Quote Book: Syracuse vs. Maryland

Post-game quotes from players and coaches after Syracuse's 34-20 loss to Maryland.

Darius Kelly, Senior, Strong Safety

On how the team can bounce back from this loss:
“We have to erase this past week and realize that there’s a next week. That’s one thing I want to relay to the team. The greatest thing about this sport is that we have next week and we want to regroup and get ready to make some stops on plays. We fought in the fourth quarter and we have next week.”

On the game next week and the opportunities:
“You can’t really dwell on what you did last week and the week before. Next week is a brand new week – new players, new quarterback, new coaching staff we’re playing against – so we need to get ready for that.”

On the team’s reaction to the primetime game next week:
“We’re primetime on ABC, but we have to concentrate on this week, and now we’re going to look at it as an opportunity to step on the field against a top team in the nation. We’re going take it as full speed as we can.”

Prince-Tyson Gulley, Graduate Student, Running Back

On the team’s performance in the red zone:
“We just couldn’t do it. We did everything we needed to do to get down there. We just couldn’t punch it in. We will try to better next time. It is very frustrating because you do get down there but you don’t punch it in. It feels like you got down there for nothing. We just have to keep working every day.”

On the Notre Dame game next week:
“We just have to go to work. It’s a big game but we just have to watch the film from Maryland and tighten up some things and get ready to play Notre Dame.”

On improving play in the red zone:
“Execute. That’s all the plays come down to. We just have to make sure we follow in line with what we are being told to do.”

Julian Whigham, Junior, Cornerback

On today’s game against Maryland:
“I think we got flustered in the first half, calmed down in the second half. We were motivated to lock up what we were doing and we did a good job of that.”

“We were feeling good after the Central Michigan game; we came out with a lot of energy. It’s incredibly disappointing with the way things worked out. They made a lot of plays, we didn’t, and we ended up losing.

“It’s a team game. The defense should have done a better job in the first half - it’s not the offense’s fault. Obviously we would have liked to have more points but as a team we need to execute and we didn’t do that and it’s disappointing.”

On next week’s game against Notre Dame:
“It’s an incredible opportunity to play a great team in a great situation – primetime. I think the whole team looks forward to that opportunity. We are going to do our best to prepare and come out ready to play.”

Cameron Lynch, Senior, Linebacker

On today’s game against Maryland:
“We had three big opportunities to turn the game around and we didn’t make those plays so it could be a different story. Hats off to their team. They had a few explosive plays on offense and defense so our job now is to go to the drawing boards and focus on Notre Dame.”

On next week’s game against Notre Dame:
“I think that is just starting tomorrow, going in and being early to every meeting, paying attention to detail, whether it’s having your notebooks out before the coach comes in and just little small things that we do like picking up trash in the locker room. That stuff will carry over so when it comes down to staying onsides on third down with four to go, those things will be taken care of so it’s just the little things. Nip those in the bud at practice and in the locker room, we will get those taken care of.

“We’ve been there (in big games). We beat Louisville here, we beat West Virginia here. We play big teams at MetLife. We’ve been there before. It won’t be a shock to us at all. We will go out there and execute, get the quarterback and play assignment football. We will do well.”

Terrel Hunt, Senior, Quarterback

On today’s game against Maryland:
“I just want to throw it to the open person. I don’t really care who it is. I have my faith in every single receiver out there. They got my back, I got their back. It doesn’t matter who is in the game and who those options are, as long as they’re open I’ll get them the ball.”

On what the team can take from today’s game:
“I don’t really like moral victories because you lose. On the bright side you see where we are going as an offense, passing wise, rushing wise, you can see things opening up. We wish we would have won but we’ll go back to the drawing board.”

On how to move forward from this game:
“It’s the little things we have to take care of. I feel like we were unstoppable when we got into a rhythm. We were going up and down the field but it was the little things that killed us like penalties or misreads or just the wrong routes and once we get that fixed we will be unstoppable.”

George McDonald, Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receiver Coach

On the team’s performance today:
“It is disappointing. Every time you come in the red zone you have to come away with points. The red zone really hurt the momentum and we can’t do those things we talked about since the spring. Today’s game came down to execution. We have to go back and refocus on fundamentals of executing and doing your job.”

On miscommunication between quarterback Terrel Hunt and wide receiver Adrian Flemming:
“There was a miscommunication but Flemming did the right thing. This game goes back to we have talked about which is emphasizing communication and focus. In that play the communication broke down and it resulted in a negative play.”

On quarterback Terrel Hunt’s performance:
“We were close on a couple slants. I think it’s always easy to blame the quarterback. However, it was a combination of mistakes. We had more drops today than we have had in the last two games. Sometimes the ball is not going to be hundred percent where you want it and that’s why the other guys have to make plays. We will go back and look at the tape, but It is unfortunate we left some plays out on the field. We had our opportunity to score points and change the game but we couldn’t do it.”

On wide receiver Ashton Broyld leaving the game due to injury:
“Every time we lose a player like Ashton it hurts. I don’t think it was a noticeable drop off in the game. Ben Lewis went in and made some good plays for us. I think at the end of the day the lack of execution really hurt us.”

Head Coach Scott Shafer

Opening Statement:
“First off, congrats to coach Edsall and the Maryland team on a good victory. Difficult loss for us, I had a chance to reflect coming off the field for a couple minutes. It’s a game of turnovers and we know that, that’s the formula. You have to win the turnover ration. You have to take care of your protection in kicking game.

“Usually you rush 280-yards more then you have a shot to win, but I look at those fleeting opportunities and you’ve got to come down with the ball. I never felt like we gave ourselves a push in the momentum to get ourselves on track.

“The defense came out there in the second half and kept fighting. Almost pitched a shutout in the second half, minus the fumble and the points off the field goal, so I was pleased with that.

“Disappointed in the loss, again it comes down to an opportunity for an interception and they come down with it for a big play. Another opportunity for an interception and it hits us in the gut and we drop it. There’s two chances for momentum pushes and we didn’t work it.

“We understand how the formula works and that is: win the turnover ratio by at least one by the end of the game, rush the ball for more than 50 yards more than our opponent and protect in the kicking game or don’t give up a big play. In two of those areas we came up short and that’s why we lost the game.”

On failed opportunities in the red zone:
“I think each of those has an opportunity to be a game-changer, but again coming up short and having some holding penalties that really knocked us back and put us in a tough situation.

“Even still, before halftime we could have cut that thing down with a field goal and had a little bit of a feeling heading into the locker room that, ‘Hey, we have some momentum.’ It’s such a game of momentum, and then we missed the field goal there and that was disappointing.

“But we kept fighting, I thought the kids continued to play hard, but we did not play smart and take care of the almighty football and when you don’t do that you lose games.”

On why it was a struggle to finish drives:
“Because we didn’t get the ball over the goal line.”

Any update on (wide receiver) Ashton Broyld’s injury?
“Not yet. We’ll hopefully know in a few hours when we get him checked out, but he’s got a lower leg injury. We got a little banged up today.”

On third downs:
“We moved the chains on a couple of those third downs and then we penalized ourselves. It was great play, great play, holding. Great play, great play, facemask. So when it came down to that one around the 50-yard line and there was a decision to be made, I decided to kick it because I knew our defense would stop them and they did, but we didn’t come back and make the move you have to. So it was a difficult situation there.

“You don’t want to break your back when the defense was playing well. I felt confident in the situation we had there. There were times where we crossed them up and everyone’s cheering, including coach Shafer, and then that flag comes out.

“So if you ask me the most disappointing thing, I think it would be that we had holding, holding, chop, holding, one was a defensive holding down the field, holding and then coach Shafer being mad because we didn’t get that one call. But I’m sure he made the right call, but we’ll have to look at it.

“We’re just going to have to bounce back. We’re playing one of the best teams in the country in Notre Dame at MetLife Stadium. They’ve had a week off to prepare for us and it’ll be a great opportunity for our kids to really bounce back and go in there with some fire power and see who we are and continue to try and grow each week.

“We have to do a better job of controlling the things that we can control. That would be penalties, pre-snap penalties and discipline with our hand placement, and trying to continue to work to get those turnovers. We’ve been good not giving them up until today and obviously those were costly.”

On the effect of today’s loss after coming in with confidence after Central Michigan:
“We didn’t get it done. We lost the game obviously, but we moved the ball well on offense, I liked what we did on offense. Defensively, we gave up those two big plays early, and played on our heels a bit, but you can’t give up those big plays.

“We rebounded a bit but it was too late. We couldn’t come up with that momentum push that you need, simple as that.”

Is this game more disappointing given next week:
“If you overthink it maybe. But that’s not how we operate – if you did you’d drive yourself nuts. I don’t need to drive myself nuts.”

On dropped passes:
“A lot of passes we made last week, we didn’t make this week and I thought the placement of the football wasn’t as good as it was last week. I thought Terrel was 12-to-18 inches off on a lot of those throws and last week he was dead on, so he’ll go back to work on it and we’ll go back to work on it and try to be more consistent with those plays.”

How long do you focus on this game before you move onto Notre Dame?
“What we do is Sunday, tomorrow, the kids will get a flush out. Stretch and yoga to try and get their bodies right and then we’ll go hard to work on the Maryland game first and foremost. We’ll do that for an hour or an hour and a half to try and correct the mistakes, make sure everyone has extreme clarity on where we made the mistakes and where our technique wasn’t good. Then we have dinner, and after we have dinner we throw away the last game, for better or worse, we throw it away and then we focus on our next target, which would be Notre Dame.

“Then we put them to bed and, as coaches, go hard on Monday and then Tuesday put the pads on and go back to work.”

On next three opponents:
“The challenge is not the next three weeks, you’re dead wrong. I love you, but you’re missing the boat on this one. The challenge is do we win on Sunday and then do we win on Monday and do we in on Tuesday on just focusing on the task at hand, which is Notre Dame.”

On placekickers Cole Murphy and Ryan Norton:
“Well I think we’ll take a good look at it and try and play the guy who gives us the best opportunity to win. It was nice to see Cole hit that long one and come back in. So we’ll cross that bridge when we get closer to game time. It’s no different than any other position, we’ll look around the room and talk amongst coaches and try to make the best decision to help the team.”

On giving up two big plays early and what he’d do differently looking back:
“If we had covered the deep ball better and had been in better position to break it up, that’d be the first thing. Then on the bubble we got cut. Our safety came up and he got cut. He has to play with his hands better come over the top and at bare minimum force it back to his teammates. sDefense is all about leverage, keeping the ball in front and getting off blocks. In those two instances we didn’t stay on top and on the second one we lost leverage. In those situations it’s more technique than a call to be honest with you.”


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