Quotes Following Tulane's 45-3 Win over UTEP



Nov. 23, 2013

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HEAD COACH Curtis Johnson
Opening Statement...
"I thought this team, UTEP, they were a good them, but they were a little bit undermanned, they had some injuries as well. I thought that our team played very well today as well, we started in the trenches, and both our offense and defense played very well today. I think when we have a chance to run the ball, our offense works that much better, and I think we did a very good job of that today, allowing our offense to play very well."

On Tulane's improvement this season...
"Like I said, you look back on the program at the end of the day, and at the end of the season you look back and see the cut-ups and I'll be able to tell you guys what I really think, but I thought this was a fun game for us. I thought our guys played really well, they played very loose out there, and we had a very good ballgame."

On Nick Montana improving...
"Nick is improving every day. He played very well today, and you know, you may not see it out there, but Nick is healing, he's still healing. He was more effective in practice as well; he's healing and continuing to heal and get better and better. As long as he's continuing to get healthier, we have a good chance to win."

On Darkwa and Grant...
"I thought Darkwa had one of his best games that I've seen in a while, just running the ball, being physical, and doing all of it. Grant's been playing well all year, he made some spectacular plays today, some good catch-and-run plays as well, and he did a phenomenal job also."

On Jarrod Franklin...
"He's a young kid with a lot of energy, a lot of emotions, and this was his type of game. They played a lot of 21 and 12, which is two tight ends and two running backs, which is the type of game that he can run in and he can tackle, so he's just one of those guys who you love. This is what he's been practicing all year, so when he gets in these situations, he's ready to go. Derrick Strozier is a little bit small for that, so we like to play the pounding games with Franklin, and he played phenomenally."

On not controlling destiny...
"It is what it is. We put ourselves in this whole so, we just have to go out and play, do what we need to do, and try to win; after that we can see what happens."

On Powell and Montana's progressions...
"I thought both of them played very well. Montana got in there and moved the ball well; he kept the chains moving as well. Devin got in there and made some timely throws. They both looked really good, which is what you want to see, considering you've got one guy who's been hurt for several weeks, and so you don't want to throw everything on him, along with keeping the other kid fresh, which is exactly what we are doing. We're playing them both; we always say the third series will be Powell."

On senior efforts...
"What's hard about these seniors is that, whenever there's a coaching change, there's that atmosphere that you're not necessarily accustomed to. I thought these seniors have played and contributed extremely well. They haven't complained, they've played extremely well, they come out to practice every day and give it their all, they're all graduating, so this is a great building block of a senior class. I'm so proud of these guys, each and every one of them."

On this win being a good top to a season...
"Yeah, well what I like about this is, when you have a team that is dealing with distractions, like this team is, they come out and they begin to leave the distractions alone and begin to play. That's what this team is doing."

On Mike Henry...
"We like Mike, Zach was a little beat up all week and he didn't much in practice, you guys saw that, so we just wanted to make sure that he was healthy, and we wanted to get Mike some reps because Mike took a majority of the reps in practice."

QB Nick Montana
From an offensive standpoint, talk about how the game went today.
"We did what we needed to do. We made plays on 3rd down so we could keep going. I think we scored on every drive except for the one that we missed on 4th and one, so I'd say we played pretty well."

Talk about the running game.
"When we run like that it always helps; takes some pressure off of the QB. We were able to play action, which helps a lot."

What happened with UTEP, that really helped you guys win today.
"They allowed us to hit some blitzes, so we made some big plays there."

CB Lorenzo Doss
Talk about the defense today. "We worked hard, and made some good plays. We watched that play on film, and we just knew what to do."

Talk about senior night.
"It was great. I said I'm going play this for ya'll, and come out with a victory."

RB Orleans Darkwa
Talk about getting 100 yards, touchdown, and it being your last game. "It was really special. Last time in the
superdome with this group of guys, it was amazing. More exciting to get that victory."

Talk about your career at Tulane.
"It's an amazing experience, that's one of the main reasons I came here. Being able to come in and play in such a presitigious arena, it's amazing. I'm going cherish it forever."

DT Julius Warmsley
Talk about senior day, and how special it was to win your last game in the dome. "The main thing I look back on is all the other seniors' senior days, and knowing that we couldn't pulled it off without them. Trying to perpetuate the changing atmoshphere at Tulane. We couldn't do it for them, but we got it here. It kinda sucks we're leaving at the start of it."

Talk about how special it is to be going to a bowl game.
"Bowl game and a possible conference championship, its special. Its undescribable. Its more like I wanna thank everybody: the players for working so hard, you for interviewing me, everybody. Its not just the football team, its everybody around that has really helped."

On today's performance
"They whipped us thoroughly on both sides of the ball. We couldn't run the ball efficiently. They really got after our quarterback when we tried to drop back. They were able to move the ball at will. It was a great effort by them and a poor effort by us."

Talk a bit about the game and how you guys were feeling on the field? "It was a great feeling, first of all, playing in the Superdome. We've just got to get better in all key parts of the game. Offense, defense, all of it."

On communication within the team?
"We communicated. It was about keeping it together. Taking it play by play."