CAA Football Coaches Media Teleconference Quotes
Head Coach Mark Ferrante
On his impressions from the close loss to Temple,
“From the positive side of things we were really pleased with our guy’s effort. We knew it was going to be a fast and physical game and we held right in there with them up until the very end. That was good to see and the film showed that as well. We need to clean up our red zone stuff; we had four opportunities in the red zone on offense and came away with only 13 points instead of 28 potential points. I know we aren’t going to score a touchdown every time we get down there but that’s the goal. We had some opportunities to make that game turn out a little differently but I’m real proud of the effort our guys left out on that field. We had some guys playing through some things. We had our center Matt Donoghue roll an ankle in the second quarter but finish the game and I’m real proud of how they hung in their, showed some perseverance that we talk to them about all the time.”
On the biggest takeaway from the Temple game and the biggest keys to the game on Saturday against Lafayette,
“The biggest takeaway is that we hung in there with them physically. We didn’t have as many guys play as they did and our guys went in there and played real tough football. Our defense stepped up and held them to only 16 points, which was a tremendous improvement from the week before. Zach (Bednarczyk) went out there and did a great job throwing the football and distributing the football. If we can get back to getting our running game going and having a little more balance in our offense against Lafayette, that’s the first place we want to start moving forward. If our defense can come out and run to the football the way they ran to the football and gang tackle the way they did against Temple then that’s what we look forward to doing against Lafayette this Saturday.
On the defense’s improvement from week one to week two,
“Our defense is always looking to stop the run, that’s the focus of most defenses. You have to try to make teams more one-dimensional. I think they (Temple) did a good job passing the ball in the first half but our guys really responded. It was a tale of two halves, I think they had about 240 yards at the half to our 130 and then we flipped it and outgaining them and out scoring them in the second half, but just not quite enough. Our guys went back and said we need to pursue better and play more physical and gang tackle a little better and that’s exactly what they did, holding them to one touchdown just before the half ended. Our defensive guys did a great job preparing for Temple and our players went out there played hard and left it all on the field.
On the biggest difference in the second half on offense,
“Just overall execution. I think we started out a little tentative. I don’t think our guys were intimidated or anything like that but I think we started out slow. We tried to get the run game going but they started loading up the box. Looking at the film, there were times they were bringing a safety down and there was eight guys in there defending the run so we were going to be forced to throw it a little bit. To Zach (Bednarczyk)’s credit, the guys he was throwing the ball to, Taurus Phillips and Ryan Bell and the rest of the guys were making some really clutch catches in some good situations and we were able to move the ball down the field and get some points on the board. Zach was definitely a competitor and a trooper even when guys were barreling in on him a little bit. Whether they sent an extra guy in certain protections or a guy just broke away from our blocking, he stayed in the pocket and delivered the football in an accurate fashion. I’m pleased with everything moving forward it’s just unfortunate we weren’t able to steal one there at the end. Zach had an incredible game but we just have to be a little more balanced moving forward.”
On Quarterback Zach Bednarczyk’s improvement,
“He’s still making progress which is great to see. We saw him continuing that progression this preseason from what he was able to accomplish last year. Now with two games under our belt and seeing what he has been able to do, as far as his accuracy and ability to read the defense, I think he’s definitely still making progress and that’s been really positive. Hopefully he can continue the trend of not having any interceptions as we move forward. He is making the progression that we had hoped he would and under two games circumstances it seems he is moving in a positive direction.”
On Changa Hodge’s first career 100 yard receiving game on Saturday,
“Changa did really well. He’s probably our tallest receiver and maybe our fastest. He was a hurdling guy in high school, a sophomore, who didn’t redshirt last year but missed some of the season and played late in the season so when asked before about guys who might surface for us this year, that’s a name we were definitely hoping would step up and help our receiving core. Changa started out really well and did a great job and made some big catches so we’re looking forward to him to continue to develop and continue his growth as well.”
On what he would like to see carry over from the Temple game to this week’s matchup against Lafayette,
“The physicality, gang tackling and the execution in our passing game. If we can bring what we did against Temple to this game, that will be very positive. We just have to get the running game going a little better and make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot in the red zone and put more points on the board. We’re excited about our first home game; it’s a 6 o’clock game so we’re expecting a big crowd and it’s a Family Weekend which is usually a big weekend. We’re just looking forward to having our first home contest here in front of our local fans.”