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Say What? The Larry Coker Edition

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UTSA's head coach talks about their 0-4 start, and the hunger his team is bringing to Sun Bowl this weekend.

Larry Coker throwing gang signs at the officials
Larry Coker throwing gang signs at the officials
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

On his team's mindset after an 0-4 start

"It doesn't change, from my standpoint. Winning is winning and losing is losing and it's a lot more painful to lose and it's exciting to win. You win ... it feels really good. You lose, it just kind of eats at you. Really, if it quits doing that then you probably should be doing something else because it's a bottom-line game. To me, I hate for our players and coaches, because we have some really good coaches and a good young mix of some good players. To be 0-4, is very painful for me and more for them. I hurt for them."

Coker talks about the positives so far

"One thing is the attitude. The attitude's been great. We've stayed the course there. Again I mention the play of Jarveon Williams. He's having an outstanding year for us and David Morgan is another one that I've mentioned. The improvement of the offensive line has been huge to me. That's been really encouraging with the offensive line, because it does give you a chance. The overall defense has not been bad. The third down (defense), as I mentioned, is not where we need it to be, but you look at Nate Gaines, Michael Egwuagu, Bennett Okotcha and of course Drew Douglas has missed some, but with him in there, he's an awfully good player. I think overall there are some good things there. Special teams wise, Yannis (Routsas) is doing a heck of a job punting. The bad, I think the turnovers have been horrendous, especially in the first couple of games. We knew that going in, playing the Oklahoma States and the Kansas States, you cannot turn the ball over. I'm not going to say perfect, but we need to be spot on to beat those types of teams. That's what was encouraging about this last week, we played pretty well against a good team. They're a good football team, they had 17 starters coming back on a winning team and I think they've lost two games to FBS teams in overtime, so they're going to have a good team."

On opening conference play

"If we win on Saturday and we're in first place, I'm going to retire (laughs). The thing you see is that it's kind of a wide-open thing. I know there are some really good teams (in the league). I think it's exciting for our team to look forward to that. Again, it's how good can we play and things will take care of themselves. A few years ago we were 2-5 and won five in a row. We couldn't go to a bowl game, but we would have qualified if we were eligible. That's a tall task, I know that, but at the same token the games are out there."

On this weekend's game

"I'm excited about this weekend, and I want them to be excited. We're hungry and tired of losing.  The real season starts Saturday."

On UTEP

"Very good linebackers, and outstanding running backs, and one of them I think is hurt.  I think they're a good football team, they got a lot of young guys.  For us, I'd say its going to be a challenge for us, everybody is going to be a challenge for us we have to be at our best."