Sept. 15, 2007
Houston 34, Tulane 10
Tulane Game 2
New Orleans, La.
Bob Toledo - HEAD COACH
"As I told the team, I'm disappointed we lost the football game, you never like to lose. One thing I did tell the team after the game was that I was proud of the effort that they gave us throughout. We never caved in or gave in to it, but we spotted them 24 points at half. When you let them get six out of seven on third down - one of those was a fourth-down play - and you get only one out of seven, have dropped balls and interceptions, you need to execute better.
"Offensively, we did not catch the ball well at all, and that was very disappointing. We didn't do well on third downs. Defensively, we did not get off blocks, and we didn't tackle extremely well. And you have to give credit to [Houston], they're a pretty good football team."
On if anything happened during the week to hamper Tulane's preparation for tonight's game
"We didn't practice Tuesday, and that's our physical day. It rained, and we were in the gymnasium, and I think that showed up on the field. That hurt us, because Tuesday's our big day, and we didn't get the practice tackling. I'm not making any excuses, but I am trying to look back and figure out what happened."
On the play of back-up quarterbacks Anthony Scelfo and Kevin Moore
"I was pleased when Anthony (Scelfo) went in, and we had a16-play drive. We put Kevin Moore in, and he went down and got us a touchdown. So we gave them an opportunity, they took advantage of it, and they didn't quit."
On the execution of his offense against the Cougars
"It's obvious when you don't execute things, it doesn't matter who you play, you don't win. When you don't throw and catch, when you don't get off blocks and tackle, and I don't think they did anything particularly different than what we've seen on film, but we didn't get it done."
On the running game vs. the passing game
"We ran the ball when we had the opportunity to. Forté had 85 yards rushing, so I think we ran the ball better. But it's hard to stay with your game plan when you're down by 24. That's the problem. We had to come out and throw the ball, and then we dropped passes."
"Our kids were getting frustrated about it, no question, because on third-down plays we're hitting them in the hands and they're dropping the ball. All-in-all, if we catch the ball, it's a different ball game."
On quarterback Kevin Moore and the quarterback position
"I thought he did some nice things. I thought he showed a lot of composure for someone who had never been in a college football game, and he did some nice things. I'll have to look at the film, but I thought he looked good. Someone asked me about the quarterback position, and (Scott) Elliott's the starter. It's not his fault we lost the football game. We would have liked (Elliott) to hit that first play of the game, that could have been big for us, and then he threw the interception. But it's not all his fault."
On where the Tulane team goes from here
"You can never stop getting better. We isolate time every day just to work on the fundamentals, but losing Tuesday really hurt because we had no individual drills, period, no kicking, period, and we only had about 40 minutes of practice."
On making changes at the quarterback position
"I need to see who our quarterbacks were playing against, whether it's against their second-string defense or their first. Whether I would pull (Scott) Elliott earlier or not, that all remains to be seen. This was a league game, and we needed to win this game to be in the hunt, and I wouldn't have played a bunch of quarterbacks in this game if I didn't think we needed it to win. I didn't do it merely to give those guys an opportunity to play."
On Houston's offense
"Houston had great speed, and a great offense. They had more yards against Oregon than they did against us. They spread you out and isolate you, and if you miss a tackle, then they get big runs."
SOPHOMORE - QUARTERBACK
On trying to create a spark in the second half
"We couldn't get anything going all game, but we weren't quitting. That's not what our team is like and that's not how we're built. We're going to go hard till the end. We were just trying to give a different pace out there maybe add a little spark and see if we could get something going. We're going to fight until the end and that showed in our last drive. I was just trying to get the guys going and see if we could get a score up on the board in the second half."
On preparing for the game
"I prepared myself like I was going to play. There's no telling going into every game, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I just prepared myself all week in case I got the call and I did, and that was it."
SENIOR - RUNNING BACK
On the offensive struggles
"Yes, I think we were 1-for-7 on first downs in the first half. We sustained drives and then we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot with dropped balls and interceptions. We can't do that if we want to keep driving the ball and keep the defense off the field. We have to eliminate these mistakes."
On whether or not Houston did a great job on defense covering the holes so they couldn't convert
"No, not really. The holes were there and we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We were driving the ball down there and then on third down we couldn't convert. If you can't convert third downs then you can't keep driving the ball."
On what went wrong offensively
"We had a few dropped balls and if we had caught them it would've been first down. It was basically execution. We couldn't execute on third down."
JUNIOR - QUARTERBACK
On being frustrated with his receivers because of dropped passes
"Yeah, it's frustrating...but you can't let that bother you. You just have to look past it and look forward to the next set of downs. I thought we had good effort all night. I thought our offensive line played well. I thought they blocked really well, both pass and rush. We just didn't execute."
On never seeming to find a rhythm offensively
"I think that's the thing, we just weren't executing. If you don't execute, you don't score. It was just a long night offensively."
On whether Tulane was surprised with how Houston played
"No, they did everything we thought they were going to do and we had a game plan for it. We just couldn't get it done. They didn't surprise us with anything."
SOPHOMORE - WIDE RECEIVER
On whether he felt pressure to score
"I didn't feel that at all. We were just trying to get back in the game and we did what we could. I didn't feel like there was any pressure or anything like that. We just didn't execute."
JUNIOR - SAFEY
On Houston's Offense
"We just had to get off blocks, play faster and make tackles. It wasn't anything we couldn't handle. We need to correct our mistakes and do better next time."
On whether Houston's offense was confusin
"I think they tried to make it confusing, but we had a good strategy. I think they made it complicated and we kept it simple. We had people out there who could handle any type of personnel formation and our game plan was good. We just didn't execute at some points, but they didn't confuse us too much."
JUNIOR - LINEBACKER
On how much Houston's speed was the difference in the game
"They were pretty fast. We were getting there, but we just weren't making the tackles. I'll give them their credit they were pretty fast and we were there, but we just missed tackles."
ART BRILES - HEAD COACH
On whether he was upset that more points were not scored by his team
"No, no - particularly with the win. It's hard to win anytime, anywhere, any place. We knew Tulane would come in here and play tough, and we're just happy to get out of here with our first conference win. We had four conference games last year on the road. We came from behind to win on three of them and lost the other one."
On the efficient play of quarterback Blake Joseph
"I think (Blake Joseph) did a good job, not starting, then coming in and keeping us going. Case (Keenum) came out and started and made a couple of mistakes. That's what I've been saying all along - people are worried about the quarterback position. I'm not worried about it. We've got two guys that can play, and that's kind of like having a pitcher. If a pitcher is hot, you leave him. If he starts giving up runs, you pull the other guy in there. It's a comfortable situation, too, as our guys have confidence in both of them."
On why he went back to Keenum in the third quarter after Joseph seemed to be doing well
"We felt pretty comfortable with the game at that time. I felt like Case needed to get some more reps. It's not a deal where we were feeling like Blake wasn't doing well, because we thought Blake really did well. We felt like Case needed to get in there and get some plays. He actually did a really good job, and we had what should have been a potential touchdown, but ended up being a fumble."
On his team's defensive effort in the game
"That's how you win football game. You win football games by playing great defense. Our guys played great defense tonight. We really felt good about our first line guys, thought they did a great job. I don't know anything about the stats, but they did a great job and that's why we won the game."
On the two red-zone turnovers
"We've very concerned. We've played two games. It's not like we've been out there and had a lot of snaps. These guys haven't had a lot of reps, so we'll continue to get better. That's all we can do. We've got some experience now that we can rely on teaching from, so we'll learn from it and get better."
On his team's advantage of speed in the game
"We like to think we're a fast football team. We like to play fast, we like to execute fast on both sides of the ball. So, that's the style that we try to play with. We still have a long way to go."
Thoughts on being the focus of the defense
"It was a fun game. It always feels good to win, especially in the conference. To win the championship, you have to win in the conference. It was a big win for us on the road."
On his long touchdown play
"It was the same play that we ran against Oregon, but to the opposite side. It took a long time for it to develop because the end didn't rush like we thought he would. I thought Blake was going to throw it in the ground, but he actually threw it to me. I just tried to make a couple of people miss, and we had some great blocking downfield and we got into the end zone."
On what went through his mind after he caught the ball
"Get some yards. At least get a first down. When I saw it was open field, I just used God-given talents to see, and just get to the end zone."
On what it means to get off to a good start
"It feels great. It's always hard to go on two road games. There are not too many people who have two road games to start. It's like Coach told us, to be 1-1 right now is a good thing. We've just got to stay winning."
On the importance of fresh legs behind him
"I appreciate it. I'm glad I didn't have 20 carries this game. It's still good to be on the sideline watching these guys perform. They did a great job, especially Ganaway - he did a really good job relieving me."