Locker Room Report vs. Houston: Defense

An inside look at the Miami locker room following the 14-13 victory over Houston.

Calais Campbell

On performance of defensive line:
"Yeah man, everybody was trying to doubt us, so we had to step up and show that we can actually be a good football team. I feel like today the defense played well. I feel like we earned it today, Houston is a tough team. We had a good battle and we played hard and came through."

On playing the whole game through after having cramping issues in first three games:
"At the end of the game, I could feel some cramps coming on, but the offense kept the ball, so I didn't have to go back into the game. I am trying to do my best to do whatever it takes to increase my playing time, because for the first three games I never played more than a half."

On what he is doing to fix the cramping problem:
"I am trying to eat more. My doctor says that my body is not used to playing at this weight, I am at 275 now and I weighed 255 going into the season so I gained 20 pounds in a few weeks. I am just trying to eat and get my body used to the weight."

Antonio Dixon

On first sack of UM career:
"I pushed through the pocket and the quarterback tried to step up in the pocket and I just wrapped him up."

On how the sack felt:
I was so happy. I didn't know if I should dance or just run off the field. It was a special moment.

On performance of defensive line:
"I feel like the line did well. We had four sacks and a lot of pressures. We need to do that every game to help the defensive backs out."

On his weight now:
"I am at 324. I feel better and better, but I am still trying to get down to 315."

Vegas Franklin

On if he expected to start:
"Not really. It just came up, so I am thankful for the opportunity."

When he knew he was starting:
"I found out on the Thursday practice."

On performance of defensive line:
"I think we played good today and it really showed. I think we played with more heart today—we are finishing on plays. We played the whole game hard."

Richard Gordon

On position change:
"Yeah, I got moved to defensive tackle like two days ago."

On if he likes the move:
"It will be a good move once I learn the technique and everything. Most likely, I will get in on third downs and key in on getting sacks and pressure on the quarterback."

On if he will ever play defensive end:
"That might come later, but right now I am under Coach Hurtt and he is a good coach and I think he made a good decision."

On current weight:
"I am at 262."

On if he expects to play this season:
"I am learning the plays and I should be expecting some playing time soon."

Bryan Pata

On defensive line play:
"We played hard all week. Their quarterback is a very good athlete he can run, and they throw the ball a lot. All week we were focusing on the pass rush and that is what we did today."

On how it felt for the defensive line to have a successful game:
"It felt real good. The last couple games, there has only been one sack by a defensive lineman."

On move to defensive tackle this season:
To be honest with you, I really like defensive tackle. I played it my sophomore year in high school. I am happy I made the change and it is bettering our defense.

On if he is surprised by his early success at defensive tackle
"I am just focusing. That is all I am trying to do. I take it one game at a time and just try to show my ability every week."

On his current weight
"I am at 282. Probably at the end of the season I can get up to 290."

Lovon Ponder

On the forced fumble:
"The back broke up the middle and I was wondering if I should hit him high or if I should cut him low, and I cut him and I don't know if I hit the ball, but the impact of the hit made him lose the ball."

On what the turnover meant to the team:
"It was a real big play. We talk about making big plays on defense and that is what I do."

On how he feels at safety four games into the season:
"I feel very comfortable now that I have learned the system and been in the system for three years. I have been learning from Brandon and Kenny and they have been helping me a lot."

Glenn Sharpe

On secondary performance
"We knew they were going to come in and throw the ball. The are a very efficient offense and their quarterback is very smart. I felt like we took it upon ourselves as a defense to come out and make plays to help our team pull out a victory."

On importance of getting a win no matter how ugly it is
"It is very important. From talking to my teammates and all the guys, we understand that. We know that we want to get back to being that elite Miami team and we are taking it one game at a time."

On play of defensive line
"I feel like the defensive line helped the secondary tremendously by making their quarterback scramble around. Even though he still completed some passes on the run, he was not in a comfort zone. They played an excellent game."

David Lake can be reached at

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