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Quotes following Tulane's 52-17 loss at Syracuse

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Sept. 21, 2013

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QUOTES Tulane Quotes

Curtis Johnson, Head Coach

Opening statement: "I thought they (Syracuse) played outstanding. I thought they did the things they had to do. They threw it underneath a lot. They played very, very well. I thought Syracuse was big and physical and they beat our quarterback up pretty good. I thought the quarterback (Terrel Hunt) played outstanding. (Justyn) Shackleford played good. (Orleans) Darkwa ran the ball pretty decent. I thought those guys were physical. I thought the coach (Scott Shafer) did a great job preparing them. Those guys played excellent."

On Tulane's special teams: "The special teams really hurt us and has been hurting us last year. We're really good on special teams. We had a young snapper that couldn't go so we played with our backup tight end. He wasn't doing very good like he should have been, but he'll get better. We just have to keep working on our special teams."

On red-zone defense: "I just thought they played physical. They were a good football team and they kind of ran it at us and threw it around a little bit. I just thought that they had our number today. I thought they did an outstanding job. "

On the number of penalties: "There were too many penalties at the end of the half. Guys were going out of bounds and we just have to let them go the best we can and that was our fault. There was jus too many penalties. It's very frustrating. That was one of the things we worked on and one of the things we were better at and then all of the sudden this year's team, and here we go again, back to doing the same things."

On the offense's struggles in the red zone: "Yeah, that was the one thing about us, we're not good enough where we can have penalties and turnovers and be competitive. The penalties are taking us out of scoring position and out of lanes. It forces us to call the perfect play and they can't do that. It's too hard."

On the pressure Syracuse put on Nick Montana: "The defensive front played outstanding. We couldn't block them. Montana did a great job hanging in there and he's a tough kid. He hung in there and I don't know if I could have done it any better. He hung in there and he delivered the ball. He played it very, very well, but they were just big, fast, and physical. It's what we talked about and what we saw on film. They're a good football team. They like to bring pressure and they did it well today"

On score at halftime: "42-17 wasn't very good. I think we got a little bit demoralized. Our kids didn't play well. We had a couple costly injuries. We thought we'd come out and play better, but we just didn't do that. It goes back to Syracuse playing very good defense. They just played well today."

Cairo Santos, K, Sr. On the end of his streak of 26 straight made field goals; "It looked like it was just leakage in the front line. It looked like it was going straight and it felt great on my foot. I think it was just a blocking issue but it was a good run."

On the special teams performance; "It was rough -- a lot of blocking mistakes. We just have to get that fixed. We can't have two blocked punts and one blocked field goal in a game. It's not acceptable to our line so we have to get better."

Peter Picerelli, P, So. On the punts that were blocked; "it's hard to tell right now without looking at the film. We're dealing with a new snapper this week -- Matt Marfisi -- but it's hard to tell without looking at the film whether it's on my end or whether it's a breakdown. I take all responsibility on that and getting the ball off faster. It's something we can't have, especially trying to come in here and win this game."

On Matt Marfisi as the new snapper; "He's done really well -- especially being the starting tight end -- he's done well. It's really not something we were worried about coming into this game until after that first kick. It's something we adjusted after that first kick. Unfortunately it came and happened the second time. Then at halftime we really got to sit down with the whole unit, focus on that breakdown, and obviously it didn't happen again. I honestly wish we could go back and do those first two over but you know it is what it is."

Nick Montana, QB, Jr. On what the Syracuse defensive pressure; "They (Syracuse) didn't really do anything we weren't expecting, we knew that was going to come. We just gave them the game, turnovers and not executing what we had for them. We had a good plan. We were just so up and down that we just gave them the game. The team wasn't that much better than us."

On the overall performance; "We just didn't execute. We just have to execute. We let them (Syracuse) start and let them get momentum and they just kind of road that. We were trying to fight back but we never really got back all the way."