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September 4, 2014

Larry Coker


COACH COKER:  Well, obviously a very disappointing loss for us.  Really proud of our team.  They fought hard.  They were down in the middle of the mat, got off the mat, fought back, got ahead, had some chances, and really proud of the way we played.  I think the thing we'll learn a lot from this game.  I think we improved a lot in some areas.  As I told our team, I see glimpses of what can be.
I think we got some special things going here, and I see that, and I want them to see it.  But now we can't take a step backwards, we've got to keep on moving forward.  Schedule doesn't get any easier.  We're going to Stillwater next week, and I saw them play the No. 1 team in the country to the hilt.
But really proud of the way our guys played.  They responded and could have given up a couple times and they never did.  They fought hard, and that's what Roadrunners do.  I thought it was a special game day.  I thought Tucker Carter was brilliant.  The last interception was of course a disappointment.  But overall thought they played very, very well and played steps up.
Defensively, they're a good offense.  Very disciplined on the offensive line.  The big running back is a good player and the quarterback is a special player.

Q.  Yesterday was the three‑year anniversary of your first game.  Just talk about how far y'all have come to the point where you have a nationally televised home game that was a better football game than the first game of the NFL regular season?
COACH COKER:  Well, we've come a long way.  I tell you the fact of where we are and being competitive, I think that says a lot about our program, about our coaches, our assistant coaches did a phenomenal job and the type of players we have.  We have good players here.  People don't realize we're not supposed to have good players because we're a young program, but we have good players.  We have great kids.
There wasn't one player in there happy with playing this team close, and I think that's the thing that's kind of what we're all about.  But I think we have come a long way.  And you know what, it's gone fast.  I remember this is my fifth year here, I guess, and it doesn't seem like it.  It's gone very, very fast.  We moved ahead fast, and I think we can be competitive if we keep on pressing on.  I think we can be competitive whoever we play against.

Q.  Good show out there by the Roadrunners.  In the second quarter you had them up by 3.  You had the momentum, the crowd was into it.  Can you talk about what happened there and how that kind of got away from you?
COACH COKER:  The end of the first half, it's always kind of key.  The momentum going in at the half is the key, and we had momentum.  And they scored that last touchdown and they got it back going into the half and they're feeling good.  I think if we had gone in ahead like we were, there could have been a different outcome.  That's a big if, obviously, give them credit.  But I think that was a very key time in the football game right there.  The last half of the last score they made before the half.

Q.  How good was Tucker sort of ad libbing and keeping plays alive?  You mentioned how great he was.  How great was he?
COACH COKER:  I thought he was tremendous.  I thought he had a tremendous game.  I said after last week or last game I said Tucker's had a good game, but I think you're going to see some good things and special things.  I think you saw some of those things tonight.  I think all in all our offensive line played pretty well against a good football team.  I think he moved around well, made some plays, sometimes the plays weren't there.
I tell you, the theory is this:  Some things are catchable and the guys catching the ball make the quarterback look good.  Now David Morgan made our quarterbacks look good at times.

Q.  Coach, your defense looked more comfortable playing fast pace offenses this year, first with Houston and now Arizona.  What do you credit that to?
COACH COKER:  That we're playing?

Q.  Playing better with a faster pace offense?
COACH COKER:  We're playing better because one we're playing a lot of defensive people, two defensive fronts and that makes a difference.  When you see something a lot, we're hoping to get better at it, and I think that's where we are right now, getting better at it.  It doesn't surprise us anymore.  The big thing again is the fast pace offense.  Make sure you get lined up and make them execute to beat you.

Q.  Can you talk about the defensive line?  I know you guys like to rotate to keep them fresh.  They looked fresh throughout the game today and specifically on the play of Ferrington Macon?
COACH COKER:  I think they were fresh, and I think Eric Roark does a good job of rotating those guys in.  We have, again, I couldn't tell you the four starters right now.  We've got eight guys we play, and they're all to me basically starters and some have similar strengths or different strengths than others, but I think it's right.  We played a lot of people there, and I think it's a good situation.  I want to play as many people as we can to keep morale and keep guys into the game.  That's a special thing.  We need to do that, and we will do that.

Q.  Coach, your team here at UTSA has always played with a lot of heart and resiliency.  How do you go about instilling that in the team here?
COACH COKER:  I don't think we instill it.  I think it comes from home.  The parents have done a great job instilling that and these kids know they're tough kids, they're physical kids.  I know Rich Rodriguez told me after the game this was one of the toughest games we'll play all year, and he gave us a compliment as a coaching staff.  He said this will be the best coached team we play and that meant a lot.
I've known Rich a long time, and he's had a lot of good things happen in his career.  But I think, again, hopefully we build on it, but I think we proved that it comes and we've got some great parents that support their kids.  That is one of the reasons they want to go to school here because now parents can come and see them play and be part of their lives and I appreciate that.

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