Northern Illinois-Eastern Michigan Post Game Quotes

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Nov. 25, 2011

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

NORTHERN ILLINOIS FOOTBALL 2011

Eastern Michigan vs. Northern Illinois – November 25, 2011

Huskie Stadium – DeKalb, Illinois

 

EMU Head Coach Ron English

On what did in EMU today

“I thought it was a good, hard-nosed football game that was played today. It doesn’t come down to one play. It is really a culmination of plays. We had a chance on Chandler, we missed a tackle and he scored. That’s what happened.”

On whether the offensive line broke down on the two sacks during final drive

“It was a combination of things. I try not to guess because I can’t see from where I was standing exactly what happened. There was some coverage there and we didn’t block it up.”

On the close loss

“I’ve been in this for 20 years and I told our kids this: ‘We have to be good in November to win and you cannot allow yourself to not take advantage of opportunities.’ You saw there were some open guys in there. We dropped passes that were wide open, hit the guy in the hands. Our month of November has been like that. We just did not make the plays we had to make to win at the end of the year.”

On just coming short of going to a bowl

“I've been through this before and I don’t look at it like that. For example, today, we had two penalties. We had been penalized a bunch. I continue to look at this thing as progress. It’s frustrating, yes, but we have some great seniors in there who didn’t quit on us. Our senior class is 16 strong-willed, terrific young men and I am proud of them. I’m just looking forward to continuing to move forward.”

On the final EMU play

“That’s a tough catch. The ball’s exposed. His back’s exposed and it’s a bang-bang play. It’s a hard catch because where they hit him and how the ball is exposed. A lot of people are never going to make that catch. Garrett Hoskins has some of the best hands on our team. It just so happens he was involved in a couple plays like that.”


 

 

On limiting NIU’s pass offense and Chandler Harnish

“I think we gave them some looks and stuff, but I don’t know if we threw him off. He’s a great football player and I really admire the way he plays. I don’t know if it is what we did. I know we did tackle well today and didn’t give up yards after contact and covered decent. Maybe those things helped.”

NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren

On returning to Detroit

“Really excited to be going back to Detroit.  Sean [Progar], Chandler [Harnish], and myself went there in July. Seems like ten years ago. Finally we can quit talking about Detroit and go back. Really excited to play Ohio. I have great respect for their team, Coach (Frank) Solich, and their staff.  It’s going to be a fun week.”

On winning seven straight

“It’s hard to win seven straight games in college football. When you do it in conference, on the road, with injuries, it says a lot about our character, our leadership, and our coaching staff. Our coaches did a phenomenal job during that seven-game stretch of getting these guys ready.”

On getting defensive stops

“I said it afterwards – and I’m obviously biased because of my background – but there’s nothing better than stopping someone at the end of the game to win. As a defensive player, that’s a huge deal. Their offense did a nice job today keeping it close, running the ball, not making mistakes – they didn’t turn it over one time. Just proud of those guys for sticking together and believing. It’s hard. This defense a year ago was number one in every category. We had nine, ten new faces in there.  They stuck together, they believed, and it shows a lot of character on their part that they wanted to be great.”

On how they won the MAC West

“You can’t win championships without defenses. We took a step towards that today. We won the West because we played great defense. If you look at all seven of those conference games we won, all of them but Toledo we played well defensively. And good enough to win, and very good in a couple of them. Today was one of those. Our offense has carried us throughout the season, and today was the defense’s turn.”

On the fourth-quarter, fourth-down stop

“It was hard to watch because we had them. I thought we were going to sack them, but then he let it go.  Sean Evans had great trail coverage; we were playing two-man. Safeties were deep enough and came over the top. The second hit by Demetrius Stone, he knocked it out. That was awesome. I’m glad they didn’t flag me for running out there and jumping up and down. We were celebrating on the sideline; that was fun.”

 

NIU Defensive End Sean Progar

Pressuring Gillett on Last Drive

“I give credit to coach Nieman and the play that he called bringing us through the A-gap.  They just couldn’t pick it up.  We had been getting pressure on the quarterback all day, and we tried to get him down and finally just tripped his feet up.  He was definitely getting away from us for most of the game and we’ve been having trouble with that all year, but we got it done when it counted and that’s all that matters.”

On the frustration of not being able to bring Gillett down

“It was real frustrating not getting him down, but as a player I’ve played a lot of games and you just have to move on to the next play.  We did that today and we just have to continue doing that through the next two games.”

NIU Quarterback Chandler Harnish

On Willie Clark

“I’m definitely excited for Willie.  We thought he would be that guy early on, but he fought through some injuries and he had a lot of things going on that I don’t think many people knew about.  We wanted to really find a roll for him and as coach said, we just take what they give us.”

On low offensive point total

“Third down conversions were big for us.  We were two of 13 and there were some easy throws we missed.  There were some times where I tried to be too fancy.  We just have to execute the plan.  I think this will be a blessing in disguise because we are going to be upset this week and we are going to work our butts off.  We don’t want to have another game like that.”

On his passing performance

“Their defense was a very good defense and I just missed some throws and never really got into a rhythm.  That’s a disappointing performance for me, but at the end of the day our score was more than theirs and that’s all that matters.  Going into the wind was also tougher, but you can’t use that as an excuse.”

 

NIU Outside Linebacker Jordan Delegal

On second time all year holding an offense to under 300 yards

“My hat goes off to our defensive staff.  It’s not even about us, but where they put us so we can make plays.  And I think everybody did a pretty good job implementing the plan.”

On leading team in tackles

“It was huge.  I give it up to the 18 other seniors and we all just put it on the line today.  I had a bad week last week, and I told coach Doeren I would make up for that and I got ten tackles.  I’m grateful for that and we just have to continue this to the MAC Championship and finish the season strong.”

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