Sept. 26, 2009
Rice head coach David Bailiff
"I've said it before that tough times don't last, but tough teams do. I thought we played an absolutely tremendous first half of football. We have to get to where we finish the second half. Where we couldn't sustain drives offensively in the second half, we had the defense out there for a lot of plays. Eventually they wore down and led to missed tackles.
"For us to win we have to play exceptionally well in all phases - offensively, defensively and on special teams. We'll continue to improve each week. That's what we've done every week this season and we'll continue to do that. Our players played extremely hard. We're OK, we're just going to coach hard, work hard and believe in each other.
"At some point we'll have to bow-up and make plays. I believe we didn't have first down for a quarter? We were trying to sustain drives. We'll have to look at the film and see if we can improve.
"The doctors told us when (Charles Ross) could and couldn't go in because of asthma. He had an asthma attack. We would have used him more, certainly.
"You saw us play a good first half. We were flying to the ball, making hard hits and gang-tackling. We were paying defense the way it's suppose to be played. We've got to learn from our mistakes, see what's happened to us, and can't continue to make the same ones. We know it. Now we have to do it.
"We had some new faces in there tonight, and that is, `you better be ready to come off the bench.' We just have to make those two's and three's understand they could be in for a while. We just have to get them better. We work them hard in practice, it just a matter of getting them to play when they take the field. We got to get more two's and threes making plays so there's no drop-off. I know they can do it. It's up to me to figure out how to get it out of them."
Rice starting quarterback John Thomas Shepherd
(On Vandy Defense/Blitz)
"We can't say we were surprised because we knew they were going to blitz and come after us. It's on the quarterbacks to recognize the coverage, make the quick throws.
"I thought the offensive line played well considering the young guys we got in there. If they blitz, then we have to hit a short pass and gain yards. That's how you defeat it. We weren't able to do that tonight.
"I missed some passes early that I should have hit. You can't do that when you get open receivers down the field. You have to hit them. I'm sure that other teams are going to try and get to us with that blitz. It's up to us to beat ready to go and play hard.
"I thought we had some good individual performances, but if you have ten guys do it right and one guy do it wrong there's a chance it could all go wrong, myself included."