Larry Coker’s Media Round Table 11.2.15

UTSA Head Coach talked with members of the media Monday following UTSA’s 30-23 loss to North Texas.

UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker Weekly Media Roundtable Transcript
(Monday, Nov. 2)

On the loss to North Texas …
“Obviously, it’s a tough loss, real emotional loss. (It was) probably one of our better offensive games that we’ve played. We had over 90 plays and 37 minutes of possession time and almost 500 yards of total offense. Overall, I thought Dalton [Sturm] played awfully well. It’s just a disappointing loss. It's one of those ‘you snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.’ Defensively, through three quarters they had points on a short field. Jason Neil and Duke Wheeler played awfully well there. On offense, David Morgan and Kerry Thomas, I think Kerry had nine catches. In mistakes, not a ton of mistakes, but the mistakes were very costly. Of course, Jarveon [Williams] got hurt. We had a hand off and basically just dropped the football and a kid picked it up and scored with it. Credit to them. It’s kind of funny from the standpoint, more ironic, but a perfect bounce, right in his hands. How many times does that happen? Not very often. It’s kind of those things that happened for us on Saturday. The blocked extra point, that’s just poor technique on our part and we let it happen. Of course, they had the fumble touchdown. To me, that was the difference in the game.”

On the offense … 
“We could have scored more touchdowns. We should have scored more touchdowns. From an offensive standpoint, having been an offensive coordinator, every time you get a possession you want to score. We don’t settle for field goals, but we like points some how, some way. Again, the big thing is that we have to score more touchdowns.”

On the team’s mindset …
“The mindset’s good. We’re fine. We’re just down, disappointed and we should be. Those are things we put a lot of effort — coaches and players — to win a football game and we had chances to do that, but didn’t get it done. They say stats are for losers, and we lost on Saturday, but you have to take some solace in that. We did some awfully good things and I want to give our guys credit for that. We’re not good enough just to go play. I’ve been around some great teams and you can just screw up and not deserve the win and somehow because you’re better, a guy like Andre Johnson makes a big catch or Clinton Portis makes a big run and you end up winning the game. That’s not our team. We can’t do that. We have got to play well and hit on all cylinders. We’re not going to be perfect, we know that, but at the same token, we can’t give the game away, which is basically what we did on Saturday. Give them credit, they did what they had to do to win, they needed a win. We had 90 plays and they had 60 and the time of possession was off the charts on our way, but we just did not win the football game. We've got to score more touchdowns. We talked about it this morning with our offense. We have got to score more touchdowns and we could have, should have. As we go through with losing Jarveon and our quarterback situation, we’re really proud of Dalton. He really came through and played awfully well on Saturday. I don’t know if we could have asked any more out of him.”  

On the quarterback situation …
“We’re preparing that Blake (Bogenschutz] is not coming back. We won’t sit here on pins and needles thinking when he’s back. We’re going to prepare like he’s not coming back and if he does, that’s a bonus. Dalton (Sturm] took a huge step. He’s relaxed and poised and has made a big difference. He’ll get better each week. The main thing, we've got to help him. We've got to help him with the running game. I was talking to Kevin [Brown] about this, this morning. When we couldn’t run the football, I didn’t call very good plays. I played some of the Florida State teams and we couldn’t gain an inch running the ball and would take negative plays. That's the thing we’ve got to avoid, avoid the negative plays. That’s the thing that Dalton gives us because he can run. ”

On Jarveon's injury …
“Losing Jarveon hurt. Jarveon is probably our best offensive weapon, no doubt about that. He is a really good football player. Jarveon can play in South Bend, an awfully good player. I don’t know [his status]. We’ll probably know more today. He says he’s going to be back fine, but we’ll see. He’s not the doctor, so we’ll let the doctor tell us that. “ 

On the Drew Douglas ejection …
“It was an altercation. I don’t disagree with the official's call. I apologized to the officials and Drew apologized also to me and to the team. That hurt us, obviously. He will be available this week.”

On Old Dominion …
“‘Bobby Wilder has done a great job there. They’ve got a lot of good football players in there. Offensively, they’ve got an outstanding running back. I think he may be leading the league in rushing. They’re just a solid team and play hard. Defensively, they’ve got an outstanding middle linebacker. Offensively, they’ve got some big 6’2”, 6’3” wide receivers. Certainly everybody’s going to be a challenge for us. We've got to play our best to have a chance to beat anybody, but they've got some good weapons.”

 On utilizing team depth …
“Right now we’re going to play the people that are going to help us win the game. We’ll have spring practice and so on, but in the end, if they’re going to help us win the game, those are the ones that are going to play.“

On the program's progress or maybe being too optimistic through the first five years … 
“Too optimistic, I don’t know if those are the right words to say. I don’t think I was. I think we had a chance to really do some good things. You look at our schedule; the front end was very tough. We had chances to win some of those games. Again, we lose our quarterback. There are a lot of things that happened. This is kind of a transition year where we lost over 30 players. We had no chance, but had we not had the injuries, I think we would have a good chance. I really do. It was a bad year to lose a quarterback. I don’t know if there’s a good year to lose a quarterback, but this was a bad year to lose a quarterback. We talk about this from day one, ‘hey this is going to be a process. It’s not a quick fix, it’s a process.’ Well, that’s true, but when you’re in the middle of it, you want it yesterday. I really want it for these kids. These kids have really done a lot. They’re wonderful, wonderful kids. Obviously, it’s (bowl game) not going to happen this year, but I can’t say enough about these kids, how accountable they’ve been. They’ve been on time, they’ve done everything that I’ve asked them to do and I wanted it for them. It’s not going to happen now, but we can salvage the rest of the year. I think we can have a good finish to the year. We’ve got to somehow stay on track. We’re going to coach hard and they’re going to play hard. Your excited with the wins, but when you step back and look at the schedule, the level of the competition’s is a lot better and when you throw some injuries on top of that, it’s really a two-way street. I don’t want to make these excuses, but those are facts, they’re not excuses. The schedule was a huge difference. I was told that it was one of the toughest schedules in the country and it probably was.”

On the accountability of the staff …
“We have a great staff. I would take this staff anywhere that I’ve been. They’re outstanding people and outstanding coaches. That’s the thing I see, how they’re accountable. They work early. They’re on the phones recruiting. All the things you do as a coach, they’re doing. You know that as a coach. If they’re not, it’s my job to make some changes, but they are, they’re accountable, very accountable. We have a great staff and there’s no reason to make changes. Hopefully, we can keep them together to be honest with you. There are a lot of jobs open and they’re going to have a lot of opportunities because they’re outstanding coaches."

Expectations for this week …
“I expect to have a great week of practice. I expect that we’ll play well on Saturday. That’s why it’s so disappointing about this last week because we had opportunities. We've got to somehow regroup and play well on Saturday. We’ve won one road game. We had a chance to win a road game last week. We had a great crowd on the road. They were in to it and excited about it. I’ll say this, don’t give up on us, and stay the course. We need them. I compliment our fans. Our fans did a phenomenal job. They really did. There are a lot of things to be disappointed about when you lose, certainly for me, for the players, but also for our fans. We have great fans.“

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