Nov. 19, 2011
Rice head coach David Bailiff
"It was really exciting to see this football team win with seniors on Senior Day and was proud for them to have their memory. For their last home game, it gave them a lot of motivation for when we got on the road and go play the SMU.
"This football game was unbelievable; the consistency the defense played with, not giving up a lot of yards. If we don't make the play at the line of scrimmage and the quarterback scrambles, he's going to get some yards. It was risk-reward with that one. It was really exciting for Scott Solomon to have the second sack which tied him for the school record. He needs one more going into the last game.
"I think defensively, we did some really nice things. I think the team played exceptionally well. I think (Kyle) Martens punted the ball well. I thought Chris Boswell was unbelievable with his kickoffs and field goals. Offensively, we're tring to establish the running game and couldn't get it really going other than 'Mr. Consistent,' Tyler Smith. If we put the ball in his hands, he's really going to make something happen. Coming up in the four quarter, he really played big for us. I don't think we had any turnovers for the game. We won the turnover battle and got out of here with a win. To have four wins at home was very nice."
[The sequence that led to the Boswell FG] "The wind was gusting, knowing that if it died-down we had him right there. The last thing we would do is kick a 60-65 yard field goal before we leave the field. The wind was gusting and knowing that we had him right there, we felt pretty confident that we could knock it through the wind and he answered twice into the wind.
"You want guys to rise up and make those plays. Guys, especially senior guys like Justin and Scott, are the reason that we kept them out of the endzone and we got the ball back. But we're just so proud for Scott for everything that he's been through.
Defensive End Scott Solomon
What did it mean for you guys to go out there and have guys who are seniors step up and contribute like that to a win?
"It meant a lot. Coming down, I was flooded with emotions just like the other seniors, but once we got going we just had fun. We made plays, and I felt like if you have fun out there you make plays, and I think that was the biggest thing today."
Do you feel inspired on days like this? Your motor's always running pretty hot, but you were very active early in the game.
"I think a lot of it is because I felt a lot better than I had injury wise. I just felt real good this week coming off those injuries, so that's a lot of it there."
It is one thing to have these days, it's another to have Xavier making an interception, and you make a couple sacks, do you kind of view it as a fairytale for all those seniors to have a great game on a day like today?
"Absolutely. Looking back at it, it's amazing to have the seniors make those plays. It's a lot of fun to have those days, especially on a day like this. Its good to end it like this."
Can you take us through your second to last defensive possession? What was going through the defenses mind?
"We knew we had to make those stops. It was important to us. We talked about buckling down, tighten things up so they wouldn't score and lengthen the game."
Coach said you wouldn't like to talk about it, but obviously a big game for you, two sacks you tie the school record. Considering all you've been through what does that mean to you, with still a chance to break it?
"It means a lot. Really though, it comes from having fun and my teammates helping out and it comes from everything. I don't think its an individual effort at all, it's a team effort. From the coaching staff all the way down to the players: everything. It means a lot to me, but I feel likes it's everyone else contributing."
Can you just talk about what your mindset was coming in, that you missed last year and ot knowing what could happen coming off that injury?
"At first it was tough, but I talked to people. I realized you just have to take each day at a time, each play at a time, and take advantage of each moment and each opportunity, and not look ahead too far. That's what I tried to do, its tough sometimes, but I try to take each day at a time."
It must be validating to you individually to know all the things you went through last year and come back this year and have the kind of season that you've had, and forever etch your name in the record books.
"Yes sir. It does mean a lot to me on a personal level, but I try not to focus on that. Football is such a team sport, and it just goes out to the team. The interior guys getting pressure and everything like that."
Running Back Tyler Smith
Was this a pretty good scripted senior day for you?
"Most definitely, especially this being my last home game. It was a real good opportunity to come out and do my best. We kind of struggles at the beginning, we had too many emotions, so we kind of lulled through the first and second quarter, but we pushed through it and came out with a win."
There were a lot of negative plays early, what did you guys have to do to push through?
"It was all down to trusting what we were coached to do. Pushing through it and going out to play all day, and win our one on ones."
What does it mean to get 1000 yards? That's an incredible feat considering how you guys were using the backfield early and how you weren't the featured back early in the year.
"It really kind of pushed me, to see that landmark of 1000 yards. It's a good goal to have, especially this being our last game at SMU. Hopefully I can keep pushing and playing well to break it."
Place Kicker Chris Boswell
Both of those field goals you kicked were just lasers, and yet it was somewhat against the wind or into a swirling wind, is there a different technique you use under those circumstances?
"You approach every kick the same. You try and not think about the wind, because the wind it does a little bit, but it does most of the work in your head trying to push it too hard, trying to pull it. You gotta do the same thing every time no matter what."
Can you talk about the fact that they were two, 50 yarders?
"Yea, I'm just happy to help out my team whenever they call my name. Whenever they yell score I'm going out there and trying to get points whenever the team needs me. Klien Kubiak does a great job of holding the ball, getting it down where it needs to be, and Brian Stacey has really come on after Eric Ball got injured. He's putting snaps right on the money."
When you got out there for the 58 yarder, what ended up being the punt, was it initially going to be a punt, or was there any leeway for you to maybe get a kick?
"No, they called dagger right away, because that wind the very first time was really bad. As soon as the ball goes up its going to hang and then die, so I'm just doing what they told me to do."
When you're in a game like this where the points are hard to come by, how much do you enjoy being able to contribute to a victory?
"It's very nice to contribute as many points as possible whenever you're called. To be able to contribute for the team whenever they need you, especially on senior day... it's good to have a lot of points when you need it, but touchdowns would be great."