Quotes Following Football's 55-45 C-USA Win Over UAB



Oct. 27, 2012

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Tulane 55, UAB 45
Tulane Game 8
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, La.


HEAD COACH Curtis Johnson

Opening Statement
"It was a great day for our quarterback. He threw for 466 [yards]: a school record. He's putting up arena league numbers. If we had quarterback ratings, I think he'd lead the world in quarterback ratings. He was just sensational. I thought our team fought hard. Our defense would bend, but didn't break. They created turnovers, and I thought that was a key also. Today we also ran the ball well. We're starting to balance this thing out a little better offensively. We're throwing it around a little bit and we did well today against a good opponent."

On Griffin setting new school record
"I'm not really surprised that Griffin could do it. But I'm happy for him because he works so hard coming off an injury that could have sidelined him for the year; his courage to come back and throw it and control the game. He controlled the game perfectly just like we talked about. I'm just so proud of him."

On Xavier Rush and secondary
"We kind of ran our offense. We didn't really pinpoint anything specific. We just thought we had some players we could go to and get those guys open. I put a lot of heat on them because (Justyn) Shackleford wouldn't be up this week and all of those guys really came through for us."

On scoring 55 points
"Maybe I can sleep this week because last week I didn't sleep again. It was hard sledding; it was uphill most of this year. We're starting to relax and play better football."

On total high scoring games
"One thing about the defense now we have a lot of guys out right now and a lot of guys who haven't practiced all week. I'm proud to see those freshmen making plays. (Lorenzo) Doss had two interceptions, (Darion) Monroe had a bunch of tackles again, Jordan Batiste covered well. Those guys are young. Royce (LaFrance) played well, Calvin (Thomas) played well. All those young guys are getting some experience. Those guys will be here the next three years."

On experience of Ryan Griffin
"What he is is he's cool about everything. He knows how to work the clock, he knows what he's doing, he communicates with us well on the sideline. You do need a guy with experience, but I also think that you need a smart guy to do it and that's what we have. I think we have some smart guys on the team."

On third downs
"That was another thing we wanted to challenge: the third down percentage. Just having the ball in Griffin's hands. He understands exactly the package we were doing today. He knew what we wanted to do. When he's playing like that you just put the ball in his hands. He's something else on those third downs. I was proud of him for that too cause our numbers dipped form the first week."

On one key part of game
"The one back shoulder to (Ryan) Grant was something else. Then that touchdown to (Wilson) Van Hooser was like beauty, it was just a pretty play. I just like how (Griffin) managed the game."

On UAB's second half comeback
"I think they have a real good team. You're going to see that Darrin Reaves; He's going to be playing on Sunday. They have a really good team. They score points against everybody they play. I just think their physical, they play well. They play hard. It's just we got these turnovers and that's the difference in the game."

On special teams' performance
"Our special teams have been playing well all year. Cairo (Santos) is doing well; Billy [Johnson] is doing well. Recovering kicks, finally we're getting guys to run down. They're playing well on special teams."

On use of shotgun snap
"We give him three options. I don't want to get to telling him exactly what to do all the time because he's well enough, he's old enough, he's mature enough to do that. We give him these options and he's handling those options well. You see me get mad sometimes because it wasn't my option, it was his option. A couple of times it wasn't my option and it scored. It just depends."


Overall thoughts on the win
"The D did a great job at the end getting those interceptions. Hats off to UAB for keeping it close at the end and keeping the pedal pressed down. But it was just a great job by the offense overall. 55 points is huge, no matter if it is Conference USA or not."

On his record-setting performance
"It's pretty good. I'll take it, as long as we win. I was out counting defensive players at the end because I just wanted to win. This is a huge testament to the summer work, spring work, fall work, everything. The O-line, the receivers, the backs, everyone did a great job. That's what all of it is is just all of our hard work. It feels good to have something like that and it feels even better in a win."

On the receivers stepping up to fill in for Justyn Shackleford
"I'm not sure how many receivers caught balls, but I'm sure it was a lot. Everyone stepped up. I thought they did a great job."


On getting his running game back and getting into the end zone
"It feels great. You know, it's been a long time. I haven't had a rushing touchdown in 8 weeks or so. It's great, and it's all on the O-line. They get the credit, it is 100 percent them."

On the running game helping the offense
"It definitely kept us balanced. The play action helped to get the receivers open. Our balance kept them from being able to know what we were going to do."

On Griffin setting the school record
"We expect it. He is that type of quarterback. He was slinging it the whole game, and he deserves it."

On picking up another win
"Obviously it's great. Our second win this year, and we aren't done yet. Tomorrow we are on to Rice and we have to get prepared for them."


On the overall game and win
"This is nice. We started off very fast, and coach told us that was our plan. Offense and defense, we both started quickly and put ourselves into a position to take the lead. We had a lot of fun out there."

On the back-and-forth game
"It was kind of like a shootout. I knew if we could get a stop that they wouldn't be able to stop our offense, so we just needed one stop. We got the ball for our offense and they were able to score."

On the offense keeping the defense off the field
"They moved the ball well. We had two rushing touchdowns, which we haven't had a lot of. They were able to move the ball through the air and on the ground which was really nice. I like being off the field."


On his two interceptions
"I just thank Jordan Baptiste for the first pick, because he made a great play on the ball and when it bounced off his shoulder pads I was able to grab it. I just went with it. The second pick I just jumped the route and I was off to the races. I don't know how they got me for stepping out of bounds."

On the atmosphere since the offense was doing so well
"We knew we had to get a stop. If we could just get a stop our offense could score easily. Julius Warmsley and Coach Speedy (Lionel Washington) gave us a speech saying we just needed a stop. We were able to get a three-and-out."

On the defensive backs' mindset when the linebackers went down
"As DBs we know we have to bat the ball down and get interceptions. That's our job. When they went down, we knew we had to pick it up even more on the back end."



Overall thoughts on the game
"We didn't play well enough, we didn't play with enough energy, we didn't execute, and we aren't a very well-coached team. I'm disappointed, and I apologize to all of our fans and our supporters, because we are not a very well coached football team."

On biggest defensive problems in the game
"Not really, we just didn't give enough effort, and we just didn't seem like we knew what we were doing."

On Burdette's performance
"I mean, I don't know, it's hard for me to say after we just gave up 55 points to an offense that, you know, has not done very well."

On moving Cody Payne to defensive line
"We needed help. We had some guys get injured."

On Farmer coming back
"He was held out all week and he wasn't able to do anything, and I guess miraculously on the day of the game, the doctors cleared him to play."

On how well the passing game worked
"Not well enough, when you get into a game like that, you have to duel it out with the other team, you have to score more points than they do. We had breakdowns, we had 4th down miscalls, we had our center snap the ball on the wrong count on 4th and 3, and we had multiple things like that that happened out there; we had a delay of game where we were at the line of scrimmage and they [the offense] forgot what play they called, and so we just have multiple things going on that you just don't get the win when you do certain things like that on the football field."

On rushing game today
"We always want to run the ball, that's how we want our offense to work so we can open up the play action, so you know, we kind of thought that he would have those opportunities; we still want to be a good running football team, we think it's opens up our passing game."


On emotions after the game
"You know, of course we lost, we have to get back in, tomorrow, and we have to get back in the weight room, get into film study, and find out how to play better."

On what he could have done differently
"Well you know, in a game like this, you obviously want to get more stops than the other team and put more points on the board [than the other team], really we just have to focus and play better."

On Darrin's performance
"Darrin always runs hard, I expect this out of him, as an offensive line guy, we got some good push, and we buy well at the point, so he was able to do his thing."

On being able to score
"I'm just doing what I've been coached to do, and they put me in the right spot at the right time, and I just made the plays."


On emotions after this tough loss
"It hurts, there's no doubt about that. There's nothing you can do about it now, that game's in the past, now we're fighting for ourselves, our teammates, and our pride."

On being unable to keep up with Tulane
"You know, it was a battle, every game is a battle, especially when you're in Conference, and at the end of the day we just didn't execute enough plays to make it happen."


On emotions in the locker room after the loss
"We are all pretty disappointed because we know we should've won that game, so, that's our biggest emotional disappointment right now."

On Tulane being able to score a lot against the defense
"It wasn't anything about their offense, it was just us not executing the plays, mental errors by us."

On moving on from this game
"We just have to come back Sunday and watch the film, fix the mistakes, that's all we can do."