Nov. 10, 2011
No. 11 Houston 73, Tulane 17
Tulane Game 11
New Orleans, La.
INTERIM HEAD COACH Mark Hutson
On Tulane's first possession
"On the first possession we held the ball for seven minutes, 15 plays, we called a play action, ran Ryan (Griffin) out, we had a guy open in the back of the endzone. It's difficult for some quarterbacks to throw to the left side of the field. Ryan has made those throws. He didn't want to throw it over his head. I asked him, coming off, I said, `Ryan, what happened? Why didn't you turn it loose?' He said, `Well, I didn't want to throw it over his head.' We ended up under-throwing the ball, the guy was able to react and make the interception. When you go against them, as you saw tonight and in previous games, when you have opportunities, you have to cash them in.
"Charles Sims made some big plays. Defensively, mid-way through the second quarter we had played well. There were some big runs. Their running back was able to split the seams. We had some one-on-one players in position able to make the tackle. On the goal line, we hit him and fell off, and he was able to make the (TD) run. A lot of credit goes to him, he's a tremendous athlete, very talented. We didn't fill the holes or stop the cuts. In previous games, we held them (runners) from the big plays. Certainly, that was not the case tonight. Sims with screen plays and the runs. They were able to hit some deep shots, ones they hit various times in the year. Those were because of coverages. We didn't provide coverage with their tempo, we checked with their checks. They would see a blitz, we would check out of it, they would check out of a play. It worked well at times. At times, it didn't. Their receivers, I watched the replays, made unbelievable catches. My hat goes off to them. They're talented, we knew that coming in, and they displayed that tonight."
On talking to the team
"I made the mistake one time, we beat Missouri, when I was a player, 77-0. I wondered how they felt. Years later in 1995, at Murray State, we played Western Illinois. We had 2 punt return TDs in that game and lost 73-17. I had a twelve hour bus ride, so I told them we couldn't do anything for the seniors then. They responded, they had pride, class like this team, and went on to win two Conference Championships, 23 games and only lose 2. I told them they had to learn that. I feel in my heart they have that pride. They have the character. I told them the truth, as coaches and players when you get beat 73-17, you're frustrated young and old alike. You have those emotions, but we have two games left. Two games left to make the best of it for our seniors and for the underclassmen to learn from it. Saturday, we hope to play well against Rice."
On Orleans Darkwa's effort
"He made a great effort on 3rd and short breaking the big play of the game, down 14-0. They were able to catch him from behind. They have a lot of speed. He was able to finish and put us on the board. He's a competitor, seeing him in the locker room with tears in his eyes."
JUNOIR LINEBACKER Trent Mackey
On the first quarter
"Well that gave us a lot of hope, when offense is moving the ball and scoring points, that keeps the defense off the field and wind down the clock and that is all we can do."
On Case Keenum
"He's a phenomenal quarterback and those receivers are really fast. We just needed to match routes and read keys better and stick to our receivers. They were running all over the place, catching the ball and going. I think the game had a loss on explosive plays. I don't think they put any drives together. It was just big plays over 20-30 yards. Being that they did that, there's nothing we can do about it."
On his performance
"It's really not about me individually anymore. It's about this team. We're trying to send the seniors out with a good bang. So if I get 9, 10 tackles, doubles digits, it's whatever. I'm just proud to be a part of this team."
On having two games left
"Team goals are to try to win out. That's all we can do is win our last two away games. Personal goals would be all-conference, all-American and just be the best at what I do."
SOPHOMORE RUNNING BACK Orleans Darkwa
On his performance
"It was decent. I kind of miss a couple of those here and there, but when there was a hole wide open I had to hit it, so the line did a great job of blocking overall. Performance doesn't mean anything unless you come out with a `W' in the end."
On moving up the record book
"Personally, yeah it does mean a lot. Coming in, I wanted it, I had expectations. Touchdowns, yardage, and most importantly the W. Meeting some of those goals are a good thing for me, but at the same time I want this team to win. That's what my number one priority is."
On his goals with two games left
"To win two games. That my goal and the team's goal to come out and finish the season strong."
HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN
"It was a different game. They controlled the ball the first quarter, we had it one time, I think. We got behind in penalties. One time, I think we had four penalties and they didn't have any. If there's anything we can do better, I think in the last couple of weeks, we've had a rash of penalties. Three weeks before that when we played Rice we had one penalty. Our guys are playing hard. They've got energy, they like each other, they like how they're playing, they compliment each other, and I'm pretty happy with where we are right now ten games into the season."
On the offense
"We're okay. We were a little bit off tonight. They did some things that were really kind of interesting, they had a little different game plan, playing some two-man and that's when Charles took over. What can you about Charles Sims? We didn't play Mike Hayes tonight. Bryce returned after a couple weeks out, so we held Mike out. Those guys did a great job. The offense line gave up a couple sacks. All in all I thought, you know it's kind of hard to argue with seven hundred some odd yards and how our guys performed."
On Mike Hayes
"Just resting. Just from last week . He got a little nicked up last week. Mike's been playing great all year. He's special teams, running the ball, taking some hits. We got Bryce back and we thought if we get through the game without [Hayes], he could have played tonight but I just think he needed a little bit of time off. We got a stretch of games here that we're going to need all three of those guys."
On Charles Sims and offensive line
"Yeah, I thought the offensive line did well. We've been pretty efficient throwing the ball the last couple of weeks. They played some two-man, where their two safeties are high, they play man-to-man on the receivers and they get their backs turned. If you can block the four down guys, then you're in the second level automatically. When Charles gets down the field, it's `good luck tackling him by yourself,' It was good to see us be able to deal with that, the last couple weeks we've dealt with some pressure packages where we've had to throw it. They played some man under and put some help over the top, it was good laying on their part. We were able to get some creases with Charles Sims and we're extremely efficient that way."
On special teams
"We're manufacturing points in all kinds of ways. Last week, we manufactured an interception return for a touchdown. We got two punt returns for touchdowns tonight. Everybody's getting in on the act, this time of year you need that. The ability to manufacture points all kinds of ways this late in the season is great."
QUARTERBACK CASE KEENUM
On the relentlessness of their offense
"It was a little funky, at first, but you have to give Tulane credit for coming out and executing their gameplan well and keeping us off of our stuff. They got us in some third and long. Really long, like third and twenty, third and fifteen, and you just can't do that and be successful. I think once we got it going, we got it going and it just keeping the ball rolling now."
On coming out a little earlier than usual
"It was weird. It was a long second half. I thought Cotton played really well. I am glad to see him getting some good plays in there. I think it was a great overall team win. Coach said that everyone on the plane that came with us got to play."
On the 66-yard touchdown pass
"It was single-high. We just wanted to take a shot and I had a guy in my face. I just wanted to put it up and let him make a play. He is a playmaker and he can make extremely big time plays for us and that was a big time play. I didn't even really get to watch it, so I am going to look forward to watch it on film."
On his confidence in his wide receivers
"It is about picking your times to take shots. Obviously, when you have a guy like Charles (Sims) running the ball like he is running the ball, it is hard to not hand him the ball, sometimes. I think it's kind of about whose hot and Charles got hot. Patrick can blow the top off of a play at any time and he did that tonight. It's just about picking the right times."
On Charles Sims
"I've know he was real special, but there were some dirty plays. He is a really special, really talented player and he is a lot of fun to watch. It's nice having him in the backfield next to me."
On getting Bryce back
"He is another punch to have back there in our running game. We need that third wheel for a lot of big plays. He really did well."
On what they are changing from week to week
"You change stuff up from week to week, but not too much. We want to keep doing the things we do well and keep doing them well and then correct our mistakes. You change game plans from week to week depending on the defense, but we try to continue to stay within our offense and within what we do."
On the rest before playing SMU
"It will be nice. It will be a nice weekend. I think we are already, our mindset, is on SMU right now. We are already preparing to play SMU, as soon as possible. We get an extra weekend to rest and recuperate and maybe watch some other college games."
On being 10-0
"It feels good. I remember coming into the season and just thinking `I want to win ten games, that looks good'. This is where all teams want to be at the beginning of the year. We have a lot out in front of us still and we have to approach this next week with a playoff mentality."
RUNNING BACK CHARLES SIMS
On being 10-0
"It feels good to keep on winning. We are just looking for another win (next weekend)."
On his night tonight
"It felt good. I was out in the right position to make plays.