Media Round Table 11.7.16

UTSA Head Coach Frank Wilson spoke with media Monday about the MTSU win and upcoming game vs La Tech. Presented by Pat Clynes and The Fritz Kennel.

Presented by Pat Clynes and The Fritz Kennel

On getting a win on his birthday last Saturday …
“It was good. I shared it was some of my closest friends — our team. I couldn't have asked for a better gift on my birthday." 

On the team singing "Happy Birthday" to him in the locker room after the game …
“It was fantastic. It was sincere. It was heartfelt. Leading into the game, I never discussed it with them at all because the reality is that it wasn't about me. It wasn't about my birthday. It was about the team and about this university. To share a little small personal piece with the team, the family, was certainly gratifying." 

On what that type of win can do for the team down the stretch …
“I think it's big for us as we continue to take steps forward. You continue to try to find those things. We got our first one (road win) against Rice several weeks ago and to come back and get this one against such a quality team who had been playing so well, and to win in the manner that we did, it's a boost for our morale, for our team to know that they can achieve." 

On the turnaround of the offensive line from the beginning of the season to now …
“We continue to work on it. I thought it was our offensive line's best performance. When you go back and watch the film study, missed assignments are rare, guys getting beat in one-on-one matchups are rare. It's the first game of the year to go with zero sacks. I think we're all taking steps in the right direction and this is an indication of the growth of this offensive line."

On the physicality of the team in games of late …
“Anytime you get out of a game with zero sacks and then vice versa, defensively have five sacks, it's a testament of big men leading this team. That's our mantra. We talk about it all the time. Big men lead this team. That starts up front. In order to be effective against this opponent, who was so effective in rushing the ball and throwing the ball, we had to change the line of scrimmage. I thought our defensive line did an outstanding job of doing that. I thought we had to run the ball effectively. When you look at 38 minutes time of possession and nearly 60 percent on third-down conversions — all those things go hand-in-hand with one another — 100 percent on fourth-down conversions where guys really got underneath our opponents' pads and were able to push them off the ball is indicative of the things we talk about from a physicality standpoint and certainly something we want to hang our hats on. 

On the number of running attempts and if that was part of the plan going into the game …
“It always plays itself out. You have a game plan. You have openers to try and see what a defense or an offense is going to do against you. We have multiple personnel groups and formations to see what lies before us in the remainder of the game. You look at that first drive and we go right down the field and score. It behooves you to stick to it. It's working. We dropped back a couple of times and uncharacteristic of us, threw it away to the opponent after our defense did an outstanding job in creating turnovers and giving it to us. At that point we were able to recognize what was boding well for us and we continued to do it." 

On Louisiana Tech …
“They're pretty good. You watch them week one against Arkansas in a game they probably should have won. There certainly a very formidable foe, but they're balanced. They have a tailback that has nine hundred and twenty something yards, arguably the best duo in the country in receivers, a slot receiver and an X receiver. (Carlos Henderson) is probably their most dynamic player. They'll put him in the backfield and hand him off the ball. They'll give him an end around. They'll put him wherever they think they can find a matchup against the defense to create. I know him. He's a New Orleans kld that we evaluated a couple of years ago. He's a very, very good football player. They score a lot of points offensively and they're pretty balanced in running it and passing it, as well." 

On if he would use the same formula as he did against Middle Tennessee …
“We'll do whatever is necessary. We're prepared to do that, and we'll be prepared to do that if necessary. If we have to try and score as much as we can to win the game, we'll be prepared to do that. Whatever it is, we'll be prepared to do that." 

On being one win away from being bowl eligible …
“I think it's relevant now for the first time, because as usual the next game is the most important game. This next game, which is the most important game, has ramifications that could position us, more importantly, to be in a position to contend for the conference championship. Certainly, that alone along with competing for a bowl bid were our long-term season goals. The reality is that there is a team that sits atop us in the West. We play that opponent this week coincidentally. We have two losses in conference. They have one. So it's right there. There's no avoiding it. If we're able to play well against this team, we'll be able to put ourselves in position to achieve our long-term goals." 

On how well he knows Skip Holtz …
“I've known him for quite a while. As a player, when he had his debut at Connecticut, I was on the back end of my playing career at Nicholls State and knew of him. I didn't know him then, but certainly knew of him with his father's legacy. Then I've kind of followed him throughout the years. When he took the job at Louisiana Tech and was getting familiar with the terrain, he reached out to me and we had a lot of conversations during that time, as well. I really like him. He's really charismatic. Great sense of humor. Quality football coach that has his team playing at a very high level right now. I have a lot of respect for him."


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