Coach’s Corner with Head Coach Larry Coker presented by Pat Clynes and The Fritz Kennel in Houston, Texas

Coming off a tough loss to Colorado State, Head Coach Larry Coker talked with media about his team headed into Conference USA play. Presented by Pat Clynes and The Fritz Kennel in Houston, Texas.

Interview with UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker: 

What are you thoughts on Colorado State game?
"I think we played better than the game before. I think we didn’t self-destruct. We had the one turnover that was costly, obviously, but you look at the game Jarveon (Williams) had, that's a tribute to him of course, but the offensive line also. Mike Egwuagu and Nate Gaines had a heck of a game on defense. Justin Chavez blocked a punt. (Special Teams Coordinator) Perry Eliano had a really good design there to block the punt and we did, so that's a good thing for us. David Morgan and Aron Taylor played well. Honestly Aron Taylor, he really stepped up and did a nice job receiving the ball. Our third down defense wasn't as good as it's got to be. They had 76 plays and we had 52, so it's a big mismatch there. Not a lot of margin for error for us. We're on the road this week with UTEP and they're 2-2. Again, we're 0-4, as you know. We've had a chance to win a couple of those games, for sure, but we didn’t. We somehow have to get our ship in order and ride it heading in the right direction, and I believe we'll do that." 

What’s the mindset of the team being 0-4?
"It doesn't change, from my standpoint. Winning is winning and losing is losing and it's a lot more painful to lose and it's exciting to win. You win … it feels really good. You lose, it just kind of eats at you. Really, if it quits doing that then you probably should be doing something else because it's a bottom-line game. To me, I hate for our players and coaches, because we have some really good coaches and a good young mix of some good players. To be 0-4, is very painful for me and more for them. I hurt for them." 

What are some of the highlights of the season so far?
"One thing is the attitude. The attitude's been great. We've stayed the course there. Again I mention the play of Jarveon Williams. He's having an outstanding year for us and David Morgan is another one that I've mentioned. The improvement of the offensive line has been huge to me. That's been really encouraging with the offensive line, because it does give you a chance. The overall defense has not been bad. The third down (defense), as I mentioned, is not where we need it to be, but you look at Nate Gaines, Michael Egwuagu, Bennett Okotcha and of course Drew Douglas has missed some, but with him in there, he's an awfully good player. I think overall there are some good things there. Special teams wise, Yannis (Routsas) is doing a heck of a job punting. The bad, I think the turnovers have been horrendous, especially in the first couple of games. We knew that going in, playing the Oklahoma States and the Kansas States, you cannot turn the ball over. I'm not going to say perfect, but we need to be spot on to beat those types of teams. That's what was encouraging about this last week, we played pretty well against a good team. They're a good football team, they had 17 starters coming back on a winning team and I think they've lost two games to FBS teams in overtime, so they're going to have a good team." 

What did you think of the  offensive performance against Colorado State?
"I think our offensive coaches, Coach (Kevin) Brown, had a really good game plan. We attacked them pretty good. I think it was a good day, obviously other than the win. That's the bottom line thing, but it was a good day from that standpoint. We talked about that. We've got to improve. Whatever that means on the scoreboard, we've got to improve. We have to protect the ball better, we've got to make plays on offense and we did that."

What is the mentality of the team moving into conference play?
"If we win on Saturday and we're in first place, I'm going to retire (laughs). The thing you see is that it's kind of a wide-open thing. I know there are some really good teams (in the league). I think it's exciting for our team to look forward to that. Again, it's how good can we play and things will take care of themselves. A few years ago we were 2-5 and won five in a row. We couldn't go to a bowl game, but we would have qualified if we were eligible. That's a tall task, I know that, but at the same token the games are out there."


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