NIU-Ball State Post Game Quotes
Nov. 15, 2011
NORTHERN ILLINOIS FOOTBALL 2011
Northern Illinois Head Coach Dave Doeren
On being down 17 points
"I went up and down the sideline when we were down by 17. I said, `Hey, we've been here before. Everyone just keep doing what you're doing, have faith, and we're going to win.' Guys had to make plays, and they made plays."
On making mistakes
"In the first half, I thought our seniors didn't make the plays they normally make. We turned some stuff over. Same guys that had the turnovers - Chandler had a hell of a second half, Nate Palmer had that play to get us going with the bubble for a touchdown. Those are the guys that turned it over in the first. That's what you have to do when you make mistakes; you have to come back and make up for them . And that's what our guys did tonight."
On Harnish's fumble
"Nobody panicked, nobody flinched. He was disappointed in himself. I mean, I heard him on the sideline say, `I screwed up, I'll make up for it.' That's what we do. That's what our team is. We're tough guys, we're blue collar guys. We make mistakes - myself included. We're going to own up to them, take pride in fixing it, and being accountable.
On Ball State's fake punt
"They had done that earlier in the year with a different punter. It was good execution by them. Obviously, we needed to be more sound than we were right there. It was a good call by them."
On moving forward
"Our guys are excited to be playing on the day after Thanksgiving for a chance to return to Detroit. We'll have 10 days to get ready for a very good Eastern Michigan team. I know they'll be very excited for that challenge. Just very proud to be their coach; I know they're proud to be Huskies right now."
Northern Illinois Quarterback Chandler Harnish
On the early fumble
"There were a lot of things going through my head; we were about ready to score and they score. I thought man what a bone-headed move. I felt terrible but at the same time I was going to put it on my shoulders, and it was my job to get the offense going."
On having some crazy games this year
"We've got some scars because we lost some tough games early in the year, but those scars are what make us who we are right now. We've been through some tough losses and we don't want to feel that again. We have to play better so it's not so interesting."
On Ball State's Defense
"I'd like to give credit to Ball State's defense; they played hard and we got out of rhythm. We had to get away from our game plan a little bit. They had us in some tough situations."
Northern Illinois Wide Receiver Martel Moore
On coming back from injury
"It's was great coming back, but as you've seen in the past two weeks, we have some great receivers and we all do our job. We have to work together to get to that championship."
Northern Illinois Kicker Matt Simms
On the game-winning kick
"I was just happy that I could help my team. The whole team got me into position to do my job. That's just what I have to do; I have to get it through the uprights. That was the first time ever I got a game winning kick, high school or college. It was just like any other kick, just take a swing and kick it and the holder got it down and the offensive line blocked for me."
Ball State Head Coach Pete Lembo
On the game overall
"I would like to congratulate Coach Doeren and his team. (They are) really an impressive football team with many athletes. They play with a lot of confidence and they certainly deserve to be where they are at. I thought our guys gave very good effort tonight. We didn't tackle quite well enough to win the game and we didn't connect on enough passes to win the game. We certainly had enough shots. We were aggressive and we stepped up to the plate tonight and swung the bat tonight. We were exposed in space a few times on the defensive side. On the offensive side, we just needed to stay on the field a little longer and make plays, but we didn't get that done."
On making adjustments for Chandler Harnish
"He certainly came out with a lot of fire in the second half. Our guys were in position a number of times and made good plays. There were other times where we missed tackles. We gave up some big plays."
On the Scott Kovanda fake punt
"We came in prepared. Our players knew that we had a good chance of running it tonight."
On the fast start
"To go down and score early, then make a couple turnovers on the defensive side - of course, the one that Josh (Howard) ran back for a touchdown - was great to see. It allowed us to hang in there early in the game."
On growing the program and if there is a lesson learned from this loss"We have a lot to learn and a long way to go until we become a program like the one we just played. Sometimes, you need to be in these situations where sometimes you break through and sometimes you don't. We certainly won more than our fair share of close games this year. This particular one, we didn't make enough plays down the stretch to get it done."
On whether BSU had a safe lead while up 17
"No. The caliber of the athletes, you're never comfortable against this team. We're very realistic about where we're at. We have to play next to perfect to beat people like this and we came close, but that doesn't get us anywhere. Hopefully, we will learn from this. I don't think this was a situation where there was any lack of effort or lack of preparation by our coaches or our players. I just think we played a really good team tonight that has some very good athletes across the board. We put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win it. We dug deep and pulled out all the stops to make it happen and, in the end, they were able to make more plays down the stretch than we did."
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