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Miami vs. Marshall Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 1, 2007

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Miami vs. Marshall Quotes
Sat., Sept. 1, 2007
Orange Bowl

COACH SHANNON QUOTES

Opening Statement
“It was a big win today. It was something special for us, the City of Miami, Dade County and the South Florida region. It was an opportunity for us to come out in the home-opener for the last time we are going to play in the Orange Bowl, and I think it was great victory for this team.”

“We came into this game with a couple of things we needed to accomplish, and the first thing that we needed to do defensively was to tackle the football. That is the first thing you want to do going into the first game. Most games are won and lost with missed tackles and yards after contact with guys not wrapping up and those kinds of things. The defense did a great job of doing that.”

“We had to dominate the special teams. I think we had some great punt returns that gave us some great field position throughout the game. I thought the punter did a nice job and the coverage team did a nice job until late in the game. [Graig] Cooper did a nice job today and also Richard Gordon had a chance to do something on the kick-off return. I think he got he ball to maybe the 40-yard line. You always want to play field position the first game of the season.”

“We needed to create a lot of turnovers and also keep the offense from turning the ball over. We had one interception and we got some fumbles back from guys that fumbled the ball but we were around and alert. We work on it everyday in practice as far as turning the ball over and making sure the offensive lineman get used to recovering the football.”

“We just had a big victory over Marshall. Coach Snyder and those guys gave us a tough game and down the road I think Marshall is going to be a great team towards the end of the season. They are going to surprise some people because they play hard and they play physical. That’s a team that will never quit.”

On Quarterback Kirby Freeman
“Kirby did a nice job. He managed the game, he had one turnover and we won. We just want somebody to give us an opportunity to win the game.”

On Running Backs Javarris James and Graig Cooper
“I thought they were great. Both of them, if I am not mistaken, had over 100 yards or close to it. That reminds me of the days when we had Edgerrin [James] and [Clinton] Portis, we had Portis and Willis [McGahee] and then we had Willis and Frank Gore. When you get those kinds of combinations, you feel great about it. When Derron [Thomas] came in the game, he was a little change of pace. We can wear teams down physically with the one-two combination. Also, we rotated the offensive line. We rotated the tackles and a lot of guys got a lot of playing time. If we can wear teams down like that and keep playing physical football, we are going to be fine.”

More on Running Backs Javarris James and Graig Cooper“Coach Nix and the coaching staff got together to see what they were trying to do to us. They were basically trying to stuff the run game inside so we took advantage of it. We started going outside where those guys can move more and Javarris, Derron and Cooper did a great job of getting to the edge.”

MIAMI PLAYER QUOTES

Junior Quarterback Kirby Freeman

“I felt like we were playing for much more out there today. I was excited for our new coach and offensive coordinator. We were coached real well today and I felt great out there. The atmosphere was very exciting. This was the first of 12 steps this season. I made some good calls and some bad ones, but in the end we got the win. I will learn from today and prepare for Oklahoma. I am proud of my performance and of our team’s performance. The defense set us up real well with some great turnovers. It was the first start of this new era and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Junior Defensive End Calais Campbell

“Our goal, like every game we play, was to get a shutout. We were really close, but we gave up that field goal. That was a little disappointing, but other than that I thought the defense played really well.”

On any pregame comments Coach Shannon made…
“Every coach has something they say to try to get you fired up, but coach told us to just go out and play the way he knows we are capable.”

On his interception…
“Today is my birthday, so that was a nice little gift. I just reached up, knocked it down and it fell right into my hand. I wish I could have taken it all the way, but it was still nice.”

Senior Linebacker Tavares Gooden

On the play of the linebackers…
“We really have to thank the defensive line. They did a great job in locking up the offensive line and letting the linebackers get free. Those guys played a heck of a game and we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did without them.”

On almost scoring on his interception…
“I really wanted to get into the endzone. I thought it would have been nice to help out the offense and score, but I just didn’t quite make it. You don’t always get that close so you have to take advantage of it when you can.”

Sophomore Linebacker Colin McCarthy

“For our first one of the season, I really thought we played a good game. I think the defense really communicated well and we didn’t have a lot of busted assignments.”

“We definitely have some more work to do and we are going to try to improve each week. That’s the main thing we have to concentrate on – just getting better and better.”

Sophomore Running Back Javarris James

On sharing playing time with Graig Cooper
“It definitely takes a lot of pressure off of you. Usually in the game when you get tired you have to fight through it, but I know if I get tired and I can’t give 100 percent on the play, this guy is going to come in and do the same or probably even better. Actually, I was glad when he came in.”

On difference between freshman and sophomore seasons
“My confidence. Last year, coming in as a freshman, I was put in there against Florida State and I was kind of nervous. Now, I am more confident and I knew what to expect. The best part of the game for me was that I didn’t allow any sacks.”

Freshman Running Back Graig Cooper

On adjusting to speed at the college level
“I have practiced in this type of speed all day long since January, so that gave me a big advantage. There really wasn’t that much of a difference.”

On celebrating with the band after the game
“It was real cool that Coach Shannon came up with the idea. He wanted to show the fans that he loves this game, he loves the school and he loves the tradition.”

Marshall Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Mark Snyder

On Turnovers
“We looked like a very immature football team. A couple of guys had their first start out there today and it showed, they played like it was their first start. That’s what happens when you come play a team like Miami in your first game. That front was pretty good and it was their first start in the Orange Bowl. We had way too many penalties; a lot of it came from our front, the new guys up front on our offensive line, and I thought in the second half, both of their fronts took over the football game.”

On the overturned fourth and one call in the first half
“Yeah that hurts. I mean you got to be able to get four inches if you are going to be able to beat anybody. We came here to win, and we went for it. They reviewed it. I didn’t get to see it and the guys in the field couldn’t tell me anything. It was in the replay box and then they told me that they thought he was down behind the line of scrimmage.”

On Darius Marshall’s performance
“Not too bad, he was about what we thought he was going to be. We just want to get him some assistance and we think he’s going to be pretty good, and he ran hard today. He did some good things out there.”

On C.J. Spellman’s play
“He tackled better than I ever would have imagined, so that gives us a chance. Real nice tackles; I mean that’s who their guys were asking about, number 4. ‘Where did he come from?’ ‘Who is he?'”

Wide Receiver Emmanuel Spann

On the overturned first down
“It kind of turned the tides on us a little bit. It just puts the defense back out there in a situation they shouldn’t have been in the first place. We thought Bernard [Morris] had the first down, but apparently he didn’t, so that kinda set us back a little bit.”

Quarterback Bernard Morris

On Miami’s defense
“The front Miami has is one of the best that we will face this year. You know I kind of had to expect to get hit a little bit today. So you just have to bounce up after those big guys lay up on me. They played a good game and we just got to get better.”

On the first down review
“…on a quarter back sneak I try to get as low as possible and I didn’t even feel my knee touch the ground. That’s something that I have to be heads up on, and try to get the first down on and not make a mental mistake like that.”

Running Back Darius Marshall

On making college debut at Miami

“Well, I think it was a childhood dream, and everyone looks forward to this. Other than that, Miami is a great team, but we also had some flaws like turnovers and penalties we just have to work on. This week in practice we will work hard.”