Quotes From The Tucanos Media Luncheon
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/24/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 24, 2009

Head Coach Mike Locksley

Lobo TV Press Conference Video

(opening statement)
"We had some great things happen last week. We were able to validate some of the things that we've been saying here for the last couple weeks with a win. Our team has continued to play hard week in and week out and this weekend we were able to bring all the things we've talked about into fruition with a big victory. One of the things we haven't done a great job of in the last couple of weeks is taking advantage of making plays in critical situations. I think coming from behind to win a game really shows character and this team has displayed great character all year long. It starts with the play of our seniors. Our 17 seniors have been the glue that has kept this team together and I'm so appreciative of their efforts. We also had some contributions from some young players this week. I thought the two freshmen running backs really showed glimpses of what our future will look like as we continue to bring in those types of players, like Demond (Dennis) and Kasey (Carrier)."

(on the Colorado State game overall)
"We played and competed for four quarters. I think that's important. Something we've talked about is getting the game into the fourth quarter, giving ourselves a chance to win the game, and making the plays. We did just that this week. Last week I said it would be a four-quarter game and said it would be a tough battle for us, knowing the type of program that (Colorado State) coach (Steve) Fairchild runs and the types of players he puts out on the field. We knew it wouldn't be easy and how much more gratifying was it that we had James Aho come in and kick the winning field goal? I think James displays the character that we talk about - a team that has never given up on itself, a team that has persevered through tough times. James is a great display of our team, having the opportunity a week later to redeem himself by putting the game-winning kick through. It was a huge team win, as all three phases played a huge role in winning that football game. All of the players did everything we asked of them and they came through."

(on facing TCU this week)
"We have a great opportunity this week, facing a top five team and a team that is in the national championship hunt. As I told the team yesterday, if we can't get excited about this opportunity, then we're in this for the wrong reasons. It's our intention to go play for four quarters, prepare this week as we've prepared every week, to find a way to make the critical plays when the opportunities present themselves, and to find a way to come away with a big signature win for our program. It would be a great ending to a tough year, to go out and compete with one of the best teams in the country, and try to come away with a victory. We know we have a tough challenge on our hands, as (TCU head coach) Gary Patterson has done a great job with the TCU program. He has playmakers in all three phases of the team. In the kicking game they have weapons returning kicks and punts. They've really developed their offense into a very powerful, high-scoring offense, and they've found a way to get (quarterback) Andy Dalton action in the running game, which should be a great challenge for us defensively. The defense they've been known to play the last eight years is one of the top-10 defenses in the country year in and year out, and that hasn't changed. But if I know our team, they'll meet the challenge with great effort."

(is it fair that UNM is such a huge underdog based on the way the team has been playing lately)
"I love it. I think it's fair, as the people who create the odds down in Vegas have it down to a science. We'd like to be able to prove them wrong. We know it's a tough challenge, but it's a testament to the type of team TCU has and what they've been able to do. [Gary Patterson] really has his team peaking right now and this is when you want your team peaking. I'm sure they'll be ready to play, as they've got national championship hopes, conference championships, and undefeated seasons on the line. They'll be ready to play, and they won't be looking past us."

(on what he says to a team going into a game like this)
"You tell them to go have fun. I've had the opportunity to compete at this level against teams like a TCU and this is what you get into competition for. This is what college football is all about. The parity in college football nowadays is that anything can happen on Saturday. I think it starts with preparation first. We've been a consistent team as far as how we prepare. It also starts with playing with great effort, which I haven't any reason to believe that we won't play with the effort we've displayed. The key to it will be the execution. If we can go out there and execute like we have the last few weeks of the season, then we'll give ourselves a chance."

(on UNM needing to play a perfect game on Saturday)
"I wouldn't say perfect. Everybody's going to make mistakes in a 70-play game, but I think we have to win our fair share of the battles. We need to win more of those battles than they do. We're going to have to find a way to create and make big plays. We have to take advantage of any miscues or opportunities that are afforded us. I don't think we have to play a perfect game, but we have to go out and play hard, not turn the ball over, and limit their big plays. All the things that we've talked about as far as winning big games, the formula doesn't change because it's TCU."