Today's Football Press Conference Quotes

October 6, 2003 · MT Media Relations
HEAD COACH ANDY MCCOLLUM Coming off a very tough loss to Temple there are not a lot of things we are happy about right now. You can take a lot of positives from the game like the way we fought back and never gave up and tried to find a way to win. We just waited too late to make it happen. Anytime you turn the ball over four times and put our defense in the position we put them in is very tough for any football team. I thought we came out of the locker room ready to play. We executed well and jumped out on top early, then we hit a spell in the second quarter where it was a little bit of us making mistakes, along with a combination of bad breaks. It did not show on the scoreboard, but I was proud of the way our defense played considering the field they had to work with. We just could not get anything to go our way. When we fumbled the ball bounced right in their hands and when they fumbled the ball conveniently went out of bounds. Those are just unfortunate plays that occur in a football game. The punt return before the half was a huge play in the game. We were down only 17-14 with less than a minute left in the half and punted from our 49-yard line. They gained a 74-yard return with two bad clips on the play at the point of attack, and eventually scored a touchdown with four seconds left. It's a lot different being down 17-14 as opposed to 24-14.

I was pleased with the way our defense played in the fourth quarter and the execution of Clint Marks and Josh Harris. Those two guys came in against a very good Temple defense and responded the way we thought they would.

MCCOLLUM ON THE START OF LEAGUE PLAY BEING A NEW SEASON: It is a clean slate for us right now. We are 0-0 and still have all our goals in front of us. We have to turn the page and forget about the first five games, which is not easy but I am sure these guys will do just that. This is a very tough league from top to bottom and nothing will be easy. We have to execute, play good defense and make things happen.

HOW WILL YOU GO THROUGH WEEK WITH ANDRICO'S STATUS: We have great confidence in all three quarterbacks. Clint and Josh will get a lot of reps this week and we will do everything we can to have them both prepared for New Mexico State. As for Andrico, we will just have to wait and see. We may not know anything until Saturday.

BEING 0-5 LAST YEAR AND 0-5 AGAIN THIS YEAR: We are in a better situation this year then we were a year ago. Last year at this time we were playing our fourth string quarterback who was actually our running back. We have been through a lot in five weeks and this time has fought their tails off. We went toe-to-toe with Georgia, and then battled a hot Clemson team before No. 23 Missouri had to comeback to beat us in overtime.

DECISION ON PUTTING HINES BACK IN GAME: Andrico felt like he could play, so we put him back in. Andrico has done some great things for us and when he is hot, he can really make some things happen for our team. Clint (Marks) had just thrown an interception and Andrico felt like he could go. The kid just wants to win and he is a competitor. After trying it a series, he said he just could not go because of the pain.

ON NEW MEXICO STATE: They are a physical football team who will go with two tight ends and two backs and run the option. They will use a lot of play action and mix things up a bunch. Stopping the run and getting off blocks will be critical for us because they have one of the top rushing games in the country. They are an option team that can throw the football, so we have to be ready for everything. New Mexico State is well coached and has a lot of talented players. This will be two hungry teams in Floyd Stadium on Saturday.

LB Randy Arnold
On New Mexico State
"I remember them from last year. [Paul Dombrowski] was pretty mobile, likes to run the ball, knows what to do in every situation. They try to get you off-balance, throw a lot of zones, then run options and [bootlegs].

"It's definitely going to be a shootout. It's been that way the last two years, us coming back two years ago and then losing by three points in a tough game last year. It's always a tough game playing them, but we just have to get our first Sun Belt win this week.

"It makes certain plays harder than others. We just have to do better in our red-zone defense. We're not doing well in that right now. We have to be more disciplined. We're giving up too many eight and nine-yard plays. You can't do that. You have to give things up little by little. I'll take a field goal, but we're letting teams score and we've got to stop that.

"We have to be disciplined, be in the right gaps and put our heads in the right place this week. You have to be real disciplined and make sure everyone is in the right spot against New Mexico State.

On starting Sun Belt play
"It's the start of a new season now. Even though we're 0-5, we have all of the Sun Belt games, which are the ones that count, and that gives us something to look forward to.

WR Kerry Wright
On New Mexico State series
"It's going to be a great game. The game two years ago, we had to throw the ball to come back and win. We were done by more than 20 points and came back to win. Last year's game we didn't have a quarterback, so we had to go to ReShard Lee and basically ran the ball and still almost won the game just running the ball. This year we should be more balanced throwing and running the ball, so I think we have a better chance of winning.

On starting Sun Belt play
"We all have to get focused and get on the same level this week. Obviously we weren't on the same level as [the Missouri game]. We came out early and scored [against Temple]. Then in the second and third quarters, we couldn't do anything. I think everyone has to get on the same level and work hard in practice this week and hopefully we'll play better.

"I know what we have in our locker room and we believe in each other. We haven't played our greatest game yet, but when we do it's going to be fun to see and fun to watch.

On defenses taking him out of the game
"Lately I've been seeing Cover 2, with defenses trying to take me out of the game with safeties over the top. We just have to find the right formations so we can throw the ball deep. Others receivers just have to step up when they take me out of the game, and I have faith in the other guys to get that done.

On the relationship with the backup quarterbacks
"It's a long season. We all know anyone can go down any given day, any given play. Seeing what happened last year can easily happen this year, and it has happened a couple of times where Josh [Harris] and Clint [Marks] have come in. We have faith in them, believe in them, and they've proven themselves when they've come in. They've showed flashes of being a great quarterback. We've got two good ones.

On QB Andrico Hines and his health
"He looks better than he did Saturday night, but you never know. You just have to look forward to the end of the week and see what happens.

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