(Houston at) Tulane topic quotes post game

Tunnel run out in win over Houston
Tulane vs. Houston: Postgame Quotes
Sep 19, 2019

Head Coach Willie Fritz
Opening Statement:
“It was an easy one, never in doubt. No, I did not think we played great in the first half. We shot ourselves in the foot a few times and got ourselves in a few bad downs and distances. I was just really proud of the effort throughout the ball game, offensively, defensively, made a few plays in the kicking game as well. It was a total team effort. Great play calls down there at the stretch. We thought they might squib it. We had a little time. Great play call by coach [Will] Hall on the fumblerooski. We were trying to get the ball to the middle of the field so we could run it up and kick a field goal and Jalen [McCleskey] just made the guy miss and scored the touchdown.”

On practicing the fumblerooski:
“We have been practicing that since the spring.”

On the final touchdown:
“I was trying to get the referee to call a timeout. Luckily, we had one more timeout so we could throw the ball any place on the field. I was just getting ready to call timeout and then he just got away a little bit and I thought shoot he is going to score. He has tremendous speed. A big, big play for him. We have been trying to get him loose here for the first few weeks. I think we got him loose today.”

On halftime locker talk:

“Just keep fighting. That first offensive play for Houston, they did a great job with execution where it looked like they were running a quarterback sweep. He tucked the ball and we had a couple of guys who had their eyes up in the back field instead of hard-focused on the receiver. They jumped the quarterback and it was an easy throw for a touchdown. Was not a great way to start the game.”

On sustaining success:

“I think it should give our kids some confidence that we are never out of the ball game. I feel like we have an offense that can come back and score some points. There are a lot of teachable moments. We were really giving a lot of tempo. They were having a tough time and that’s when we really have to lock in and go for the throat. A couple times we jumped two plays in a row, I think. The best thing about it was it gave us the opportunity to get out of a hole where we had the ball on the three, maybe the seven, and got the ball past midfield. At least we were in a position of strength. It allowed our defense to be able to give up a few first downs and still have them not score. That was good in field position terms, but boy if we would have scored on those it would have got the game over a lot quicker.”

Graduate QB Justin McMillan
On the game winning touchdown…
“In the beginning of the game, I wasn’t at my best. My offense, they told me at halftime, ‘We got you. You’ve got to trust us. Believe in the system. Take pride in what we do. Take pride in the offense. Let’s go get a win.’ At the last couple of seconds, you’re naturally thinking you’ll take a knee and go into the overtime, but then Coach Hall, like I said earlier he’s a Mississippian, he can play backyard football with you and he can throw it around with the best of them so he had a play dialed up for us. We had that in my back pocket and we used it. Amare [Jones] got us about halfway to manageable. Naturally, we just wanted to get in field goal range. A catch would have been fine with me. I was fine with just a catch, but [Jalen McCleskey] just wanted to be an overachiever and take it to six. Fine by me. I’ll let him go with it.”

On the momentum switch at halftime…
“I would say it was more of a team effort. Coach Fritz, as a head coach you’re going to tell your team to stay in it. I don’t remember what the score was, but it wasn’t marginal. We were losing at that point. In a game like that, against Houston, a great offense, a high-scoring offense and a pretty good player at quarterback, that alone is tough handling him, but our defense did great. As an offense, we just stood strong with each other. As a team, we stood strong with each other. We just had to finish.”

On the first touchdown pass…
“The first touchdown, at first I did a kind of double take and seen that [Jalen McCleskey] was doubled, but he ran right by them. I have the respect for him to give him a chance. So, originally, I wasn’t looking at it. I saw a safety there, but the safety was kind of flat-footed and he took off right by him so I just had to give him a halfway catchable ball and he made the rest happen.”

On his connection with Jalen McCleskey…
“It’s been a journey for me and Jalen [McCleskey] both. I was one of the first guys he talked to when he got here. I knew him a little bit ahead of time. Jalen [McCleskey] probably didn’t know anyone on the team. Just the fact that we’ve been working together and we have classes together, its finally coming along. It’s coming around. I know people have been waiting for the connection with me and Jalen [McCleskey] to get clicking, and I put that upon myself to get it going and get the ball to him. He made some plays for me today and I can’t be mad at all.”

On the significance of the win…
“I’m from Dallas, Texas. I’ve been playing Houston teams all my life. I don’t like losing to Houston, so this game was pretty big for me. For this city, for Tulane, for Yulman, the stadium itself, this game means the world to us as a university. Not just for the fact that its Houston, but just a tight-game win, a tight-game win on ESPN on Thursday night. The stage was set for us to make plays. You’ve got a player like D’Eriq King and it can go either way. He can take a game over by himself with just one play, one throw. Our defense did what they did. This game meant the world to us.”

Graduate WR Jalen McCleskey
On the game winning touchdown…
“Justin [McMillan] put it on the money. It was right there in the middle of my chest and I knew I was going to get hit, so I just had to hold on to the ball, and then they missed the tackle and I had open field. It was just off to the races.”

On the first touchdown pass…
“The corner played low so I knew I could go past him. And Justin [McMillan] has thrown that ball to me in practice a number of times so I knew that had a chance to come to me. I looked back and saw him cocked back to throw and I was like I just got to come up with the catch.”

On the significance of the win…
“I just like how we went out there and fought. We had a deficit in the first half. We went into the locker room. We were like we just got to stop the penalties, stop killing ourselves. We knew we could drop the ball on offense, and we trusted our defense the whole way. We knew they were going to get stops so it was just coming together as a team to keep fighting. Until the clock hit triple-zero, the game’s not over.”

Houston Head Coach Dana Holgorsen
On the loss…
“Well, looking at the stats we were better than them in every statistical category except for the score. I’ve never seen an ending like that, I’ve been coaching for 25 years. I thought the last drive offensively… You can talk about struggles all you want to, we had 533 yards, we snapped the ball a lot, our third down percentage was 50 percent which was really good. Our punting was really good. You can say we played bad, that’s fine. You can say I coached bad, that’s fine. You can say I didn’t have any halftime adjustments, that’s fine. You can say I didn’t have them ready to go, that’s fine too. I don’t care. It comes down to the end where we had a chance to score and win and didn’t. Then it’s just completely unacceptable on every single level to let them go 70 yards in 14 seconds. I don’t know what to say. I’ve got to do a better job of getting our guys ready. I will assume the responsibility of not doing enough to finish this game.”

Football celebration vs. Houston 2019
Tulane Football Stuns Houston, 38-31
Sep 19th, 2019

When an offensive player says the defenders missed the tackle vs he broke the tackle, it shows you how bad those tackle attempts were


I don’t think our DB’s know how to make a tackle. Typically they just seem try to bump an opponent hard enough to knock him down. Rarely, if ever, does it appear that they are trying to “wrap up” a tackle.

So, when two UH DB’s hit the receiver at the same time, they can easily just bounce off. I just got back to Houston and I’ll have to watch the replay, but that is what it looked like to me from the end zone.

Seemed like to me that tackling was pretty good the first quarter and a half and then the team got “exhausted” and it started to go downhill and completely fall apart 2nd half.

Don’t do it!