Paul Johnson addresses media after victory

After Navy's 34-19 win over New Mexico, a beaming Navy head coach Paul Johnson addressed the media.

Media: Coach, have you ever had a drive that took longer than 14:26?

Paul Johnson: I don't think so, we've had some long drives at different places but I don't think so. I think that you have to give the defense on the other side some credit because they kept us out of the end zone and we had 26 plays. I wasn't a lot of big plays, it was four yards, five yards. Running the clock was kinda just what the doctor ordered at that point in the game.

Media: Coach, what did you think of that shot of DonTrell Moore?

Paul Johnson: Well, it's disappointing that DonTrell got hurt, he's a great player. . . Vaughn tried to play the blocker and went low, certainly it wasn't intentional. It's just one of those plays. Anytime a young man gets hurt it's disappointing. I felt bad for DonTrell but sometimes that happens. You don't ever want to see somebody get hurt, especially a player the caliber of him.

Media: Coach, what do you think about the running of quarterback Kole McKamey?

Paul Johnson: We knew he was good. We put a lot of pressure on him . . . he got a lot of big gains on us. We knew he was going to get his yards. He did a great job.

Media: Coach, talk a little about the running of your quarterback, Aaron Polanco. That was quite an exhibition today.

Paul Johnson: He did a nice job running the offense and he hit a couple scramble plays. They were bringing their run support up close to the line of scrimmage, when they did that it enabled us to run a variation of the option that dove back inside. If we execute correctly, because they are up on the line outside, they had nobody covering; so there was nobody to fall back. Aaron made some nice reads and did a nice job getting us some first downs. I'll be the first to tell you that he is not the fastest guy in the world but he's pretty slippery and he makes people miss. He's hard to tackle, it's hard to explain but he got a knack that people just slide off of him. I thought he played a great game today. All our guys on offense did. Kyle, I don't know how many yards he got in the game, he was a big part of Aaron's success to because they were so keyed to stopping him. They were bringing everybody down and then when we'd run mid line and we'd run the option, Aaron had a chance to do some things.

Media: Coach, talk about closing out the season. How special was it for you guys to be the home team. To have the stands filled with Navy fans.

Paul Johnson: We have great fans, they've been great all year. I'm so happy for these players, they've seen the bottom of the barrel, and now they've had a lot of success. Well the fans have been the same way. The fans struggled for so long and the last couple years these guys have given them something to cheer about, something to be proud of. I'm happy for them too. Any time that you can see hard work rewarded, it makes your job worthwhile.

Media: Looking back to August, there were a few questions. Aaron got his chance, finally, as a senior and then the team had one of the greatest seasons on Navy history. Any surprise on your part?

Paul Johnson: No, I wouldn't say I've been surprised. I thought all along that Aaron had good tools to be a really good quarterback. Until they've played though, you don't really know. I did see how tough he was. We had some struggles on the offensive line, we had guys hurt, and we don't put our quarterback in a red shirt so he took a pounding. He kept getting up and kept coming back. I got after him at times but I respected his toughness. From that point on I knew he was going to be okay because I knew he had the tools.

Media: Coach, could you comment on the fact that there were 1,500 members of the Brigade and most of them don't live in California and then there is something like 15,000 alumni that came to this game?

Paul Johnson: We've got great fans. We've had great support all year. The Brigade has just been outstanding. At home games they are sold out. Our administration has supported us very well. The Superintendent and Commandant have helped to get those guys here. The Academy is 4,000 strong, there are only 4,000 that go there roughly and there's a pretty good bond between those guys. I think what's going on in the world and all there's a pretty strong bond between everyone there. I think you witnessed that today.


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