Sept. 26, 2009
Final Stats |
Idaho 34, Northern Illinois 31
September 26, 2009
Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, Ill.
NIU Head Coach Jerry Kill
On whether the game was a disappointment after beating Purdue last week
"We put that game behind us on Sunday, and we went out and practiced hard. We had good practices and things of that nature. I think you had two good football teams going at it and they out-executed us. The bottom line is we played a good football team. I knew that as soon as we put the film on. Anybody can beat anybody on any given week. We are going to have this for the next eight weeks."
On Idaho's success on the rush
"They blocked better. We sit here and analyze things, but football comes down to blocking and tackling. We didn't tackle very well. It wasn't anything spectacular that they did. They just executed better. It wasn't a special game plan or anything, they just blocked better and that's why they won the game."
On Idaho's third down success
"You look at success and it really comes down to the third down. Third down conversions are so important. We kicked the ball deep and they started on the 20-yard line and we're in good shape. You make the guy make a tough pass and they just executed. We just couldn't find a way to make the play."
On finding an offensive rhythm
"Offensively in a game like this, when you get down you have to change, and I think we did a good job fighting back offensively. But we had to get out of the game plan a little bit in the third and fourth quarter. You get out of a rhythm and it's hard to get back in there."
On the size of Idaho's line
"Physically they took it to us. Physically, they are big up front, very strong up front, and physically, they've got anchors."
Alex Kube, LB
On Idaho's toughness
"Idaho was more physical than us in the beginning of the game. I don't think we came out as physical as we should have. We needed to come out ready to play. We should have been more physical in the first two quarters and not have waited until the third and fourth quarters to step it up."
On how the NIU defense tackled today
"We didn't tackle well in the first half. Coach knew we weren't ready to play by our tackling. Coach always says if you tackle and block, you're ready to play and we weren't ready in the first quarter. We felt really good coming into the game as a defense but some days you have it, some days you don't. We can't let that happen again."
On Idaho running back De'Maundray Woolridge
"He's a big boy but we do things in practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to get the linebackers and lineman ready to tackle. It doesn't matter who the running back is, we need to tackle better."
On Idaho from converting big third downs late in the game
"That's part of football. You just have to keep a smile on your face and accept the challenge. You've got to keep playing every down. Sometimes a player will make a play and you've got to get ready for the next play."
Jordan Delegal, LB
On Idaho QB Nathan Enderle's play
"Football is an emotional game and you have to deal with him making big plays on third down. Offensively, we did a great job but we could of have done better defensively."
On his blocked punt in the fourth quarter
"We practice some different calls every day in practice and the coaches put us in great positions to make plays in those situations. I just went through the scenario before the snap, executed my job, got on my horse and made the play.
Chandler Harnish, QB
On the offensive rhythm against Idaho
"I thought we were able to move the ball and score some points today. The key to the game was the fact that we had to kick field goals. We got inside the ten yard-line a few times but couldn't punch it in. We need to get better at finishing drives. If we do that, we will give ourselves a better chance to win."
On how NIU fought back to make it a close game
"We've had so many close games like this over the last couple of years. We get down early but we always come back and we work on that resiliency in practice. We came back after facing some adversity and I thought we did a great job today but we couldn't finish."
On how physical Idaho was on defense
"They are a very physical team and I wasn't surprised at all. They are a very good football team and much improved from last year. I don't think we were overlooking them at all. You have to give credit where credit is due. Their defense made plays today."
On how NIU matched up with Idaho
"They are a good football team but so are we. They came out and out-executed us. You have to give them credit, they played better than us today."
Idaho Head Coach Robb Akkey
On execution against NIU
"Their quarterback had some good runs against us, especially in the first half. I know we executed better on third down conversions, and our offense converted third downs. One thing I challenged our guys to do was to make a difference by taking control of the football. We needed to create plays on offense and I feel like we got that accomplished today. On defense we had to stop their running game, and we went out there and did that today. Our defense also stopped them on third downs. NIU is a good team, they're well coached, they play hard and I'm sure they are going to win a lot more games."
On time possession and the poise of the quarterback
"I think our quarterback is pretty good. He has two years of previous experience and he plays like a veteran. We ran the ball well, and we got some great plays in the throwing game and Nate (Enderle) was a big part of that. In the beginning of the second half, he stood his tail in the pocket and delivered the ball to some great guys. He showed poise and character today."
On making adjustments after watching the video of the Purdue game
"They ran the ball right through Purdue last week. They made a lot of big plays. We had our special teams making a big difference today, but I still think that is an area we need to show some growth in. We had a big return that Shiloh (Keo) got for us, and we need to look to get some more of those plays."
Nathan Enderle, QB
On thinking NIU might overlook Idaho after its win against Purdue
"NIU is a team that plays really hard, and when you play a team like that you can't expect them to come out and play lax mentally. They came out and played just as solid as they always do. "
On Idaho's victory today
"I think it is a big win for us. They played solid football. I think it shows our growth as a team to do what we did and come out and win today."
On holding the game at 34-31 in the last drive of the game
"I thought we were playing well on offense. I told the team to just keep doing what they're doing. We were running the ball well, and we just needed to sustain the drive for the remainder of the time."
On Enderle's 26-yard completion in the second quarter
"It was huge. We were throwing those plays all game long, and after that the plays started to go a little bit better. Our receiver got on top of it and made a big play for us, and that's all you can ask him to do."
Aaron Lavarias, DE
On claiming a victory on the road
"I have so many words to describe this feeling. I can't tell you how many times we've been on the other side of games like this. We are feeling great, and we are feeling confident in the way our program is moving. I can't wait for next week."