Marshall Football Postgame Quotes

Oct. 25, 2014

Recap | Notes

Doc Holliday, Marshall head coach
Opening statement:
"Just to start, I thought FAU had some really good players. I told you going in that their quarterback would create a lot of issues for us. He did in that first half. He's a hard guy to get on the ground. Lucky Whitehead could play for anybody. When we went in at halftime, I thought our kids handled it extremely well. Our leadership on the football team is tremendous. We came out in the second half and did what we had to do. I thought our defense played tremendous and our offense made plays in the second half. We did what we had to do to win the football game. I also told the kids that any great football team at some point during the year is going to have some adversity and have to find a way to go win a football game. That's what happened to us today and I thought we responded extremely well in the second half. To go out and win the way we did in the second half was critical and I am happy with what those kids did and how they reacted in the second half."

On Devon Johnson:
"He was hurt a little going in and has been banged-up a little. Thank goodness we have a week off because this will give us the opportunity to get him and those guys that are banged-up a break. But that's football. It's a physical game. When you get eight games into the year, you're going to have some guys that are banged-up. This will give us a week to get some people healthy and work the guys that need worked, so that we can get ready to go on the road and play a Southern Miss team in a few weeks. The open date comes at a great time and we've got to get better as a football team."

"He's a tremendous player. I won't sit here and tell you that I knew all of that was going to happen. I knew he was a really good football player, but didn't know I was going to move him to tailback and get the production we've gotten from him. I knew he was really a good player, but he's not a good player, he's a great player. He's physical, runs a great pad level, has great ball skills, and is a tremendous football player. I'm glad he's on our side because I wouldn't want to have to tackle that guy."

On the locker room at halftime:
"All that was said was 'Hey guys, let's go do what we do. Let's go play the way we are capable of playing. Defensively, let's start tackling a little better and get them off the field on third down,' which we didn't do a very good job of in the first half. Offensively, just make plays. Again, just do what we do. Play solid, sound football, execute, and take what they give us. Our kickoff team hurt us with field position. That's the first time that's happened in a couple years and that is not acceptable. It wasn't as much the kicker as it was the guys covering. We have to go to work on that and get that fixed because that changed the field position the entire game. I thought our punter punted the ball extremely well. That guy [Crevon Leblanc] was leading the country in punt returns. [Williams] did a good job keeping that in check. We missed that short field goal and did not execute there and we need to correct that kickoff problem. Special teams changed field position all the time and you can't put your defense in that position. It hurts you, and it sure did today."

On stopping the fourth down in the end zone:
"I thought Taj [Letman] made a great play on the fourth down in the end zone. There were a couple big-time plays down there in the score zone. I know Taj made one and Darryl [Roberts] made one. The defense in the second half played extremely well. They stepped up and made the plays they had to make. The only thing that matters is the win. You get that win and you're 8-0 and everybody is happy."

On how special this season is becoming:
"We've got a long way to go and a lot of football left to be played. We've got four weeks in the regular season, a championship game in that fifth week that if we play well enough, we have a chance to play in. That's our goal. We just have to go out and get better as a football team. We've done that to this point. You guys watch practice and our guys practice extremely well. We can't change. We can't forget what got us here. We just have to go out every day and work extremely hard as a football team and as a coaching staff to get better, and we'll do that."

Rakeem Cato, senior quarterback
On running back Devon Johnson:
"He's a blessing. The guys up front did a great job, and Rock [Johnson] did a great job running; he has a great vision. He did a great job picking up tackles and going the distance. He's just a blessing, and it was great to see that when our passing game is having trouble, our rushing game can take over."

On the offensive struggles in the first half:
"I think it was execution on my part. They did what they did last year; a couple of balls were overthrown, and there were some other mistakes, but I think we did a great job coming back as a team in the second half."

Chris Jasperse, redshirt senior center
On the offensive line paving the way for Johnson:
"We did a good job up front, and Devon [Johnson] just did what he does. He keeps his head level, and just outruns people."

On the adjustments between the first and second half:
"I think we did the same thing in the second half that we did in the first, we just did a little better job executing. We had those two big runs, and we got away from that. We just weren't executing and throwing and catching like we normally do."

Darryl Roberts, redshirt senior corner
On first half struggles:
"We just were not executing like Coach [Doc Holliday] wanted us to do on third downs. We came in, Coach [Chuck] Heater made a few adjustments, and we just simply executed better after that."

On the atmosphere heading into the second half:
"It wasn't really nervousness, we just had to get back to playing Herd defense like we knew we could. They're athletic, like Coach [Doc] Holliday told us they would be, so we weren't nervous, we just had to get out there and get back to our game."

Devon Johnson, junior running back
On breaking the single-game rushing yards record:
"I wasn't even aware of that until they said it over the speakers, but all the credit goes to the linemen. It's their record, I couldn't have done it without them. They hold that, not me."

On the team overcoming troubles and still being victorious:
"It's great. When things are going right, we knew we would have a game like this. I'm glad we did, because we fought through adversity and came back and won."

Charlie Partridge, Florida Atlantic head coach
On the overall game:
"A number of things fell into that. There were things that our offense was doing well. I won't say it was an easy decision and I had time to think about it. Our success from a week ago played into it and part of it was our respect for Marshall. Marshall has a great offense. Obviously, they are doing some special things this year, scoring 47 points a game. When you are going up against a team of this caliber you need to create some additional possessions. The other factor that came into play was we would have been in good field position but [Devon] Johnson broke a big play and all the credit in the world goes to Marshall for taking advantage of us, unfortunately."

On the close first half:
"I think they struggled with tempo and that is something we have seen on their film. That is part of our wheelhouse and it is something that we do and something that we are working to create pressure on defenses. We really keep getting better each week. For us, keep it simple. They are simple offensively. To be completely honest, they throw some fades and they get those and that's part of their game plan. They got some of those at the end. That is what it is. We stayed on top of those, stayed up the field defensively and offensively. We got a chance to run the ball. Quite honestly they are undersized inside but they are athletic. So, we thought we would have a chance to move the ball and add tempo into that and we were having success the first half."

On Marshall running back Devon Johnson:
"He is a great player no doubt and he had three big runs. There were really two different angles. Clearly, [Rakeem] Cato is a big threat, so he is always going to create a challenge on the edge. On the first play, they took their tackle and folded it inside of the gap. Again, credit to them. Johnson's a good player."

On being disappointed:
"I am just disappointed with the fact that we didn't win. We came here to win. We really believed that we could. I still believe that if we had played four quarters we would have been right there at the end and that's disappointing. I have to give Doc [Holliday] credit. A couple years ago he was fighting to get this thing turned and they are 8-0. They are fighting for the playoffs. It is good for C-USA that they have a team fighting for the playoffs. So, it is good for us to forward and continue to build our program. In a couple years, I believe we are going to be something special. You can see it starting to happen but we just aren't there yet."

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