Post Game Player Interviews S Mauricio Sanchez, TE David Morgan
Q. Mo, can you just talk about Middle Tennessee's offense, just what you saw out there, what they did to kind of win the game today?
MAURICIO SANCHEZ: Yeah, they're a great offense. They have a ton of formations. They keep you -- you have to be disciplined to face them, and they got some open holes today, and they were getting to our secondary on the run game, and that opened up some of the passing game, as well. They're a great offense. You know, we've got to give them credit, and they were a better team today.
Q. How emotional was it for both of you out there, both before and after the game?
DAVID MORGAN: I mean, it was really emotional. I mean, it wasn't even my last game, it was the second to-last game of the season, and I just thought about it and started crying on the field just walking off, and it's really emotional. It's just you've been with these guys for so long. It's such a big part of your life, and these guys have been by your side. Some of them like Mo and Drew and Jason and those guys, I've seen them every day for five years straight. They've been huge part of my life, and it's just crazy to think that some of these guys are graduating and moving out of state and moving back to their hometowns and stuff. And so it's just a lot of friendships that -- not that they're coming to an end, but it's going to be a little bit of a lifestyle change and such. It's sad to see these guys go.
MAURICIO SANCHEZ: Yeah, of course, I can relate to David. I had the opportunity to be on the field when they really took the knee and just watching that time kind of just tick down, it hit me, and immediately went and hugged Drew and all the other seniors. But yeah, no, it was definitely an emotional game coming out before and seeing my family there and stuff. It was just very emotional. I mean, I tell the young guys, this is your team now, and I feel like we left it in good hands. I feel like we have a lot of potential there, and the future is bright, so I can't wait to see what they do next year.
Q. David, can you just talk about Middle Tennessee's defense? Especially on the line of scrimmage they looked to get a pretty good push on you guys today. What were you seeing?
DAVID MORGAN: Yeah, all around, those guys, they were big, and they were big, athletic guys. Across the board they were pretty hefty guys. Yeah, I mean, just Division I football, we've got to step up and play to our competition. Hats off to them, they're a great defense, they're well-coached. They're big bodies and they tackle well, so it just comes down to executing. They did a better job of that today, and that's how it turns out.
Q. Mo, how tough was it this year, a lot of starters injured, how tough was continuity when you had to play so many young guys? What does that do to a team when you've got that much stuff happening during the course of the season?
MAURICIO SANCHEZ: It definitely tested us. It tested us as a team. I feel like our seniors did a great job to take it under their wing and to continue trucking. I suffered an injury in 2012, and it sidelined me an entire year, but the team kept moving. The team has got to keep rolling, and the people that were injured, you know, yeah, it was unfortunate, and I feel like a lot of them did a great job every day trying to get back onto the field and all that, but I mean, it definitely brought us closer together, understanding that, okay, the starter might be out, but time for somebody else to step up. A lot of the other starters took it upon themselves to coach up the guys that were filling in, so I feel like that definitely brought us closer together as a unit, you know, defensively, and I'm sure offensively it was the same way.
Q. David, how much of a blow was it when y'all found out that Jarveon wasn't going to be able to go today?
DAVID MORGAN: Just like Mo said, someone goes down, and we practice all of our guys to get in the game. That's why you practice your second- and third and fourth-string guys, in case something like that happens. He was obviously kind of limited during the week, didn't really do much, and just came down to it, he wasn't suited out, so we knew we had a couple backs all ready to roll: Jalen Rhodes, Brian Vaughn, those guys, Brett. So like he said, those guys got to step in there and do their job. That's what they're here for, and that's what they practice every week for, and they came in and they ran well and they ran hard.
Q. You both have been here since the 2011 season. Can both of you talk about first the legacy you feel like -- you guys are kind of the last of the original class. Can you talk about the legacy you guys are leaving behind?
DAVID MORGAN: Definitely. Obviously being here since 2011 we've seen a lot, and a lot has changed since we've been here, but I feel like we've done a pretty good job of kind of laying a foundation for these next guys to come in and take over and keep building. Obviously we're still five years into a program. That's nothing compared to the big picture of things, so there's still a lot of things that can be laid out, and people can still change some stuff, but I feel like we've done a good job and kind of laid it out for these next guys that come through to start picking it up.
MAURICIO SANCHEZ: Yeah, same way. I feel like our work ethic, we built this thing off of just complete work ethic. We had a vision to play in Division I against bigtime teams, and the work ethic never wavered. I feel like this last group of guys did a great job throughout the season just continuously just pushing through, pushing through, no matter what the outcome was, we're 3-9, but we try to leave that legacy that no matter what we're going to fight until the end. There's no quit in any of those guys in there, and I hope they grasp that and they take it into full force next year, and preparation, off-season, playing with a chip on our shoulder. Everybody, you know, next year is going to see us, oh, they're 3-9, we can completely run over them, and I'm pretty sure that the younger guys that are taking over now will be ready for that. That's the legacy I think that we want to leave is our work ethic and just play with passion. We always play because we love the sport.