Oct. 25, 2008
Final Stats |
October 25, 2008
Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green State
Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, Ill.
Northern Illinois Head Coach Jerry Kill
"Today's win was yet another tremendous team effort--especially in the second half. When our passing game was struggling, we knew we had to shorten the game by keeping the ball on the ground in the second half. We had three critical possessions in the second half, and we managed to score on all three by running the ball."
On the performance of the special teams (2 punt blocks):
"Our special teams scheme goes back to when I coached at Southern Illinois. Back then, we committed to developing a great special teams squad as we refused to be beat by poor special teams play. I think that same mentality and toughness has carried over well to NIU.
"Punt blocks can only be attributed to hard work and toughness, and Spencer Williamson (Jr. safety) and Landon Cox (So. wide receiver) did a great job of getting off the ball and getting their hands up to block the punts."
On the performance of the defense:
"The entire defense is definitely playing hard, as we are playing a lot of people. However, switching the personnel so often allows us to have fresh legs on the field late in the game. Even though we gave up more yards than we would like, the defense was successful because the offense did a good job of controlling the ball.
"No doubt there are still little things we need to improve on fundamentally, but I'm confident we will get better."
Northern Illinois Player Quotes:
Chandler Harnish, Quarterback
On his rushing today:
"I'm a bit sore but it felt great to run that much. The line did a great job all day, especially in the second half."
On the passing game:
"I just didn't do well today. It was mostly me, the wind wasn't a factor at all. I was just off. The coaches did a great job at making adjustments at half."
On the defense:
"They did what they've been doing all year. The defense saved us today and did a great job. We struggled as an offensive group but the defense picked us up. That is when you know you have a good team, when one side of the ball picks up the other."
Craig Rusch, Defensive end
On the defense:
"We are coming together as a family. We're a very close knit group. That allows us to fall off each other, we always pick each other up. Today, we were happy to be able to set the tone. It's what we wanted to do as a team defense.
On the defensive rotation:
"Everyone on the team is confident in whoever is listed in the two deeps. We can all make plays. Up front, we are always fresh with the rotations we have. It saves us from injuries."
On the win:
"Every win is big. We practice hard all week to win, no matter who we're playing. We all know what is on the line in the last few weeks of the year. We're never gonna take a play off."
Mike Salerno, Kicker
On the game winning kick:
"I keep all kick the same. There was no extra pressure that I felt, it is my job to make the kicks for this team. During the (Bowling Green) timeout I went to get that extra kick in. It just helps me to stay focused.
Landon Cox, Wide Receiver
On his punt block:
"It was set up to be a return. I just got pressure off the edge. The coaches always tell us to make a play and be a difference maker. I wanted to be that guy today."
Me'co Brown, Running Back
On the defense:
"They make us feel better. We have the utmost confidence in them. They make big plays and stops when they need to."
On his third down reception in the fourth quarter:
"It was a check down route, I either go up field, or go towards the boundaries. I caught the ball, lowered my shoulder and got the first."
On his performance today:
"It's nice to get carries. All the backs we have are explosive, so we really don't know who's going to play. I couldn't have done it without the line today. I have the easy job on the team, the line does all the hard work."
Bowling Green State Head Coach Gregg Brandon
"Good football team. They're winning games. They're smart. They're rushing the football. Good kicking game. Two blocked punts today. We didn't protect our punter and that got us in the end. That was the field position that got them the opportunity to kick the football. They do a good job with it. They controlled the clock. That's the least number of plays I think we've ever run since I've been here. They had the ball for 10 minutes in the third quarter, it makes it tough to score."
On what went wrong:
"We'll have to look at the film. I can tell you right now we just missed some tackles. The kid [Chandler Harnish] ran hard. He got going and it took more than one to get him down and we didn't have enough.
"We struggled to stop the quarterback from running the football in the second half. The kid did a nice job. We missed some tackles. Two key third downs there in the third quarter. We could have got off the field."
On today's game:
"We knew it was going to be a tough defensive football game just going in. To have a chance in the fourth quarter like we did and a tough environment on the road, we had a chance to win a game. I've said that a couple of times this year and haven't been able to finish in the fourth quarter and this is another example of that. We didn't finish in the fourth quarter."
Bowling Green Player Quotes:
PJ Mahone, Defensive Back
"I think the quarterback was making good plays with his feet ... We made some adjustments at halftime but it was just too many tackles and we couldn't, didn't get it done."
Jeff Fink, Offensive Line
"Very good defense, the best defensive ends I have played against ... they played fairly quick and they played hard."
"As far as I'm concerned we'll show up to work tomorrow and get ready to go. I don't know what happened today. You're never out of it until you're out of it. Come ready to play. We have four more games left and there isn't going to be anything different. Just play hard."