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2021 Tailgreeter Cure Bowl Postgame Quotes

December 18, 2021 | Orlando Sports Foundation, Inc

2021 Tailgreeter Cure Bowl Postgame Quotes

Coastal Carolina Quarterback Grayson McCall

On winning MVP:

“It was definitely a team effort and team award. It looks like (from the stats) that I had a pretty good game. There are definitely some throws that I would like to have back. I don’t think that I played my best game, but my teammates helped me forward. This is a team award for sure.”

On earning this win for coach Chadwell:

“It is huge. We talked about this a long time. We got the opportunity to come to the Cure Bowl after not being able to finish it off the way we wanted to. It is great to send the senior off. These are the guys that got us to this point. There is no better feeling then being able to send them off on the high note. Obviously, Coach Chadwell led us to this point. It is a great achievement for him, leading us to the program’s first bowl win in school history.”

On the win propelling the team going into the offseason:

“This is great momentum for us going into the offseason. We are going to have a young team next year. A lot of guys are leaving. This shows the young guys, not only can we get here, we can get it done. We can bring some hardware back to Coastal Carolina.”


Coastal Carolina Linebacker Silas Kelly

On forcing the turnover in the fourth quarter:

“I am just happy that I was able to make a play for my team. We needed something to happen, a little bit of a momentum shift. I was just trying to do everything I could do for my team. I am lucky that I got it out and Dre (Pinckney) picked it up. It was something that I am proud to do for the team.”

On going out with a victory:

“You want to end it right, have that last win under your belt and finally hold a trophy up. It is an incredible feeling. I couldn’t imagine going out any other way. There is no better end to my career here. The young guys will carry on the tradition and Coastal is setup for success in the future.”

On the fourth quarter stops made by the defense:

“We had a big fourth quarter. That is crunch time. We pride ourselves at Coastal on being a fourth quarter team. In the fourth quarter, all the chips are on the line. That is when you make your plays. That is when the true character of your team comes out. We have been through a ton of adversity. That was just a little bit more of adversity for us to overcome. Cheers to the guys. I am proud of everyone of my teammates. We all bowed up and got it done in the fourth quarter.”


Coastal Carolina Head Coach Jamey Chadwell

Opening Statement:

“What an unbelievable football game. I give credit to Northern Illinois. They are a championship football team and it showed the way that they played and competed. I am proud of how the team came back in the second half. It wasn’t clean. We had a couple penalties and had the foolish penalty on the block, trying to block a punt.

“Our team never gives up. They believe in each other. For them to come up short last year in this game. To have the opportunity to think that is was going to go the other way and find a way to win, it says a lot about their character and who they are. I am proud to be their head coach. We talked a lot about leaving their legacy. It is the final legacy for these super seniors. We had 28 of them.

“To go from nobodies, why are you making the move from FCS to FBS? Five football seasons later – to be a conference champion, to be a bowl champion, to be Top-25 team in the country, what a legacy and foundation. I am proud of the way that they competed and found a way. It is a pretty special time.”

On the impact of the bowl experience:

“It is important to us. This is our true first bowl experience. Last year, we did not get it (due to CoVID protocols), because it was basically an away game. We did not win the football game, which made it even worse. This year, they got a true bowl experience. We wanted to get out. I think that both teams competed and laid it out on the line. These bowl games are important to a lot of people. Sometimes if you are not in the football playoff, a lot of the bowl games get looked over. They are important, especially for a program like ours that has never been in that place and we are just trying to get there. We wanted to get the win and be a champion this year. They understood what that was like last year. We wanted to be a bowl champion.”

On the play of Silas Kelley:

“He is an Academic All-American. He is an All-Conference player. He is way better looking than most people. He has everything going for him. He loves his teammates. He has fought through so much adversity. For him to make the plays that he did. It was a huge play (forced fumble). It forced them to use their timeouts and that is the type of leader that he is. He did not give up and made a huge play for us there.

“Braden has home run ability. We have to continue to develop him and put him situations to make plays. After looking at it, I did not get him the ball enough. He had six carries for 108 yards. I need to get him the ball more. He was tremendous.”

On having a win associated with a cause like the Cure Bowl:

“For us to be down here and play in an unbelievable bowl game. The bowl people were tremendous. We all know cancer and how it impacts this world. We have a lot of people in our program that have been impacted by that. One of our players lost his father last week to cancer. He flew home today for the funeral and flew back for the game. It has impacted our team personally in a lot of ways. For us to help bring awareness and raise money to try and find a cure. I don’t know there is anything better than that. We were able to pack boxes for the local community. They wanted to pack 20,000 boxes and we ended up packing 23,000 boxes.

“Anytime that you can use sport to impact in a positive way, it is important, especially something as devastating as cancer can be. I hope that we brought a little hope to the people that watched. America loves the Chants and I bet that we had some nice people watching tonight. We always make it interesting.”

On the play of Grayson McCall:

“He was injured there and things were not looking good, but he kept attacking rehab. He wasn’t really healthy through the last parts of the regular season, but he wanted to play to try to push through that. He is a smooth operator. As a coach, he misses a play and you are like what in the world is wrong with him. He makes so many good ones. There is a lot of speculation, but we are confident that he loves Coastal and wants to be here with us and finish out his career.”

“He has developed into a leader. When things looked bleak there, he was telling the guys that we are fine. He kept believing in those guys. They rallied around him. Even the defense believed in him. We are going to score, if we can get a couple stop and we did. There is not enough that I can say in the way that he has developed this year.”

On the first true bowl experience:

“From a personal standpoint, I got to spend time with my son riding roller coasters. You don’t get a lot of chances to do that with recruiting and coaching. I have seen our coaches be able to spend some time with their family – that was awesome. Seeing your players enjoy CityWalk. I wasn’t there with them, but I heard that they were doing some karaoke and things of that nature. You hear all of these stories. We had one guy pass out on the Incredible Hulk. We had another guy that wished he was never born on one of the other rides. You hear all these stories and know that they are going to have unbelievable memories from this experience. To be able to do it for such a great cause and pack the boxes for hunger. It was a tremendous week. We ate well. To be able to finish it off and beat a champion like NIU, I am thankful for that and the Sun Belt Conference.”


NIU WR Cole Tucker

On the tempo of the final drive:

“We came out in that last drive and knew that we needed more urgency. We knew that we needed a touchdown to win. We had to put the ball in the air and Rocky was making great plays. Coach was making the right call. They put us in a position to score.”

On being able to wear the other team down:

“We are a heavy run team. We run the ball very efficiently. That brings the safeties and defenders down and allows for passing lanes to be more open. It allows us to take more shots. The run game allows us to setup the pass game.”


NIU Linebacker Nick Rattin

On the difficulty of facing the Coastal Carolina offense:

“I think that we did a good job in making adjustments. We continued to fight because we knew that it was going to be a four-quarter game.”


NIU Head Coach Thomas Hammock

Opening Statement:

“I am proud of the effort of our guys. We were dealing with flu-like things all week. We had 20-25 guys that had to sit at home in quarantine. I couldn’t be more proud of their effort and fight.

“Credit to Coastal Carolina. They are a good football team. They played their butt off and beat us. They beat us and would love to see some of those questionable plays on the film. It happened how it happened. We have to own it. We have to move on and this could be a launching pad for us into the 2022 season.

“Obviously, I am hurt for the seniors. I wanted them to go out with a victory, but really they have nothing to hang their head down about. We left it out there for 60 minutes and just didn’t get it done.”

On his team’s performance:

“Offensively, we were able to control the game. We were able to do the things that we needed to do to give ourselves the chance to win. We did not play well enough defensively and that is something that has to improve for next season. Offensively, our ability to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage. We had a turnover and stop of fourth down that changed the momentum of the game. For the most part, we played the game the way we wanted to. I believe that we were a 12-point underdog. I did not see that on tape. We played them toe-to-toe. I know that is a good Group of Five program. We are on the same level and are going to continue to get better. We have the second youngest team in college football. We have 18, 19, 20 starters coming back. We are going to try everything possible to climb the mountain again.”

On confidence going into next year:

“I have been confident al season with this group. They are a group of fighters. We did not know who would play and a bunch of guys that were game-time decisions. These kids focused in. Once, we got to the pregame meeting. They were locked in and were ready to do what it takes to win. Unfortunately, we came up short. Certainly, we had a lot of momentum going into next season.”

On the fourth down play, going for it in own territory:

“We have been aggressive all season. We did not come to a bowl game not to win or do the things that we have done well all season. All season we went for it in those situations. We did not get it. They made a stop. What we weren’t going to do was be up – kick them the ball and they score a touchdown. We wanted to be aggressive and felt like our offense is a strength and wanted to play to our strength.”

On the bowl week experience:

“It was a great experience. Our kids enjoyed it. Orlando was a beautiful area. It was a great atmosphere for a great cause. I think that is important.”