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Quotes from Saturday's Marshall-Houston Game

Nov. 17, 2012

Recap |  Notes

Houston Coach Tony Levine
It was very disappointing for our seniors. We got back in the game, then Marshall made more plays than we did. They're an explosive team. We made some adjustments at halftime, to get us back in the game, but it wasn't enough.

I told the seniors I'm sorry. This isn't the way anybody envisioned the season going. We hope to get back home and send them out with a win next Saturday.

I was happy with the offense in the second half. They scored some points, and made big plays in the kicking game to set us up with some better field position. We had a chance to win the game. We didn't get in the end zone, we settled for three to tie it.

Quarterback Crawford Jones
We came out in the first half, and had a tough time getting it going. Marshall played great defense, especially in the first half. They had a real good game plan and they kept to it. We managed to get something going midway through second quarter. We managed to keep the momentum going through the second half. Unfortunately we didn't put a full game together and a lot of that falls on my shoulders in the first half. I didn't execute well enough, but you have to give credit to the other team.

Our offense can kind of go off at a moment’s notice. The receivers were really making plays. I'm more of a point guard out there just trying to get the ball in space and let them do the rest.

I really wanted the seven instead of three. There are a lot of things I would have done differently on that drive. I wanted to keep it in our hands. I wish I would have slipped near the end and not gone out of bounds and maybe they wouldn't have had so much time on the clock. It's part of the game, looking back, but hind sight is twenty-twenty.

Head Coach Doc Holliday



Opening Statement:

            “That was a wild one. I think our kids played extremely well offensively. We had a couple of turnovers that we have to eliminate. We have to find a way to finish games. The way that game was at halftime, we have to finish it. Unfortunately, our special teams on kickoffs is awful right now. When you have kids hurt and have other guys going in there, you have to fix it quick. It has to happen this week. Bottom line is we won the game. The seniors went out the right way. On the radio, I know they had talked about this particular week, but his brother, the kicker (Marcel Lajterman), number 23 was killed in the plane crash and Justin Haig wears number 23. It wasn’t planned, but for that kid to step up and kick a winning field goal on the week of the memorial, I think was special. He’s mentally tough and I like what that kid’s all about. It’s a win. We’re happy to get it. We’re getting on that plane this week for a quick turnaround to East Carolina. We still have a lot to play for. It’s a good thing.”

On the struggles of special teams:

            “We have a guy that has a 21-man rule that has to see that and has to keep everything inside of him. They [Houston] did a heck of a job on it. You probably saw everything in the book out there in the kicking game today. Most of it was not good. For them to kick that last kickoff out of bounds was huge. The field position we received there was huge. We were able to complete a couple of passes and get it down there. I thought that was borderline in Haig’s range. He stuck it right in there and kicked it through. It was good to see. It was great to win that game because that team abused us and beat us really bad last year. For us to win this game was important.”

On the offense in the first half:

            “The one interception, Antavious Wilson had a chance to catch the ball there. You have to give Houston credit because they fought back. You look at the statistics from the league and Houston throws it and has run for a bunch of yardage. They scored a bunch of points. I think they are right behind us in total offense. They’ve done that to a lot of people. They can score points and if anyone thinks Houston doesn’t have any athletes, they’re wrong. You’re right in the middle of Houston and you can recruit that Texas area. They won 12 games a year ago and still have pretty good athletes running around out there. I’m just happy to get the win. At the end of the day we got the win.”

On backup QB Crawford Jones for Houston performance:

            “He has played. He played in the SMU game and games throughout the year. They didn’t change anything. They didn’t change what they did. I think in the second half, Jones became more comfortable. Making throws and doing some things. This time of year there are a lot of football teams that are different because of injuries. Houston has issues and so do we. When you get towards the end of the year, it’s pretty much survival of the fittest. We have some patchwork things going on and I thought Essray Taliaferro played well. Remi Watson got banged up and Stewart Butler had a wrist issue and couldn’t go.”

Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato:

            “It was ugly, but we got it. We all stuck together and just found a way to win the game.”

On marching down the field for game winning field goal:

            “It was important. I told the guys all week that are playing for the M on the side of our helmets. It was emotional. We all were at the ceremony this week. The seniors did a speech last night. It brought a lot of tears to my eyes. We just had to get this win.”

On running the ball:

            “I told myself this week during practice that if they continue to play three-down and drop eight then I have to be able to run it. That was part of the plan for me.”

On Justin Haig’s winning field goal:

            “It was perfect. There was no pressure. Like I said all week, there’s no pressure. I live for the pressure moments, but I knew he was going to make it.”