Prairie View A&M University head coach Eric Dooley addressed the media Monday on the SWAC Football Head Coaches Teleconference.
Dooley and the Panthers came back from an early 16-point deficit to take the lead before losing on the final play of the game at Conference USA member Rice 31-28 on Saturday night.
The Panthers return to action Sunday in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Atlanta, facing North Carolina Central at noon ET/11 a.m. CT. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. The Panther Sports Network radio pregame show begins at 10:30 a.m. on pvpanthers.com/sportsnetwork. Tickets for the game can be purchased at pvpanthers.com/meacswacchallenge.
ON RICE GAME: “It was our first opportunity to get out and see how we measured up against another FBS opponent. I thought the players came out, fought hard and played well, but we had a couple of mistakes that cost us. When you’re playing an FBS opponent, you have to make sure that you capitalize…and try to be mistake free to give yourself a chance to win the game.”
ON IMPROVEMENTS FROM RICE GAME: “You always have to take a look at the mental errors that took place at a crucial time that really cost us the ball game. When you look back at that ball game, it’s the whole game and the body of work, but you take a look at two plays that cost us and gave the game away (that if they didn’t occur) we could have had a different outcome. We’re looking to improve on our mental errors, improve on the discipline side as far as penalties – I thought we did a decent job with the penalties (six for 60 yards) – but you still want to cut down on those, and continue now to play a little faster.”
ON FACING NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL IN MEAC-SWAC CHALLENGE: “It’s going to be a lot of energy, and we are definitely focused for this game. We know we are going against a worthy opponent, a team that was in the Celebration Bowl two years ago, and a team that’s been at the top of their conference the last four years. We know we have a huge challenge ahead of us. The guys understand and we’ve put last week’s game behind us, are moving forward, and look to do better things.”
- NOTABLES VS. RICE:
The Panthers’ offense scored touchdowns on four straight possessions between the second and third quarters. During that 30-minute stretch, PVAMU outscored Rice 28-6 (two field goals) and outgained the Owls 329-150.
- Prairie View A&M scored touchdowns on all three red-zone possessions.
- QB Jalen Morton threw a career-high three touchdown passes. His 53 rushing yards also tied a career-high.
- TE Jose Medrano and WR Jeffery Rector made their first career receptions, with Medrano catching his first TD pass.
- WR Tristen Wallace and RB Bernard Goodwater scored their first career TDs as Panthers.
- Defensively, the Panthers limited Rice to just 87 yards passing and allowed only 4-of-14 third-down conversions.
- LB Isaac Claiborne (eight tackles), and DE Willie Green (six) set career highs in tackles.
Courtesy: PVAMU Athletics