Quotes from the UH-Louisiana Tech game 10/11/08

HA = Honolulu Advertiser
HSB = Honolulu Star-Bulletin
UH = University of Hawaii official site
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—————— Quotes from the UH Coaches ————————

About the improvement of their team, Mac (Note: Since the papers are using “Mac” instead of “Mack” for Coach McMackin, I’m reflecting that change on my blog also) said:
“This team is coming together and they are playing for each other.” (HA)

“I couldn’t be happier with the team. We have a chance to be a real good football team. This team is coming together and they are playing for each other. I’m very humbled and happy to be involved with these guys.” (UH)

Praising Inoke and that way that Ron Lee and Rolo have worked with him and the offfense, Mac said:
“Inoke Funaki played very good again tonight. He brings so much to the table. I think Ron Lee is doing a great job at fitting his ability into the offense. Nick Rolovich has really helped Inoke with his throwing and it is showing. He is throwing the ball as well as he ever has. Inoke is starting to realize his potential and he is getting better and better.” (UH)

About how they caused 4 turnovers, Mac said:
“Turnovers come in bunches. We have playmakers and they are making plays. It comes down to us coaches putting the players into a position to make plays and the players making the plays.” (UH)

“Turnovers come in bundles and we didn’t have any for a while. We as coaches need to put our players in positions to make plays. We’re having guys make plays now.” (HSB)

“Turnovers come in bunches, I have always said that. We have playmakers and they are making plays.” (HSB)

About evening their record at 3-3, Mac said:
“It’s good to get back to .500. With all the adversity we went through to start the season, I think it’s helped us get better as a team. After Fresno State and tonight, I think we are starting to see some positives signs. Louisiana Tech is a good football team. I think we are going in the right direction. But we have to get better. Our schedule gets tougher. Every game for us is going to be a battle.” (UH, HSB)

Praising his D, Mac said:
“They’re a fighting bunch of guys. And they play together. And they don’t quit. They got in a bad situation, and they came out of it, and created turnovers.” (HA)

About how they are improving, Mac said:
“We’re getting better as a football team. We’ll be better next week than we were this week.” (HA)

About their struggles early this season, Mac said:
“We’ve had to fix glitches.” (HSB)

About the fumble Brashton caused at the goal line, Mac said:
“Big time.” (HSB)

Praising how Brashton is playing despite his shoulder injury, Mac said:
“Last year, if you stepped on (Satele’s) toe, he’d be out for a week. (Defensive coordinator) Cal (Lee) has made him a tough guy.” (HSB)

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About using Pilares as a RB and slotback, Ron Lee said:
“He makes plays, that’s why we need him on the field.” (HA)

About they want to get the other RBs some playing time also, so they need to use Pilares at slotback, Ron Lee said:
“We need to keep him on the field. And we don’t want him in the backfield all the time. We want him to get the ball down the field so he can run. And we also want to give the other backs some time. Leon (Wright-Jackson), Daniel (Libre) and David (Farmer) are all good backs, but it’s hard to get them in if Kealoha stays in. So we try to move him around.” (HA)

About how their offense is improving, Ron Lee said:
“It’s not pretty, but we’re getting better. We’re just trying to do what we can to get on the scoreboard. It’s a struggle, they are still fairly young in the sense that they haven’t played much. But they are getting better.” (HA)

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About how Inoke’s job security is “definitely” a factor in his improved play, Rolo said:
“The early-season questioning was a distraction for everyone — coaches, players, fans. It wasn’t an easy situation for anyone, but now that’s over with and everyone is buying into where we’re going. Every snap (Funaki) takes, he’s getting more and more confident. The guys are playing for him and we’re getting wins. That’s the most important thing.” (HA)

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About how their team is starting to believe, Rich Miano said:
“They are responding with their backs to the wall. They are starting to believe like last year. Not on the level of last year’s belief, but, I think, to the point where we can become a pretty good football team.” (HA)

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—————— Quotes from the UH Players ———————-

Praising their WRs, OL, and defense, Inoke said:
“The receivers made some good catches tonight and the offensive line did a great job, they gave me time. We missed some opportunities, but we are slowly getting better. We have to get better for this upcoming week. The defense played great and kept us in the game.” (UH)

About the win, Inoke said:
“It’s definitely a better feeling than a loss.” (HA)

About his first win at home as a starting QB, Inoke said:
“It’s definitely a lot better feeling walking off instead of disappointed like we did after San Jose State. The O-line really dug deep tonight and our receivers pulled off some big plays to get us the lead.” (HA)

HA Note: “On a night of significant career firsts — his first rushing touchdown, his first 200-yard passing game — quarterback Inoke Funaki couldn’t help but revel in his most hard-earned milestone: The first time since he’s been a starter that he’s been able to enter and exit his home field to more applause than grousing whispers.”

About how he was about to throw the ball to Salas when he realized that a defender was about to sack him on a 3rd-and-7 play, but he was able to get away and avoid defenders for a 19-yard gain, Inoke said:
“I don’t know how I got out of that. I was about to throw deep to Greg but I think I felt (the defender’s) hand on the ball or something. I don’t know what happened next. The next thing I remember, he wasn’t there anymore and I was still up so I tried to make something happen.” (HA)

About his confidence in his WRs to make plays, Inoke said:
“I think they were trying to let me throw hoping they could sit back in coverage. I’m grateful the receivers were able to make big catches and help me out. It’s nice to know you have that confidence in the receivers that you can put it up there and they can make a play on it.” (HSB)

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About how Inoke’s mobility adds to their offense, Kealoha Pilares said:
“It was a battle out there. I think we really stepped up and played our game. I like what Inoke brings to the table, he adds another dimension to our offense.” (UH)

About his 20-yard TD on a shovel pass, Pilares said:
“I thank the line for that. They did a good job of sustaining the blocks.” (HA)

“I just thank the line and receivers for staying on their blocks. I think that’s why I scored; because they stayed on their blocks. They allowed me to maneuver my way through the blocks and look through the open holes.” (HA)

Taking pride in blocking for their RBs when he is a slotback, Pilares said:
“I like blocking at slot,” Pilares said. “Whatever I can do; it frees up Daniel or Leon to run, so just helping the team out there is what I’m trying to do.” (HA)

Crediting RB coach Alex Gerke for pushing him to get better, Pilares said:
“He just stresses that you are never the best you can be. When he watches film, he grades it hard. It’s hard to get a good grade when you’re one of his guys and I just thank him for that. He stresses all the little things.” (HA)

About how the team was fired up when Mac got upset with a blown call by the refs, Pilares said:
“That was a time to play with heart and this team has heart. When Coach Mac gets angry like that, you know something is wrong and we want to play for him.” (HA)

HA Note: “It was University of Hawai’i football coach Greg McMackin as we’ve never seen him — at least in public — before: Screaming, steaming, gesturing wildly, stomping the sidelines a man possessed. His face turned the purple of the orchid lei around his bulging neck. With 4 minutes, 38 seconds left in a second quarter of a must-have game tied at 7-7, McMackin and the Warriors were confronted by what was, at first appearance, a blown pass interference call for the second consecutive week, this time a “no call” after UH receiver Malcolm Lane was hit by cornerback Stevon Howze.”

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About how the team believes in Inoke, LWJ said:
“Inoke is a different breed of quarterback. What he used to do at Kahuku was unbelievable, from what I’ve heard. He’s a dual threat, and what our coaches are letting him do now, I think that’s great for our team. He can throw the ball and run the ball, and we’re all running behind him because we believe in him.” (HA)

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About how they played as a team, Greg Salas said:
“We played as a team tonight, everybody came together. Inoke is really stepping up and getting used to running the offense. It took us a little while to get things going, but that was also in part to Louisiana Tech’s defense. That was a good football team.” (UH)

About his 25-yard TD reception to make the score 14-7, Salas said:
“I concentrated on that. I made sure I caught the ball.” (HA)

About how they avoided a potential “trap game” after the win at Fresno State, Salas said:
“(The Fresno State win) was huge for us and that really put us back on track, and you don’t want to have a letoff. We can’t let up, and we didn’t tonight.” (HSB)

About how Inoke is improving, Salas said:
“(Funaki’s) settling down and getting used to the spot being the starter. He’s putting the ball on the money now. He’s letting us make plays, he’s trusting us, and he’s trusting his reads and that’s what this offense is about.” (HSB)

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About his 53-yard reception, where he stumbled to the 10-yard-line, Malcolm Lane said:
“The whole time I was stumbling, I was hoping there wasn’t another dude behind me.” (HA)

Praising Inoke, Lane said:
“He can throw it.” (HA)

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About how they got 6 turnovers against Fresno State and 4 more against La Tech, Ryan Mouton said:
“Coach Mack (Greg McMackin) told us when turnovers come, they come in bunches.” (HA)

About how their blitzes were effective, Mouton said:
“We came out blitzing. We took advantage of some of their weaknesses. It worked out our way.” (HA)

“We said we were going to come out and try to blitz them. We said we had to get at (Bennett), try to rattle him. He was moving around, trying to make plays.” (HA)

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About how he pressured QB Taylor Bennett which led to an INT by Calvin Roberts, Sol said:
“It’s a great play because it takes so many people to make it effective. Brashton opened up the gap for me, so I come in basically free, put the pressure on the quarterback. And he throws it up there and Calvin makes a great play on the ball. It’s more than one person. It’s the whole team. It’s guys getting in the right gaps, doing the right things.” (HA)

About how their defense has a lot of confidence, Sol said:
“Our defense played with a lot of confidence. We feel we can play with anybody, as long as we play and understand that everybody is important.” (HA)

About how their defense has to believe in each other to play well, Sol said:
“I think we all played together as one defensive group. We all believe in each other. We wanted to go out there and make plays. In order for us to win, we have to be close. When we play together, we can play with anybody.” (HA)

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About their high expectations for their season, Adam Leonard said:
“We still have high expectations. We just needed some time to get used to each other and learn how to win again.” (HSB)

About the fumble Brashton caused at the goal line that prevented La Tech from tying the game at 7, Adam Leonard said:
“That was huge for us. Brashton swung through the ball like we’re taught in practice.” (HSB)

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About causing RB Patrick Jackson to fumble when the score was 7-0 (UH winning) and La Tech had 3rd-and-goal at the 1, Brashton Satele said:
“I was just hoping to stop him before the end zone, and my hand hit the ball.” (HA)

“I was kind of surprised. All I wanted to do was tackle him. I had him wrapped up.” (HA)

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About forcing a fumble on a kickoff (recovered by Desmond Thomas), R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane said:
“Desmond Thomas was in front of me. I kind of pushed him toward the guy. (Livas) came back. He stopped and cut back. I wrapped him, and lost him, but I had (my hand) on the back side of the ball. I guess the pursuit came and it popped right out.” (HA)

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About how their players had to step up, Keala Watson said:
“We had to step up and make plays because nobody was going to help us. We’ve got to do it for ourselves. We’re finding that identity.” (HA)

About his FG block, Keala said:
“Not all of us have that 33-inch vertical. I think I got up 3 inches on that one. But that’s all I needed.” (HA)

“(Mahaley) got one for the defensive ends, so I wanted to get one for the tackle.” (HSB)

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About his two tackles for losses, including a 7-yard sack, C.J. Allen-Jones said:
“We’ve got good first-team players and when I get in to give them a break, they expect me to play hard. I’m not going to take a play off. I’m going to play hard when they give me the opportunity to. Tonight, I just did my responsibility and it came out good. We came out with a win and did it as a team.” (HA)

About the first sack of his college career, C.J. said:
“Coach called up the right blitz and I was surprised I got through so fast. I didn’t know it was (the backup), I just play the game of football, I don’t recognize the numbers.” (HSB)

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About how their turnover drills in practice have paid off, Desmond Thomas said:
“The last two weeks we’ve spent time doing everything. Batting balls, recovering fumbles, you name it. It’s really paid off.” (HSB)

About recovering a fumble on a kickoff to help set up their TD to go ahead 21-7, Thomas said:
“I had contain on the outside and was trying to force him inside. I just had a nose for the ball.” (HSB)

About how they didn’t let up after they got the lead, Thomas said:
“It’s taking the heart out of a team. We have to finish. When they’re down we can’t let up.” (HSB)

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About making a 30-yard FG in this game to go 5-6 for his last 6 FG attempts, Dan Kelly said:
“I wanted to get back to that consistency that everybody expects out of us.” (HA)

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——————– Quotes from Louisiana Tech’s Coaches ———————-

About how they moved the ball in the first half but turned the ball over too much, Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley said:
“We lost out on opportunities to score points. We had over 250 yard of offense at half time and we gave the ball away. You can’t do that and win football games. We gave up too many big plays on the other side and we gave up the football on offense and didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we had to score.” (UH)

About how they prepared well for the game and moved the ball down the field, Dooley said:
“I thought we were ready to play. I thought our kids had a great week and we showed it early on. We did have a lot of energy, we were getting a lot of yards. We got down in the 10 twice and we missed two field goals and turned the ball over. You do one of those things and you’re not going to win football game.” (UH)

About how they didn’t quit, but turnovers and missed FGs killed their momentum, Dooley said:
“We didn’t quit. We kept fighting and felt like we had a chance to win. But the ultimate dagger is that we blocked the punt and had a chance to cut it to 24-14 and we made bad decisions at quarterback. We had a lot of opportunities in the first half to score points, we had two missed field goals, and a turnover. We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities and missed too many big plays on defense. Those are the two most critical factors to winning and losing and we didn’t win either one of them.” (UH)

“We missed a lot of opportunities in the first half to score points, we missed two field goals and a turnover. We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities and missed too many big plays on defense. Those are the two most critical factors to winning and losing and we didn’t win either of them.” (HSB)

About preparing for UH, Dooley said:
“We had plenty of tape on them and they were the team they were on tape. We were prepared and felt like we… Give Hawaii credit, they made the plays they needed to make down the field and didn’t make a lot of turnovers.” (UH)

About preparing for Inoke, Dooley said:
“He is certainly a different threat. We had him here a couple of times… He’s certainly a weapon with his feet and made some plays down the field that he had to make. He did a great job tonight and we didn’t play the long ball very well.” (UH)

About how they lost the turnover battle, Dooley said:
“You can’t win when you’re minus three in turnovers. I don’t care who you play. That was the difference in the game and we need to go back to work and not turn the ball over.” (UH)

About UH going ahead 21-7 with 3:07 left in the first half, Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley said:
“you don’t like to think it is over, down two (scores).” (HA)

About the 2 INTs by their starting QB, Dooley said:
“Bad decisions by our quarterback. He made two bad throws and that really made it tough for us. We had just blocked that punt and we were trying to take a shot and cut it to 10. We are just not playing smart football. You can’t win when you’re minus three (4-1) in turnovers. That was the difference in the game.” (HSB)

About their fumble at the goal line which prevented them from tying the score at 7, where the RB tried to extend the ball across the goal line, Dooley said:
“That was fundamentally unsound what he did. You can’t do that and win football games.” (HSB)

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——————– Quotes from Louisiana Tech’s Players ————————

About his fumble at the goal line, RB Patrick Jackson said:
“I was trying to get it over the goal line. I switched hands (with the ball) and it worked against us. They (the Warriors) earned that. It’s real frustrating coming into a hostile environment against a team like Hawaii and then give them the ball too many times.” (HSB)

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—————— Other Quotes ————————-

About how Oceanic will refund PPV customers 1/4 of what they paid for the Fresno State game, and give them the option to donate that refund to the UH Athletics Scholarship fund, JD said:
“We really appreciate Oceanic being so responsive to this situation and providing a credit to the UH fans affected by this technical problem. “They are expending significant financial and administrative resources in order to demonstrate their responsibility and commitment to their customers and UH fans.” (HA)

About the refund they are giving, Oceanic VP Norman Santos said:
“We truly regret this unforeseen and unfortunate technical problem. We know this caused anxiety and consternation for UH fans, so we want to offer our customers a credit to thank them for their patience and understanding. Also, if they choose, they can donate the credit to the UH scholarship fund and we’ll make a check presentation at the Idaho football game on behalf of our pay-per-view customers.” (HSB)

Hoping that the Warriors make the Hawaii Bowl, Hawaii Bowl owner Pete Derzis said:
“I’m counting W’s.” (HSB)

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