Mike Price Press Conference Quotes on South Florida Loss, Upcoming Game vs Houston

Mike Price Press Conference Quotes on South Florida Loss, Upcoming Game vs Houston
Monday, September 26, 2011 - 1:38pm

Mike Price Media Luncheon Quotes
September 26, 2011

(Thoughts on Saturday’s 52-24 loss at USF) “I was real proud of the team for the effort that they gave. We hustled really hard and we played within the rules of the game. We had a couple of unsportsmanlike penalties that could’ve gone either way. We had three offside penalties. I thought discipline-wise we played pretty well. We got out-athleted on a couple of runs. We came away from the game with them at least respecting us as a competitive opponent. Obviously we went down there to win, and I thought we had some opportunities where if the ball had gone one way or the other we would’ve come within striking distance of them in the fourth quarter.

“We got through the game pretty much injury-free. But we’re disappointed with the score, disappointed with how it got a little unbalanced there. It’s hard to look at a 52-24 score and say good things about the team, but I still feel like we have a good club. We’re getting healthier. [Adam] Ayala was the only player injured [against USF] with a sprained ankle. He may be able to play on Thursday night. We came away with nobody really seriously injured. USF is really good, and they deserve whatever ranking they have. They’re a good club and have a good chance of winning the Big East.”

(On Carson Meger’s performance at USF)
“I thought he was fabulous in the first half and did a good job throughout the whole game. I know he threw three interceptions and there were reasons for that. But other than five crucial mistakes in the game, he played very well for a redshirt sophomore who had hardly played at all for us. He did everything we expected of him. He’s really tough; he got hit a few times. He threw it accurately, and he did a good job at the line of scrimmage checking in and out of plays. We designed our offense [during the week] thinking he was going to be our starting quarterback. We took Nick [Lamaison] down there and he warmed up, but we did not plan on him playing. We planned on Carson all the way. It’s safe to say that we would be fine with Carson as our number one or number two [quarterback]. We’re practicing today, so we’ll have to see how Nick Lamaison’s arm and shoulder are.”

(On the team’s character this year)
“I think the character of this team is outstanding. I’d like to say every team we coach has outstanding character, but it’s just some of the things that have happened with this team unrelated to football but not unrelated to character. The way we travel, if you’re around them, you talk to them in the hotel, in a restaurant, on a bus or at the airport, the way this team carries itself I have no problem leaving them alone by themselves. Their character will continue to be outstanding.”

(On being a second half defensive team)
“We’re a lot better in the second half than the first half on defense. I think that has a lot to do with what’s going on in the coaching booth. I think we’re making really good adjustments and settling the players down. It’s not a lot of yelling and screaming and ‘rah rah’ at halftime, it’s intellectually figuring out what the opponent is doing. In the third quarter we stuffed USF. We had some opportunities, we just didn’t quite click in the offense.”

(On Nick Lamaison’s availability against USF) “He probably could have played. If he didn’t get hit he could have played the whole game probably. But there was no intent to play Nick. He’s going to be in a red shirt all week at practice, and we’re not wearing shoulder pads. We just have today and tomorrow [to practice], Wednesday is like Friday [on a regular game week]. If his shoulder’s not really sore when he throws and he can throw deep, he’ll probably start. We’ll know by Wednesday about that. He’s healing very well.”

(On UTEP’s other injured players James Nelson, Travaun Nixon and Germard Reed) “I think everybody else is going to be ready to play on Thursday night. Everyone will practice today. Matt Camilli won’t play and I’m not sure about Adam Ayala.”

(On the Houston game)
“I can’t tell you how important this game is to our community. We’re playing the number one passing team in the country with a Heisman Trophy candidate. They’re not ranked in the top 25, but they probably will be before the year is over. They are a tremendous offensive football team. They have fast running backs, blazers. Case Keenum is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NCAA. He’s a tremendous person, they have a tremendous program, and we’re very excited to have them come back in the Sun Bowl to play the Miners on Thursday night. So it’s really important to me, important to the university, and important to our football team that we get as many people in the stadium as possible and show them what Miner spirit is all about.”

(On what Louisiana Tech did in opening a 34-7 lead on Houston) “I’m still trying to figure that out. We have watched that game. They made some breaks on defense. They got a pick, a fumble recovery, and made some things happen on special teams to get good field position. It isn’t any one thing where we saw a flaw in Houston. I don’t know if Houston was really prepared or ready to play that game until it was almost too late.”

(On facing Case Keenum five times)
“I think that’s illegal and if our compliance people had any guts at all, they would turn the athletic director from Houston in for violations. That Mack Rhoades guy we know real well and know what kind of guy he is, so we’d better double check that thing. I’m kidding.”

(On Case Keenum)
“I think he’s one of the best I have ever coached against or played against. I played against Bo Burris in the first collegiate game on Astroturf, Washington State Cougars against Houston Cougars. With Case, it’s both his ability and the system that makes him so good. He’s really quick in the pocket, he’s very athletic, he throws a crisp accurate ball and he knows what he’s doing. He knows the offense, he knows where to go with the ball, he knows where the receivers are and when they catch it they can fly. It’s like handing off the baton on a track team. They can run like crazy. I don’t want to get in a scoring contest with them because they can score from anywhere on the field.”

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