POSTED: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 2:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 7:28pm
Mike Price Media Luncheon Quotes
November 7, 2011
(Thoughts on Saturday’s 41-37 loss at Rice) “The Rice game was a real disappointment. We just felt like we had a legitimate chance to win and let it slip away. Maybe that’s what bothers me the most in coaching is losing the games you think you should win, and it has happened to me several times in that stadium and in the city of Houston. I wasn’t happy about it and neither were the players. They were as unhappy and frustrated as the coaches. Sunday’s meeting was silent. There wasn’t anybody saying anything. Our players were concerned about their performance. They should be, and I was concerned about our performance and should be. But I believe that our attitude is still going to be good and remain positive. The goals that we had set up before this game still remain a possibility. We can still have a winning season and go to a bowl game. This, however, didn’t help. We’re taking a different approach, a little harder approach to get to that bowl game.
“Going into halftime we were ahead on the scoreboard, and statistically we were never ahead. We had trouble with getting a pass rush on Fanuzzi, their quarterback, and he was really throwing the ball well. They were making good catches and we were a step off in the secondary. I was disappointed that we let him throw for that many yards. That’s the best game he has had at Rice and their running game was really, really good. Meanwhile our offense kind of stammered and stuttered around. We came right out of the box and threw down the sideline for the first touchdown, and they drove the length of the field and scored against us. The energy and enthusiasm didn’t seem to be in our kids at that time.
“On offense we went into the game knowing we wanted to be balanced. We were fairly balanced. We certainly could have, and should have, run the ball more in retrospect. We only had the ball for 21 minutes and they had it for 38. At halftime we were ahead, we made some adjustments, we definitely tried to re-energize our team at halftime with a little motivation. Going into the fourth quarter was a big deal for us. We talked about winning the fourth quarter every single day and going into the fourth quarter it was 31-27, and we had the ball three times and they had it three times. They scored two times and we scored once and we got beat.”
(On whether the Miners should have run the ball more) “I think in retrospect I probably should’ve called more runs. You call a play and it gets stuffed and you move on, rather than going back and saying ‘That play’s really there.’ There are a couple of plays I wish I would’ve run over.”
(On defending two quarterbacks)
“They kind of hurt us in both game plans. We had two game plans, one for when Fanuzzi was in the game and one for when Petersen was in the game. Most of the time you knew who it was going to be. Sometimes they were in there together. But we had a plan for both of them and we just didn’t execute well. Guys were out of position a little more this game than they have been in other games. We just didn’t cover them like we should have.”
(On feeling like it was a winnable game) “I don’t know if we should’ve beaten this team or not, because they played the best football and beat us and we didn’t play well and still came close, but they got the heck beat out of them by Houston on national TV. They were down. They’ve had injured players and for them to come back and play with that kind of spirit is something we should look at. Their coaching staff and players did a great job.”
(On if the defense was tired late in the game) “I don’t think fatigue had anything to do with our defense in the fourth quarter. I don’t think we played as fast as we’re capable of playing. Our coaches in the press box said our team kind of looked slow, and I don’t know why it would’ve been that way, but I think we did look slow.”
(On East Carolina)
“East Carolina has a really good football team and a really good quarterback in Dominique Davis. He’s averaging over 300 yards per game passing and running. Their offense, passing-wise, is the next best in our conference. He’s a senior now, he’s really good and he can run. The offense that they run is a Mike Leach-style offense. It’s an offense without a tight end, with four wideouts in the game all the time and the quarterback in shotgun a lot of the time. They have their leading running back and receiver out for this game, hopefully, but they still have good guys. On defense they run a 3-man defense with a nose guard, two defensive ends and four linebackers, so it’s a linebacker-type defense. Their two best players are their inside linebackers [Jeremy] Grove and [Daniel] Drake. They do blitz a lot and they’ll bring corners, safeties and linebackers. They do more blitzing with corners and safeties than other teams I’ve seen. They’re 4-5. They have exactly the same goals and aspirations that we do. I go on the internet and listen to their coach and players, and it’s pretty much like listening to a recording of our guys. They have three games left to make their season a success. Whoever wins on Saturday will make the least mistakes and will want it the most.”
(On turning it around in the month of November)
“I just want to be with these kids when they win in November. I want to be there with them and see the smiles and see their dreams come true. I like our team chemistry, I like our fellowship with our coaches and I’d like to see them win and I want to be there when they win.”