Head Coach Bob Diaco
Tough game, tough year. The team tried hard today and strained; no one quit and everybody fought. A lot of the guys in that locker room are crying and it’s easy to see just how in love with each other they are; coaches and players, players and coaches. It was a long, long season in which expectations were spectacularly high and the results and production were spectacularly low. The minute I step away from this podium I am going to get started on the 2017 season. Just as I and the team turned it into a bowl team in year two, we are going to get back to it. This team will live up to the expectations that the awesome group that came to the stadium and was on Husky Walk cheering hard for the guys and the coaches and tapped everyone’s hand at the Walk, we are going to get to work on giving them the team that they deserve as soon as I step away from this podium.
In the past, I definitely didn’t intend to say the word "easy" on the fix. I meant to say isolated and easily-identifiable. There is not a rebuild that needs to happen. There are a lot of things that were very hard to build that have not broken. All of it sounds like "stuff" right now after a miserable year and I understand and respect that. But it doesn’t make it any less true. We need to get better at executing in-game in the three phases.
On the Seniors
It was an incredible honor and that’s what hurts and I love them. It reciprocates back and they are good men. They have to use this 2016 experience with all of its misery and suffering for their benefit and they will. When adversity strikes them, and it will as life does in their professional life or with their family, they will know how to respond. That’s what we talked about and they know that I will be there for them; every one of them. I just feel bad that the year went the way it did for them.
Tulane Head Coach Willie Fritz
"I’m really excited and happy for our guys. It’s been a really frustrating season. We talked last night how this is a game of pride so they had a little something to play for. The guys exhibited a lot of competitiveness and toughness in all three phases. The punt block in the beginning, we got a field goal block out of it and it was a huge field goal block by Richard Allen. I thought we had some big runs early in the game. The two seniors really carried the work force in the run game. I thought Glenn did well, the only throw he’d like to have back is the one right before the half, where he threw the pick. Otherwise I thought he did a good job throwing the ball."
On Playing with Pride
"We talked about it quite a bit during the week and last night during our team meeting. We had to go out and play. That’s part of your job as a student athlete, you have to go out and perform.
I told the guys we’ve got you prepared and you have to go out and execute and play your tails off. That’s what college football players are supposed to do anyway."
On the Offense
"We did a good job of executing, getting bodies on bodies, particularly early in the game. Obviously that’s not the front we played a week ago but we did a good job of executing and limiting the mental mistakes."
On the 3rd down efficiency
"We were 7 of 17 and 2 of 2 on fourth down. There’s been some games this year where we haven’t had good fortune. I was talking to our AD a moment ago and there were a few plays that occurred that I’m glad happened on our side of the ball. We haven’t had those things happen for us. That touchdown at the end at the one yard line, we definitely had some breaks but we made a bunch of those plays."
Quarterback Glen Cuiellette
On his contributions today
Cuiellette: "Indeed. Field position makes it easy. It was a whole different mentality going in there for a drive from starting on the 25, 20 inside the red zone. It makes it easier on us."
On changes that were made after being shut out last week
Cuiellette: "We went in this week saying hey we got a lot of pride for this game so we have to play and can’t just give up; we have to go out there and play"
Running back Arkeel Newsome
"We wanted to send the seniors out the right way, with a bang, but didn’t work out and I apologize for letting them go out like that.
(On his 62-yard TD run)
"We had run the play a few times before and the coaches coached me up on it. I did everything they told me to do, and it sprung me open. It helped me out a lot. I think my confidence is up."
(On being one of the senior leaders next year)
"We start next week, so I’m going to do everything I can to get better and better. It was frustrating this year, but we never gave up. Any issues we have, we think we can fix. I know the players will work to the best of their abilities and give everything they’ve got."
Senior safety Obi Melifonwu
"The way we finished is definitely disappointing, but I had a great time playing with this team. It’s not really about the loss, it’s about going out and playing one last game with my guys.
(On tying the school record with 24 tackles)
"I never really know how many tackles I had at the end of the game, but I just go out there, flying around, trying to make plays. I didn’t know I had 24 tackles, but it’s definitely something I’m proud of."
(On the team mood after the game)
"Everybody was together. I think the loss kind of brought us closer as a family because when you give your all every day, fight for your brothers, it means something more. I think there about 22 guys who started games who will be back next year, so it will be a veteran team – a team that understands trhe offense and the defense better. I have total faith in the coaches and the players."
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