Nov. 24, 2007
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2007 Houston Cougars Football Postgame Quotes
Texas Southern Tigers (0-11, 0-9 SWAC) at Houston Cougars (8-4, 6-2 C-USA)
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 * John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium * Houston, Texas
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Art Briles
"I would like to thank our fans and student body. It was not exactly perfect conditions but the people that showed up were supportive and invigorating to us. We appreciate that. I am proud of our guys for taking care of business. It was a workman-like job for us and we did it in a workman-like fashion. I am proud of that part of it."
On allowing Anthony Alridge to break the school record
"It is a hard line to draw. That is a big deal. Anytime that you can be the schools leading rusher it's a big deal but during the game we are sitting there keeping tabs on the other one (playing in the conference championship). We are sitting there thinking maybe we are going to turn around and do this next week. What you can't do is subject a student athlete to injury and when the game's outcome is already decided we have to keep him fresh too. It was a tough call but we have another game left and if he is good he will get there. It's amazing what Anthony has done since he has never really played running back before. He has done all of this in one year and that to me is a great accomplishment."
On what he told the seniors prior to the game
"We talked about it all week. It's their last game at home and it's a special time for them and a special time for us to be able to play with them and support them. They did a great job today. The game turned out like it should have turned out. We felt like we could be the more physical team up front and we were. I was proud of our guys in the trenches."
On opening the game scoring on seven of our first eight possessions
"We were determined. Not many teams in the country are going to have eight wins and there aren't many teams that have won 15 of their last 18 conference games. That's what these seniors have done for us. We are proud of the seniors and where they have helped this program get to."
On controlling your own destiny
"We are co-champions of the West Division and to me that is a very good job of taking care of business. We felt like we let on get away from of us in late September and it haunted us the entire year. That is the lesson that we learned. When you have a team at home and you have the opportunity to win then you need to win that game. We learned a few lessons but we taught a few too."
HOUSTON SENIOR WIDE RECEIVER Donnie Avery
On the game
"This was an exciting game for us, it was senior day so we went out with a bang, Anthony (Alridge) and I. It was a very emotional for us because it was our last game at Robertson Stadium. We went out there and had fun and conquered."
On his touchdown pass
"It was wonderful, I saw that sexy bump over and I was like `yeah, there we got it.' I tried to do the Dallas Dance but it wasn't working, but hey, we had fun."
HOUSTON JUNIOR DEFENSIVE END Phillip Hunt
On what they wanted to accomplish
"We just wanted to come out here with high intensity and get a win, that's all we wanted to accomplish. I didn't have anything in mind, I just wanted to come and play and ball out, that's all."
On the problems TSU presented
"They had a nice wide receive, number eight (Daniel Davis), he was kind of shifty and he could move. Those were about the only problems we had all night. Other than that it was a real fun, festive game. It was fun for us."
HOUSTON FRESHMAN QUARTERBACK Case Keenum
On the first half
"We came out and took care of business and that's what we wanted to do going into it. A lot of people got to see the field tonight, a lot of guys that haven't in the past. It was a lot of fun. We kept the intensity up for most of the game and we had some guys like Matt Stolt who got to get in there. He actually had a catch tonight and we had some seniors, Jordan Brown, who got in there and did a great job."
On keeping up with the Rice game
"I looked up there every now and then, more in the second half. I'm still trying to keep up right now. It kind of stinks not being in control of your own destiny right now, but we'll take it however we can get it."
On what they wanted to accomplish
"We wanted to get in there and take care of business. We didn't want to mess around and have anybody get hurt or have to do anything that we didn't plan on doing. We got in there, we took care of business and we followed through with our plan."
On Matt Stolt's hit after his catch
"Coach looked back and said, `Does anybody else want the ball now?'"
HOUSTON SENIOR RUNNING BACK Anthony Alridge
On his 72-yard rush on his second touch and how that set the tone
"That's what we'd planned on doing all week, start off fast, play fast. Our offensive line should dominate their defensive line and our defensive line should dominate their offensive line. We came out, knew we were going to run the ball, pound the ball a little bit and then it should be over."
On how he's approaching the UH all-time record for single-season rushing
"Actually, I wanted to sit down and watch everybody else play. I'm not really too big on the records. If it happens, it happens, and if it does that's great. It's all great for the university. We still have a game though and they're going to have to play us. Whoever we play, they're going to have to bring it because we're going to give it all we've got because we have to get that win in a bowl game."
On whether or not he kept track of the Rice game
"I was looking up at the score, but we should have won our games. That's all it comes down to. When you do your job you don't have to depend on someone else to do it for you. If they don't do it, or if they are still, I don't know if they're still playing or not, but if they didn't do it, that's our fault. We can't blame it on anybody but ourselves and I can put it on my back because I'm the senior running back and I should have done more when we lost. It's fine with me. I'm content with the way we went out this season. We played hard, losing Kevin Kolb and Vincent Marshall and all those people, nobody expected us to be in the position where we're at. We've proven a lot of people wrong."
On the importance of this being the last game
"We definitely talked about this being our last game, our coach said let them go out with a bang. We came in together, Donnie (Avery) and I, and it's been a long five years so we went out with a big bang. He had 100 yards on four catches, I had 157 yards. That's a great day for me. It could have been 300 if I'd stayed in the game, but it isn't all about the padding up the stats. It's about getting your teammates better and doing your job.
On the fun they were having during the game
"You have to have fun. I was kind of bored during the middle of the game, there was nothing for me to do. No disrespect to TSU Tigers, it's just that we know what we have at the University of Houston a fast and quick football team and we showed that tonight."
On the weather
"That's football weather, baby. If you can't handle it, you don't need to be playing it. You can't expect it to be hot all the time, it's got to be cold sometimes and if Green Bay wanted me I'd play in the snow up there."
TEXAS SOUTHERN INTERIM HEAD COACH DeCHON BURNS
"Our young men came up tonight and once they settled down and decided to play they showed some good things. They fought as a team. There has been a lot of adversity that has happened to these young men. My hat's off to them because they never stopped playing. There's not a whole bunch you can say, we are not where we expected to be, we didn't come out and do the things we expected to do the way we expected to do them. With these young men, with everything they've been through, for us to not see them ever turn it down and to keep fighting until the clock hits four zeros, they came a major way. These are a lot of kids who were in a whole different area four years ago. To see where they've matured to and gotten to after everything they've been through and with the changes that have happened, these guys are a bunch of champions in my heart. The way I look at them, they're a bunch of warriors and fighters and I'd go to war with them anytime.
On the University of Houston
"The university is really quick, they're coached well and they ran their game plan. They did the things that we saw on film and they executed the way they were supposed to execute. They're a well coached football team. Coach (Art) Briles did a good job in preparing them, they came out and stuck to their game plan. We need to execute, these guys came out and executed and made plays they needed to make. They are a good football team, you can't take anything away from them. Hopefully we'll be able to lock horns with them again and continue this thing because it's good for the community. They're a very classy team, they came out and played hard. There were no off the field issues, nothing that happened to make any trouble."