Post-Wake Forest game quotes

Nov. 29, 2008

Recap | Box Score | Notes

Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt Head Coach

On 23-10 loss to Wake Forest:
“We weren’t very consistent on offense. We had a few good plays in the first half and had a chance to get something going, but inconsistency killed us.”

On running game and Jamie Graham:
“Jamie’s a good player. We’ll find ways to get him the ball in the future, and he’s going to be a very good player for us. Again, we just couldn’t hang two or three things together at any one time to get a drive going until the second half.”

On if the offense had trouble because of the injuries or lack of execution or because of Wake Forest’s defense:
“Probably a little bit of all three. They’re very good on defense. We were down at a couple positions and sometimes we just didn’t execute as well as we could. The combination of all of those three was a little bit tough to overcome tonight.”

Vanderbilt Players

Patrick Benoist, linebacker

On Wake Forest’s offense:
“We knew their offense was good coming into the game, and we brought everything we had. They were just able to make a few more plays than us.”

On Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner:
“We were trying to keep him in the pocket. He’s great out of the pocket and looking downfield and making plays. That was our goal for the night, and he was able to get out and make some plays on us so obviously, we didn’t do as good of a job as we could have.”

Jim Grobe, Wake Forest Head Coach

On the productivity of the offense:
“That was a very good Vanderbilt defense; they’ve been stingy with everyone they’ve played. I think I was most pleased with the balance we had. We were able to run and throw the football and not be a one dimensional football team. I liked what we did tonight with the fullback, mixing it up with tosses to the outside and running down the middle. I thought Riley [Skinner] did some really nice things tonight. We didn’t protect him very well at times, but when we did, he was on.”

On the losses that Wake has suffered this season:
“The losses that we’ve had have been to really good teams. Boston College and NC State are both really good teams, a healthy NC State team was really good and Boston College is really special. My concern was that we would come out tonight and be flat. I can’t tell you how hard those two losses were for our football team. It’s easy for a team to kind of fold when you’re discouraged and I’m proud of the way we played tonight. I’m really proud of our guys.”

On playing during Thanksgiving Break:
“It’s tough. We did have a few students up there though and they were cheering pretty well. I liked it when they got the “Wake… Forest” chant going; there weren’t many but they were getting cranked up. Playing after Thanksgiving is tough. We try to finish all our good work on Wednesday so that the scout kids, the young kids can go home after morning practice on Wednesday and go home for Thanksgiving. So then the old guys practice on Thursday so we’ve got guys like Aaron Curry on the scout team. But our guys played really well tonight.”

On the difficulty of the schedule this season:
“I told our kids, `I don’t know if anyone in the country played a tougher schedule than we did.’ Ours was ranked third for strength of schedule. I don’t think anyone has an understanding of what it’s like every week knowing you have to bring your `A’ game and knowing that the other team is going to take the game to the fourth quarter. We’ve been in so many games where the game has come down to the last couple of possessions and you hope that you’ll get a couple of the right bounces and tonight we did.”

Wake Forest Players

Kevin Harris, fullback

On getting so many carries in the game:
“I’ve come to find out that college football is a lot about waiting your turn. I started out the season at fullback, had a good game against Ole Miss and Florida State and then died out a little bit. Having the opportunity to go in tonight, I just took what I’ve learned in practice and just went in there. It was really exciting.”

On the focus of the team going into the game:
“Coach [Jim] Grobe always tells us that losing isn’t fun and last week it definitely wasn’t. I think everyone was ready to go out there and put it to Vanderbilt. They’re a great team but we went out there and did our best and it’s a great feeling coming out on top.”

Alphonso Smith, defensive back

On the ACC career-tying interception:
“It feels great but a lot of credit goes to the defensive staff. That interception wasn’t made by ability, it was made during the week in the film room.”

On playing his final regular season game:
“We talked about the game Monday in team meetings and we agreed, it was either win this game or stay home. We’re the only seniors to wear a Wake Forest jersey and go to three consecutive bowl games. Hopefully we can come out with another bowl win.”

On the difference in feelings between tonight and the past two weeks:
“Being a very competitive guy, you never want to lose or take a loss in a good way. We really wanted to win because last week was I think the third game that we let get away from us. It feels great to have another opportunity to participate in a bowl game.”

Riley Skinner, quarterback

On winning tonight and solidifying a bowl game:
“It feels good. The past couple of weeks have been really tough… and it’s great for the seniors, going out here on a win and ending with a better record than .500. I think we’ll have a lot of confidence and momentum going into whatever bowl game we get. It was great to see the seniors making some of the biggest plays tonight. It was just a fun game, except for the weather.”