Houston Football Weekly Press Conference

    Kevin Sumlin
    Kevin Sumlin
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    Nov. 8, 2011

    HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kevin Sumlin

    On what needs to be tuned up even with all of the success...
    "Everything. You don't assume that things are just going to continue. We have to eliminate penalties. In close games, too many penalties will cost you the ball game. We've had plays that have been called back or been put behind the chains making it third and long or first and long. That puts pressure on the offense to convert when we don't need to do that. Defensively, we had a turnover early in the game that got nullified by a personal foul. Those are the things that in a close game are going to cost you ball games."

    On senior linebacker Sammy Brown...
    "Sammy is a guy who came in here last year during two-a-days and was a very talented young man, but was out of shape and just playing on pure talent. He'll tell you he was very undisciplined last year. The beginning of the year he was a lot more disciplined but was not playing as hard as we thought he should play. I don't know if he knows how hard he can play at all times. He's a very gifted young man. When he cuts it loose he's as gifted a player as we have in this league. He's in better shape. His attitude is much better. He understands the scheme a lot more. He's continuing to get better. That's the sad part. Most junior college players' careers are over around the same time you start to think, `man, this guy is really good.' But if he continues on this pace and continues his effort at the level he can get to, then he can play on Sunday."

    On if Sammy Brown's rawness reflected in recruiting...
    "No, I saw a 240 pound guy who could run fast and hit folks. That's what we needed, so we recruited him. We figured we'd put up with the other stuff once we got to know him."

    On if he can't help but wonder about the BCS picture...
    "Yes, I can help but wonder. Our approach has been the same all year. There is a reason we practiced at 7:15 Sunday night. Just a coincidence. We met at 5:00 and we stretched at 7:15. But I'm not naïve to think that they didn't run home and look at the television as soon as we got back because the coaches did the same thing. We're in the business where they keep score. That's only natural. When you're at a non-automatic qualifying school, you break the huddle and yell conference champs. In order to be in those discussions you have to win. As you win all these other things come to you. We don't have anything to do with it. What we have to worry about is we're tied with Tulsa in the West. In order for us to win our conference championship we have to win the West, and we're tied right now. That gets our attention pretty quickly. We need to win this week and see where Tulsa is, not where Alabama or LSU is."

     

     

    On defensive end Lloyd Allen...
    "Lloyd was a highly sought after guy who came in with some trouble getting out of junior college. He got here and walked in the door not having done anything. He couldn't run or last with the team. He was sore after the first practice. He was 228 pounds then and is 250 now just from eating and working out and getting into the routine. We moved him from outside linebacker to defensive end. I had a talk with Lloyd a couple weeks ago because he felt like he wasted the year because he didn't know what was going on. He just needs to continue to get better. It takes time. Lloyd is a guy who's moved positions and could probably stand up and still play, but on third down he's a pretty good pass rusher. He's going to get better. He was productive last week and he's giving us depth at a position where we need it."

    On Tulane defensive end Dezman Moses...
    "Good player. Desmond is a guy who is very disruptive. He didn't play against us last year. He had to sit out. He's a Jersey kid who was pretty highly recruited. He went to Iowa out of high school and then transferred. He is a high motor guy that can play. They have a couple guys over there on defense. They put him in a position to make some plays. He's a good pass rusher and I'm sure he's not too far behind Sammy as far as tackles for loss."

    On wide receiver Dewayne Peace's play against UAB...
    "With EJ's (Smith) ankle situation, he did a pretty good job. Down the stretch you don't ever know who it's going to be. You have to prepare that way. Peace stepped in and caught some balls as well as Gino Collins. The combination of those two stepping in for EJ did a pretty good job. Those were impact plays on first and second down that kept the chains moving and got us first downs, which was their role. We had a number of guys that stepped into those roles and did some things that we're going to have to have happen during this stretch run."

    SENIOR QUARTERBACK Case Keenum

    On his reaction to all of his accomplishments...
    "They will probably sink in later. I know for a fact that is an honor to be a part of the things we have been a part of this season. They are really special, but at the same time I wont take it all in until the end of the season. I want it to be a part of what this season could be. We have to take it in one game at a time. That is just how we approach every week and how we will approach this week too."

    On how things have really come together the past few weeks...
    "We like to think that we are in a groove. We would like to stay in that groove. The things we have been doing right, we would like to keep doing them right. The things that went wrong, we will try to correct them. That is what you do week to week and it is nice that the things we did right is more than the things we did wrong. We are going to strive for perfection. We try to do that every week. We want to score every time we get the ball in our hands, but at the same time we are continuing to work hard and do the best we possibly can."

    On his fondest memory of playing college football...
    "Not yet. Hopefully I am creating it as we speak, the entirety of this season. It has been a blast so far and we know that we still have a lot out in front of us. That makes it even more exciting."

    On how he feels physically...
    "I feel good. I may have been hit once. Our offensive line has been playing incredible. A lot of teams in the country are banged up right now, that is just the way it goes. I think we have done a great job of guys stepping in. Our offensive line has done a great job. We just need to keep it going."

    On having four games in twenty-one days...
    "I think it's good. We have this `Saturday and come around and play Thursday' routine figured out. We are getting used to it and getting ready. It will be another good game this week."

    SENIOR WIDE RECEIVER Justin Johnson

    On how everyone is feeling coming into the home stretch of the season...
    "Everyone is pretty much banged up and not at 100 percent but we are doing everything we need to do to keep everyone healthy. The coaches are taking care of us on the practice field. Luckily we haven't had any major injuries and we are blessed for that."

    On the progression from week one to now...
    "We work at it day in and day out and strive for perfection. From week one to now, scoring has always been our main goal and always will be. Everything is coming together. Our running backs are great, our line is blocking outstanding, Case is making all his reads and us, receivers, are just trying to do our part."

    On not getting caught up in all of the success...
    "Going into the season our main goal was to win a conference championship and all the other stuff is stuff that we can't control. It's not worth worrying about. We just need to go in week after week and handle each opponent."

    SENIOR LINEBACKER Sammy Brown

    On maturing this season...
    "Last year coming into the season I was sharing time. Now I feel like the spot is mine and I can just play how I want to play. This past spring, I talked to Coach Stewart and told him that I used to feel like I had to make a big play to stay in the game and now I have more opportunity to make plays. Now it feels like I make a lot more plays. I feel like I'm more focused."

    On leading the nation in tackles for loss...
    "It feels good to lead the nation in tackles for loss, but I don't look too much into individual stats. I just want to win."

    On the 3-4 defense fitting his skill set...
    "I had never played a 3-4 before. In junior college we ran a 3-3-5. This is a new scheme. In junior college I knew I could rush well so I asked them to put me at will (weakside linebacker) because they had me playing mike (middle linebacker) my first game."

    On being on the field with sophomore linebacker George Bamfo...
    "I feel like I have to try to get to the quarterback before he does, because he's fast. I always give a lot of effort and I just have to beat him there. There is more opportunity this year for us to blitz and try to get the sack."

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