Kentucky-Western Kentucky Postgame Quotes

Sept. 11, 2010


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Kentucky Head Coach Joker Phillips

Via ASAP Quotes

COACH PHILLIPS:  Injuries, Derrick Locke had a forearm, Randall Burden had a lower back, Donald Russell had an ankle sprain.  We came out of it pretty good.

Thought we started fast.  One of the things we talked about was showing the maturity of this football team.  We wanted to come out, play fast, play smart, play physical, and play inspired football in the first half.  I thought we did that.

Second half we talked about the same thing:  being mature, smothering people.  We got to be great finishers.  Don't think we started off as fast, but we finished strong in the fourth quarter.

On defense, two 80-yard drives cannot happen.  Those are things that cannot happen.  We return a kick, they trump it by returning a kick on us.  That's another thing that can't happen, three plays, two 80-yard drives, the other one was a 73-yard drive.  Can't happen, especially if you want to be a great defense.

I thought Mark Hartline played outstanding.  What the stats say?  You guys had him at four incompletes.  He said he only had two, okay?  You better check it.  I don't know.  Is that right?  He says he only had two incompletions.  Go back, watch the film, give you an update tomorrow (laughter).

Any questions?

Q.  On Randall Cobb’s performance …
COACH PHILLIPS:  I saw the picture in the paper today.  He does all those things.  We didn't get him a rushing touchdown, right?  He got the three hardest, not the rushing touchdown.

Q.  On if he was tempted to keep Randall in the game for stats …
COACH PHILLIPS:  No, I wasn't tempted.  Not into empty stats.  We're interested in having Randall for the rest of the season.

No, there's not much that he can't do.  I'm worried about him because we had our coach's show, he said he wanted to be a head coach.  I'm worried he'll take my job (laughter).

Q.  On the desire to throw the ball downfield …
COACH PHILLIPS:  That's what we want to be.  We feel like we now can throw the ball down the field.  As well as we have been running the ball the last couple years, last three years, including this year, we wanted to come into this season being able to throw the ball - not only throw the ball efficient, but throw the ball down the field to get people off us.  As well as we run the ball, we knew we would get some people packing the box on us.  We knew that would free some guys up on the outside to be one-on-one.

We're making plays out there now.  We got a chance to read the numbers.  If the numbers say throw it, we throw it.  If the numbers say run it, we run it, because of the way we are throwing the ball right now.

Q.  Some of the big-name programs lost to teams they shouldn't have the first couple weeks.  Did you address that?
COACH PHILLIPS:  No question we addressed it.  There's some big eye-openers today.  There were some things we were able to point out.  Our guys laid in the hotel all day watching the games, watching the scores.  There were some big upsets today.

We talked about that.  We actually talked about it on Sunday of last week.  Also got a chance to bring it up this week because there were some big ones this week.

Q.  On improving from last week …
COACH PHILLIPS:  Well, there's a couple things we had to get cleaned up from last week.  One of them was penalties.  We talked about that, playing clean, playing fast.  If you look at the game last year against Auburn, okay, that's what we were talking about.  We were able to point out that game.  We played clean, no penalties, didn't give up a sack that game.

I think we gave up one sack today maybe.  We were able to use that from the past to try to eliminate that 90 yards we had last week.  Didn't have any in the first half.  Had six yards in the second half.  One was on special teams, the other one was a horse collar.  How do you horse collar somebody around the waist?  I thought you were going to give me a Jordan Aumiller question (laughter).

Q.  On Jordan Aumiller
COACH PHILLIPS:  He caught some big balls for us.  He played a little bit better on the perimeter as far as capturing the corners for us on the edge.

Every game he's able to get experience is a plus for us.  We'll hopefully get Melillo back next week and he'll hopefully be in the rotation.  Every snap that Aumiller gets for us is a plus for us down the road.

Q.  On the defensive secondary …
COACH PHILLIPS:  Neloms was growing.  We were really thin in the back end today.  We had Randall Burden went down with the back, had a couple guys cramping.  We were thin in the back end.

Neloms is big for us on defense.  Plays a lot of snaps because he plays our nickel.  We were actually going to use him in some safety tonight also because we were down a couple of safeties.  But we couldn't use him.  We went in this game with only three safeties.  We had to play Cartier a lot of snaps at the nickel and corner some.

But Neloms is big for us because he's so smart, physical.  He's a guy that's kind of an in-between corner/safety guy, which gives him a chance to be inside on the nickel and he also can play on the edge at corner.  Like I say, tonight we were going to try to play him some at safety, but he was injured.

Q.  On Raymond Sanders
COACH PHILLIPS:  The thing that I'm excited about is Raymond Sanders' ability to play special teams, see him run down and make plays on special teams.  Now we've got to give him a little bit more, a bigger role on special teams.

All that does is continue to help his confidence and his feel for the game because the game is fast and it gives him a chance to see how fast it is as he continues to make plays on the special teams.

Q.  Kickoff return, what would you address with that?
COACH PHILLIPS:  On the kickoff?  Running down the field, chasing the ball.  I mean, I'm not sure if he was at the point of attack.  We don't want anybody standing watching the play.  He was standing there, he and another guy, I can't remember who it was.  You never know what happens.

That comes with him maturing in this game.  We don't lay on the ground, we don't watch the play.  We get up and chase the ball.  He didn't do it on that play.

I'm not sure if the ball -- if he was at the point of attack or not.  I expect him to get up, run and chase the ball.

Q.  Do you think you took a little or big step up tonight?
COACH PHILLIPS:  We made some improvements, some improvements.  Especially the thing I like, we played cleaner.  We didn't have any penalties in the first half and only had six yards for the whole day.  I don't like that we gave up a sack, but we only gave up one.  I think we threw the ball, what, 22 times.  Our goal is one sack in every 22 passes.  We reached that goal.

But we cannot give up sacks either.

Q.  Have you ever a single player that does as much for a team as Randall?
COACH PHILLIPS:  No.  He scored three different ways tonight.  He actually is our holder also.  He does a lot for us.  Game like this, we were able to get some guys, some backups in, to see if they can handle some of the roles in case something happens to Randall.  We were able to get Raymond in as a punt returner.  We were able to put Tyler Sargent as a holder.  Locke was begging to go into some of the wildcat stuff.  Didn't get that.  He named our quarterback, so I probably should have put him in some of that wildcat.

There's a lot of things that Randall Cobb does for this football team.  And he does a lot of things that you guys don't see also, things in the locker room that mean the most to this football team.

Q.  On playing all three quarterbacks … 
COACH PHILLIPS:  Yes, it was to get them all in the game, as many snaps as they can get also.  We're going to need all three of them before the season is over.  I mean, we got a tough schedule.  It's hard to hold up at any position.  So we got to get those guys some snaps as often as we can.

Q.  When you talk about the things that Randall does that we don't see, what are they?
COACH PHILLIPS:  He's one of the best leaders I've ever been around.  He's the guy that gets up.  He's a different person on game day.  He doesn't say much during the week.  But on game day, I mean, he's the guy that's vocal in the locker room, getting the guys inspired to play.

Q.  First home game of the season.  What was it like being on the sidelines?
COACH PHILLIPS:  Hadn't been there in about five years.  Glad we changed the turf over there.  That felt good.  It was a little softer than last time I was over there (laughter).

It was good.  Anytime you can get around, be able to get down on the field, look your football team in their eyes, see how they're responding to different situations, I think it's good.  Similar to last week.  It was the first time I'd been on the field.  You could really look into people's eyes and see where they're at, if they're with you or if they're not.

Q.  On having four of the first African Americans players in college football at the game …
COACH PHILLIPS:  I had Coach (indiscernible) running up and down when I saw those guys announced in there.  We had them in the locker room.  They were the guys we gave the game balls to.  Those are the true pioneers.  Those are the guys who paved the way for me to have this opportunity, and I appreciate those guys.

Q.  On Western Kentucky University …
COACH PHILLIPS:  I think they are.  I think they're a really good football team, especially offensively.  They did a really good job.  You know, Willie has been in a lot of different systems.  He's been in the triple option, he's been in the west coast.  Last year they were a power football team with the big runningback they had at Stanford, understands how to run the ball.

If you look at them on film, everything they do is a plan to win.  They run the ball.  They take care of the ball.  Play really good special teams.  They're sound in what they do.

They're really close.  I think that they will win a lot of games this year.

Q.  On Mike Hartline
COACH PHILLIPS:  Definitely.  Yeah, we want him to throw the block.  He's on scholarship, too.  Yeah, we expect Mike to throw a block, you know.  Unless he doesn't expect those other guys to block for him, yeah, we expect him to throw a block.

You should see him on the wildcat.  He blocks on the wildcat package.  I know you're usually watching the ball, but Mike is down there hustling, trying to get after people in the wildcat package also.

Q.  On tackling …
COACH PHILLIPS:  Well, we got to tackle better.  We got to tackle better.  We tackle a guy, he's continuing to move for five, six, seven yards.  We got to get guys on the ground.  The guy is a really good back.  But no back rushes for 180 something yards against us.  For us to be the type of team we want to be, have the type of season we want to have, you can't allow anybody to run for that many yards on you.

Q.  Anything happen on the missed field goal?
COACH PHILLIPS:  Just missed it, botched it.  Our kicker's got to kick better, there's no question about it.  We can't leave points out there.  We also got to kick the ball where our coverage is designated to cover.

We want to try to cut the field into a third, and we're having to cover the whole field.  That becomes hard when you guys are thinking the ball is going to be in a certain area and the ball is kicked outside that area.  We've got to kick the ball better.

Q.  On Luke McDermott
COACH PHILLIPS:  Luke.  Didn't practice a down this week, not a down.  He was injured.  We were wondering whether or not we needed to go with someone else because he hadn't practiced.

But the guy's earned the right to be the starter.  He just continued to make the play.  I didn't see who it was that made the interception.  I asked.  Somebody said, Luke.  I mean, he's just all over the place.  Maybe he's becoming the Randall Cobb of defense.

All right.  Appreciate it.  Thank you.

Kentucky Players

#18, Randall Cobb, WR/QB

On his performance in the game…
“It was a decent game. There are some things we need to work on and obviously we did a great job of executing tonight and putting some points on the board.”

On when he gets the ball if he is always trying to angle the run…
“I was a little bit but I am not going to worry about that. As long as we are up and more people are getting the ball, touching the ball and getting a chance to get into the end zone, I am not too worried about that.”

On if he saw the entire team take a step up tonight…
“I think so, I think that I saw some guys showing maturity in the second half and putting more points on the board, as well as giving some of our younger guys a chance to get some time on the field.”

On if tonight was an example of the team trying to be more dynamic…
“It is an example of that. Having guys coming off the bench and making touchdowns, that is exactly what we want. We want to be able to prove to people that we have that depth.”

#22, Danny Trevathan, LB

On the defense giving up a few big plays and if it had more to do with Western Kentucky’s execution…
“They capitalized on some of our miscues. We lined up wrong a couple of times, we got the wrong reads and that all comes through practice. We had a great week of practice, but we also had a lot of guys injured. Like I said, the game is 80 percent mental and you have to have that mental aspect to push through and play.”

On the play of Bobby Rainey and if he was what UK expected…
“He was pretty good. I try not to doubt any backs or anybody period under any circumstances. They are all great backs. He did a great job, he is a tremendous athlete who keeps his feet moving, but we just need to go out there and do a better job of slowing them down.”

On leading the team again in tackles…
“The defense did a good job filling in for me. I didn’t play the third or fourth quarter because I got hit in my hip. It was nothing serious, the coaches just wanted me to sit down. The defense did a good job and we just need people to step up every game.”

On what the defense needs to concentrate on the most going into next week…
“I think recognizing plays more or changing the formations and still being fast and being able to get there and read their keys. We haven’t done a good job of attacking and not getting off to make good plays and we need to be able to do that to be a great team.”

#68, Luke McDermott, DT

On being a starter coming in as a walk on…
“It means a lot to me, I really do not know what to say. It means a lot.”

On his interception…
“I just read the screen and focused on the ball and caught it. I wish I could have ran further with the ball. I had an interception in high school, but this was pretty cool.”

On how much he practiced this past week…
“I just got hurt a little bit on the last play after the last game (last week). I was in the training room all week and not on the field. That made it harder to stay focused and do the right thing, but I guess I did alright.”

On him possibly being the “Randall Cobb” of the defense because of his playmaking ability…
“That is pretty cool to be compared to him. I doubt that I will keep making interceptions. I just need to do my job. If I do my jobs, the plays will happen. But I cannot go outside of the defense to make plays.”

#5, Mike Hartline, QB

On blocking for Randall Cobb...
Whenever I can do that for somebody-- block, I'm ready to put my body on the the line to do that. Getting six points is why we're out there, so we like to get those any time we can.

On play calling...
I think to be a good play caller and offense, you have to be aggressive. You have to stick to your bread and butter, but there are times to be aggressive. You have to do it, no matter who you are facing. It doesn't matter the name on the opponent's chest who we're facing-- it's the next game.

On gaining confidence in UK's receivers...
It's trusting your receivers. When you practice, practice hard and practice the type of schemes that we get into each week. When we have the type of guys out there to make plays like that, it's easy to do. I have confidence in them and it gives me confidence in myself to just get it up there in the air for them to go make a play.

#20, Derrick Locke, TB

On WKU's defense...
I felt like in the running game, they did everything they could to stop it. I felt like they more prepared than we were. They did everything they had to do for that. I felt like we should have passed more. In a situation like that, we have to throw. But, I'm glad the coach gave me the carries. I can't complain. In a situation like that, you have to pass. (Mike) Hartline and our receivers are getting it done. They are making plays, and if we have to do that from time to time, I'm fine with it.

On Raymond Sanders...
At the end of the game, he had the ball at the 10 (yard line). He did his thing and he got the knock in the end zone. I'm glad he got a little taste of it, that way he got his confidence up, maybe then next game and practice he is feeling better.

On the strength of the offense...
We haven't been this solid since that 2007 passing game and running game. We still have to clean stuff up, but I'm glad we have athletes. We have athletes in the passing game that we didn't have the last two years. We couldn't pass the ball down the field. Now we have guys like Chris (Matthews) and Hartline playing like superstars.

Western Kentucky Head Coach Willie Taggart

On how he feels about his team’s performance…  
“I think we got more (points than last week). We got 28 points. So I think we got more. I think we got better.”

On his feelings after the loss…  
“It’s a different feeling. We lost. I don’t like losing. It’s a different feeling, yes, but we got better as a team, and we’ll continue to get better. Again, our goals are still there. That’s one thing we said going in, ‘we’re going to try and get better every game.’ And I felt like we did that. Did we hurt ourselves a lot? Yes, we did. But I think overall we got better as a football team.”

On what they had worked on in practice that didn’t work out…  
“I just think we hurt ourselves. Penalties get us off schedule. And then turnovers; turnovers where they get the ball in great field position. That’s why the score’s like it is. Offensively we got it started that way. We didn’t give our defense a chance to have those guys go a long distance, they had a short field. So you can’t do that against a team like Kentucky.”

On how close they are as a team…
“We’re coming. We’re not worried about what everybody else is thinking about us. We know what we’re going to do. We know what we are as a football team. We know we’re the only ones that believe, and that’s all that matters. We’re going to continue to get better.”

On Bobby Rainey’s performance…
“Bobby’s Bobby. It’s Bobby’s world, we’re just living in it. He’s Bobby, he’s a competitor, he’s a football player. Bobby’s a guy that’s going to show up to play every Saturday, no matter who we play.”

On if he’s worried about Rainey’s workload…
“No, I think we’ll get that if we be consistent like we’re supposed to offensively. When we’re not consistent then we need to get our best ball player the football, no matter what the situation is. If we’re not consistent and do the things we’re supposed to offensively then it’s going to continue to be that way.”

On losing the momentum after the opening touchdown…
“Like I said, penalties get you off schedule. That second series first play we jump offsides and it’s first and 15, and again, it’s hard to play football that way, especially against an SEC football team. And a pretty good SEC football team. We can’t do that. And those penalties after penalties at one point in the second quarter. Again, we’re not good enough yet in order to do that, especially against a team like Kentucky.”

Western Kentucky Players

#10, Chris Bullard, LB

On the feeling about today’s performance …  
“We lost. Defensively we did not make enough plays to get the ball. We didn’t stress enough to get the ball back so our offence could do more things. I feel like defensively the effort was there we just got caught at times in a bad place. We need to focus on tackling better and everybody get to the ball. I feel like we will be a much better football team if we get a lot more turnovers. I’m not saying that its okay for the offense to turn the ball over but defensively its our job to get the ball too and we can’t always rely on the offense to keep security on the ball we need to get the ball too. We need to stress that.”

On things going out of control a little too quickly …  
“No I don’t think so. Bobby’s [Rainey] run energized us and I felt like it was an even-keel. I felt like defensively we came out to play and after that run it really just gave us a boost and made us think that we can go out there and do it, and do it some more.”

On playing well last week and this being a step back …  
“I don’t know until we watch the film. Like I said before the energy was there and in every game there are going to be mistakes, but we wont really know until we watch the film. But I really do feel like the energy was there and we never quit.”

On improving on tackling this week …
“When a guy missed a tackle I felt like everyone was running to the ball. And therefore it didn’t really gash us as much in the run when we missed tackles because there was someone else there to pick them up. From that stand point I think we tackled a little better, but we can always improve.”

#3, Bobby Rainey, RB

On his long scoring run in the first quarter …  
“We were excited. We hit first.  When that happened everyone was excited but when we came back out we hurt ourselves.

On how he feels about the number of carries he had this game…  
“I feel fine. I just have to do more with the carries that I have. It’s not how many I get it.”

On the number of carries he got in the game…
“If that’s what it takes, me carrying the ball, that is what I’m going to do but we also have play makers on the team. So, therefore, if the running game is working that opens up for the passing game and we have to keep making plays on both sides as far as the running game and the passing game. It’s no pressure at all I don’t believe in that.”

On their play in the second quarter …
“It was penalties. We hurt ourselves really. It’s not like they did anything spectacular for us to go backwards. We just hurt ourselves. We shouldn’t be in that situation.

On the improvement of the offense in this game…
“I think we took a step back just for the simple fact that we didn’t have that many penalties as we did last week. As far as coming out in the first half we didn’t do a good job and the second half we did do good. We just have to come out both halves like we did in the first half.