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Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/18/2010

Sept. 18, 2010

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New Mexico Head Coach Mike Locksley

Opening Statement:

That was a very good Utah team, very deserving of their number 14 ranking. I am disappointed that we didn't play as well as I had hoped we were going to play, but I am still very proud of this team. We just finished a very tough three-game stretch, and we're hoping that the experience in playing three opponents that are tough benefits us down the road. This is a pivotal time in our season and we've got a big game coming up against UNLV on the road. It's always important to go on the road and get a significant win.

We have to have a great week of preparation as we get ready for Vegas. I think Tarean Austin, in his first extended action as a true freshman, did some nice things. I think the experience he gained in this game, if needed next week, hewill be able to build upon it. I thought our defense played well, we were able to force some turnovers; the special teams I though made small improvements, we still allowed the ball to go back, which means we have to continue to work at it. I know these guys will work. Nobody in that locker room, including the coaches, has 'cashed it in.' We're excited now for the opportunity as we get into conference play to continue to get better. As we said at the beginning of this season, take the next step. Very hopeful we're able to do that starting with Vegas.

Coach Locksley on how he would describe the team:

They are inexperienced ... tough ... they play tough and hard. That's one of the trademarks I like about this team, they come to work every day, and they have character. These guys are good guys, and the way I see it good things are going to start happening because they're going to continue to work the way you need to work to get this turned around.

On whether B.R. Holbrook is the starter:

If B.R. is healthy, yeah, he will be our starter.

On playing smart: What I have said in the past is that when we play smart we will give ourselves the chance to win. We go from last week when we have 16 penalties to this week we have four or five. I thought we improved in that area, I thought we had a little more poise than we did last week, which is expected. I think they understand, these guys are very coachable, I always expect, and I know that these guys will do that they are asked to do. We will continue to coach them up through it.

Addressing his demeanor after this defeat compared to obvious disappointment last week:

I think our kids tried hard, they didn't beat themselves from the standpoint of having the un-smart penalties. We didn't have the hitting out of bounds; we didn't have the lack of effort on some of the special teams. There were times in the game where each phase we did some things well, and you can always build on that. Last week I was disappointed in the way we didn't play smart, I was disappointed in 15, 16 penalties, disappointed in the lack of execution when you have a one man rush blocking a punt. Those are things as a coach or teacher that disappoint you. Today those guys tried to do everything that we asked them to do. I can always live with that.

New Mexico Football Student-Athletes

Freshman Quarterback Tarean Austin

On getting significant playing time with an injury to starter Brad Gruner

"It was a great experience going out and being a greater leader, just trying to stay positive with the guys. It was a great experience though; it was a good experience for me."

On getting comfortable on the field and in the huddle

"Yeah, when the game was going good I was like `ok, let's go guys, we can beat these guys' and all of that. Then our play started slowing down and I started hanging my head a little bit but some of the seniors were just like `come on, man, keep your head up, man'. Just a lot of senior leadership keeping me up, getting me to stay positive, just a lot of seniors keeping my head up.

On moving forward

"Just come in tomorrow, guys that are banged up come in and get treatment, some of us will come in and watch film and learn from on our mistakes and move on to Monday. This Monday we have to get ready for this upcoming Saturday and just get better, faster, and stronger and just play with discipline and play smarter. There are a lot of things we need to work on, but we should be able to pull this off on this week coming up."

Sophomore Safety A.J. Butler

On end zone fumble recovery

"Yeah, I just saw an opportunity and took advantage of what I had in front of me. They had been letting the ball go all night and I was trying to get on that as soon as I could."

On moving over to safety from tailback "I feel way more comfortable now. The beginning of the season I had some mistakes I was doing but right now I feel very confident and as a player I feel like I am coming along to be great."

On paying attention to details

"Exactly, we try to be fundamentally sound and just make the adjustment to play smart, you know, because once we are all on the same page we made them go three and out a number of times and that's when we were all on the same page and that is what we try to do as a team."

Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham

On if the way this game started, were you thinking 'Here we go again in New Mexico'? "Yeah we sputtered a little bit early but we started to execute better and play better football as the game wore on. I'd like to be more of a fast starting team. That's ideal, but the first three ball games that hasn't proven to be the case."

On the defense setting the tone

Our defense, I think it was three and out and the defensive line was physical. The linebackers are back for secondary cover. Everyone did what they were supposed to do."

On Terrance Cain breaking Utah's record for accuracy in a game

"That's great, a great accomplishment from Terrance. He has played stellar in his two opportunities, in these last two weeks."

On Shaky Smithson having another big day

"Shakey had another big day. Shakey is a weapon for us right now. He's getting our offense set up in good field position. He's making good decisions and I couldn't be prouder of what he's done."

On who starts at quarterback next week

"Well Jordan is our starter and Terrance has done a great job in his absence. We'll continue to evaluate everything but I couldn't be more pleased with everything Terrance has done in his absence."

On if the bye week in two weeks will factor into the decision at quarterback

"There's thought to that. First of all the medical staff are the ones that will determine when we can use Jordan, if he's given the green light, and the green light is a relative statement. You know if someone tells me hey, if you wait another little a bit of time it's going to be without question healed, he can go on it, ya know, its not a black and white thing. It is kind of gray. We'll have to wait and see what the medical staff tells us first and base our decision on that and how we proceed."

On Utah's offensive philosophy of the game

We wanted to be balanced. That's pretty much our plan every week. One negative of the game is that we put the ball on the ground three times. I think each running back fumbled. That has to get corrected. Our punt game was a positive. Sean Sellwood did a nice job, the protection was there, he punted the ball well, the coverage was good, that was a positive. The big negative from this particular game was putting the ball on the ground three times."

On looking to TCU and BYU

Yeah, they'll show up somewhere. Right now it's all about San Jose and trying to stay focused on that game. That's the only way you can operate.

On not having a game go down to the wire with the Lobos

It's nice to have the departure from the usually grind it out, nail biter we've had down here. I reminded the guys at halftime that this was the same exact scenario we were at in 2006, 24 to 3, 21-point lead and we're not going to let that happen again. That was the halftime speech.

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