EMU Coach Woodruff Quotes

Following Eastern Michigan's heartbreaking 31-33 loss to Western Michigan, the Eagles head coach Jeff Woodruff talked to the media. He talked about the injuries that have fell on the Eagles, about what adjustments EMU made after being down 24-0 in the first quarter, and on Tyrone Walker's 56-yard gain on a pass from Chad Munson.

Coach, you got to be proud of your team coming back from that 24-0 deficit and then obviously you're disappointed now. What type of emotions do you have?

"We don't look at the scoreboard when we play and we're so beat up. We have defensive guys playing offense, offensive guys playing defense. We've got kids that never played before that are playing. So, we just wanted to go out and get better at what we do and we weren't looking at the scoreboard one bit. I'm disappointed that we didn't hang onto the win but you give Western Michigan a lot of credit coming back and hitting the big play. We really thought we were in about as safe a coverage as you can be in and we didn't run with the wheel routes."

Talk about your defensive effort after the first quarter when you were down 24-0.

"Well we put in a new defense this week and I thought it gave us a chance, because we're so beat up on the defensive front no one can stand let alone play. So, it gave us a chance, it's a high risk thing, which you're going to give up some big plays but it gave us a chance to hold up because we are not gifted nor healthy enough to lineup and play against anybody."

Can you talk about coming back from 24-0 down after one quarter and taking a 31-30 lead?

"Like I say, we're not looking at the scoreboard. We're just trying to go out and play and try to get better. We do what we do. Gees, we had Johnson playing center, we had Godbold playing tackle, we had combinations of people in there that have never been in a game. I think that was Godbold's 2nd snap of the season or something. Mike Romell, a true freshman, starting his first game. Same thing on the D-Line, Kesner, a true freshman, played defensive end for the first time ever. We're just a beat up bunch of guys that wanted to see if they couldn't go out and play hard and try to compete."

Coach, Troy Edwards looked like he injured his shoulder in the…?

"He was injured two weeks ago. He's been playing hurt like everyone else on the team."

He played injured and had over 221 yards passing. Can you talk about him a little bit?

"He's a tough kid and we're asking everyone to play hurt. He's got to jump into that too. He's a gutty kid. Like I said, other guy's are hurt, so we expect him to play hurt too."

Coach, on that third and thirteen play, when you got the ball. Do you know what happened on the play when Edwards had his hands on his helmet?

"He was trying to call a time-out. He signaled time out but they didn't call it."

On Western's big play, obviously in the final 30 seconds or so, to set up the field goal, do you seem to understand what happened there?

"It was a wheel route. I said that earlier. We ran a wheel route. Underneath coverage guys got to take anything that comes in the flat, 2, 3-strong, 2-weak, whatever shows in the flat. He picks it up, runs underneath, runs with it because the safety on top already got someone running him deep. We work on it day in and day out. That's the number one thing you work on. It's like what you would expect someone would do, so you call the perfect defense for it. Someone that can collision anything coming in the flat and run vertical and we didn't do it."

Jeff, what did you do after it was 24-0? I mean what did you guys do then to get back into the game?

"We just made some adjustments like you do in any game. You try to figure out what your opponents are doing and how can you counter it, at that point we're trying to figure out what bodies we can use and who can do what. I mean there's certain guys that can pull and certain guys that can't. Some can pass rush; some can just line up, so we were trying to come up with a plan with the personnel we had to use. What can they do?"

What adjustments had you made…?

"I think some of the screen stuff that we were doing, some of the draw stuff to slow up the pass rush and on defense some of the movement things we were doing with the front and bringing pressure or getting the illusion of pressure and didn't bring it."

You said you put in a new defense this week, what was that?

"We changed our structure. We were a pro 4-3. We were a 4-6 defense today. So, essentially a lot of Buddy Ryan type of package, pretty similar to what Western does. Western runs the same defense. They should have seen themselves, which we probably don't run it as well as they do, essentially that's what they run."

When you talk about injuries, for those of us who don't follow you, can you give us an approximate number of how many guys? Kind of like 5, 10…?

"We had 19 guys after Ball State that were either couldn't play or were injured during that game and since then it hasn't gotten better. Some of them can still go out and play, but they're not very effective. Today we lost Zureki, Kaletia went out came back in was not very effective, center went out and came back in. Kevin Walter tweaked his AC, which he's had for three weeks. The quarterback tweaked his AC, which he's had for three weeks. Like I said, we don't have anymore lineman. They've got to play on both sides of the ball, so that's the way we practice."

Jeff does that force you to simplify your offense and defense when you got new guys in new places?

"Well obviously we should because we didn't execute the last play of the game. That's the easiest thing we call and we didn't do it. Apparently we're not very good instructors. We will just see what we got left and buy more duct tape."

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