Oct. 10, 2009
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kevin Sumlin
"Anytime you can win like we did today it is a team victory. Every Saturday it is hard to win, but to go on the road, in an environment like this, and pick up a win is big time. I was proud of how hard we fought. We had alot of players out of the game due to injury, and we had some freshmen come in and make some big plays. Mississippi State is a very physical football team, and we are fotunate to come out of here with this game."
On his team's defensive effort
"We were a little beat up, but we fought hard today. We had some guys come in and make big plays. I always tell my guys that you never know when it might be your time, so be ready. They were ready today."
On the defensive scheme of Mississippi State
"They created some issues for us. They had guys standing up at the line and jumping around everywhere. I thought we did a nice job in the second half of running the football.
To me, that made that difference."
On the play of senior Mississippi State running back Anthony Dixon
"He lived up to the billing. I think on that one scoring play he carried some of my guys twenty yards to score the touchdown. I couldn't really be upset at them for that. He is just a great running back who makes big plays for them."
On this win compared to victories over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech
"This one is special because we came in here with alot of injuries and alot of young players and found a way to win. Our team stepped up when it needed to, and I could not be more proud of my guys today."
HOUSTON JUNIOR QUARTERBACK Case Keenum
On general thoughts about the game
"We played well enough to get it done. Mississippi State is a very good football team. They run the ball well and controlled the clock. Our defense did an incredible job of creating turnovers. We also played well enough offensively to win the ball game."
On the MSU defense
"They are a very good defense. They came out and confused me a few times. We were trying to get them on their heels and stay with their base defense. They did a good job rushing me, the quarterback. We were able to get our guys in space and let them do what they are supposed to do. Our skill guys did real well on catching the ball and getting up field.
HOUSTON SOPHOMORE LINEBACKER Marcus McGraw
On how they pulled it together in the second half
"Not to take anything away from them but we kept fi ghting. We try to play harder than everybody we play"
On their injuries
"You have to have people to step up. If somebody goes down, the next person in line needs to ready to play"
HOUSTON SOPHOMORE WIDE RECEIVER Tyron Carrier
On taking control of the game
"Last week we were not able to step up to the plate as an offense. We tried to capitalize on every opportunity given to us.
On MSU defense in the red zone and him scoring "We knew how they were going to act in the red zone. They are real aggressive. Our guys made great blocks to open the hole and allow me to score."
MISSISSIPPI STATE HEAD COACH DAN MULLEN
"Once again our kids battled, they played hard for four quarters, we just need to take that final step and push it over the top. It is a really simple game. We have got to play really good defense and obviously you give up 500 yards that is not good defense. You have got to win the turnover battle. If you turn the ball over four times, three in our red zone, you are not going to win the game. If you get down to the red zone, you have to come away with touchdowns and we were down there a bunch and came away with minimal points.
I think our kids battled throughout the course of the game. I thought they did some good things but didn't do enough. In the key moments of the game, we just made critical mistakes. We have to get that fixed as we move forward and when we do we're going to find a team and build a program here and win."
On the feeling of the team
"I wouldn't say we gave the game away, they did a nice job. They had 550 yards of offense and they won the football game. They forced four turnovers and they won the game. They did a nice job doing so. For our kids, we need that fi nal step to push us over the top."
On Tyson Lee's fumbles
"You just have to do a better job of holding onto the football when he makes his decision. He needs to be confident of his decision and make it. It is not that hard. He either keeps the ball or hands it to someone else. It is a pretty simple deal and we will just have to keep repping it more and more and more in practice and hopefully we continue to see more improvement."
On the defensive philosophy
"We moved some guys around and one of the things you want to do is confuse their quarterback. He did a really good job of getting the ball out of his hands which is what we wanted. Our plan was to get the ball out of his hands quickly, make plays, and wrap up.
As a whole, we missed too many tackles, and that is a part of playing great defense. The first guy that gets to the ball needs to wrap up and not give any yards after the catch. When we go and look at this, I will bet that the majority of their yards were after the catch and that was one thing that we didn't want to give up."
MISSISSIPPI STATE LINEBACKER CHRIS WHITE
On Defending Houston's High Powered Offense
"We knew they would pick up yards. We also knew they were going to score some points. There are too many weapons in that offense.Their quarterback knows that offense extremely well and runs it very well. We just wanted to limit the big plays today and we did not do that. I feel like we played decent but they made some big plays and those hurt us today."
On Team's Morale after Game
"It is a horrible feeling. We lost last week by 11 to Georgia Tech. We lost to LSU by six. We lost today again by a smaller margin but we just have to get over that hump and learn how to win these games. We have to come back tomorrow and work hard for the next game. We just have to keep working hard."
MISSISSIPPI STATE QUARTERBACK TYSON LEE
On Offensive Turnovers During the Game
"We just have to protect the ball better, especially in the red zone. We cannot turn the ball over and I did that today.
On the two fumbles
I was trying to pull the ball back on those two plays. I was trying to get a better grip on the ball and I just lost it and put it on the ground."
On Throw Beyond the Line of Scrimmage
"I thought I was behind the line. I just can not do that. Coach put the ball in my hands on a crucial fourth down play and I just let the team down. The receiver did a good job staying on his route and keeping open."
MISSISSIPPI STATE LINEBACKER JAMAR CHANEY
On Defensive Effort
"I think we did some good things. The worst thing we did was let them get yards after the catch. We did not tackle well in the open fi eld today and that is probably the worst thing our defense did. Houston is probably the best passing team in the nation. With that kind of offense you have to have that bend but do not break mentality."
On Interception and Similar Play in Opposite End Zone
"I was just showing blitz and stepped over in the passing lane. On the second one, I probably should have shown blitz a little more. I could not get out there fast enough to get in front of the ball on that play. The quarterback has a real quick release. He is probably the best quarterback we will see on the fi eld this year as far as making reads and throws."