Sept. 27, 2009
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kevin Sumlin
On the final drive
"Going about the last year we've won four or five games in a similar fashion. Games like SMU and UTEP, the last play of the game decided it. We've been in those situations, and we don't want to be in those situations. We've got to keep playing, number one, and number two, we have some play makers and the game is never over to them. I think our team believes that, particularly our defense and our offense, so we just keep playing. It wasn't our best tonight, but Texas Tech had a lot to do with that. They had a really good plan, and they struggled in the red zone. We missed some field goals and couldn't really convert at times. Any time you win a game like that it's not just about the last play or the last drive. There are a whole lot of plays through the course of the game."
On Keenum after interception
"He walked off the field, and none of us panicked. I've been around him enough to know he was upset after the interception, but I told him we're going to have an opportunity to win the game. I said it's going to be a lot more interesting to win with seven minutes left. We just kept it loose; we have great confidence in him and the people around him. We don't want to put the pressure on him every week like that but we'll take it if we can get it, particularly in light of the situation on how the game went back and forth."
On what this game means to you
"It was a great victory in light of what was happening in our stadium. For it to be the largest crowd since we moved from the Astrodome, to do it for the alumni, students, the fans who showed up, for the students who lined up on Monday, for the fans who were there when we showed up this morning. It means a lot to win a game in the last few seconds in front of them to an in-state rival. It was a great victory; that's why my voice is hot, and I'm a little edgy, and it's one `o'clock in the morning."
On Leach's call to go for it on fourth and one
"We had to play defense; you never know what Mike Leach is going to do, and he never has a pattern. Whoever can figure out what Mike Leach is going to do is a better coach than me. We just had to play our defense and defend against everything. That's what he wants you to do. I didn't know anybody was going to stop the other team completely."
"I said the key to this game is for both defense to be opportunistic. For the second time in a row, our defense wasn't the greatest, but when we asked them to make some stops, they came through. On fourth down in the fourth quarter, they got a couple of stops. They actually didn't get as much credit as they deserved because we didn't do a good job in the first half in completing drives. They did a good job playing defense. There's a reason why Teas didn't score an offensive touchdown in the first half last week. I look back at that game and if they don't onside kick and don't give up a punt return, they have enough points to beat Texas, and that's a good football team.
"We didn't play our best tonight, and our opponent had a lot to do with that. We had more penalties in the first half than in the previous two games. The message to our team was we had to be honest with ourselves. Enjoy the win tonight and we'll get back at it on Monday. We can still be a better football team, we can play better and we have to. We have to in order to accomplish things we want to.
On what this games means to you:
"They're all big games. As you win every games becomes bigger. I guess every week if we win I'll have to answer that question. When you win the next game is bigger than the last game. That's just the price of poker. We all knew what was at stake tonight.
The biggest accomplishment is playing a game like that. Trailing the whole time and winning. We've been in a lot of games like that and we're used to it. The biggest accomplishment to me is for us to do it at home, in an atmosphere like tonight and in front of a crowd like tonight. In front of our students, our alumni, our fans, the people on the sidelines. To win a game like that is bigger than just winning a game."
HOUSTON JUNIOR QUARTERBACK Case Keenum
On how he felt about his 95-yard drive:
"There are a lot of emotions that go with it. If I have to pinpoint one emotion, I would say awesome. Everyone clicked and plays worked out. We knew we were going to get the ball back after that interception. The defense did a great job getting stops all night. We knew if we kept a good tempo, we could move the ball.
"The whole drive for everyone was just reaction. There's not a lot of thinking after four quarters of hard-nosed football. As fast as we play and as fast as the Texas Tech defense plays as well as our defense, it's just reaction. We just have to go out there and make plays and our guys did in a crucial time. There were a lot and conversions on the last drive."
On when he is going to let the win soak in:
"After the season. We have to take it week by week. By the way we put on a show, play hard and have guys who can do pretty cool things with the football. We'll go out there, play hard and that's all we can do."
On the excitement of the end of the game:
"It was awesome. I can't thank the fans enough for coming out and just being loud. It was the loudest I've ever heard that place. Tech had a lot of fans out there too. It was just a great atmosphere. It was a lot of fun for everybody. I thank everybody for coming out and the excitement that showed for the game and all of their support.
"If you don't look forward to that and have some type of nervousness and excitement, then you're not alive, you're not human. If you don't feel something in these type of games and love the adrenaline, then you're not living. It's a lot of fun. I'd like to do this every week."
On what was said in the huddle on the last drive of the game:
"We just turned it over in the previous drive, and we knew we had a chance to win the game. After the pick, Coach Sumlin told me we had a chance to win the game, and we just have to do what we do. We didn't have a lot of energy, and a lot of us were tired. Coach told us we needed to create some tempo and find something out there and we did. A few guys made some huge plays for us."
HOUSTON SOPHOMORE MIDDLE LINBACKER Marcus McGraw
On the stop on fourth and goal:
"At the moment, I just knew we had to make a stop. I honestly didn't know they were that close to the goal line until we lined up. We just did what we had to do."
"All offseason long, you work at it. We work at being the best conditioned team out there. I told them after the game today when we busted our tails all summer, it's going to pay off and today it showed.
HOUSTON SOPHOMORE DEFENSIVE TACKLE David Hunter
On defense finding the will to make stops:
"A lot of it is just passion. Everybody on the field is just passionate about the game. Regardless of whether they were moving the ball on us or not, we kept the mentality that we have to get there and find that energy. Like Marcus said, in the offseason we bust our tail and compete and it makes us all better so when we get on the field, it shows.
On two wins over Big 12 teams:
"We came out with the victory both times, and it's definitely exciting, but we have to come back down and just enjoy it for tonight."
On how he felt when Case scored the winning touchdown:
"Honestly, I couldn't even watch it. It was a very nervous moment. I was just praying that we would score a touchdown."
TEXAS TECH HEAD COACH MIKE LEACH
On the game
"I thought it became a game of situations. Both teams played really hard and slugged it out, but Houston played better in key situations than we did."
On the fourth-and-one
"We needed to score and had a half of a yard, but in hindsight, I should have called for a field goal."
On Tech's defense
"We were really courageous in the red zone. We did some really good things as far as holding them to field goals. I thought we were very explosive."
"We weren't able to get them off the field or stop them offensively. I think the credit goes to Houston. The played extremely hard. If you want a quick assessment, they played better in key situations."
On the fourth-and-goal QB sneak
"I called the play but there was a slight variation, but that doesn't change the fact. At that point in the game it was a better thing to do then send of the field goal team."
On the UH field goal before the end of the first half
"It wasn't good. If you want differences in the game you can go all over the place. If we don't let them return the ball on kickoffs as well as they did. The truth is those are all phases of the game and we just need to tighten up. We have a group that has made a lot of progress and we just need to play sharper and keep working and stay positive and keep getting better."
On Taylor Potts
"I thought he played really well. He had the focus and the tempo. Sometime he played a little bit tentatively. The numbers suggest he played really well, but he could have played a little bit better. But, the biggest thing is the last two games he's played in two of the toughest situations of any quarterback I've ever had. This being his fourth game, he's probably performed as good as anybody I've had. The best thing he can do is circle the wagons, expect good things to happen, and approach it with great tempo. We we're a little inconsistent on that."
On the defense wearing down
"I think both teams wore down. The biggest thing was key plays. We last them convert too many third downs. Our plays tended to be bigger gains. We both converted 50 percent on third downs but he was fewer third downs. We converted some on second down. Houston deserves a lot of credit for making those key plays at key times."
On Tech's running game
"I think we improved overall. But, there's no specific thing. In the passing game we threw for a lot of yards, and a lot per attempt. We had a good running game and good protection. Good defensive front play and good secondary play. You can say good at every point but it comes down to situations. We have to leave this game with some regrets for not having done better but we have a great group of guys that care about each other and that really played well."
TEXAS TECH RUNNING BACK BARON BATCH
On the game
"We didn't play a full football game. But, there are a lot of positives that come with this loss. We can learn from it get better."
"I thought we were going to win the game up until the last play. We have won a lot of close games like that. Hats off to them, they played a great game."
On the running game
"Everybody got on the same page, and we clicked."
TEXAS TECH DEFENSIVE END DANIEL HOWARD
On losing the game
"Losing is tough regardless of when it happens. Our team hates losing."
On the last drive:
"I put that on my back. I had opportunities to stop the drive. That's my fault."
On looking forward
"We will take the positive things from this and look at them to tomorrow and forget about this game."
TEXAS TECH RUNNING BACK HARRISON JEFFERS
On his touchdown run
"It was pretty good. Everyone made their blocks. Eric [Stephens] made a good block and I just followed him on the way to the end zone."
On Tech's running game
"We wanted show everybody that Texas Tech has a running game and we came out to play. So did our offensive line."
On the fourth-and-one
"[Taylor] Potts made a good play, but we just didn't get the outcome we had hoped for."