Sept. 9, 2006
UCLA Head Coach Karl Dorrell (Opening remarks) "It was definitely a difference of two weeks. We were not at our best today, but I was pleased. We ran the ball much better today. Their defense, to their credit, was very difficult to adjust to. They did a number of things on our front that confused us. We just couldn't quite have the consistency that you would want in a game like this. I have to give Rice a lot of credit. Coach Graham has done a tremendous job of how they play and with the attitude of how they play. That team is definitely on the way up in terms of how hard they are playing, their attitude and how competitive they are. Our defense played well. We had a late touchdown in the second half that stung us a little bit. Special teams was an issue today. We had a fumble on the punt return team, and we gave them the opportunity to score. Our defense shut them down. We just made some mistakes. Offensively, we put the ball on the ground again and you can't do that. We'll try to correct that as we move forward. We're going to use this bye week to focus on the fundamentals. What you saw today - somewhere in there is a pretty good football team. This game is definitely something to learn from.
(on UCLA's effort) Our defense played really hard and did a tremendous job in the first half. In the second half, they played really well again and [Rice's offense] marched against us somewhat. The way it ended didn't give you a great feeling. Our defense wanted to limit them to no touchdowns. Offensively, we did some good things. We ran the ball better. We had some protection issues this week. Ben [Olson] had a couple fumbles and things like that, and we're working through it. It was a tough win, and we have a lot to work on to get ready for this conference race. We're fortunate that we're still undefeated and we have a lot going for us right now.
(on UCLA's running game) Our running game was great, and we had a good feel of that. I put a lot of pressure on our running game to the run the football better. I was really pleased with what Chris [Markey] and Kahlil [Bell] were able to accomplish. We have to put it all together now. What's difficult is that they [Rice's defense] were putting a lot of outside pressure against us. When they do that, it's hard to put Ben [Olson] on the move. I have to give a lot of credit to Coach Graham. He took away our screening game and he confused Ben.
(on UCLA kicker Justin Medlock) He had a great game today. The offense wasn't scoring enough points enough and he came through for us and kept us in the game. He kept us ahead, and he had a great game today - he had a decent game in the first game [versus Utah] but he had a great game today.
(on the team's expectations) We are disappointed that we didn't play to our capabilities, for sure. On defense, we were really trying to shut down their offense. We knew they had an injured quarterback, so we didn't play as well as we wanted to for a 60-minute game. There's disappointment when you have high expectations. You can't take winning for granted, even when it's a 10-point win. We're 2-0, and regardless of what the national picture is, we have a lot of work to keep improving upon to become 3-0. We'll control what we can control within the program.
Rice Head Coach Todd Graham
(Opening remarks) I just can't tell you how proud I am of this football team - to see the progress they've made and how mentally tough they are. One of the things I told the kids is that we've got a heck of a football team. This team is dangerous. We're going to win a lot of games.
(on his team's confidence) I saw something tonight that I didn't see last week. It was a confidence in them that excites me. I'm sick that we lost [because] I think we could've won that game. This team is getting better, and I'm very proud of the effort and how they played. You have to give UCLA a lot of credit, but we are going to win. There's no question that we're going to win.