Houston Football Holds Weekly Press Conference

Senior Phillip Steward

Nov. 20, 2012

HOUSTON - University of Houston football head coach Tony Levine and selected student-athletes met with the local media on Tuesday to discuss Saturday's final game at Robertson Stadium against Tulane.

Houston Head Coach Tony Levine

Opening Statement
"I told the team after our game on Saturday that I was disappointed and extremely sorry for our seniors. This is not the way I envisioned our season playing out. We're at the point now where we have one game left for them and one game left for Robertson Stadium.

We need to focus our our attention towards sending our seniors out the right way. This past Saturday we started off slow and finished fast, but not fast enough to get the win. We did some great things, but when it was all said and done Marshall made one more play to win the game. We handled last week well, and our preparation was good. Unfortunately we dug ourselves in too big of a hole to overcome.

Right now where we are at is finishing the season the right way for our program and our seniors. We have guys who have been in here from five years to two years. We have guys from different backgrounds and have gone through different adversities. Our goal is to send them off with a win in the final game at Robertson."

On coaching the last game at Robertson Stadium
"It's mixed emotions because it feels like I just got here. The memories I personally have of the stadium are of great games and individual performances -especially of practices from the spring games. It's going to be sad to say goodbye, but people are going to be very excited for what has yet to come with the new facility. Robertson has been one of the toughest places for opponents to play and it'll be an emotional day."



On the last game of the season
"It's mixed emotions because it feels like I just got here. The memories I personally have of the stadium are of great games and individual performances -especially of practices from the spring games. It's going to be sad to say goodbye, but people are going to be very excited for what has yet to come with the new facility. Robertson has been one of the toughest places for opponents to play and it'll be an emotional day."

On the last game of the season
"We aren't going to use this game as an evaluation. We are going to do whatever it takes to give our guys the best chance to win. We are going to play our best players and prepare just like any other week."

On Conference realignment and BIG EAST status
"My only focus is on this last game. The way conferences have been changing their members in the last couple of years nothing surprises me at this point. As I find out more about our situation I will comment, but as of right now my thoughts are on Tulane and Saturday."

On Tulane this Saturday
"When you look at Tulane, they have gone through some adversity like us. They have a new head coach as well, and of course the incident with Devon Walker it was similar with DJ. They did a fantastic job of handling that situation and it brought their team closer together. When you look at the film they have an extremely well coached team and they play extremely hard. They throw the ball all over the field offensively. It'll be a great challenge for our defense. When our defense clicks it sparks the offense. This season they have gone hand in hand together. It's about us taking care of the football and winning in all phases of the game."

Senior Quarterback Crawford Jones

On almost pulling out the win at Marshall
"Obviously, as far at the game went, that's not how you want the game to turn out. First half, I got some of the rust off. I hadn't played that much in a while. Somewhere through the second quarter, I felt like we really started clicking as an offense. We had a really good second half. I felt a lot more comfortable after getting some of the butterflies out of the way. It's been about five years since I've played some real meaningful snaps. Obviously the stat line looks nice, but it all comes down to the win and the loss and unfortunately we weren't able to pull it out."

On plays within the Marshall game
"The left handed pass is not something that's scripted. It usually looks pretty bad, but I got luck that one time. I was waiting for one of the receivers to get out of the break. Unfortunately my right hand was a little tied up, but I did what I could do and improvised. I got it out there and luckily turned it into a gain of four instead of a couple yards."

On being able to start against Tulane
"It's an honor. It's obviously the last game ever in the Rob. Just as a senior going into the season knowing that my senior day would be the last game at The Rob is special. My dad and granddad grew up down here and they played games in high school at The Rob, so it's three generations through it. I get to send it off, and especially getting to start, is a complete blessing. I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to do it. Hopefully we can send off The Rob in good style."

On what Tulane brings
"They're a really good team. They've battled every game this season. They look a lot better than their record will show you. I'd say the same about us. We had a young team, we had a lot of guys step up throughout the year, had some injuries throughout the way, so we have to adapt. It's the name of the game. As far as their defense goes, they have a really good defense. It really matches up well with what we do on offense. There's going to be a lot of one on one match ups that we need to win and we have the guys to do it all across the board."

On goals throughout the year
"Obviously, it wasn't what we set out to do. Everything in you instinctively says that's it, but you have to fight that. It's part of the game. Sometimes you don't want to come work out, but we have a lot of fight on this team and we showed that at Marshall. We're going to want to come out and put our best foot forward for these guys that are coming back and obviously for the guys that aren't coming back. Everybody has their own reasons to win and they want something to build off of and we want something to remember."

On playing final game as a senior
"I'll probably cry. It's been something I've done since I was eight years old. My parents have been there every step of the way. They've done a ton for me to get to this position. I'll be nervous before the game and seeing them. It'll be a big game. This will kind of be the end of the chapter for me as far as being a college athlete and a football player goes."

Senior Linebacker Phillip Steward

On thoughts going into his last game at the University of Houston
"It's going to be emotional at first. I'll be excited to play in that last game. I will have a lot of my family in the stands so it might be a little emotional. I just have to go out there and play football."

On the season
"You always want to go out with a bowl game so last week's game really hurt us because it was so close. It really made me think back to the earlier games this season that we could have won. It was sad looking back over the season, but we are going to move on and get ready for this next game."

On his best memory of playing in Robertson Stadium
"The special memory I have is when we played Texas Tech and everybody rushed the field after we won. I've never seen it like that. I was fresh out of high school and seeing that is something I will always remember."

On what he will say to younger teammates before this last game
"I tell the younger guys that we have one more so let's send us, the seniors, out right. We will practice like we've been practicing and try to get the `W' for the seniors this weekend. I've been telling the younger guys don't think it's over yet until after Saturday."

RS-Sophomore Offensive Lineman Bryce Redman

On how special playing in the last game at Robertson Stadium will be
"I know the history behind the Rob and I know we take a lot of pride in winning at home and protecting our house. I'm excited and glad I could be a part of that history."

On importance of sending the seniors off with a win
"I know that it's really important for me personally to send Jacolby Ashworth and all the other seniors who have helped me become the player I am today with a win. Since it's our last game together I want to send them off with a win."

On what you take away from the Marshall game
"I think the main positive from the Marshall game was the fight we had in us. A lot of teams might have shut down being as far behind as we were. At one point it was 31-10, so I was really proud that we came out and fought hard."

On challenges with have a different quarterback behind him
"There's some differences, but for me at center I really just have to get used to the quarterbacks voice. I love both my quarterbacks. Having Crawford Jones back there is a little different, but they are all good guys."

Junior Wide Receiver Xavier Maxwell

On the Marshall game
"The game as kind of slow to start off, we started of a little rough. There were a lot of three and outs. We had to find a rhythm with Crawford back there. It takes repetition. We came together right before half time and brought some momentum."

On having the year he has had after injury
"I felt like I was losing sight of what I was playing for. Being out made me look in on this football program and how I could contribute and make the team better. As far as me being out, having the opportunity to come back made me play for something."

On confidence in the team
"We've built a lot of chemistry in the last few games. This spring and summer we're going to work out hard and build even more chemistry."

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