Rutgers Football Postgame Quotes vs. Ohio State
COURTESY OF RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
Interim Head Coach Nunzio Campanile: You know, obviously a tough game. Super opponent. Really talented team. Very well-coached. But I thought our kids played really hard. They played really hard throughout. They competed for four quarters, all the things that we're asking them to do, and I think that when you do that, you're just going to get better. You're going to get growth.
We still have a lot of young players out there but they are playing really hard and a lot of those older guys are playing really hard. I thought we did some good things in all three phases.
Gave us a chance to score some points and I don't think we've come close to that in the past few years. I'm really proud of the way the kids played and just their belief in each other, the way they carried themselves today. I thought they did a good job and hopefully there's a lot to build off these next two weeks.
Q. What do you focus on now? HEAD COACH NUNZIO CAMPANILE: Pretty much the same thing it's been all the time. It's just really about going out and getting better every day. Going out and competing for each other and making sure that you're trying to improve for the future.
I think I've said it a bunch of times that all of these reps matter because it gives them a chance to be more prepared for the future, you know, when we are maybe a little more ready to be a higher-level, competitive Bowl-type team, which I believe that we will be in the future. I just think that, you know, we're just trying to grow every week and I think if we do that, you see some good things.
Obviously we hurt ourselves with a lot of things today, turnovers, turnovers early, a couple penalties at times, just really inopportune things. A few missed tackles on defense in situations, but there was a lot of good things, too, and I think you see certainly a lot of fight and a lot of effort out of the guys. That's pretty much what I tried to focus on.
Q. Curious with 14 left, drop of the hat, turning it over twice in four plays, how they were going to respond to that? HEAD COACH NUNZIO CAMPANILE: I guess so, because I guess the easy thing to do would be to just kind of pack your bags. I mean it was a phenomenal play on the interception, kind of threw it into the wind, it was a little short and the kid tipped the ball up to himself, and Isaiah was trying to make a play and get up the field, and obviously that turned into points right away, so that's not great. I mean, they don't really need any help. I mean, they are a pretty good team and we decided to give them a lot of help to start the game.
Eventually our guys settled in. At least they made some plays. We talk to them all the time on special teams about trying to steal a possession, get one extra possession a game and we got the turnover there that set up the first touchdown, and I think that was huge, because they felt like, okay, we can settle in and maybe make a few plays.
Q. No one has scored three touchdowns against this team all season, to do that at the end of the game, the emotion when Johnny pushed that one into the end zone? HEAD COACH NUNZIO CAMPANILE: What I told the kids was if you see the people in the stands, I think they are really proud, the people that were still there, are really proud of the effort that those guys are giving.
I guess there was a point where I heard a lot of people saying, oh, these guys have quit. These guys have not quit at all. They are playing really hard for each other. You just see the forced turnover, pick it up, almost run it back for a touchdown and then to finish the drive. So from that standpoint, I think the kids feel really good about, they know what we are talking about in practice and the meetings, they are bringing to the field.
Obviously the execution isn't perfect, but I think they are really proud of that to be able to go out there, and as I told them, we haven't put 21 points on a lot of teams, so to put 21 points on them is a good day I guess in some ways.
Q. How do you get them to believe, everything during the season, everything went through in the first quarter -- HEAD COACH NUNZIO CAMPANILE: The No. 1 message I have given since the day I was put in this position and really, the entire time I've ever been a head coach is: You show each other how much you care by how hard you play. So you put it on tape; if you really say, "I love my team," then you'd better go out and play really hard. You'd better put it on tape.
I think that these guys they really do care about each other. They have worked really hard together for a long time and the results haven't really been what they wanted to be, but I think they are starting to see that if you just stick together and never quit, never flinch when things go bad, there will be improvement, and I think seeing a little improvement, I think the Liberty game helped. I think the way we played against Illinois, you know, you can't take these six plays out of the game but if you take the six plays out of the game, we are right in it. It's 10-10 at halftime and they felt really good about that. I think the message has just been consistent. Play hard, believe in each other, play hard for each other. They are good kids, so that's what they are doing.
Q. Looking broadly at the program, what do you think needs to happen here so the record can be competitive in the Big Ten? HEAD COACH NUNZIO CAMPANILE: We need to have some consistency, players, coaches, everything. We just need to -- you know, we got a lot of young guys playing. We've got to keep them playing together and growing and getting better. We've got to get to a point where there's a lot of consistency on the coaching staff so the schemes are similar you and learn and grow from it. I think when you do that, you have a chance to really be successful. You know, consistent message, same guys building together. You watch really good programs are filled with juniors and seniors that are playing that worked their way up, and you know, there's a lot of programs out there that you'd say you like to model and do that, and we need to do that. There's probably been too much turnover in a lot of ways, so hopefully limiting that in the future will give us a chance to be successful.
Q. In a perfect world, being in this area, what would you say would be the -- should be the identity of Rutgers Football? HEAD COACH NUNZIO CAMPANILE: Toughness. Effort. To me, if you go around and watch New Jersey high school football, that's what you see. A lot of really well-coached teams that play really hard and really tough. When we go on the field, they need to see that when we're playing.
You know, I was a high school coach for a long time, so I know what guys want to see when they come back. They want to see just what they are being taught to be the same thing. I'm not saying that wasn't being taught or anything. I'm just saying that's what the product has to be. That's the calling card of New Jersey and New Jersey football is a tough place. I think people take pride in that. I think people need to see that when they come watch us play, and I think when they do see that, I think they will be proud of it and give it an opportunity to grow.
Q. Any pregame speeches -- HEAD COACH NUNZIO CAMPANILE: No, but it was great to have all those guys here. A lot of great players.
Rutgers Player Quotes Rutgers Running Back Isaih Pacheco On the touchdown run: "I saw the whole, pressed the line of scrimmage and accelerated and we executed it perfectly, I finished it out strongly."
Rutgers Wide Receiver Bo Melton On the fight from Rutgers and scoring three touchdowns: "We have a team that really wants to fight wants to play the game, go out every week playing for each other no matter what the score is and just keep working."
On thinking about learning from this game: "Absolutely we have to cut out some mistakes, keep working during the week and just to perfect on what we do and make it a habit of doing good and try to cut out mistakes every week."
Rutgers Offensive Lineman: Zach Venesky On what you take away from this game: "Just going out there everybody played as hard as possible, just see hope for the next three games and take this kind of momentum and just push forward, keep grinding and stay positive."
On what its like seeing Jonah at the end of the game: "It was cool seeing him, being class of 2015 guy me and him came in together here, we've we experienced a lot of things together, lot of hardships I consider him a brother, cool seeing him have success."
On Rutgers football means to be competitive in the Big Ten: "I think were on the right path to it now, biggest thing is keep playing hard keeping it competitive, its hard to say exactly what it is but I think we're on the right track."
Rutgers Quarterback Johnny Langan On what you learned against a team like Ohio State: "They are a really good football team, all the credit goes to them, just try to learn from the mistakes that we made and it is a good measure for the rest of the year because they're the best team were probably going to play and now we know how we measure up against teams like that."
On the first couple plays of the game not going the way they wanted: "Once again, they're a great football team they made plays and had man coverage, not much you can really do about that just learn from these things, get in the film room tomorrow get on the practice field and make corrections."
Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day On the team win: "It was one of those games that I thought our guys played good in the first half then we decided not to play JK (Dobbins) in the second half. We came out in that first drive of the third quarter, went right down the field and decided to go with our twos. There was some sloppiness after that but overall I thought the guys played really well."
On Chris Olave: "He's really good at tracking the ball down the field, he's got good speed and he can really track a ball well, (he has) great depth perception and timing."
On Justin Fields starting the second half: "You do the best you can to try to make some decisions. At halftime, we're up 28, we just felt like that's not enough. All of a sudden you come out there in the second half, go three and out and they score, it's 21. That's not enough. We felt like we needed to come back out -- we did take JK (Dobbins) out -- we said we're just gonna throw the ball, try to get it out of his hand quick and we went down and scored and it worked the way we thought it would and then it goes to 42-7 and we thought was enough and pulled those guys."
On team's stretch ahead against Penn State and Michigan: "Now all the focus -- the minute that game went to zero -- is on Penn State and getting ready for this next run. We gotta do everything we can to prepare for this game and it starts right now... We'll get home tonight, get some rest and then get back in there tomorrow, have a meeting and get right to Penn State."
On what to take away from the game: "Some of these games when your starters only play one half of football, it's hard to get a real assessment of what goes on in these games. At the end of the game two young receivers didn't run the right route and Gunnar (Hoak) holds it and gets sacked for a fumble. things like that happen. That's hard to gauge your team in November when things like that are going on. (I'm) not gonna put too much stock in it, just gonna move right on and obviously make the corrections off the film, but we got a lot to focus on moving forward."
On Jaelin Gill: "Jaelen's had one of his better weeks of practice this week. Low and behold, he makes a big run and that's typically how it works. It's one of things where as a player, the more opportunities you have, the more you have a chance to make a play and make a name for yourself. You gotta take those opportunities."
On team's approach to the game: "Nunzio's a good coach and those kids were playing hard at the end and they did a good job. We're gonna go through and make the corrections, but this is more gonna be about focusing on the next opponent."
On playing so many backups: "It is what it is, I guess. The good thing is that you're creating depth and those guys are getting opportunities to get better -- which they have. They have gotten better as the season has gone on -- for sure. It is what it is and we're gonna deal with it. It's a good problem to have, for sure, but our team has gotten stronger because of it."
On Chase Young returning next week: "They'll be fired up to have him back. I know Chase is fired up to get back. Not that our defense needs any more motivation for this week, but it'll be great to have him back."
On players handling post-play chippiness well: "I told Tyreke (Smith) I was really proud of him there and same thing with Cam (Brown). He was right there and we had some long talks about that after last week. It's not easy to do in the moment, but it's all about creating habits. If you do it in practice -- you walk away from a situation -- then you'll do the same in the game and I thought it was really well done by those guys."
Ohio State Player Quotes Ohio State Cornerback Shaun Wade On his two takeaways in the beginning of the game: "It was great making them and making a play for the Buckeyes and just doing what I do."
On playing when guys are out: "I have to step up and play their side. I just have to step up and be a part of it and really step up."
On the defense getting two turnovers in their first two possessions: "It's very big. For these next games we have to have takeaways and we know that. We just have to be consistent."
On adjusting during the game based on his position: "No, not really. I practiced it this week, so it wasn't really a big adjustment."
On his interception: "I saw the ball that was short, so I just took it for myself."
Ohio State Defensive Tackle Davon Hamilton On today's game: "I thought it was decent, but obviously we have some stuff to clean up."
On Penn State next week: "We know what we're getting into and we have a big game coming up, so it's our focus. We have to win. We've already kind of turned the page."
On the locker room feel as the season comes to an end: "We're just focused on one game at a time, but at the same time these are the two most important games of our season. We're looking forward to it."