Kentucky-Eastern Kentucky Postgame Quotes

Nov. 7, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks

Injury update ...

"Ross Bogue did hyper-extend his knee, but he did come back in and play. Taylor Wyndham got a shoulder. Sam Maxwell sprained his thumb. Trevard Lindley tweaked his knee and did not play in the second half. Paul Warford tweaked his quad in the late third quarter and we held him out after that. Randall Cobb sprained his thumb in Thursday's practice. We didn't think it was that bad, but it just kept getting sore and he couldn't move it. We tried a splint on it before the game, but he couldn't function with it. We tried to put the cast on it, to be able to play in. But, that would obviously make it pretty hard to catch punts and kickoffs, catch balls and take snaps from under center with a cast on your hand. So, we'll just have to see how that settles down in the next three to four days. It doesn't appear to be serious because we did x-ray it and there are no broken bones so, that means it is a pretty bad sprain or jammed his thumb. "

On the accomplishment of winning 18 consecutive non-conference games ...

"I'm really proud of this team for bouncing back to accomplish something that has never been done here before. I know that we need to do a better job of winning in the SEC, but no other team, and there have been a number of good teams in this institution's history, have been able to win 18 straight non-conference games. I think that is a significant milestone. It gives this program a totally different platform to build on going forward to be able to attack that SEC ladder. There have always been slip-ups in the past. In that streak (18 straight wins) there have been some pretty good football teams that this team has defeated. We've avoided some of the slip-ups that I know that we had against those kinds of teams early in my tenure when we were a little under-manned. Obviously, other teams over the years have had that same problem."

On the win and the play of quarterback Morgan Newton...

"I thought Eastern played really hard. They played pretty well. We had a hard time getting our offense fully on track without some of our playmakers out on the field. The great news to me is that some of the receivers stepped up and made some good plays. I thought Morgan Newton managed himself very well out there except for one that could have gone the other way. He threw the ball accurately. He had poise. He delivered it pretty much on the money. I thought he had a very, very good day. Defensively, I thought we did some very good things. "

On the victory ...

"I thought it was a workman-like effort if you will. We didn't have any runs from the backs, until (Donald) Russell broke that one. I was really happy to see him do that. He showed some pretty good things. The next time he carried the ball I thought he made a really good run for about 11 or 12 yards. He's going to give us something moving forward. I think the defense did a good job, except that we let them off of the hook a couple of times. Their (Eastern Kentucky) quarterbacks and receivers did a good job and made some plays on us. I thought our guys really kind of took care of what they needed to take care of in this game. "

On the play of receiver Chris Matthews ...

"I think he (Chris Matthews) did some good things. He picked up some yards after the catch as well. I thought the throw in the endzone on a hitch and go double-move that he caught the touchdown, it was very pleasing to see Morgan (Newton) put the ball up there where he (Matthews) could go up and make a play on it, because the corner was still there. That is the type of play that we would like to see him make on a more regular basis."

On linebacker Sam Maxwell ...

"Sam probably one of the most underrated players on our team let alone in this league. He has four picks now. He's got a nose for the football. All he does is make plays. He's an outstanding player."

On the play of the running backs ...

"I think they did some good things. I was a little disappointed that we didn't break a few longer runs. It looked like, particularly early, that we went down a little too easy. We were falling forward, but it looked like we were falling instead of trying to break out of tackles. I thought as the game wore on the backs ran harder and did some good things. They're not totally healthy either. Moncell (Allen) has a bruised knee and he had a thing. Alfonso (Smith) has the thumb that he is still working through. He should be getting pretty close to being well hopefully by this coming week."

On freshman receiver La'Rod King ...

"I think La'Rod made some really good plays last week. So, he earned himself some more reps. I think he's earned himself even more after his performance today. La'Rod King is going to be a really, really good football player. I think, again, he is another underrated recruit that came in with maybe not as much attention, but he has big-time skills and he's learning how to play the game at this level pretty darn fast for a freshman."

Kentucky Players

#12, Morgan Newton, QB

On today's play especially without key players ...

"I have to continue to get better every week. I think we are in good shape right now. Without Randall [Cobb] and Derrick [Locke] we knew we had to work hard. They make plays. They are a big part of our offense. We hope they get better. The game goes on and guys have to step up and make plays. I think we did that today, but of course we hope they continue to improve."

On playing in the pocket ...

"I've gotten better and I have to continue to get better. That's something I have to get used to. The offensive line was great today too. As the game goes on you get used to the plays that are being called and the way you need to play."

On playing a non-conference team ...

"I don't know if it was slower because EKU was a good team. They were able to stop the run game for a while and keep everything in front of them. We had to take what was given to us."

#16, La'Rod King, WR

On playing at a higher level ...

"I expected to get redshirted but we have had so many injuries this season. It shocked me when the coaches asked me to step up. I knew I was ready to play and help the team if I could."

On gaining the coaches trust ...

"The week of the Florida game I really showed up at practice. Once I started getting some playing time and making catches I think the coaches started to trust me more. The week of the Mississippi State game I got the hang of the SEC. After that I established that I was ready to play."

On changing positions ...

"When Randall [Cobb] couldn't play the coaches asked me to step up and change positions. I was willing to help the team and make plays. That's why they recruited me, to make plays. "

#4, Micah Johnson, LB

On today's win ...

"The defense and the offense stepped up today. We were able to get a lot of young guys some playing time and give them the ball. It was a good win for our team."

On winning another non-conference game ...

"We definitely needed to win after last week. We are just happy to get another win. We are ready to move forward with the final games of our season and hopefully continue to do well."

#91, Corey Peters, DT

On getting over last week's loss ...

"It's definitely going to take more than one week, probably more than next week to get over something like that. It's a start to a long process and we're prepared to take the next step."

On being in the position to make a run of wins in the last few games ...

"Most definitely in our minds we still know that we can be successful. It starts this week with Vanderbilt; they're a good football team. It's only going to get tougher from here on out and we have to continue to get better."

On this game being a must-win situation...

"This is the game we had to have and it was the first step to a four-game season and now it's a three-game season and we have a chance to go three-and-zero."

#30, Moncell Allen, TB

On feeling any pressure to pick up the slack of Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke...

"There was really no kind of changes at all because this is what we do every day at practice. It's more than just taking turns on the field. I took it as when I am on the field I am going to help out as much as I can to win this game."

On scoring his first quarter touchdown...

"It was one of the plays that we run every day. We thought we could run up the gut and get in the end-zone. I knew I was going to get the ball and run as hard as I could, and that's what happened when I got in there."

On his style as a running back...

"I am a hard runner, I try to run over people all of the time. I can also do it all, run outside of the tackle and make moves on cornerbacks. I feel like I am more of a power running back but at the same time I can do the same things other running backs do."

#32, Trevard Lindley, CB

On how healthy he feels for next week's game...

"I feel ready to go. I am just trying to rehab during the week and see how good it is for next weekend."

On the decision to play and test his injury in this week's game...

"The goal of this week really was to just go out there and see how it felt. We wanted to see how it was feeling for a couple of plays and I felt pretty good."

On the importance of next week's game...

"We need this win and the last three wins are our goal. We're going to just take one game at a time, watch them on film and try to get out of there with a win."

#78, Christian Johnson, OG

On the play of Morgan Newton ...

"Morgan did really good today. I think that he showed up ready to play today and the big thing with him is that he has to be constantly improving every game. I thought that he worked hard in practice and has been maturing a lot and really learning."

On what Keenan Burton told the team ...

"He was just telling us about the opportunity that we have in front of us and how we need to strive to get better and stay close as a team. He wanted us to always keep trying to get better. The battle is not over yet and to be what we want to be we need to win out."

On if he expected to see this kind of improvement from the young guys on the team ...

"I feel that with the recruiting class that we had, there are a lot of guys that can do some things and make plays. I guess you just have to find the right situation to put them in. I feel that all of them are ready to make contributions to this team, if not so much this year, than next year for sure. I think that they are all doing really well."

#8, Chris Matthews, WR

On if he felt that with Randall Cobb out today that he had to step his game up a little bit ...

"I felt that everybody had to step it up today. Randall is the key part of our offense and whether he is down or up, we still all have to work hard and keep the offense moving."

On if he felt this was one of the better games from the receivers as a whole ...

"Yeah, we played pretty well. We have been working all week to really try to get to that level where if we can't throw to one person then we can throw to another person. Today, it was all clicking. "

On the play of La'Rod King...

"He played well. He has the heart and the drive to be great. He is starting to get more chances and now he has to take advantage of that."

#50, Sam Maxwell, LB

On no one on the defense having more than six tackles today ...

"It was a type of offense where they were not running a particular play and it is hard to get stats against those kinds of offensives. We were talking the whole game like, `We need to get some stats but nothing is coming our way.' It is not that we weren't getting stats, it was just a spread offensive attack."

On his interception ...

"They ran that play earlier in the game and he was almost about to throw it but he saw me and decided to pump fake. So the next time I tried to bait him up for it and I told the guys that. He ended up running it again and my eyes lit up because I knew what was coming. You just have to take advantage of it when you get it."

On if the defense is playing with more confidence now that the offense is starting to click more ...

"There is a lot more confidence. We don't get as many turnovers that we want, but making them punt is key also. Knowing that the offense has the power to go down the field and score is good. It has an effect on their offense because it pushes them to score, which can lead to more turnovers."

Eastern Kentucky Head Coach Dean Hood

On running the fake field goal...

"The fake field goal, Coach (Dane) Damron had been working on that and we felt like we had a shot and it was a good time to do it. The kids did a nice job executing it. Marcus [Williams] did a nice job running it in. The second one wasn't a fake; we were trying to kick an extra point."

On the close score at halftime ...

"When you play a BCS conference team, especially from the Southeastern Conference, your margin for error is going to be very small and you're going to have a chance, but when you get that one little crack of light, you have to make due. We come out 17-6 at the half and then they drove down and we ended up holding them. They kick the field goal and miss it. Then we come out and rule the ball a little bit offensively, and the next time we went out defensively I think is where we really had a chance for an interception and that would have went to the house and now it's 17-13. That's not to say what the end of the game is going to be like, but I think you have a little better chance there."

On UK's consistently long offensive drives...

"That's a mark of a good football team and I think that's a mark of the difference between a BCS and an FCS conference team. We don't play teams in the OVC that can go 10, 11, 12, 15 play drives without shooting themselves in the foot. They're going to put the ball in the ground, they're going to jump off sides and get themselves in a long yardage situation. Something bad is going to happen to the offense when you drive, it's very hard for somebody to execute that many plays in a row and they did it pretty consistently. I think that speaks for our kids too. You take out that one long run at the end where we had our twos in and they misfit the run. I thought our one defense and the subs that had been practicing all week and had been ready for the game, I think it speaks to their preparation, and that Kentucky just didn't come out here and maul us. We made them take snaps and execute. A missed tackle here and there, not coming up with a ball on the ground, jumping offsides on fourth down, those little things like that, when you play a good football team, you're not going to win."

On Orlandus Harris' performance...

"We're a very young football team. We've got one or two starters on defense depending on the week and four on offense that are freshmen. We're a young team overall and maybe the best kept secret of last year's conference championship was that we redshirted all of our freshmen last year and Orlandus Harris was one of them. Justin Bell is another. Some guys that are starting to come on lately are guys that were redshirted kids. We're excited about Orlando. He just has unbelievable ability and he's got a chance to be a great player for us, he has three years after this year."

Eastern Kentucky Players

#51, Jordan Dalrymple, LB

On UK having a lot of weapons on their team ...

"Yes, no matter where you look on the field No. 29 was everywhere. They have some big fullbacks and they just ran the ball all day all over us. I think we beat ourselves in certain areas. We just have to get better."

On the defensive being out on the field for long periods of time ...

"Yes. They had 10-, 12- and 13-play drives. They just hit us on those out passes and they ran the ball and just kept chipping away at it. That's what happens when you don't get three and out."

On having some big stops ...

"Yes we had some big stops but we didn't have any turnovers. And if you don't have any turnovers you don't win the game."

On playing Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium ...

"It a great feeling, walking into Commonwealth Stadium and seeing all the fans, you are overwhelmed with blue. It's fun. It's a great experience.

#16, T.J. Pryor, QB

On Kentucky's defense...

"Their defense played really well. I felt we came out and played strong in the first half. We had some opportunities to score, but I guess we didn't complete the drives. Kentucky came out hard at us, and they knocked us around."

On the match-up against Kentucky...

"At first I felt we could stick with these guys, but as we played more, we could see they were bigger, stronger, and faster. They were knocking us around and we got hit every play. It was like David and Goliath. They were bigger than us and we felt like we couldn't do anything."

On preparing for the rest of the season ...

"We need to be prepared to practice. We need to come Monday and watch film on our next opponent. We need to come to practice and practice hard just like every week. We need to let this get behind us after tomorrow. We need to focus on Western Carolina."