"We Kept Pounding And Kept Pounding"

GUARD/CENTER QUENTIN SAULSBERRY: Q: Talk about a running game with more yards than Houston had passing yards? "Yeah, and that's one thing Coach Mullen and Coach Hevesy explained to us. We wanted to attack. Come off the ball and do what you're supposed to do. Not just wallow and catch things, attack. A defensive player wants to get up the field, so let's reverse that, let's get up the field."

Q: What did it mean to force a turnover off a punt and convert a chance in the red zone? "Man, it was a good momentum change. And all we had to do was go execute. We express that every week-in and week-out, we have to execute on the big plays."

Q: How much confidence did it give being able to keep running the ball? "It rises up to every level. You know, if you keep running the ball the next thing you know you have eight yards, then it's ten, then you've got a 40-yard run and maybe a touchdown. It's a lot of momentum, just like Houston. Some plays they made and some plays they did, it's a change of the game. We have to keep making the plays and continue to do so."

Q: Did you sense their defense was wearing out? "That's what we wanted to do. That was our plan and we kept pounding and kept pounding. I was telling the rest of the offensive line let's keep pounding and pounding you know. And that's what we had to do."

Q: The players wanted to go for it on that 4th and 1, and Coach did? "Yeah, we were begging to go for it. And Coach Hevesy expressed to us if you've got one yard, you've got to get it. Whether it's fourth and one or third and one you've got to get it."

Q: You aren't listed as second center but when J.C. Brignone went out everybody knew it would be you moving over? "I never knew what time it was going to be for me to start playing center, but Coach tells me all the time if you can play one you can play all of them. So I just tried to execute and bring my team together."

"Coach tells us if you know your position you have to know everybody else's position."

Q: Most of your snaps were to Tyler Russell but you two worked smoothly? "Right, and we work on that all the time. Make sure you take care of the ball, that's the most important thing. Coach always tells us take care of the ball and we'll win the game."

Q: You don't want to look far ahead, but you are two wins away from bowl eligibility? "Yeah, and one thing: we can't be satisfied being so close. Just like we do in the classroom, we have to excel."

CORNERBACK COREY BROOMFIELD: Q: Are you going to tell me you read that pass all the way just like the Egg Bowl? "The coaches prepared us. It was a young quarterback and I knew he was going to want to look-down. I was just in position. I think it was a double-drive route, I saw one go behind me so I knew one was coming underneath me. He being a young quarterback, he stared him down and I was just able to break on it. And I made a big play for the team."

Q: The defense hasn't created points this year, but tonight you changed that? "It was a great relief to finally see all that work we put in since the spring. When Coach (Manny) Diaz the first thing he said was he wanted us to score. For us to go out there and score we had the safety with (Pernell) McPhee and I got the interception. It was a great relief for the whole defense, we saw some rewards for all the hard work."

Q: Coach said the pick-six was also a major momentum change before halftime? "Exactly. Coach ways when they go out there and try to get asomething a little extra, punish them for even trying to do something. The coaches put us in great position to do that."

Q: A team that throws 59 times is going to get yards and points, but you still made more plays? "Coach Diaz says don't worry about numbers, the only numbers to worry about are the numbers on the scoreboard. They drive and they don't score, we did our job."

TAILBACK VICK BALLARD: Q: Just tell us about your night? "The O-line did a great job blocking, and Pat Hanrahan did a great job blocking. Like I always say, if everybody does a great job it makes it easier for me, to just walk into the end zone."

Q: But you also had to break some tackles to get there? "They weren't wrapping-up as good and I was able to take advantage of that and come away with touchdowns."

Q: You had the big run on a three-play drive, did that help you get going? "Oh yeah. I guess it's a momentum thing, I was able to get some momentum for the team."

Q: Did Houston scoring right off the bat have anyone concerned? "I was saying on the sideline every time we get the ball we have to score. We came away with the win so I guess it turned out alright."

Q: Did you get the sense the run game was wearing Houston down? "Their run-stopping wasn't all that good tonight. Coach Mullen said we had more than 400 yards rushing so after so long I guess they did start wearing down."

Q: Did Houston try to make up for not being real physical by being aggressive on defense? "Yeah, on some plays there were taking some different gaps. But we adjusted to it and made the best of it."

Q: We've asked you before, is something about the end zone that gets you going? "Yeah, when I'm about to score I look at the goal line, know what I'm saying, and it gives me an extra gift. Just go get it!"

Q: Is out-rushing the other team's passing yards how this team wants to play offense? "I think we're just doing anything to come away with a win. Either rushing or passing, as long as we get a W."

LINEBACKER CHRIS WHITE: Q: A team that throws that often had to keep your defense on your toes? "Yes, sir. I mean, if they throw that much they're going to catch some balls. You can't stop them every time. And I felt we did a pretty job, that we played pretty good."

Q: Did their first touchdown worry the defense? "Oh, no. That was kind of shocking, the first series they kind of just drove it down our throat. We kind of got mad about it and we picked it up after that. I don't know what happened but we weren't happy about it and picked it up."

Q: How much easier did scoring before halftime make things on the defense in the second half? "Oh definitely, that helped a lot. We went in at halftime knowing we still had to come out and play the second half and give it our all, and that's exactly what we did."

QUARTERBACK CHRIS RELF: Q: Was that the kind of ground game you wanted to show tonight? "Vick made some good runs, I made some good runs, and we just executed on offense."

Q: Were you glad to get back running the ball after they didn't let you run much last week? "It felt real good!"

"It was just making the right reads. The offensive line blocked well, I just ran behind them the whole night."

Q: Were you feeling alright after the third quarter? "I just got the wind knocked out of me a little bit, I was alright though. Yeah, I wanted to go back in, but Coach just sat me down on the sidelines. It was OK, though." Q: What challenges did Houston's defense present? "I think they were trying to mix-up their coverages on a couple of our passing lanes. But we hit some big passes. I think we need to work on the passing game more next week."

Q: Were you able to be more patient in the pocket tonight? "I'm very patient, I knew my O-line was going to block for me and I just had to make the right reads and throw the ball."

Q: Was there any issues adapting to the change at center? "Nah, Quentin can get the job done."

Q: Can you feel bowl eligibility getting closer? "Yes sir, we're very confident. We're working hard every week at practice and that's what we're looking for, high expectations."

Gene's Page Top Stories