Oct. 27, 2012
Southern Miss head coach Ellis Johnson
Aresenio (Favor) made some great individual plays, had good throws, he's capable of that. There were many things that were not in the scheme of the offense. (He) called one wrong play, and threw the ball to the wrong receiver one time. You can take a guy throwing a bad pass; that is going to happen. That is a physical performance. When you have a chance to score points right before the half and you're not covering up the football, or you're not taking care of it - that's different. I think there were two other fumbles that we didn't lose, but we lost that one.
That was something that we talked about. We had a chance to get the last punt right before the half, and we didn't take care of the football. I don't think he is anything we need to be concerned about as what may be overall problems. I thought he played about as good as he could with the limited amount of time he's had back, but you have to play within the scheme or the system. That can be hard to call plays when you don't know what they're going to do.
Looking for that first win begins to wear on you mentally. We get more focused on how we're performing, how we're functioning, and there are a lot of things that are good. There's a lot of got good things out there. Some of the execution has been good. I've told the players I've seen some great plays this year, and today I thought we saw more of them maybe than in any one game. The problem is we're still making so many silly mistakes, and we're just not quite talented enough to overcome that.
This has been hard on everyone. It helps when you're winning and everyone is excited. Players can feed off that, but right now that's not where we are. We're struggling in some areas, and not good enough right now to overcome it.
Rice Head Coach David Bailiff
"I'm really proud of this football team. Proud of how we started the game, and really proud of how we started the second half. I thought the defense today, with five forced turnovers, was where the separation really started happening in the second half - when you looked up on the scoreboard and we had 17 second-half points. Things like Paul Porras' interception return and when Cam (Nwosu) intercepted the shovel pass were just so big.
I was so proud, offensively, of Driphus Jackson came in and played early and then finished the game. (Taylor) McHargue could have come back in, but we opted to keep him out with the score being where it was. I was also proud of Turner Peterson, to have the kind of day he had with 19 carries for 136 yards and 7.2 yards per carry.
The last five minutes of the game, or 5:15, we challenged the offense and told them we didn't want them to give the ball back to Southern Miss. We wanted to grind the clock out and we drove and scored. I was just really thrilled with it.
Gabe Baker, in his second start, had a career-high nine tackles. Defensively, we had 10 tackles for loss today and I thought our special teams were really back in time. Chris Boswell kicked a field goal into a pretty stiff wind. His kickoffs were good and I thought we punted the ball effectively.
Overall, I was pleased with the effort, looking forward to watching the film and preparing for Tulane."
On the team's fast start:
"It's a tribute to these young men, because a week ago we absolutely had our hearts broken. They came over here more resolute than they've ever been. They came over here on Monday with incredible attitudes, and it had us anticipating a fast start.
We don't have many seniors but we have some great ones. We have some leadership emerging from the junior and sophomore classes too. That's really what sparked and ignited us, that senior class.
You get a little nervous when Corey (Frazier) is out and Bryce (Callahan) is out, but all of a sudden, Alex Francis, who hadn't played extensively, is playing corned, battling and doing a great job. Julius White is battling and doing a great job.
Charles (Ross) gets banged up and Turner Petersen steps up his play, so as we're getting banged up, we're getting people to step up and go. We missed Vance McDonald today. I was really anticipating his return, and hopefully we will get him back. It's been these young men stepping up and making plays.
We're sure going to enjoy this win. Once again, I'm just proud of this team and how we responded today.