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Marshall Football Postgame Quotes

Nov. 29, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Doc Holliday, Marshall head coach
Opening statement
“We always have our captains talk with the team on Friday nights. After those captains spoke last night I felt very good and that the team was well prepared. Defensive coordinator Chuck Heater and offensive coordinator Bill Legg and their staffs did a great job. I’ve felt that this football team has gotten better every week. That is what good teams do and there’s no doubt that we went out there and played our best football today on offense, defensive and special teams. I wish we didn’t have that punt return called back. I’m anxious to see that on tape because Devon Smith did a tremendous job on that. I’m excited about where we are. We have one more week left on our ultimate goal. The goal wasn’t to win the east division of C-USA. It was to win the C-USA Championship. We have to focus starting tomorrow and put this one behind us. We have to get ready for whoever we play.”

On Essray Taliaferro’s performance
“Taliaferro averaged 6.2 yards-per-carry and Steward Butler averaged 5.3 yards-per-carry. We were able to run the football and anytime we are able to do that we can stay pretty balanced. If we don’t turn the ball over then this game isn’t even close. That disappoints me, but Taliaferro came back in and responded, running extremely well. He’s our most complete back right now with picking up blitzes, protections and seeing the right creases. I’m happy with our running game and Bill Legg deserves an awful lot of credit for how well Rakeem Cato is playing. We were 10-of-14 on third downs which were huge. We scored when we got the ball in red zone which was great.”



On the performance of Marshall defense and ECU wide receiver Justin Hardy
“Wide receiver Justin Hardy is a great player. We did some things with some brackets. We tried to help whoever had Hardy at times. Chuck Heater did a nice job at mixing up the brackets. We knew going in that they were going to make a few plays and they did. Bottom line is, at the end of the day, we held them enough to find a way to win the game.”

On how special of a win this is for the Marshall program, school and community
“I think it’s huge. We haven’t played for championship in 11 years. That was the biggest game that has been played in the Joan for 11 years. To dominate that team the way we did was huge, but we have a bigger game next week. We hope it’s on the same field that this game was.”

On Cato’s second half performance
“Again, I can’t give enough credit to Bill Legg. He has done a tremendous job with Cato. They [ECU] had a little momentum going into halftime, but we came back out in the second half and played well. We had a great kickoff return to open the second half setting us up around the 50-yard line. We took it the rest of the way down the field and scored. Overall, that’s the best game we’ve played to date. We have to make sure we do it again next week.”

Essray Taliaferro, senior running back
On his 1,000 yard season
“It justified that I know what I’m capable of. It’s a great individual accomplishment and I’m proud of myself and I’m thankful for Coach [Bill] Legg for having faith in me. But more importantly, I’m proud of our team for winning the East.”

On the game
“Every team we play this year is based on how we play. We predict the outcome, and if we come with our A-game, this can come next week, or happen in the bowl game, or both. Everything is predicated off of us. We write our future.”

Chris Jasperse, redshirt junior outside lineman
On winning the East Division
“It’s huge. We got to come out and get a huge win in front of our home crowd and we went 6-0 for them. Our fans are thankful that we’re bringing championships back. But, we have to get over this one real quick, though, and get back in there and get ready for the big game on Saturday.”

Evan McKelvey, junior linebacker
On the performance of freshman Gary Thompson
“The coaches always talk about being ready and being number two. He was definitely ready and stepped up when his number was called.”

On the difference between scoring 59 last year and 59 this year
“The thing is, when we turned the ball over and they scored, and then we came back, it was a relief for me. We scored and started driving the ball again and it was good because it proved the offense wasn’t giving up. They came to our house and this is how we played today. We showed up.”

Ruffin McNeill, ECU Coach
Opening statement
“We’ve done some things nobody thought we could do. We won nine games. This was a tough game. It was tough on us, but I’m proud of the way we have been resilient all year long. This team has faced a lot of adversity, from injuries to other items. They just kept bouncing back. I’m proud of our staff. Today was tough, and I told Doc [Holliday] they did a good job. They did a really good job. We know we’re going to a bowl game somewhere. We have a great fan base that will travel and a chance to win 10 games and become bowl champions. There are some things you can’t take off. I’ve been coaching now for 33 years, and I’ve had the chance to win nine games, but now I have the chance to win 10.”

On Marshall’s performance
“Defensively, we didn’t go down the field on third and long. We’ve been very good all season on third down and long. There are three sets of third downs: third and short, third and medium and third and long. We’ve been very successful, but they [Marshall] did a good job in converting them. I thought Rakeem Cato made some really key throws offensively and they did a good job. On defense they did a good job of getting a stop on third down. Special teams got some return yardage. Our coverage team didn’t do like we expected. Coaching wise, Doc and his staff did a great job, as well. My hat goes off the Marshall.”

Shane Carden, junior quarterback
On ECU’s performance
“We usually do a good job of coming in fast, but we came in and we weren’t clicking those first couple drives. We had to play from behind the whole game. We just had a lot of things not go our way. We’re a lot better than that and we know that, but today just wasn’t our day.”

On Marshall’s receiving coverage
“They’re a good defense, and I’m not taking anything away from them, but we’re a much better offense than that.”

On not playing in the Conference USA Championship game
“It’s very tough. We wanted this one. We’ve been looking forward to this game and our goal of a championship all season. This is going to hurt bad, there is no one in there [locker room] that is feeling good right now. We have to get over it. We have to move on. We still have a great opportunity to end the season with 10 wins – to finish with a bowl win. It’s something this school hasn’t done in a while. The sooner we get over this game, the better we’ll be.”