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"We Can Be a Physical Team" Notes from Mike Price's Monday Press Conference

Earlier today, I piggy-backed onto Duke Keith's live stream of Mike Price's Monday Press Conference.  For those of you who missed  it, here are the key quotes that jumped out to me.  Keith will have the full video of the presser up on That Will Do later today.  

On Whether Donald Buckram Will Play Next Week

"I think Donald Buckram is looking more and more like he’s going to have a chance to play.  He was out there (in pregame warm-ups) and he looked fantastic.  The problem is that he hasn’t had a lot of tries in practice.  I want him to practice more before he plays in a game."


On Trevor Vittatoe Running the Ball

"(Trevor Vittatoe) ran like he can.  You have to realize and people forget about this.  He had his foot literally in a cast for a year.  He played with a plastic cast on his right foot..... He doesn’t have a cast on his foot and he doesn’t have a broken collar bone to protect.  It just happened.  And when he ran I thought he looked impressive.  He looked like he was moving to me."

On the Running Game

"We’re averaging 6 yards a carry and that’s without Donald Buckram.  And that could be the highest average of any trio in the history of UTEP football."

On UTEP's Defensive Line and Germard Reed

"Germard Reed did a great job. We were so much better on defense being physical with our defensive line penetrating and our linebackers scraping forward not sideways not like they were in the Houston game.

Our defense is was great to see 10 on the scoreboard underneath the opponents.  For the second time this year 0 points scored in the second half. … Our coaches made some great adjustments at half."

On Coaching Against his Son Eric (UM's offensive coordinator)

"I know who my wife who she’s going to be cheering for.  I’m not even second on that list.  She wants both her boys to do well."

Some Early Thoughts on the Memphis Tigers

"They have big time athletes .  Big huge defensive line that can run.  We know the importance of this conference game and how it falls on our schedule.  Their offense is extremely well coached obviously.  But its like any first year team with a new coaching staff.  And its hard with shuffling two quarterbacks and two running backs so it’s hard to get continuity. They are thin on the offensive line."

On What UTEP Can Do Better

"We better continue to improve like we have.  We know what the key is it’s blocking and tackling and being physical. We can be a physical team that can stretch the field horizontally and vertically like we did Saturday."

On Running UTEP's Version of the Wildcat with James Thomas II at QB

"I think it’s a great change up with JT at quarterback.  It’s effective and he looked great.  And I was happy because he didn’t have a super game until he got in their at quarterback.  It can be really good for us with Buckram in there because then you have two guys really flying around back there."

On the Atmosphere at the Sun Bowl

"I want to thank the 40,000 that were there.  We need to get the 20,000 that are out in the parking lot partying and such into the stadium."