Quotes Following Football's 38-17 Season-Opening Loss To Mississippi State



Sept. 8, 2007

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Mississippi State 38, Tulane 17
Tulane Game 1
Louisiana Superdome
New Orleans, La.


Head Coach Bob Toledo

Overall thoughts on the game
"When you lose a football game you're not happy about it. The players are disappointed and I'm disappointed. But I'm proud of the fact that we kept playing hard to the end. In the first half, we had the two turnovers, which resulted in touchdowns. We came back and fought hard the first half and made it a tied contest at half time. They took the second half kickoff down the field and scored. Then we turned it over. We had a miscue in blocking and a man was turned lose, and (that) caused a fumble. Then we couldn't sustain any drives."

On the play of Mississippi State
"Physically we could not match up with them in the run game. I thought our protection was pretty good, but we could not run the ball. Our defense was on the field entirely too long. It's a tribute to them controlling the football. We couldn't make first downs."

On the play of junior quarterback Scott Elliott
"I thought Elliott managed the game well. He threw a touchdown pass, and overall I thought his percentage was good. The interception was kind of a funny thing. The ball bounced in the air and was intercepted. Those kind of things are going happen."

On the play of senior running back Matt Forté
"Matt (Forté) just couldn't get on track. We couldn't give him any holes to run through. Again, physically we were mismatched a little in that area."

Junior Quarterback Scott Elliott

On the team's performance Saturday vs. Mississippi State
"We had pretty good time in the pocket, but they had us covered up pretty well. I remember specifically that in the second half they started to run some different covers and we just didn't execute."

On what he was facing in Mississippi State's defense
"They have a pretty physical defense. Their defensive line kind of wore us down and we couldn't really run the ball. It's pretty tough. As an offensive it's pretty hard when you can't run the ball."

Senior Running Back Matt Forté

Thoughts on the game
"I feel that it's my fault. I'm a running back it's my job to hold onto the ball."



On the play of quarterback Michael Henig
"He's a valuable person to our program, otherwise he wouldn't be here. He's one that has to play up to his level each and every week. He has to take some accountability for our success. That means getting his job done, learning - having some execution. Step up to be the guy. That's how we basically approach it and he did that tonight. We had some good things. We'll look at film, we'll look at where it all is just like last week. We'll enjoy it for 24 hours and prepare to take on Auburn."

On the importance of the first part of the third quarter
"It's always important. It's something that I looked back at last week. Obviously I thought we had to try to get points on the board. Giving up that touchdown on the interception just before the half. Defensively you can't give up points or offensively you can't give up points to the opposition in the last five minutes of the second quarter. And you go out in the second half and you need to put up points. Whichever unit goes out first, you need to make a statement in the first five minutes of the second half. Our offense did that."

On importance of scoring on next possession after Henig threw interception
"Well it was big. It was important for him more than anything else. It was as important as the third quarter drive for him. Our entire team we were all down, but then we bounced back. He wouldn't let himself get down. He'll learn from it. There are still a couple of things we would like for him to get better at, but we feel like we know what kind of quarterback Mike can be. We probably asked too many demands on him last week and we won't make that mistake again."

On turnovers affecting outcome of game
"You shouldn't have seven [turnovers] for an entire season as far as I'm concerned. I want to play a ballgame where we have zero turnovers. It's a personal thing for us. We can't give up. We can't make mistakes on things that you can control. On some plays we had some un-smart penalties during the course of playing - some penalties of aggression. We've got to correct those, but I can live with those. But offsides, carrying the ball and not protecting the ball - those things you can control."