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Upstart Houston Baptist hopes to grow against UTEP

Hear what Houston Baptist head coach Vic Shealy said about this weekend's game against UTEP.

Coach Shealy talks about their last game against Lamar

“One of the things that is probably important to understand, when you’re growing from ground zero up, you’re working to become good, so you have a chance to win. Once you kind of get there, you find a way to win the close games, so maybe one day we’ll find a way to win going away, but we’ll take it tonight. I would have liked to have thought there midway in the fourth quarter where we had a 14-point lead and the ball it wouldn’t have come down to this, but our kids showed great resolve and they kept on fighting. Even when we had some adverse moments there late in the fourth, our guys still found a way to win and it’s a real credit to how hard they’ve worked and how committed they are to doing the little things right.”

On his offense:

“I really thought we played pretty well on third down in the second half -- the first half I didn’t think we played really well in that respect. We were 2-for-2 on fourth down conversions in the first half, which is good. I thought we came back and were much better all-and-all, with being able to control the ball and put together first downs back-to-back. We’ve got to get a little cleaner in the running game still and we’ve still got to be able to do some things where we’re consistently throwing and catching, but we are improving. It’s tough to win a game on the road in this league, so this is a significant win for our program tonight.”

On his defense

“We played better than maybe the 17 points we gave up, but the number of penalties we had on defense tonight, we have to clean that up. We have just not done a good job as coaches to purge out the number of penalties, some of them come when kids are trying so hard and maybe they’re straining a little bit, they get a little bit overeager. We had five pre-snap penalties tonight, three on offense and two on defense, and you can’t really do those things, but we’ll get better and I’m just proud at the end of the game the guys just kept believing and we got it done in the fourth quarter.”

On playing UTEP

“I those can be the games where you make the most improvement as a program. I look back at the Western Kentucky game and even though we struggled defensively, we got exposed to some things I think help you grow up a little more. You can talk about technique in practice, you can talk about the need to play better and cleaner, but when you face a team that is very, very good, they reinforce coaching and the need to be tech­nically and fundamentally sound. These are welcomed challenges, you go into a big stadium with a crowd that’s adversarial, it helps toughen your kids up, in terms of playing on the road. It’s a good experience, we’ll enjoy it and I’m confident our kids will."