Transcript: Kevin Sumlin, Arizona players after Houston game

Arizona Wildcats head coach Kevin Sumlin looks on from the sideline during the third quarter against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium.Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Sumlin, Colin Schooler, Shun Brown, Khalil Tate

Postgame transcript courtesy of Houston Athletics...


On being 0-2

"You know, it's not good. We had a good week of practice, but made similar mistakes. We got behind and had to change the game plan. We just have to start faster. I think we ran 100 plays today and got 18 points, that is very frustrating. We had eight penalties today and two turnovers, something we didn't do last week. A combination of all those things are what created the slow start, and we have to improve at that."

On Khalil Tate running the ball

"I think you can see early in the game that the game plan was different, because we wanted him to run inside and to the perimeter. The conversation with him on the sideline was that he wasn't comfortable with his ankle, but felt good enough to continue playing. Sometimes with ankle injuries, once you stop for a while that's when it gets worse. He kept it loose and wanted to play."

On expecting growing pains

"Any time there is a coaching change I think you expect that. You look at where we are right now, we have four new lineman. We get Layth (Friekh) back this week, and two of our defenders that have a lot of experience. We're not currently the team that we want to be, but it's a work in progress."

On battling in the fourth quarter

"We have to start faster and be consistent. Trust me, we had that conversation at halftime, about what football from us was going to look like in the second half. It didn't look very good in the first and second quarter. I would say if there is a positive it's how we responded in the second half."

On dealing with Houston's tempo

"We practice against us all the time. We have a lot of good on good with that tempo, even with that we ran 100 plays. We had more plays than they did. They had more big plays, because they took more shots. It's a combination of the tempo and the deep throws. They hit a couple of them, but we also had some pass interference calls. We're short one corner, so when we get Jace (Whittaker) back that will help too."

On impression about Houston

"They do a nice job with their tempo, they have really good speed. They spread the field competitively and vertically. You combine that with a quarterback that is mobile and an experienced O-line, they are moving fast. It's not just the tempo. What you saw today was them change speeds. Whether it was going as fast as they could go, or getting on the ball and letting the clock run to put pressure on us. They double called things, so they could look at our defense and adjust. I think Kendal and Major did a great job of that."

On adjusting game plan

"It took us too long to adjust. We got to the third quarter and obviously were able to sit down and do some other things and move the ball. A lot of things that we practiced this week, we can just draw a line threw them. It limits you. On the same token, we also ran some plays during the second half that we didn't practice much during the week. We just added them to the game plan. With where Khalil was, I think our guys did a good job of adjusting."

On getting stopped at the goal line

"Our right side got beat at the guard and tackle. They slanted out and quick swung them, at least that's what it looked like on the jumbotron."

On punting late

"We had just got a safety, so we got the ball back. It was fourth and almost 10, we hadn't been very successful on third and long protection. We wanted to get the ball back in there so we could pin them. Once they broke out a big play on a sweep, it was over after that."

On bright spots of the day

"I think Shawn (Poindexter) has proved the last couple weeks that he's been consistent, and he's been effective. Tony (Fields II) again was consistent and effective. Darius (Smith) is back home. What you see there is that we added a third back that can get in the rotation and do some things. (Colin) Schooler continues to play his heart out. He's all over the place. I have to go back and look at it, but those are some things that jumped at me."


On beginning of game

I feel like we werent communicating enough with the offense. Not everybody was doing their job.

On being 0-2

Everybody expects to be 2-0 at the beginning of the season. I dont care where youre from, or who you play. I can say, I didnt expect to be 0-2.

On being outplayed

I had the confidence in our defense that we were going to dominate this game. They came out strong and they played better than we did. Theres nothing much to that."

On optimism for rest of season

"With games like this you really find out what kind of team you have. We were down 30-something points and had guys still fighting. They were playing their hardest and trying to get plays. That's something you can take away from this game. No matter what, the guys around here are going to play their hardest."

On the mentality with the ball at the half

"With the ball on the half yard line you're thinking safety. I always thought we had a chance in this. It's only a matter of time until our offense starts getting plays again. I never thought we were out of it."

On weather

"No, where we're from is a dry heat. We're used to that, but the humidity didn't seem to affect me at all."

On waking up early

"It's game day. If you don't wake up excited, I don't know what you're doing. I woke up fine."

On tempo

"I wouldn't say the offense was any faster or slower. In fall camp going against our offense is probably the same."

On sticking together

"Basically, if one man goes down there's always going to be another man up and ready to take that position. It doesn't matter who goes in there. We have to make sure that they do their job.

On moving forward

"Prepare for next week like it's any other week. Win, you want to celebrate that win. When the days over you have to prepare for your next opponent. We're going to learn from this loss and move forward to next week."


On being 0-2

"I feel like these are some games we should've won. We're continuing to grow as a team, and learning from our mistakes."

On the offense

"We just got outplayed."

On challenges

"Nothing changed really. We still believed we were going to win, even though we were down in the first half. We came out in the second half with a little more energy."

On being involved in offense

"I was more involved, but losing is never good. Even though I was more involved, it sucks to lose. We need to continue to grow and learn from our mistakes. We need to continue to do what we're not doing, as in communication and things like that."

On the new coaching staff

"Every day is a stepping stone for us and we'll continue to grow."

On Coach Sumlin's message

"Continue to fight."

On the weather

"I'm used to it. I'm from Louisiana, so it didn't affect me at all. It wasn't even that bad to me."

On practice last week

"It was pretty good. Coming to the game it fell out. We need to study film, learn from it and continue to grow."

On changes in schemes

"We put in new plays. We made adjustments during half time, because they came out with different stuff."


On twisted ankle

"He mentioned that? It's a football injury. Things happen you get bumps and bruises. It's all about how you bounce back from it. It didn't affect my ability to run too much. We stuck to the game plan. It was the play before that when I got injured. I'd say they do a lot of aggressive tackling. I wouldn't say it's not fair, it's just aggressive. Not a regular tackle, like a tackle and twist. Things of that nature."

On being 0-2

"The offense is still new. They're still young. We haven't hit Pac-12 play yet, which is a blessing in disguise. It's just growing pains. Things are going to happen when you have a new coach, and basically five linemen that haven't played college football yet."

On how Shun (Brown) played on offense

"We knew we had to add him in the mix more and get him the ball in the open field, which is something I wanted to do also."

On the fourth quarter

"They got three or four stops. It's pretty simple, they got stops."

On new offensive linemen

"It's different. It's not just that their new, but their young. A lot of them haven't played college football yet. Everything that happens to them is new. It's growing pains. Next time the situation isn't going to be the same.

On next week

"We just have to keep doing what we're doing. We have a pretty young team. Our offense is new. It's growing pains. It comes with a new coach, and things of that nature."

On what's holding the offense back

"We're one play away from being what we can be. One catch away, one lead away, one touchdown, etc. People just expect things to happen so fast."

On continuing as a team

"A teammate doesn't give up. A teammate doesn't back down. A teammate keeps fighting. We lost, but we didn't give up."


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