Oct. 1, 2011
New Mexico Interim Head Coach George Barlow
On his evaluation of the game
"My evaluation is we didn't start like I thought we would start. We had a great four days of practice. We were loose, we were energetic, we were focused the whole week, but it just didn't start how I wanted it to start. It all started with the kickoff return and then we had a personal foul on that same play and again, you've got to start better than we've been starting. I thought we would improve on that just because of the way we had practiced. When you start that bad, it's hard to keep your confidence throughout the game and we just got behind. Once we got behind that quick, I tried to keep them up as much as possible and keep them playing, but we have got to start games a lot better than we did tonight.
"On the kickoff we have got to play better. We have got to cover. We didn't cover very well and then once we got the personal foul, then that just started us reeling. Once we came out on defense--it's both defensive line and secondary--we've got to be more aggressive in the secondary and not turn guys loose. The defensive line has got to be more stout against the run and when they do throw the ball--if we're not pressuring people, he's basically standing back there the whole time--we've got to find ways to get those guys to get more vertical, to stand in his rush lanes and become better at defending the pass."
On the Lobo defense
"We're definitely concerned about it, but it's across the board. We have to control the line of scrimmage much better than we have been and a lot of times a secondary takes a lot of the heat for coverage and being soft and the ball being caught, but it's across the board. We've got to control the line of scrimmage and when we rush four we're not getting there, and when we rush five, we're not getting there. A couple of times with the run we need to penetrate a lot more than we are and we're just letting teams run the ball and pass the ball and we've got to find a way to stop it."
On the player morale down at 21-0
"Once it was 21-0 I didn't really get any negative feelings at that point. They still had a good look in their eyes and they were still trying to fight. We've just got to play better. Overall, the whole game I still don't think they necessarily just said, `Oh well,' and gave up. I think we still had some fight in us. We've just got to find a way to make some more plays on offense and we've got to find a way to play better on defense."
On whether or not he thinks the events of the week took a greater toll on the team than previously anticipated
"Maybe so. I can't necessarily answer that for sure. Like I told you before, we played practice really well this week from day one all the way to the end of the week. Maybe it did. I can't really answer that. Initially, I didn't think so. I thought they were really focused the whole week. I thought they had a good grasp of the game plan and again we just have to come out and start better. When a team starts like we started, it's hard to keep the confidence. All that being said, I still don't think we quit."
New Mexico Quarterback B.R. Holbrook
On the slow start
"I'm not sure. I think I need to take a shot when I have it. I definitely expect more from myself".
On the fan turnout
"When we came out from the tunnel, that was pretty cool to see. Thank you fans...thank you."
New Mexico Defensive End Joseph Harris
On why the team is losing
"It's not like we are getting outran, or outplayed, we can match them physically. We are just not executing plays correctly all the time. Sometimes the other players just catch us off guard.
On the attitude in locker room
"It's frustrating that we lost, and for me my confidence is pretty high. We just need to start the game faster.
On the fan turnout
"I think we played better than normal, because of such high intensity of fan turnout. We may have lost but I feel that we played better because of the fans."
On the busy week (with the firing of Coach Locksley
"We do have a lot going on but that goes with the territory of being a student-athlete. Being a student comes first by performing well in school, and then athlete after by doing our best on the field. We just take it one step at a time and we're just gonna keep grinding at practice till we can execute the plays better on the field."
New Mexico State Head Coach DeWayne Walker
On the importance of the rival matchup
"It's a state rival, it's three in a row. I don't think these kids know how important this game is."
On the emergence of Austin Franklin
"I've been waiting for it. We knew that this kid is explosive and he's a good football player so it was good for everybody else to see what this kid brings to the table."
On QB Matt Christian's performance
"I'm just so happy for him. He's been a team player."
"I knew that this kid would bring some good karma, not only to our football team, but to himself. So I'm just excited for him that he's playing well."
New Mexico State Wide Receiver Austin Franklin
On stepping up for injured receiver Taveon Rogers
"During practice, coaches said this is a big game for all of us, especially because we were going to get the ball a lot more and we had to step up for Taveon."
On the opening kickoff return
"It was real big. I knew I had to step up to get the offense going. The first kickoff return, I knew I was going to score."
On his first Rio Grande Rivalry game
"This is a big victory. This is my first big rival game against New Mexico. It was a good win just to beat them."
On the impact of his breakout game
"We'll very, very, very, much expect everything to go right now."
New Mexico State Quarterback Matt Christian
On the importance of his first Rio Grande Rivalry start
"It was huge. I was excited. I was my first time playing against the battle of I-25, the rivalry game. It was a lot of fun. The crowd was good."
On having a passing game without starting WR Taveon Rogers
"Our depth at receiver this year is really, really good. We're probably five, six deep. So Taveon's, his hip's bothering him, we've got a bye week now, so the decision was made right before the game let's keep him out, try to get this win without him, and we had guys at that position really step up. Austin had a huge game."