Jeff Monken met the media Tuesday following double-overtime loss at Michigan.
Monken discussed the Michigan game and previewed Saturday’s matchup with Texas-San Antonio at The AlamoDome.
Here’s an excerpt of Monken’s press conference:
Opening statement: “It was an agonizing defeat as was said in the wide world of sports back when I was a kid. It certainly was close to being a thrilling victory. Our guys I thought played really really hard and played really well at particular times throughout the game.
“I thought our front seven on defense played really well to hold Michigan a 2.5 yards, I think it’s less than that, per carry is pretty remarkable. That’s where we really start in terms of our philosophy on defense, trying to stop the run. So, I was proud of our guys for that. They hit some plays And someplace that they certainly needed down the stretch there in overtime and held us out of the end zone when we got down there 2nd-and-1 And didn’t get any points that dry. They have a good defense and coach (Don) Brown is an outstanding coach.
“There were just some things that we did really well and we put ourselves in the position and Let it slip through our fingers there. It was disappointing. Our kids were very hurt as well as our staff. We all were and it still stings. It’s just hard to swallow being that close To beating another top 10 team and falling short. Gosh, you can’t say enough about just a belief our guys had that we were going to win. We had a great crowd among the 100,000 plus there. We’re a lot of Army fans and I heard it more after seeing highlights. You could hear the reaction and response when we had a good play. That was just a thrill for our kids to have that many people there to support us.The bottom line is that it’s a lost and it’s disappointing and now we move onto very important game against Texas-San Antonio. The rebound when you have a disappointing loss is really important. Hopefully, our guys will respond, have a great week of practice and get ready to play.”
On Texas-San Antonio: “I have a very athletic football team, a very good football team. I think this is maybe their nine season and for a new program they have been remarkably successful. They have a really good home record, Under the current coach they are 5-2 in the month of September. They have been successful at home early in the year. They have a Power Five win under their belt with this coach. They are an athletic team.“We have a lot of guys from state of Texas on our team. They are going to be playing against guys that they played in high school with or against. As far I know we don’t have anyone from the state of Texas that got offered a scholarship by UTSA. It’s another example of how well we are going to need to prepare and how hard we are going to play to win. They had a 14th player picked in the draft this year. They have some real players.
Concern about a letdown: “Yep. There sure is. Go practice like we always do and push these guys to get better. For anyone that invests a lot into something and comes so close and fails, there’s going to be disappointment. Those feelings and emotions linger. That’s just real life and human nature. So to deny that and to say that doesn’t exist, would be a lie. But, hopefully our guys are fighters enough that they want to come back and get that winning feeling again and prove that we are a team that can win and if we prepare, we will win. If we prepare, we will have the opportunity to win and can win the game. I felt like that last week. That’s just an attitude that I think our players have and this program has.“I said in the press conference immediately following the game, someone asked me about our team and playing Michigan tough and as I said it will be as hard to beat UTSA as it was for us to beat Michigan. They have a bunch of really good players and they have a very well-coached football team. You can see the guys have their guys in position and have them prepared.
On team’s health after Michigan: “I feel that I’ve been dragged behind the bus on the way home from the trip. That’s about how I feel physically. It was grueling. I say that tongue and cheek. It’s exhausting to have a game like that. Do you worry about a letdown? Sure. It hurts. It hurts emotionally and we got a few guys banged up during the game. Hopefully, Bob (Daplyn), TK (Tim Kelly) and the training staff will get them taped back together and put together for this game this weekend. I’m not ready to say we got a football team that is going to be on crutches going into Texas. We have a few guys banged up but I’m optimistic that we will be ready to go this weekend.”