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Syracuse vs USF Quote Book

Post-game quotes from both head coaches and players from each team in South Florida's 45-20 win over Syracuse.

Syracuse head coach Dino Babers

Opening statement:

“I thought the first part of the game we were doing the things we wanted to do offensively, defensively, and kicking game. I thought we started well. Once we were in the second quarter, third quarter second half, we just weren’t able to finish. Good football team, talented players, but right now I’ve have a lot of disappointment on my face. I thought that we could have won that game and I’m really disappointed that we didn’t.”

On not-converting on fourth downs in the fourth quarter:

“It’s part of our game, the more and more you watch us you have to understand there’s certain things that we do. The most important thing is we’re not going to get them all the time, but we believe we do and that we’re going to get them when we call it—if we don’t think we’re going to get it then we punt the ball. It was disappointing that we didn’t convert more of those plays, I think that would have had a huge effect on the game. The thing we have to remember is it’s also ok to get a first down, a first or second or third down and not have to use your fourth down to get 10 yards. That is allowed, we need to do better on those downs.”

On turnovers offensively and defensively:

“It’s all part of the game; the turnovers, the injuries, the depth. All of those guys’ programs, they feel bad for you but they have a big smile on their face, and I can’t blame them. We have to find a way to win with the people that we have, with the depth that we have, with the injuries that we have. No excuses.”

On Eric Dungey’s performance:

“So many times with the quarterback, I know that’s the one everyone can see, but a lot of times his days depend on so many other people. On the offensive line we lost our center, there were snaps that were on the ground that he had to handle, wide receivers making sure that they’re doing everything exactly right. And when you’re standing back there and you’ve got three rushers coming at you, you have to make sure, ‘Is that guy getting blocked? Because this guy was supposed to come over here and block that guy, is this going to happen?

"So, the reason why I’m saying all that is because I think Eric is progressing nicely. He’s not totally there yet, but every week we find something to correct. Hopefully there will come a day where we have to stop correcting and we’ll really see the guy that we think we’ve got. But right now I think that he’s just  growing. To say that he had a great day, I wouldn’t say he had a bad day, just say he’s had his third game in this system and I can’t wait until he gets to more games so he can get better.”

On Dontae Strickland’s 30 carries:

“It’s not really eating the ‘hot hand’, it once again ties in to why we do certain things. They were taking certain things away, and it became Strickland’s day. Something we tell all of our personnel is you never know when your day is going to be. The defense decides, we can do certain things and make sure certain guys get the ball on certain plays---but for the most part for the offense to flow you have to have weapons all across the board. That’s when it really gets to be good because it doesn’t matter what they take away you’ve always got a weapon somewhere else. We’re not there yet, we’re not there today, but we will get there someday—and when we get there someday, that will be a heck of a day.”

On Antwan Cordy and his injury:

“I talked to Antwan (Cordy) and I just love the heck out of that guy. He’s so little, yet he’s so big, and his heart is huge. When I found out about the injury I brought him over and the first thing I told him was, 'You know what, broken bones, they heal better than torn ACLs. I’ve had a broken bone; you’d never believe which one of my bones was broken. They heal back stronger, the body’s a beautiful thing.’

With Antwan, we’re going to be able to get a redshirt year for him, which means that we get number either back the second and third year of this system. That’s a blessing, everything happens for a reason—and that’s what I told him.”

On the defense on USF's TD off a 4th and 1:

“We have to go back and watch the tape, again normally with those situations there’s some sort of mistake. I can’t tell you where every mistake was, but when it happens that fast there’s normally a mental breakdown.”

Syracuse QB Eric Dungey

On the game turning after being up 17-0:

“It comes down to execution. Offensively, we can’t get complacent. We have to play like it’s 0-0 the entire time.”

On pace of play:

“In the first quarter, I think the pace was where it was suppose to be. That’s how we are supposed to play. After that, it starts with that first first down. Once we get that, it starts to get rolling.”

On Colin Byrne in his first start:

“I think Colin did a great job in his first start. Colin is one of those guys I came in with and off the field I have a great relationship with him. I had all the faith in the world with him.”

Syracuse LB Zaire Franklin

On struggling to adjust to the USF offense:

“I wouldn't say we were complacent. We had a couple mental breakdowns. They weren’t present when we had the momentum on our side. Those mental breakdowns led to the momentum shifting. It made it a game. By the time we got back on our game, USF had a lot of momentum. ”

On Antwan Cordys’s injury and advice:

“Cordy and I are very close. We both played on defense together as true freshman. I told Cordy to have faith. It’s hard to believe but everything happens for a reason. The beautiful thing is he is going to come back better and stronger than ever. Knowing him, he is going to put in the extra time and work. The only thing I could tell him is to be patient and trust in the bigger plan.”

On the fourth and one, 52-yard touchdown run:

“There was miscommunication on defense. I take responsibility for that because it’s my job to make sure everyone is on the same page. When you are playing dynamic players, they are going to make you pay.”

Syracuse RB Dontae Strickland

On his 100-yard rushing performance:

“I have to give a lot of credit to my offensive line. Blocking schemes and play calling were great. All the credit goes to my offensive line. I couldn't have gotten those yards without my offensive line.”

On the running game overall:

“A lot of teams we have played recent feel like we don't have a running game. I feel like this game established that we can run the ball on offense, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

USF head coach Willie Taggart

Opening statement:

“What a great win for our guys, it was good to see them fight back. All week long I talked about how there would be adversity in this game. We felt it all week especially the way Syracuse played the week before. We knew they would come out and play hard. I wanted to see how this 2016 team would respond to adversity because that’s something we hadn’t seen yet. I told them when they come we are not going to flinch, we are going to look them in the eye and say bring it on! Sure enough, we were down 14-0 and no one panicked. The guys said alright, we’ll be fine this is exactly what coach was talking about all week and it was great to see our guys respond to it.”

On coming back from the first quarter:

“We have a pretty strong jaw. They threw the first punch and our guys took it. After that we started playing ball the way we were capable of. Once we settled down on offense and defense things started to take off for us. In the first quarter, we felt like we were doing it to ourselves. We just knew that if we calmed down and played our game that we could get some plays in there and they did it.”

On playing in the Carrier Dome and the heat inside:

“It’s pretty cool to play in the dome. It’s a lot of tradition here and it’s really good to get the win here. Heat? It was a little cool in there today but we live in Florida, there wasn’t any heat in there. We had to rotate our big guys and try to keep them fresh because we knew they would go fast. In the first half they had over 60 plays so we had to keep rotating those guys in there.”

On effect of defense while Syracuse sets an ACC record for number of plays:

“I think our defense did pretty good. In the second half they only got three points so we’ll take that. We can run them all day as long as they don’t score. We told our guys going into the year, in football people are going to get yardage on you, the key is to keep them out of the in zone and our guys did a great job of that.”

USF RB Marlon Mack

On his 52-yard run and if anyone was able touch him:

“No, not at all, no one actually touched me. The defensive linemen shot out inside and I saw the cornerback and moved to the left. I just knew that I had a touchdown.”

On not playing last week:

“Sitting out is one of that hardest things, but it was for my health. Coach and me talked about it but I came back and was ready.”

On how it was like being down 17-0:

“It was kind of difficult but Coach T talked to use right before the same and said, ‘We’re going to get hit by a storm and we have to fight through it.’ And that's what we did. We just fought back.”

On playing in the Carrier Dome as they look to make renovations:

“I thought it was a nice facility. It was great coming here. It was my first time playing in the Carrier Dome. I think the renovations are probably going to be great for it.”

USF OL Eric Mayes

On bulking up this summer to avoid injuries:

“We just had to lock in. We just had to get everybody on the same page and just execute.”

On shifting four players at once:

“Yeah they were going kind of fast. We had it schemed out. We had a great coaching plan. We had a great scheme. We just had to believe in the coaches, believe what word he was calling. Believe in what coach was telling us and just execute.”

On going against an up tempo offense:

“It was different. From the first snap it was different. They came out ready to go but we didn't fold. They showed us something that we weren’t ready for at first, but we thought they would show us a lot more.”

USF WR Rodney Adams

On the difference between the first and second quarters:

“It was slow start but we had to collect ourselves on the sidelines and tell ourselves to just calm down and play football like we normally do. When we calmed down, things started going our way.”

On being in the Carrier Dome:

“It was a great environment. It was a first away game and the crowd was really amped, but we had to block all of that out and play football.”

On facing adversity this game:

“(Coach Taggart) preached about facing adversity this game but we calmed down and came out and played football. We executed how we were supposed to and things turned out how they were.”


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