Las Vegas Bowl Post Game Quotes

quotes

Las Vegas Bowl

Houston Postgame Quotes (Dec. 17, 2016)

Houston Head Coach Major Applewhite

Opening statement…

“First of all this is a great bowl game. Before I get into the bowl game itself, our guys had an outstanding time. There was great hospitality. They enjoyed themselves. Obviously, the game did not go the way we wanted it, but you have got to understand this is one of the best things about college football in terms of the bowl and what we offer student athletes and the opportunity to go somewhere different and have different experiences, and they really enjoyed themselves. I have to give hats off to Las Vegas Bowl and how they treat both teams. It’s just an outstanding bowl; top notch, first class.”

On offense struggles after second quarter…

“Turnovers, turnovers, we had situations where there was miscommunications on a route, miscommunication on a pick six. It really swayed the game. Being down 10, still think you are in the football game in the third quarter and then going down 17 for how we were producing, it became almost insurmountable in some people’s eyes. That is the bottom line. That is what we talked about. Neither team turned the ball over in the first half. It came down to ball security and how we played in the second half, and we did not take care of the ball similar as in the Navy game.”

On coaching first game as head coach…

“In general we stink. We lost. That is how I judge myself as an assistant, as a player and now as a head coach. If you win you did great. If you lose you did bad. Didn’t enjoy it. Doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. When we come back next spring, we lose a great senior class and that is the circumstances. So what is our attitude going forward and how do we prepare.”

On Donnel Pumphrey…

“When you give a great back that many at bats and that many opportunities, one is going to spit at some point and it did.”

Houston DL Cameron Malveaux

On Donnel Pumphrey success after first quarter…

“Nothing really changed as far as our game plan towards him. They just started making plays. It went down to zero count football. Some guys just got to show up and we just did not make enough plays after the first quarter.”

Houston TE Tyler McCloskey

On senior season ending with loss…

“(I feel) terrible. The way it started, they then beat the crap out of us. We did not show up. We didn’t execute the way we needed to. I thought we prepared well. We prepared hard. Obviously it wasn’t good enough. I just hope when they move forward, they should never want to feel like this. Hopefully look at all of us (seniors) and see how … I just got done crying. I hope the underclassmen see that and just understand going forward, getting better.”

San Diego State Postgame Quotes

San Diego State Head Coach Rocky Long

Opening statement…

“I thought it was a really good football game. Coming into the football game I thought both teams were well matched. I have great respect for their new coach and their program because I’ve watched them on TV. That’s the first time I’ve played against them, but I watched them on TV. When they beat Louisville, they beat Oklahoma, and all those types of people that means they’re good football team. Our team played very, very well today. Not only did we play well and beat them, I think we’re a Top 25 team. DJ was able to break the all-time record, which makes it even more special. We’re happy to be sitting here in front of you right now.”

What the win means for the program…

“I think that people maybe know that we’re a pretty good program now that might not have. Because I would guess that since this game was rated like it was, and it’s the first day of bowl season, that there was a lot of people watching. And the kind of national recognition Houston’s gotten over the last two years, you would think that would mean something for us to beat ’em like we did. Hopefully it means we’re going to recruit players like these guys. These were not highly recruited players, but they could play for anybody in the country and be good players for anybody in the country. Hopefully we’ll get some more that want to be a part of our system.”

On second-half adjustment…

‘I thought we really struggled in the first quarter with their quickness and their front seven. They were able to get in the backfield and hit our running backs in the backfield cause we could not get on them to block them or maintain the block. I thought our coaches did a great job on the sideline adjusting how our offensive linemen started to block at the line of scrimmage. We started double-teaming the down linemen and letting the linebackers go and let our running backs try to challenge the linebackers instead of the other way around. With the adjustments our coaches made, our offensive line, fullback and tight ends blocked much, much better. Our running backs are very, very talented, they’re talented guys; they cannot do it without those guys in front of them though.”

On Pumphrey & Penny rushing for over 3,000 yards…

“I’ve been told we’re the first ones to ever do that (in NCAA history), and that’s a credit to our players. I think our coaches do a nice job of evaluating, I think our coaches do a nice job of coaching, but guess what: coaches don’t make plays. Coaches do not win games. Coaches can lose games, but coaches don’t win games – players win games. These guys win the games. All we have to do is make sure they’re in shape, they have the right attitude and give them an honest chance to win and then they go out and win.”

On the three third-quarter interceptions changing the game…

“Any time you have a team that is as explosive as they are, and they run up and down the field and snap the ball every 15 to 18 seconds, I appreciated them slowing down there after a while, when they started looking to the sideline and asking for the right play. I appreciated that they had to slow down because they were averaging about a play every 15 seconds. Obviously when you move like that, and the ball is moving, when you intercept the ball it completely eliminates the momentum they have, it completely changes the momentum to the other side.”

On week-long preparation and curfew…

“I heard a few of them complaining about our curfews and all that stuff, but there’s nothing good that happens after midnight, that’s what my father used to say. And they were there. And they don’t get their per diem unless they show up for curfew, so they all were there because they love money. But I thought they did a nice job. They had a good time, they had fun, especially with each other. The bowl committee did a great job of entertaining us, as I’m sure they’ve done in the past. But our kids also stayed pretty focused on what the situation was with the game. We were told for the last two weeks on how good Houston was: ‘they beat No. 3 Oklahoma! They beat No. 4 Louisville!’ I mean, that’s a big-time football team and it was like we didn’t belong here. But I guess that was wrong.”

RB Donnel Pumphrey

On first quarter play…

“We just went through adversity, and that’s one of those things we had to stay together. Once we went down 10-0 we got it rolling and we were able to move the ball, once that second quarter came. The first quarter they came out with more intensity than we did, at least their defensive side of the ball. Our defense they played great the whole game, they kept us in it, and that’s all we could ask for on our side of the ball. We seen they were clogging the box and blitzing inside, so we were able to get to the edge. Our offense did a great job holding their blocks, and I was able to get the edge.”

On journey to 108 yards…

“It definitely wasn’t easy. They didn’t want me to break it against them. Our offensive line accepted the challenge. At first, they were controlling the line of scrimmage, and then our offensive line, they controlled the line of scrimmage from about the second quarter all the way to the rest of the game. Like I said, our defense, they did great, so it was easier for us to have the ball in our hands and able to keep running the ball.”

On journey to 108 yards…

“It definitely wasn’t easy. They didn’t want me to break it against them. Our offensive line accepted the challenge. At first, they were controlling the line of scrimmage, and then our offensive line, they controlled the line of scrimmage from about the second quarter all the way to the rest of the game. Like I said, our defense, they did great, so it was easier for us to have the ball in our hands and able to keep running the ball.”

On breaking the record…

“I’m honestly blessed to be around these guys right here and just to experience all this with my teammates and my family and my friends – it’s amazing. This is where it all started. Just to end my college career here, it’s amazing. I was more emotional when I broke the record, with my teammates, than I was with my family. It hit me at that point. Just to be able to celebrate with my teammates is amazing.”

On exact play that broke the record…

“Just that play, we were all on the sideline and coming out of a turnover and I just hear all the fans chanting, and all my teammates pumping me up. From that point on I was just trying to hit the outside. I thought I was gone but the guy had a good angle.”

On not being heavily recruited, going to San Diego State…

“San Diego State took a chance on me, and they’re a perfect fit for me. I’m just happy because I seen Ronnie Hillman run the ball just like I was. My uncle questioned me when I chose San Diego State because of the type of offense they ran and my size obviously. But coach (Jeff) Horton trusted me and coach (Rocky) Long trust me as well, and from that point on I just tried to take advantage of every opportunity. My offensive line – past and present – they did a hell of a job.”

On #CBA (Code Black Athletics)…

“We’ve all started a movement. We’re just trying to do great things for everybody. And that starts in school and helping the youth out. That’s what we’re all about, being student-athletes. These kids, they look up to us. We were once in their situation, looking up to a player, so we just try to be a role model to the youth.”

LB Calvin Munson

On seniors…

I’m sure I can speak for everybody, that’s a great way to end the year. That was a big challenge we had. I know everybody’s excited. That was (some) of the most fun I’ve ever had in a game, and I’m sure the same with DJ. We’re all excited for him, but we’re all excited for the team as well. Just the way we ended the year, with a Mountain West championship and a big bowl game like that. That was two of our goals and we accomplished both of them.

On defensive effort in 2nd half…

“Our defense, we feed off each other. We blitz a lot. Coach Long’s philosophy is to kind of get after their team get them on their heels. That’s what we did. Guys were making big plays, turnovers, we just kept feeding off of it. We had like three sacks in a row and guys were getting fired up. It was just a blast out there.”

On interceptions…

“They were moving it, they were marching downfield, their tempo was pretty fast, but the interceptions killed them. We just kept feeding off it. We were blitzing them from all sides, I felt like they started not being able to handle all the pressure and we started getting sacks and picks. It was a lot of fun, I had a blast out there.”

On getting Pumphrey the record…

“We’re just as fired up as he is. He’s a big-time competitor. All of our defensive guys hate him in practice, just cause he’s good, but he gets us better. Everything he’s done really helps our team. It’s a team goal. We’re stoked for him. I know it’s an individual accomplishment, but it’s a huge team accomplishment all thanks to him.”