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La Tech Insider: Skip Holtz

La Tech Head Coach Skip Holtz talked with media about the UTSA game this week.

Head Coach Skip Holtz’s Quotes from Monday’s Press Conference

Opening Comments:
“It’s nice to win. It’s always nice to win, especially on the road in a conference game. To go and take care of business I’m very proud of this football team and what they were able to accomplish on Saturday. I said last week during the press conference that I think Seth Littrell has done a great job with the North Texas program as a new coach. What they are building, I think their players compete hard. We knew that it was going to be a challenge and we knew that we were going to have to go and make the routine play. I was really proud of the focus of this team and the energy of this team and what they were able to do playing 10 weeks in a row without an open date. Just the focus that they have been able to keep and the job they have been able to do getting themselves up each and every week and getting mentally and physically prepared to play the game.”

“This week, we have a chance to come home, kind of close the book on North Texas and get ready for Homecoming. We have got UTSA coming in this weekend. There is no place like home. I am excited to have a chance to play our fifth home game here in Joe Aillet Stadium. I know the players get excited about having the chance to be able to play here at home. No travel, not getting back late at night, those type of things. So I think everybody is really excited to come back and play. It is a conference game and when you get into November you’ve got two teams that are playing for something that I think creates a lot of excitement and energy. In college football, as you get into November and you start to look at all the differences in conference races going on and the implications. I know a million people are saying, ‘If they beat them,’ and, ‘If they beat them, and they do this and this,’ and, ‘This happens and that happens.” You talk about who is going to win the divisions and who is going to host a championship game. There’s a lot of things that are still out on the table. But as we have talked about as a football team, those things are still out there and they are the elephants in the room that everyone wants to talk about. For us right now we have to stay focused on the process and the process of getting better continually to improve fundamentally and keep getting better as a football team. We still have a lot of football left to play. You can play as many as four games still remaining, so there is still a lot of football left to go even though there is only two left on the regular schedule, so we have to make sure that we stay focused and control what we can control, which is us. We are going to leave all of the speculation for everybody else and what we are going to do is control what we can control and that is the way that we play this game on Saturday. I think Frank [Wilson] has done a really nice job. UTSA is a hot team right now, they have won 4 of their last 5 since their open date. A new coach with a new staff that is really starting to put his fingerprints on this thing. They are playing hard, they are playing confident, they are playing physical, they are flying around, they have made some adjustments personnel-wise and scheme-wise that settle into what they are. Right now, they are really good at it. Their lone loss was a multiple overtime game with UTEP, but right now they are really playing well. Like I said, they have gone on a string and won four of the last five.”

On UTSA’s offense:
“Offensively, I think it starts with their quarterback, who I thought played a great game against us last year. We had an opportunity to see him, he is throwing the ball really well, he has really good feet and he is a tough fiery competitor. Dalton Sturm who I think is playing really well right now, he is one of the big reasons for their success. It goes to show you the exact science of recruiting and that he was a walk-on at UTSA and yet he is one of the better quarterbacks in this league. He is really a quality player. With what he is doing, they have two running backs that are doing it by committee. The two of them are running for a combined 135 yards per game. Their offensive line are big, they have a transfer from LSU at left tackle who is a really good football player. They are big, physical, and running the ball. They are very multiple in what they do, in they are giving you multiple unbalanced formations and different formations with what they are showing. They are able to control the ball, make first downs, and they are scoring a lot of points. When you look and them and their stats over the last five games it is really impressive with what they are doing offensively.”

On UTSA’s defense and special teams:
“Defensively, they are good at what you need to be good at to be a good football team. They are second in the conference in scoring defense, creating turnovers and in the red zone. When you look at them, I think they are really an efficient defense that starts with their linebackers. They have a freshman linebacker that is top 20 in the country in tackles, he is very active all over the field. Their front is very active, they play a lot of guys in their front. They are playing a lot of guys on defensive and they are just rolling bodies in and out to keep them fresh. They have an awful lot of talent, but I think it all starts at the linebacker position as active as they are. Their special teams are solid, their kickoff and kickoff returners are two of the better ones in the league, which give us a challenge this weekend.”

Closing remarks:
“You are in November and you are playing for something at home with Homecoming. There is a lot of excitement and energy right now with our players and the program and just having the opportunity to play the game, so we are looking forward to this week.”

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