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Quotes: Miami vs. Louisville

MODERATOR:  All right.  We will go ahead and get started with University of Miami.  We’re joined by head coach Al Golden and Quarterback Stephen Morris.  Coach, could you start us off with an opening statement. 

COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah.  Obviously disappointed we got beat in all three phases.  There’s no excuses.  We didn’t play well enough, give a lot of credit to Louisville they played really well, executed well.  Again, it’s my responsibility and disappointed in our execution in all three phases.  I just — as I just shared with the team.  Despite that, just really proud of Stephen and this group of seniors and what they’ve been through and what they’ve endured in moving us forward from six to seven and from seven to nine wins.  We’re going to miss them greatly for all that they’ve contributed and obviously for their leadership through really tough three years.  So go ahead.


MODERATOR:  Excuse me.  We have court reporters and we’re trying to do live scrips, so if you could find a microphone if you have a question. 

Q     Did it kind of remind you of the Florida state game that you clearly were just against a football team that was significantly farther along than where you are right now? 

COACH GOLDEN:  Again, Gary, I appreciate the question but it’s so hard to answer that without discrediting the guys in that locker room especially the seniors who have been busting their tail to keep us afloat and move us forward.  I think everybody recognizes and I’m going to answer this honestly.  Everybody recognizes that we’re not where we want to be yet but we’re scratching and fighting and clawing to get to where we want to be and keep moving forward.  We’ve done it, you know, against terrible odds.  I’m not going to discredit the guys we just played, but we have to get better and we’re going to play these guys again in the near future and we got to be better. 

Q     Al, what does have to change going into next season defensively?


COACH GOLDEN:  Again, we didn’t give the defense a chance early in the game.  I thought they were playing really well.  They did a great job against the run.  They were out there for too many plays and we didn’t convert.  I think we were 0 for seven at the half.  Matt, there’s a lot of things that have to change.  We have to do better job coaching, we have to continue to build our program and just move forward and — but, again, I think the defense was what was holding us in there in the first half and they were out there for too many plays. 

Q     Coach, did you see any of this in preparation, in bowl practice?  Was there any sign the game would be like this? 

COACH GOLDEN:  No, obviously it’s our first go round for the freshman, sophomores, and juniors.  It’s the first time going through this experience.  Again, Stephen and Jimmy and Allen, they provided really good leadership for us.  But, again, it’s the first time.  You got to go through it.  We didn’t want to play the way we played.  We wanted to play better.  There are going to be a lot of things from this week and from going into a site and learning how to handle the media and the crowd and all of those things that we have not had the opportunity to do.  Again, I think our guys are going to find value in that and learn from that. 

Q     Coach, can you please tell us a little bit more about the significance of the senior class and how it’s been in this program after you guys have been through? 

COACH GOLDEN:  Again, I don’t think it’s — to go out on a limb and say they saved us.  They could have cut and run.  They kept us afloat, you know, and they saved us.  I don’t know how else to look at it.  You know, that’s about as hard as you get what they had to endure for three seasons.  You know, again, it’s not to our standard, let alone anybody else’s expectations, but I’m not going to let that eclipse what these young men have done for the university of Miami and this program and the class they exhibited and to take somebody else’s problem on and claim it as their own and have the resolve and the mental toughness to fight through.  I’m proud of them.


Q     Stephen, this question is for you, obviously today four sacks, most pressure you felt all season back there.  Can you talk about the performance and this being your last game as a hurricane? 

MR. MORRIS:  Obviously it wasn’t the performance I wanted to have being my last game but give credit to Louisville.  They had a great defensive plan going.  They were in the right spots at the right time.  They came up with making the play.  It’s definitely something I want to work on, something it’s been an issue for running on third downs we needed to do a better job on that.  Over all my performance as a quarterback was not one of my greatest performances but you just learn from it.


Q     Coach, you’ve been here three years, defensively there’s been some issues with schematics.  Are you going to reevaluate the whole staff and everything in the future now that the season is over or perhaps look to make any changes? 

COACH GOLDEN:  I’m going to evaluate the whole program, just like I do every year.  It’s not going to be any different.  Again, there’s things right now but in terms of moving the program forward, we’re going to keep moving it forward.  We’re going to be resolute in that and we’re not going to flinch with that.  Again, at the end of the day, we’re going to continue to recruit, continue to develop, but in terms of the young kids in our program and everything, I don’t want to trade the young kids.  I want to keep going.  I want to keep moving forward.  I just think overall, I think it’s really important that every coach, every unit, every player, everybody is evaluated and I’ll start that probably tomorrow. 

Q     Stephen, this might not have been the way you wanted to end your career here but has it fully hit you you’ve played your last game at the university of Miami and what is it you’ll take away most of your time at the university? 

MR. MORRIS:  I think it will probably hit me tomorrow when I wake up and won’t have a schedule from coach Golden and won’t have a tech saying where I need to be.  It’s been a pleasure here, man.  It’s been a true blessing.  I’m blessed to say that all these coaches have truly left such a great mark on my life.  It’s changed me to a better man.  I’m proud to say.  Football is a game of wins and losses.  Unfortunately we didn’t win how we wanted to win.  Sometimes we lost the way we loss.  I’m always going to be proud to say I’m a cane. 

Q     How much did they change over the month in terms of blitz packages? 

COACH GOLDEN:  It was different. 

Q     Significantly different? 

COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah, no it was definitely different and then obviously you know when they got out to a lead and we never brought my pressure on the other side, which kept compounding the problem, Gary.  So I don’t think there’s any question about it.  Then you get to a point in the game where you’re pressing and your trying to make some plays that you don’t need to make.  I don’t think there’s any question we didn’t protect as well as we needed to protect.  It’s my responsibility. 

Q     Coach, this is for you and Stephen.  I know it’s not good right now, but the week in general, I mean, talk about how was the bowl experience for you? 

MR. MORRIS:  The bowl experience was very fun.  Russell Athletic did a great job hosting the events for us.  On top of that the week’s practice was great.  Even when we were in Miami we had tough physical practices which was great.  Guys were excited to be here and when we got to the bowl site throughout the whole week everyone was focused and everyone invested a lot into this game.  It’s disappointing the way the game turned out to be but it’s been a great experience. 

COACH GOLDEN:  I would say on above of the University of Miami we’re grateful, the Russell Athletic Bowl and Orlando for just — they did a tremendous job for our young people and especially given the fact that our guys hadn’t experienced that since 2010.  We’re grateful. 

Q     Al, I think Teddy had over 400 yards passing in this game.  What was he doing that just allowed him to be so effective tonight? 

COACH GOLDEN:  Number one, I think he made a lot of plays where he broke a tackle, you know, made a completion.  He made some really, really excellent plays, just individual plays where it looked like we had him for a sack.  It looked like we got him for a sack, he breaks the tackle and throws.  There was a number of those, number of those plays, but obviously he’s an excellent quarterback, he threw the ball well, but, again, you can’t — there’s no excuses right now.  He played well, he execute well.  Their team executed well.  We have to do a better job. 

Q     You spoke about a lot of the momentum you felt this month and obviously with everything that’s gone on this season, what type of message does this game send the recruits? 

COACH GOLDEN:  Well, I don’t know if it sends a message.  I just think we’re still building.  We need help.  Obviously the size of this class is an indication you know that we’re bringing a big group in and there’s a lot of room to help us.  I don’t think there’s any question that those kids understand that.  They understand that they can help us and there’s room to help us and we’re not in a situation right now where we want to be and those kids see themselves as guys that can help us get there.  So I don’t think that’s going to change anything.  We just got to keep moving forward. 

Q     Coach, you’re going to have the opportunity to play Louisville again real soon.  How are you going to play differently and what can you expect from that program over the next several years? 

COACH GOLDEN:  Again, I can’t really speak to what direction they’re going.  All I can answer is what we need to do.  Obviously we need to get back to work and see how we evolve with our personnel in the spring.  Depending on when we play them, we’ll make determination what our game plan is and what our personnel is.  That’s so far off right now.  We’re going to add 25, 26 guys to this team and obviously develop the young men that we have and decide what direction we want to go in all three phases in the off season and spring ball and we’ll decide what the game plan will be. 

THE MODERATOR:  Two more questions for Miami. 

Q     Coach, you talk about the process all the time and now the cloud is removed from the NCAA do you have a time frame you expect to get this program back consistently top ten competing at the –

COACH GOLDEN:  Well, number one, we just won nine games for the third time in a decade.  I wish we had won ten, all right, but we’re busting our tails right now to keep moving.  There is no time table.  Again, I take responsibility for everything, responsibility for everything in the program.  At the end of the day today wasn’t good enough.  Again, I’m proud of the seniors and I don’t want that to be diminished or lost here.  We’re going to keep moving this thing forward and it’s hard for me to give you a time table.  When my time table is wiped out on August 15, 2011.  It’s hard me to give you a time table.  I made a commitment to get it done and we’re going to fight our asses off until we get it done. 

Q     I was just wondering about you know what happens tomorrow?  Do you meet with the under class men at all?  Do the seniors just kind of walk away and that’s the end? 

COACH GOLDEN:  We’ll get the seniors back when they either, A, come back to school or when they start to work out to get ready and do those types of things.  They know.  We have a great relationship with the seniors, but tomorrow everybody is going to kind of go their own way.  That’s pretty traditional.  We’ll find an opportunity to get the seniors back and get them together, but we really did try to honor them as best we could at the banquet and just make sure before the game they understood how important they were and we just had another opportunity and we did that again. 

Q     Are you — I guess you probably already talked to some of the juniors that are contemplating, perhaps, entering the NFL.  How does that work now?


COACH GOLDEN:  We have a great process in place where they get their draft reports.  They had and will continue to have opportunities to speak to every entity that they need to, but as it relates to me.  I’m just there for support.  I am not part of that decision.  I make sure that they get everything that they can get to make the best decision for them and their future and obviously if they need consultation from me, then I give it to them, just as we have a whole booklet of people that they can call and different people they can get information from to make the best decision for themselves. 

THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Thank you, coach Golden and Stephen for your time