UCF-Houston Postgame Quotes

Oct. 30, 2006

Head Coach George O'Leary
"Our defense was very spotty. I thought we had time to make plays and we made them. Obviously, when we got going in the second half, we never stepped up to make plays and again we will continue to work on it. That has been our nemesis all year. I think offensively, we moved the ball, but it's a team game for a reason. You have to be able to stop people and we are just not getting that done. I thought we had moments today were we did do some good things, but we were not very consistent."

On the play of Kyle Israel
"I thought he was very shoddy and that's why I rolled the quarterbacks the way I did. I just didn't see the pep in the ball like I've seen in the other games. That's why I took him out. I thought he was very slow on his deliveries, and that's not like I saw him the 1st two games."

On the offensive play calling while down 38-31 late in the game
"I thought that was real shoddy play calling myself. I told that to the offensive coordinator too. We still had time to run the ball, especially the way our defense was playing. It's not just players that sometimes don't play smart. I think that's one series where I think we should be running the ball because we were running the ball 6-7 yards a crack. I don't know what we were thinking about throwing three times in-a-row."

Quarterback Kyle Israel
"I've learned that this team is going to keep fighting no matter what. Nobody gave up and I knew were going to come back and make it a game, which we did. We put the defense in terrible positions with turnovers and it's hard to stop a team like that. You can only contain them. We have to keep the ball on the field so their offense can't get back out there."

Running back Kevin Smith
"They had to do what they had to do to win. The three touchdowns I ran really didn't matter. It's in the back of my mind that's history to me. I wanted to get a win and we came up short."

On the team's confidence going into the 2nd half
"We were confidant, but still had to come out and execute that's what it came down to."

Head Coach Art Briles
"That was the most enjoyable game all season. We set goals at the first of the season to be bowl eligible and it feels so good to do it before the last game of the season which is what we had to do the previous times we became bowl eligible. I don't know when UH was bowl eligible for the third time in the last four years but it's probably been a few years so I am proud of our guys. I am proud of our guys for fighting. We went through a little bit of a bump there in the first half we created it. They did a lot of stuff on their offense that we created but we didn't let us get us down. We knew we had 30 minutes in the second half and if we came out and scored early the momentum would swing. I don't think we ever trailed the second half. I think they tied it up and we took it from there. It was a great team win. It was a team that came in here fighting to save their season and to be the East champions."

On the team's performance in the first half
"It was a little unsettling. That's why they give you two halves. We played really well in the second half."

On the contribution of the running game
"I think everyone contributed except for a couple series when we didn't move the ball. I think we would have liked to have grinded a little more and get some type of rhythm but when you make big plays you go with it."

On the play of Anthony Alridge
"He is a change of pace guy. It hard to be an ever down back in football today but he just goes out, comes in a couple plays and works hard. We like the luxury of having three guys it gives us different looks."

On the play of Kevin Smith
"He was a freshman last year and he is just a great ball player. He allows them to do what they want to do on offensive and that's why you have to get ahead of them to beat them."

On getting ahead in the second half
"That's what has happened to them where they have gotten beat and that's not the way they want to play football. It's a great win for the Cougars and there was a great crowd. We need a good crowd and the students were outstanding."

Quarterback Kevin Kolb
"That's big time for us, gaining bowl eligibility, especially this early in the season. It was not one of our main goals, but we're glad to get that monkey off our back. Now that it's out of the way, we'll concentrate on Tulsa and try to get this conference championship sewn up, and move on to big and better things."

On the offensive struggles in the first half
"We were sputtering. It was weird. You know how it is. It's one of those games. That's where senior leadership and toughness comes in. It's a hard thing to get over that hump and we were able to do that in the third quarter. We started rolling and that was it."

On UH's play in the second half
"It's great when our offense gets like that. It could be like that every time. We just have to find our groove. When we find our groove early, it will be like that the whole game. We just have to find it earlier then we have been lately. Our offensive line did a good job tonight of controlling all the way, especially in the second half."

On leading late in the game
"I was glad we had the lead heading into the last part of the game. I knew if we could get one more stop, we would keep rolling. We got up 14 and we could sense it was over."

Running back Jackie Battle
"The offensive line was doing a great job blocking tonight. They opened up holes and that helped everyone. It's hard for defenses to adjust when you have a speedster like him (Anthony Alridge) and a bruiser like me. It's a great change of pace. It feels good to be bowl eligible. We got it off our back, now we need to move on and win conference."

Defensive back Willie Gaston
"I ran out of gas on the fumble recovery. I thought I could take it all the way, but that last cut took it all out of me. It gave the offensive good field position to go punch it right in and put the game out of reach. Kevin Smith is a big back; he's a bruiser. They wanted to play smash mouth football and they did. We need to get tougher on the run. They helped us out by going to the pass. We wanted to win the turnover battle and we did."

Running back Anthony Alridge
"I was running through open holes all day. The offensive line blocked like crazy today and I just ran through the holes. Jackie (Battle) can play any time. It's difficult for a defense to scheme for all of our backs, because we all bring something different. It's great to be bowl eligible, especially for our seniors. This season, we have a lot of seniors and are playing hard as a family. We knocked it out early and we can focus on the conference title."