Dec. 3, 2011
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UNLV vs. TCU
Dec. 3, 2011
Final: TCU 56, UNLV 9
TCU coach Gary Patterson
On winning a third-straight Mountain West title:
"For us, to win a championship outright was important. We didn't really get anyone banged up which is a big deal because of the possible short turnaround for bowl season. That was the way you want to finish a ball game."
On the defensive performance:
"The 0-15 on third down is the best we've seen this year. We've kept getting better and they had to play a freshman quarterback. I was interested to see how we would handle their physicality. They got into a two running back and two tight end set and tried to pound it at us. We kept our younger players in to see how they would handle it. We didn't handle it very well, then they started rearing up which was good."
On TCU's position in the BCS standings:
"There are other teams with one or two losses that might be deserving of playing in a BCS game. We'll have to see how the voting goes, but I am interested to see the voting. I declined this year to vote because of the change in conferences and I didn't want to anyone to think there was any bias. I'll be interested to look at everybody else's vote."
On his team's reaction to the news of Houston's loss:
"We were able to see some of it on TV before we went out and then we saw the score on the screen. When Southern Miss got the lead, we started to play harder there at the end of the first half."
On what he said to his team after the game:
"I told the team after the game they are the three-time conference champions. We had Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, Chancellor Boschini, Clarence Scharbauer of the Board of Trustees and athletic director Chris Del Conte in the locker room. I told them to thank them. You've got all these people who have helped make it possible. I told them before the game that all we could do was control our own destiny."
On the seniors making plays in their last home game:
"It was fun being on the sidelines. It was fun seeing Kris Gardner, as a senior, getting an interception return for a touchdown and Greg McCoy returning a kickoff for a touchdown. We got our walk-on players a chance to play and they practice hard all the time.
Senior safety Greg McCoy
On kickoff return for TD:
"I was just looking for my blocks and everybody did a great job. Again, Waymon James and Elisha Olabode made great blocks and I just followed those guys."
On when their reaction to Houston loss during the game:
"Well, we heard the fans reactions before we could see the score. But after that it was fuel to our fire. We just saw the opportunity and took it. As far as being focused, we were focused from the beginning of the game."
Senior offensive lineman Jeff Olson
On attitude of locker room after game and BCS chances:
"We were very focused. We don't know what's going to happen and frankly I don't think we really care that much. We're just so happy with what we did today, getting this third conference championship. It's such a blessing. It doesn't happen all the time. We're just so focused on today that we're not even going to worry about what happens."
Senior linebacker Kris Gardner
On his first career interception return for TD:
"I finally got it. I was waiting so long for it. It felt great. It was probably one of the greatest plays I've had since I started playing football."
On third straight MWC Championship:
"It really means everything to me: to win three straight Mountain West Conference Championships, to be the winningest class in TCU history, do something nobody has ever done. Nobody can take that away in my life and that's truly great."
UNLV Head Coach Bobby Hauck
On TCU's run late in the first half:
"Early in the first half it was 14-6 and within two minutes it went from 14-6 to 35-6 from the blocked punt, kickoff return, and interception for a touchdown. We were in the game and playing hard and fairly well but any time we match up with TCU's speed, skill and athletic ability, you are holding your breath every time the ball goes out. They're awfully good. In a game like this where you are the underdog, you have to get touchdowns and not field goals. When you get those back- to-back scores that really takes the wind out of your sails."
On the decision not to play freshman quarterback Taylor Barnhill over sophomore quarterback Caleb Herring:
"Caleb is having trouble with his shoulder injury. We tried to warm him up early and he couldn't do it. We had hoped on Thursday that he would be able to play in this game, he threw a little bit and went through the offense, but he couldn't come out and throw today."
On the performance of the UNLV running backs:
"Our offensive line is physical but we need to be able to throw the ball. We have not been able to do that and it's a shame that we can't because our offensive production will skyrocket when we can do that in terms of third down conversions and points on the board."
UNLV senior tight end Austin Harrington
On injured linebacker Bryce Saldi being involved in the coin toss:
"We just wanted to make sure he felt included at all times. He's still part of this team and we still love him. It was a great thing we were able to do for him. He never ceases to amaze me on how much he progresses each time I see him. I think it was great that TCU let us do that - they are class acts and Bryce is from Texas, so it's only appropriate."