Week 1 Sonny Cumbie press conference

Sonny Cumbie (photo courtesy of LA Tech Athletics)

Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie met with local media members Tuesday during his weekly press conference.

Opening Statement…

“I am excited to come off the practice field today and being 1-0. Our football team had a tough gutsy win on Saturday night and showed a lot of resiliency. I was excited with how we finished with a third and two stop on defense and a fourth down conversion on offense, allowing us to go down and win the football game in the fashion that we did. It says a lot about the character of our football team and the character of our kids and the way that our coaching staff and players continued to battle. We have relished that but we have quickly moved past that and we have a tough opponent this weekend at SMU with an 11 a.m. game in Dallas. Coach (Reed) Lashlee has done a really good job since he has been there. They have done a phenomenal job recruiting and have a lot of talent on both defense and offense in particular in the skill positions. Their defensive line is very deep. It is a huge challenge for our football team and I am really looking forward to seeing how we improve on defense offense and special teams this week while taking that next step as a football program.”

On having played already…

“It goes both ways. Our guys got some of those first-game nerves out of the way and I think they will be a little calmer when it comes to settling in and playing a football game. We are in the rhythm and routine of playing in terms of our game week. This is our first game week in terms of playing on a short week. Our guys love to play and love to compete. From that standpoint, our kids still have not started school being on a quarter system so we want to use that to our advantage in terms of preparation and our players having more time to study their opponent. They are a good team that will be ready to play with first-game excitement. Once you settle in, the execution for both teams is going to be the difference in what allows one to win or lose.”

On SMU quarterback Preston Stone…

“I was familiar with Preston (Stone), In terms of I know who he is and I was transitioning from TCU to Texas Tech in the recruitment of him. He is a really talented player that throws the ball really well. He has a lot of grit to him. He is a competitive kid. Watching him in high school, I know he is highly successful and knows how to win. It is going to be a big challenge for us.”

On LA Tech wide receiver Smoke Harris

“The way he played Saturday night was just amazing. He was in the zone. He went beast mode on the whole thing. We threw him the ball and he made everybody miss and broke tackles. It is amazing for his ability to break tackles and make people miss. On offense, I think people fed off of his energy and Hank’s energy. His competitive spirit. Both of those guys and our offensive line. Credit to FIU, they did a nice job on punt as far as keeping him out of the game that way. Getting him the football the way we did was big. He had 129 yards after the catch. It was a lot of him making people miss. I am excited to see his improvement continue. He has come back for a reason. We are only one game into it but it is a great story of somebody staying the course at a place where they have had a lot of success and a legacy that they built and wanted to continue and finish out that legacy in the right way. We have 11 more games to do that but I was really proud of the way he performed.”

On the Bulldogs 39-37 loss to SMU in 2021…

“I was talking to Smoke about that and it was a wound that you do not want to pull the band-aid off of. That was the year before I came but it was a season for that team where they were very close in a lot of games and that being one of them. I am sure that the guys that were on that team remember it. There has been a lot of turnover on each roster so I know both teams are very different than what it looked like two years ago. Anytime you are able to win or lose a game like that it sticks with you.”