Nov. 15, 2008
2008 Houston Cougars Football Postgame Quotes Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-2, 5-1 C-USA) at Houston Cougars (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008 * John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium * Houston, Texas
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kevin Sumlin
On the team's performance
"I thought our intensity level was good and our energy level was good. We still had too many personal foul penalties and ,for lack of a better words, stupid penalties, things that did not make any sense. I thought our energy level was really good and our guys played hard. As long as we keep our energy high and protect the football we have a good chance to win."
On the teams first quarter goal-line stand
"I thought that it was really big and got us going early in the game. The goal-line stand was good because it kept them out of the end zone early and any time you are playing a team that is averaging over 50 points a game, any stop you can get is good. I thought the goal-line stand was important and our defense really rose to the occasion. We had a great plan on both sides of the ball and our kids really executed. I couldn't be prouder of our guys. Some of our guys, who had been role players and are now starters, really stepped up for us tonight. This is really the first normal game we have had since Oklahoma State, with the same 22 guys playing from the week before."
On the play of sophomore cornerback Loyce Means
"Each day he is getting better, he has to continue to improve and he will be the first to tell you that. He is aggressive and he is making some plays, including some big ones tonight. He is a guy who really didn't play much the first 5 or 6 games of the year except on special teams because he is a new guy. We keep challenging him and he continues to rise to the occasion. He has got his best days ahead of him because he has been kind of learning on the run. Playing corner is difficult in any league, particularly in this one, and I am pleased with his effort and aggressiveness.
On the team's effort
"We are really pleased with our performance offensively. Our staff did a great job and had a good game plan. Our special teams - particularly with the return for a touchdown before the half - were a big boost to us tonight. Early in the game our special teams gave us some really big plays after the goal line stand when we were unable to move the ball they turned the field back over with a great punt by Chase (Turner). It is a team effort and we certainly weren't perfect but I am pleased with our effort.
On the performance of sophomore Chase Keenum
"He makes us go. There was somethings we talked about at halftime that we wanted to get better on but he is very comfortable with the offense. We also had some receivers step up.
HOUSTON SOPHOMORE, QUARTERBACK Case Keenum
On the team's performance
We had a great week of preparation and a good feeling coming in to this game. It was a payoff for good work and preparation. Our defensive unit did a good job getting us turnovers and good field position. Tyrone Carrier is pretty fast and a lot of people found that out tonight. It was a good win.
On the outcome of the game
You never know. That's why you play the game. We knew coming in we were talented and it showed tonight; we just kept running on all cylinders tonight. Tulsa is a heck of a team and they've done a lot of impressive things this year. We had to keep pounding on them and it paid off.
On his career-high six touchdown passes
Our guys were just getting open. It was guys getting open and running fast on the field. Mark did a good job, LJ had a good catch. It was a lot of fun out there tonight.
On the big win
It's huge, it was step two of our four game season and another step in clinching the West (Division) and that's our goal; it continues next week with UTEP. We practiced all week and had a really good feeling about what the game plan was and came out there and we executed.
On getting out to a fast start against Tulsa
There were a lot of huge touchdowns at different times. Coming out right off the bat is a big deal. To have that touchdown at the end of the first half on that kickoff return helps too.
On the defensive unit's play
The defense stepped up tremendously tonight. We knew when we had the ball we were going to score and we knew our defense was going to get us the ball.
HOUSTON SOPHOMORE, CORNER BACK Loyce Means
On his interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter
"I read the three step drop and I knew the ball was going to come out quick and I got one. It felt great. I've been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.
On if anything could stop him on the interception return
"Nothing was going to stop me, I had to get it."
On the defense's play against Tulsa
"We respect Tulsa. They put up two touchdowns in about a minute. We had to take it to them and keep pounding away because you see how fast they can score. We had to be aggressive and physical because we can't give them anything. They are a great team and I respect them. We all respect them, and we had to try and keep them down."
On the defense's goal-line stand first quarter
"That was a big momentum swing. There were several in the game, but I think that was the biggest one. You're on the goal line, they run a spread offense and they have a good offense. The defensive line, everybody, we all stepped up. That was a big time play. The fans got loud and all of that matters in a football game."
On the defense forcing five turnovers in the game That's a great advantage. When we take the ball away and score, that's a great momentum swing. Tulsa's a great team, so you need to take advantage of your opportunities. If you don't, it's going to be a fight. We took advantage of those opportunities tonight and we got a win."
HOUSTON FRESHMAN, WIDE RECEIVER Tyron Carrier
On his 93-yard kickoff return
"Coach (Tony) Levin told us exactly how it was going to look. When I caught it, I thought I could take this one into the endzone. I ran fast and my teammates had amazing blocks. I've never seen anything that pretty in high school or college (football)."
On his 66-yard touchdown reception
"They had two safeties high and I split them and I saw Case (Keenum) throwing it and the hardest part was catching it because it takes so long and everything feels like it's moving real slow."
On scoring 70 points against Tulsa
"Tulsa is a real good team and it surprised me. Our coach told us last week, the only team that can beat us is ourselves, and that's true. Everything from the defense and the goal line stand really set the tone for the whole game. It showed that we came to play tonight."
"We had to keep scoring. There were times where we were down in the first half and we would come back and score quick then we got on a roll. We had to stop them from scoring and as soon as they scored, we would have to score quick because they might get a boost and have a comeback."
TULSA HEAD COACH TODD GRAHAM
On the game
"We had mistakes here and mistakes there. We just couldn't get it together. It's the worst game we've played all year, but you have to give them (Houston) credit. They played a really, great game."