© Dak Dillon
The Syracuse Orange defeated the Missouri Tigers 31-27 on a last-second touchdown and qualified for a bowl game for the second time in three years. People had things to say about it.
Doug Marrone on his team:
"I can't tell you how proud I am of these kids and their leadership. When you look in their eyes, you can see the confidence building in them and right now we're a very happy football team."
Marrone on being bowl eligible:
"We're happy in that this game made us bowl eligible. We're really not talking about the bowl games and all the other stuff that go with a sixth win. We're excited about this win, and we're going to celebrate this win. Then we'll put our minds together and go about the next game because that's what the formula we've been trying to instill in this football team is - focus on the next play."
Marrone on Syracuse's early struggles and how they overcame them:
"Coming in I knew we were going to have to withstand all the emotion, especially early on. It was a very, very, physical game out there and both teams really went after each other. Early on, some critical things went on. They made a good call to go up seven. Then we dropped the ball and went down 7-3. Then they come back down and scored again to make it 14-3. Now all of a sudden it's first and goal at the four in a 14-3 game and we were just trying to hang in there as best we could."
"They went up 17-3. The next possession, we came back and made it 17-10. At that point, it becomes a battle. At the end of the second quarter, I just wanted to get back in so we could get some adjustments done knowing we were going to get the ball first. We worked our butts off - and that's really what this team is all about. There was some adversity late with the turnover, the same kind of stuff that hurt us early in the season, but our defense came in and held them to a field goal."
Marrone on the faith he has in the offense late in the game:
"When we have time on the clock, with the way Ryan's playing, and the connection with Alec Lemon and the rest of the receivers, we have a chance. I like our offense, I like what we're doing."
Justin Pugh on Syracuse's "never give up" attitude:
"That has to do with our coach, he's always pushing us and it is rubbing off on us, giving us that fighting mentality, we do not give up."
Pugh on the game-winning score:
"To be honest I did not even see it, I just heard the crowd go silent. The whole fourth quarter it was like a church in there. I didn't hear anything, I would look around and wonder, 'are there 70,000 people in here? I can't here anything.' Hats off to our defense and our front line for keeping the crowd out of it. Great team win."
Ryan Nassib on the quiet Missouri crowd in the 4th quarter:
"It was fun; we have fun silencing crowds like this. We have been there before and fortunate enough to make the plays to put us ahead."
Nassib on if the game-winning play happened as expected:
"Actually no, the play we had called with the defense they ran, it was like a sign from god. That was exactly what we wanted against that defense, so we got lucky and coach made a great call."
Nassib on Sir Alec Lemon on the final play:
"My reads took me to there; he is a playmaker, you go to him if you are in need of a big play. He has been like that all year and has not proved me wrong all year."
Nassib on what this game means to him:
"It was big, coming into an away stadium. Our sixth win, bowl clinching win, that we won in the last 2 minutes is definitely something special. The past two weeks have been special wins."
Nate Hackett on the Orange:
"This team, it’s just so awesome to see how they never give up. We were all just hugging and freaking out up in the box."
Hackett on the game-winning play:
"A great play. The only play. A play that has been good to us in that situation. And Ryan and Alec executed it perfectly."
Hackett's reaction to the touchdown:
"Gone. I freak out, start shouting and pulling my shirt over my head. I couldn’t believe we did it again."
"We’re fighters. We’re not going to stop. It’s the difference between this team and last year’s."
Alec Lemon on the game-winning play:
"I was kind of shocked I was that open. I was calm the whole time. We’ve done it before. We knew what we had to do, and we went out and did it."
Missouri LT Elivs Fisher impersonating a Syracuse player from earlier in the season:
"I think penalties killed us, mistakes killed us. We got a lot of dumb penalties."