John Grass Press Conference Quotes – North Alabama Week

John Grass


Jacksonville State Football Weekly Press Conference
September 14, 2021 – North Alabama Week
Head Coach John Grass
Opening Comments:
“It was a great night for the Gamecocks on Saturday and that win did a lot for our university as a whole and the publicity from Mike Parris‘ call, I think he might have done more interviews on that last play than any of us have. It was a great win for our football team and just real proud of these guys. You can learn a lot from losing games and winning games, you have the most growth during a year from the first game of the season to the second game. I was proud of how we handled the loss to UAB and we knew we did not play our best, but we played hard and gave great effort in that game. We got better after we got back on the practice field and we got better every day and you could tell that you were going to see that in the Florida State game. To put ourselves in position to win the game at the end, there was a lot of work that went in to that, it was not just the one play. The one play that made it happen – Zerrick Coopeer made the great throw, the line blocked really well, Damond (Philyaw-Johnson) made a great catch and Ahmad Edwards made the block to get him in the endzone. That play will be remembered forever as well as that game and it will go down in history and no one can take that away from us. It was a physical game and we are beat up and I know that they are beat up after the game. I was kind of disappointed in that last time that FSU had the ball and they got it down to the one-tard line and we make the goal line stand because I knew that we had played well enough to be in a different position at the end of the game. In the first half, we felt like we left some points on the field and we felt like we should have been up at halftime. Every game has a life of its own and you have to play every play of the game and that game is a prime example of that.”
“We have to continue to make that growth because there are a lot of things that we can do better. We used these first two games as measuring sticks of where we were and we have to play better. There are a lot of execution things in all three phases of the game that we have to get better at and that is what we are going to do this week. I think this bunch has bought in to that and I appreciate the work that has gotten us to this point and we have a long season in front of us.”
On the message to the team on how to handle the win at Florida State:
“It is all we talked about yesterday, about getting our heads out of the clouds and feet on the ground. This is a bunch that is levelheaded and this group didn’t get to down after a loss and not playing our best and we went right back to work. We enjoyed this one and we will get back to work and find ways to get better. This bunch knows what it wants to accomplish in the long term and this season, so you can’t get hung up on one game whether it be a loss or a win. We have already proved ourselves in how we have handled a loss and I am anxious to see how we handle this type of win. Our focus now is on the UNA game and the Gamecocks.”
On the improvement on the offensive side of the ball:
“Offense is all about execution and I just think we executed a lot better and I think Cooper (Zerrick) had his best week of practice that I have seen him have in a long time. I think he was committed and driven to get better last week and leading our offense. I think he played much better and the offense around him played better.”
On the emotions after the game:
“I think everyone was a little emotional after that win. You invest so much in to this game, you love these guys and our football family and my family is as invested in this as anyone. They were excited for the players and the program and it was very emotional. The Grass family loves the Gamecocks and they love football. My wife makes them brownies on the road trips, so the guys lokk forward to that and she goes out of her way to do things and she is a great coach’s wife. She has been the role model for our kids and the kids have bought in to it as well. It was a special moment for everyone involved.”
On playing at home:
“Just playing at home is definitely going to be fantastic and we love playing in front of our fans. We have some of the best fans in the country and our game day atmosphere is really good with the Southerners, cheerleaders and Cocky. I just think everyone will be excited for the game and coming off the big win makes it even more exciting. We have an old Guld South Conference rivalry with UNA and most of these guys don’t remember those game, but our older fans do and anytime we have played them since I have been here, it has been a packed house. It is going to an electric atmosphere here on Saturday night.”
Zerrick Cooper, Sr., QB
On the rivalry with UNA:
“I have played them twice and it is just another game and we have to treat it like any other game.”
On the handling the Florida State win going forward:
“We can’t dwell on the past and we have to continue to harp on the little things that could get us beat and that is really what we have talked about the last few days.”
On the mindset of the offense in week two:
“I just think we changed our mindset from week one to week two and we just went in to the game knowing it was going to be very similar style of play upfront and we had our fair share of penalties and execution, but we wanted to leave everything on the field.”
On playing at home:
“It is going to be great having a home game, especially after the Florida State win and I think our fans will be ready and looking to have a great night against UNA.”
Stevonte Tullis, R-Jr., LB
On the rivalry with UNA:
“Coach Grass always talks about a faceless opponent, so thus week is no different. It just matters on how we execute on both sides of the ball.”
On the handling the Florida State win going forward:
“It was a great win for us, but we have a game this week and you have to have the same focus that we had last week. We have to have a good week of preparation.”
On playing at home:
“There is nothing better than playing a home game at night.  It is where you spend all of your time working on your craft and spend countless hours during the summer and spring preparing for this. It is going to be a great environment with our fans behind us.”

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