Fresno State vs. SMU - Game Notes
Oct. 31, 2004
SMU head coach Phil Bennett
"I think they are a team that hasn't been making a lot of plays in the passing game, and the odds caught up with them. I think the biggest difference was we'd hit them at the line of scrimmage, and you'd look up and it would be 2nd and 3. And it's a lot easier calling plays with that. We were overmatched on the line of scrimmage and they did a good job with their power game against us."
On the impact the interception had when Fresno State led 14-0
"You might make them get a little doubt whether we have a chance to score if you can make it 14-7, but we weren't able to do that because of turnovers."
On SMU's youth
"I don't think our kids ever quit. We have struggled at the linebacker position. We've got a strong safety, a defensive end and a freshman playing [linebacker]. We've lost some good players there. When you can't stop the run, you can't make an offense predictable. If you are getting six or seven yards on first down, it's tough to put an offense in position where you can do some things against them. And I do think our kids got frustrated."
On the frustration of the first drive of the second half
"The biggest frustration for me was when Pinegar scrambled. We had a guy in the backfield miss him for negative yards. That's the first drive of the second half, and, in my opinion, just put us in a fog."
His thoughts on Fresno State
"I saw what they did to Kansas State. I saw how the quarterback played. I saw how they dominated a team that I am very familiar with. I saw them against Louisiana Tech have two crucial - and I'll say this, probably phantom holding calls - that [would have allowed them] to take away the game early...I knew they were a very good team. I saw them against UTEP, which had three good plays, and that was the extent of it. The interception, the long pass, and then one other play. We knew that we were playing a very good football team. Paul [Pinegar] had not played great the past couple of games, but we knew they had a line that had a chance to be a dominating line."
"I thought obviously that Fresno was the better team, but I'm not sure they were better to the point of what the score was."
Fresno State head coach Pat Hill
"I liked how the kids bounced back tonight. I was very, very happy for our players. We made some plays tonight. That's what you have to do to win. It really doesn't matter who it's against - you have to make plays. We started a new season. We talked about that this week, so we are 1-0, and we are off to Rice next week. We get back to work tomorrow."
"We ran the ball very well, and Paul did a very good job. This team has been through a lot. [The win] will be great for the growth of this team."
"This is a very good football team. I still believe. We just want to talk about winning. This was a good win tonight. Like a lot of teams in the country, we suffered through a slump. And we finally pulled out of it."
"A win is a win. I don't care too much about the score. I'm not really a stat guy."
"It's about winning. I think Florida State would like to have a couple of plays back tonight. We just can't get caught up in things like that as a football team. The way we won was good. They feel good about themselves. They have joy in their heart for the first time in a long, long time."