Jeff Monken Press Conference Quotes: Liberty
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army West Point football head coach Jeff Monken met with members of the local media on Tuesday afternoon for his weekly press conference inside Nowak Auditorium. The Black Knights are preparing to host Liberty for their home opener at Michie Stadium on Saturday. (Ref.: opening statement) "Good afternoon everybody. We are getting prepared for a new week. Frankly I am glad. That was difficult to swallow on Friday, getting beat by Duke like we did. What a great job Coach Cutcliffe has done. They were very well prepared. I felt like we were not as well prepared as I hoped we would be. It was disappointing to lose, especially to a team that we beat here a year ago at home. Credit to those guys who made some really good plays. Their quarterback is special and their receivers hit the long balls against us. Our turnovers killed us, especially early. Those are costly. We didn't play like the team I think we can be. It's really impressive what Coach Gill and his team have done, moving from FCS to FBS. Going on the road a year ago to open the season by beating Baylor and controlling the football game, to opening at home this season and beating Old Dominion who is an old team. They handled them in the second half with 38 points scored for a lopsided victory. They look really good physically. Big and fast and very active on defense. They have a quarterback and receiver combination who had 1,000-yard seasons a year ago. They threw the ball very effectively the other night. It is going to be a challenge for our team. I told our team how important it is to prepare for this group who I know will be very excited to come up here and play in their first year of FBS football. I was a part of that at Georgia Southern and what that meant to make that move and just that drive to show other people that you belong. Liberty is a talented enough team and have won enough football games at this level to show that they do belong. We are going to prepare and hopefully play better this week."
(Ref.: On Army's matchup with Liberty) "Anybody that has guys on scholarships has got me concerned. They are fast, big and talented. They went down to Baylor last year and beat them. We have a lot of guys from Virginia on our team that were not offered by Liberty. That tells you the level of player they are already recruiting. They are guys that are big, fast, and can run and come ready made. That's nothing against our guys, we have to be tough, we have to be fundamentally sound, we have to play really hard, play together, we can't make mistakes, and when we do that we are a tough team to beat. We can be a good football team. We have good football players in our room. There are going to be some guys out there Saturday that look like the guys we played against Duke, that is always a challenge and is always concerning to me." (Ref.: On any big changes you have to make after watching the tape) "Well, there are a lot of changes. We can't fumble the ball; that has to be a big change. We have to tackle better. There were a lot of missed tackles which has to change. We need to sustain blocks and get off blocks better. We didn't do that very well. Playing better in the kicking game is a big change. All of those things." (Ref.: On the importance of playing at home) "I think there are a lot of factors that play into the advantages of being at home. Certainly the familiar surroundings, having your home crowd, not having to travel, sleeping in a familiar place and just the pride of winning at home are big factors. Taking that seriously and having it mean something is key. Hopefully, those are factors for our guys that playing at home means something and that they want to win here."