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October 21, 2017

Frank Wilson

San Antonio, Texas

Rice - 7, UTSA - 20

Q. Much better finish?
FRANK WILSON: Much better finish. At the end of the day, you just want to find a way to win the football game, however it may be. I thought our team did that. Persevered, pushed through. When we needed a first down this week in a four-minute drill to close out the game, we found a way to get it done. Very proud of the effort to achieve victory for this football team, for our university, for our alumnus, for our city on homecoming day. Big victory for the Roadrunners today.

Q. Are there two Marcus DavenportS? Seemed like he was all over the place tonight?
FRANK WILSON: I thought he played lights out today. Continues to improve week after week after week. I thought when it was money downs and third down situations, fourth down situations and we needed a play, we were able to depend on him. He came threw in a big way for us. As well as the other defensive linemen who commanded people to block them, and they could not double team. So they created the one-on-ones for guys like Kevin Strong and Baylen Baker, King Newton, and I thought Marcus, whenever he gets a one-on-one match-up, I'm siding with him. I'm going with 93.

Q. Tyrell Clay, former walk-on earned a scholarship career day, obviously. You coached a lot of good running backs. What does he have that makes him go?
FRANK WILSON: I think he plays with all heart, man. He's all heart. I thought he played with physicality. He ran behind his pads. He never stopped churning his legs. He was able to slash in there at times. Then at the point of contact really lean forward and plow through tackles and made them earn their way. They had to wrap him up and tackle him. He played determined today, and we have a little saying where we say to our players let your personality show, and I thought he played with a vengeance today with extreme physicality.

Q. Are you allowing yourself -- did you allow yourself to take a look at the Conference USA standings?
FRANK WILSON: No, I haven't (laughing). No. The priority was to sing the alma mater, so we sung the alma mater, I addressed the team. We sung our fight song, rejoiced with those young men, did a quick radio and came to you guys. So I do not know any conference standings. Why, do you want to share something with me?

Q. Did you happen to see the C-USA standings .
FRANK WILSON: Yeah, my boy Lane Kiffin came through for me (laughing). Lane Monte Kiffin, all right.

Q. Coach, getting back to Marcus, on the touchdown play, did he just scare the ball out of that quarterback's hands?
FRANK WILSON: You know what? I was on the back end. I always try to get a back view to see our secondary and look through them to the defensive line. I didn't see it. I just saw the scoop and score. So I didn't know if it was errant in the delivery or he knocked it down. I wasn't sure. I just saw him the scoop and score. Did he hit him?

Q. They didn't show it.
FRANK WILSON: His presence did it. Yeah. Yeah. I'd be afraid too if he was chasing me.

Q. Is this his best game? He's had a lot of good games.
FRANK WILSON: We'll go back and study the game. I just know even when they weren't sacked, they were pressures and they were hits on the quarterback. Then to be able to be so disruptive that you dislodge or have a part in dislodging a ball and then the presence to pick it up and run it in for a touchdown. Then when they start to thread us yet again in the fourth quarter, position yourself to go back-to-back tackles, won a huge sack to close out a victory.

Q. Clayton had two interceptions?
FRANK WILLIAMS: How about C.J.? Another walk-on. Devron Davis went down early and we started our rotation. It was never more apparent than it was today. I lot of guys played who may not have played a lot of meaningful snaps in the past. So C.J. was one of them. We call Clayton C.J.

He's one of them. He gets in the game and positions himself and contests balls, gets an interception. Did he have two? Didn't get two interceptions and then played extremely well. Was proud of him. He was extremely hard, and he positioned himself to be a contributor to this team. He made his presence felt today.

Q. Talk to us about Dalton Sturm. He was his own superman out there. He took a lot of rushes and took control of the game. What are your thoughts?
FRANK WILSON: We designed some runs for him. After the third lineman went down, the continuity. Even though those guys prepare, when offensive line is a unique position because you work as a unit, as a group together, and there is a chemistry that goes with that. So when you thrust someone in, even though that person has been getting reps with the offense, he's been doing it with his unit. So things that, if I'm sitting in a stance next to you, I may just give you a little something. You know, we have a non-verbal communication piece there. Well, when those guys come in who are not generally with that group, sometimes there can be some miscommunication just from lack of chemistry.

But we thrust some guys in that went and competed and gave their very all. At times we had to create runs and quarterback design runs, which I'm not fired up about doing. I don't like Dalton getting a hit like that. But we had to. We had to create opportunities for us to take advantage of what they were doing. So we did that, and then some guys came back after being nicked, and we were able to get back on track and rush the ball well.

But I thought rushing the ball was important for us today. I thought we were good on the first downs. But we need to protect him better at times, and we need to not put ourselves in situations like we did. Let me see. How many penalties did we have? Nine. Way too many. Last couple we've been down three and four and prefer in that area. Nine was too many. They were critical on second down, we put ourself in third and long. It was important for us to stay on schedule. To be productive on first down and play second and medium, so we could play third and short.

So we got ourselves in some situations where it was third and long and extra long, and that proved to be difficult at times. But, Dalton did the things necessary to win the game. He managed the clock well, and gave us a chance to be in the greatest formation there is in football, victory. When you kneel on it and allow that clock to go away.

Q. Josiah (Tauaefa) went down early. Didn't come back. What can you tell us about his injury?
FRANK WILSON: I'm not sure. I haven't met with the doctors yet. They just told me he was out. But he was jubilant in the locker room, so he's not in a lot of pain. He probably had some deep bruise in there. Probably a bone bruise. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I don't think it's anything detrimental that will keep him out long-term. Hopefully it's not, but he had an ice bag on himself, so hopefully we'll have him back next week.

Q. It was such a heartbreaking loss last week, and to see these guys come out, that's got to make you proud of the way they flushed that one away?
FRANK WILSON: Yeah, they persevered and they fought. What we said to them was there won't be anything given to you. There is no empathy for those men on the other side of the field. Their head coach coached in this city. There are ties there, and they want come to win.

When you look at their body of work against our conference foes, whether it was against UTEP or FIU, you see a different team than when 1-6 record or whatever their record was when they're playing Stanford, and they're playing Houston, and they're playing Pitt. It's a little different when you focus in on conference play. So we knew that in spite of their record, they would be a very competitive football game because there is a lot of balance equity within our conference. They have always played us well in a tough game.

It was a physical football game on both sides of the ball. They were intense, but I thought we matched their intensity, and took it a little further to achieve victory. Again, proud of our football team.

Q. How about Stefan Beard? I don't think he returned?
FRANK WILSON: Yeah, he did not. Stef did not. So, again, I'm not sure of his injury, but he went out and did not return in a game. David Anzaldua went into the game, and it was good to see him get his nose bloody a little bit there as he competed. So we'll need that guy to finish the season. So hopefully Stef is able to come back. If not, next man up mentality. We train them for this moment. We're hopeful he could be back, but if not, the next guy will have to be ready to go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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