Westgate Comments

Jeff Westgate talked to the media Monday at the weekly Broncos football press conference. Jeff gives his thoughts on the emotions of the game against Northern Illinois, he talks about the mood in the locker room following the loss, and he talks about Ball State running back, Marcus Merriweather among other things.

He gives his thoughts on how tough it is for the defense to keep the Broncos in the game, only to come up short in the final score.

"It's tough. As a defense I think we're playing pretty well, but we're just not playing great. We stop teams and we don't get turnovers or we don't stop teams and we get a bunch of turnovers. This week we held them to a pretty low amount of yards and held them pretty low as far as their offensive output. Just couldn't get any turnovers and I think that's pretty big."

He talks about the emotions of Saturday's game.

"It's definitely, you never want to think about losing, especially the way things have been going around here the last few weeks. You just want to keep that positive attitude. We always talked about keeping that home legacy and we kind of, this year, have not held up our end of the bargain on that one. We've lost three home games in a row here. In years past it seemed like every game at home was a guaranteed victory or so. This week was definitely tough."

Westgate talks about what it was like in the locker room.

"This week, I think that was kind of the case. Everyone just wanted to get out of there. Coach Darnell kind of took it on himself, the blame, which I don't know if it is exactly where the blame should be. As far as the players, no one wanted to hear anything, they just wanted to get out of there."

He talks about how the seniors are helping the team get through this though time.

"That's one thing I think we haven't been having around here. We practice as well as we have any year I have been here. This year practices have been real spirited, everyone kind of gets after it. I don't think it's going to be a drop off that way, if anything it will just stay the same. We practice tomorrow and we've been really prepared for games, it's just we haven't won."

He gives his thought on the character that the team has been building.

"I hope there's not a reason for losing. As far as this is my last year, I don't need a reason to lose. I just think anytime you play hard and you don't come away with a victory, you have to look to why you lost. I think it's been the fact that a few guys here and there would be the reason why we lose. For something for them to take away from, just play every play like it's your last, you never know."

He talks about what he knows about Marcus Merriweather.

"I think he's a good back. We played him tough last year. I think he went for 100 (yards rushing) on us. I think they controlled the line of scrimmage pretty good as far as their offensive line. It's going to be a big challenge for us to step up as a defense and shut them down. I know he's doing pretty well this year. It's going to be the game type of scheme as we saw last year. They use the run to set up the pass and kind of look for the players to pass to get some deep balls on us. We just have to take it upon ourselves to stop the run and stop them.

He gives his thoughts on tackling Merriweather.

"A little bit of both probably. He's definitely not a guy you can bring down with one arm. It's going to take eleven guys running to the ball, which our defense always does. We're real good with our pursuit. Everyone is going to have to take it upon themselves from the D-line, all the way back to the corners and safeties to shut them down."

He gives his opinion of who the Broncos have already faced that Merriweather could be compared to.

"One of the Tech backs. The Jones kid, he was a big strong guy where you can't just wrap him with your arms and take him down. I think a back like that is going to take 3 or 4 guys to bring him down. This guy seems like he is that type of runner."

He talks about how the defense sets up the pass rush that allows Jason Babin to get after the quarterback.

"Jason gets too…we usually take advantage of him as far as we try to scheme it so that he gets to get a one-on-one match up and we try to scheme it where he gets, we feel, the weakest link by their offensive line. We scheme it so he gets a one-on-one match up because we feel he's our best pass rusher. It's to our advantage to have him one-on-one and he usually takes advantage of them."

He talks about what it's like to play at Ball State Stadium.

"The crowd sit back. It's kind of like there's a track around it, but there isn't and it sits back a little there. It's a place where we probably won't have a lot of fans and they will. It's going to be a tough place to play, but any place in the MAC on the road is going to be a tough win."

Is he looking forward to these final four games?

"Yeah, I am. As far as these last four games, it's just going to be it's just big for me, the last four games I will ever play. I just want to go out with wins. If I broke my leg tomorrow and didn't play the rest of the year, just being on a team that won the last four games would be enough because getting this winning feeling back around here it needs to be back."

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