Transcript of Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville following the Bearcats 40-16 loss.
"Obviously disappointed. We played the game pretty much like we wanted to on defense for three and half quarters, didn't get much help out of the offense. Their defense handled our offensive line pretty good all night long. I thought we were able to get enough momentum to possibly have an opportunity at the end to win the game and then it exploded. Just bad decisions out of the quarterbacks.
"But if you go back and look at it, the bottom line is they rushed for like 200 yards and we rushed for like 20. I mean, you can't beat any good team if you can't run the football. You have got to be able to run it and granted they are a good defense, they lined up, put up six, seven in the box. I don't care how many they put up there, you have got to be able to run it some. They put all the pressure on our quarterback and receivers and they dictated the game to us on offense from their defensive side of the ball.
"Our defense played much better, we are much better on defense. We got some turnovers. We kept us in the game. I thought the defensive guys played with a lot of heart. I don't know how many plays, but I think they were out there for like 40 minutes and our offense had the ball 20 minutes. That is pretty lopsided.
"A little bit disappointed on some of the third down conversions. I'll be glad when No. 1, the quarterback is gone. I think that's probably it for us unless we get to play them in the championship game because he extended plays and he played well on third down, and he took a lot of licks,
"I thought at halftime we had a pretty good opportunity and especially when we stopped them and made them punt and our offense got a little bit of steam. But we just didn't have enough offense tonight to help our defense out, but it's a team sport you know. Nobody gets the blame, when the offense sputters, the defense has got to play better. I think we were even on the turnovers, but just a hard night and disappointed. We practiced well, we prepared well, and our guys were ready to play, laid it on the line. We just didn't have enough to beat a very good football team."
On Cincinnati defensive game plan for Houston QB Greg Ward Jr.:
"We put in the defense just for him, just some guys that are faster. We took the tackles out. We put four defensive ends in and they did a good job. We had pass coverage and he'd just pull it down and run. I mean that's a pretty good offense to have, you know drop back, cover everybody, pull it down, and run. That's hard to defend. I don't care how many guys you have rushing. We got a little bit tired there at the end. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, our defense had been out there forever and we played a lot of players but (Ward) is a good football player and he is great with his legs and he is just good enough with his arm to keep you in check."
On what it was like on the sideline when Cincinnati took the lead in the fourth quarter:
"We had a lot of momentum during the game. Our guys were really focused. I don't think we have enough leadership on the offense right now to figure out that we can get this thing done against a good team like that. They will be one of the better teams we play. Obviously, we didn't have enough but the spirits were good.
"But I thought the entire game, the coaches managed it well, nobody panicked. There were times when we could have sat and panicked and turn the ball over before the middle of the fourth quarter and we didn't do it. At the end, we had to start and try to make plays and they were too good at dropping them all off to make any yardage and just making it one dimensional in throwing the football."
On Houston's defense:
"They blitz a lot. They blitz almost every down and they are not big. They are real fast and they force you into a bad first down and they do a good job with it. They play a lot of linebackers. They have got a lot of experienced guys out there playing. We moved the ball pretty good at times, we're just very inconsistent and to beat a good football team like that you can't be that inconsistent in running the ball. I would have much rather run it for a 100 more yards on the ground and had a 100 less yards in the air. That takes more time off the clock, it rests your defense. You can't go 40 minutes on defense and your offense be on the field 20 minutes. That is just way too long and it was obvious we just started running out of gas."
On if he is looking for leadership form the quarterbacks:
"Everybody is trying to learn this offense and when you are trying to learn something new it's just hard to be a leader when you are thinking and trying to get to the next play, make up for what you did wrong the last pay, or concentrate on the next play. Leadership will come. Last year, we had pretty good leadership at times because we'd been running the same offense we had been running for three years and guys pretty much understood what was going on. This year, we are not hitting on all cylinders, we know that. We know this is a new offense, it's a new guy calling plays. We have got three new offensive linemen that are playing that have to get better, but we have got to be more patient at times and I know that sounds crazy but we can't, we are all disappointed. I'm disappointed we couldn't move the ball more on the ground, forget to score, but you can't beat a good football team especially a team like that that is so explosive with a quarterback if you can't keep him off the field."