Liberty coach Hugh Freeze breaks down win over Buffalo

hugh freezeOverall thoughts on the game

“This one (game ball) means a lot to me. I don’t in any way think that I deserve a game ball from our players. AGG (Antonio Gandy-Golden) and some of the others gave it to me, and I am not saying I deserve a game ball because they are the ones that make the plays. What I do mean is that this university and this opportunity and the chance to be back doing what you love, in the fire. I have had a lot of first ones with these and they are all mantled somewhere, but this one will mean a lot. It will have a lot of special memories to it. The things my wife has had to do the last three weeks – dress me and take care of me – she is the one who really deserves this (game ball). I am happy for our kids, our coaches, our administration and our university. That is a good football team (Buffalo) we beat. They held Penn State last week to 78 yards (in the first half), and had it not been for big plays, that game is a little bit different. A 10win team, MAC Champions, great coach. I give them credit. They know what they are doing, but our kids got it done tonight. I am a coach so I don’t like some of the things; I don’t like the way we finished exactly, the last drive was pretty good offensively. I got too conservative probably early, but I told them at half and our coaches that is what I probably wanted to do and was going to do. That is not in my nature, and I am having to fight against my nature a bit with this team because I think we could have scored a lot of points, but the risk of that also is we turn it over and they get it back and then we got a game. So I probably managed it a little too close, but I just wanted to get that first win. I am thankful for our whole university, our team and our coaches and everybody involved.”

On his first win and being on the sidelines

“It has been a long time, and that is kind of what you think about. I try not to be too emotional, and I learned a lot in those two years a lot of good things. I became different in some ways and also not different in some. I still have a fiery side on the sidelines and get a little too emotional with some things. When you go through with what we have gone through, and I am saying me, my wife, my kids, from mountain-top experiences in college football to being written about in ways that are not flattering and some of it I obviously caused. Much of some of it isn’t completely accurate, but I caused it. So you go through all that together, and my wife and kids have been the backbone, and they are probably celebrating this win more than I am. I am thankful to Ian (McCaw), Jerry (Falwell Jr.) and Todd (Patulski) and those guys for the opportunity.”

On being more comfortable on the sidelines

“It’s not even comparable (on how comfortable it was being back on the sidelines). I am not a box coach, and there is just something about looking at a quarterback in the eye and I say to him ‘Look, this is what I’m thinking.’ And I can immediately tell he is not comfortable with that, and I scratch it off because it doesn’t matter how good of a play I think it is, if he is not comfortable with it, then it doesn’t need to be called. I can look at him and tell he likes this one because early on in the game we missed some good throws that we had in the game plan, and it was during the second or third possession I was saying ‘Dude what are you doing? They are there!’ He (Stephen Calvert) said ‘Coach here is what I am seeing.’ And fine, I am done, and I won’t call it anymore. There is something about being down there, I think it means something to talk to kids, whether good things happen or bad things happen. I can talk to my strength coach and get a feel with how we are going to finish and how we are doing fitness-wise as the game goes on. It is just different for me. I wish I got the referee closer to me a few times because I wanted to argue a couple things but that was probably a good thing that I didn’t.”

On how he’s feeling and his health

“My adrenaline is pumping right now, so that is probably not a good barometer right now. I am sure I will be hurting tomorrow, but I am just prayerful that I am on the mend enough where it is not kind of some setback and I don’t think it will be. Obviously I talk to the doctors all the time, and I will go get off my feet immediately and tomorrow I will visit with a couple of recruits in the morning that are here on official visit. But I will pretty much rest for the rest of the day except for the time I spend with the team tomorrow and tell them the truth of what today’s game showed, the good and the bad.”


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