Quotes From The Tucanos Media Luncheon
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/03/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 3, 2009

Head Coach Mike Locksley

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(opening statements)
"I'll start off by talking about Utah. We've got a tough challenge ahead of us this week with a team that's ranked, a team that perennially is one of the top teams, not only in our conference, but in the country. We have a heck of a challenge going up to Salt Lake City. With that being said, I've been very proud of the way our team has responded to these types of challenges. Except for maybe one game this year, I've thought that our team has shown up and has competed for four quarters in every game -- minus the Wyoming second half. To me that shows the character of this team and the senior leadership we're getting in terms of our guys not quitting. They've had every opportunity to do that, but I thought we played our best game last week versus San Diego State. It was the first game this season in which we didn't have a turnover, it was probably the second or third game where we controlled the time of possession, and it was by far our best day of converting third downs. That allowed us to sustain drives. And (senior QB) Donovan Porterie is probably playing his best football now."

(on Utah)
"Utah offers us a tough challenge. They have probably the best defense I've seen and the thing that stands out about Utah's defense is their athleticism. They've got tremendous athleticism, not only in their front seven, but the secondary too. They're a well-coached team. Obviously Kyle [Whittingham] week in and week out has his team prepared. Our team has played Utah well in the past, whether it be up in Utah or here, regardless of the records and I expect our team to do so this week."

(on how it helped the team to have some positive results vs. San Diego State)
"We didn't get a lot of breaks in the last game, but we took advantage of some opportunities that we had. Our defense created a turnover and the offense was able to go down and capitalize on it. There haven't been very many games where I just thought that we weren't in it at any point in the game. We haven't had those type of games this year. There are very easily four games where, had we made the plays in critical times, the outcome could have been a little different."

(on playing Utah close last year in Albuquerque)
"Every year is a new year for us. The two missing things I've talked about with the team are our confidence and our discipline. Somehow, someway we've got to make plays in critical situation. That's where I think confidence shows up the most and we've got to do it. To go and beat a team like Utah we've got to take our opportunities and make some opportunities."

(on the team's health)
"Ben Contreras, our backup center, is out with a knee injury. We're hoping to get (backup linebacker) Spencer Merritt back. He missed last game with a neck and shoulder injury and he's still day to day. (Starting cornerback) Nathan Enriquez went out with a concussion. He practiced yesterday and we're waiting for the doctors to clear him. (Starting middle linebacker) Carmen Messina is beat up, as you'd expect. The guy's one of the leading tacklers in the country. It's a very physical sport and I think the wear and tear is starting to take it's toll on him, but he's fought through nicks and bruises and I expect him 100% and ready to go."

(on having freshman RB Demond Dennis and freshman WR Ty Kirk back)
"Demond played last week. He has a slight tear in the meniscus that we're going to have to fix after the season. He's not 100 percent, but is definitely back to the percentage where we think he can be effective for us, which he was last Saturday at San Diego State. Having Ty Kirk back is huge. Ty was our most productive receiver prior to his suspension and was also our No. 2 punt returner. It means a lot to be able to get that production back. We're expecting Ty to step back in and pick up where he left off."