Nov. 12, 2008
Northern Illinois vs. Central Michigan
November 12, 2008
Huskie Stadium DeKalb, Ill.
CMU 33, NIU 30
Northern Illinois Head Coach Jerry Kill
On the game
"Its just one of those things where we had a good opportunity to win the game and we had to make a big play at the end in order to get that done. We did everything we did in order to get back into the game and we hung in there. I think that when most people saw us going in at halftime they thought that this one was over. But, what is good about that locker room is the kids listen as they always have. They have bought into everything that we have told them and we went back to the basics. I thought the kids and the coaches did a great job in the second half. In was tremendous in a lot of ways and a great second half."
On thoughts during halftime
"I told the kids at halftime to forget the scoreboard, forget what everybody else is saying, we just need to focus on getting better in the second half. If we do that, we would be in the game at the end. And we were. We just needed to get some confidence with the ball and do everything we could do to get back into the game."
On the onside kicks
"All the things that we do early in the game like that we practice all the time. You have to create ways to win the game sometimes. As a team, we did everything that we could to get back into the game, which we ultimately did."
On the overall effort as a team
"Our kids played as hard as they could and they never gave up. (Central Michigan) was stronger up front and that is what did it for them. Give them the credit."
Mike Sobol, SS
On onside kick recoveries
"Mike Salerno is great with onsides. He's always perfect in practice and we had the outmost confidence in him. I have the easiest job out of everyone on the field, all I have to do is catch the ball. Pat Schiller and Landon Cox are the cleanup guys and knockout the first person they see. We had perfect execution on both of them."
Chandler Harnish, QB
On the game
"Despite the outcome, tonight was the most fun game I've ever been a part of. They had the momentum the entire first half but we were able to claw back and get the momentum in the second half. It was a total team effort out there. The loss hits you hard in the stomach. But we did a lot of good things and we're going to build on this game and win the next two."
On his overtime interception
"We were running the vertical route the entire game. I thought I had Britt Davis with open space. I really did not see the defensive back. The DB made a great play on the ball."
Matt Simon, WR
On the game
"Harnish said it right. We came out flat but the special teams were able to give us the momentum back. Chandler was able to make plays in the second. I'm disappointed in the results, but at the same time I'm proud of how we clawed our way back to make it a game."
On his fourth down reception late in the game
"The coaches tell us over and over again to make a play. I saw Chandler roll out so I broke off my route and tried to make a play. Chandler made a great throw."
On his success against Central Michigan
"For me it's just another game and unfortunately another loss. I prepare for this team exactly like I do for any other."
Central Michigan Head Coach Butch Jones
On tonight's win
"Obviously, great win. I think anytime you go on the road and win, it is a great win. Our kids believed we would win. We suffered in the second half, but nobody stopped believing and there was no doubt we were going to get the win when we went into overtime."
On Northern Illinois' onside kicks
"Their kicker does a great job, not everyone in the country can kick it on side like that. He makes it so difficult because he skips the ball into the ground and then it pops up and then it is anyone's ball. Hats off to them as they play to win a football game, we just made one more play than they did at the end."
On this season's difficulty
"I think it shapes you. It molds you, teaches everyone in your program to persevere. Sometimes a win like this is better than winning it big all the time because our kids are tested. They have not wavered, they have not flinched, I just cannot say enough about the perseverance and leadership we have amongst all of our players."
Dan LeFevour, QB, CMU
On Northern Illinois
"They are a tough physical football team that plays hard. That is something that has stuck out about them is that they play hard."
On his offensive line
"I have a lot of confidence in the front five. When those guys are on we can do pretty much anything. We knew NIU's defense was tough but it was going to come down to who won up front."
Andrew Aguila, PK, CMU
On the final kick
"I try it just as another a kick. You just try to go out there and not think that game is on the line. Just kick it straight and hopefully it goes through."