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November 13, 2014

Larry Coker

Sean Ianno

Jens Jeters


COACH COKER:  Well, we're very excited for the win.  We needed to win desperately, and we were able to do that.  I was told we were like 6‑0 at home in November, and that's a good thing.  We've got one more home game, so hopefully we'll be 7‑0 in November at home.  Our kids really played hard, and that's the thing.  I say we're going to leave a calling card, and that is the calling card that we've left that we've really played hard.  I think we did that tonight and so did their team.  Their team played hard.
We got behind, obviously in tonight's game.  I was just hoping where we'd get in a situation where Sean would have a chance to win the game with a kick.  That was his fifth game‑winning kick.  He's earned a scholarship.  I was really pleased by how he's responded.  He's a great kicker.  I think he's an NFL‑type kicker, and we're just really proud of him.  Our defense played well again.
The one drive that they scored the touchdown on was the only really let down we had.  Had a touchdown called back, we made some mistakes at key times and we had a third down an offsides penalty that gave them momentum and kept their drive alive.
So, again, but that's football.  You've got to deal with what you have.  Again, I'm really proud of our players and proud of our coaches.

Q.  Coach, can you talk a little bit about Austin, and what he performed on that last drive?
COACH COKER:  Well, again, hoping he'd get an opportunity.  We had some plays on the field, and Austin seemed to be throwing high with the ball all day long.  Had some open receivers we didn't hit, but I think the final drive to give us an opportunity, I think that was just huge.  He really played pretty well.  He played better tonight.  I'm really excited for him about that.
Again, you hate to end the game, leading the game the whole entire way, and at the end not have an opportunity to win it.  But Austin gave us that opportunity, and Sean capitalized on it.  I will tell you, their field goal block team is outstanding.  It's the best we've seen.  We've worked hard on it.
Perry Eliano did a great job coaching our guys up, and they really did a good job.  91 is the best I've seen blocking kicks, and our guys really stood up in there and gave us an opportunity.  Also, maybe noticed we did have a new deep snapper also.  We had a broken‑‑ Jesse had a broken bone in his hand and was not able to play, probably won't be able to play the rest of the year.
But we're actually, we call him Big Slim.  That's the back‑up snapper.  That's what Perry calls him.  The kid from Oklahoma we signed, and he's really done a nice job for us.
I don't have any answers.  That's one of those that somehow we won it, you know?

Q.  Coach, can you talk about the mentality this week coming off of a tough loss last week in Houston?  You eliminated from bowl play, but for your guys to not give up and to continue to press on, even today after they fell behind, can you just talk about the fight in this team?
COACH COKER:  Well, that's exciting for these players.  They asked me early in the week do you think your guys will quit or give up?  They really don't have anything to play for.  I said, I don't think so.  I know their parents and what they're all about.  We're just going to play.  We're going to play.  I will tell you this:  We had excellent practices all week long.  We didn't practice long, but also we really practiced hard and practiced well.  I think they showed that tonight.
Where we are right now before this game, it would have been easy to quit.  We got lines that here we go again.  One of those things.  Our guys stayed the course and had an opportunity to win the game.  I was so happy for Sean that he was able to do that for us.

Q.  Coach, so many injuries on offense, I guess it's hard to keep your identity throughout the year, but have you gotten to the point where you kind of know where ball control, rely on the defense, trust the special teams that is kind of the plan right now?
COACH COKER:  We'd like to score more, obviously.  But I think the thing I look, we have more quarterbacks in street clothes that stand by me than we do on the field.  That's kind of where we are in that situation.  With Blake, now with the broken hand and of course, Tucker is out.  Hopefully we'll get Tucker back for the next game.  We have a little extra time this being a Thursday night game.
It's frustrating, it surely is, but that's life.  It's football and that's life.  You're going to have some of those things.  I look at the Dallas Cowboys.  They lose Tony Romo for a while and they don't win.  It's kind of one of those things that you better have a quarterback, and you better have your starting quarterback in there, and there is a reason he's a starter.

Q.  Coach, those grind‑it‑out wins have a little more gravity with the struggles of the teams they've faced earlier in the year.  Talk about this game maybe being an emotional springboard to finish the season pretty strong?
COACH COKER:  I hope it is because we have an opportunity to finish strong.  We're going to play some pretty good teams.  Obviously, we're where we are, a lot of guys are injured and we're missing a lot of guys.  But, again, if we play hard, prepare well, we'll have a chance.  Again, I think we really need it because I'm just thinking about this whole thing, what am I going to tell these guys if we don't win this football game?  I've only got so much coach speak and hyperbole to really reach the heart.
Again, they played hard and all those things, sure, but we needed to win and they were able to do that.

Q.  Sean, how did it feel on the last kick, and how does it feel to kind of get the monkey off your back?
SEAN IANNO:  Yeah, I haven't had a chance to scorch in the last few weeks, so that was nice today to be able to get a few opportunities and I was able to capitalize on them.

Q.  Just another day at the office for you, Sean?
SEAN IANNO:  Yeah, you ask me that question every time.

Q.  Yeah, but I'm just amazed at how cool you are all the time, which explains why you're successful?
SEAN IANNO:  I mean, they can tell you that's the way I am all the time.  Whether I'm playing football or hanging out, whatever, I have this attitude all the time.

Q.  Jens, can you talk about after they scored the touchdown, the go‑ahead, you guys were playing pretty well and almost had a shutout.  It seemed that you were going to be able to be successful.  What was the mentality after that happened with the defense?
JENS JETERS:  Yeah, we just slipped up on that series.  We gave them a touchdown.  After that we can't give them anymore points.  We did really well this week on third down compared to last week at Rice.  So really shut them out, third down.  Again, we had some key fourth down stops that really saved us and kept us in the game.

Q.  Jens, your ultimate goals aren't there for the end of the season, but what does it say about the team to come on a short week and pull out a pretty gutsy win tonight?
JENS JETERS:  Yeah, it was a really short week, and we kind of changed up our practice to prepare for this game.  As for the seniors, we are really focused that on every game we can win this game and we can win out, no matter how the season went.  But we're focused and we're pumped up.  Our practice every day is upbeat, up‑tempo on the defense.  We're ready to play.  We're having fun no matter what.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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