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TU Post-Game Quotes
Tulsa Head Coach Todd Graham
"It's sure hard to win college football games in Division 1, isn't it? I am really proud of our guys, and really, really proud of our defensive football team. I told the kids during the game, that fourth down and inches, it didn't matter what we called, they were going to stop it. I think there were years of investment that went into that play."
"I am really proud of how they played all day long. I think we needed that as a team. That's why you play the game, that's why you tee it up and play it."
"My heart goes out to coach Bennett. He is a guy that mentored me as a young coach. He did an unbelievable job today, give them a lot of credit for the great job they did defensively. He is a great coach and they really played an outstanding game today."
"Our kids kept battling, kept fighting. We took the ball 99 yards to win and that was tremendous. This is one of those games, you hold them on fourth and inches on the goal line and then you take it 99 yards to score. That is really what seasons are made out of. I really think this will be a game that really means a lot to us and it helps us down the stretch."
What was the feeling on the goal line stance?
"Our season is riding on this. We knew it was a must win for us, and when something comes down like it did you just jump all in, we did and we made the stop."
Can you talk about the two big catches on the last drive?
"The first catch coach said if you get the ball, make sure you get out of bounds. When I caught it I wanted to run with it at first, but then it clicked in my head to get out of bounds and I had to fight to get out."
"The second catch was just a straight vertical. Before the play they were telling the linebackers to watch the vertical and when the time came I didn't think I would be open, but he tripped and I caught it."
Can you talk about the goalline stand?
"We had a couple of breakdowns and they moved down to the goal line, so everyone had to challenge each other and pick each other up. The front three stepped up to put pressure in the backfield. When Moton Hopkins and Brandon Jones pushed the SMU offensive linemen back, it opened up for me and Chamberlain to come in to stop that."
SMU Post Game Quotes
SMU Head Coach Phil Bennett
"When you get to the one yard line and you can't score like that, you do not deserve to win. But that is why we went for it. We knew they were capable of making some plays. We needed that nine point swing."
What about 4th and 2 earlier in the game and you went for it when you were in field goal range?
"It would have been a 50-yard field goal when we had already made one. I felt like we were pushing our luck. We usually don't make that long of a kick. The next time we kicked it because we felt like we had the wind, which was blowing a different way. He told me at half time that he felt like the ball was carrying further and that is why we kicked the 52-yarder."
You feel like it was the right call?
"Yeah, I would do that again."
What did you tell them in the locker room just now?
"It's not hard if you can't score down there in that situation. The game should have been over, and it wasn't."
You were in control for so much of the game?
"I don't know if we ever had control. For some reason we didn't attack. We have to get more points off turnovers. We couldn't make a play in the red zone offensively. We still should have won the game with out it."
How do you feel about being eliminated so early from bowl contention?
"To be a college football player and to be a college football coach you have to be passionate. The game has got to excite you. The game and playing for pride should be enough to be keeping these kids motivated. They have not, since the second half of the Tech game, really been beat. They have competed. They have battled. They have done every thing that we have asked them to do. So for me to sit there and say they are not frustrated then that would be a lie. It is my job and these coaches' job to motivate them to come back. We have another tough situation at the University of Houston. We told a lot of people that the guys we had practicing would go in the game. Tyler Jones had never played, Brian McCann had never played, De'Von Bailey hadn't taken but two or three snaps at corner."
Why keep them in there?
"I was awfully proud of them. If you look at Tulsa's touchdowns, one of our freshmen had a facemask, one of our freshmen had an offsides. We were a freshmen squad on the defense. They played hard. Regardless of my situation, this team is in good shape for the future. Cory Muse, Ryan Leonard, all of those guys played hard. Justin Smart made some nice plays."
What is missing?
"Well, you have to have playmakers. We have to have more playmakers. Right now we don't have enough playmakers. They played hard and they are going to be good players."
You held a very good offense, how does that make you feel?
"This is heartbreaking."
Do you have to say that too many times?
"You know what? When you are in that situation there are two ways to lose. You can lay down, 38-0, like some big time programs are right now and then you can lose by a field goal. Our kids are fighting hard."
Will you be coaching next week?
"I expect I will be coaching next week and until I am told differently."