Vanderbilt-Missouri Postgame Quotes

Oct. 24, 2015

Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Howell’s Photos media_icon_photogallery.gif | USATSI Photos media_icon_photogallery.gif

Vanderbilt — Missouri Postgame Quotes
Oct. 24, 2015
Vanderbilt Stadium

Vanderbilt Head Coach Derek Mason
Opening comments:
“What a game. I told our guys we need to learn how to win ugly. Our guys competed their tails off… [Missouri’s] defense fought every bit as hard as our defense. Kudos to [Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel] and his team. They showed why they have been able to stay competitive in every game.”

On Vanderbilt’s performance:
“[Kyle] Shurmur was our quarterback. He handled it well for a freshman… Kudos to our running backs too. Johnny [McCrary] and Shurmur [won] a hard-fought game. For that defense to [allow] 0-for-14 on third down, who would have thunk it? Our special teams made a statement on the opening play of the game.”

“At some point in time, these Dores are going to grow up and you’d better watch out.”

On Coach Mason’s first SEC win:
“The best win to date was the one we got today… It’s a big step for us.”

On Vanderbilt’s quarterback rotation:
“We wanted to get Kyle [Shurmer] comfortable. It wasn’t pretty, but what you saw is that this guy is going to be good, just like Johnny [McCrary]. Our rotation was two series for Shurmer, one series for Johnny, and then we’d see what happens… It’s not easy to prepare for two quarterbacks; I’ve done it.”

On Missouri’s run defense vs. Vanderbilt’s ground game:
“Their rush is good. They were able to get to the quarterback rushing three a few times. I thought our running backs did a good job of making reads. Ralph [Webb] ran hard. Darrius [Sims] did a job too, along with [Josh] Crawford. If we can continue to feed those guys the ball, our ability to get six or seven yards on second down will keep the chains moving.”

On the eight replay stoppages:
“I want an explanation on everything so I can process what the scenario is for next time. Other than that, I want to move on from it.”

On Vanderbilt’s ball control:
“From what I’m seeing in this conference, the game will be close. If you can run the ball, you give yourself a chance.”

On wearing Missouri’s defense down:
“I thought Missouri got tired. I think our guys wore them down. I thought our guys played really hard.”

On teachable moments:
“Every day with this team is a teachable moment. These guys are starting to hear… This ballgame moves us forward… There were a lot of teachable moments in this ballgame. It’s what we’ve been teaching them so far. Now, we come out of the other end with something to show for it.”

On a defensive slugfest:
“I love it. I’ll sleep well every night. Some people want to see high-scoring games. Two weeks from now, it’ll still be 10-3 and will still be a win.”

LB Stephen Weatherly
On keeping Missouri to 0-14 on third down:
“We went out there and we executed. We made Coach Mason’s plays come alive, and he put us in a great position to execute.”

On the first play of the game:
“We thought it was a fumble and that his knee didn’t touch before the ball came out, but we were excited to go out there and play some football. It was our chance to go out there and play ball. We want as many opportunities as possible to go out there and play. It would have been nice to have it, but it was fine, we got to play football.”

On Kyle Shurmur’s first game:
“We didn’t feel any extra burden as a defense. We knew at some point that it was going to be Kyle starting, we all had his back, and coming out we said that he had to play his game and that we would give him as many chances as possible to show what he had. He shouldn’t worry about messing up, because if anything happened we had his back, and we would go ahead and get the ball right back for him. We tried to make sure that everything was as simple as it could be for him with it being his first game.”

On getting the win:
“It is definitely a great win, and the first SEC win for Coach Mason. But it’s only the beginning. It’s the first step. We just keep going up, and we will see where this thing takes us. Momentum is key.”

LB Darreon Herring
On the last drive of the game:
“We kept them out of the end zone, but then again we want to hold them to the minimal amount of yards. There were some mental mistakes and bad coverages on our end, but it’s nothing we can’t fix for the next game.”

On having a good defensive game:
“I think we’ve been playing pretty well this year, but that might be our best. That’s not the best we can be. We’ve still got five more games, and everybody is going to see our defense roll back with this.”

On getting Coach Mason his first conference win:
“It means a lot. Last season wasn’t as good as we planned it, and this year we had some shakes in it, but to come out here and get an SEC win for Coach Mason means a lot for us and for him as well, and the university. We plan on moving forward and getting some more SEC wins.”

On preventing first downs:
“It feels good for the whole team. For the defense, it gives us the opportunity to give the offense the ball for them to move the drive, and it also gives us the opportunity to get to the sideline and get some rest, and to go over the mistakes that we may have had in those series. It feels really good to not allow a first down from them [on third down], and we plan to keep progressing throughout the weeks and keep getting better.”

S Andrew Williamson
On getting a defensive win:
“Coming into every game we go out with the mindset that we’re going to dominate on defense. For us to go out there and execute the defense and play that way is big. We’re happy about that.”

On keeping composure after the first play of the game:
“We went out there and had the mentality that we were going to get the offense the ball back. That’s what we did. We played our style of defense.”

On the statistical match-up vs. what actually happened:
“It’s good to play the game and see results like that. We came into the game knowing it was going to be a defensive job. They have a good defense and we have a good defense. It was nice to come out on top and prove that we played a better defensive game this week.”

RB Ralph Webb
On running the ball more than anybody else against Missouri all season:
“It feels great. As a leader of the running backs, we have to establish the runs and open up the pass game. And as a leader on this offense, our running back group is our core offense so we had to get going and make things easier for the quarterback to open up and throw a catch.”

On getting stopped at the goal-end and his touchdown:
“No [the flip was not practiced], it was just getting into the end zone by any way possible. I definitely think I scored [earlier], but we got it in the next play so we kept it moving.”

OL Spencer Pulley
On Shurmur’s game:
“He was great. Shurmur came in and was able to take control of the offense and make plays. Obviously his skill is great, and you all couldn’t see the way he handled himself in the huddle and took control and led us on some of those big drives on the field.”

On how they handled Missouri’s defense:
“Definitely, they have a good defensive front. They are very active and do a lot of things, but thankfully we have a lot of good players on our team and our running backs ran like they were possessed tonight. They ran hard. I was just joking with Ralph [Webb] outside that I’m not sure we blocked anybody, but they [our runners] found the hole and got the yards and went down and scored. It’s an awesome feeling to see the running backs hit the crease like that and run like they did tonight.”

On the officiating and how the team dealt with it:
“We just go out there and play the game. We can’t control what happens with the officiating, we just go out there and make sure that we do everything we can to win the game. We can’t really worry about that.”

Quarterback Kyle Shurmur
On his performance today:
“I have a lot of work to do, for sure. I’m glad we got the win. The older guys stepped up and helped me the whole entire way. Spencer [Pulley] and everybody on the line, the running game, everyone played really well around me. I have a lot of work to do but it’s great to get this win.”

On starting in Coach Mason’s first SEC win:
“It was a team win. It was fun being out there, just playing. But it was a team win, the defense played out of their mind and the running game, the guys in the front were awesome.”

On his dad’s advice:
“He just said, ‘Go play. Have some fun with it. You have prepared a lot.’ So I decided to go out there and had some fun with it, and these older guys led me the whole way and it feels great.”

On his priorities in the game:
“Our focus this weak was definitely ball security, don’t turn the ball over. Not conservative, but just don’t be dumb with the football.”

On how he feels going forward with Johnny McCrary:
“It’s a team game. Johnny has been awesome, he’s been my biggest fan this whole way and I support him the whole way too. We are very friendly and we are good friends and it’s been great just being a part of it.”

On whether it will work to play with Johnny McCrary:
“Absolutely, it worked tonight.”

On his emotions while playing:
“Well this whole week my teammates have been very supportive and very excited that I was playing. I was nervous at first, but after I got one play in and one throw in, I was fine and these older guys helped me the whole way.”

Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel
Opening statement:
“First off, congratulations to Vanderbilt, I thought they did a really good job. We had a chance in the end to drive and at least tie it up, and a gallant effort until that point. They held on, got us on downs. We’re frustrated because we’re playing really good defense and poor on offense.”

On if personnel changes are needed on offense:
“We’re looking at everything. When you switch personnel, you have to know what happens with the spot with the person that’s leaving, so it’s really easy to throw people all over the place. We have to analyze all that stuff. It’s my fault, so I’m charged with getting that changed.”

On locker room morale:
“Disappointment, frustration, high anxiety– certainly, we had a shot at the end. We get one throw in the end zone, a catch, and we would have gone into overtime. It’s a lot of frustration. We’ve lost some close games, really the last three have been reasonably close except for the Florida game with an interception and the touchdown. But the bottom line is you gotta go do it and we’re not getting it done.”

On if the same mistakes are causing the same game outcomes:
“You know I can’t tell you that. How would I know that? Turnover-wise, I don’t think we turned the ball over except for the punt. We all know how critical that was. I shouldn’t have had him back there. He’s a freshman, a really talented young guy, but I shouldn’t have had him back there, so I’ll take the hit on that one too.”

“Our inability to run the football with a young quarterback puts a tremendous amount of pressure on him.”

On his approach to coaching moving forward:
“I run my offense the same way, I’ve been a head coach for 25 years.”

On Lock’s lessons from the game:
“He matures a lot. Any experience he has, is new for him. He did a lot of good things. He couldn’t hit on a couple of long ones, they were playing a squad coverage.”

On Harris and Beckner:
“I thought they did some really good things. You hold somebody to 10 points, that’s really exceptional.”

QB Drew Lock
On what went wrong during the game:
“I mean, we had a lot of open guys tonight, and I just didn’t hit ’em. There were more disappointing plays on my part as far as my production on the field. The hits didn’t affect me as much, I can’t even remember when I got hit. I just couldn’t produce tonight. There were a lot of plays I wish I could have back; especially down there in the red zone, I wish I could have those last four plays back. I could tell you what I could do different on those, but that would be wasting my time. I can’t go back and change them now.”

On the Missouri offense:
“I think the past couple of weeks just make this a bit more disappointing. The defense was playing their hearts out for us, and obviously we were doing the same, they’re just being a little more successful than we are.”

On the effects of Missouri’s losses on their performance:
“As far as my mindset goes, I don’t think it’s a snowball effect. It might be a nip in the butt, like alright let’s wake up a little bit more and come out here and play, but no, I don’t think it’s a snowball effect. This team has been here before; granted, this is my first year trying to keep up the Missouri wins in the fourth quarter, the way we always finish games. This team has been here, we just got to finish.”

OL Nate Crawford
On whether Missouri has any reoccurring issues that affect their performance:
“I believe that we don’t really pay attention to the issues, but we look at the details and correct our game. I don’t pay attention to the issues, I pay attention to the details and making sure that as the offensive line, we’re working on the details, and I know that the receivers are also working on the details, not the issues.”

On what details the team is looking to work on:
“You’re always looking to improve your technique. Everyday, you have to perfect it. As we practice, we work on technique, from your feet to your hands to your body functions.”

On the chance to tie the game:
“There was no doubt that we thought that could happen. Me personally, I never doubt our team. Never. And I always keep the faith in God.”

WR Nate Brown
On Missouri’s offense:
“With losses like that, you take it to heart. You go back to the film room and see what you did wrong. Maybe I stepped left or I wasn’t that disciplined on this play or that play or something like that. But at the end of the day, excuses end in losses. We’re taking this in stride, and we’re going to build on it and we’ll get this rolling.”

On the play that was reviewed of the pass he caught for the touchdown:
“I know for a fact that I got my feet down and had control there. It was just when my elbow hit the ground out of bounds it popped out, so that’s on me.”

On the lack of running game in the offense:
“I mean, it’s tough. It’s tough just when we don’t get things going. I’ll just leave it at that.”

DE Walter Brady
Was this lost just as frustrating as the last two?
“We are not used to it. No doubt it is frustrating. We just go to do a better job next week.”

How can defense improve?
“Get more turnovers. We got to do a better job of taking the ball from our opponents.”

You had the hit that was called back after Rickey returned it, what were your thoughts on that play?
“It was no doubt that I got there in time but I guess the people in the review booth saw something different and the call got over turned. My job is to park it in and get ready for the next play.”

Did you tell Rickey Hatley to pick it up and go?
“We didn’t hear a whistle and I looked and saw Rickey with the ball in his arms and then I looked at the coach and he was pointing towards the end zone. That is when I took off and I saw Rickey coming down the sideline.”

Do you feel like you guys have to score on defense?
“It’s no doubt that we have to score on defense because it is what we do. We got to do a better job of it.”

What can you tell offensive players to help them get through this?
“Well there is no doubt that we have playmakers on that side of the ball. Our job as a defense is to keep them up, to keep them going, to keep their confidence level up and to keep doing our job.”

Vanderbilt had some success with running the ball. Were you surprised by that?
“No. They are a very good football team. They came in and they are at home, they were ready to play.”

FS Ian Simon
How do you feel right now about the game?
“Frustrated. We had done a lot of things right and we just got a bunch of little stuff to fix before we can get back into the winner circle.”

What did you see from the offense today? They had a lot of three and outs, do you think it is starting to get little bit to them?
“They’re not bad, they are giving it their all. They’re out there making plays and giving their best effort for the team and it just comes down to finishing sometimes.”

Do you guys feel like you have throw a shut out every time?
“No. The defense’s job is to not let anyone score. So when we let them score, that means we are not doing our job right. Shut out or not, when they score that means we are not doing our job and not supporting our offense. Defensively we need to pick it up, we need to do better. We need to come out and work harder defensively, and give our offense better field position.”

LB Kentrell Brothers
When the offense is struggling so much, what can you guys do to help them?
“There’s nothing we can really do but to just be supportive. We continue to be supportive, regardless if they score or not because you know, that is what teammates do. I know they’re frustrated and I know they’re hurt and I know they are ready to go to work.”

Does it get harder to keep being supportive of [the offense]?
“It doesn’t get too hard. That is what we preach all the time. You gotta be that way or you’re definitely going to be a loser. Whether you win or lose, they could of easily scored a touchdown and we could of easily went into overtime but it didn’t turn out that way. I know they’re hurting and can’t wait to work it out.”

When it is three and out, three and out, what is the effect on the defense?
“We get really tired, that’s for sure. When we are on the sideline, after we catch our breath, the first thing we do is catch some corrections. If it is three and out, three and out, like a couple times tonight, then we are right back on the field. We’re tired, but that is what we work for and we got to be ready all the time.”