Weekly Football Press Conference Quotes

November 25, 2002 · MT Media Relations

Head Coach Andy McCollum
On last week's game
"We got beat by a good football team. North Texas has a good football team. Their quarterback made plays that, going into the game, you hadn't seen him make this season. We had one bad play on defense that hurt us, giving up the third and long for a touchdown. But the other one I thought we had well-covered and the kid made a good throw. I thought defensively, the run after the first series we stopped. We did some good things. Thomas Johnson and Jeff Littlejohn and Jerry Vanderpool played better up front. Sheldon Durham played well. Randy Arnold continues to play well. Offensively, we can't turn the ball over. Coming out with a turnover to start the second half, that didn't need to happen. That's not what you want coming out of halftime. We gave them some opportunities. Physically up front they handled us pretty well. Our kids played hard. We had a couple of penalties that hurt us."

On addressing special teams play and penalties
"We work on it but you don't want to be less aggressive either. Brandon Lynch, who is a very aggressive player anyway, has done a good job, he just needed to be broken down a little more. He thought he had it timed better than what he did. Muhammad [Rashada], their was nothing intentional about his. He had finally beaten the guy who was holding him up and about that time, he misjudged the ball being there. I don't know what the second penalty was on him because there was pushing and shoving by [North Texas] also. We'll continue to work on it everyday."

On Utah State
"They're very explosive on offense. They run a lot of different formations. They've got a quarterback who does a tremendous job and have a bunch of great receivers. They got beat by BYU by one point, beats Troy State two weeks ago at Troy, and they've had an off-week. We've got a tough challenge ahead and we know it's our last game, last game for the seniors. "You'll see a great offensive football team that does a lot of different things. They've played some good people - lost to BYU and Boise State and Nebraska and Utah. They're a good football team coming in here and they're going to be in the Sun Belt in the future. We know that we've got to get well and execute and know defensively that we have a great challenge ahead of us."

QB Andrico Hines
"We want to send the seniors out on a positive note. It's been a rough year for them. Just to send them out with a win would cap off their season. We didn't meet the expectations from the preseason, but to send the seniors out on a winning note is the goal for the week.

On last week's game
"When you play a good defense, you can't afford to turn the ball over or make mental mistakes. I had a couple of mental lapses here and there in the game and you can't afford that when you play good defenses. It's a credit to [North Texas]. They came out and played great and you can't take anything away from them.

On Utah State
"I heard [Utah State] is a pretty good team, but that's like everyone else we've played. It seems like everyone wants to give us their all. Nothing's going to change for us. We just have to go out and execute.

On breaking the routine of practice this week
"Lately it's been a test for this whole team, but we've stuck together through all the adversity. It's just something else we'll have to go through. It's a bonding thing for the team."

On this year's struggles helping prepare for next year
"There's been so much [from this year] that will help next year. Going through what we went through this year - adversity and struggling - it's a mental aspect in my situation what I've been through. I've come along way since the interception at Alabama until now. I think playing helped me so much, getting out there and going through game situations. You can't prepare for that. Hopefully, it will be 10 times smoother for next year.

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