UC vs. RU Post Game Thoughts

Cincinnati's homecoming game against Rutgers provided plenty of material to talk about- A defense that dominated, painful penalties, and a punter saving the day to name a few. The post game press conference provides an outlet to discuss all of these topics and more with the players and coach that made it all happen.

Punter Kevin Huber

On his day's performance, in which he punted nine times for 418 yards (46.4 average), pinning six punts inside the 20:

"Overall, (I'm) happy with how it turned out, but I wasn't really happy with my punts, so it's something I've got to work on the next couple of weeks before UConn."

On his third quarter 64-yard punt, a career long:

"It was the best punt of the day, I can say. I don't know if it was a career or anything, I'm not going to go look back and see where my punts were. I'm just going to go by what I did today and improve on that."
"Right when I hit it I knew before I looked up that that was going to be a good punt."

Defensive End Connor Barwin

On Kevin Huber:

"He just got really lucky today. He had a terrible day if you really look at it. No, I'm just kidding. He's a weapon out there for us. The defense, it felt like every time we were on defense we were down inside the 20. Our special teams, the same thing, and our kickoff cover team, they were great again today. That's like a huge weapon for us defensively, they've got to go 90, 80 yards to score, and that's hard to do."

On the importance of the team's defense and special teams play:

"It's important because that's what you've got to do to win games. It all works together. When the offense isn't getting the first downs, the defense and the special teams need to step it up and I think that's what we did today."

On the team's 12 penalties for 115 yards, including a personal foul called on himself for hitting RU quarterback Mike Teel's helmet:

"We just made bad decisions and got penalties. We can't do that if we want to keep winning. They were penalties and that's what happens."
"They were big penalties we were getting today; they were 15-yard penalties and we just can't do that and they're stupid."
"They said I hit Teel's helmet, but I think I hit his arm. But we'll look at the tape; I think I hit his arm."

On the Scarlett Knight's second half-opening drive:

"They made some adjustments at halftime, and they kind of took away our rush a little bit. They started doing a lot of play action, which makes it a little bit harder to get ready and get to Teel, which worked for them in the second half. That's kind of why they were getting those big chunk plays."

On the team's upcoming bye week:

"I don't mind a week off. We can take a week off, get our legs back. We know UConn's a good team, so it'll give us a little bit more time to prepare for them and be ready to go in there and play them as best we can."

Quarterback Chazz Anderson

On his team's defense:

"Our defense continued to play just unbelievable, and it's really helping a young quarterback like myself to be able to settle down and just throw completions."

On his ongoing need for improvement:

"Just got to go back to the drawing board, continue to get better. There's a large need for improvement from my aspect, and just continue to get wins."
"There's always need for a ton of improvement when you're a young quarterback."

On his team's 0-for-11 third down conversion rate:

"We had some key drive-stopping penalties, but we missed a couple key third downs on throwing bad balls or drops or whatever."

Cornerback Mike Mickens

On the last Rutgers play of the game, in which he broke up a pass intended for Kenny Britt on fourth and two near midfield:

"They just lined up in a formation we'd been practicing all week, where Britt comes underneath on the under route. I just played the inside and didn't let him get underneath, and just went for the ball."
"I think I got the ball and the hand; I just tried to rip it out."
"I'm happy with the last play of the game. I wanted it to be on my shoulders and I got it done."

On covering Rutgers wide receiver Kenny Britt:

"Britt's a great athlete. I just had to be on my Ps and Qs today, stay focused, and just play him."
"It was just a team effort. We all got in there, we all made plays on him and we just defended him real well. We knew he was the guy, if they were going to beat us he was going to have to beat us."

Head Coach Brian Kelly

On the game as a whole:

"Well it's obvious we've reached Big East conference play, just a great college football game. I know most people reserve those comments for 52 points being scored or 80 points, but it was physical football on both sides of the ball."
"I thought we played very good defense all game. We got off the field when we needed to in third down situations, and obviously came up with one more play than Rutgers did on the fourth down."

On Chazz Anderson and his play:

"Offensively, they made it tough for us all day. Chazz was still 21-of-29; high completion percentage, 239 yards, and he took care of the football. No interceptions, no fumbles, played clean from the standpoint. Maybe played a little bit close to the vest."

On his team's penalties:

"Really the story offensively was the penalties, and we shot ourselves in the foot a number of times when we had an opportunity to put some more points on the board."

On Mike Mickens and his play as of late:

"He's playing better football. The last three weeks he's played much better. Now, he's got to continue to play at that level, but I'm proud of the way he's responded to the personal challenge that I gave him in terms of how he needs to play each and every week. I'm pleased that he's been able to play at a higher level each and every week."

On Kevin Huber and his performance on the day:

"It was extraordinary in terms of what he was able to do. And again, it makes it easier for me to punt the football to be quite honest with you. I can't tell you how many times I'm tempted to go for it, (punting's) against my nature. But when you've got a guy like that that can pin the football and force you to play flawless- give Rutgers a lot of credit. Backed up in their own end so many times, they did not make any errors down there. We were putting them down there hopefully to force them into making a mistake, and they did not make a mistake the whole game."

On kicker Jake Rogers, who hit a 50-yard FG Saturday, but struggled early this season:

"He's been kicking it so well. He came to me. It's a whole different demeanor on the sideline. I looked at him and I said, ‘Jake what do you think?' and he goes, ‘coach I got it.' When you get that kind of confidence brewing from your kicker it's a whole lot easier. Earlier in the year I'd look at him and I could see the back of his head, I wasn't going to bring him out on the field. Now he's got that confidence in him."

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