Week #8 Press Conference

Head Coach Daryl Daye

On riverboat gambling mentality and going for the touchdown at the end of the first half against Missouri Western:

“I think it is just a combination of age and experience. Younger days you were concerned about your job every week so you were a little less likely to do some of those things, but it is probably the fact more that our kids understand we are going to have to do a lot more of those things to win right now. We are going there to win; we weren’t going there to play close. We do not want a pat on the back for being close. I was here four years and we were close a lot, it is no fun to be close. It sure is fun to win. Our mentality is we are going to be aggressive and seize opportunities that we see that we could possible take advantage of and we are going to do it.”

On when decision was made to have punter fake it and throw it:

“Actually since camp started. We started running that fake about four weeks ago in practice and it just became available and we thought going into this week that this might be the week. You know Quinn is a former quarterback, so he throws the ball pretty good. O’Neill throws the ball real well too. We were doing it out of our rugby style punt, but you know it was there and it was available and we took it. If he would have been covered he would have punted it, so it was not as much out there, if it wasn’t there he would have punted the ball.”

On going for touchdown at the end of the first half against Missouri Western:

“Again our mentality is, if I would have polled them on the sideline, kick it or go for it, every single one of them would have said go for it, the mentality going into the game was to go up there to win and to go for it and at the time it was a smart thing to do because it worked. If it didn’t work, I am standing up here being a big dummy right now. Ne’Ronte Threatt made an outstanding play and made up look very smart.”

On Western faking punting at end of first quarter:

“Every bit of me said it was great call cause that might be that I’ve seen in a long time, maybe ever, to think to punt from the minus 13. I think after we faked ours from the minus 23 he said good call, showed a lot of guts, then he came back and said look here I got some too and I had to give my hat off to him cause we were full all-out block, trying to be aggressive and make something happen. Ne’Ronte should have made the tackle.  I am mad at him, but went for a touchdown, was a great call by him.”

On how much of a benefit the weather delay was as they prepared for the final drive:

“You know I thought about that and I would say our kids were ready to win, had a confidence to win. I really truly believe that if we would have stayed with that drive that we would have taken that drive right down the field and won the ballgame rain or shine. In my mind, I truly believe that about our guys, because they have gotten better each week, they were ready for it. It definitely helped because of the outcome. You know going in you had a chance to basically rescript the series, go in and think about what we have been going well and evaluate it, but on the other side of the coin, so did they. They had the opportunity to say we are not stopping this certain style of option they are running, what can we do. It gives them a chance to get on the chalkboard too. When we went in at halftime, I looked in those kids eyes and you know when it was on them and they were not going to be beat. They made their mind up and credit goes to them.”

On Kyle Webster playing option back:

“You know with his arm, that’s better this week, we actually played him at quarterback this week, but you know you just say here is one of our best athletes that is on the sideline and we got to find a way to get him on the field. You know with his arm in the situation it was, we were a little uncomfortable putting him on there doing the things we do at quarterback with both hands so we were looking at him at running back some and try to get him back in the flow of things and I think you will see him in a dual role as we go on. Depending on injuries, he will be slash, running back and quarterback.

On getting win over team like Missouri Western do as far as confidence:

“We’ll find out come this Saturday cause we got another one that is in the top 10. I think it’s a builder, it’s a confidence builder, again I’ll go back to the offensive line, they make the whole show go, our offensive line will be three weeks together, the same group, the continuity’s coming, I saw the speed of their blocking change, I noticed it, we looked quicker on the offensive line, we looked better, we were getting downfield more. A lot of production of our offense obviously came because of our ability to cutblock and get people on the ground. They did an excellent job with it. Overall as a team, no doubt it gives you confidence, but it helps you in the football game, but no doubt you staring at a very good opponent here coming up, that confidence ain’t gonna get you the win. You got to go out there and execute to get that win.”

Thoughts on Northwest Missouri:

“Hard pressed not to say they are the best team in the country, I think they are probably the best team in the country right now. They beat the number team in the country in Pittsburg State and our conference, without a doubt, the best conference in the country division II. It is so similar to what the SEC is in Division I. I know a lot of people would argue that, but the SEC usually has five, six, seven teams in the top twenty, fifteen.  If you take a look at our conference it is the same way, week in, week out and my memories of the SEC was not always who you play this week, but who you play next week because you were going to beat up from this week and that is a prime example this week. We had a very physical ballgame with a physical football team in Western and now we are going to play a very physical team in Northwest. They are outstanding, they got every base covered. They are good on special teams, offense and defense. They understand how to get the ball to their playmakers and they know who they are. They do not think about plays, they think about players when the times get tough for them, so you know it is going to be a very tall challenge, but we are going to go out there and play one play at a time.”

 

Senior quarterback Kellen Cox

On whether to go for touchdown/field goal at end of first half:

“Absolutely go for it. We were behind coach all the way and we had the confidence like coach talked about to punch it in from three-yards out with no time. That is just the type of team we are. We are there to win, not to settle.”

No thoughts on taking the three and go in with some momentum:

“I think if you watch the film, you see all of our guys pointing go for it because not one guy wanted to settle for a field goal. We have confidence in Dallas that he can make it from there, but we want to get the seven points and we did.”

On having a coach who is behind you:

“Oh gosh, there is nothing better than having a coach who has that confidence in us. He said we are there to win, we’re not there just to play well against a ranked team, we are there to win the game and he will do whatever it takes whether that is faking a punt or going for it on fourth down.”

On carrying same attitude into this week:

“It’s huge. We have to bring the same confidence that we had at halftime and that we had after the game knowing that we played well, executed and won the game and we got to carry that into this week. Just like coach said this is probably the best team in the country right now and they are going to bring a physical game for us and we got to be physical and take it to them, but more importantly we have to have that confidence that we can compete and we can get the victory and that we will.”

On feel around campus after big win:

“There has been a lot of talk this week, a lot of encouragement, a lot of congratulations, a lot of keep it rolling, keep it up, keep going, and that is what we need, that is what this campus needed, this team needed, a win over a ranked team, we knew we could do it and I think this program is getting to knowing that we can beat the teams we know that we need to beat. Sure we have regrets from earlier in the season, but we are 5-2, we are sitting right where we want to and we got opportunity right in front of us and we are excited, we are grateful for the opportunity.”

On how the offensive line is jelling together:

“Ah absolutely. The offensive line that is where it starts , because without them, we had nothing Saturday, each week without them, we are nothing. This is a tough offense to play offensive line. They are on the ground almost every play, throwing their body at those guys every play, they are healthy and like Coach said this is the third week that they have been in working together and they have just done a magnificent job and you can just tell because we movement off the ball and they were making all the right reads and blocks and you can just tell they are coming together and getting more comfortable in this offense.”

 

Senior kicker Dallas Herndon

On if he was the only guy voting field goal at end of first half:

“No, I agree with Coach, we want to win, so go for it, we want the seven rather than the three.”

On what he does on the sideline during the course of a game:

“A lot of supporting the team really, once we get into field goal range I’ll go kick into the net, but most of the time I’m just cheering on the guys out there hoping the best for them.

Mental toughness:

“It’s pretty tough. A lot of people don’t think about kicking being a real mental game, like a lot of guys think I can go out there and kick it’s really easy, when they actually do, it’s a completely different thing. I think mental toughness is a big deal and I think as long as you are mentally tough I think you’ll be ok with it.”

Pressure on go-ahead PAT:

“Ever since I started kicking, I’ve wanted that opportunity, in high school I never got it and I was hoping in college to get and finally senior year, huge game, I got it and it was exciting.”

Any thoughts before-hand:

“No, I’ve kicked that kick a thousand times. I just tried not to think about it too much.”

 
 

Senior linebacker Aaron Hall

On what win does for confidence:

“Obviously it boosts the confidence. We keep on getting better every week and right now we are the best we are the best that we have been all season, we just have to keep on improving and following the same pattern.” 

On when they had confidence that they could beat Western:

“When we walked into the stadium. Last week, all week, the defense, offense, special teams, we all said we need to have an excellent week of practice, focus, intensity and you saw on Saturday that it carried over. Harping on the details, Coach is always harping on the details, even earlier today, he was getting on the seniors for the locker room being dirty, so all the little things, be perfect and it carries over.”

On challenges Northwest Missouri poses:

“It’s an experienced team. They make very few mistakes. Last season we had it close against them until the third quarter and they ran back a kick return on us and we had some mishaps on the punt team and gave them the ball back to them at the five yard-line. Every time that we messed up, they capitalized on it, so we have to make sure that make as few mistakes as possible and other than that we have the personnel to make it a good ballgame.”