TU Football: Golden Hurricane Turn Their Attention To UCF
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa’s Philip Montgomery met with the media on Tuesday for his weekly presser. On Saturday, the Golden Hurricane will face UCF, the only team in the AAC who hasn’t won a single game so far this season. Here’s what Montgomery and players had to say:
Head Coach Philip Montgomery
“The SMU game was a great team win. You know, our defense made some great plays. You know, obviously, the pick six by Kerwin was a huge momentum swing for us. You know, defensively, again, we’ve taken some steps each and every week. You know, the first two drives, I thought SMU did some good things offensively, kind of kept us on our heels a little bit. We made some good adjustments by coach Young, coach Norwood and all of our defensive staff. And then did a much better job of stopping explosive plays on first down, big runs on first down, got them in more predictable situations, and then obviously, kind of settled back in and got back in the routine. I thought our defense, really after the first two drives played extremely well throughout. Offensively, you know, 19 play drives and that’s what we opened up the game with, a 19 play drive and got three points out of it. Started out a little bit down there, and again, a penalty kind of hurt us in the red zone. You don’t want drives that long, and what we do but we’re built to handle. As long as you’re getting points out of it, you’re getting what you want. I think we turned back around, we had a big play to Hobbs and this is down inside the three-yard line I believe, and we ended up getting a touchdown out of that. I think after we got through the 19 play drive we felt like, hey, we’re going to be able to run the football, do the things we wanted to do. We put an emphasis on that. Going into that week, we didn’t know what our running back situation was going to be but we felt like our guys up front really needed to take control of the football game on both sides but especially the offensive line, and we wanted to focus on our run game as we went into it. Didn’t know how they were going to play Key and Josh and those guys, but establishing the run early was going to be beneficial throughout the game. I thought we were able to do that, didn’t know we were going to run it 57 times, but I told you from the get-go when I got here we’re going to take what the defense gives us and if we’re able to move the football and we can turn around and hand it that’s fine. The biggest deal for us is that at the end of the game we want the W. We were able to do that. We’ve got number four; we got four games left and obviously we want all four of those to be W’s, but we want to make sure we get two of those four and get ourselves Bowl eligible.”
“We’ve got a tough opponent coming in here from Central Florida. Don’t look at their record; look at what they’ve done in the past. They’re two years removed from a Bowl victory as far as a New Year’s Day Bowl. I know because I was there. They have tremendous athletes on the field. They’re getting their guys back that they lost from the health standpoint. Their quarterback’s back now playing, they're running back’s now back playing. Those guys are big factors in a lot of those decisions that happened early in the season, and so it’s a talented football team and I know they’ll be well prepared and ready to go to war when they get here.”
Quarterback Dane Evans
On UCF’s record:
“Just by turning on the film, watch them play anyone they’ve played and they have some freaks on defense. They have some good players, and you know, it’s just kind of been the injury bug biting them. Some of those guys are starting to come back now, and you know, they’ve been in a lot of the games they’ve played and you know, we can’t just think, 'Oh they haven’t won a game. Lets just roll our helmets out and get an easy W,' because that’s not going to happen. We just have to come out and just play one rep at a time.”
On what he’s learned from Montgomery:
"That when something’s simple don’t make it not simple. Just, if you got something that the defense is giving you take it and don’t be afraid to just keep on taking it until they make you not take it anymore, and you know, that’s what coach Monty is really good at.”
On the locker room after a win vs. a loss:
“It’s just a lot more fun. It’s kind of like a party in the locker room, really. You know, Coach Monty comes up and tells us what he needs to say and then we just kind of go crazy. Water’s going everywhere and stuff's being thrown around, big dance party, and it’s always fun to see who’s going to get in the middle of the dance party. And obviously, you know, after a loss it’s not that fun. You know, it’s just, you know let's go ahead and get ready for the next one type of attitude."
Linebacker Matt Linscott
On prepping for UCF:
“They have great athletes and you can’t underestimate them, for sure. And we’re going to go in there and have a great week of practice, and get better like we have every week and be ready for them."