Sept. 11, 2010
2010 Houston Cougar Football Postgame Quotes
UTEP Miners (1-1 * 0-1 C-USA West) at Houston Cougars (2-0 * 1-0 C-USA West)
Friday, September 10, 2010 * John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium * Houston, Texas
HEAD COACH Kevin Sumlin
Status on the Case Keenum:
"I just talked to him in the locker room, he was smiling. We'll evaluate it and see where he is. Right now, it's a situation where we put Cotton in and he was able to do well and move the ball, there was no reason to do anything else. Cotton was 9 for 10 throwing the football. So we'll look at it this week and see where Case is."
On the offensive line's success:
"I said going in to this game that the team that would be able to go out and play physically would win, and our offensive line really took that challenge personally."
On the physical nature of tonight's game:
Both teams played hard on a muggy night. Like I was saying in the locker room, you never know when your number will be called, games and the set of challenges you face in them can change in an instant, so you have to be able to adjust. I think the new 3-4 alignment really gives us some flexibility to adjust to these different situations. Also, you see the most improvement from your team in weeks one through three, as there is no preseason in college football. We can continue to improve in a lot of areas, individually and collectively. But I'm pleased with the effort, our guys played hard.
On changing the offensive game plan following the success of the running game:
"I hope so. Our backs are running hard, I couldn't be happier. A lot of this was made possible on the inside by our offensive line, but I'll say this, when you're breaking off long runs like this, there's some guys making blocks on the perimeter, so I have to compliment our receivers on that."
JUNIOR LINEBACKER Marcus McGraw
On how important the holding sequence was on the field:
"When you're out there, I don't know how many plays it was, I just kept playing. As a defense, it was just real important to get off the field. As a confidence booster, we were able go down there and stop the plays."
On the sold-out crowd and crowd noise:
"I'm pretty sure it was the noise, I could barely hear out there and was louder than it was during the Texas State game last week. We had to make sure everyone was getting the call and getting the little things like that. I'm pretty sure the crowd had a good part in it".
JUNIOR QUARTERBACK Cotton Turner
On the game plan when he entered the game:
"Well the offensive line did a great job, and we were able to establish the running game, which made my job easier and took some of the burden off my shoulders."
On his thoughts when he saw Case Keenum go down:
"Yes I was surprised. I always prepare as if I'm the starter, and if tonight showed us anything, its that your number can be called at any time, so I'll continue to do that."
JUNIOR RUNNING BACK Bryce Beall
On playing as a receiver in tonight's game:
"It was fun. We knew coming in we would have a chance to run the ball and it was fun to find the holes and pick through them."
On Case Keenum's taking a hit trying to help:
"That's Case. He's a warrior and that doesn't surprise me at all. I didn't see Case in the locker room, but he'll be okay. That's just Case, he's a fighter. We're just going to take it day by day and get ready for UCLA next week."
On the game:
"We respect every opponent when we come in. We just go in and do what we're supposed to do and play hard and that's what we did today. We got in there and started fast, and when you start fast most teams will cut dive you or jump on you and we took advantage."
On having a game more than 200 all-purpose yard:
"I can't remember the last time I had a 100 yard game. It was probably in the Armed Forces Bowl my freshman year. I wanted to go out there on the field and run hard and achieve that."
On UTEP being a revenge game:
"We all have team goals. We try not to set out and make it too personal, but deep down everyone wanted to come out and play hard. We knew last year UTEP came out and played a great game. We were on a high coming off of three wins last year, and this time we wanted to come out here prepared and that's what we did today."
SENIOR LINEBACKER Matt Nicholson
On tonight's game:
"Day and night you go out there and you play on a big stage and sometimes you get a win, but there are always things to improve. We have to get better going into next week, but we're also happy with what we did tonight."
On tonight's defensive game:
"We definitely ran the ball on offense very well tonight. Establishing the running game is huge for us. As a defense trying to make them stop the run, and trying to make them one dimensional really helps us out and that's what we wanted to do going into the game."
UTEP HEAD COACH MIKE PRICE
On Houston's running game:
"I don't know where it came from, but we played horrible against their run. I'm really disappointed. We missed a lot of tackles and last week we didn't miss any. They're fast. They are good. They spread us out and got angles on us. We only had one linebacker in the box and they walled him off to make him miss tackles. It was a great strategy on their part to do what they did. They beat us in the first half with the run, really."
On coming out in the nickel formation against the run:
"They still threw a couple of nice bombs on us, too. They're good and have great speed. They played well and we just kind of fell apart out there. This is an embarrassing loss. They might beat us nine out of 10 times, I don't know, but when you get beat that bad and play that poorly - too many penalties, too many missed tackles, fumbling the ball, dropping the ball. There were a few bright spots. Travaun Nixon played really, really great. Marlon McClure made some big plays and Kris Adams made some big catches when we needed them. So we had some guys do some nice things, but they are a good team and we wish them the best. We really do."
On this being the toughest offense his team faces this season:
"I don't know. I don't know why anyone would want to coach defense in this league."
On his feelings following the Miners' opening touchdown run:
"I felt good, and then we let the bomb get us. I guess you kind of expect that when they line a guy up one-on-one, but they made some great catches. We did, too, but the biggest disappointment was not being able to stop their running attack."
On playing in a sold-out Robertson Stadium:
"Two years ago when we were here, it wasn't like this. They are doing a great job in marketing, Kevin (Sumlin) is doing a great job and, of course, the Athletic Director is doing a great job. People are finally starting to notice the Cougars in Houston, and I think it's great."