Friday, September 5, 2008

Q&A with Bobby Johnson

Here's a recap of Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson's press conference following the Dores' 24-17 victory:

Opening statement:
"It was good to win the second one. I was very proud of our football team. I felt they played extremely hard in the second half and overcame some things in the second half. I'm just proud of the gritty effort by them to come out there and win that football game. We had several hurt and we had a bunch on the sideline for a while. I just couldn't be more proud."

On what he told the team after the game:
"I told them I was proud of them just like I'm telling ya'll. We move on from here. This I think ups the ante a little bit. We've got a responsibility now to keep playing this way, play better, get better, work hard, and hopefully we can do that."

On the win's significance:
"I have no idea right now. Hopefully we had recruits watching, we had potential ticket buyers watching, we had potential donors watching. It could mean a whole lot, but we have to follow it up. We just can't say, "Hey, we've done it." That's all it means. We've got to work hard to get ready for Rice this week and they'll present us problems so we've still got our work cut out for us big time."

On executing well when it mattered most:
In the second half we played our best football. When we had to get it done we got it done. We had some pretty tired puppies out there. Jared Hawkins ran hard, the offensive line blocked hard and the defensive line was relentless today. That's how you've got to win these kind of games. You've got to play hard the second half.

On the defensive effort in the first half:
"We sort of gave them their first seven, but after that, they got some good plays on us, but we kept fighting, kept fighting, blocked a field goal. They missed a field goal. That's why you've got to keep fighting. Just give yourself a chance to make a play or have them mess up. I think they played hard every play they were out there."

On beating Spurrier two years in a row:
"I was surprised that so many people thought it would be real hard for us to beat them. We beat them last year and I don't know why everybody thought they got so much better than what we were getting. I was glad to get out there and play the game. It was fun."

On using misdirection plays against South Carolina's quick defense:
"They were very aggressive on defense and we always have those plays in the game plan, but with a team that's going to be going hard at you, they're pretty reliable. You can get some things going."

On Stone's two sacks:
"To tell you the truth, I was watching every receiver they had to see where he was and I couldn't describe them to you if I had to right now. I looked down field. I'm an old secondary coach so I looked down field to see if we've got them covered and then I hear everyone cheering and I look back and we have him on the ground. I can't tell you much about them, but I know Steven Stone is relentless and he works extremely hard, and does exactly what you tell him to do."

On VU's blitzing:
"We had a zone pressure or full-out blitz on almost every down. Sometimes it was designed to just get the ball out. I think they started taking advantage of it in the fourth quarter, hitting some passes in the flat, but if it was third and nine and you can get them over there and tackle them and force them to punt, that's the idea."

On Nickson's play:
"I think he did a good job. He was rushed very hard all night, made some big plays for us, got us some situations where they had some great defenses called for some of the plays that we had called out of the huddle. I think he didn't try to force too many things and didn't try to do something he couldn't do so I was very pleased with the way he ran the game."

On the atmosphere:
"It was a great atmosphere here. You could hear the fans, especially the students, and it was great to have those people in the stands pulling for us. I don't know if we completely blacked it out, but we had a bunch of them there yelling for us."

On having a win like this at home:
"We talked about it before the game, that it was time to validate some of the wins we've had on the road and this is an opportunity we had. We beat Arkansas and then had them on the ropes here a couple of years ago and let them off, we had Georgia on the ropes last year and let them off. We talked about it. I don't know if it did any good, but we won. They were aware of it. Football coaches try, but they don't do a lot of motivating right before the game. It's done out there on the practice field and that's where our guys won the game this week."

On the difference in the two halves:
"Mainly it was sorting out what they were doing to us with their defense. It's a lot harder than most people think to try to change what 11 people do according to what the defense is doing. It just takes a little bit of time and then coach Cain did a great job of getting in the locker room and reformulating the game plan, and it worked."

No comments: