On the matchup of two teams needing a win on Saturday:
I think it's going to be a dogfight. We are both similar teams and I think we are both better than our record shows. When you watch their defensive team play, you realize they are a good team. I think we are both in a similar situation. I think we are better than we have shown and I am sure they feel the same way. It's going to be very emotional and you add that to the rivalry, its going to be a tough game.
On playing at home after being on the road:
We love to play here, you always love to play at home. I think the kids are more comfortable in their own stadium. We enjoy playing in front of our crowd so we are real excited being back home
On the team's confidence level:
It's probably not great. It's something you struggle with when you are struggling during the season. It's something you can talk about being confident all you want but it's a matter of getting some good things to happen to us. Every single game we have started out in a bad situation and I think that does something to your confidence right off the bat. I think if we can have something good happen to us, we will come alive a little bit.
On the pressure to win from the fans:
If you are not winning people are going to want you to win but they all mean well. They want this team to win just like us. I don't think you get any more pressure from anybody else than you put on yourself. I think each and every one of us is trying extremely hard and wants to win. Nobody has quit and we are working hard and we will continue to do that. That is the thing I like about this team. There is a lot of character there and we are going to put it together and hopefully do better.
On two true freshman starting at quarterback in the game:
It doesn't happen very often and that is an interesting matchup. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
On if Tech will come after UL-Lafayette's freshman quarterback:
We will probably mix it up like we have done all year. I don't think it's very smart to say you are going to line up and come after them. We are going to try to mix it up and see how the game goes and go from there.
On Luke McCown's performance in his first start at quarterback:
I think Luke did a great job. He has a great presence about him and a ton of leadership ability that he probably doesn't even know he has. He is doing a super job. Its amazing a guy has been able to pick things up as quickly as he has . We haven't really limited him much at all. We have pretty much given him the whole offense and he has done a great job. He had a couple of throws he wanted back but he knew as soon as he threw them but these are some of things he has to go through. It's a learning process and I feel bad for Luke because he can't go through it the right way, we have had to throw him in the fire but I think he is up to it.
On the team's respect for him:
He has a lot of leadership ability that comes natural to him. The team was listening to him and all eyes were on him. I think the quarterback in our offense is forced to be a leader whether you like it or not. I think he is natural leader and that bodes very well for the future.
On fixing the run defense:
It's a very serious concern. If you can't stop the run, you don't have a very good chance to win. We are trying to do everything we possibly can and we are working on it. It's tough because you can't necessarily scheme it and guess right. We have to have our players up front get bigger and we need to recruit bigger players and more physical guys. That's not giving up the guys we have right now. Recruiting players doesn't do us any good right now. I don't think we came out in the beginning of the game versus Middle Tennessee and played that inspired which is really disappointing. I think we are better than what we showed. We are trying everything we possibly can to remedy the situation and hopefully we will get better this week.
On whether the defense's problem is the scheme:
It's not the scheme. You have to be able to line up and hit people under their shoulder pads and stop them and come off blocks and make plays. We have the players that can do it. We just have to continue to work and get better but obviously that is a real concern right now.
On playing a rivalry game:
It's up to the players. I know I am going to be fired up. Each and every player has got to get themselves ready to play. I would imagine it being in-state rivalry we would come out and give it our best shot
On any personnel changes defensively:
We are going to look at those this week and maybe play some younger guys. You can't replace someone unless you have someone else who is better. There may be some younger guys who are a little bit more physical that we can take a look at and see if they can help us. I am not just going to base it on last Saturday, we were not good last Saturday. We did not play hard, we did not come off blocks. I know darn well we are better football team than that defensively and now it's time for them to rise up. You find out a lot about a team's character in times like these.
Luke McCown, freshman quarterback
On his performance on Saturday:
Considering the fact, we did not score points and we did not move the ball we are capable of I think I have to get better.
On the pressure for the offense to score everytime:
As an offense, you have to try to keep the defense off the field as much as possible and when you do that you know you are moving the ball and the defense is getting rest. In order for an offense to help the defense out you have to move the ball and that is our goal is to have a good tempo and keep good drives going the entire game
On how big the game is for the team:
I think this is a very big game for the team momentum wise. We do need to come out and have some good things happen to us and we have not had a whole lot of good things happen for us this year. We just have to wait our turn because things will start to fall in place. We are getting better and better with each game and we just have to put everything together in one. I believe we are due for a good game
On being a leader as quarterback:
It comes with the territory. Whether you like to or not, you have to be a leader in this offense. I just felt led to speak my mind and say what I needed to say to see if I could get in the minds and heart of some of our players who are not doing what they are capable of doing. Sometimes you need someone to give you a push whether it be a freshman of a fifth year senior.
On having a game under his belt as starter:
I feel a lot better. I was really relaxed and didn't feel a whole lot of pressure in the game. I just wanted to go out there and have fun and play at the level I am capable of playing. I am beginning to feel more and more comfortable.
On how the early mistakes hurt the team's confidence:
You have to consider the game, nobody is ever going to play a perfect game. There is no reason you should think you should because things are going to happen, the other team is going to give you looks that you haven't seen in practice. We just have to be able to keep a positive attitude and press through the hard times that come during the game. That is the sign of a mature team, being able to press through it and continue to play at a high intensity level.
On hearing about UL-Lafayette's John Van Cleave in high school:
We went to the Texas A&M camp together and a NIKE camp held at A&M as well. He is a very good quarterback and is very physical and has a rocket for an arm. He is 6-4 and 230. I heard a lot about him. It's going to be a fun time playing against someone you heard about in high school
On it being more of a challenge playing against another freshman:
Just to see who is more mature and can handle more. I believe that is going to be the test for me to see how much I can handle and what they give me. I think it's going to be challenge for both of us because both defenses like doing things to get quarterbacks rattled.