COACH FLOOD: Good afternoon. Really excited about the win. As I said before the game, there is not a lot of carryover in terms of what we did today with what we are going to have to do next week, but I was pleased with the defensive effort in the second half, just tremendous. They had a 3 and out, a 3 and out, a 5 and out, a fumble, 6 and a punt, four plays, another fumble, four plays, stopped 'em on downs, just a tremendous effort on defense in the second half. Great job by Coach Smith and the staff of getting us to play just a little bit better. I didn't think we were far off in the first half, but the difference is when you play against this offense, if you are just a little bit off, the runs are 5-yards long. That's what happens, and you're not there quite fast enough, but it looked like in the second half we were able to catch up to the speed with which they run their offense, and that was good.
I was disappointed to have two penalties on the first drive, but really excited that on the second drive of the game we played good football. Eleven plays and a touchdown, that was good, not consistent enough, I don't think, on offense for what we want to be as the season goes on.
But, again, this defense is unique, and next week will be a completely different defense, so we will take from it what we can, and then really get back to work tomorrow as quickly as possible because we have a tough game on the road at Cincinnati next week.
Q. You guys were on the field 13 more plays than them on defense, and those two blocked kicks talk about how important they were?
COACH FLOOD: The two blocked field goals? I think they are critical. Certainly they keep the game 7-7 at halftime, as opposed to 13-7, and I think their momentum swings in the game. I think it's something that gets you excited and keeps the defense going sometimes. You're in a 7-7 game and I think blocking kicks is part of our culture; it's something we want to do every week. I felt like we had a chance to do it this week. I feel like we have a chance to do it every week and if my information is right, Coop got one and Merrell got another one, so that's good.
I thought we would have a chance, I thought Jeremy Deering was going to go on that kick-off return, and he got hit in the leg or ankle and they got him down. I thought we had another chance for a play on special teams again, but anytime you can keep a team from getting points on the board, it helps.
Q. How much did you have to be patient with your offense this game and not try to get out of character? It was still 7-7 with 8 and a half minutes to play in the game. Were you tempted to get out of character or do you have to fight that?
COACH FLOOD: It felt a little bit like last year, and you were almost prophetic with what you asked me the other day about limited possessions. You go to halftime and you have had only had three possessions in the game, and you say goodness, how many will we have in the second half, is it going to be three again? And thankfully that wasn't the case.
I don't think you have to get outside of your comfort zone unless you have to, and the defense allowed us to be more patient, because I had confidence even if we punted it to them we were going to have a chance to stop them and keep it a 7-7 game until we could make enough plays.
Q. In the second half was it just being more precise or were any adjustments made to slow them down?
COACH FLOOD: I think -- there are always little adjustments that go on in every game, but I don't think there was any change in philosophy; there was no change in scheme or radical difference in how we lined up on defense. I think we were able to see it better, and that's what happens when you play these teams. You hope you can hang on long enough until you can see it, and once you start to get comfortable with the speed of it you have a chance to get stops.
Q. Coach, how would you evaluate Gary's performance? High completion percentage, game-winning touchdown pass, but it seemed like the game ended without calling for him to take too many risks.
COACH FLOOD: I don't think I agree with that, but I think every week I grade Gary on how he runs the plays that we give him, and I'm pleased with how he did today. The one interception is on the receiver, really, not Gary, it gets tipped up in the air, and their kid made a nice play on it, but we're pleased with what he did.
I think it's easy for a play caller to be aggressive when you're on schedule. But when you have -- you know, the first drive of the game where we have two penalties on the first drive, and then the second half -- when you're behind the stick, so to speak, it's hard to be aggressive as a play caller; the percentages are against you. The more you stay on schedule the more opportunities there are to push the ball down the field.
Q. With the half-back option and Jamison, was that something you guys had been working on or did you see something in the Army defense?
COACH FLOOD: I don't know if it was specific to Army. It was a play we have had here before. I think I remember Kordell Young at Cincinnati in '08 threw it for a touchdown, and we're a team that does run the toss play, and most teams that do that have that toss pass in the playbook, so it's something we work on week-to-week, and if we see an opportunity in a game where they're supporting quickly, it gives you a chance to hit one.
I don't know if they supported that quickly on that play. They seemed to get back there with Brandon and he made an athletic move to come down with the ball.
Q. Kyle, how about capping a tumultuous two-week period with a positive result?
COACH FLOOD: I can only hope that we gave the people who have been put out by the hurricane a little bit of an escape for three, three and a half hours today. Certainly a lot of things going on here and on Staten Island and Long Island much more important than a football game, but we were able to do that and raise some money and provide some much-needed coats and clothing as the weather turns here a little bit, then we have a chance to have made a difference today, and I think that's part of our responsibility.
Q. With the mis ques on the punts, the high snap, how much does that have to do with your reputation of blocking punts?
COACH FLOOD: I don't think it's been an issue for them before, so I don't know if they had a bad day or that had something to do with it.
The people we play certainly know we're going to try to block the punt, because it's what we do, and you would have to ask them if that played on it, but I don't think it was an issue for them before today. Sometimes the kid may have just had a bad day.
Q. What happened with Jamison, and what was the thought process in bringing him back?
COACH FLOOD: It was a lower body injury, and if he's not 100 percent, I have a lot of confidence in Savon to go in there and run the ball, which he did, and there was a point where he was 100 percent, so gave him the opportunity to run the ball a little more.
Q. Could you say, we escaped a game where we didn't play our best, or how do you look at it?
COACH FLOOD: I think if you say that, you're not giving them the credit they deserve. If you put the film on and watch them game in and game out, Coach Ellerson has a really good football team. And as he has said, their record doesn't reflect that. They're difficult to play against, and we worked really hard for that win today, and I'm really proud of how hard the players did work, from the moment we started two weeks ago to now, to try to get the opportunity to defend that scheme and to execute an offense with the unique scheme they have on defense. So I don't look at it like that. Division I football games are too hard to win to look at it like that.
I'm proud of the effort today, certainly mistakes we need to get cleaned up, and tomorrow we will start looking at the different schemes and the match-ups and the personnel that we will have to go against when we play Cincinnati.
Q. What is it that allowed your safeties to make contributions in a game where they don't see as much passing?
COACH FLOOD: When you play a team like this you have to rely on your safeties in run support every day. Their role changes for the week, as does almost everybody's role on the defense changes, with the exception of the corner that might be playing man-to-man on a receiver. So it's really everybody on defense that has to adjust to what they're going to see that week, and we have safeties that we use in run support against conventional offenses, and you have to use them a lot more when you play an option offense.
Q. Kyle, 8-1 heading into the three-game stretch, I don't know if you saw Louisville lost today, but being in the driver's seat, can you talk about only Big East games remaining?
COACH FLOOD: I don't see if as a driver's seat. I did not know that was the outcome of that game, but I'm never surprised in this league by any outcome from top to bottom. It's an extremely competitive league, and for us to be thinking about any three games would be a big mistake, and I don't think the team will do that.
We have one game, one opportunity to be 1-0 next week against Cincinnati, and we need to do everything we can when we come back tomorrow to make sure we're moving toward that one game because it's the only one that we have any control over.
Q. How is André doing?
COACH FLOOD: I don't know that. I have not seen the trainers yet to know if André has -- how long he will be out for, but I thought Taj did a pretty good job when he was in there, and I would end with this comment to Robert Movshin, whose wife Diane and children were here today at the game and was one of the gentlemen who presented us that flag and sent that flag to us over to the States, and I know they have a tradition over there where they fly the Rutgers flag after victories, so I look forward to seeing somewhere on the Internet a picture of that flagpole with the Rutgers flag flying high. Thank you for coming.