On his health status during the UCA game:
I feel pretty good besides my neck being swollen and stuff from I don’t know what it is. Other than that, feel pretty good. Good game. We got the W.
What it was:
I was kinda a little sick. My throat was all swollen and stuff. So I couldn’t really turn my head and all like I wanted to. But we got the W. That’s all that really mattered.
How it hampered him:
It really didn’t affect me. I was kinda slow in the first half. But the offense in the second half from Bo, Barry, and the receivers, a good game.
What was said at halftime:
Just play our game. That was it. Just go out there and do what we do, what we’d been doing in practice. Just keep our head on straight and win this game tonight. He was like y’all do this, block right, run this right, we’ll get the W.
On the tempo:
We were pretty good. The other team was kind of gassed. Working with Coach Jackson in the spring and summer, he got us in shape for that. We’re good on that.
On getting a win in the opener:
It’s exciting for us, you know, because two years we lost the opener and that kept us down for the rest of the season. I think it’s going to be different now. We’re going to bring it, go to practice, and get ready to play.
On Mathers and Walton:
They’re going to be two monsters in the years to come. Both of them.
On building off this win:
It’s a lot we’ve got to do, a lot of small things we’ve got to fix. Once we fix the small things, the O-Line and the receivers get together and the quarterbacks, we’re going to be much faster and there’s going to be more points on the scoreboard.
On mood at halftime:
The message was just play the next play and come out and give everything we’ve got. Coach told us before the game started to play all 60 minutes and smoething good would happen. We played all 60 minutes, and we went up in the second half and made it a good game.
On screens and short passes to him:
We just put the tight end on my side. If he touches the corner, something good will happen, because it just leaves you one on one with one person and I’ve got to make a good play. That’s one of the best plays. You’ve got to be physical. Got to be able to get a yard when you need it. I want the ball in the air, and that’s what they did.
On the QBs:
Both quarterbacks are great. The only thing that’s difference, Barry is a little quicker. But after tonight, Bo showed a little something on his feet. So we have to get used to both and play with both.
On a win lifting them toward UTEP:
Gives us more swagger knowing we can actually come out and play 60 minutes and give somebody hell. So we’ve just got to keep our heads up and play ball.
On different attitude this year trailing at halftime than last year:
Games like this a year ago, I dressed for a couple of them. And the ones I did dress for, people had their heads down in the locker room and kinda gave up and what not. (Tonight) we went into the locker room and leaders stepped up and said it’s time to rise up. They said we’ve got adversity early and what are you going to do? Who’s going to step up and make plays and people took it personally.
On first half problems when UCA was running the ball between the tackles:
I don’t know, just people missing gaps and we just weren’t playing our game. We just had to adjust and we did.
What were the adjustments?:
Coach Kiffin made adjustments and whatever he did, whatever he said, they came out with a different attitude in the second half.
How did he grade himself?:
I think when plays came my way, I made the plays I was supposed to. I did my job. Coach always preaches when you do your job and play your assignment, you’re going to make the play. Just play with effort and do your assignment and you’re going to make plays. I felt like I listened to everything he said, and I felt like when plays came my way I was ready to make them.
On a better second half for the team:
In the second half, everyone settled down and came together as a unit. We quit trying to freelance, did what we were supposed to do and made the scheme work. We were just too hyped up in the first half and out of control."
On his UM debut:
I felt pretty good about my first college start. I did what Coach (Wesley) McGriff told me and flew to the ball. I made plays when they came to me and don't think I missed any plays I should have made."
On what they learned about themselves as a team:
"I think we can do a lot better. We started off sloppy because we didn't play within the system. When we all figure that out, I think we will be fine. Our coaches will get us right and it's up to us to do what they teach us. In the first half tonight, we didn't do that and we paid a price. Central Arkansas shouldn't have scored on us, but we didn't do what we were taught. Once we settled down, they weren't going to score. We got in a rhythm and it all clicked. We learned a good lesson tonight."
On the feeling at halftime:
There was no sense of here-we-go-again at halftime. It was a completely different mindset and attitude. We were looking forward to getting back out there and playing the third and fourth quarters because we knew we were going to win the game.
On lessons learned:
In the first half, we shot ourselves in the foot. We knew it was going to come together in the second half, but we played out of control in the first half. We can't do that from this point on. Maybe we learned a valuable lesson tonight."