Mike Price Media Luncheon Quotes
September 12, 2011
“Reflecting on Saturday night’s game, I thought our team played with really good effort. We played very hard, we hit well and we hustled. We played pretty smart. And we also played a real good football team.
“The first half was kind of like a tennis match. We just didn’t match their touchdowns with touchdowns, and missed a field goal and made a field goal. At 21-10, we had a 16-play drive right before the half that ended in a blocked field goal. We could have gone in with some outstanding momentum (at halftime) with a field goal or a touchdown. But we did put together a nice drive, and took care of the ball for about seven minutes.
“We regrouped at halftime, made some changes and got our confidence back. We felt like we were in the game. And then in the second half we had a nice eight-play drive going before Nick [Lamaison] got hurt. Jay [Hall] went in and struggled a little bit, then got it going. We had one good drive, and Jay got us on another drive that ended on their 20-yard line with a tipped ball for an interception. We had a guy open in the flat and their guy just made a great play.
“We held them, they punted the ball to the one-yard line and we tried a deep pass. They bit on Donavon Kemp and Jay started to throw the ball, and we had maximum protection and it could’ve been a 99-yard touchdown pass. Their guy made a great play, Jay fumbled, they scored a touchdown and we lost the game. We made one out of three field goals, and one of them would’ve helped us get closer. We lost two of our best players for a while, Germard Reed and Nick Lamaison, and still had a chance to win and just didn’t get it done.”
(On Germard Reed’s health)
“Germard Reed is neurologically fine. He didn’t chip any bone. The tests were all precautionary. He had an MRI last night. He stayed down there [in Dallas] for a day, and he has all the feeling back. He feels fine, his neck is sore and he probably had a concussion as much as anything. He may be out for a couple of weeks, but we’re glad nothing serious happened. He had a neck brace on yesterday but will probably take it off today. He has been fully checked out by numerous physicians.”
(On who will deep snap with Matt Camilli out) “I think we’ll do it like we did in the game [at SMU]. I was very pleased with our backups. Camilli will be out for a while, his separation is more severe than Nick’s. He’ll be out for six weeks. Anthony Puente came in and snapped for punts and Adam Ayala snapped for PAT field goals, and they did a great job in a pressurized situation.”
(On how the offensive game plan will change with Jay Hall at quarterback) “We’ll probably be limited a little bit more. That’s part of the job we’ll have to do this week, to look at what Jay does well and what he doesn’t do as well and pick the stuff he’s good at and go with that, rather than force him to do something he’s not as strong at.”
(On if the Miners will have to run the ball more with Lamaison out) “I think it’s something we’ve really got to look at, whether we run the ball more because it’s pitiful right now. We didn’t run very much, we should’ve run more, but it’s difficult to run the ball when everybody is stacked inside and they’re blitzing. They came with the kitchen sink and therefore the runs are very difficult.
“I think the offensive line had a rough night. Lamaison got hit a lot. We got into a situation where we were almost throwing on every down. The run wasn’t a threat. That’s why we need to have the run. That defensive line of SMU’s is excellent.”
(On UTEP’s offensive performance at SMU) “Our receivers, other than a couple of guys, caught the ball. We’re getting the ball in there but Nick was getting hit more than we’d like to. We have to be able to screen and draw and do some things to take away from the rush. Last year NMSU blitzed us twice, but two years ago they blitzed us 30 times. DeWayne Walker probably has the same playbook June Jones had, to dial up the blitz.”
(On the defense playing better in the second half of both games) “I don’t know why that is. Maybe we just get the tempo of the game down. That’s interesting how that happened. Both weeks we didn’t play real well in the first half.”
(On playing disciplined football)
“We didn’t get penalized much [at SMU]. So we’re playing pretty smart. We’re disciplined right now. We’re pretty good. We need to improve and get better and stick together, but we will.”
(On NM State)
“This week’s game is going to be a lot of fun. This is the best Aggie team I’ve seen since I’ve been here. Hal Mumme had it going good one year, but it was more Mumme’s offense and Joe Lee Dunn’s defense that bothered me more than the players. They have done a great job in recruiting and they play hard. They’re real aggressive. They made big plays against Minnesota. Their quarterback was 12-for-12 at one point. [Traveon] Rogers made two touchdowns against Minnesota that were tremendous catches. These are as fast and good of wide receivers as I’ve seen at NMSU. They have the best running back we’ve faced this season in Robert Clay. He’s fast and quick and hard-nosed. Their quarterback spread it around to about 10 receivers against Minnesota. They rushed poorly against Ohio, but they really improved that. DeWayne is a scheming coach who isn’t afraid to change things up. He will try to find your weakness and exploit it, so I don’t know what they’re going to do on defense. With DeWayne, there’s nothing he hasn’t seen and he could adopt any of the blitzes SMU did with his unit. This is one of the best Aggie teams I’ve seen, so it’s going to be a real competitive game and a real challenge for the Miners.”