Postgame Quotes

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PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 19, 2009

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Purdue Coach Danny Hope

On the time of possession difference:
"Well, they certainly won the battle. It's hard to score when you don't have it. We had a chance at the end and didn't convert, but it never should have gotten to that point."

On Ralph Bolden's performance:
"Northern Illinois did a great job. They had a great game plan going in. Ralph was a little banged up and didn't practice this week. All the credit goes to Northern Illinois. They did a great job of shutting down the run."

On his team's poor performance:
"I think I did a bad job of training the team this week. We did a great job of managing the time on our way out [to Oregon], but probably didn't handle it as well on our way back. I probably over-worked the guys on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had great effort those two days and then backed off on Thursday and Friday. The blame falls on my shoulders."

On Purdue missing tackles:
"Missed some last week and the week before. We're just a poor tackling team right now. Looking back, I think we probably lost a little focus Thursday and Friday in practice. I don't feel like from a focus standpoint, we were prepared well enough for this game. We came out bad and spotted them a big lead. We fought back and had a chance at the end but couldn't get it done."

On the possibility of Caleb TerBush playing:
"I wasn't going to. Joey is better in practice and I don't believe the 'he's a gamer' thing. You have to be good in practice to be good in the game. We felt Joey was the best in practice and gives us the best chance to win."

On fourth-and-three incomplete pass to Aaron Valentin:
"That was a low percentage ball. We had something else called that probably gave us a better chance but we're not out there. Joey [Elliot] made the call because he thought it gave us the best chance."

On moving forward after the loss:
"I hope Boilermaker Nation is not faint of heart or squeamish. I hate to lose a game at home - I don't care if it's to the PAC, MAC or WAC, it makes us sick to our stomach. We still have nine games left though. If we can learn and grow from this, we can still have a pretty good season."

On what Aaron Valentine has to do to regain his spot as punt returner:
"Catch it. He does a good job back there. I don't know why that happened today. We're not going to give up on Aaron Valentin, that's for sure."

Northern Illinois Coach Jerry Kill
On his thoughts from the win...
"It was a hard-nosed, physical game. We were fortunate enough to win the game and I am so proud of my guys."

On the fake punt...
"A call like that a lot of times can get you fired, but our staff and I made the call. We have worked on that play for a few weeks now. It was one of the more gutsy calls I have made in my career."

On stopping Ralph Bolden...
"The defensive staff and players deserve a lot of the credit. They played hard-nosed football and everyone filled their gaps well. Overall we played very disciplined football."

On getting the big victory...
"It is great for the school and players. Our players here know to take it one game at a time and we will enjoy this one a little bit. However come Sunday after we watch some film the players and I know that we have to start getting ready for next week."

Purdue Players

Senior quarterback Joey Elliott
On the performance of Purdue's offense on Saturday:
"We have to come out with more fire. We had a limited amount of plays that we were able to run in the first half. We got in a groove in the second half, but we just have to get into that groove sooner."

On whether or not turnovers were the key to the game:
"No, not necessarily. Northern Illinois did a great job executing their offense. They controlled the time of possession and took our crowd out of the game. We ran very few plays in the first half, and that obviously limited our opportunities."

On his 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter:
"The safety came down on Keith Smith and when I looked to the right, the other safety crashed down, so I found daylight and took off. As I was running, I made sure to look both ways to see if anyone was coming because I didn't want to lose the ball."

Senior linebacker Jason Werner
On the play of Purdue's defense against Northern Illinois:
"The big mistakes killed us. We gave up too many big plays. We couldn't get ourselves off the field so the offense could do its job."

On trying to overcome turnovers and a deficit in time of possession:
"It's frustrating to make the mistakes that we did. We worked on those things all week, but didn't execute them in the game. Those things will kill you."

Junior tight end Kyle Adams
On the Purdue offense as a unit on Saturday: "The offense came out flat today. We started flat, and there's no excuse for it. It's not on the coaches. It's on us. We didn't get the job done in the first half. We played better in the second half, but you can't wait that long and expect to win."

Northern Illinois Players

Sophomore quarterback Chandler Harnish
On his thoughts from the win:
"It's a real speechless feeling. I had a lot of family and friends in town and it was special to win in front of them. I am really proud of our team and the way we responded."

On keys to the game:
"Third-down conversions were a real key for us. We were able to keep their offense off the field. I am also extremely proud of how our offensive line played. We showed that we can move the ball down the field. The offensive line played out of this world in this environment, and Me'co Brown and Chad Spann had some incredible runs. "

On the MAC Conference in general:
"We are better than what most people think. We have beaten some good teams in the past couple of weeks. We are a little bit underrated, but that's ok. I like it like that."

Sophomore running back Me'co Brown
On having a career day in running:
"I'm very happy, but my job was easy. The offensive line did the work. They really helped me out, helped me push through the defense."

On his 67 yard touchdown run
"I just had to hit the hole and keep running. The [offensive] line deserves the credit for that one."

Junior running back Chad Spann
On coming home to Indiana to play:
"It feels real good coming home to see my family and friends and see the teams that overlooked me."

On a one-two punch with Brown:
"Me'co and I enjoy it. We keep trying to outdo each other. He'll come in and make some big plays, and I'll come in and make some. It can be hard to stop."