HOUSTON HEAD COACH Tony Levine
"I told the team after the game that I would be positive for about eight seconds, and then I'm going to continue talking for five minutes. I started off by telling them I was proud of them for their effort tonight. We played a team that experts say is this year's BCS buster. They won a championship last season and they returned almost everybody on the field and off the field. We took them down to the wire, so I am proud of them for their effort tonight.
I am disappointed for the second consecutive week. I give Louisiana Tech a lot of credit; they executed and they deserved to win this football game based off what I just saw transpire tonight.
I told the team that no side of the football; offense, defense or special teams, should leave here feeling good or satisfied about what just happened. No individual that played tonight should leave here feeling good about their individual performance. Football is the ultimate team sport, and we lost the football game.
We practiced some things this week from last Saturday's game that we couldn't correct tonight. The things that we emphasized this week defensively were tackling and creating turnovers. Offensively we emphasized executing the offense, getting first downs and holding on to the football. We clearly did not do a good enough job in those areas to win tonight.
I told the team to come in tomorrow and get treatment. Some guys are coming in to watch film on their own. We will come in Monday to learn from our mistakes, which are correctible, and get ready for UCLA next week.
There will be an emphasis this week for tackling on defense and securing the football offensively. We've got a lot of young guys making plays for us.
The bottom line is we're 0-2. We'll get back at it as a team on Monday, learn from the video, practice Monday evening and get ready for UCLA.
On mental mistakes
"Penalties and dropped passes aren't mental mistakes. When a ball is coming to a receiver he knows in his mind to catch it. It's a number of things. Some of those guys are inexperienced. We need to work more specific catches in practice. There might have been a couple of balls that go down officially as a drop, but if the throw had been a little more accurate and the protection been a little bit better, it would have been a catch. I'm not making excuses; we've got to make plays. When we talk about our goal offensively as executing the offense, that means that when a big play is there to be made we need to make that play. We had opportunities during the flow of the game coming off the second half to stay in the game, keep it competitive and close, yet we didn't make the play.
Penalty wise those mistakes are largely technique. On holding calls, if our guy gets a hand outside the framework of a defender's body that error leads to a penalty. On some false starts, there were some things going on the field, some communication errors and other factors. We had a number of face-mask penalties where our guys would be playing hard, but again that is a mostly technique related issue. Twenty-six penalties combined on both sides is a sloppy football game, and one that will not be tolerated by us."
On the momentum shift in the third quarter
"In the third quarter we still had opportunities to make plays and we didn't. I liked our effort, I liked our attitude and there wasn't a person in the locker room at halftime that didn't think we'd win. We came out and they executed better than we did. They got a comfortable lead but not one that we couldn't come back from. We had a chance to win at the end and didn't. Our kids on the sideline in the second half all still believed we could win. It really wasn't over until after we lost the last onside kick."
On Piland's rhythm
"There were some adjustments made this week offensively. We were able to get him into a rhythm. That's important with what we do offensively and for our whole team. Our time of possession was roughly 29-30 minutes. It helped our defense to not have to be on the field for that long. We started getting in a rhythm and then the penalties slowed us down. We talked about that this week, that to keep drives alive and get into a rhythm we've got to be efficient on first-down plays. I thought we were tonight, but the plays that were first and long or second and long are tough to game call. Coach Bush and our offensive staff had a great game plan and moved us in the right direction. We did a better job of getting the ball to our play-makers, Charles Sims specifically."
On Piland's fourth quarter long rush
"That's something we talked about this week with him. That when we get an outside pocket, if he can take the easy throw take it, if he can take the secondary throw take it and if he's got green grass in front of him to tuck and run with it. He has that ability. He has tremendous ability on his feet and it was good to see him do that."
On sticking with the defensive scheme
"What happened tonight offensively is correctible. What we talked about this week with our players in terms of holding on to the ball offensively and creating turnovers defensively, tackling defensively and executing is how we win football games. We didn't tackle well enough defensively to win tonight. We didn't create turnovers. When you tackle, you eliminate the big plays, and that's something we will work on this week."
HOUSTON REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE QUARTERBACK David Piland
On getting into rhythm
"It was definitely a game plan type of deal. I had to take some easy throws and get playmakers the ball. I command Coach [Travis] Bush on his preparation and ours as a team."
On things that weren't there against Texas State
"We can be as explosive as we want to be. We need to make plays when we have the opportunities to make them. Louisiana Tech did a great job defensively tonight and came firing away on offense. They didn't let up and that was a great job by them. We're going to prepare this next few weeks on ball security. We can't give up freebies or field position. We are looking forward to the future. The future needs to be a big focal point, and it has been, but we're just going to have to focus a little more on it."
HOUSTON REDSHIRT JUNIOR RUNNING BACK Charles Sims
On getting the ball throughout the game
"I felt pretty good and going pretty earlier. Just like David said, we just need to get rid of the little things."
LOUISIANA TECH HEAD COACH SONNY DYKES
"It's hard to win a road game especially when you're playing a team that won 13 games last season. They are an improved football team compared to last week. They played well, but we were fortunate enough to get a win tonight. Houston is a good football team and they are going to win a lot of games. We're going to look back on this and realize it was a really big win."
On the play of the defense
"We played well enough to win together. I was happy with our defensive line tonight. We wanted to keep Charles Sims in check and I felt like we accomplished that tonight. We did give up a couple easy touchdowns towards the end, but those are some aspects we need to address and we'll focus on those during the week."
On the play of freshmen running backs Tevin King and Kenneth Dixon
"They played great tonight. The big thing with them was that they protected the football when we really needed it down the stretch."