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September 27, 2014

Bill Blankenship

TULSA - 34

COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Well, a little extra time there.

Q.  I know you're disappointed with that last drive, that's about as clutch as you've been in a while, that last drive that was something to hang your hat on.
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  No question.  We really were.  I feel way different in this game because we fought to the end.  We fought hard.  I told those guys in the locker room, if the ‑‑ the thing I fear is that when it doesn't pay off at the end, there will be some that will choose not to fight that hard.
But when you fight that hard, good things will happen and this team will grow into being a really good football team.

Q.  I can hear it in your voice the emotions going on after such a tough loss.  Talk about the emotions of losing that game where you guys were so close.
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Yeah, we have been very fortunate here to win a lot of overtime games, but not a lot, but the last couple we have been in.  It didn't turn out our way, but, man, we made a lot of clutch plays, clutch plays on offense and defense to get this, to get it to there.
I tried to really, sincerely focus on how hard our guys played.  They played hard and they played together and they fought and gave us a chance to win the game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Yeah, we got into some situations that we kind of blocked ourself out of taking some shots and doing some things and we had a series where we got some really unfortunate penalties that put us behind the chains in the first half.
But we fought really hard in this game and I thought the second half was indicative of what we thought we could do.
So I was very proud of the offensive line, and the running backs I thought really deserve a lot of kudos from the way they went about those drives, because there was a lot of spit in your hands and let's just keep running it.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Zack was the guy that kept running through some tackles, some really good ones.  We kept him in long enough to get the rhythm, but then try to think about who was kind of the hot guy and there was no doubt in our mind that Zach was kind of hot there at the end.

Q.  The fourth down play, the one you didn't convert when you were a yard away, obviously you did it with six inches with 10 seconds left, but I think that one in the early fourth quarter had to hurt a lot.  Talk about what went into that play call.
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  The one where we got stopped?  Yeah, is that the one you're talking about?  Yeah, there was a discussion whether to hand it off, whether to try to sneak it, you know, and our center really felt like that he could get a push and that if we would give it to Dane behind him or at least off to thereabouts, that we would have a good opportunity.  And we had a good surge, we didn't have a lot of blocks there, I guess, but at least he got in.

Q.  Where do you go from here?  That's an awfully tough loss, you got a hard game coming up.
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  We know that the reality is that we need to focus on the results of growing the team.  The disappointing thing is looking at the record at this point, but this is about the team.  We're a much improved team than where we were two weeks ago.
We're starting to see some things blossom.  I thought defensively we played really well for the bulk of the game.  That's something we needed to see.
We really sputtered early, on offense, trying to get it going and then I thought we gained our confidence.
After halftime, we got the ball and we got some points, we thought we would kind of break loose a little bit and we became a much more confident team at that point.

Q.  You just didn't get anything going offensively in the first half, but in the second half it seemed like they couldn't stop you.
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  The first half we had a couple three and outs and we were taking some shots and then we were playing good enough defense to keep us in it.
So we were just trying not to, to try to lose our mind and thinking that we got to do something different, just stay with what we had planned and eventually it broke loose and we started playing pretty well.

Q.  Talk about the defense and how it really kept you in the game.
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Oh, early, several times we got the ball punted to us and I thought that that was a little more defense than we used to.  Because that's a very good offensive unit over there.  Coach has done a good job with the option for a long time and his quarterback is very good.  I think both teams played hard and I don't think anybody flinched, it got into the third over time and somebody won.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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