Head Coach Rickey Bustle and Receivers Coach Daryl Mason talk about FIU and the upcoming game against UTEP this Saturday.

Gerald Hebert addressed the group first.

There are a lot of wonderful things happening, the way we've dreamed about it the last few years. I've been asking that you get involved, to help us out, to invest in the program, and you have. All of you deserve a big round of applause for getting us to this point.

For a number of you, we would not be where we are without the support you've give the program, the team, and Coach Bustle. For instance, with the new locker room, new equipment room, and the new training room, we lost our meeting spaces. So for now, there are the two double-wide trailers behind the athletic building. They've been named "Hebert Acres."

But some people have stepped up with carpet, signage, new tables & chairs for the buildings. It's not exactly what we want as the final product, it's in the evolving stage. It's what we have and what we needed, and two people stepped up to make that happen. The good thing is, when we add more facilities in the future, we can use those trailers for other purposes.

As I speak to you, some exciting things are happening at Earl K. Long. It was David Walker's idea, but he, Scott Farmer, and myself have been working on it. In a week to 10 days we will finish the new athletics lounge. It has new floors, new tables, computers, a giant plasma screen TV. Our athletes have never had that before. It will be another recruiting tool.

In addition, in Earl K. Long we have just finished putting in new locker rooms for volleyball and women's basketball. David & Scott made that possible, and my wife actually painted the locker rooms.

T-Boy Hebert has been on a rampage. He took over raising money for the supplements that our football players use, and now he's ramping up to supply supplements for all sports.

At Homecoming, UL Alumnus Mike Scelfo with Baja Beach Grill was recognized. He did some wonderful things that helped our players all doing the month of August.

David & Scott were also able to bring some new funding for recruiting, but that started with your contributions. The first year we raised $33K from donations for recruiting. The next year it was $55K, then $71K. Now, because of the increased budget, Coach is in a comfort zone for recruiting. We'll keep growing that.

For those of you have been giving to recruiting, Coach now has a Quarterback account, for various needs. We're asking the people who donated to recruiting, donate to that now.

We can't begin to tell you how much your generosity has helped us get where we are right now. Thank you for everything you do.

Head Coach Rickey Bustle:

Thank you for being here. I think this is the best crowd we've had here, we have 56 people.

It was a great day Saturday, and I want to thank you for being there. The Cajun Walk for the ASU game was great, but the one Saturday was so large it took us forever to get to the locker room. We had a lot of our former players in the Gridiron Club who walked with us, and they enjoyed it.

Thanks to Gerald, Scott and David, we are in a comfort zone now, so I can rat-hole a little money in case I need to go over on my budgets.

If you come by the facility, we'll be glad to show you the trailers. We put in carpet, tables, chairs, and video equipment; we spent $50K last year on editing equipment. We also put graphics on the walls, with 4 different themes to show recruits. One of them is A Day at the Swamp, showing tailgating, the pre-game, things like that. Another one emphasizes academics, shows our kids studying and graduating. Another features our NFL players in uniforms, and the fourth features the media exposure, because the recruits want to know about playing on TV. So we have the media logos and bowls.

It's amazing to watch my kids knock their shoes off when they go in.

We played 59' 54" of pretty good football. We just didn't have a good game with the kickoff team. Toward the end we straightened it out.

We had to take some kids off of special teams because we need them to do more at linebacker. We have to keep working special teams and get them better.

As for Mike Desmormeaux, my thing for him was, that I wanted to make sure that he felt like he could play. He wanted to play, but that's not what I wanted to know. I wanted to know if he would be effective. He told me that if he didn't think he was being effective, he would let me know. I thought he played a heckuva game. He's maybe 70-80%, not full strength yet.

He hurt his knee on the third play of the game, a guy fell on him. But the knee loosened up as the game went on. He made good choices.

It was good to get some other guys out in the 4th quarter, to get Brad McGuire out.

On defense we played well again. Lanier Coleman had a great game, Gerald Broussard has been doing a great job with the defensive line. I felt like in the beginning of the season if the offense could hold on, the defense would come around. And they did.

We're getting better in turnovers, we've moved from -5 to -2, that's an improvement.

We're playing better as a team. There are so many things we can do better. When you're winning, you may forget about some of those things, and we've stressed that to the players, how much better we can be.

It's getting tougher every week. UTEP throws almost every down. This game may take 5 hours. I watched the game against Rice, and I saw more deep balls than I've seen all season.

Injury-wise, Jeremy Cook was hurt last week, he's questionable with a sprained medial collateral ligament, he's better today. Other than that, we came out pretty good.

How is Tyrell Fenroy after he hit the wall?

He's good. He bumped his elbow, but he's tougher than that that wall. He practiced last night.

Why do we have that wall?

I think it's for the TV cameras to be able to move during the game. [Scott Farmer also noted that it was important for drainage.]

Why didn't we kick the field goal early in the game?

It was early. I felt like if we didn't' get it, we could hold them. I felt like we had them contained.

FIU was angry about the offsides call that allowed us to score.

It was an outside linebacker blitz, he jumped early. It was a good call.

At one point, Tyrell was really upset.

I knew somebody would ask about that.

Yeah, he was. That's why we handed it to him one more time.

There was a lot of interaction between us and them between plays.

We always talk about jawing and all that stuff, but against this team it's always been tough. But that's what I raised heck about at half time, we weren't taking care of business.

I want to recruit the right kind of kids here. You have to hold them responsible for their actions, and I believe that.

With Desormeaux's knee, in the future will you pull him out earlier?

We might. We just wanted to make sure we had this sucker won.

Is it harder each game to keep the team focused?

I think they've bought into what we're telling them. Don't focus on what the other team is doing, focus on what you're doing.

I warned them that people are going to start saying to them,"One more, and you're bowl eligible." But I told them, don't forget what got you here. They're talking about it to each other, even in the huddle: improve 1% every day, focus on the little things.

What about the pass interference call on the defense early in the game?

I'm not going to lie, it was a horrible call.

Come out this week, it will be a heckuva game against a tough opponent.

Receivers Coach Daryl Mason spoke next:

First I was at Northwestern State, then ULM, then back at NSU, then Tulane. So I've experienced Ruston.

I always felt that Lafayette would be a great place to be. It's one of the nicest cities in the state, it's the 4th largest, it's very different from New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and we have great fans.

If anyone in this state deserves a good team, you guys do, You've always supported your team, and I'm happy to be here with you guys, to experience what's happening.

Listen to me, I'm recruiting all of you again.

We have a great group of guys. And any time you do, you have to recognize the players. Desormeaux, Coleman, Keyes. In the pregame, Derik Keyes spoke about how important this game is. Then Coleman said this game was so important. Why was it so important?

Because it was the next game on the schedule.

Now we have UTEP. All of our focus is on UTEP this Saturday. Whatever happens in the future, will happen, what is past, is past.

Coach was right, this might be a 5 hour game.

Coach Fouquier and his team, they did a heckuva job on the defense the last two games. We have goals and progress charts, and last game the defense met every goal on the chart. Against ASU, they met every goal but 1.

That's an inspiration for everyone, particularly the offense.

Coach Fouquier said that against Rice, UTEP threw 14 times deep in the first half. And I mean deep, 50 yards or more.

I just finished watching UTEP against Tulsa. It was tied at 28 at the end of the 1st quarter, and it ended up at 77-35.

They beat UCF. They started out off against Buffalo, lost 42-17, then lost to Texas and NMSU. They beat UCF, beat USM in double overtime, and they beat Tulane 24-21. They can put some points on the board, and we're looking forward to it.

They give up some big plays, but that doesn't mean they'll give them up to us.

Last year after the ULM loss, we had a bunch of seniors sit in the locker room, talking about how disappointed they were. And all the juniors were listening to that. They said, "Next year it will be different. We're going to be a team, we're going to be disciplined, we're going to get things done."

We're not worried about last week, or the week after this one. We're looking at this week.

Rickie Falgout is having a great season.

After the game we told him that's the longest run in the history of this stadium without a touchdown. [Laughter]

As a coach, I'm always looking at the next play, the next game. But then you look back, and notice that a guy has had great year. Richie has thrown a couple of touchdown passes, and made some big blocks. After that run, he was mad because we hurried the next play.

He wanted it reviewed.

How is Derrick Smith?

His ankle hasn't healed completely yet.

Louis Lee has stepped up, he made a heckuva catch, I could not believe he made it. I thought, "Holy smoke."

You've done a great job coaching. The play of the wide receivers has stepped up. They had several players who caught the ball when they knew they would be hit.

That's one way to look at it. But Louis Lee has paid his dues, he waited a long time to play. So he thinks, "If I have a chance, I'm going to catch it."

Same with Jason Chery, he may be the toughest guy on the team. He's not worried about anything but making this offense work.

I help them get in position, but it's always the players who get it done. They make up their mind to get it done.

UTEP, on their defense, are they more vulnerable to the run, or the pass?

At times they've had problems with both. But they might show up here Saturday and have a great game, you never know. They've given up some points, but they've played some good team with some good athletes.

We've got to be ready to go for 60 minutes.

What do our younger receivers look like?

Lance Kelley we lost early this year. The thing about Lance is that now he has an opportunity to watch and see how to play at the highest level.

We have Pierre Hill, he has 10 or 11 catches, he as stepped up. He has some toughness.

We're losing Jason and Derick. Jason is large part of our passing game, and he runs. For the stats and stuff, I try not to look at that too much. But Saturday I think he only caught it twice, so we'd like to see him catch it more.

T-Boy Hebert commented: I think we had 14 dropped passes at the 2007 ULM game, and credit for turning that around goes to Coach Mason. He got in Jason Chery's head before the UNT game. I think this man took psychology in college. He took our receiver corps and turned it around. We're 4-3 with hope, and we beat the living hell out of FIU. FIU has some good athletes, but what Coach Mason and the other coaches have done is turn this team around. I have been waiting 23 years for this.

So now we have to figure out how to get him to stay here.

Coach Mason:

Those guys get all the credit. I hope I don't offend anyone, but I like to quote Bear Bryant, "I try to treat all my kids the same: like dogs."

No, I love my kids.

But they know that if they don't play, they'll sit down. They have to want to do it. They're hungry. They want to get their game up to par, and keep it consistent.

I have just been encouraging them.