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September 22, 2018

Frank Wilson

San Antonio, Texas

Q. Coach Wilson, do you feel a type of relief from earning this first win of the season?
COACH FRANK WILSON: In my pregame speech to our team, here’s what I said to them. Often you wonder what your approach or delivery is going to be but my thought process with our team was that they would be able to use their God-given ability to maximize their potential. To go out and play the game the way they’ve been trained to play, to go compete, to go have fun. I said to them if you do that, we can deal with the results. Just go play the game the way you have played since you were a young boy. They did so. I thought our team played fast and physical; to just see the smiles on their faces. The vindication of hard work coming to fruition is a beautiful thing. There is nothing more gratifying to see out of your student-athletes. So happy for them.

Q. Coach, how would you describe your players' attitude when they walk in here, their demeanor when they walk into the building, because I know you always like to play at home, but you were 0 and 3 coming in. How were they?
COACH FRANK WILSON: They were excited about this opportunity. I thought we had a great week of preparation. I thought today's pregame prep, walk throughs, meeting time, we were laser focused and the guys were eager and anticipating the opportunity to go out and compete today, and I thought when we got that opportunity for a chance, we started fast. We started fast on the defensive side and we started fast offensively. Sputtered at times, but I thought that starting fast was what we needed and thought we got that for our team.

Q. Let's talk about the last couple of minutes or so. First of all, the punt that you got at the two yard line and then the safety on the next play.
COACH FRANK WILSON: Here's what happened. So we evaluated this team in our scouting report, and they showed some things, and we took a shot and we went to get the on-side kick, and then we saw some things they were doing consistently from a punt standpoint. And we made the call -- I made the call -- just so you know, not the special teams coordinator -- that almost cost us. I did. All right. And so but we thought we had them right where we needed to be. The previous snaps on their punt block unit they were retrieving and getting out there early so we thought we'd be able to take advantage of it by presnap their line in the exact same look, and then right before the kickoff they switched on us. So they checkmated us on that particular play.

We were able to punt the ball back down and ^ pin them at the two yard line and then really pin our ears back and say, you know what, let's go get them. And Jason Rollins, our defensive staff, made a great call. And that safety was the turning point to seal the victory for our team.

Q. Frank, the play of the offense seemed a little stagnant in the middle of the game.
COACH FRANK WILSON: We did enough. We did enough to win the game. Again, started off fast, went down and kind of moved the line of scrimmage and was able to run the ball effectively. Probably stayed with it too long, should have came out of it earlier and started throwing the ball more often. We did get in a rhythm playing pitch and catch, took a couple of shots down the field and didn't come up with them, balls that we thought were catchable that were not completed, and then we needed to do the things necessary to preserve victory and not take us out of field goal range in a compromising position, if something was to happen with an errant pass, snap or sack, but yet, still wanted to be aggressive to our opponent, and I thought we did that. And so it was enough to earn victory. But no doubt about it, our special teams play, our defensive play allowed our offense to do just enough for a team win.

Q. Coach, you go into conference play next week. Having a win prior to that, obviously a loss is not good, but the confidence that you have going into conference play.
COACH FRANK WILSON: Yeah. It's been elusive. I mean 0 and 3, wins are not easy. They're hard to come by, and you take them how you can get them in any form. So to get the first one of this season is big for our football team, for their morale, for their esteem, for their confidence going into, again, next week in a conference rivalry yet again at UTEP. We have some of our administration that worked at UTEP. So it'll be big for us. It'll be fun to have them at our venue and compete against a quality team.

Q. Coach, you're 100 percent in the red zone and I think No. 1 in the FBS. That's been a huge improvement since last season. So once you guys get in the zone, you guys score.
COACH FRANK WILSON: Yeah. We're getting points down there, 100 percent in the red zone, which is a critical piece for us. Our defense was outstanding in third down situation. At halftime I think we were at 50 percent on third down, they were at 10 percent. So we were doing things necessary as well as creating turnovers. We finished the game right at 35 minutes controlling the clock. And anytime your defense can play a game and play a minimal 50, 53 snaps, you're usually going to play well because they're fresh and you're able to be physical. You're able to be violent at times, and I thought we hit them hard. I thought we knocked one quarterback out. We dinged another, and then the third quarterback came in and honestly did an admirable job for them. But I thought our defense played extremely fast, extremely physical at times for the most part throughout the duration of this game.

Q. Frank, you guys needed the win, and you got it. Can you describe the mood in the locker room with those guys, just what it means to the players?
COACH FRANK WILSON: Yeah, it's something that we didn't know a whole bunch about three years ago when we got here because we had only played Texas State one time before, and what we've done over the last three years is really embraced our culture, embraced our university, embraced our city and have done enough diligent research to go all the way back into the 80s when we first started playing them and '91 when it became a conference opponent with Southwest Texas, Texas State and UTSA in other sports and then the first time we played them in football, et cetera. So even though from a football standpoint the history had not been long, from a university standpoint we've been competitive with this university for quite some time. So we embraced the opportunity of this rival, if you will. So the I-35 showdown was given life. And so to have the trophy in our possession on our campus and be able to hoist it tonw ight is a beautiful thing for our university.

Q. Coach, could you comment on Jarrod's sack at 40 and 44 today and almost 58 I guess?
COACH FRANK WILSON: Yeah. So here's what happened on the 58 one. We had two timeouts. Made no sense to take them with us to the locker room. So we were going to spend them. So we got the guys over, said here's what we're going to do. We'll give you a shot. I said, can you make it? "I can make it, Coach."

I said, we're going to give you a practice one. We're going to snap the ball. I'm going to call a timeout. The core snap catch kick go through our motions protect him, and if you make it, we'll go for the next one. If you don't, we'll take a shot at the end zone. So we were deliberate in our intent to try to build his confidence and kind of see where he was. So intentional to allow him a free kick, if you will, called a timeout to kind of see where he was at. He was probably two yards short, so we kind of gauged exactly where he would be in a game situation, but then took a shot in the end zone on the next play.

Q. So you put that in your pocket for the next game, 56 yards?

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