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Kilgore, Staten meet with the media

December 27, 2013 · @MTAthletics

DT Jimmy Staten:
On the season
"We were ready to go out there and get some wins. That was the main thing. We wanted to win for each other, and win for the seniors and send them out the way we're sending them out. We kept preparing, we never gave up, and we found ourselves here."

The Marshall game
"It was so exciting. That game meant a lot to us because it came down to the wire. A game where you blow somebody out, it never feels as good as scoring that last minute touchdown. We just tried to make it happen. That was real good for us and I think it set the tone for our win streak."

Confidence level going into the game
"We're a very confident team. We know Navy is a good team and I'm sure they know that we're a good team, so it's going to be a great matchup."

On facing the option
"As a defense, we just have to play our keys. If you have the running back, or if you have the quarterback, that's who you got to take. If you don't, they'll probably take it up the field on us."

QB Logan Kilgore:
"Every time you're getting ready to go into a bowl game, it is nice to come in on a five-game win streak. I do think the Marshall game kind of jolted the team a bit. We had some time off before then, and to be able to ride a win streak like that going against some quality teams, it gives the team all the needed momentum to carry into a long bowl process."

"We were over there looking at TCU's record, at 4-8. You look at it; they lost four games by less than five points. We won a few games on the last play of the game, so we know how close we were to being on the other side of things. Obviously, we're very grateful for where we are, but at the same time, that week leading up to the Marshall game is what really ignited us."

The Marshall game:
"It was definitely a big win for the program. Sitting there at 3-4, that was kind of a defining moment. If you drop to 3-5, with about four to go, it would have been tough. So it was definitely a big win for us."

Confidence going into the game:
"Our goal all season long was to go to a bowl game. First was to win the conference, then go to a bowl game. Now that we're here and going through the experience and practicing, I think that we're definitely as confident as we've been all year."

Preparing for the Navy defense:
"We have to protect the ball. Possessions are going to be limited in this game, and they do such a great job of running the ball and chewing the clock up and doing those types of things, as well as taking care of the football. So we know that if we turn the ball over, we're not going to get it back right away. So protecting the football, converting on third downs, and capitalizing in the red zone will be the keys."

On the respect for Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds
"I have great respect for him. I think that type of offense takes a special guy running it. The consistent punishment, even when he pitches the ball, or lowering the shoulder to get a first down, I've got great respect for what he does and I think he's a terrific player."

Middle Tennessee's ground game contribution
"Anybody will tell you that a quarterback's best friend is a great running game. As we've been able to change some of the dynamics of the way we run the ball, the way I check at the line, and do things like that, has really helped us out. I'm really confident in our run game, and I think it adds a dimension to our play action pass. Anytime you run the ball, they have to bring someone down to help, and when they do, we try to capitalize."

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