Following the conclusion of BC’s 36-30 win in the Quick Lane Bowl, Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin shared his thoughts about the game.
MARYLAND HEAD COACH D.J. DURKIN
"Obviously extremely tough loss, first I want to give credit to Boston College and their coaching staff. They obviously had their guys prepared and coached a good game, played a good game. We made far too many mistakes to win a game. I really feel like we shot ourselves in the foot way too many times in the game with penalties, and then turnovers. It's just hard, you can't win a game when you do that that many times, obviously in some critical moments with the turnovers as well. The positive coming out is, you look at, you saw a bunch of guys in that locker room that really care about each other and played and fought until the end. There's plenty of times in that game they could have just tanked it and moved on and you didn't see that. I know this, we have the right character and substance on our team. We've got to continue to get better, develop the guys we have and keep bringing in players through recruiting into our program. You saw the buy-in and as much as those guys care about one another and how they played, we were in it right until the end. To our seniors, it's a hard way to go out, hard way to finish on a loss. Those guys, I've probably said it before and I'll say it again. For those guys to buy-in the way they've bought in this year, and we've demanded a lot of them, it's been a hard program for 12 months. Been a hard program to stay in, be a part of, and you've seen it. There's been guys that have trickled out along the way and we made it hard for a reason, so there'd be a big investment. It'd be hard to be in that room, be in that locker room. The guys that are in there, they'll be tremendous successes in their life because they've now learned that, they've gone through that. Our seniors have bought in with blind trust and did a great job. It wasn't all pretty obviously, but we've got to continue to get better and grow. I think you can definitely see the program is heading in the right direction, we've just got to learn how to not beat ourselves before we can go beat someone else."
On how critical it was having to settle for a field goal in the fourth quarter: "Critical, we need to get the ball in the end zone. The ball is in the half-yard line, you've got to get the ball in the end zone let alone turn it over. The couple plays before that, we're on the 2-yard line in a 22-man mosh pit and had a holding penalty called on us. That got pushed back, I don't know, it was just one thing after another. But for us two center-exchanges, on the fourth-and-one out on the field, if we don't fumble that snap it's probably a touchdown. The flip play to Kenny (Goins Jr.), there was absolutely no one there. He still almost got it after the whole fumble and all that. But it just is what it is, that's us executing. That's us executing the center-quarterback exchange, which has been going on since this game began."
On how surprised he was at QB Perry Hills fumbling the ball: "Yeah, I don't know. I'll have to look at the film, too. I don't know who's fault, the ball was getting up or not, if it was Perry, I don't know. It's hard to see that stuff full speed on the field. But yeah, at the end of the day that can't happen."
On if he thinks the offensive line will look back on today's game as a teaching lesson: "Yeah, they need to. We need to. Got to get better up front, absolutely. We knew going into the game that BC has a very good defensive front, and they do. They play well, they've done that. You watch their games throughout the whole year, they've done that to a lot of teams. But it is what it is, we've got to man up and play out there. At times we did that, and at times we didn't. That certainly hurt us."
On his thoughts on RB Ty Johnson's performance and his value moving forward: "He's done it all year. He's consistently been a big-play guy for us all year. He does have that ability, he's a young guy and still learning and getting better. We're certainly excited about him and a lot of guys at that position moving forward. You saw it, Ty had several in this game and he's done that, I don't know the yards per carry, but if it's not a record it's got to be up there."
On if the pitch play to RB Kenneth Goins, Jr. was intended to be a pitch play: "It was going to be a pitch to Kenny all along. If we pitch it to Kenny, you can look at the tape, but I was the closest man to him on the field. But, we fumbled the snap so you saw what happened."
On if Boston College DE Harold Landry is the best defensive player he has faced this season: "He's a very good football player. Really talented guy, has a future in the NFL. Can't say enough good things about him."
On the difficulty of playing without LB Shane Cockerille: "The great part is, Isaiah Davis went out and played a great game for us. Isaiah is a young guy that has a bright future, flies around, plays fast, hits people. He went in there and played an awesome game. That's what I love, that's what I want to focus on, Isaiah. Isaiah Davis has a great future with us and this program."
On the difficulty of playing from behind score-wise: "I don't know man, our guys, it wasn't a matter of we sputtered out and ran out of energy. We didn't, we were there, we were in it. We didn't execute at the end, if you have the ball with two minutes to go in the football game and a chance to score to go ahead that's all you can ask for. You take that in any game. In competitive football, that happens quite a bit. In the two-minute drill they out-executed us."
On what message he gave to the team at halftime: "It wasn't the big 'rah-rah' message. It was kind of like, you know, we made adjustments. We changed some things on defense, we changed some things on offense. The good part is they focused in, it was a two-score game. To that point we were killing, I mean, the field position, we just killed ourselves on special teams plays. It was the story of the game, we were backed up the whole first half. We said if we stop doing that, we're going to be right in it and we were. The good part is they took the message, they listened. It was more about executing, I was talking to them in this tone. Let's go fix it, and they had the confidence to go do that. That was the good part, we just came up short."
On if he looks at the season overall as a positive: "There's plenty of positives to point at. We go in every game trying to win every game, so I don't know. We're 6-7 now, so that's certainly not what we're shooting for. There's a lot of guys that got better this year and played a lot of football for us that were probably, maybe not ready yet to play, but we had to play them. The good part moving forward is they have that experience under their belt, there's certainly a lot to grow from. As we move forward with our guys they understand our system and how we do things, so yeah. There's plenty of positives, but the end result is not what we want."
On Boston College's defensive line: "Their whole defensive line is good, there was some plays where it was those guys being good and beating a guy, and there was some times where we made dumb mistakes. We blew protections and just weren't assignment-sound. So like I said, we shot ourselves in the foot several times. Give them credit, they made some plays."
(Transcript provided by Boston College)