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Tulsa Postgame Quotes vs. SMU

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Oct. 29, 2011

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Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship

Opening statement
"Obviously I'm very proud. That was a great win for our program, a great win for our team, and we had a great week of practice. I'm using the term `great' a lot, but we really had an exceptional week of practice. It's really nice as a coach when that translates onto the performance on the field. I guess that's what I'm most proud of. Our guys were very mature all week and really got serious about it. They really brought their `A' game."

On defensive performance and first-half play
"We have a great staff that did a good job of really getting our players to buy in. I mentioned the week of practice. It was pretty interesting that on Tuesday--and I'll be honest with you, it usually takes us a day or a day and a half, maybe by Wednesday, before things start clicking--Coach (Brent) Guy said that the guys picked it up really well and felt like they had a good handle on what we were going to do. Then the passion was just incredible. That's what's so much fun to watch is the passion that they played with. Guys like Milton Howell. I continue to just remind myself that this is the first year that he has played defense. He started his first game against Oklahoma. He has just continued to develop his skills. I love seeing those kinds of stories that play out. I thought we got good pressure on the quarterback. It got where he was never very comfortable. Even though we weren't always sacking him, we had a few more hurries, and I think that was really important. When we had opportunities to intercept the ball, we did it."

On Alex Singleton's performance tonight
"We felt like one of the things that we needed to do was pound the ball a little bit. Game plan-wise, we felt like they are so good up front on defense that we had to be able to run enough plays and to tempo them enough to try to wear them down a little bit. I felt like we got into that as the game went on. Alex (Singleton) is a load. We started to run our power game. I thought he finished our drives extremely well and made himself really hard to tackle. It was encouraging. Along that line, I'm anxious to see the film because I was very proud of our offensive line. I thought that they really played well against an outstanding defensive line from SMU."



On winning the Homecoming game
"We had a lot of folks back that were excited to be back. I'm sure glad that we gave them something to be proud of."

Senior Defensive End Tyrunn Walker

On the defensive performance
"The defense played great tonight. The defense came to play against a great SMU team. We had a great week of preparation, and we all came together and did great. Milton (Howell) had an incredible game, and the D-Line kept bringing it."

On what a victory over a rival like SMU means to the team
"It just shows what we're capable of. There is a great Houston team out there that does the same stuff SMU does. They have a great quarterback. (J.J.) McDermott is a great quarterback. UCF has a great team, and we just have to come with it."

On how the team will prepare for the quick turnaround
"We have to have great focus and preparation."

Junior H-Back Willie Carter

On his career-high 13 catches for 173 yards
"I did what I had to do to help my team win. I don't really pay attention to my own stats. I look at them, but that's not really important to me. Whatever I can do to help my team win, I just do."

On the offense having a huge game
"We scored with good field position, but we could have done more. They gave us good field position on a couple other drives where we weren't able to capitalize. We always know there are things we can work on, and we have to get better in all phases of the game."

On the quick turnaround and having to travel to UCF for a Thursday game
"We still have to practice hard. We have to celebrate today, and then put it in the past. We have to get back healthy and get ready to play Thursday."

Senior Cornerback Milton Howell

On his career-high three interceptions
"I was just in the right place at the right time when the ball was in the air. Our coaches tried to coach us up on starting fast, and we were able to do that tonight."

On the defensive effort
"We did good. We still gave up seven points, but we were pleased with our effort. We have to work hard and get better."

On the defensive line
"The defensive linemen stopped a lot of the run plays and put pressure on the quarterback. That pressure is why the quarterback wasn't able to throw it like he wanted, so I was able to get those interceptions."

On the quick turnaround
"We have to focus like we do every other week. We just have to keep practicing hard like it's another Saturday. We have to keep working hard and getting better."

Junior Running Back Alex Singleton

On his career-high three rushing touchdowns
"This game was personal to me, because I was 0-2 against them coming in. As a team, we prepared like we wanted to, and we were ready. We executed like we wanted to and the defense played outstanding. We just have to keep that momentum up for the rest of the season."

On what was working on offense
"Execution. We were executing like we wanted to. We put our foot down and we made the plays that we needed to make. We weren't going to let this one get away from us."

On the quick turnaround
"Nothing is going to change. We just have to keep practicing like we've been practicing, and we're just going to get ready for UCF."

SMU Head Coach June Jones

Opening Statement
"We haven't played well for six quarters now. We have to play well as a team and right now we aren't doing that. We made too many mistakes. We got a nice stop deep in their end had a roughing the punter called [on us], we dropped too many passes and had a tipped ball that got intercepted. We had opportunities but we have to execute."

On the offense
"I haven't been through a stretch like this in a long time. The wind affected the play calling because we couldn't be as aggressive as we would have liked. I think we did some good things but then we had the mistakes."

On the quarterback play
"It's not all J.J.'s [McDermott] fault. There are things that go unnoticed. I thought he saw things pretty well, but he had a couple of passes get away from him. We didn't give him much help when we broke down on our perimeter protection."

On moving on to Tulane
"We're physically and emotionally hurt, but we have to get this turned around. Our goal of winning conference is probably gone but we still have a chance to win 8 or 9 games, which hasn't been done in a long time around here."