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Al Golden's post-game thoughts on USF; says Morris didn't go backwards with ankle injury

TAMPA -- Here is everything UM coach Al Golden said after Saturday's 49-21 win over the South Florida Bulls.

The offense came out firing... "We played well. We were efficient on offense. I don't think we had a punt if I'm not mistaken until the third, maybe later. Stephen [Morris] did an unbelievable job for the lack of practice that he had. He was efficient. I thought we ran the ball really well. I thought we called a good game early on and I think the defense settled down after that first 15, which is what I was concerned about coming off the bye week. They did what we thought they would do. They executed it better than we did, that's why they scored there. Good tough game on the road. Proud of our guys. Now it's time to go back and get ready for the ACC."

The offense went to the air a lot... "The ball wasn't hitting the ground. We were protecting really well. Stephen was making good decisions. Even on the one chunk he wanted then he came back to his back when they were on top of it. When your quarterback makes those kinds of decisions its easier to call pass plays for sure. [Maurice Hagens] picked up 15 on that play. We protected him well. They started to hit him a little bit there and it was time to take him out and move onto Ryan [Williams]."

How is Stephen Morris' health... "He kept saying he was good. But we had enough lead that I thought we could move on. You guys see what I see with Ryan. It's a lot different than last year. He's in a groove right now. He's playing with a lot of confidence. The team has a lot of confidence in him. So when he comes in its good and efficient. He did a nice job.

Stacy Coley had a big game... "He's coming along guys. He's making a lot of progress. He's more confident and more comfortable and relaxing. Again, he's a competitor, comes everyday, works hard and having success."

On bringing the heat against USF's offense... "It was a situation where we saw a couple things that we wanted to go after. Part of the pressure was the realization they really wanted to be a running team. They want to run the ball. You can get some TFLs there and can end up in an eight-man front in a lot of those pressures. It worked out well. They came out sharp, ready to go, stuck that early drive in on us. But again, we were ready to go. Now we got to get healed up and get ready for next week."

Shayon Green forced the fumble that led to a TD... "We're starting to get more active around the football. We had more guys around the football. The one the whole team is going to crazy on is the one we couldn't scoop and score. We couldn't pick it up. We're seeing the ball better. Again, I'm not talking derogatory about any one person but last year a lot of those were just sacks and you hit them in the back. Now guys are sacking and knocking the ball out and guys are going to scoop it up. And guys are there to pick it up, which is a big contrast from a year ago."

First career sack for Shayon... "I'm happy for him. He's a warrior. He is so unselfish. So much of what we're doing against the run right now is that he's unselfish and he gets the ball when he has to and does all the things he has to even though he's undersized against some of the tackles. But he does a great job."

Duke rarely fumbles and did twice today... "Terrible -- and in the situation [near the goalline]. He knows it. I can sit here and act like a tough guy coach and say -- he knows it. That's it, end of story. That's unacceptable. You don't reach the ball over the goalline. You don't do that unless it's the last play of the half or the last play of the game. So, that's cardinal sin No. 1 there. He knows that. We train the heck out of it. He freelanced the heck out of it. So, we've got to calm him down. The second one was bad from the get-go. The receiver in motion basically ran into Ryan. The mesh was bad. I don't even know if he got it or it was on his hip. You guys have more angles than me. But you've got to cover it up when it's not where it needs to be."

Ryan Williams again played well... "Again, we feel very good about Ryan. When I tell you I was like many of you watching pregame to see what kind of shape Stephen was in. I went to bed last night thinking it was going to be Ryan. That's how much confidence I have in him. If he plays, we're good. If Stephen gets dinged somewhere along the way, Ryan comes in we're good and we'll just move on."

Did you say anything to Duke after the fumble... "Yes."

Last time up here you beat USF 6-3... "I want to be fair to Coach Taggart. It's a transition year and he's taking over a new team. Again, I can't assess where they are at. I'm just know what we're trying to build. We have a lot of guys on our team that have been growing and building. We went through that year last year. We were fortunate to scratch and claw and get to seven wins. But that's was what we were facing last year with all those young guys. It was tough to look at a lot of times, but clearly a lot of those guys have grown up now."

Two very costly special teams penalties wiped out a kick return for a TD and a long punt return... "Again, I got to see them [on film]. But difficult. Too many penalties right now overall. I keep challenging the team with that. We got to get that cleaned up. Those two penalties that's got to be 160 yards in penalties. That's horrific. If a guy is being aggressive and using a technique we use, sometimes it just happens. But if we walk in there tomorrow and I'm being selfish and doing my own thing, we have no tolerance for that. Those two penalties really kept the game closer than it needed to be."

Are you ready for the ACC schedule to get going... "Yeah we're ready. We need to get a break. We need to get healed up. Of course they're ahead of us already on their rest. So we're conscious of that. We'll have guys get back early tonight and get a good day's rest and take it a little bit easier on them on Monday and get ready to go. We're excited. We've done what we've needed to do on the first third of the regular season. We've played a lot of guys, we've grown up. Now it's time to get into the ACC."

Gus Edwards ran well but couldn't score... "We just got to keep working. That's just part of having a little bit more poise down there in going where he needs to go. We certainly have to do a better job blocking for him."

Are you going to handle Morris' ankle injury the same way... "He'll be far better off tomorrow than he was last Sunday. We didn't go backwards today. That's the one thing doctors told me right away. He didn't go backwards. We're just being cautious with him. I said OK, it was 28-7. I felt good. Ryan was moving the ball. Defense was playing good. But he'll be markedly better. To answer your question we didn't go backwards and he should be good to go on Monday."

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