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Wrapping it Up: Al Golden/Player Quotes, Highlights

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One last look at a very disappointing night.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

First the highlights lowlights

Now the quotes....

Al Golden

On playing from behind for most of the game...



"It was disappointing. That’s their M.O. If they can play with a lead, they’re tough. We let them do that. They had field position on us all night. They converted their chances, starting with that first third down that ended up being a big play. A couple of plays later, they ran it in. It was disappointing that they came out. We needed to respond a little bit better, and we did not."

On if he envisioned the end result...



"No. No. If you look at the line, they had 60 plays for 360 [yards] we had 73 for 421 [yards]. They made more plays than we did. They had a shorter field than we did. Our kickoff coverage was not good, theirs was outstanding. We’re just not getting it deep enough like their guy was doing to us...they made us pay with that. Even when we answered in the beginning of the third quarter, we kick off and they start at our 40 [-yard line].

On if his team is more talented than its 6-6 record indicates...



"We’re responsible for the record at the end of the day. I’m responsible for the record. I feel like we have a lot of guys on our team – Clive [Walford], Duke [Johnson], Denzel [Perryman] – that are chasing elite. Maybe we haven’t had that for a while. Overall as a team, we need to perform better, and that’s my responsibility. We are what our record is, period. I’m disappointed."



On why Pitt was so successful in the red zone...



"We didn’t stop them enough on third down. I think they were 50% on third down. We didn’t get any takeaways. It was a short field. When you play a team like this, it’s a little bit like playing Georgia Tech – in that you have to make them go a long field, so if they’re going to play like that, they need to get three or four more first downs. It gives you more opportunities, because that’s how they play the game. They converted down there. We needed one stop. On the other end, we needed one more play in the red zone and we did not."



On if his team became divided during the last few weeks...



"No. I think there’s frustration. We have a lot of guys that worked hard and a lot of guys that have been through a lot and a lot of guys that want to win. I wouldn’t say that that’s accurate or fair. I don’t think it’s divided. I think there’s some frustration. We have Jon [Feliciano] and Shane [McDermott] and those guys who have been around a long time, and they’re playing next to [Christopher] Herndon and [Brad] Kaaya and Trevor Darling. There are guys at different stages in their careers, but I don’t think it’s splintered."



On the team’s schedule for next week...



"No. 1, just get the team healed up. From our standpoint, we have to go out recruiting right away and then we’ll find out where our bowl assignment is. We’ll go from there."



On his message as he hits the recruiting trail...



"My message right now? I’m really disappointed in our performance tonight and how we played. Obviously we think there are still a lot of positives. It would be fruitless for me to talk about it right now. It wouldn’t be fair."

On if his team suffered a letdown after emotional investment in Florida State game...



"I think obviously as a coach, it’s one of the things that I have to evaluate. I have to look closely at it. Going back to that, we did invest a lot, but it’s easy during the week to just paint a brush and say that’s the reason. That’s one of the things that I will evaluate personally. In terms of our kids practicing, or mindset, or things like that, I haven’t noticed a difference."

Duke Johnson



On how satisfying is the moment of breaking the all time rushing record is... or how disappointing is it coming from a loss?

"Yeah, it’s both. That’s why it’s disappointing. We wanted to get the win of course. When you reach a milestone like that, you want to come out with a victory in that game, which we didn’t. But at the same time, I think it’s a great honor, not only for me, but all of the players I played with all three years, the academics, everybody around the building, that helped me stay eligible to be on the field. It helped me become the person I am on and off the field. I think it’s a credit to everyone in the organization, not just me."



On keeping the company with prior running backs...



"It is an honor. Just when you look at all the great backs that played before me, the things they were able to accomplish, just to say that I’m up there now, that I’m top rusher here, it’s amazing for me, my family and the organization."

On what happened to the team during the last couple of weeks after the Florida State game...

"We’re just not executing. We’re not doing what we have done in the games before. It’s just the little things we’re going through. We’re not executing and we’re not doing our part. That’s basically it. We just haven’t been doing it. We know we’re capable of doing it. We show you guys how. We just haven’t been doing it."

Denzel Perryman

On disappointing regular season conclusion...



"I don’t even know to be honest with you. If I could say anything, I could probably say we just got complacent. We played consistent as far as our defense. We kind of got out what pretty much brought us up to that point, which is pretty much just everybody doing their job."

On if Florida State game mentally exhausted this team...

"No. After Florida State, we pretty much put that game behind us and we were just playing for the next opponent."

On how to justify record with the amount of individual talent on this team...

"No, I mean things happen. We have playmakers – young guys and freshman. I know that they are going to have some good guys coming in. But I can say the games that we lost, some of them just did not go our way and some of them we just beat ourselves. But, I expect those guys to step up."

Brad Kaaya

On not having receivers open...

"There were a few times when they had us schemed out pretty well, and a few times where we couldn’t execute on a play. I’m not going to blame anyone or name any names. As a whole, we were just out of the game."

On if there were differences of emotions between both teams...

"Not really. I know I gave it my all. Every game, I give it my all. A lot of my teammates did. It just didn’t go our way but all our guys are trying to send our seniors out."

On what he looks forward to with the bowl game and upcoming practices...

"I just want to get getter. I just want my fellow young guys to really come on and progress and get better for the bowl game. I want us to carry it to next year. I want to be great. I’m trying to be great and all my teammates want to be, especially the young guys. They have to step up. It’s our turn too."