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September 8, 2012

Bill Blankenship

TULSA - 45

COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Hearts and prayers are with that young man right now and his family. I can’t even imagine the struggle that that is. We just want to sincerely have our thoughts be with Devon Walker, Coach Johnson, the coaching staff and Devon’s family. It’s just a scary, horrible, heartbreaking situation. We can’t put ourselves in their shoes at all, but certainly we just stand back and hurt with them right now. We’ll find out more as all the medical people tell us what’s going on. We just want to join them right now with our thoughts and prayers for that young man.

Q.  From an emotional standpoint, obviously the first half was about as perfect as it could be.  Last play of the first half, obviously the emotion was draining.
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  It was.  I thought it was very aggressive, workmanlike performance.  We challenged our guys, Don't wait for the plays to come to you, let's get out and make something happen.
We played aggressive defense, got after the quarterback, were able to get several sacks and at least harass him in the backfield.
I thought Cody Green performed extremely well.  Before anybody asks, he'll be our quarterback next week.

Q.  What about Alex's performance?
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Alex Singleton just loves to play against Louisiana teams.  I'd like to see him do that kind of performance all the time.  How enjoyable was that to watch him run physical?  I haven't even looked at our stats, you guys probably have all that.  Big Al is a load when he gets going downhill.  I thought he ran extremely hard today.  Really encouraged.

Q.  How much information did the guys in the locker room have regarding the injury, while that was going on?
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Very little.  Very little.  I stayed out on the field.  Basically what we know now.  I can't even put ourselves in position of being on the other side of the coin.

Q.  Is there ever a discussion of maybe, We don't play the rest of the way?
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  I left that option available to the people in charge.  They talked about it.

Q.  There was a span in the first half of about 22 plays.  Was your offense really hot in that stretch or is that an indication of what you get through good work?
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  I think it's a little bit of all of that.  We were certainly in a groove.  Things were happening at the right pace.
The further along we went into it, Tulane kind of chose to put a little more pressure on the field, play a little more man coverage.  When you do that, it's a little more of a feast or famine.  We were able to pick them up a few times and get some good plays.

Q.  Were you encouraged by Cody, deep sideline throws, sideways throws?
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  The one that was really impressive to me was not the physical throw that he made to Thomas across the field, but was that he read that out, he knew that it was going to come open because of the way the safety had come down.  He knew the flat was going to be covered, then our crosser should be open.
What I loved about it was he guided it enough that he looked for it immediately, and it was there.

Q.  Was it from the outset to be aggressive on defense?  You had their quarterbacks scrambling most of the time.
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  We thought we could.  We had watched what Rutgers had done the week before.  Rutgers was able to get pressure on the quarterback, get after him.  They're playing with some new players up front.  Tried to take advantage of that as best we can.
We do think we're a faster defense than we were.  So we have to put ourselves in position to not just sit there.  I think when we're moving, it helps us.

Q.  (Indiscernible)
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  We felt like we had that opportunity on the opening kickoff.  They hit a nice pass on the sideline to get out from the shadow of their own end zone.  A lot of times when that happens, you don't get that field position back.
But you're exactly right, we flipped it and we got them pinned back in there again.  And that was able to allow us to get after them and put some pressure on them.

Q.  Were you glad to get your freshmen another chance?
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Yes.  (Indiscernible) the first one.

Q.  Before the game, you said you wanted a spark from everybody, even the coaching staff.  Did you get that?
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  Energy was really good.  I do think the coaches, the players, everybody came into this game knowing we needed a fast start.  We had started fast at Iowa State, we just didn't keep our foot down.  It was important all the way through halftime we continue to score, continue to try to play defense and play well.
I can excuse a little bit of the lull after halftime.  I think it's tough on both of us coming back out.  But certainly prior to that, we played extremely well.

Q.  (Indiscernible)
COACH BLANKENSHIP:  It's encouraging, isn't it?  I'm excited to go see what his stat line looks like, how he actually graded out.
He was all over the field.  I think he's playing at a real high rate of speed right now, playing like a senior that's been there before.
I think DeAundre has taken advantage of the fact, he's down 10 or 15 pounds from where he was a year ago, and I think he's playing a lot faster.
Okay, thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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