"I was proud of our group and I was proud of our team. First game is always tough and we held in there. To come out with a victory was big and I am proud of the group. I thought our special teams did a great job ... They maintained and gave us the upper edge tonight, I was very proud of that unit. Defense made some plays, but there is still more to work on. We have a short week so have to make our adjustments quick.
On the defensive score to start the third quarter: We needed that ... Ty Holmes has a way of getting his hands on the ball, I'm proud of him. There were some plays we wish we had back, we need to contain the quarterback better but the kids kept fighting.
On Shane Carden's ability to extend plays: Nowadays you cant just sit and be in one place," McNeill said. "You won't make it, teams are too good. To have a quarterback like Shane with the ability to extend plays is key to success. He did a good job leading us to victory.
On Hardy's big night: He does what receivers do in this offense," McNeill said. "I'm sure there are things he can get better about, but its a part of him to be mature and understand how hard he works.
On the receiver depth: We were worried about our receiver depth, but we had some tonight," McNeill said. "Davon Grayson and Cam Worthy made some great catches. Isaiah Jones, Danny Webster, Bryce Williams, Lance Ray and Reese Wiggins all performed. We feel great about our receiving core.
--- Quarterback Shane Carden: ---
On going head to head with Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke: It's not me versus him, it's our teams versus our teams. It's not like Troy, where one guys is sent out versus another guy. He's a great guy, I talked to him after the game and I hoping for the best for him this season.
On the emergence of true freshmen receivers Isaiah Jones and Davon Grayson: They were both pretty excited. I don't think any of them were nervous, but almost too excited for the game. I was kind of talking to them, saying just relax and what you're doing on the practice field is why you're playing as a true freshman and just do that and you'll be fine.
On Justin Hardy's performance: Very reliable. Obviously, if you go back a while, he's had a great season last year, and just continues to get better and better and whenever I'm in trouble, he's open.
--- Free Safety Damon Magazu ---
On the defense's performance: I think we did a good job. We didn't do as well as we thought, but hats off to the quarterback and that offense. They did a great job, he's a great athlete, dual threat quarterback. We've been preparing for him, but it's so hard to simulate how good a quarterback is ... We came out with the win and that's what is important.
On in-game adjustments against Heinicke: We just tried to keep him inside the pocket. We feel that he felt more comfortable when he got outside the pocket ... so we tried to keep him inside the pocket slowly converge it, and let the DB's continue to cover throughout the game.