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Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics
Football

Jeff Traylor talks LA Tech win, prep for FAU

2020 UTSA Football
Media Roundtable
Oct. 26, 2020
Head Coach Jeff Traylor 
 
On what he learned about the team between the first and the second half … 
"We are really good on defense. We play extremely hard. We are very physical. We start every meeting with the Triangle of Toughness. That is where we begin. Second, we have become a team that is committed to running the football, and we run it well. We have been, at times, very explosive in the passing game, and at times we haven't been. We have got to get more consistent. I would say we are a good offense. We do a lot of good things which would contribute to our success this year. There is a lot more room for improvement with that unit on being more consistent. Special teams wise, we have got a really good kicker, a really good punter and good return guys, but we have to be more consistent. When we don't hit a good punt or a good kick, we really pay for it. We have got to get better at our coverage units. We can't be so dependent on our great kicker or our great punter. If we don't ever get the ball where we are supposed to hit it, we pay for it. As a team, we believe in each other. We have a strong belief system in our culture. We have now played 28 straight competitive quarters where every play was the difference in a win or a loss. 28 straight quarters, which is pretty remarkable." 
 
On the performance of the defense line … 
"It always starts with players, and we have got quite a few good players in there. I think Coach (Rod) Wright does a really good job of rotating them. We play six to seven kids every game, and we have played as many as nine in a game. Depth, players, effort, buy-in to the culture, it is a combination of those things."
 
On how Sincere McCormick handled the workload against Louisiana Tech … 
"It was awesome. He was in my office the very next morning laughing. He is in great spirits, bouncing around here. It is unbelievable. The kid is mentally tough and physically tough. He loves this university. He loves San Antonio. He loves his teammates. That is just who Sincere McCormick is."
 
On Frank Harris' play … 
"There were a few plays that were very critical. The quarterback's job is to lead his team to a victory, and that is what Frank did. That is what is most important. The scramble he made during the four-minute drive, that was a tough play he made. The fourth down, that was another tough hit he took to get that first down. There were a lot of things Frank did very well. When you play quarterback and you leave some throws out there on the field or you make a couple interceptions, that is hard on young men. He took that very hard. I was just proud of the way he bounced back and competed. It's just Frank. At the end of the day, that is something we can't ever forget. The quarterback's job is to lead his team to victory. That is his job. By one point, it doesn't matter, it still goes in the left column of the win column. That is what is most important."
 
On Frank Harris struggling at the beginning of the game against LA Tech … 
"I don't want to make excuses for him because he knows what he has to do. He needs to play consistently and get reps. It is hard when you have had to miss the amount of time he has missed. I think the more he plays, the better he will get. Just like with any quarterback, he just has to keep getting plays. Every time you play a defense, they are a little different. Personnel is different, their schemes are a little bit different, and the only way you get that is by actually playing the game. There is no other position harder to play in all of the sports than that one. You need to go play it a lot. That is how you get good at it."
 
On takeaways from FAU's games played this season … 
"We can tell they are used to winning. The kids play very hard. Defensively, they are physical and right under the football. Offensively, it always starts with everybody's quarterback, and they have a good quarterback and good skill kids. You can just tell you are playing a team that is used to winning. That is what I see when you watch video. You have to look like a winner and act like a winner before you can ever be a winner, and you can tell FAU has won a lot of games." 
 
On how to look like a winner on the field … 
"The way they carry themselves. The way the kids have confidence. The way they run around. You can watch video, and when it looks like a bunch of ants scurrying around everybody real fast, you can tell those kids are used to playing hard and winning ball games. That is what FAU looks like, a bunch of kids that are used to winning ball games." 
 
On overall impression of Conference USA in the West division … 
"I don't ever look. I have got chapter eight with FAU written on it. I don't look it up. I wouldn't know one standing from anybody. I don't even know anybody's record. I know a lot about FAU, but that is about where I would be. That would be the last thing I would be able to comment on. No coach talk, I have not looked it up." 
 
On if there has been any concern playing FAU after the team's issues with COVID-19 … 
"I am concerned on our end. I was concerned this morning about the (our) test. I am always nervous about that test. I think anybody in college football this year is worried about every game. I have said this before, when I put my headphones on and I see the ball in the air, I say to my coaches each week, 'Well, we are playing again this week, boys.' I think we are only one of two teams that has played every game straight through. We are blessed we have played as much as we have." 
 
On how Sincere McCormick has been able to help establish a symbol for the team in Texas … 
"It has been huge. There are so many, though. Marcus Davenport has been very supportive of us. If you follow him on Twitter, he has been keeping up with us. My son coaches for the Saints, so Jordan (Traylor) gets to talk to Marcus all the time. I actually put him on my Twitter this morning about why leave the 210. You can get everything you want, if you want to get to the National Football League, but yet build your own brand in your own city. That is what Sincere McCormick believes as well. He talked to me about it yesterday, how him, Rashad (Wisdom), Frank (Harris), Spencer (Burford), Hunter Duplessis, those guys take great pride and they chose to stay in the city. They can tell we are building something. They can tell we are moving this thing in the right direction. Coach (Kevin) Brown, who I hired as our Director of Football Operations, was one of the original coaches here. He speaks of that Original 18 all the time. Those original 18 kids that helped build this thing from the very beginning. It is very rare that you get an opportunity to really build a football program. The bloodhounds of college football have been around for 100 years, where here you are really getting to build it. Sincere, Marcus Davenport, Rashad Wisdom, they take great pride in that. That is really why we wanted that 210 brand that we speak of all the time, the Triangle of Toughness. We are going to make a big deal of that in the new facility we are building right now. Those single digit numbers, the 210, are always going to be something important here at this place. Sincere is all about that." 
 
On getting Spencer Burford back on the offensive line against LA Tech … 
"Whenever you lose your left tackle, it was painful to go through. It is not such a knock on any individual, we just can't keep the same five out there for communication purposes. We had a lot of miscommunication from playing so many kids, and I am not making it sound bad for my kids. We would just like to get some consistency there, so I am very proud of all of those kids who keep stepping in there each week. I am a huge Cowboys fan, and you can see what that looks like when you change that lineup up a bunch. It can get really scary up there. That is where the game is. We watch the football so much. If you don't watch the ball, that is where the game is won and lost."

On what Sincere McCormick's talent says about the undervalued talent from Texas … 
"That is why I am so excited about the job. I think San Antonio is one of the most underrecruited areas in our state. We plan on starting here, and that is where a majority of our roster is going to come from. When I took the job, we had 11 on our roster. We are up to 25 right now. I know I have said this a lot, but I am a simple creature. We are going to try to have five to seven every year we sign. We are going to try to get five to seven walk-ons from this area every year, so if we can get 10, 12 or 14 kids each year on our roster from the 210 and they are really good players, that Alamodome is going to fill up pretty quick. The community is going to come watch them because there will be more people tied to them. We didn't know we were going to be on national TV seven times in a row in a year of the pandemic, which has hurt our crowd tremendously, and hopefully we stay on national TV. They would rather come down to a 2:30 kick, maybe have a good concert after the game in the Alamodome, cruise on over to the Riverwalk, have a glass of sweet tea, some salsa and chips, I would sign up for that. We are going to recruit for that and try to get our city excited about the brand of ball we play. We have some homegrown kids, and the future here is extremely exciting. I can't wait to be a part of it."
 
On how the return of Tykee Ogle-Kellogg helped the offense … 
"I am just so proud of him. Culture speak again, he has really bought in. He has just done a lot of much better work off the field which got him rewarded to get on the field. His ability to play football has never been a question. His nickname is "Potential." I call him that all the time because we know the definition of potential around here if everything that you are not. Tykee is tired of hearing me say that, and I challenge him every day about it. Every single day in the stretch line I will say, 'What's up, Potential?' He does not like it. I love the young man, and I want him to be all that he can be. He could bring something very special to our team. I think we have him moving in the right direction. He won the Triangle of Toughness award this week, which is a prestigious honor around here. I hope chapter eight for him in the book is even better than chapter seven was."
 
On what Tykee Ogle-Kellogg can do off the field to meet the standard of culture … 
"Discipline and taking care of the little things. If you take care of the little things in life, the big things will take care of themselves. He just has to take care of the little things. The devil is in the details. When you are that age, that if tough to swallow. I didn't like learning it, and luckily I had some guys who stuck by me and mentored me through some of those times in my life. We want to be that for these young men as well."
 
On how Tykee Ogle-Kellogg's height on the offense can help … 
"No doubt he is large, but his run after catch is also really good for a man his size. That is also an element. Do you want to walk up and press him and then throw the ball up to him, but when you (line up) off of him in cushion, he has the ability to break the route or use a stiff arm to pick up an extra 15 to 20 yards. There is no doubt. We feel good about our receiving corps. Josh Cephus continues to play well, as does Zakhari (Franklin), so (Tykee Ogle-Kellogg) just adds another weapon out there. We know we can run the ball well. We have to expand on our passing game and continue to get better at throwing the ball down the field. Let's get some of those easier touchdowns instead of those 12 and 13 play drives."