Nov. 5, 2012
(Thoughts on the 45-35 loss at Houston on Oct. 27)
"It seems like it has been a month since we were at Houston. It was the most unusual first half of a game. We just played horrible and turned the ball over six times in total. It's very hard to beat anybody when you do that. I was really proud of the effort of our players in the second half. We didn't give up and we got reenergized with a couple of trick plays. [Jim] Jones threw a touchdown pass. That kind of gave us more energy in the second half. Then we threw Blaire Sullivan, our redshirt freshman quarterback, in there. He broke a long run and ran over one of their defensive backs. And we were jacked up. The next thing you know, we're down 10 points. As much as you can say the word is overused, there is no quit in this Miner football team. We have a tremendous bunch of young men. Everyone is going to class and acting appropriately off the football field and they're fighting hard in each game.
(On his impressions of Blaire Sullivan)
"Blaire Sullivan left the impression with me that he's a college sophomore going out and having fun playing the game. That's the way he played. He was having fun. It's a lot easier when you're third string coming off the bench. Certainly you don't get the pregame hype that you have when you're the guy, especially at the quarterback position. For the last couple of months he has been the one telling everybody what to do. He's holding the clipboard and everybody loves you and then all of a sudden you're the starter. It will be interesting to see what he gets to do this week [against UCF]."
(On Blaire Sullivan's status for UCF)
(Do you wish you had played Blaire Sullivan more earlier in the year?)
"He's going to play. There is no reason for us to announce who our starting quarterback or backup quarterback is going to be. We need every edge we can get against UCF because they are really good. You guys can talk about the quarterback position, but we won't announce who it's going to be until Saturday at 5."
"I guess it's normal to wonder what he would've done against other people. There weren't that many opportunities [to play him]. It's only been three weeks since he has been 100 percent healthy. He had a high ankle sprain and it has taken six or seven weeks to heal."
(On the Miners having the element of surprise in their favor when Blaire Sullivan entered the Houston game)
"Houston probably wasn't as fired up as they were when it was 0-0, and they probably had some reserves in there. Initially, when Blaire went into the game, he didn't do much except hand off to [Jim] Jones, who threw two magnificent passes. Blaire is plenty smart and he can run fast enough. But there are some things he hasn't acquired in our offense to go in and run some of the plays that we do.
"Blaire's style is different from the other two quarterbacks and they [Houston] had no idea what he was going to do. We really had no idea what he could do other than run the ball. His field generalship was good. He's a neat guy personality wise and everyone respects his intelligence. We'll see how it goes on Saturday."
(On the possibility of using three quarterbacks against UCF)
"I don't like the combination of quarterbacks, but that might happen. That's something we have not seen in college football, and not from my team. What's really neat about this is you can find out the answer on Saturday at 5:00 in the Sun Bowl."
(On playing well in the second half at Houston)
"Without the excitement of a few big plays and Blaire doing well, it could've been ugly in the second half. But our guys didn't give up. Their running back didn't play in the second half. That was difficult for them, not being at full strength. Our defense kept plugging along and gave us a chance."
(On the team's injury situation)
"We're healthy. Everyone is healthy except Jamie Irving, who has a disk problem. [A.J.] Ropati will probably start for him. We're ready to go and excited about playing at home."
"They're the best team in Conference USA. They are a tremendous football team. They had a solid chance to beat Missouri and came up short, and they were in the game with Ohio State all the way. The closest game they have had was with Southern Miss. That one went to overtime. They've got a really good running back in Latavius Murray. My wife came down on Saturday night and turned the TV off and said, `What are you doing to yourself. You are watching that #28.' He's big, bad, he's good. She said `Don't watch this anymore.' He ran for 228 yards last year against us. He's an Eric Dickerson, Adrian Peterson style back. He will be a first round NFL running back. He is a senior and he's really great.
"They have the country's leading kickoff return specialist in Quincy McDuffie. He's also a wide receiver and punt returner. Their former quarterback, Jeff Godfrey, is now a starting wide receiver, so they have a wide receiver pass that they've thrown two or three times successfully this year. They have a defensive end, Troy Davis, who is leading the conference in sacks. They're loaded. It's going to be a difficult game, a real competitive game. They are the best team we've played in a while."