Sept. 11, 2006
Senior Quarterback Austen Everson
On what they expect this week:
"Coming into this week, we just want to build on what we've been doing. I thought we had a good week and improved a lot from week one to week two. I think we just need to keep that going and not slow down. We just want to improve on everything, running and throwing the ball."
On how the offense's performance helped the team's confidence:
"Now we've shown we can do it and haven't just talked about it a lot. We're more confident playing now. We have a game to springboard ourselves. It's going to be key for us to keep improving down the road."
On how well the offense played on Saturday:
"It was a lot of fun. The guys on the sideline were saying, `This is what we should be doing every week. How much fun is this?' Coaches were calling plays, and everything we called had a shot to work. That was good for everybody on the offense."
On getting a number of players involved in the offense:
"I think we spread the ball around a lot. It was good to spread the ball around and show that we have so many receivers that we already knew were going to be good players. Now it's on film, and other teams are going to notice that we have a lot of weapons to go to."
On the offensive line:
"They did a great job. I really didn't get hit or pressured much at all. We didn't give up a sack. We threw a lot of balls too, and with zero sacks, I think that's huge. They were opening up holes, and they were protecting well. They played great for us. That's important. We have confidence that they are going to do that, and those guys are really gelling well as a unit."
On the talent on offense:
"The coaches have done a great job of bringing in players that can truly go make plays. That's been evident here in the first two games. There's so many receiver with hands that can go up and get the ball or go across the middle and catch the ball, and really make plays after the catch. With Kalvin and being able to do multiple things with the tight end, it's important because we can show so many different formations and looks. It helps us out and makes it tougher to defend."
On getting a road win:
"I think this is one of the tougher Septembers I can remember with these games in a row. We've already talked about being good on the road. To get the first one under our belts feels good. We know how to do it now. You have to get into that rhythm and mindset of going on the road and getting it done no matter who you're playing."
On the NIU win compared to the Pitt win last year:
"For an offense, we actually got in the end zone. Last year I think Dion (Byrum) scored twice and we kicked a field goal. It felt good for us that we were able to contribute. The Pitt game we didn't do much. We just held the ball for a long time a few times. It was more of a well-rounded win in every aspect. Defense, offense and special teams all played well so it was pretty satisfying."
Senior linebacker Matt Muncy
On the upcoming game with Rutgers:
"Northern Illinois has a great offensive football team, and Garrett Wolfe was a challenge. I think this week is going to be another challenge because they have a couple of good running backs. I know they're a good team. We're just trying to improve every week. Even though we got the job done, I think we can perform a lot better than we did on Saturday."
On the difference between facing a one-back offense versus a two-back offense:
"It's just another challenge for us. Watching a little bit on film, Ray Rice is a quicker guy, maybe a little bit like Garrett Wolfe. The fullback, Brian Leonard, he's a real hard runner and a bigger guy. We're going to have to get guys to the ball to bring him down. It's a little different mentality. We don't have to focus on shutting one guy down. We have to worry about those two backs, and I think it's going to be a tremendous challenge for our defense."
On whether facing Garrett Wolfe helped prepare them for the Rutgers' running backs"
"I fell that Garrett Wolfe is the best back I've ever played against, and I don't think there's too many better than him in the country. That's not to take anything away from those guys (the Rutgers' backs) because they're really great backs. Leonard has been awhile and had a lot of success. Rice is just a sophomore, but he's got a lot of potential. It's going to be a huge challenge for us this week."
On stopping Garrett Wolfe in the passing game:
"He really hurt Ohio State catching balls out of the backfield. When we were blitzing and in our zone coverages, we really focused on taking care of him. I think that was a big thing for us to take that away. Not that we shut him down, but it helped us contain him a little better."
Comparing the Northern Illinois and Pittsburgh wins:
"I think it (NIU) was a bigger win. Obviously, it was in the conference so being 1-0 in the conference is a great start. I think it gives us a lot more confidence to go against a team like Northern Illinois that was picked to win the conference, and we competed with them, and I think we outplayed them."