Rice Football head coach Mike Bloomgren made closing comments on the UTSA game and set the stage for the Owls Week 9 game against Southern Miss.
Wide receiver Austin Trammell and linebacker Blaze Alldredge joined Rice football head coach Mike Bloomgren at the podium on Tuesday. The trio made closing comments on the UTSA game and looked ahead to their Week 9 game against Southern Miss.
From Mike Bloomgren
On the team’s performance against UTSA…
“I thought we had a great two weeks of prep going into it. Very simply, we didn’t come out the other side like we wanted to. We took another team to deep water in this conference. Our kids are fighting and doing some great things. From a 10,000-foot level, you can’t turn the ball over in conference play in college football and win games.”
On the resilience of the Rice football team…
“The good news is these kids are working. They’ve come back. They’re resilient. They’re bright kids. They realize how close we are. They’ve come back to it and they’ve attacked this thing the right way. I told them yesterday that we’re doing the right things. There’s no question in my mind that we’re doing the things to win with the right people in the building. I think we’ve got an unbelievable coaching staff and we’ve just got to find a way to push through. That’s kind of been our charge all week.”
On how the coaching staff has responded this week…
“I think these coaches have been rock solid. They’ve been the same people every day. They come in here, they’ve taught, they’ve demanded and they’ve really stayed in lockstep with me on the process. They’ve been trying to control the things that we can control. Everybody who’s a part of this program was down after that game on Saturday. But, there’s no panic, if that makes sense. You can change so many things, you can change your approach. You can come in here, yell and scream. There’s just none of that. It’s process-driven and we’re not going to let that game beat us this week. We’re going to move on. We’re going to do the things that we know win games.”
On the plan at quarterback…
“Wiley [Green] prepares so well. For whatever reason, obviously, we lost two snaps and the first play of the third quarter was just a very critical error. Quarterbacks, like head coaches, get too much credit and too much blame. Very simply, that’s what’s going on right now. It’s not because we’re not winning games. and we’re saying it’s Wiley’s fault or anything like that. It’s just the fact that the ball went to the other team three times when we had it the other night. Very simply, that’s why we’re making the change. Tom (Stewart) will be our starting quarterback going forward.
“I don’t have a plan for either [Evan Marshman or JoVoni Johnson] to be the quarterback of the football team. We could see a scenario where JoVoni comes into games again. Obviously, he had a great start to his college football career, breaking off that run. During the bye week, he threw it exceptionally well. He threw the deep ball exceptionally well. We have a lot of trust in JoVoni. We’ll just see how he plays. We’ll likely have a role for JoVoni as we go forward while keeping an eye on that redshirt as well.”
On the play of the offensive line against Southern Miss…
“I love the way our offensive line is progressing. I think they are doing a great job. So, I think we’re going to match up fine. But, how will we handle movement as a front unit? What will we do to solve their movement patterns with our pads, with violence? That’s going to be what opens up holes. From a protection standpoint, they’re relentless. We’ve got to do a great job protecting to let our receivers go make plays down the field any time we chose to throw the ball.”
From WR Austin Trammell
On the focus of the team going forward …
“It’s hard, losing a game like that. It takes a lot of mental toughness to come back from that and to keep pushing and keep fighting. But at the end of the day, we’re doing this for every guy on our team and doing it for all the seniors that have five games left. And I think our guys understand that.
We want to finish the season, doing everything the right way, giving everything we have to win games, because that’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re playing college football. That’s why we came to Rice University because we want to win games. And so that’s our full focus this week and that’s what’s kind of motivating guys and keeping us going. We have five opportunities to get five wins, and to let these seniors leave with some success under their belt.
From LB Blaze Alldredge
On the team’s goals for the rest of the season…
“In terms of goals, you have to recalibrate a little bit. You come out with the goal of obviously winning conference and to make a bowl game. And when things like that start to come out of reach, it’s important to recalibrate your goals instead of just kind of becoming goal-less.
And when you don’t start to set new goals for yourself, that’s when you find the people that will rest and just think about next season, and just keep those same goals, and say, ‘Oh well, we still have the same goals, just for next season.” So when you get to this point in the season, it really becomes about pride and loving your brother. I think that we have a tight team that’s very close to one another. That is more than capable of going out and winning games.”
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