Aug 31, 2013
Final Stats |
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Tony Levine
"It's good to get the first one behind us. Not only the first game, but certainly the first win. I was proud of our kids' effort. I was proud of the jobs the coaching staff did leading up into this first opponent. It was a tough opponent to prepare for in terms of a new staff, new schemes and limited video. As we talked to our players over the last two weeks, what we've been doing offensively in terms of our tempo and schemes and defensive side of the ball as well, we didn't feel like we'd feel like we'd see anything out of the ordinary than what we'd been practicing for.
I was proud of the way we executed. Certainly there were some things we've got to clean up. I don't want to sound like they're taken lightly when I say there were some first game mistakes, but with penalties we might have set a world record. I thought I saw 14 and I did. We talked at halftime and certainly again after the end of the game. Fourteen penalties for 126 yards and that doesn't count the positive yards we gained on those plays that we lost. I'm going to be looking at a cut up at 7 a.m. in my office of every penalty we had and see what the problem was. Some of it might have been some of the backups in there at times; some of it might have been communication on the snaps. We ran the gamut, if you will, on penalties. We hit the long snapper on an extra point and that's unacceptable. We have been emphasizing, we've had officials at practice quite often, but that's something we've got to get cleaned up. The officials did a fantastic job and it'll be addressed again this weekend.
We got the win. We did what we needed to do to get the win in the fashion we did. Anytime you're plus four in the turnover margin, which is always our goal each week, you've got a great chance to win the football game. I was proud of our defense for creating turnovers with three fumbles and an interception by Tomme Mark and certainly our offense for taking great care of the football."
On the game plan for freshman quarterback John O'Korn
"That was our plan heading in, that John would get the fourth series and then we were going to start the second half with David Piland
and then O'Korn would play the rest of the second half."
On seeing over 80 offensive plays as an accomplishment
"I've been asked that a lot lately in terms of our offense and tempo. A lot of it has been from journalists and media up in the East because they're not used to this tempo. We don't necessarily chart how fast we go on the clock or how many plans we get in but looking here it looks like we got 88 snaps on offense. You have an idea in your mind, I certainly do and Coach Meacham does and our offense staff as well, about how quickly you want to be operating. There were times when our tempo was not fast enough and that's something that we talked about as a staff on the sideline and at halftime, and again, whether it's communication or whether it's the procedure on the official standing over the ball during substitutions, but again that's something that I've got a whole list of notes on that I took during the game and that will be addressed this weekend."
On the rushing game tonight
"I've been saying this quite a bit and if I say it I truly mean it. Those are two young men whose names will become household names at the end of the season. Ryan (Jackson) is very dynamic, certainly (Kenneth) Farrow brings a different element of power, but yet he still has tremendous speed as well and toughness. He's a 215-pound back, Ryan is 185. Part of the thing about this offense is not only how many plays we get, how quickly we go and what our tempo is but we're going to call plays that the defense gives us. A lot of our plays are designed, both run and pass, around that concept. If they have too many guys in what we call the box by the offensive line then we'll throw it. If they have a bunch of guys out there covering the receivers we'll run it. Early in the game they were covering our passing game more and leaving the box with five or six guys in there and we were able to hand the ball off and get positive yards. With Ryan Jackson, 12 yards a carry is pretty good regardless of who you're playing."
On what Coach Levine saw from both quarterbacks David Piland and John O'Korn tonight
"I was happy with both of their play. They operated the offense very well. At times our tempo could have been better, whether that was communication or first game jitters or the operation by the officials getting the ball back in play with substitutions, again we'll have to look at that on film and talk about that as a staff. They operated extremely well, they made good decisions and they were very poised out there. David certainly has a ton of experience and John just went to the prom three months ago but both of them regardless of that looked like seasoned veterans and handled themselves extremely well."
On the game plan at the quarterback position tonight
"Yes, what you saw tonight was our designed plan. The fourth series John O'Korn was going in regardless of the score, and in the second half David was going to start the half and John was going to finish out the game."
On the future at the QB position
"I will definitely tell you that next Saturday evening. I'll answer that question."
On if junior David Piland is still starting quarterback
On turnovers defense caused
"At full speed of the ball, they tackled extremely well. I think Coach Gibbs and our defensive staff has done a fantastic job. I've talked about simplifying. Our guys were flying around the field and really doing a great job. I think it was the first fumble we recovered; it was just a great effort play by Trevor Harris, our rush defensive end. The ball carrier is going down, we have two or three guys on him, he gets a shot in, puts his face right on the football, the ball pops out. That was down in the red zone after they hit us in the long trick play. What I did see defensively, among other things, is 11 guys flying around the field."
On RB Ryan Jackson's two-back set
"When we're in two-backs, we have some unique personnel packages. You saw Luke Stice playing some fullback and we were able to motion Ryan, motion Luke. We have play action out of those sets, but it gives us a chance to create a gap with that fullback. Both Ryan and (RB) Kenneth Farrow have great vision. You don't always think of this word when you're talking about the running game, but the word `patience,' they're patient enough. Coach Bush has done a great job of coaching this to where they let the play develop and then you see Ryan's explosiveness and his burst. When he hits it, he has that breakaway speed to get to the second level."
On big tackling games by LB Derrick Mathews and DB Zach McMillian
"Zach McMillian is our starting corner, so you don't always expect your corner to be a leader in tackles for you. We played an opponent that threw the ball quite a lot and unfortunately for us completed quite a bit of passes. Zach was certainly coming up and tackling which is good from him. He feels as good as he has in the four years he's been here. Derrick Mathews, to me, is a tackling machine. He had an excellent game. He's always around a football, so it doesn't surprise me that he's our leading tackler."
On philosophy of offense
"Two things about our offense, our philosophy, and our schemes. Again, if a team is going to allow us, by just purely numbers, go around and heavy down. Once they want to stop the run and they put more guys in what we call the box, then we'll throw the football. In our program right now, we're going into a game saying, `OK, who are you going to stop? Do you want to stop Ryan Jackson and Farrow? Well, we have Larry McDuffey, Daniel Spencer, Deontay Greenberry, Xavier Maxwell, and we have 10 receivers. We'll just run out there and throw it if we need to.' Once we figure out what the defense is doing to stop us, we'll adjust and see what's working best."
On WR Daniel Spencer's transition from offseason to today
"Daniel had an injury and really missed most of spring practice. We hardly saw him in March and April in terms of out there on the field. He's a guy, I've said publically a couple of times, he's right up there in terms of the most improved player from the end of last season to this camp. He's done a great job in the last four weeks and I'm proud of his effort tonight. "
On the youth of the running backs
"Daniel Spencer played as a true freshmen, so he just started his fifth semester at the University of Houston on Monday. He's a true junior who is 20-years-old. It still seems like he just got here. He's a high school running back that came here and backed up Justin Johnson as a true freshman at inside receiver. In my mind, he still just got here. When you look at leadership, and you look at guys who have been around and played a lot of football, he certainly comes to mind offensively."
On the status of senior offensive lineman Ralph Oragwu
"No update yet but hopefully I'll know something here tonight."
On sophomore wide receiver Deontay Greenberry's new role
"Happy is a good word to use. I am happy with him playing in that spot. As a true freshman last year he played outside receiver for us, had a great year and was about 185 pounds, he's actually closer to about 198, he has gained about 15 pounds in the last year. We moved him from outside to inside. We think it's the ideal spot for Deontay in terms of his fearlessness going over the middle, his match ups on the outside linebackers and strong safeties not only in the passes game but in the run game as well, for him to block on the run game as well. That's a perfect fit for him. We had a guy a couple of years ago named James Cleveland who had a very successful career at that same position and Deontay is bigger and faster version of him at the inside for us."
HOUSTON WIDE RECEIVER Daniel Spencer
On returning post surgery
"I had surgery, heart rehab and still came back. It's a blessing being back on the field to come out here and help my teammates. "
On the surprise reverse play
"I told coach I was going to do it. So when my number was called, I knew it was coming."
On the team's confidence after the first win
"I expect success at every game; that's how we're supposed to play. The win from tonight doesn't boost my confidence because I know every game is supposed to be that way."
On chemistry with both quarterbacks
"We've been practicing with both quarterbacks, so I've trained with both."
HOUSTON RUNNING BACK Ryan Jackson
On overall performance tonight
"It's all about execution and tonight we did that as a team."
On playmaking and attitude
"Part of the game and part of being a playmaker is playing with that attitude. I like that. We came out there tonight with that attitude to execute on offense."
On the reverse play by sophomore running back Daniel Spencer
"I rate that a ten out of ten. I could see where it was going the whole time."
On coming close to a 400-yard rushing game
"It just shows our flexibility on the running game. We feel like we have something to prove every game, and that's how we're going to play."
HOUSTON LINEBACKER Derrick Mathews
On playing middle linebacker again
"I made that switch in the spring, and I felt at home in the position. I had that experience in high school and making the change I felt good and at home. I like it."
On the ability to force turnovers
"It starts at practice. For us to come out here and it translate to the game it doesn't surprise me because we do make a great effort at practice."
HOUSTON CORNERBACK Zach McMillian
On the difference between Southern's passing game in the first and second half
"We didn't execute well in the secondary and that's where that stems from, especially me. It had nothing to do with what they were doing, we just weren't executing from top to bottom on secondary. Our safeties played well, but from a corner perspective, we didn't execute well. "
On adjustments after first drive of second half
"Coach Gibbs came out and told us what we were doing but we had to refocus. When we refocused we made the proper adjustments."
On preparing for Southern without a lot of game film
"For that yes, but we don't make any excuses. It's our job to stop the run. They are doing a wonderful job stopping the run up front. I don't know how many yards they had but it wasn't a lot, and it's our job to hold up on the backend. We did not execute at the level that we need to."
SOUTHERN HEAD COACH DAWSON ODUMS
Reflection on the game
"We'll go back and look at the film and try and find as many positives from it. You just can't give good football teams the short field, especially a major Division I institution, they are going to capitalize. You see 61 (62) points but they probably had 5 drops that were less than forty yards. We don't have a steel curtain behind us now so with our backs to the wall like that it's hard to defend an offense such as theirs that's high tempo and very good so we had some struggles out there tonight but the short field doesn't help it."
On how they played
"I saw some positives. We had two good offensive drives and we probably had about 5 offensive drives just shooting ourselves in the foot and when you are playing against a good opponent you just can't do that so we'll start back on Sunday looking at the film and make some corrections and see how much better we can get better between now and next Saturday."
On QB Joseph Dray's Play
"He was ready to come out here and have a great game, he hit some receivers, we fumbled the ball a couple times when we got hit but other than that I thought he moved the offense, he was good with his decision making, the O-line protected well, he didn't take many hits, so those are some positives that I think we can build on."
On rush game
"What was working for them was the 6-4 and probably about 300- 310-315 pound average across the front, and then you have a running back who was probably about 5-11, 220 pounds, so they sort of laid on us a little bit and wore us down.They were big up front and especially with their two tackles so we couldn't get a lot of movement on them so it made it difficult for us to run the football."
On keeping up with Houston
Those are some the positives you can pull from it.When we were fresh and we had good on good we were able to bend but not break and that's the positive attitude. One of the great things is that there was no frustration on the sideline, nobody was pointing fingers, and that is the sign of a good football team and I told them after the game that I never yell at you after a loss, if you did everything you could to win the football game hold your head up high, we'll get ready and just thank God we have another one to get ready for."
"They showed us some weaknesses but they did what they do and they do it very well. They ran a whole lot of plays, it's the tempo that wears you down we probably played 100 snaps on defense, we only brought 70 guys and half of them are play offense you, just can't stand up against a team like that on the road."
On going back to play against FCS
"You get back to the FCS level and it's better to see how you really gauge and how much can we get better between now and next Saturday."
On double reverse flea flicker
That's one of my favorite plays, I think you have to call it, we have to do a few more things like that, we have some skillful guys at wide receiver that we need to get the ball in their hands and make some plays, overall we did a decent job." On freshman RB Kylum Favorite "He ran the ball tough, he didn't fumble it, he did well in pass protection, I really think it was just a game where you needed an upperclassmen to be running the football and Darrius Coleman stepped in there and did an outstanding job." On outlook of next week "Overall when you look at this game what we'll do as a coaching staff is we'll improve on our negatives, we made some mistakes." "Penalty-wise we made some bone head penalties, we'll clean that up and see if we can just get a little bit better."
On new coaches, and new players
"We can do things that we can get better at, we'll go back and I'll reevaluate and we'll meet on Saturday and see what we can do to get just a little bit better."
SOUTHERN QUARTERBACK DRAY JOSEPH
On the particular route combos
"Just my overall confidence going into the game. I did a great job of controlling my energy. I didn't want to be too excited and overthrow balls so I kind of channeled my emotions and just came out and played an efficient game."
On the play of Altam and Quinn
"I know what those guys are capable of. He came in the spring so it's just up to the opponents to realize that, Sam Altam and Willie Quinn, are great guys. It's going to help us not allow defenses to double team Lee Doss."
On the running game
"It was a major Division 1 school. You play those types of guys, they're probably stronger up front. All and all when we play guys down to our level it's going to be a great season for us. We're going to be able to move those guys out of the way and be able to run the ball."
On fumbles and penalties
"It's the first time we had a real live game against an opponent. We don't really tackle much in practice to keep our guys healthy. When you come in you have to remind yourself to protect the football at all times and at all costs."
On Kylum Favorite
"I asked him if he was (nervous), he said he wasn't because he's been playing football all his life. It's all part of the game. I told him keep his head up, come back next week and try harder. There's going to be adversity that we're going to face and it's up to him to shake back and come out and have a great season."
On the confidence coming into the game
"Our guys were pretty confident. All and all going into the game we were shocked that we were in the game. I wasn't shocked because I know what we're capable of. I've been playing for four years now. For the newcomers and some of the other guys, they were actually appalled we were actually in the game.
SOUTHERN LINEBACKER DANIEL BROWN
On being more disciplined
"We just have to work harder in practice, that's it. Go back and straighten everything up and go over all our mistakes and come back to work next week."
On effort of the defense
"The tempo's down a little in the first game. We just have to go back to work and keep on grinding."
On Houston's ability to run the ball
"They were just on it. We weren't in our grasp. We just have to go back to work, go over our mistakes and see how it fits and go back next weekend and fix what we didn't do this week."