Question: What did it feel like to not having only the win in the opening game but to have it as decisively as it was?
Vincent Smith: “It felt real good to come out because we’ve been working hard all summer, working real hard. We just wanted to come out and just play and we was focused this whole week and we just wanted to come out and play.”
Question: Can you talk a little bit about Denard (Robinson) and has he been doing all that in practice?
Vincent Smith: “Our main point was just focusing this week and just getting all our techniques and everything down pat so that we can come out and have a great game and just stay focused.”
Question: Can you talk us through the first touchdown run?
Vincent Smith: “It felt a little bit weird because I was on my injury just coming out and just catching the ball and I wasn’t expecting to break that many tackles and just head up field and score.”
Question: How does the knee feel, any affects?
Vincent Smith: “Naw, no affects at all. I feel pretty good and feel more confident in it now.”
Question: How was the tempo this year than maybe last year; the tempo on offense?
Vincent Smith: “The tempo increased because our focus and our main point was the focus and know what to expect, come out and run the plays that we knew were going to be successful.”
Question: You said that you had seen some of these things from Denard kind of developing in practice, but can you just kind of elaborate what it is like? I mean during a game, I guess pressure and in the first game, in a very big game that this team needed to win, for him to go out there in his first start and to rack up the kind of yards that he did with his feet and complete as many passes.
Vincent Smith: “I knew what he could do and he just needed to be put in the right position and just come out and play. We also got some good lineman up front. They did a great job up front, the lineman.”
Question: Was there any point though where you kind of said, his toughness and breaking tackles, just the way this offense seemed to click. You guys didn’t seem to even need an adjustment period.
Vincent Smith: “Yeah on that first run, he scored right beside me when I got the block. I looked up field and I knew that we was ready.”
Question: Did you guys think he would be running that many times and the punishment that he would take in a game like that?
Vincent Smith: “Not at all, not at all.”
Question: You ever surprised he always get up when he gets hit?
Vincent Smith: “Yeah he always gets up. He’s very tough.”
Question: Did it surprise coming out as fast as you guys did? You went 96 yards or so that first drive; how did you feel about that first drive?
Vincent Smith: “I wasn’t surprised at all because we’ve been working on the same tempo in practice every week and just staying focused and running multiple plays as we can and we got it crisp. We just came out and we knew that we had it.”
Question: Your quarterback carries 29 times for almost 200 yards, you think, oh he’s getting beat up?
Dave Molk: “No, he is just a tough kid. Hell, he’s tougher than I am. He’ll push through anything.”
Question: Did you get to see (Brock) Mealer walk out?
Dave Molk: “I’ve seen him many times. I’ve seen him work out. What he has gone through and the way he he’s pushed himself, I have seen him every day in the weight room. The funny thing is that when he gets to the building, they’ll tell him to get out of his wheelchair at the door and he’ll have to walk through the building and he’ll do it every day. No problem.”
Question: Can you talk about when you came out for a play or two and what the issue was?
Dave Molk: “There is no issue, no issue.”
Question: First drive of the game, 96 yards, what does that do for the confidence of this offense?
Dave Molk: “Everything. That’s what we want and that’s what we strive to do. We performed and we threw it right down their face; put it down the field.”
Question: Did you expect to move the ball like you did the first half and put those three touchdowns on the board?
Dave Molk: “Yes and no. We always want to, but the first game of the year, you never really know. You have an idea, but you never are for sure. It’s nice to see that it works.”
Question: You said that you’ve seen Denard (Robinson) do things like that in practice; did anything still surprise you or stagger you what he did out there today?
Dave Molk: “After seeing it for so long, it is kind of amazing that I’ll say no, but I’m sure he’ll surprise us more than a couple of times this season.”
Question: Going into the season, the defense was thought to be one of the question marks; how good does it feel to hold the team like UCONN to 10 in the opener?
JT Floyd: “UCONN is a very good team. So it was a definitely a tribute to our coaches and our preparation. We’ve been working hard for a mighty long time. I’m just glad we can come out here and kind of show everybody what we’re capable of doing, but we still got a long way to go. We still got a lot of work to do. We will go back into the film room and try to progress from there.”
Question: Obviously, James (Rogers) wasn’t as defined as you were at that position; how do you think James played?
JT Floyd: “James played a heck of a game. I’m proud of him. I’m extremely proud of him. He prepared extremely hard for this and he’s been waiting a long time. I’m extremely proud of him. I cannot speak enough about him.”
Question: Can you talk about your hit that popped the ball out?
JT Floyd: “I just came, it was part of my job during the play, I just kind of scraped to the right and he just popped through and I just put my hat on the ball and when you’re in a position to make plays, coaches put you in a position to make plays, good things happen.”
Question: You’ve faced Denard (Robinson), what’s it like?
JT Floyd: “He’s a crazy animal to tame. He gives every defense problems. He’s a great player. He’s very fast and he’s matured as passer. I’m just happy for him too to come out here and show some of what he can do.”
Question: What does a performance like this do for you heading into the Notre Dame?
JT Floyd: “I definitely think it is a step in the right direction. It is a positive thing. We came out and we played pretty well, but we’re at no point yet to stop working. We still got a lot of things that we have to do. We have to get back into the film room and just improve every aspect of the game.”
Question: How much confidence does this victory give you guys and on the defensive side of the ball?
JT Floyd: “We’re a young group of guys. So I definitely believe it boosts our confidence some, but we know that we still got a lot of work to do. We got to go back and practice hard, work on the technique, look at the film and see what we did wrong and improve from there.”
Question: You saw Carvin (Johnson) in the locker room, does it seem like it could be a long term thing with him?
JT Floyd: “I didn’t get a chance to really talk to him that much, so I’m really unsure of what is going on with him.”
Question: Can you talk about Thomas (Gordon) stepping in for him. Obviously Carvin was in the starting position, but Thomas was the guy there.
JT Floyd: “Yeah Tom he is a real good guy. He is very capable of playing the position. He was playing it all spring and all summer. He was doing a heck of a job. I’m just proud of him. He came out here, a redshirt freshman and he played a pretty good game.”
Question: How much did you guys want to win this for coach; it has been a long offseason for him.
JT Floyd: “We want to win every game for coach. Coach Rodriguez, he is the best coach in my opinion. He is a very passionate guy, a very knowledgeable guy and we want to win for all of our coaches.”
Question: How big of is the chip on the shoulder of this defense that people said is probably not going to be very good?
JT Floyd: “We hear all the talk about us and we take it all in and just kind of put it in hard work. We make sure that we prepare extra hard. We watch more film and we just work on our preparation so that we can be ready for the game.”
Question: What do you expect from Notre Dame; those guys are pretty good.
JT Floyd: “I know they’re a talented group. I expect a great game out of them. Our coaches came up with a good game plan and we’ll prepare even harder for them and we’ll see on Saturday.”
Question: You guys were only on the field for 23 minutes… talk about how the offense protected you with the long drives.
Craig Roh: “It was great. They just kept converting those third downs. It was great. It gave the defense a rest. The thing we’re worried about sometimes is that the offense may score too quickly because of the spread attack. It was just nice to have the rest and we could come out with the full energy.”
Question: How important is a win like that to get you guys confidence opening the season?
Craig Roh: “It’s great. Confidence is obviously a huge thing and all of us, the whole team is going in hungry and nervous too. Really this gives us a huge confidence boost.”
Question: Did this performance match what your spring practices were like?
Craig Roh: “Yeah. I think spring, we were molding into what we were becoming, what you see today. I was first learning the new linebacker position. We were more learning in the spring. I think the fall camp has really been the intensity that you saw today.”
Question: Do you feel more free because you were at the other position today versus the one you were at last year?
Craig Roh: “The position I had last year and this year are very similar. They were both hybrid positions except this position I have a little bit more pass coverage responsibility. I just love the versatility of this position. I can go back, drop, I can rush the quarterback, blitz A gap, B gap, C gap.”