that opens up the inside rushing lanes. On returns, every time he touches it, it’s going to be exciting. The guys are going to block hard for him.”

On Ronnie Lott inspiring the team this week…
“Ronnie’s son is a student at NIU, and Ronnie’s good friends with Dennis Barsema. Dennis gave me a heads up earlier in the year that Ronnie would be in town for a couple games. I asked Ronnie as a favor if he’d be interested in talking to the guys. It just worked out timing-wise where he was coming in to see his son the same time we were playing a home game. The timing couldn’t have been better for what we were preaching during the week. To me, he exemplifies the game. The passion he played with, the pride he had, how selfless he was, and how physical he was as a player.”

Northern Illinois Player Quotes

Senior quarterback Chandler Harnish

On picking apart the defense when the running game is working…
“It’s so easy.  Really it’s because we have great wide receivers that will go get the ball, and teams have to play soft coverage if they want to get their safeties in the box to stop the run.  So it’s very easy, and that’s what we need to do.  That’s what our offense is built on.”

On breaking George Bork’s touchdown record…
“I didn’t even know until coach Doeren told me.  I’m very proud, but I think George might be a little upset with me. George is a great guy, a great player, and a legend.  He’ll never be forgotten here, but I’m very proud.”

On beginning the MAC schedule…
“This is when it really matters. Our goal is to win a MAC Championship and it starts next week with Central Michigan. In my eyes, I’ve already put this game behind me and I’m thinking about Central because we have to take every game, one game at a time and I’ve never won at Central. That’s big for me, I want to go in there and put it to them and we have to start focusing. We’re going to enjoy this win, but we need to go out there and play with a bang right away if we want to do the things we set goals for.”

Senior running back Jasmin Hopkins

On the running game’s success…
“We were just trying to get that sour taste out of our mouth, get back into the run game and make it easier for Chandler (Harnish) and the passing game. We needed to get our downhill mentality back and going.”  

Senior linebacker Pat Schiller

On Ronnie Lott talking to the team before the game…
“The whole week we were watching videos and the word of the week was “pride” and taking pride in this team and what we do both on and off the field. We were watching YouTube videos on Ronnie Lott and how he exemplified that on the field and how he was a ruthless player. He was not only a big hitter, but a student of the game and a finesse player as well. He showed up to our team meeting and he’s one of the best to ever play the game and his position. So I think that fired the team and myself up.  We were definitely ready after that.”

On the defense struggling statistically…
“We pride ourselves on being a great defense and it’s happened the past few years, and I won’t accept anything less than greatness out of our defense.” 

Cal Poly Head Coach Tim Walsh

On preparation for NIU…
“We had the opportunity to see them play Army, which was a bad thing. They did a couple things different than we thought they would do and we’re different in that we run some different shotgun stuff. The bottom-line thing on offense is, when we execute the way it is supposed to be executed and we get a feel for what the opponents are doing to us, it’s a tough offense to stop. We have some guys who can do great things, but we didn’t do enough in the first half.”

On big penalties early…
“We can’t play the game 1st and 25. We play the game at that level and we got called for two illegal blocks. They saw it and they were good calls that put us in the hole. That’s a tough one we couldn’t afford to do against this team, especially the way they were playing early.”

On NIU’s relentless offensive attack…
“Those six or seven guys they have up front are good players. They were a load for us. We aren’t the biggest team in the United States. We played at a good pad level against Montana and South Dakota State running the ball, but these guys play at a different pad level. As good as their backs are and as good as their quarterback is, I think that those guys up front deserve a lot of credit.”

On the keys to NIU coming out on top…
“I told people (that) if they are able to run the ball, they’ll be able to throw the ball because you have to commit so much to their run game. The difference in the game is they were able to come out and establish the run game. They got into a pace and comfort zone, which we kind of got on offense in the second half and our defense played better, too, and before we knew it, it was 13-0. With what we do on offense, it is tough for us to get back into games against a team like that. 13-points? Tough. We weren’t going to give up the game up. We were going to fight the fight, and that’s what I’m proud of.”

On what NIU did differently…
“They did some things that took us a minute to figure out what was going to be good for us. By that time, we were losing 13-0 and penalties took us out of what we really wanted to do early in the game. The result was three punts early and no punts the rest of the game. Offensively, for three quarters we played pretty good. Defensively, two quarters. Against a team like that, it is going to take four quarters.”




 

 

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