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Monday's Football Press Conference Quotes

October 28, 2002 · MT Media Relations
McCollum on quarterback situation
Josh, the way I understand it, is out for the year with a broken collarbone. Andrico will be day-to-day. He's got a lot of soreness right now. I don't know that he hurt it any worse, but it is sore. What a courageous effort. I've been coaching a long time and haven't seen an effort like that. It really meant something to him. We had a lot of kids that played hurt Saturday and fought their tails off and it wasn't enough. I was very, very proud of Andrico's effort. Dwone [Hicks] is banged up a little bit right now with a calf injury, but he should be fine. Brandon Parker will still be out. Josh Willoughby went out; Jon Barry, two of our offensive linemen were knocked down pretty good. Hopefully we'll get them back, but I guess we'll find out. Hopefully, we'll get Tyrone Calico back at full speed. He played a few snaps, but wasn't full speed at all. When you lose caliber guys like those it's tough. We've got to have young guys keep stepping up in those opportunities.

McCollum on Kenny Edwards
Kenny Edwards is probably out. He's supposed to get x-rays this afternoon. Here's this kid that really played well for us last week and was really coming on and, you know, he gets knocked out. It's just one of those years where we've had more happen to us than we have had the first three years total. But, it's also a chance to play some young guys who will gain some great experience and, hopefully, find a way to win these last few games.

McCollum on whether he has ever been associated with a team that has had this many injuries to key players in one season
No, I can't say that I ever have. It's always some of the key guys. It's no different than with Andrico really growing up last week with his ability. You know, the way he did things against UL-Lafayette was really what you wanted to see and then just like that he pulls a groin and can barely walk during practice. It's right in the middle of the week and really was a half speed drill. Then you put Josh Harris in and we're excited and we put in a good week of work and he runs for a first down and had the chains moving and BAM, he's out. Andre (Green) comes in, and Andre's got a lot of work [ahead] this week, but we don't really get anything done for two or three series and we put Andrico in and end up playing a quarterback with one leg. We couldn't get him on the corner and couldn't get our option game going with Andrico. We couldn't sprint him out, run bootlegs, or other things that he's become very good at for us. Then they started taking away the inside on the running game. We broke some. I thought Dwone really played well, ran physical, and looks like he's back to full speed. But we couldn't get it on the perimeter like we needed to.

McCollum on the QB situations
We'll bring Clint Marks up as a freshman. We'll bring him up and start getting some snaps. Andre will get a lot of work and we'll see how Andrico is as the week goes. It's part of it. We've got to find a way to overcome it and get a game plan that Andre feels comfortable with and can run for us. Hopefully, Andrico comes on through and can do some things. We'll bring our freshman up and, hopefully, we won't have to play him.

McCollum on NMSU QB Paul Dombrowski
He does a great job of running and throwing. They do a great job; they're in first place in the conference. It's a tough environment to play out there. Tony Samuels and his staff have done a tremendous job. They have played a tough schedule and have won some big games. So we're going to have a chance to play against the team that looks like the best team in the league right now. The quarterback is where it all starts with them. He's a tremendous athlete who runs their offensive system very well.

McCollum on controlling the ball this week
We're just going to have to figure out what we have. The thing that we have to do is our offensive line is going to have to step up. I'm disappointed about Saturday. I thought we could have played better up front and we didn't. That's where we've got to have some guys step up and get it done for us. We've got to have a great week of work this week.

McCollum on playing for pride
We talked about that when we got off to the tough start. We were'nt talking about the conference race, we were talking about one at a time and this is our next opportunity. We know we've been written off and it's an opportunity to be as good as we can be. We've got a lot of fighters on this team. We've got a bunch of guys who are playing with a lot of courage and guys who are playing hurt. We're finding out a lot about some young guys. Just like Saturday, we had a chance to make plays and could have won the game, a tough game in a tough place to play and win on the road. We just weren't doing it. We're going through a lot of adversity right now. Sometimes we're going through it and sometimes we're not. What we're going to do is there's nobody that's going to give in to this. If they do, you won't see them at practice. We're going to have a bunch of guys who are hurt about where we're at and are going to step up and do something about it. If not, you won't see them at practice.

McCollum on the challenge of cooling off a hot NMSU squad that's won four straight
Our challenge is getting a MiddleTennessee team that will travel out there and be as good as we can be that day. Even though we haven't had a lot of success we're a pretty good football team. We have just got to get our guys together. We know we're going against one of the top teams in the conference right now. Playing at their place, they do a great job out there. We're going to try to patch things up, go out there, and see what we can get done.

PLAYER QUOTES

RB Dwone Hicks
On the Idaho game and his performance
"I just really wanted to get the opportunity to get out there and try to run a little bit. We did run the ball pretty good as an offense. We didn't get the chance to get a win, so that takes everything away from personal performances."

On his calf
"It is bothering me a little bit. It bothered me a little at the end of the game. I wasn't able to move too much at the end of the game. I think it just swelled up on me a little, but I know I will be fine for the game. So, I am really not worried about my calf right now."

On being the spoiler
"Hopefully, we will get a chance to do that. Right now, [New Mexico State is] in the driver's seat along with North Texas. We are still a good football team. Hopefully, we will go down there and pick up a win."

On frustration of injuries
"It is really frustrating for me since it is my senior year. I would like to go out with a bang. I worked hard this summer. Right now it is not paying off, but everything happens for a reason. I think I will be fine and I think the team will be fine in the future."

On New Mexico State's defense
"They have done a good job of shutting down a lot of teams. They move around. They blitz a lot. They do a good job of what they do."

On running back's stepping up
"Last game we knew we were going to have to do that. We knew we had to run the football. It might be the same thing this game. [Andrico Hines] is not able to scramble out and throw the ball like he likes to. We are going to have to step up as a running back group."

On Hines' effort at Idaho
"For him to go out there on one leg, it is just great. Everybody wants to see a tough quarterback. I love watching a tough quarterback go out there and give it all he's got."

On still having a target on Middle Tennessee
"I think a lot of teams in the Sun Belt were after us this year because we were the Sun Belt Conference champions, even though we didn't get the chance to go to a bowl. That is going to put a target on you because everybody wants to knock the top dog off. That is what everybody has been doing."

On last year's game against NMSU
"The only memory that I have is Kendall Newson taking the team on his back and giving a great performance. That is one person who I remember and try to pattern my leadership abilities off of."

On senior leadership
"It is real hard for me because I am not a real vocal guy on the field. I like to lead by example. I am going to have to open my mouth a little and let the team know that we are going to be fine and just keep our heads up."

LB Randy Arnold
On New Mexico State
"They have a real physical team. They have big linemen who can move their feet. Their right guard is around 370. Their quarterback's run pretty well. They have the option, quarterback counter, and draws for [the quarterbacks]. They like to run the football, and they want to run the football. They are not a throwing team. It is going to be a real physical game."

"We just have to get together as a team and the defense step up. We need to get better and help the guys that are hurting on offense."

On playing for pride
"Mainly for the seniors on this team, they deserve it. You want them to go out as a winning team. You just want to do this for them and take it one game at a time."


"Their heads are real big right now. They are winning the Sun Belt Conference right now. They know how we came back on them last year and they are looking forward to playing us again I'm sure."

On being the spoiler
"We want to go [to Las Cruces] with our best shot. It is always good to beat the best teams. You know you are still on top of your game. You still play with the best. With these next teams coming up, it is going to be a good time to show that."

On the next four games
"It is a perfect example for us as a team. Coach always says you want to be winners. You never want to step down, go back, or just be average. You want to go up, and this is a good time to do that.

"Our focus has to be 100 percent against these teams. This next game we just have to play our best and give it our best. You have to let the best people be out on the field because you can't slip up."

DL Jerry Vanderpool
On Middle Tennessee
"Right now, people are looking at us and expecting us to just give up. We have no losers on the team. All we have is winners. We have a champion mentality. We have all men in the senior class, and we are going to play like it."

On conference losses
"The game is played by inches. You can't take a play off. You can't relax for a moment. Once you relax, that is when they make a big play."

On New Mexico State
"I am sure they have had us marked on their calendar. They are going to come into the game with a high jazz level, and we are going to go in there with a high jazz level. They are expecting to go in there and have an easy win in their win column, but we are going to fight like MT should."

On Hines' performance
"Andrico has stepped up tremendously in the past couple of games. We have nothing but respect for him on the defensive side of the ball. Every time he was coming off the field and we were going on the field we told him we were going to get him the ball right back. We are going to put the ball in your hands. Overall, he did a good job and played courageously all game."

On being the spoiler
"This is a time when we find out who the real men are on the team. We have nothing but men on the team. No one on this team is going to give in on the season. We are going to go out there and fight and make our fans proud."

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