Larry Coker’s Media Round Table 11.16.15

UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker spoke with media Monday morning. Video and transcript.

UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker Weekly Media Roundtable Transcript

(Monday, Nov. 16, 2015)

On the win at Charlotte …
“I’d say we needed a win, but I think that’s an understatement. It was a tale of two halves. We played terribly, offensively, in the first half. We gave their offense short fields and defensively we stepped up, made some good plays. The second half, we played pretty well and did a lot of scoring in the second half. Two of the first drives in the third quarter were special. The first drive, in the third quarter was outstanding, went the length of the field and scored the touchdown, so we did some good things there. We were pleased about that. We needed it badly. I’m happy for the kids because they finally, to say that they deserved the win, I won’t say that, but I told the coach at Charlotte, 'I don’t know if you guys deserved to lose,' but we’re happy with the win.”

On keeping team morale high …
“We have some great kids. Our practices during the week have been good and guys have bought in. For the guys on the sideline, the first half, for guys not to panic and not to start pointing fingers, with Dalton (Sturm) having a bad first half with the interceptions, but they hung in there. That’s what allowed us to win the game. I think it’s a test of character and I won’t take credit for that. Give the parents credit and give them (players) credit for that, because they did a heck of a job.”

On Dalton Sturm’s performance …
“He played awfully well in the second half and he didn’t play well in the first. I’ve got to realize too, that he’s our quarterback, our leader out there, he touches the ball every snap, but he’s still a young player and doesn’t have experience. I don’t think he was pleased with it, but he worked to correct it. What I was concerned about was, ‘what’s he going to do in the second half?’ because when you have a bad outing like that, it’s easy now to kind of get negative about it, but he didn’t do that. That says a lot about him. He’s a tough, resilient kid. He really is.”

On the play of Jarveon Williams …
“In all of my career, sometimes the passing game doesn’t click, not that it couldn’t have, but you got to have something to hang your hat on, and Coach (Kevin) Brown is who you’re talking about. I think the thing that we did was that we hung our hat on maybe our best player, Jarveon Williams. Thank you, Judson High School, San Antonio, for Jarveon. He is a good football player. He can play at any place that I’ve been and he makes things that aren’t there happen. He's one that we’re able to ride and kind of get ourselves back in the game and he was just super. It shows that he’s tough. It shows he cares. I was talking to him after the game and he said, ‘Coach, I just want to win,’ and what that means is 10 yards or a thousand, he just wants to win. I think he’s close to a thousand yards. He’s not that far away. He is a good football player and we felt like he was. I don’t know, there might be better backs in this league, but there’s nobody that I would trade him for. Let’s put it that way.”

On playing in overtime …
“We work on the overtime situation. We don’t work on it every day, but we treat that as a redzone situation. We know that when we win the toss, we’re going to play defense first and all of those types of things. We know what overtime is, we rehearsed it and it’s not a big shock to us so that was a good thing we did that. Of course, I would say it today because everybody does it, but what a huge play by Nate (Gaines) because they were in position to score a touchdown or kick a field goal. Now, we were in position where any score we’ll have, we’ll win the game, so do we go for a field goal or do we work to try to score a touchdown? I’ve got some mixed emotions there because I’d rather score a touchdown. I think we tried to do that, but I wanted to give ourselves a chance to win the game, I didn’t want to turn the ball over. We had three interceptions during the game. I wanted to give ourselves a chance to win, and I’m glad we were able to do that with the field goal. It was huge. Plus, we were able to get the ball down a bit closer. It was almost like an extra point, so that was good. Perry Eliano works hard on field goal protection because Charlottte did a good job of, everybody in this league does, really putting power and putting pressure on the inside with jumpers and those type of things. Daniel [Portillo] does a good job of getting the ball up. That’s something we needed then, but I’m happy for our whole football team and happy for him too. I’m really happy he had a chance to do that.”

On the kicking competition …
“[Victor] Falcon is someone that we would like to give him a shot. Plus, we like the competition. It’s not like we’re all-world. We like the competition and also Falcon tends to get the ball deeper in the endzone. He really had a field goal opportunity and botched it, but he has a stronger leg, gets the ball out a bit more and did a good job kicking off for us. (Portillo) can hit a 50-yarder, I think he’s right there. At that distance, you have to have some distance and not so much the height. Outdoors, the weather wasn’t really a factor because the wind was down. It was a factor for me because I was a little cold, but I think that’s the thing we do especially with the longer kicks, Falcon is probably a little bit better. That’s kind of a concern for a 50-yard field goal when we do that, because we could also get it blocked and that’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

On the defensive effort …
“Six short fields and I think they only gave up a touchdown. That’s phenomenal. Jason Neill, Drew Douglas and Duke Wheeler, those guys there did a phenomenal job in the first half and the entire game. They kept us in the game in the first half. The thing about that, too, is that they didn’t get down emotionally. They came out and just played. I’m really proud, especially where we are. It’s not like we’re playing for a national championship. We’re just playing for a win and what they did, and how they did it, it’s a really special thing. Duke (Wheeler) has been fantastic, he really has. He is a good football player. That’s why I think this job can be a really good job, because we got a lot of good football players around. He could have had a chance to go to Texas, Oklahoma State, or Tulsa, or anybody else. He could have had scholarships. For us to get him here and play the way that he’s played, that just huge for us. We have several players like that. This is an opportunity for him and he’s taking advantage of it. He has the same heart and mentality as Triston (Wade). He is tough, a tough player.”

On the upcoming game with Rice …
“We haven’t beaten them, so they’ve had our number, house, credit card, the whole bit. David Bailiff is from San Antonio. Of course they lost a tough game last week. It’s one they are not used to playing. I think Rice has an opportunity to go to a bowl game if they win out and they would like to do that, so I think it’s a huge game for us, especially a huge game for Rice. We haven’t won a home game. We’ve won both on the road, but we haven’t won a home game and this is an opportunity. I hope we get our fans in the stands, but we’ll have to play better to beat Rice. You can’t have a bad half and beat Rice. Let’s put it that way. We’ve got to avoid the negative plays, the sacks. We had five sacks and that’s just unacceptable. Some of them were breakdowns in pass protection, but not many. Those things we can get better with quarterback play and also we have to get the ball out of our hands.”


Inside Runner Sports Top Stories