Houston-#5 Oklahoma State Postgame Quotes

Sept. 12, 2009

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On the game

"I thought a great example we talked about earlier this week was watching that Florida State-Miami game. You can turn that game off in any quarter and you didn't know who was going to win the game and they all kept playing. There were plenty of mistakes, but guys kept playing. In order for us to be where we want to be, that's biggest hurdle we have with a young team. We jumped out and we faced adversity, kind of rallied, kind of got dead in the water there for a little bit and got the ship back up and guys kept going. I'm most proud of how our staff got guys back together; how our players kind of rallied back together and withstood pretty good blows in that third quarter and then won the game."

On how Houston was able to overcome Oklahoma State's comeback this year and not last year
"That's a good question, and one that I didn't bring up at halftime as a matter of fact. We didn't talk about last year. I think we were in so many close games last year, winning at the end of the game. There was no question about our quarterback and our receivers and Bryce Beall, our center - those guys have been in those games. The question was going to be where the leadership was going to come on defense and on our special teams when there was about nine minutes there of, `Oh no.' I thought our defensive staff got together, kind of changed things up. I think we've got a little more depth on defensive right now. We don't have a Phillip Hunt, but I think, collectively, we're better on defense than we were last year because of the number of guys that we can rotate in and out. I thought the pace of the game by both teams was just torrid. We had 82 plays and they had 72 plays. We both had it for about 30 minutes. The defenses out there - guys just tiring people out. Fortunately, this year we had more depth, to answer your question."

On if he cares that it was Houston's first win over a top-five team in 25 years
"That's the first I've heard of it. I don't think the right verbiage is `care.' Obviously, as a coach, you care. I think it has no bearing on going into a football game, what happened. What happened last year has no bearing. Fans want to talk about the familiarity of teams last year and us beating them three years ago. Eighty percent of the guys that played today were playing high school games last time we won."

"To a kid; to a team, history is recent and it's about now. For us, as a program, this is a big win. It legitimizes our university. It legitimizes our program. There's no doubt that one win does not make a season. We got a whole bunch of football to go, but I think anytime that you can go on the road and win and beat a top 10 team, it really helps your confidence as a program and it helps your pride as a university. From that standpoint, that's more important to me than what's happened in the last hundred years."

On going for it on fourth down for Houston's last offensive touchdown
"We were having trouble stopping them then, so that's my thought process. That's it. We were having trouble stopping them at that point. With the time and the clock and we're in the red zone and, obviously, we had had more success offensively than we had had defensively in the second half. So I don't know what a field goal does for you right there. That was the discussion. It doesn't tie the game and you still have to have another possession to score."

"That's the way it happens and the other thing too, if you leave the ball there then they have the whole field to go and we would probably have a chance to get it back. You kick a field goal, now we're on to, `You see what they can do in the return game.' Then the whole cat and mouse game on kick offs and punts. The two most dangerous, in my opinion, punt return, kick return tandem in college football. We were determined not to get them the ball. We kicked it to him one time, left one out in the middle of the field - he brought it back."

On Dez Bryant
"What did he have? 2- 300 yards again? It seemed like it. Anytime the ball was in the air I held my breath. He made some big plays. He's a good enough player you can only contain him, you ain't stopping him."

On how he puts in perspective what they just did

"I don't know. I don't think we can do that right now. We just have to keep doing what we're doing. Like we've said the whole season, you can't control those outside things, all we could control was ourselves and that's what we did tonight. As a team, there's a lot of things that went on and we can't control that, all we can control is what we do next. We bounced back from some big plays that they made and that may have been the difference from last years team from this year is just the way we responded, defensively and offensively. Those two 4th quarter turnovers from the defense were awesome.

On how the two tipped balls that resulted in touchdowns
"You can say it was luck, but we went all the way down there and I had an open receiver in the back of the end zone, and he made a good play and Bryce made a really good play. You can say it's lucky but when you're working hard and running full speed, that's not luck. When you're in position to make plays, no matter what's going on, it's not luck."

On having a coaching staff that had such confidence in letting the offense go for it on 4th downs
"We're always wanting to go for it on 4th down, no matter where we are, we feel we can do it. We're going to try to convert on 3rd down and not put ourselves in those situations, but we made some big plays and it worked out. The guys playing hard and being in the right position at the right time worked out."

On getting the offense going early and often as opposed to last year
"We have to come out early and play good. It's always nice to come out early and move the ball like we did. We didn't put the ball in the end zone on the first possession, but we got the ball back and put it in then. We converted on their turnover and it was good to score there."

On how he saw the interception return for the touchdown
"I saw it on the jumbotron and once it got tipped it seemed to hang in the air for an eternity and Jamal came down with it and had a nice run back and made a great play."

On his interception return for a touchdown

"He ran a slant and I saw it and kind of broke late actually. He tipped the ball up, I stayed focused on the ball and just caught the ball. I lowered my head and scored, got some great blocks from my teammates and took it to the house."

If he saw anything wrong with Dez Bryant on the interception return
"Well I really don't know, he seemed alright, he had been going pretty hard the entire game, if there was I couldn't tell if there was or not, I know I kind of saw him fall down, so I don't know."

On this being his first interception of his career
"It has been a long road, with my knee and everything. What a good time to get my first pick against the No. 5 team in the country. I am just glad I could step up and make a big play."

On what was different in this team from last year, when they had the lead and lost
"I think we're a different team. We worked hard in the summer. The whole thing in the summer was finish, and when we came out, they kind of got back in it. We said, "You know what? Let's finish. We can still win this game so let's finish it."

On how hard it was to pull it back together after OSU had come back
"We didn't expect for it to be easy. We knew we were going to come out in the second half and it was going be a tough game. We knew it wasn't over and they still had fight in them and we just needed to withstand their push. As a team today, we kind of grew up because of what we did."

On Houston beating a top 5 team for the first time since he'd been born

"It was big, we don't look at the numbers next to the players, we just look at the team and wanted to come here and get a victory. We knew coming in here, having to play the No. 5 team it was going be hard, coach told us that. We just respected our oponent and played hard."

On what happened on his touchdown catch that put Houston in the lead
"Case told me to stay in, then I saw him scramble and I just ran up the field and saw him scrambling to the right, so I scrambled to the right and saw the ball get tipped up in the air and my eyes opened up wide and all I wanted to do was go up and grab it and I was going to take the hit. All I wanted to do was just grab it and take it down."

On if he thought it was lucky how the play happened
"It's better to be lucky, then good as they say. As a matter of fact, earlier someone was saying to Case `good luck' and someone else said `We don't need luck', then Case said `We do need luck!'"

On how they withstood the run OSU put on this year as opposed to last year
"We returned a lot of the same guys from last year, so we been through it before, so I guess maturity. We matured as a team, we kept fighting and encouraging each other. All we had to do was create our own energy and get back to that momentum we had in the first half."

On the game and handling the loss

"They get to see the other side of it now. Everybody's been telling them how good they've been and how good they are. They're going to see the other side of it. We had a lot of respect for Houston coming into this game. Unfortunately, it held true. The quarterback is a really good player."

On the offense's early struggles
"Offensively, we started too slow. We've got to start faster. That's two games in a row that we haven't got things going until the middle of the second quarter and the second half. When you play a team that can move the ball and score points like they do, you've got to start faster. We've got to do a better job as coaches to getting our players prepared to start faster."

On main reasons for the loss
"Ultimately, what it came down to was turnovers. It was the opposite last week. We had the turnovers and they didn't. We had too many offsides and an illegal formation on the punt team. Those are the things we have to correct. We've got to do a better job of that as coaches. We've got to be more disciplined as players and we've got to take care of the football."

On team's ability to come back
"I was proud of our football team for fighting back, being down and coming back. We made plays on special teams, made plays on defense and offense to get us back in the game. We have to finish."

On getting offense prepared to start better
"We're going to try to research it and look at it and study it as offensive coaches. We're going to find ways to correct it. Houston ends up with 512 yards, Oklahoma State ends up with 434. I don't know what it was after the first quarter, but it wasn't very good. We're generating some offense and getting going for a four-quarter game, but we've got to do it more in the first quarter so we don't get ourselves in a hole."

On if team was struggling to come down from Georgia win
"I'd like to say yes and buy into that. Houston can score some points, they've got skill guys that can make plays. I think our team was aware of that. I don't believe in the SI jinx, I don't believe in being ranked really high and everybody telling them they are good and not preparing. I thought the team prepared well. I was disappointed that we made mistakes and turned it over. I don't think that played a role. I think Houston played a good football game."

On the game

"Things were not going our way. We still just fought through it and pushed hard and just got our things together a little too late."

On his injury
"I feel good. I'm just kicking some bad cramps. We are good and we are going to bounce back."

On mood of the locker room after the game
"Everybody was just quiet, but we are still going to hang our heads high. We know it is going to be all right. We need to get ready and prepare for next week."

On overlooking Houston
"We did not overlook them at all. We practiced for them like we practiced for Georgia. We practiced for them like any other team. We came out and made mistakes. When we made mistakes, they made plays."

On Houston's offense

"You have to give them credit. They did an exceptional job. They had a great game plan. They really did not do anything we had not seen, but they executed awfully well."

On speed and pace of the game
"It was a totally different style of offense [compared to Georgia] with the speed sweeps and zone reads. It is assignment football, and we just did not play as sound as what we hoped we would have."

On OSU's penalties
"We categorize penalties in two phases. One of them is a combat penalty like you accidentally grab a facemask or jump offside. That's a combat penalty. You line up offside or you yank someone totally off their feet with the facemask, then that's a dumb penalty. We had both, and we have to eliminate them as best we can. Thing we did not really do is we did not force the turnovers like we should have. We needed to do that to have success against them. The biggest thing it comes down to is being able to pressure the quarterback a little bit better with a four-man package."

On not having Kendall Hunter in the second half

"Well, obviously, he is a great player, and he is our starter, but you have to give credit to Keith Toston and Beau Johnson. I thought they played very admirably and carried the ball well when they had it. Our three-headed monster turned into two guys. Kendall is a shifty guy that can make people miss and can take it the distance at any point. The other two guys have that ability, but not as much as Kendall."

On OSU's Offense

"We turned the ball over, and kind of like last week: the penalties. We had a chance there at the end, and we had some things happen. We just could not get it done. You have to give them credit, because they played great defense."

On momentum after the third quarter
"We felt good in the third quarter. We knew we could move the football. Then we had a fumble, and things kind of went down after that. They just kept playing well, and we just could not get it done."

On his tipped passes
"They did a good job. They covered some guys, so I got picked off a couple times. They did a good job of covering up."

On how good Houston is

"I think they are better than some people will give them credit for. I think they will do a lot of good things in their conference."

On their playmakers
"They have a lot of skill guys, and their quarterback is probably better than a lot of people think."

On quarterback being hard to get to
"That is what they do. That is what their offense is. They have a good quarterback that can move around and allude a lot of defensive players, and he did that a lot tonight."



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