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What they said: Troy postgame with Chris Klieman and players

By |2023-09-09T19:56:17-05:00September 9th, 2023|Categories: Local News, Sports|Comments Off on What they said: Troy postgame with Chris Klieman and players

by Kevin Fielder • EMAWOnline – Managing Editor – @TheKevinFielder


On the score not reflecting how challenging it was: ““t does not at all. They were really really good on defense. I thought they did a great job of trying to make us one dimensional, and not allowing us to rush to football. We continued to do some good things in the run game. Probably not consistently like we want, but give them credit, we were able to get some big plays in the pass game, then I thought their quarterback was a good player. When we were going to try to shut down their rush game too. We gave them one big run that we missed a fit, but other than that, I thought we did a really good job in the rush game there.”

On Will Howard’s play: “I know that he was kicking himself for the one pick that he threw in the endzone, probably taking the shot getting a little a little bit greedy, potentially. I thought he really settled in after that and said, “Okay, I made a mistake. Now I’ve got to own it and I’ve got to come back and play really well” and I thought he made some really good plays in that second half. The kind of flip past RJ [Garcia] was big, him getting the big run right before half, so that we could get the third and short or fourth and short conversion. I thought that was big, so I thought he settled in and played really well.”

On the defensive line: “Well we are just rotating so many guys is what is so important, we’re playing a lot of guys in there, and we’re getting good penetration. We are doing a really good job fitting the run. That’s the thing that I’m probably most excited about, is we work hard on our run game. You know we’re hitting our fits, and hitting them physically, then pushing the pile back. We didn’t have a bunch of missed tackles on the perimeter. I thought our perimeter run defense was much better. I thought Will Lee showed up a few times really well in the run game.”


On the defense’s impact: “It gives an offense so much confidence. I mean, they gave us the ball at midfield or better three or four times. It makes our job so much easier when they’re doing what they’re doing, especially against pretty good offenses. Troy and SEMO, not a lot of people are given those guys credit for how good they are, they’re really good programs.”

On Phillip Brooks: “He’s really taken his game to another level. In terms of everything, not just on the field. He’s really stepped up as a leader in the locker room because we lost Kade [Warner] and Malik [Knowles] last year. Those guys were kind of the dudes in the room. Phillip, he really has stepped up into that role. And he’s an old dude now, he’s a six-year senior, we call him Uncle Phil. His knowledge and experience are so good.”

On how the game went: “It wasn’t perfect by any stretch. I think we had some rough moments really in that second quarter there. But I think we needed this, you know, this was a game where we learned a lot and that was a really good Troy team. Like they won 12 straight and they got one of the tougher defenses I’ve ever gone against. They did some really good stuff schematically. They disguise everything really well. So it was hard to see what they were doing. So I think that was a really good game for us to learn from.”


On getting a win under his belt: “Yeah, I’m not gonna lie. I’m old, a little bit old for college football, but it’s a good win. I think we went through some adversity, they challenged us. They were a good football team, they had good defense. So we went three and out a couple of times. So we needed to go through that as we face more opponents.”

On getting good blocks: “Our coach [Van] Malone talks about blocking, making openings for big runs and then after we run our routes, getting the block. Just making sure we impact the play, no matter how, no matter what.”

On what he’s doing well: “I feel like all the new guys that came in and stepped up to the plate. I feel like we’re doing good and, making those plays when we need to be consistent. Making blocks after us running routes. So I think all the little things we’re doing where we just continue to do that.”


On his 40-yard reception: “Got the call from the sideline and just in my head like ‘Oh man like this can be a big one, no matter who it goes to.’ I saw the ball up in the air and I was like ‘Alright, Will’s [Howard] trusting me to make a play.’ And that’s just what I went on to do.”

On Phillip Brooks: “Phil’s that guy, love Phil. He pushes me every day,, makes me a better player at practice, helps me like see what he sees so that we can get on the same page as well, because it’s not just about the quarterback being on the same page and receivers, receivers being the same page as receivers and the o-line as well, along with the running backs. One band, one heartbeat, just go out there and play for each other.”

On Keagan Johnson: “Keagan is an amazing player. He pushes me. I have filled in for him first game. This game going in we talked about a little bit of things. Me and him are just trying to stay on the same page. We push each other to be better players, and it’ll be exciting to see.”


On his interception: “So we just talked about it all day, their route they have to go up the seam and then the outside receiver came in. We got a lot of that during fall camp and then I made a play on a practice and I knew I was gonna get one in the game right when he expanded out and came back in.”

On winning again: “It feels great. Defense played fast. Everybody was in their key, everybody was making the right plays, and in the right position. So we do that, we’re going to be fine every time.”



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