Nov. 21, 2009
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kevin Sumlin
On how he rates today's game:
"I thought we came out and had some intensity. I don't know that a coach is ever completely satisfied with a game, but I thought that our guys responded well coming off of last week. I thought the preparation and our plan was good from all phases, and our guys played hard. We had the opportunity to play a bunch of people. I was pleased with how we took care of the ball offensively and got off the field defensively, and made some plays on special teams. I think we played well today, but we are still a work in progress. We have to continue, even this late in the season to get better, whether we win or lose."
On whether this was a breakthrough game:
"It gives us some confidence. Some of our guys were just out there playing and having fun today. Not playing what I would call tight and cutting things loose. It gives our guys some confidence to have other guys be able to make plays without James Cleveland playing. I thought Tim Monroe came in, and although he wasn't perfect today, he was pretty good, and when you are replacing the guy who leads the country in touchdown catches, those are some pretty big shoes to fill. It wasn't perfect, but he made plays for us today and did another great job on special teams."
On not having to play a closely contested game:
"That's a credit to our staff, which had a great plan today. Every week, in may not look like it to the fans, but I think our plan has been pretty good. Our execution was even better today. We had a bunch of people fill in those roles. It's good as a coach to not wait until the last minute of the game to have to decide on plays that are going to decide the game. I was pleased with how our guys came out after halftime, which is a sign of maturity. That's called growing up and being able to handle success of failure. Our guys handled it well in the second half. There were some very encouraging things that happened today. Not just the guys who started the game, but guys who came in and played well. Cotton (Turner) came in the game and operated the way he did. Basically for a couple series we ran our game plan and he completed third down balls. That gives him confidence; our coaching staff confidence, and more importantly, it gives our team confidence in him. There are other players as well who made plays today, and that bodes well for the future."
On the overall game:
"I thought we came out and had some intensity from the beginning. I don't know that a coach is ever completely happy with a game, but I thought our guys responded well coming off of last week. I thought the preparation was good and we had a good plan in all phases. Our guys played hard. We had the opportunity to play a bunch of people again, and I was pleased with how we took care of the ball offensively. We got off the field on defense and made some plays, and particularly on special teams. From that stand point I thought we played well today. It's a work in progress. We've got to continue even this late in the season with challenges, whether you win or lose, to access where you are and try to get better for next week."
On the win:
"It gives us some confidence. There were some guys out there having fun, and not playing what I would call tight, and cutting things lose. It gives our team confidence and other guys making plays."
On the offense:
"I thought our offensive line did a good job. We were able to run the ball efficiently today. Being able to be a complete offense, run and throw, it's a credit to our offensive line. We're hard to stop."
HOUSTON JUNIOR QUARTERBACK Case Keenum
On the team's performance against Memphis:
"We knew we had to come out from the start and really focus from the start to the finish. It was nice to be able to execute like that on all sides of the ball. Things really came together and guys stepped up and made plays. We kept it rolling. We had the momentum and we kept it throughout the game and that was nice."
On breaking David Klingler's touchdown record:
"It's definitely an honor with the quarterbacks who've played here before. We're definitely not finished yet. You can ask any of my receivers that it's an counting. It's an honor any time I get mentioned with those guys from the past. They've done great things in blazing the trails for us. Just to follow in their footsteps is pretty cool."
On Cotton Turner:
"Cotton (Turner) played really well. I was proud of him. He had probably the best post I've ever seen. Better than both of posts today that I threw. E.J. (Smith) made a heck of a catch on that one and Cotton did a great job with a good read and good throw on that play. There were a lot of third down conversions (he made). He threw a couple to Chaz (Rodriguez) and made some big plays for us. He's gotten a lot better since he's been here, and it's cool to see him progress as he's gotten better."
On the team:
"We feel that we haven't played our best football game yet. And, honestly, I'd say we're still striving for that. We did execute on a lot of sides of the ball for a lot of the game, but that's one thing that we looked at last week and realized that we haven't play our best football game yet. We're ready to go out and do that. We're striving for the perfect game every game. You can say that's hard to do but we feel like we have the talent and the abilities. We've put the work in to be able to do that."
SENIOR WIDE RECEIVER Chaz Rodriguez
On the UH offense:
"As an offense, we just have to worry about what we did. We couldn't pay attention to what the defense did. We keep fighting and apply pressure, that's what I was talking about the whole game; keep applying pressure and scoring points. That's what we do."
SENIOR CORNERBACK Carson Blackmon
On the UH defense:
"I guess one thing was from our performance last week. We got after them a little bad. We slacked down a little bit, but this week we wanted to jump on them and we wanted to stay on them. It was a big motivation for this week.
"It was a great game for us. We wanted to stress staying focused. (Last week) we lost focus, and they were able to come back. We wanted to stay focused, and we were able to put it away this game."
SOPHOMORE LINEBACKER Marcus McGraw
On the game, defensively:
"It gave us a lot of confidence. It showed us that if we play hard for all four quarters. We can stop them, and we can only give 14 points in a game. It gave us a big confidence boost."
MEMPHIS HEAD COACH TOMMY WEST
On the performance of UH quarterback Case Keenum:
"He's a great player. I knew coming out here today that we were wounded in the secondary and that will make it hard. I don't know what to say. To be honest our guys tried as hard as they could. Our secondary right now is just bad. I knew all week that this would be a bad match up."
On Tiger offensive performance:
"Whom I'm disappointed today is our offense because I thought our offense could keep us in the game. I knew he (Keenum) would throw up some numbers and put up touchdowns. I thought our offense would keep us in it, and we didn't do a good job offensively. We didn't get to run the ball and run the clock. Central Florida did a good job against them. They kept the ball for 39 minutes. I thought with our running back, we could do the same thing. We just couldn't score points."
On the overall performance of UH:
"I thought they did a nice job. They have an outstanding offensive football team. The best I've seen I've been in the league."
On the play of Memphis RB Curtis Steele:
"He's a really good football player. He has all the skills. He's got vision. He's got burst. He's got toughness. He's a really good player."
MEMPHIS RUNNING BACK CURTIS STEELE
On Memphis's inability to finish drives:
"We knew coming in the game we couldn't keep going three and out. We knew we had to sustain drives and finish. Our first two drives we went three and out and they answered quick with 14 points. Next thing you know we are down and now it's hard to catch up. We tried to continue to run the ball to keep their offense off the field, but they are a very explosive high power offense that can score at any time they want."
On the performance of Memphis QB Will Hudgens:
"He had a tough day today, I felt that I had to get the pressure off him by running the ball. He still has to do his job by completing passes and receivers have to catch the ball."