Football Postgame Quotes vs. SMU

Oct. 24, 2009

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2009 Houston Cougars Football Postgame Quotes
SMU Mustangs (3-4 * 2-1 C-USA) at #17/18 Houston Cougars (6-1 * 2-1 C-USA)
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009 * John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium * Houston, Texas

On not allowing a turnover

"Our guys came out and played with a sense of urgency defensively. Before the game all week we talked about turnovers and coming into the game SMU was ranked fourth in the country in forced turnovers and second in the country in interceptions. We put an emphasis on ball security on offense and the ability to create turnovers on defense. We were able to capitalize on those things."

On the running game
"They showed us some different blitzes. They had a different plan and a good plan. As I have said all week, June Jones does a great job as a coach. They are well coached, they have talent and they have a good scheme. They showed us some new things and basically said a few times that we weren't going to do that tonight and made us have to do something else. I think it started last week, our ability to run the ball effectively in some of those situations. It creates a complete offense and we have two or three running backs that have the ability and we can rotate those guys without them getting tired."

On the special teams
"It is always a plus. L.J. (Castile) has been close all year and he blocked a couple last year with our scheme. Matt Hogan did a great job and he was strong with his extra points and field goal. They had blocked a number of extra points and field goals with their big guy in the middle. They have created some problems for a lot of people. We capitalized on some turnovers and mistakes early and got control of the game. We have a big kickoff return for the first time this season. There were some good things out of the game. There are a lot of things we could learn.

"As I told the team, do not take winning lightly. You keep winning and as you win games keep getting bigger and you have to play with an urge. We have to develop some more leadership on the field to carry us through that. That's our job as coaches and it's hard to do because we have so many young guys learning to do their job and its hard for them to get excited it things are going real well. That's part of playing. We are in the middle of the season and we have to come back, win or lose, on Monday and be honest with ourselves, assess where we are and be critical of our play. I don't think we have played our best football yet. To be 6-1 and feel that we haven't played our best football yet is pretty encouraging."

On forcing turnovers
It was Jamal (Robinson) who came in on the backside and stripped it. Instead of giving up on the play he kept playing hard and ran to the ball. By no means were we perfect tonight. There were some plays where we didn't know what we were doing. We made enough big plays particularly on defense to win the game. It's like I said two or three weeks ago; it's about being opportunistic. You can create a turnover, but being opportunistic means you are able to score off of those turnovers. If we continue to do that we will be able to win a lot of ball games, even ugly ones like tonight.

On the defense being an integral part of the win tonight
"We haven't given up a lot of points the last couple of weeks. We can be better. We are playing a number of guys and I am encouraged with how we are playing. We are running to the ball but sometimes how we are playing and how we are running to the ball cause us to miss a lot of tackles. When we have young guys out there it is hard for them to create energy if they are not making big plays.

"Sometimes they need to learn, even after they give up a big play to just move on and go to the next play without missing another tackle. We have talked about forgetting the last play, whatever happens, good or bad, and just move on to the next play. I know for us as coaches it probably wasn't as exciting in the second half as people would like it to be but if that's the case and we still win that is ok with me."

On being back at home after a three-game road trip
It was good. The energy had an effect in the first half. They way we came out and played, the way our defense fed off of it. I thought it was great playing at home. With it being Homecoming, having a live cougar here, although I didn't get to see it, except on the Jumbotron. I was disappointed in that. It was a big deal for our fans and I will say it. I hope we have another big crowd next week.

On being at home

"We were excited about playing in front of the home crowd here in Houston. We love playing at home; it's a lot of fun. Our fans really enjoy it and we always try to put on a good show for them. We fed off their energy, and we try to create energy. Our defense did great job creating turnovers. Anytime you have big plays like that and Tyron's (Carrier) kick return it makes the stadium really fun to play.

ON rushing offense
"They were doing a good job at keeping us from throwing the ball. They have a really good secondary, but their passing defense opened up the rushing yards for us. We have a few really good running backs that I really don't mind handing the ball off too. The offensive line did a great job of blocking. You have to take what the defense gives you."

On Tyron Carrier's development from last year
"He's still really fast, which is good and I really like. The more you throw to one guy the better the chemistry. We know what each other's thinking at different times. There are some uncertainties with guys that are new out there. The more game reps you get with people the more comfortable we become. He's a lot smarter with routes, knows when to go full speed and when to not. He's a big time playmaker for us."

On playing SMU
"Winning the conference and winning the west in definitely one of our big goals. This was the next step in doing that. SMU came into the game 2 -0, and they were leading our division. SMU is a good football that has beaten some good teams

On special teams

"There was some good blocking out there. The special teams guys put their heart into it so I had to reward to them."

On playing at home

"It seems like we haven't played at home in forever. It was exciting to come back and play in front of the home crowd. We had a lot of energy coming in

On having fun
"I haven't had this much in awhile tonight. It was important for me to get back on my feet and get ready for this season. Last year, during a rehab session, Coach Sumlin told me he needed me back, so I worked hard to get back."

On SMU changing quarterbacks

"We knew number 14 liked to run the ball more than the other guys. We had to read the guards and make sure they weren't running any quarterback powers for him. Both the quarterbacks could throw and run, so we stuck to our game plan."

On recovering fumbles
"In practice we always learn to run to the ball. The whole defense has to run to the ball and give maximum effort."

On all the turnovers
"With an offense like ours any time we get to the ball more it makes a big difference. It keeps us off the field and lets us rest."

On defense setting the tone
"Defense wins championships. We played with great energy and that kept the offense going. They fed off of us and we fed off of them, and it was a good team win."

On playing at home
"I think we were feeding off the crowd's energy. I think we were all excited to play at home; it's always fun to play at "The Rob." We had a good week of preparation and everyone was focused. We stayed focused and played hard."

On what went wrong

"We came in ready to play. They made big plays in the first half and we didn't catch the ball very well. It's frustrating we all came ready to play, we just really didn't make the plays. We had opportunities to make the plays. I thought that they fought and hung in there through adversity. They just kept battling and that's a positive, it shows the character of our team."

On playing the backup quarterbacks
"It was a challenge. It was tough calling plays for them and getting the formations. We just tried to find a way to win and get better. I think Bo will be okay, he dislocated his shoulder."

On playing two freshman quarterbacks
"No matter how good you think they are, they still play like rookies."

On third down conversions
"It has been a problem all year. We need to make the throws and catches so we can make the plays."

On the loss
"As a coach you have to understand that we're still in first place in C-USA. We need to figure out a way to win out there. The team battled and hung together. They kept fighting and that's eventually what's going to work for us."

On the defense
"I think we pressured him and sacked him probably more than he's seen all year. I think he's only been sacked five times all year. "

On Bo Levi Mitchell's injury

"It's always tough watching someone go down. Bo is a great leader for our team, and unfortunately he went down, but Braden and I were ready to go. We prepared all year and were ready to go this weekend. Hopefully Bo can play next weekend, but if not Braden and I will prepare ourselves again."

On adjusting to more playing time
"The speed of the game is the biggest difference. You can really simulate a game in practice. But I think our defense did the best job. It's hard, but we did okay. Our offensive line did a great job protecting me. I got to make some plays on my feet which I was proud of. But our offensive line really helped me out a lot."

On any reservations about not being able to redshirt this year
"Not at all, because Coach Jones has a plan and I believe in it firmly. If I don't play again this year, I got great experience for next year. And I'm going to try my hardest to do my best."

On bad breaks in the game
"We didn't execute to our potential. We committed some mental errors and had a couple turnovers in the first half especially. Unfortunately we came out on bottom tonight. They are a great team, and they're No.17 in the nation for a reason. They go us tonight."

On what went wrong

"It seems like everything kept going wrong. I can't even put my finger on it. We can practice all week and prepare for everything we think they're going to throw at us, but when things go wrong, it's hard to put your finger on it. That's what film study is for. We have to bounce back next week in practice and go face Tulsa."

On the panic when Bo was injured
"There was a little bit of panic, because he's our guy, and we've seen him every game since his freshman year. So when he went down we hoped he would go back in, and there was a little sense of panic, but that's what we prepare for week in and week out. Our backup guys are ready to go."

On looking forward to next week
"You have to look forward to next week and keep fixing mistakes that you see on film. That's what film study is for. Hopefully have a good week of practice and look forward to next week. We have to put this game behind us and bounce back."



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