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Postgame Quotes

April 21, 2017

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Head coach Paul Johnson

Opening statement:
“It was kind of a fun game. I think our guys flew around and had some fun. We got more people dinged in that little spring game than we have all spring. It was the dangdest thing I’ve ever seen. Hopefully none of it was serious. I think by the second series we were down to about the first four or five wide receivers. Both teams had two on their team.

“Tonight was just the culmination of spring practice, so hopefully they had some fun. I was happy for Brady (Swilling), that was fun for him and Chase, both seniors, to come out and do that. It was a good time.

“When you play a running clock in the second half, I think both teams had the ball twice. That was pretty fast.”

On seeing what the quarterbacks are capable of:
“They didn’t play as well tonight as they’ve played most of the spring. I was disappointed in the way they played. We missed a lot of open receivers, especially play-action. And the ball security, Jay had that ball all over the place. He’s going to make something happen, one way or the other. But he would have done a better job just executing with ball security tonight.”

On execution of the second-team offense
“They converted some fourth downs. Lucas hit some passes; he hung in there and was a gamer. And Chase (Martenson), he’s the one that threw the touchdown pass (to Swilling). It was fun for those guys.”

On Jalen Camp as a possession receiver
“I don’t know that I’d call him a possession receiver. He’s got ability. He’s pretty fast. Right now, I feel good about three receivers. Ricky (Jeune) didn’t play tonight, Brad (Stewart) tweaked an ankle, so we took him out, and Jalen. So we’ve got to find a couple more guys. Normally we try and play with four or five so… Antonio (Messick) got hurt before he could do anything. Jair (Hawkins-Anderson) has some ability, but he’s got to be consistent and not bust plays.”

On production from B-backs even though there was not much room to run
“It was a different kind of game. I don’t think they had very many carries. Dedrick (Mills) had four carries. I thought KirVonte (Benson) made some good runs. He finished strong and did some good things.”

On Benson establishing himself at No. 2 B-back
“If I had to pick a No. 2 right now, he would probably be 2A and Quaide (Weimerskirch) would be 2B. They bring different things to the equation. But KirVonte had a good spring. Quaide did some nice things, he had a couple of good runs. Sometimes there was not a lot of room for him.

On where your team is at the end of spring
“I think we had a good spring practice. I don’t get hung up on the game. But, all in all, we got better at some things. We’ve got a lot of things to work on.”

On Jay Jones on the last series
“Not very good, you can’t take a sack. He’s got to throw the ball away. Now to his credit, he didn’t have much time to turn around. They were running by both tackles. He can be so elusive, that he thinks he can get away from everything. He’s got to learn on this level (that) it’s not as easy to get away as it was in high school, and it’s fine to do that when the game is in the regular mode, but in a one-minute deal, you’ve got to throw the ball away and live for another down. “

On not automatically knowing who your next quarterback will be as you have in the past
“Tonight was good for those young guys, and even TaQuon (Marshall) because he hasn’t played a lot. TaQuon has played much better all spring than he played tonight. The biggest thing is when Matthew (Jordan) comes back, he’s got that experience where he’s played in games, and the other guys have got to gain that. So the more they can play … tonight was really good for them. Jay and [Lucas], they haven’t played. They red-shirted all year, and this is the first time they’ve played in front of a crowd. I thought Lucas handled it really well. He just plays and doesn’t let much bother him. The biggest issue with Jay tonight was the ball security.”


Junior linebacker Brant Mitchell

On making plays in the backfield and his focus this spring
“One major point that I have been working on is my pass rush. It has been a big emphasis with me as far as using my hands. I think as far as our defensive line is concerned we have a lot of guys rushing the ball and that helps with freeing me up to. I think it’s all around and it takes everybody.”

On the spring game ending spring practice
“It’s just a time to get out there and work on some things to get better, you go against the guys you have been going against the whole time. The main goal of spring is to get back to the basics and get better while working on the things you need to work on most. That should be rewarding in itself to get better.”

On what he and the defense can improve on
Definitely getting off the block and making the tackle after. That’s a big emphasis for me. We just as a team, need to wrap up, there were a lot of missed tackles out there today, I know I had a few. That’s a big emphasis, we need to tackle better.”

Junior QB TaQuon Marshall

On getting reps at quarterback tonight in a game setting
“It was great. We got to get out in front of the fans a little bit, it wasn’t like a regular scrimmage. We got to see what it’s going to be like in a game atmosphere. It was exciting to see everybody fly around a little bit. I enjoyed it, it was fun.”

On his improvement during spring practice
“I have definitely progressed week-to-week. I wouldn’t say I am where I want to be. I have a lot to improve on this summer so that is going to be my main focus now that spring has ended. I definitely improved from week one to now at the spring game. I am very comfortable; I can tell by watching the film how fast I’ve played. I was very comfortable this spring now that I’m at quarterback.”

On his plans for the summer
“We are definitely going to be in the weight room, but were also going to get in the indoor facility and work on communication. Throwing routes with the receivers and trying to get on the same page. We’ll be doing 7-on-7 and stuff like that.”

On taking a leadership role
“Yes, for sure. We have to get guys rallied up so that we can get things accomplished over the summer and make sure nobody gets lazy.”

Senior B-back Brady Swilling

On being wide-open on his touchdown reception
“When it was coming to me, the only thing I was thinking was `if I drop this, there is no living it down.’ So, one thing led to another but I had to focus on the catch first.”

On having a shining moment in his final spring game
“I was going in there trying to fill whatever hole I needed to within the offense and fit in wherever I can and I finally got a little lucky.”

On his touchdown reception
“Normally on that play (b-backs) are blocking on the back, so I guess nobody is thinking that we are going to roll out. It came back to me and nobody was on me, so I just had to secure it.”


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