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Postgame Quotes From Pitt vs. Cincinnati




Dec. 5, 2009

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PITTSBURGH -

Pitt Head Coach Dave Wannstedt
“It was a tough heartbreaking loss to say the least. I thought our kids played as hard as they could from start to finish.”

“We knew that this game would come down to the end. Cincinnati is a very good football team. They’re very explosive.”

“We felt going in, if we established the running game that would be our lifeline to victory. We did that and gained some momentum.”

“I thought the kickoff return for a touchdown completely changed the momentum of the game. I thought we had it in the first half.”

“We knew Gilyard was good. The first three kickoffs, he didn’t get past the 25.”

“I couldn’t ask any more of these kids. It’s a great group of kids. They made some plays and made a few mistakes. You put young kids in a position where they can make mistakes and they learn from that.”

“We had a few costly penalties. We got called for eight penalties and two or three of them were in critical situations. When you add that up, losing is the end result.”

“The second half we didn’t generate much pressure up front – not as much as we did in the first half.”

“I told our players I was proud of how they played. I was extremely proud of how they prepared. The leadership on this team was what you need to get a championship.”

“Dion Lewis is the best. I love him and he’s a great player. He shows up. It’s amazing for a freshman, twelve weeks in the season to show up with the performance he had today.”

“I was convinced we were going to win this game. I was and our whole football team was.”

“We’re a lot closer than we were a year ago and light years from where we were four years ago. We’ll recruit and keep building.”

Pitt Nose Tackle Gus Mustakas
“You live for that moment in the end, being a defensive lineman and up six points. We just weren’t able to get the job done.”

“With this being my last year and to go out like that, it’s tough. We just have to keep our heads up and prepare for whatever bowl game we get invited to.”

“There were a bunch of controversial calls but we can’t hold the referees or anyone other than ourselves responsible. In the end we had the lead and the opportunity to stop them and it just didn’t happen.”

Pitt Offensive Lineman John Malecki
“It’s disappointing to lose. We had the opportunity at the end and we just didn’t make it happen.”

“After the missed PAT, we felt confident. We’re up six and the defense has a chance to get us a stop and a win. There’s absolutely no animosity towards anyone. Things like that just come with the sport and we had many more opportunities to win the game than just that.”

“I’m very proud of this team. We gave it our best.”

Pitt Defensive End Mick Williams
“We came out and played as hard as we could and it just didn’t fall our way.”

“After the end of the game, I told my teammates that we had a terrific ride this year. There’s no reason to be ashamed of anything. This year was the greatest group of kids I’ve ever played with.”

“It’s a tough way to end your career at Heinz Field but I really don’t know how to describe it. I’m just at a loss for words. I love my teammates and my fellow seniors and I’m proud of them.”

“I thought this year was an improvement but we just came up short in the end. Sorry to the city and the fans. They gave us great support all season long.”

Pitt Linebacker Adam Gunn
“After the game, Coach Wannstedt just told us to keep our heads up. We gave it everything we had. Mick (Williams) then stood up and reiterated what Coach Wannstedt said and told everyone to be proud and keep our heads held high.”

Cincinnati Head Coach Brian Kelly
“That was just a great football game. When you imagine a championship game, the snow falling and the stands packed and two outstanding football teams just going after it, this game was it. It was special to be apart of and I told the guys that I was honored to be their coach. These guys are a special group of guys and they stuck to our motto of ‘just keep fighting.’”

“We knew at the end of the game that time was important. We had our timeouts and I knew we needed about 55 seconds to a little over a minute in order to score with out getting crazy.”

“I told our guys at halftime that we’d never been in this situation before and either we can go out there and give an effort and just say good season, or we could go out and give everything that we have. I reminded them not to let each other down and that’s what they did. We played a tough Big East schedule and we’re undefeated. I believe we could be playing for the National Championship, but we’ll have to see what happens. I’m going to enjoy our achievement of back-to-back championships for myself and for the student-athletes.”

“Pitt has an outstanding football team. Their offensive line deserves a lot of credit. They kept our defense from putting pressure on Bill Stull in the first half. They’re all great players and the combinations they have on offense with Dorin Dickerson and Jonathan Baldwin are deadly.”

“Mardy Gilyard was just brilliant on special teams today. I believe that his kickoff return was the spark that got us back into the game.”

“Today was the first time our defense gave a spark to our offense. They came up with some pretty big stops and that fueled our offense in the second half.”

“Tony Pike stuck with it today. Early on, we threw three passes inside the 10 and we threw all incompletes. He just stuck with it and kept telling the receivers that he would get them the ball. I think that he’s matured since last season’s Orange Bowl.”

Cincinnati Wide Receiver Mardy Gilyard
“The coaches kept telling me that we needed to turn it up a notch. Coach Kelly told me before I went out there that we needed a spark. They kept kicking it away from me and it felt like Oklahoma all over again, but as I cut across the field I knew I was off to the races. I just kept telling everyone to keep fighting and I knew we could win.”

Cincinnati Quarterback Tony Pike
“We run the two-minute drill all the time in practice and I knew we had a chance to win at the end of the game and we needed to react. In the beginning of the game, we were forcing things and over thinking and as the game went on, we were more patient and we were reacting. The defense was there for us. They weren’t in position in the first half and they were missing tackles and we made the adjustment at the half and got some stops. It was a typical championship game in order for us to win back-to-back Big East titles.”