Final Stats |
Final Stats |
TULSA HEAD COACH Bill Blankenship
COACH BLANKENSHIP: "Hearts and prayers are with that young man right now and his family. I can't even imagine the struggle that that is.
We just want to sincerely have our thoughts be with Devon Walker, Coach Johnson, the coaching staff and Devon's family. It's just a scary, horrible, heartbreaking situation. We can't put ourselves in their shoes at all, but certainly we just stand back and hurt with them right now. We'll find out more as all the medical people tell us what's going on. We just want to join them right now with our thoughts and prayers for that young man."
From an emotional standpoint, obviously the first half was about as perfect as it could be. Last play of the first half, obviously the emotion was draining.
COACH BLANKENSHIP: It was. I thought it was very aggressive, workmanlike performance. We challenged our guys, Don't wait for the plays to come to you, let's get out and make something happen.
We played aggressive defense, got after the quarterback, were able to get several sacks and at least harass him in the backfield.
I thought Cody Green performed extremely well. Before anybody asks, he'll be our quarterback next week.
What about Alex's performance?
How much information did the guys in the locker room have regarding the injury, while that was going on?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: Alex Singleton just loves to play against Louisiana teams. I'd like to see him do that kind of performance all the time. How enjoyable was that to watch him run physical? I haven't even looked at our stats, you guys probably have all that. Big Al is a load when he gets going downhill. I thought he ran extremely hard today. Really encouraged.
COACH BLANKENSHIP: Very little. Very little. I stayed out on the field. Basically what we know now. I can't even put ourselves in position of being on the other side of the coin.
Is there ever a discussion of maybe, We don't play the rest of the way?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: I left that option available to the people in charge. They talked about it.
There was a span in the first half of about 22 plays. Was your offense really hot in that stretch or is that an indication of what you get through good work?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: I think it's a little bit of all of that. We were certainly in a groove. Things were happening at the right pace.
The further along we went into it, Tulane kind of chose to put a little more pressure on the field, play a little more man coverage. When you do that, it's a little more of a feast or famine. We were able to pick them up a few times and get some good plays.
Were you encouraged by Cody, deep sideline throws, sideways throws?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: The one that was really impressive to me was not the physical throw that he made to Thomas across the field, but was that he read that out, he knew that it was going to come open because of the way the safety had come down. He knew the flat was going to be covered, then our crosser should be open.
What I loved about it was he guided it enough that he looked for it immediately, and it was there.
Was it from the outset to be aggressive on defense? You had their quarterbacks scrambling most of the time.
COACH BLANKENSHIP: We thought we could. We had watched what Rutgers had done the week before. Rutgers was able to get pressure on the quarterback, get after him. They're playing with some new players up front. Tried to take advantage of that as best we can.
We do think we're a faster defense than we were. So we have to put ourselves in position to not just sit there. I think when we're moving, it helps us.
Was there a momentum swing after Cole Way's punt pinned them down there?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: We felt like we had that opportunity on the opening kickoff. They hit a nice pass on the sideline to get out from the shadow of their own end zone. A lot of times when that happens, you don't get that field position back.
But you're exactly right, we flipped it and we got them pinned back in there again. And that was able to allow us to get after them and put some pressure on them.
Before the game, you said you wanted a spark from everybody, even the coaching staff. Did you get that?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: Energy was really good. I do think the coaches, the players, everybody came into this game knowing we needed a fast start. We had started fast at Iowa State, we just didn't keep our foot down. It was important all the way through halftime we continue to score, continue to try to play defense and play well.
I can excuse a little bit of the lull after halftime. I think it's tough on both of us coming back out. But certainly prior to that, we played extremely well.
Talk about DeAundre Brown's performance
COACH BLANKENSHIP: It's encouraging, isn't it? I'm excited to go see what his stat line looks like, how he actually graded out.
He was all over the field. I think he's playing at a real high rate of speed right now, playing like a senior that's been there before.
I think DeAundre has taken advantage of the fact, he's down 10 or 15 pounds from where he was a year ago, and I think he's playing a lot faster.
Junior quarterback Cody Green
On whether he felt more comfortable running the offense against Tulane
"I felt a lot more comfortable, and that's just having the experience of the last game. Last week, that was my first game in the last two years. Of course there's going to be butterflies in this game, but we're playing at home. I have that going for me, and I have the game last week under my belt. Really and truly, the offensive line helped me out more than you would actually think. When they're in a rhythm, I just get to sit back there and not worry and just play catch with the receivers."
On Tulsa's aggressive play in the first half on offense
"It was really just play-calling. That's where we have to evolve as an offense. We can't have just little five-yard or ten-yard routes. We have to be able to take defenses deep, so they won't load the box up on us. With that, the run game opens up along with the passing game. It was great play-calling by Coach Peterson and the offensive staff."
On Tulsa's offensive success in the first half
"That's what our offense is made for. The guys that we have are tremendous. Basically, we're going to be as good as the offensive line lets us be because, as you can see, when we're good, we're running the ball. That's going to open up the passing game for me and the receivers. The offensive line was feeling it on those first half series and that was awesome. It was fun to play."
On his long pass to Thomas Roberson
"When I threw, I was thinking, "Man, I hope I don't over-throw him." But when I saw him catch and saw the defender chasing after him, I was just thinking, "Please don't get caught!" And then I heard the crowd and thought maybe he could score. That was awesome. That's really the chemistry that comes from practicing that every day."
On what the Tulsa players heard in the locker room about the injury to Devon Walker
"We didn't really hear much. The coaches told us to get off our feet because it was going to be a long delay. It wasn't until we got back on the field that we really knew exactly how severe it was. That's something that you never want to wish on anybody. Our hearts and prayers go out to him and his family."
On the atmosphere in the stadium after half-time
"The energy was gone out of us, it was gone out of them, and it was gone out of the stadium. It was one of those things that it's just a dark cloud that stays over everything, and it's tough."
Senior linebacker DeAundre Brown
On keeping pressure on the Tulane QB
"That was the game plan from the very beginning, but we came out just wanting to play just regular, basic defense. But we came after him, and got to him, and it went well."
On how the offensive's momentum helped the defense
"It gave us a good spirit. It gets the crowd hyped and raises the energy level in us. It really makes us want to help them get the ball more. That's our job: to get three-and-outs and help Cody Green and the offensive line push the ball more and run their defense tired and give us a chance to score."
Tulane Head Coach Curtis Johnson
On the overall game
"It was a difficult day out there. My hats off to Tulsa. I thought they played excellent. The quarterback play was tremendous. The running backs were some really good players. The offensive line did a good job and the receivers went up to catch some balls and made some plays. I thought the defensive line came off the ball really well. The linebackers timed their blitz pretty well and they tackled well. Their secondary was awesome. They timed it so well; they are a well coached team."
On trying to get his players to refocus after the Devon Walker injury
"The mood in the locker room was somber the whole time. The kids love Devon, and they love the game of football. It was just a difficult day. It was probably my most difficult day ever. Just seeing a young man, one of our family members, on the ground. It was just difficult for our guys. It's no excuse, but I don't know if they could have focused. It was tremendous that they finished the game, as I thought about just saying `Hey look, let's not do anything else. Let's just get on the road and go.'"
On the possibility of ending the game after the injury
"No, I thought about it for a second, but it wasn't an option. It was just a quick feeling, a quick notion. The guys stayed in at halftime so long. We didn't have anything to tell them. It was just one of those awkward moments."
On what his team did at half
"We said a quick prayer and I just asked them to play one play at a time. We said a prayer for Devon and said hey, let's do what Devon would do. He would go out there and play his butt off."
On getting updates on Devon during the second half
"No, I kind of didn't want to get updates. I got a few updates that he was good, he was breathing. But the team didn't get anything, it was just me. I didn't want any of the coaches to know. If things were really bad I would have to say something. He's at the hospital and it is what it is right now."
On his plan after the game to visit Devon
"I heard that his parents are on a flight here. I know our athletic director is at the hospital, and my wife is there. There are a number of people there right now. It's like I don't know what to do."
On his team's play in the second half
"I told them to focus one play at a time. There was nothing that I could say. It was just one play at a time. I thought we did a great job coming back out and playing and playing well against one of the best teams in the conference."
On Devon Walker
"He's a smart kid. At one time, he was planning on going to medical school. He's a senior football player on our team, he was a self-made man. He flies around to the ball. He loves life and he loves football. He is a really good and smart kid."
On what he saw when he went to visit Devon Walker when he was injured
"I just told him to stay with us, and he did. I couldn't see the injury. The only thing I was telling him was that we were praying for you, stay with us, help is on the way, and that was my major comments."
Tulane Physician Buddy Savoie
On Devon Walker's injury
"Tulsa medical staff did a great job taking care of him. Full compliments to them. He is at the hospital right now, and he is stable. Currently he is in traction. He did sustain a cervical spine fracture. He has a lot of edema in his neck. He is currently in traction, and he is being treated for that edema, and the plan currently is for him to have surgery in the next day or two. There are great spine surgeons involved, and that is all that we know at the moment."
On Devon Walker's condition when Savoie arrived to the field
"He was conscious and he never completely lost consciousness. He was breathing, and I think the emergency response from Danny Taylor, our head trainer, was superb as he stabilized him. It went as well as it could go. There are always concerns about stability, but he is stable right now and he was stable when we transported him. I do not think based on the information that I have that his life was ever in danger or at risk. I think the medical staff, both our Tulane trainers and Tulsa medical team did a fantastic job stabilizing this young man with a severe injury."
Tulane sophomore safety Sam Scofield
On the team morale after Devon Walker's injury
"It was tough. We reflected, and went out in the second half and played better."
On what Head Coach Curtis Johnson said during halftime after Devon Walker's injury
"He talked about playing the next play. It is out of control and take it play by play."
On Devon Walker as a teammate
"He's a great guy. As defensive backs, we are close. We are brothers. If any of us go down, it's hard. I think we took it the hardest out of anybody."
On receiving a standing ovation when the Green Wave came out for the second half
"I definitely noticed it. I want to thank Tulsa fans for their thoughts and prayers. We were trying to focus on the second half, but it was nice to be welcomed warmly on the field."
On dealing with Devon Walker's injury
"At first it was tough. We had to wait in the locker room for 30 minutes. I think the second half we tried to play for him and we did the best that we could."
On the actual play where Devon Walker's injury occurred
"I saw the whole thing. I didn't know what happened. It didn't look good. I didn't think it would be that serious."
Tulane freshman quarterback Devin Powell
On Devon Walker as a teammate
"He's a good player. Every time I see him we laugh and joke around. He is a cool person. We just have to look forward, pray for him and continue."
On playing his first collegiate game
"It was fun. It was a great opportunity. I felt like I did a great job."