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November 30, 2009Larry Fedora Media Conference Quotes
Monday, Nov. 30, 2009
"Just to recap the (East Carolina) game, we're obviously very disappointed in the loss, frustrated with it. We had many, many opportunities to win the football game and didn't take advantage of them. We had some really good things happen in the game as always and just missed some easy opportunities. That was what was so frustrating about it. I think this loss is the toughest one the team has had to deal with this season and the guys were struggling with it yesterday in the team meeting. The only way we are going to get that taste out of our mouth is to win the next one in the bowl game."
On waiting to find out the bowl fate:
"There's nothing that we can do now. We're just waiting to find out which bowl we're going to be put into and who our opponent will be. This week our guys will basically lift and run this week and finish up on their classes. We'll get into some practices this weekend."
On the amount of workouts for a bowl game:
"Looking back at last year because of where the bowl fell we got 11 practices in. It just depends on what bowl game and when they play and how much time we have because we have finals next week and there's no way you can practice during finals. You have this week and next weekend. If the bowl game is before Christmas, we won't get in 15 practices. It won't be much more than 11."
Recapping the season:
"Overall, I would have to say frustrating. That's just because of the way we finished here at the end in this last game. We felt like we should've been the East Division champs and it was sitting right there in front of us and we didn't take it. That's not to take away from East Carolina, but we just felt like it was there and we just didn't seize the opportunity. There were some really good things this season. We made quite a bit of improvement in certain areas. But then in some areas we didn't make so much improvement. We understand that we have a lot of work to do. Our coaches are out on the road recruiting and the way we are going to get better is to recruit good players and get them in here and put them in a position to win football games."
On leaving points on the field:
"I thought about (the effect the two missed kicks had on the game). I thought about the fumble at the end zone was at least a six point swing. I thought about missing Baptiste over the top when he's behind everybody was at least a six-point swing. There are a couple opportunities I could name that we missed. It's frustrating. It's very frustrating for our football team."
On reviewing the East Carolina game:
"I've watched it twice now just be sure I remain sick for as long as possible."
"During the game, I just knew we were going to run out of opportunities. It's hard, offensively, to scheme to get people wide open like that and then to not hit them or convert (is tough). To not execute in those situations is unfortunate because it's something we've done all year. That opportunity, especially in a big game, you can't let slide by. It ended up biting us in the rear in the long run."
On any changes in the extra point and field goal teams:
"You know that's a good question. We can't work any harder than we have been. If I said we will work harder, you'd wonder why we haven't been working harder in the first place. We'll continue to work on it."
On the positives of the season:
"There were a lot of good things. We had a lot of individuals that really stepped up. Starting with Martevious Young and the job he did. We asked him to take care of the football and he threw one interception in seven games. He did an exceptional job at taking care of the football. It was good to finally get DeAndre Brown back to 100 percent in the last three or four games. With the injury and everything that took place, it just took that long. It was good to finally get him back. You saw him breaking tackles and doing the things that he can do. I thought defensively, we probably tripled our sacks. We had guys get to the quarterback and did a great job there. The back end struggled at times, but our linebackers who were young and no one knew about, I thought came into the game and were very solid throughout the season. I don't know the exact numbers but in the big four in our special teams - punt, punt return, kickoff, and kickoff return - we finished in the top 30 in the country in every one of those phases. Last year we were in the bottom quarter in all four of those phases in the country. We made some unbelievable strides. Those four areas, we really played well."
On the players seeing the bowl game as a reward:
"Everything was geared towards being 1-0 and finishing. We said in the locker room after the Houston game that we would meet Houston again in the championship. That was the goal behind it all. I thought the guys did a tremendous job in preparing themselves and playing the games and doing whatever it took to win football games. That's why it was so frustrating that we didn't get there. We'll get through this week and by this weekend we'll get that feeling out of our stomach and get headed in the right direction. It's going to be there for a while. It's going to stick but the only way to get that taste out of your mouth is to win."
On Damion Fletcher approaching 1,000 yards:
"He's going to have to make sure he does everything he can to get it done. He's been very solid for us throughout the year, and I do hope that he gets it. A lot of that is going to depend on what we have to do in the game plan. I wish he would've gotten it in one or two runs the other day. It would've made things much easier and taken some pressure off of him."
On the performance of Tory Harrison:
"It was definitely a spark when Tory went in there and carried the football. He played with a lot of passion and really got after it."
On dealing with the extra point and field goal unit problems:
"(I scratch my head) a lot, clawing is more like it. I've never been on a team or around a team that's had that kind of problem. It's something that we'll continue to work at and get fixed."
"It's been a shared deal. You're not going to put it on one person anytime. It hasn't been just one aspect. It takes protection, good snap, great hold, and a great kick. If there's a breakdown in any one of those areas, you're going to have a problem. We've had multiple breakdowns in all of those areas."
On a lack of pressure on the East Carolina quarterback:
"They've allowed fewer sacks than anyone in the league. I think they've given up in the single digits in sacks this year and do a great job in their protection. He scrambled around a few times and made some plays on us downfield. We knew going into the game that we needed to cage him. He's in his sixth year and is playing like a very mature quarterback. He did a good job."
On a bowl preference:
"I'm very pleased that we're going to be in a bowl. We're excited that we're going to be in a bowl. We're excited to keep that tradition going and keep that tradition of winning seasons going. We'll be excited wherever we go, I promise. You don't want to leave the season with this kind of taste in your mouth."