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November 16, 2019

Frank Wilson

San Antonio, Texas

Southern Miss - 36, UTSA - 17

Q. What went wrong tonight for the Roadrunners? It seemed like you guys were in this game for most of the game.
FRANK WILSON: Yeah, I think we struggled to establish the run. We knew that they would try to make it difficult by adding extra defenders in the box, and at times we made them pay for that, and in the passing game we were able to get some chunk yards there but then other opportunities to run the ball. I think you have to be able to run the ball consistently to give us the balance that we need. And we were not able to do that. At the end of the day, when you turn it over three times or even when we do get turnovers back from them to make it neutral, in that sense, we've got to be able to capitalize. So we had a couple of turnovers from a defensive standpoint that we got no points out today, and then we turned it back over from an offensive standpoint.

I just think that we've got to find some consistency within our football team for four quarters. It's a six-point game at halftime. We're poised and in position to go up 17-10 at one point, and it wound up being 16-10 or whatever it was at the half. We could have scored, instead they scored, and then we came out, fell behind a little bit, came back and fought and had some really good stands at that time and moved the ball at times. So I thought sporadically we moved the ball, but we just didn't get in the end zone enough, even in the last drive, an opportunity down there in the red zone to capitalize that we did not.

Q. Did you feel like overall kind of revisiting some of the things you just said that you were competitive in this game more than the score shows or was it kind of the result that you played to?
FRANK WILSON: No, I thought we were competitive. You look at -- if you want to look at it statistically at halftime or at any point, at the final of the game, we wanted to challenge them to have long drives, to sustain drives, to have 10-, 12-, 14-play drives and not have big plays. I thought we contested balls in the air that were tried to throw over our corner's head. We didn't have that. It was the intermediate short passes and the run-after-catch that cost us, and then in the run game a misfit here or a missed tackle here where a guy went the distance. It's very contrasting because other times it'll be a tackle for loss or a great tackle, and then the same play we'll miss the tackle.

So I thought, again, that's the consistency that we desire and we need to be able to find, and I thought from an offensive standpoint, you look at those five sacks, and I think at times our quarterback had a year to sit back there and throw the ball, and so it's not all on the offensive line. At times I thought we should have gotten rid of the ball at times, and I thought we had plays called at times.

So to be able to get a feel for that and to take at times what they give us to move the chains and know that it doesn't always have to be the home run is something we'll continue to develop as an offense, and we'll be better at those things. But it cost us at the very end.

Q. What's your message to the team and what was the atmosphere like in the locker room knowing you need to win the last two to get the bowl eligibility?
FRANK WILSON: Yeah, get to five. Get to five. FAU comes in our stadium next week for senior day, for our last one in the Alamo Dome, and to go and play, to play to the best of our ability consistently against one of the better teams in the east of our conference.

We'll have our work cut out for us, so a lot of preparation will be needed. We'll turn our attention to that immediately starting tomorrow after we correct these mistakes so that it's not exploited, fix those things, and then be ready to play a quality FAU team and take it one game at a time with that one being the most important one because it's the next one next week against FAU.

Q. You had a strong performance from a number of young guys like Franklin and Harmanson. What did it mean to you to see some of them do well tonight?
FRANK WILSON: Yeah, I think when you look at Zakhari Franklin, Joshua Cephus, you look at Trevor Harmanson, you look at the team as a whole, we're youthful in a lot of spots, and those guys continue to develop, those guys continue to make plays, tackling in the double digits, catching near three digits, meaning 100 plus receiving and things of that nature. It bodes well for our team. It shows you that we have the talent. We've just got to keep on maturing it, bringing it along. They've gotten better each game offensively. I think we've gotten better each game and we continue to improve. We've just got to find the consistency and balance, which we didn't in this game from a run game standpoint.

Q. Lowell finished with a career high passing. How have you seen him continue to develop? Was anything different in this game that he showed you?
FRANK WILSON: Yeah, I thought he did some good things. I thought we were in position, and from a game plan standpoint we thought we'd have opportunities to be able to throw those balls because of what they were doing from a defensive standpoint, fitting extra safeties and things of that nature in the box, giving an illusion it was a five-, six-man box and at the snap it's eight, so it created a lot of one-on-one opportunities for us. When he plants his feet and he's understanding of what we need to do, I think he's spot on.

And then we had opportunities where he hit the receivers in the chest, and we didn't come up with the catch. So a combination of those things, a tribute to our success and at times our lack of success, but I thought that he continued to improve. When you throw for 300 plus yards certainly that's something that shows we're making strides. We'll need to continue to do that, and again, bring our run game along with it.

Q. It seemed like the offense had one of its better days. Lowell had a little pretty good day for what he's had for this season, but you guys still kind of left lacking. What do you need to improve going forward these last two games?
FRANK WILSON: Yeah, we need to score. We've done things statistically that move the ball up and down the field and show that we can move it and we can convert, whether it's 4th down, whether it's 3rd down and make big plays. I think there are small victories in some spots. At one point we didn't have many big plays. I think today showed that we do have big play ability and we were able to hit some of those balls and big plays down the field and not just the run game, with Sincere and the offensive line, but in the pass game, as well. But at the end of the day, we have to be able to generate points, and we didn't do that well enough, so I think in these last two games we'll have to score against two offenses that are high-powered and that our defense will continue to do those things necessary to keep us -- keep it in perspective. We'll need to eliminate big plays defensively and make those opponents go down the field, as well, but I think we have to match those teams when it comes to the opportunity to score.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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