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September 9, 2017

Philip Montgomery

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa - 66, Louisiana - 42

PHILIP MONTGOMERY: Really proud of our football team. Still a lot of things we've got to correct, but I'm going to take correcting them on a win than I will over a loss any day. Good to get back on the right track. Good win here at home. I thought our crowd was good. I was excited to have people in the stands and cheering on our guys and being involved in the game. I thought our offensive line played really well. I thought our running backs played really well. We threw the ball, hit some big stuff, were able to move chains when we needed to move chains, be explosive in both aspects of it, so I was pleased with that part of it. Thought we were really good on our 3rd down conversions offensively.

Defensively, you know, obviously we've got to do a better job on 1st down in my opinion and stop some of those explosive plays, get off the field when we get them in 3rd and longs. But the two big turnovers they created there in the second half I thought were key points of the game. We didn't capitalize on one of them, did on the other one, just trying to get some separation and some cushion in there. Hats off to Louisiana. I mean, they continued to keep battling, and Coach Hudspeth and his staff, they do a great job, and it's a good win for us, so I'm excited about that, and we've got a tough one on the road next week.

With that, I'll take questions.

Q. You know that Brewer is a good player and you know you have an offensive line that's really effective, and so your quarterback is a work in progress. He made two plays in the third quarter on 3rd down today, two 3rd down conversion pass completions when he had to extend the play both times. Can you talk about if you considered this a real step forward in his development?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: Yeah, I thought he took some good steps this week. Was really smart with what we wanted to do in some of our run game stuff. I thought he did a nice job throwing the ball effectively. He had a couple of drops in there, too, that I thought he threw dimes on, but you're right, there was a couple of key 3rd down throws in there, especially the one late there when he hits Josh back across the middle, scrambles, finds him, and then Josh picks up big yards after that. I thought that was -- that's one of those plays as a quarterback you have to make. You don't have to make -- you don't have to win every game and you don't have to make every play, but those key situational plays like that, those are the ones that determine what type of quarterback and who you're going to be.

Q. You have a warm day and a developing quarterback, and so 72 rush attempts, it's the most you've had here, 429 yards, it's the most you've had here. Was that coming in what you intended to do, just hammer away with the run game?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: No, I wanted to get our running game on track. We didn't do a very good job of it. We worked extremely hard on it this week and really put an emphasis on we want to be able to establish the run and get back to what we know we can do. That really took hold because the flow of the game is what it was. I thought we were running the ball effectively. Line was really working hard. Backs were hitting things. And we were being able to sustain drives and stay on the field. That's eating the clock and doing those things, and in a game like that where you're going back and forth, if you're being effective in doing something, I don't know why you change. That's why we stayed with what we did. To be real honest, I came into this game really wanting to throw the football more, but the game is going to dictate what you do, and I think our coaches on both sides of the ball do a good job of adjusting to seeing those things.

Q. If we can continue on the development of President, not only was it a big play in the game itself, but to be able to connect on a long pass in a crucial situation, as far as quarterbacks are concerned, how does that help a young guy like President? Is it an invaluable kind of a thing? How would you characterize that?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: Yeah, I think it really is. I mean, every position but especially the quarterback position is all about confidence, and if a guy is feeling it and has got rhythm and has a lot of confidence in what he's doing, then he can make any throw that he wants to make, and I think a real good testament to that honestly is Dane. Dane got confidence, and he got to the point, especially last year, where he could make any throw, put it on the money and do what he wanted to with it.

Chad making a couple of throws down the field, you know, that was really big from an offensive standpoint, number one, but really big for his confidence in continuing to develop that way and making those crucial 3rd down throws that you've got to make I think also build that confidence.

Q. In a game where you put up 66 points, tell me about those two big defensive plays in the third quarter there where Manny had an interception, then on the following offensive possession for Louisiana, Cooper had an interception. In a game where you put up 66 points, it seems like those two were the key plays defensively that kind of gave you guys the momentum and gave you a good enough cushion to pull this one out?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: Yeah, it really is. I think both of those -- I mean, one of those was a throw-back play trying to sneak the back out, and Manny did a nice job of staying home, reading it, and really high pointed it and did a good job of coming up with the ball. Pretty good little wrestling match in there, but definitely our ball. And then the one there late, I think Jeremy Smith got a -- I think it was Jeremy, but I think Jeremy Smith got a good hit on the quarterback at the time, ball kind of hits tipped and coming out, and then Coop in the right place at the right time, diving, makes a great catch right there. I thought those were the two pivotal plays that really allowed us to extend the lead and try and get some separation.

Q. In your combined 3rd and 4th down plays you were 11 of 18 on conversion plays, averaged about 6 yards per rush attempt, protected pretty well. Is this as complete a game performance from your offensive line?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: Yeah, I don't think there's any question. I thought those guys did a great job of coming off the football, moving people. They gave us a lot of different looks, brought a lot of different blitz things at us. Those guys continued to battle and grind, made great plays, especially late, and just like I told them, I think we got the ball back with six minutes and 12 seconds left, and I wanted to eat the whole thing. If we score, we score, but I just want to eat the whole clock, get out of here with a great win. Those guys really controlled the line of scrimmage, and a complete game for them. I don't think we had any sacks. I guess we had the one maybe. And just like you look at it, I look at it a little bit different. We were 8 of 15 on 3rd down conversions with 3 of 3 on 4th down, so I contribute that to 11 of 15 because we're still converting those things. Because there's times in the game where I give our offense, hey, we've got two downs to make this, and we're calling plays according to that. You know, great conversion rate, and I think D'Angelo averaged, what, 9.7. So that's a pretty special day.

Q. Is it fair to call Chad the starter now at quarterback?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: I mean, he did a nice job today, and again, I have faith in both of those guys. You know, Chad played this whole game, played the majority of the other one. He is our starter right now, and you know, have a ton of faith in him, and he's got to continue to keep developing and growing. But I was really pleased with the way he played. I thought he managed the game really well today. I thought he was very effective, you know, in some crucial times and hit some big throws, and so yes, he is our starter.

Q. And if you could comment a little bit about Shamari Brooks came in and did a nice job.
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: Yeah, you know, Shamari, boy, what a way to start your college career off, your first game, first rep in, and put it on the turf. I thought he really bounced back after that last week, and then this week, you know, he's what we thought he was. He's a kid that really fights for yards, does a nice job in a freshman coming in and being able to do that is pretty special, so we're happy about him and what he's bringing to the table.

Q. Obviously the environment is much different versus a year ago, but how much did Chad's comfort being out there this time maybe affect the rhythm of the game, which seemed to be a much better flow than a week ago?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: Yeah, some of that is because we ran the ball more effectively. We really came into the game wanting -- I didn't think our tempo and our rhythm was very good our first week, and a lot of that you're behind the sticks all the time and you're fighting those situations, but I thought we were much better today with rhythm and tempo. That helps. Obviously playing at home, that helps, and then, you know, just confidence, and we came into -- we went into this week with the idea we've got to get back to who we are and what we do, and I thought our guys really came out and performed that way today.

D'Angelo Brewer was extremely special today. 262 yards, my goodness, what more do you want out of a guy, right? Thank you.

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