Oct. 6, 2012
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Tony Levine
"I told the team after the game that I was proud of them. We won this game this past Monday through Friday in their preparation. I also told the staff I was proud of their game plan on all three phases. Everything we needed to do to win this game, we did this week. We weren't perfect and I don't know if we'll ever play a perfect game this season.
Defensively we created a couple of turnovers. We tackled well, but not the whole time. We'll continue to work on that and it will be our top priority. I liked our defensive energy and our tackling at times. Offensively we took care of the ball. We were balanced again with over 300 yards rushing and passing. If you can keep doing that, you'll have a chance.
We executed the game plan. What you saw out there were primarily a couple of wrinkles we added in the run game, which created some big plays for us, and also Charles Sims. On special teams, we did a great job in coverage. We punted the ball well on the few that we had. We covered kick offs well and it wasn't coach speak about Brelan Chancellor coming into this game. I remember quite vividly what he did to us last season at their place. He is a really talented young man. "
On junior running back Charles Sims
"Charles is a dynamic player and leader on and off the field for our team. What he is doing is no surprise to me. We have to get him the football. We look to get him the ball at least 25 times, and we did that tonight. As special as he is, football is a team sport."
On making changes to defense
"The one thing I have is a plan. I've heard over the years that coaches have agendas and favor certain people. If I have an agenda, it is to win football games. If I feel like making a change to the coaching staff that will help us then so be it. We've brought some coaches that were up in the booth, down to the field to coach, and some who were down on the field, up to the booth. In doing so is no reflection on them.
One thing with my special teams background is being able to look at personnel. You've got to think outside the box and be creative. You've also got to find what will help the team the best. If you can take a young man and put him in a position where he is the most suitable to help the team; you'll succeed."
On North Texas gaining momentum
"They got some momentum right before the half, but we were there to answer. At that point the momentum kind of shifted back to us. North Texas did a great job coming out of the half and marching up the field. They made some adjustments at the half, so we made some adjustments and it showed the rest of the game.
On redshirt sophomore quarterback David Piland
"I have the upmost confidence in David. He is getting better and better every week. He is not perfect yet, and he'll tell you that before I will. One of the things that makes him a competitor is that he is a perfectionist. His preparation is as good as any quarterback I've been around. I like his decision-making and he's taking great care of the football. He is managing our offense very well."
HOUSTON REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE QUARTERBACK David Piland
On the offense coming together
"It's how we prepared for the game. We worked hard on not turning the ball over. Charles doing his job opens up the passing game. There were a lot of things that we worked on during the week to eliminate wrinkles. Preparing that hard definitely paid off."
On keeping the momentum in the Cougars' favor
"As an offense, we are still working on it. Whenever the defense gets a stop or an interception, a big momentum swing is scoring after that stop. Whenever the defense has a turnover, if we score off of that momentum change then it makes the other team pay that much more for their mistake. That's why the turnover margin is a good indicator of who wins or loses. The defense has done a great job of protecting us when we need to punt. That's really comforting as an offense."
On taking Charles Sims' skills for granted
"At half time we will be in there talking about all these certain situations and someone chimes in `yeah or we can just run the ball,' and we'll say `that sounds good let's just hand the ball of to Charles.' He's a great player in space. It's really hard to tackle him. If I played defense it'd be another story. He's one of those guys who you just have to give him the ball, and we do a great job of doing that."
HOUSTON SENIOR LINEBACKER Phillip Steward
On stopping the Mean Green offense early
"We knew they were going to come out and try to run the power. If we take them out in running the power then they'd have to try and pass. We did a great job of coming out in the first half and stopping the power."
On stopping the Mean Green in the third quarter to eliminate any chance of pulling ahead
"One of their running backs got loose because we missed several tackles. The running back scored, and when we got to the sideline we made some corrections. We told each other we weren't going to let them score anymore. We kept fighting until the end of the game."
On keeping the momentum in the Cougars' favor
"When the offense scores after we make a turnover, that's that much more motivation for us to go out there and do it again. We feed off them. If they score off our turnovers, we try to make more options and opportunities for them to score again."
On the fourth down turnover at the end of the game
"That was big. We stopped them on third down and we knew they'd go for it on fourth. We were on the sideline and we all knew we weren't going to let them in. Everybody gave it their all, so that was a big boost going into the next game against UAB."
HOUSTON JUNIOR RUNNING BACK Charles Sims
On career high tonight
"It felt good. I thought the offensive line did a good job of opening holes for me to be able to make plays."
On whether the offensive tweaks this week affected his role
"We had a great practice all last week. We prepared very well."
On how he views his own skills on the field
"The more touches the better. It's fine with me, I don't mind."
NORTH TEXAS HEAD COACH DAN McCARNEY
"They were on a fast track and we were on a slow track. That's not oversimplifying or making fun of anybody or any unit. Standing on the sideline is what it looked like to me. Our fundamentals were poor, and we have a lot of issues defensively that we need to fix. At times we moved the ball well, but offensively we didn't finish some drives to get in the end zone. We have plenty of work to do obviously, but if each coach and player takes responsibility we'll be able to rally and have a lot of positive things happen. Tonight was a great win for Coach (Tony) Levine, his staff, and the program. They did a heck of a job."
On the play of senior running back Jeremy Brown
"He had an outstanding game. He is one of those guys that came to the program as a walk on. He's one of my favorite guys, and everyone around the program loves and cares about him. He made some sensational plays tonight, and had tremendous effort and speed with great vision. He'll get plenty of opportunities to continue his success."
On the ability to run the ball tonight
"I haven't seen any stats yet, but we still aren't consistent enough. We ran into way too many second and longs. That happened because we couldn't sustain blocks."
On penalties and turnovers
"We had penalties that killed us, which is very uncharacteristic for this team. Those are things we have to clean up along with turnovers. We were minus one on the turnover margin and that's something we don't do here. It was a really good performance for Houston and a disappointing end for the Mean Green. There is a lot of character on this team and we will be back."