NEW MEXICO BOWL POSTGAME QUOTES
Dec. 23, 2006
Quotes From New Mexico Head Coach Rocky Long
"First of all I'd like to congratulate San Jose State. I think they played a good game. The difference in the game was certainly the turnovers, you can't win the game if you turn the ball over five times. I want to thank the fans of New Mexico for coming out and supporting the game. When you start a bowl game the crowd support is utmost important. Hopefully this bowl game can turn into something like several others have been when they started them for specific reasons. The Feista Bowl and the Holiday Bowl were started just like this one was.
The Fiesta Bowl was started to give Arizona State a place to go and the Holiday Bowl was started to give the Western Athletic Conference champion a place to go. Hopefully this can grow into that kind of thing sometime in the future. The fan support is the most important and I appreciate the New Mexico fans coming out for the game.
I think the most important play of the game for their victory and our loss was on the goal line. If we get the score we tie it up 7-7. After we blow the coverage and they threw a 60-70 yard pass touchdown we came back down the field, had it inside the five yard line, had three or four shots at it where if we scored there it's 7-7 and look what happens."
Does the bowl loss take any shine off the season?
"I think right now everyone thinks the shine has been knocked off. I said before the game and I still believe this, as poorly as we started this season, this team came a long way. I consider this season a success."
Why did you substitute Chris Nelson at quarterback in the second half?
"I thought Donovan (Porterie) was very inaccurate with the football and switching to Chris (Nelson) gave us the best chance to win. Donovan wasn't throwing the ball very well. We were going to put Chris in anyway because he is a senior and brought us back a couple of times. He led us to victory a couple of times after key injuries. Since Donovan is our quarterback of the future, we were trying to get him over the hump of playing poorly before we put Chris in the game. At halftime we decided that we needed to put Chris in the game."