Transcript: Fuente Press Conference Quotes from the Justin Fuente press conference Monday
Oct. 22, 2012
"Thank y'all for coming out. Our kids are looking forward to going to Dallas and playing SMU. I've been a little bit more familiar with SMU than some people because we played them every year for the last couple years when I was at TCU. Defensively, they don't get enough credit. They've been good up front over the last couple of years. They've done a great job rushing the passer and still covering down in the back end. They've got some pretty special wide receivers. The running back they've got is a pretty exceptional football player. We'll have to do a great job on both sides of the ball and special teams to give ourselves another chance. Hopefully, we can build on the performance last week. Our kids came out and really competed on both sides of the ball. We made our share of mistakes but I think it's pretty plain to see we're getting better every week."
On the team being one of the most improved in the nation
"I just know from an accountability level, from a discipline level and when you look at our guys playing with emotion and intensity, I know as a program we have improved. I see it every day. I know as individuals we've gotten better. They're more dedicated now so that's always encouraging. It's hard when you're in the middle of it to compare yourself to anybody else right now. We have a long way to go but it's an everyday thing for us."
On how the accountability has improved
"When we first took over, we laid out the four principles of the program. One of those was individual accountability. We really try to focus on being accountable to one another. I felt like that was maybe the largest gap that we had to make up with other good programs. We're still working on that every day, but I felt like just our accountability level to each other, to the program, to the University and to the community wasn't where it needed to be. The harder you work at something, the easier it is to be accountable for the results, and that's the philosophy we've taken. Let's work so hard that we don't have any other choice but to be accountable to each other."
On SMU's quarterback Garrett Gilbert
"I think when you look at him, he just continues to get better in that offense. He has a lot of tools and is a highly intelligent kid. He's just an awfully good football player, and has been for some time."
On the team committing turnovers
"It drives you nuts. It goes back to being accountable all the time. It's got to mean more to you to hold on to the ball. We've got to make it harder to put it on the ground. You've got a group of guys that are fighting tooth and nail for very inch they can get out there. When they do get a few inches or the defense prevents them from getting yards or first downs, and then to hand it back over to them is not what good programs do. Some of it is from a physical development standpoint - we've got to continue to get stronger. We're playing against guys that are stronger than we are. Some of it is toughness and some of it is discipline issues."
On using the passing game more
"They did a great job of playing over the top. They really did a good job of staying deep. When you run like that, you would like to produce a few more big plays in the passing game in order to put some more points on the board. You've got to be patient. If they're going to continue to play deep and stay back, you've got to continue to take it. The second thing is you've got to find a way to make them come up. Then, you have a better chance of getting behind them."