Ball State postgame: Coach Ellerson

Some of Army coach Rich Ellerson’s comments to the Times Herald-Record after a 40-14 loss at Ball State Saturday.

On team’s precision not being the same as last week
“It’s just the other side of the coin. We’re not good with the football on offense. We’re penalized. We’re struggling on defense against a good offense but we got some stops and we did some things. We know there’s a bunch of stuff out there that we hate. Against a sophfiscated offense like that that pays attention, you have to be a little craftier on the back end. We can live with that. We need to get off the field a couple of times earlier in a series where we didn’t force some field goals and get the punt team on the field.

“Offensively, we had the ball on the ground. We struggled to put enough plays together. We penalized ourselves and we missed some plays in the kicking game and we get penalized in the kicking game. We missed kicks. That’s the biggest thing about this right here, that’s the most impressive thing about Ball State is how competent they are when they are operating. They looked like we looked last week. It’s hard to get them to put the ball on the ground. It’s hard to see them busting a protection although they did. They can operate.”

On Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning’s third straight effective game against Army

“We have to slide to him a little bit more and force a few errors to him. Having said that, I thought defensively we rallied and battled a little bit. We have some young guys out there battling in the secondary against a really, gifted, veteran receiving group and quarterback. I thought we really grew in the course of that contest. We are going to have to go through some of that a little bit. But, I thought we forced some field goals. We saw them punting a few times. We got a takeaway. We battled back. You would like to start faster. The first few drives are frustrating because we get them to third down and once again we have a hard time getting off the field.”

On late first-half drive, which resulted in quarterback Angel Santiago taking a sack and no Army points

“The book says with 16 seconds on the clock, you can’t run your field-goal team on. You should be able to run a play but the ball has to be incomplete or complete for a first down or a touchdown. You can’t take a sack. If he just throws the ball into the back of the end zone, we kick it. No big deal.  We are disappointed because we didn’t recognize on the field that we might have been able to clock it but with all those guys downfield…that’s the problem with a sack. You cannot take a sack in that situation because your receivers are downfield. They can’t get back to the line of scrimmage so you can clock it. If I had that one back, I’d say we try to kick that one. But, we had just missed a shorter field goal than that one. We will be better than that.”


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