August 29, 2000
Coach Dana Dimel:
"When you start off your first ball game as a head coach at a new school, obviously that first game is going to be one that you remember for a long period of time. Going into this ball game and having the opportunity to a play a team across town in a rivalry that is not only one of two Division IA cross-town rivalries in the country, but it is also a neat opportunity to play a team that has a Southwest Conference rivalry tied to it as well. This is a definitely a game that is going to appeal to fans from both institutions."
"As we go into this ball game, it is very simple preparation as far as we know what we have to do to win the ball game. To win a game against a football team like Rice, the main thing is defense. There is a lot of talent that is itching to prove themselves within our defensive system. We feel that we have a strong game plan for defending the option and we are going to be aggressive in attacking it."
"Offensively, we are a very confident team behind the leadership of the most experienced Division IA quarterback, Jason McKinley. We feel like in many ways our system fits Jason and what he brings to the table. We also feel very strongly about the starters on our offensive line. They bring extreme athleticism and talent."
"One of the things that we are really trying to stress with our football team is trying to eliminate unforced errors. That is something that our football team has really worked on during the off-season and the entire eight months that we've been here."
"Overall, this will be a fun venue to start off with a cross-town rivalry for the city of Houston. We want to continue to increase the enthusiasm involving college athletics in this city and we feel like this ball game is a big part of that equation. We want our fans to leave the stadium thinking that our football team plays as hard as any football team in the country. We feel like the only way that you get to that point is by practicing to that level and having yourself conditioned enough that you can play extremely hard every snap of the ball game."
"We are coming in this year realizing that last year we had a great defense and so the expectations are much higher. This year we just want to come in and step up to the challenge."
On Rice's new QB:
Defense dominated Rice game last year/comparison of defensive lines of both teams;
On beating out Leif Penn for the starter's job:
On old offensive line of last year:
On whether QB Jason McKinley is different this year:
Importance of game in getting off to a good start:
"At first I had a few questions about the kind of team we were going to be, but now I'm pretty confident that this team is going to be pretty competitive. We're definitely going t win some ball games this year."
"I think that this year we will have a balanced running and passing game that is not so much focused on one player. I just want to do my part within the system that Coach Dimel has set up for us."
On what he learned from Ketric Sanford and Mike Green: