Facebook.com Twitter.com YouTube.com


Football Home

Tulsa's Homecoming Game Time Set; Tulane Game Moves to Friday

Tulsa Football Helmet is Part of College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience Exhibit



Skelly Field

Tulsa Football on Facebook

Tulsa Football on Twitter


CBSSports.com Football

Top 25 Rankings


Nov. 14, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

TULSA HEAD COACH Bill Blankenship

Opening Statement
COACH BLANKENSHIP: He is a special player. I mean, that whole group. But he just fights his tail off. He doesn't know anything different. Continues to do that. He leads that squad, does a great job.

Q. Fine line between winning and losing.
COACH BLANKENSHIP: Always. We talk about that all the time. A lot of people don't understand, there's not a lot of difference in winning and losing. And mistakes that you make generally accentuate one or the other. Made some great plays, had some opportunities that we didn't make them. There was a point there we thought we were sure we had it.

Q. 34 31, five minutes left, then that possession three and out.
COACH BLANKENSHIP: We needed to get a first down. Needed to get a first down. We were backed up late. We had been able to run the football. Didn't get much on first down. Second down, either mishandled a snap, something happened to get a no gain, puts us behind the chains. Pretty bad on third down.

Q. Tough decision to go for it that late?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: Think back on what I told the team. I said, that's one of those you sure would love to have back. I mean, you don't know if it's the right thing. I thought it was the right thing to do at the time. Their offense is really, really good. I just felt like if we gave it back to them, but our defense had been getting some stops. Probably should have kept the time out, punted to them, tried to get a stop.

Q. When it's 21 0, did it cross your mind they would pack it in?

Q. Yes.
COACH BLANKENSHIP: You know, you always I think as a coach worry about that because you had some far away looks on some faces. I felt like once the second quarter hit and we got a couple of scores, especially just one, it just seemed like the one that kind of broke the ice, then the look was different. We talked at halftime. You choose every play. And I thought our guys chose to fight.



Q. See young players mature throughout that game, especially in the second and third quarter.
COACH BLANKENSHIP: I think so. I think there's still a lot of youthfulness out there. Sometimes we see some really young mistakes. By now you're 10 games in, you ought to be starting to see some maturity. I think we're seeing that. They're growing. I hope that they're learning from the Shawn Jacksons and Trey Wattses. Those are the guys that just know how to battle all the time.

Q. Again, Trey Watts' performance?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: We come to expect it. We do. He gets tough yardage, creates big plays. Converts a two point conversion with a pass. He's got some abilities that are pretty special.

Q. What do you take out of this game?
COACH BLANKENSHIP: A lot of disappointment.


On continuing to play hard through the final games of the season
"As a young guy, I can tell you that all the young guys are looking at guys like Trey Watts and Shawn Jackson. Those guys are our studs. With no hesitation, I can say that we are not going to stop fighting for them. They've worked too hard to go out like this. Speaking for all of the freshmen and sophomores, we've worked too hard to let them go out like this."


On the importance of forcing turnovers against Marshall
"Coach Guy has been emphasizing all week that we have to get turnovers. We have to help ourselves and get off the field. We need to get balls loose. That is what we worked on most of this week, and it showed tonight."

On the positive effects of senior leaders
"We tell the young guys to just keep pushing and fighting. It hurts for the seniors, but it will help the program in the future. The young guys don't want to feel this way in the future. It is a learning thing, but I just tell those guys to keep pushing."

On continuing to play hard through the final games of the season
"You put a lot of hard work in to getting prepared for the season. I look back at that stuff. It motivates me. We didn't put all this hard work in for nothing. I have to give the young guys a good example. You can't give up in life, and you can't give up on the football field."


On coming back from down 21 points to have a chance to win the game
"We never want to quit. We are always going to fight. Our entire team is a group of fighters, especially Dane Evans. He is a fighter and will continue to battle his tail off. We just fed off the defense, honestly. They kept getting turnovers and gave us the ball back. We fed off that and turned the entire game around."

On continuing to fight through the final games of the season
"Losses don't get any easier each week, especially when you only have two games left. You just have to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how bad you really want it. You just can't give up."


Opening statement
"This is a special and different deal with this being the first time in the history of the school to have an opportunity to play on that special day with the 75 on our helmets. The one thing I was concerned about going in the game is that they would come out - They were an emotional bunch to be honest with you. It was important to these guys we gave that fan base, the community, the university and the school something to smile about at the end of the day. This team, we were ugly at times, but at the end of the day, they found a way to get it done and we won the football game. I've got a feeling that 75 people up there have a smile looking down right now. I'm proud of the way that we played, but we've got to clean up the way we play. There's no way you should have five or six turnovers and win the football game and we did. That's unusual."

On turning it around
"These kids are resilient and they fight, they hang together and they don't quit and they keep playing hard and eventually it went our way. You've got to give Bill (Blankenship) and that football team a lot of credit. They come in here with two wins and we went up 21-0. They had the opportunity to not play the rest of the game and they did. They played extremely hard and they fought back and had a chance to win the game and our kids found a way to win the game. Anytime you go on the road and win a conference game its critical and we did that."

On Deandre's punt return on the go-ahead drive
"The wind out here is a bear. We didn't handle kicks very well, whether it be kickoffs or punts. We didn't field the ball very well. It was a problem a couple of years ago too. When that wind blows, that ball's all over the place at time. At the end of the day, we punted them down to minus 15. Defense found a way to go three-and-out and to get a stop and they punted the ball and we got great field position and (Rakeem) Cato took it down and scored, which is huge."

What did you say to the guys in the second half?
"When you have a pretty solid football team, it comes from the leadership of the football team. As coaches, we keep telling them, `Hey, you've got to continue to play extremely hard and good things will happen one play at time.'"


On coming together as a team
"It seems like we always make it tougher on the road. I don't know what it is. We want to enjoy it for a few days."

On what was said during the second half
"Team leadership and great coaching staff. When we go down, not to hang our head and expect the big play to come and to get over the hump."

On the Marshall's defense
"The defense held our head. We had five turnovers that speaks for what the defense did. We gave them a short field, held them to field goals or no points. Aggressive defense."