Postgame Quotes

Dec. 27, 2011

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Purdue University

Head Coach Danny Hope


Opening Statement

“I’m really proud of our football team for making it happen, for getting us here to this great bowl event. We talked about it at length since we became bowl eligible, about making sure that we had a winning season rather than just a successful season. There’s a huge difference between 6-7 and 7-6, and there’s a huge difference between going to a bowl and being a bowl champion, and that meant a lot to our football team.”


On the team’s win

“It felt great. This is a moment we have been waiting for for the last three years, and it was certainly one of our goals going into the season. We have three goals or mission statements for our program, and one is having fun playing football. Through thick and thin, we have fun playing football. The second is to make A’s and B’s, and we’ve made some and we need to make some more, but we’ve made some this semester; and the third is to be champions. Coming to Detroit and participating in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl was an opportunity for us to be champions at the end of the season and I knew that our football team would not be denied.”


On the nature of the game

“It was a wild one, that’s for sure. It was a lot of fun. There’s an old saying in football, “We’re all here because we’re not all there”, and I think this game represented that.”


On the onside kicks

“It was an easy decision. Obviously we have a great commitment to special teams. When I came to Purdue and interviewed with Morgan Burke, I told him we had a plan for special teams to be an edge for our football team.”


“The onside kicks had a lot to do with our confidence in Carson Wiggs, even though they were the two worst onside kicks I’ve ever seen him kick.”


On the seven turnovers

“That’s a lot of turnovers. We thought we’d get some hits on the quarterback, and he’d have to get rid of the ball in a hurry. I think (Alex Carder) is the best quarterback we’ve played all year long because he doesn’t have some of the players around him that some of the other great teams we’ve played have. You look at Wisconsin, and they have a great offensive line and the great backs that they have and they have a great quarterback too, but they have a lot of firepower and can keep you off-balance. Western Michigan has to hang their hat on the passing game.”




On the onside kicks

“The first one was a big time mis-hit. It was supposed to be high up in the air, and I haven’t really hit one that badly since I started doing it. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, I guess. We were going to do it again if it worked, and if they didn’t change their alignment. If they did change their alignment, we were going to kick it deep and mess up their return. They didn’t change their alignment so we hit it again, and it ended up working a little better.”


On whether recovering an onside kick is a dream scenario

“Yeah, definitely. Anytime I can do something other than make a field goal or a kickoff or something, it’s always fun.”


On Purdue’s special teams advantage

“I think that has a lot to do with our special teams coordinator. His job is to look for problems in returns and special teams, and tonight it showed it was well worth it to have that.”


Kickoff returner Raheem Mostert


On his 99-yard kickoff return

“We had a big opportunity to bust one, and we were able to line it up and take it to the house… I just saw daylight. I saw the end zone, and I was going to sprint.”


On whether teams will kick away from him

“We’ll make an adjustment. I feel like I am going to do what I have to do and do my best.”


Linebacker Joe Holland


On closing his career with a bowl win

“We kept it exciting. It was a lot like our season. We had our ups and downs, but that made it a lot of fun. (Western Michigan) obviously has a very talented offense, with very good receivers. To come out on top means a lot to us, especially the senior class.”


On the turnovers

“That’s something that our defensive coaching staff preaches each and every day. Every practice, a section is dedicated to ball disruption and creating turnovers, and I think we did a very good job with that today. Their quarterback is very accurate and a very good player. We were able to mix up our coverages, and disguise some stuff, and create some turnovers, and obviously that had a huge outcome on the game.”


On WMU’s final possession

“It was nerve-wracking, but as a defender, you want the game to come down to you. You want to be on that field when the game is on the line. I think he defensive line was frustrated at times early on in the game, (WMU) got rid of the ball very quickly. They thought they’d have a shot at the quarterback, and he’d get it out just in time. Late in the game we got some pressure and obviously the last play was huge.”



“We knew when they came out in empty, they weren’t going to disguise anything. They were going to try and spread us out and throw the ball. With Gerald (Gooden) being such a good athlete and a pretty good cover guy for a defensive end, we thought we’d drop him in the middle and it would let us be more aggressive on the outside. I think he did a very good job with two interceptions, we just have to teach him to carry the football. (laughter)


On how WMU’s Alex Carder matches up with other quarterbacks he has played

“He’s right up there with the best that I’ve played. He manages that offense well and plays with a lot of confidence. I’ve played against some unbelievable quarterbacks in my career, like Russell Wilson and other guys like that, and he’s right up there with them. He doesn’t miss on many passes, he makes the correct checks when he needs to, and he manages the offense really well. I was impressed with him.


Running Back Akeem Shavers


On lack of contact during bowl preparation

“I took a lot of mental reps in practice, and spent hours in the film room trying to figure out tendencies and what they like to do, so I knew that once I got my chance I was going to do good. Everyone was behind me, from running backs to offensive line, and we made it a team effort.”


On his coach’s contract extension

“I’m estatic, I didn’t even know his contract was up. (Laughter) I’m just glad he’s here. He brought me in and showed me great love and was a great coach. I’m proud to play for him.


On concern on taking the first hit

“Not really. I was concerned about coming up here and winning and playing hard. The concussion was a minor detail to me.”


On his 44-yard run

“It kind of surprised me. I knew it would happen, I just didn’t know when. To happen early in the game it took my jitters away.”






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