Coach D names 3 standouts and more

Read on to see what defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio is saying about his unit's performance on Saturday, including who he thinks stood out the most.

On the SSU performance:
I think we went through the process. We had a plan, and things went well in terms of getting a lot of guys into the game. Guys executed well. There was no shortage of defense. There were still five or six keys to victory and guys went through the process the same way we played Florida. We got the ones out early, and the twos played up until a few minutes in the third quarter. A lot of guys had a chance to play. Guys on the scout team were able to get into the game. That was good.

On getting a lot of guys into the game:
Every day is a quiz out here and then the games are a test. Just like in school. Guys will ultimately be graded on how well they do on their test. A lot of guys improved. We had seven practices during our bye week. We had a detailed plan to get our team better. Some guys got less reps but the game dictated that. Kamalu and Hamilton and Artie Burns, those guys in particular stood out. They were able to expand their role.

On Earl Moore's interception:
That wasn't much of a vertical on that one. We do a drill. We gave him a hard time on that. He did a good job. Outside of that, he's getting better every day. Good with his technique, and he's giving us a good look on the scout team. He has improved and he's a three now. That means our team is getting better.

On Quan Muhammad:
I expected him to come in and do what he's done. I talked about where the pass rush would come from. Tyriq did a nice job. I felt good about it. The thing about Quan is he's mature. He went to Don Bosco Prep and he didn't have to. He was from an area 45 minutes to an hour away. He has a maturity about him.

On Jermaine Grace:
He did fine. He came up to me after the game and thanked me for the opportunity. He told me he had six tackles. He's a good athlete, is learning the defense. It's not easy for a freshman because we're so multiple. He has to get in the book and learn. He's the third will linebacker and we're giving him a lot of reps. Tyrone has done a good job, and now we're trying to groom Jermaine for that role.

On Alex Figueroa:
Alex's biggest thing was his toughness. He was 235. Jermaine was 202. It's steps. The guys who were gaining weight for us as freshmen and sophomore are figuring it out. He just has to buy into what we're doing. Freshmen have a lot going on, trying to be a regular student. And on top of that we have to be locked into football season.

On Artie Burns:
He did good. Teams give different looks. He made progress over a two week period. He understands where he's at. He knows what he needs to improve on.

On Anthony Chickillo improving since last season:
I don't know if I heard that he struggled last year. At the end of the day, everyone wants to see sack production. That's at the bottom of my list. I want him to play hard, play his gaps. He has improved every year. He's gone from 238 to 274. Third down, he's inside. He's smart. He goes in there, he gets to the quarterback. He has good technique. The sacks will come, those things will come. We're about winning and he gives us a great chance.

On playing so many guys:
I talked last week about 19 guys playing. What I meant was first and second down. We are trying to expand that. In the first two quarters we played 27. Overall, we played 40. It was good having a bye week and now we're getting into the meat of our schedule.

On who played the most:
A.J. Highsmith had 31. I don't think anyone else had over 30. Cornileus was 28 or 29. A lot of guys had 15, 16 across the board. We were trying to get a lot of guys into the game.

On Highsmith's interception:
He got the pick. The one before that, he had a chance to get that one so he was down on himself. He got the second one so that was good.

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