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Syracuse Beats Wake Forest: The Quotant Quotables

Syracuse snapped its four-game losing streak on Saturday with a strong performance against Wake Forest. Here's the reaction from Orange players and coaches from the win.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Shafer on his team's performance:

I'm very pleased with this victory today. We always talk about adjusting to the elements. We've had a lot of kids injured and a lot of kids banged up and I really felt like we were going to have to gut this one out and they did. A lot of things that we have to continue to improve upon, but with some of the youth playing across the board, I was pleased with the effort. I'm really, obviously, pleased with the way the defense played, creating two turnovers that turned into touchdowns and, you know, great victory for our kids.

On playing through injuries:

Coming out of the Florida State game, our defensive kids were banged up. I'm not going to lie to you. We had to try to be smart during the week with the way we practiced. I thought mentally, they were extremely strong at working through some pain and playing today some exceptional football. I'm very proud of the job the defensive kids have done. Coach Bullough and the defensive staff are doing a great job and we'll have our hands full this week.

On getting the first ACC win:

It's always great to a conference victory, on the road especially in this conference, as you all know. Good victory. Looking forward to continuing to try to get to 2-0 in the second half of the season.

On AJ Long's performance:

He showed his athleticism down there in the red zone where he took off with it. I know he'd like to get some plays back on some reads. But he was in high school last year. We're going to keep working with him. I was hoping we could get Mitch (Kimble) in there in the end too because he's working extremely well too.

On Cole Murphy:

He's done a nice job. He's just got to keep the damn kickoffs in bounds. Other than that, he's done a nice job kicking and I think he's just going to continue to get better.

On the rise of Steve Ishmael:

Stevie's just a great little football player. He loves to play the game. I know if I was playing quarterback, I'd throw it up to him all the time. I just love the hell out of the kid. He loves football. He's passionate about the way he goes to work. It's amazing that the kids who work so hard show up in the productivity side of things at the end of the game.  I couldn't more proud of the way Stevie's been working at it and it's really nice to see that production during the game.

Whether it was a must-win:

One at a time. No. One at a time. I know it's just cliché, but it's the truth. When you go the other route, that's when you do a poor job.

Long on facing the Wake defense:

Their defense is one of the best in the country. For us to be able to come do this today, was a good feeling.

On his touchdown scramble:

I was looking to pass the ball to see if Ron (Thompson) or Kendall (Moore) or JP (Parris)  was open and neither of them were and then I felt pressured. My goal was to just outrun the corner or defensive end - whoever it was - to the pylon and thankfully I got there.

On getting support from the running backs:

It makes it a lot easier. Those guys up front and the guys behind me are great. Being able to take all the pressure off of me in passing situations because they do such a good job in the run game - it makes our play action pass and just overall our pass game better.

On his connection with Ishmael:

Steve just finds a way to get open. They put him in situations where he can be successful and he makes the most of it.

Whether it was a must-win

You just got to go out every week and play to the best of your ability and let the best team win. The past four weeks, we haven't been the best team. We haven't put together a whole game. Thankfully today, we were able to able to put a game together enough where we could win. But we still have to do better than this.

Defensive end Robert Welsh on his touchdown:

Good call by Coach Bullough. I dropped back. I actually saw Dyshawn crush him and I didn't think he was going to get the ball off. But he got the ball off and it was right to me. I just a caught it and again I saw green down the left sideline and I just ran as fast as I could to try to score and I did.

On how much almost getting a touchdown last year against Penn State motivated him:

Some reporters asked me what happens if you get another interception and I promised I would get in the end zone. So I had to today.  It's funny because I saw the running back try to chase me down. But I just said I have to do. Because if I get pushed out again, I'll never hear the end of it. So I ran for my life.

On taking more responsibility on defense with a struggling offense:

One thing we pride ourselves on defense is winning the game, no matter how we have to do it - turnovers to get the ball back for the offense, score touchdowns like we did today. We got 14 points on defense, which is great for us so that's all we really try to do. Just try to do our job, ignore the noise and just worry about what the defense has to do.

How he felt after running 51 yards to the end zone:

I was really tired. I wanted to get some air and some Gatorade in me. That was the first thing I did - just try to look for the sideline to sit down and get some rest.