COACH DANA DIMEL
On beginning the season with an 0-2 record
At no time as a head coach or an assistant coach have I ever been 0-2, so this is a brand new experience for me. However, there are many positives to be gained through being 0-2.
On last Saturday night's game against LSU
I am pleased with our football team's effort. I am pleased with the way our football team is performing offensively to the point that we're moving the ball very productively, but I'm not pleased with the way we're putting the ball in the end zone that's the biggest concern for me. We're also not putting up the type of points that we need to put up with our offensive unit, and that's also an area of concern.
We have to correct and do a better job on our special teams performance. It was subtler during Saturday night's ball game against LSU, but while the game was being fought back and forth for field position, our football team did not create the type of advantages that we needed to create within that particular unit.
We were put inside the 10 yard line three different times in that first quarter, and anytime that happens, especially when you are playing in front of 90,000 people, you bring the crowd into the game and that was tough for us to overcome. Eventually, it caught up to us and got them two scores. After they got the two scores, then they created the turnover that lead to the kickoff return that lead to a third score. Even though our football team was down 21-0, we just kept sawing wood and kept playing hard. As a team we realized that we still had a great shot at winning the football game. We started to methodically do things that a good football team should do and pretty soon the game was back right where we wanted it to be. All the momentum was on our side and we drove the football down to score, but we just had unfortunate things happen at the end of the ball game to cost us the win.
As a coach, you address those issues by making sure that your football team plays harder and finds a way for those things not to happen so we can win football games in the future.
On upcoming conference play
As I have stated before, it is better to finish strong than to start strong and finish weak. Our football team has to understand the importance of this week's game because this is what it's all about this is conference play and this is crucial to the equation for our football team. This is great timing for our team in that we need a conference game. We need ourselves to be 1-0 in conference play and we will do that by being balanced in all three aspects of our football team: offense, defense and special teams.
QB JASON MCKINLEY
On strength of UH defense in second half of LSU game
"There were more than a couple times where we had the defense looking at the sidelines for the play calls and not really lined up ready to go. And I think that we are such a well-conditioned team that by the end of the game we wore them down a little bit. I felt like we were in better shape than they were."
On slow development of running game
"At the same time it's hard for our linemen because those guys are all milling around and they can't really call protection and know exactly who they are going to block. Another thing was that the ref was allowing the defense to get settled a little bit before he blew the whistle and allowed us to snap the ball.
"I believe it's close to getting there... We're doing some different things now, we're setting up with the no huddle and then calling the play, and I think we can't be wrong there."
Different side of Coach Dimel the team saw after LSU game
"He just explained to us that he is not going to take losing and that he is not going to let this football team lose. I think a bunch of us feel the same way. We're not going to accept losing and we're going to keep working and playing hard and things are going to go our way."
"I think we're really frustrated because the whole team, we know we're playing well but we're just not coming out ahead on the scoreboard. We know we're doing a lot of things well. It's just two or three plays and some things like not getting the ball into the end zone when we get close. And there is a frustration level in that. We had a practice yesterday and we came out and worked hard and I think our team's in good shape."
On conference play starting this week vs Army
"We're really excited about this week and hopefully we can channel everything that has happened to us and in working hard this week and getting ready to play. It is a big game, it's conference, and that's what the season is all about-winning your conference."
On Houston's young receivers
"(Brandon) Middleton played great. Like Coach said, we've had some key injuries and were waiting for those young guys to step up. It's great to see, those guys coming in, especially in a place like that (LSU) and going up and making some great catches."
On his personal comfort level
"It's better. I feel good about this offense and another thing is that, like Coach said, with the young receivers I have all the confidence in the world in them. They played great Saturday night and I'm excited to see what they can do."
DB HANIK MILLIGAN
On Army's offense
"I heard they were going to change their offense this year to more of a passing game. I'm aware that our defense is going to come no matter what they throw the defense of going to be prepared."
On defense being shaky in first half of LSU game
"That's part of the game and we still need to be prepared no matter what side of the field we're on. We've got to come together in clutch situations and do our job."
Defending the Army option
"I'm the free safety, so I'm helping out on pitch and if they have a lot of trick plays, I have to make sure that I don't bite on the pitches they throw behind my head and then throw it for a touchdown. So I have to be disciplined in both areas, the pass and the run."
How hard is it not to bite when you're sure what pitch they're going to run
"It's very hard, but Coach tells me all week and puts it in my head that I have to stay disciplined and that I'm young, but if I focus on myself, I'll be able to go and be able to read the play."
On brother, fellow Cougar Hamin Milligan, playing on same team
"I'm very excited and that's one reason I came down here (to UH). I'm going to be very happy when he comes out onto the field with me, so we can show everybody why we came out here and why we came to play at the same school together. We want to help the team win to the best of our ability."
Mindset on 0-2 team
"The mindset is that we just have to come together. We're 0-2 yes, but we have to put that behind us and just come out and play. We can't go on worrying about the losses. Yes, they hurt, but this is what really counts-conference games-and we just really need to come together as one unit, both offense and defense and special teams, and do our jobs.
"It's hard to put those games behind us, but if we think about our losses going into Army, it will be another loss. So we have to put it behind us and move ahead and take care of Army and the rest of the conference teams, then all of this will be forgotten."