Sept. 12, 2011
DT Kheeston Randall
On DT Ashton Dorsey:Ashton played great. It was nice having him in the lineup next to me, and we're going to look towards building up a better relationship and keep the progress going into this upcoming game.
On defensive coordinator Manny Diaz evaluating the defense: Well, we talked Sunday, and everything. When we usually talk on Sunday, he shows the highlight tape of the good and the bad plays, and we just left so many plays out on the field that it's still discouraging. But at the same time it lets us know that we can still be so much better as a unit.
On the run defense: We definitely made progress, but we need to continue going into tomorrow. We have a Tuesday practice that's usually the hardest day, and we need to just built on the momentum from these last two games.
On thinking about last season's game versus UCLA: Like I said, I've thought about it, but it's a new season, new team, so nothing really to worry about. We've just got to go out and play to our best abilities.
On playing in the Rose Bowl. It's definitely a nice place, but we have to come out with a win this time. We didn't do so well last time we were in that area.
LB Keenan Robinson
On using last year's UCLA game as motivation: I don't think it would really be motivation for me. I think the motivation for me is the fact that we won our first two games and that we're building upon something fresh and something new. A new start, a new team, a new season. And for me, I'm just worried about winning one game at a time, taking one game at a time, making sure that we win the next game, which happens to be UCLA, no matter what happened last year. I think what happened Saturday, that gives us great motivation going to the next game because we can see that we can come back from behind and win a game and use our defense to fuel the offense and be able to win games even though we strike adversity. It's a whole new team. We have 19 to 20 guys that weren't here last year and are playing and taking an active role on this team. So it's a whole new team as far as a whole new season. So I'm not really worried about what happened last year. I'm just worried about starting fast this year, getting out in front of them in the first quarter of this game and then hopefully wear them down with our defense and wear them down with our running game on offense.
On UCLA running the ball effectively last year: Actually they took what we gave them. We weren't efficient in some of our gaps and some of our schemes, so that gave them a chance to make some big plays in the running game. This year I feel like we'll be able to be more precise with our run fits and be more clean than we were last year, and that will help us in the run game because once you stop the run game, you can make them a onesided team, much like we did Saturday with BYU. UCLA was a pretty physical team. They had some bigger linemen. But every team that we've had had pretty big guys, so we're not worried about the size. It's the fact that they want to run the ball and pound the ball is what makes it more physical than other teams.
On looking forward to playing in the Rose Bowl: I definitely am. One, the fact that we play in the Rose Bowl, and two, the fact that we play these guys who beat us last year and beat us at home. I'm definitely looking forward to the chance to play them again and beat them, obviously. I don't really worry about how we win, I just want to win. And as long as the defense plays well, that's really what I'm looking forward to.
On the young guys being anxious about the first road game: No, not at all, because those guys have had so much growth within the two weeks and within the fall camp. And those guys, I feel like, we'll be prepared to play on the road. They don't seem to me like they let the outside affect them in the way that they play. They usually stay pretty focused. They don't really get distracted, and I feel like they're playing like they're 20, 21, even though they're 17, 18 years old.
On the reason for second-half defensive prowess: I think it's more the fact that the thing that hurts in the first half when the game is going slow, that that's why we're able to get the changes as well as we are in the second half. We come out of the locker room, we have about ten minutes to prepare, make any changes we want to and just be able to make some key critical changes in the game plan which help us in the second half when we come out. So when we come out we have a new game plan. We have new coverages. We have new blitzes that we're able to throw at the offense which helps us execute better until third down and just be in a position to make better plays on defense.
On the defensive line and the defense: The guys are playing fast, physical, especially up front. We're probably playing eight to nine guys a game which last year we stayed with our regular four guys. So every play is like a new Dlineman in there in front of me, and all those guys, I trust them because I have seen them in practice. I have seen their work in the fall camp. I know they can execute the game that coach gives them. As far as like linebackers and DBs go, those guys are making big plays. AP [Adrian Phillips] has a big interception. [Quandre] Diggs has a big interception. Emmanuel Acho had a chance to get interceptions, which hopefully later on in the season we'll be able to make. That's good we're getting our hands on the ball because that means the plays are there, we just have to take the next step and make them.
On the confidence the defense has to make plays: We were very confident because we knew once we got them to get off the field on third down, we had a lot of threeandouts. We knew that the momentum was swinging in our direction and we could continue what we had been preparing for all fall camp and the first two weeks of practice and we would be just fine. If we don't let teams score then they can't win. We knew if the offense scored once, then the game was over.
On DT Ashton Dorsey: He's a guy that I've always known would be a good Dlineman, a good interior player for us. He works hard in practice. He's a big guy and is a guy that can make plays in a game when you need him. He had a big sack Saturday and he's a guy that I think he had the most points on defense, which gave him the most valuable player on defense. He was the best player that night on the team, and I feel like he's a guy that we're going to need him to play that way for the next 10, 11 games or so in order for us to have a chance to win. He's a guy that I'm glad he's playing the way he is because when Dlinemen do their job, it makes it easier for the linebackers and the DBs to do their job.
S Kenny Vaccaro
On if he is concerned about the defense starting faster: We're going to work on that this next week in practice and of course we need to start off faster. Every team needs to start off fast in every phase of the game. We'll be working towards that.
On how to get a faster start on defense: Well, probably being mentally prepared for the game would help us a lot because you play faster when you're mentally prepared. If we get in the film room more, get with our coaches more we'll be able to play faster and that will kick us off faster.
On UCLA trying to establish the run: If they watched the film last year and just the first game, they'll know in the game plan they're going to run the ball. They're going to run the ball north and south, and we'll be prepared for it. We have to hammer the run so we can make the quarterback onedimensional and then we can get after him.
S Blake Gideon
On what he learned from last year's game against UCLA: I learned that we can't roll our helmet out there and come away with a win. We've got to keep our focus. That was really the main thing. Most everybody on defense played a great game except for one or two plays. You know, whenever one guy gets out of his gap, whenever we play the wrong technique outside in the secondary, then good teams and good athletes are going to find that and they're going to exploit it. They have professionals up there in the press box looking at everybody's every movement, and if they see something they want to go after, then you can bet that you're going to get tested. That's the main thing is keeping our focus for 100 percent of the plays and not 99 percent.
On UCLA running the ball well last year: Sure, we all remember last year and what they were able to do to us. To put it lightly, that was embarrassing, especially in the second half, what they were able to do to us. You know, it's one thing if a team can throw against you if they have a quarterback and a set of receivers that are just lights out. But to run the ball on you, especially between the tackles, that's a test of manhood. That's a test of how much work and how many hours you put in the weight room - physicality. That's everything football.
On learning from last year: I think that was the first time all of us got our eyes opened. You know, whenever a team beats you like that and you look on film and you see the mistakes that are so easily correctable, but at the same time they need to be corrected. And we realized that other teams have athletes on scholarship, too, and they're going to make you pay for mistakes.
On if anything positive could be learned from last year's game: The positive thing that comes out of it is that we all remember that feeling from last year. You know, I don't know how else I can say it other than that was embarrassing, shouldn't have happened. There was things we could have prevented, and they just imposed their will on us. They were more physical than us. They outtoughed us, and they beat us on every aspect on both sides of the ball. That's something that we remember. We've been over that film a couple of times, and they really haven't changed much on offense, and I don't think they're going to change much from their game plan from last year. They're going to run that stuff until we prove we can stop it. If you're a competitor at all, then you're going to rise to that challenge, and that's not going to settle easy with you. It's something we've all thought about and something that is one of those motivations in the weight room and this offseason, how many teams are going to be able to run the ball on us.
On if memories will come back playing in the Rose Bowl again: I'm sure I will, as far as the same locker room. I don't know how many locker rooms they have there. But probably the same locker room, going out, same tunnel, same field, there's going to be some memories there. But at the same time I'm old enough now I'm not going to get caught up in the fanfare and everything. It's a business trip, and we're not going to be able to say, "Oh, we're going to California, it was a long flight. It was whatever." You know, we don't have any excuses. We know all about this team. We know what they're going to try to do to it us, so it's going to be a battle of wills.
On QB Case McCoy: Case has done a great job of preparing as the starter, even though he hasn't been. I think that's what you look at for any backup. All that stuff is temporary, and backups need to believe that in order to prepare the right way. He's prepared with the expectation of if something happened, injury or whatever, and him being thrown in the fire and being prepared to lead our team to a victory. So he's done a great job of that. Garrett is going to assume a new role now, and that may be temporary. He needs to look at it like that. That's all I've told Garrett is he needs to keep working as if he's the starter, just like everybody else on this team needs to.
On if he remembers his first road trip: I remember my freshman year flying to UTEP. That was the first time I had ever flown to a football game I was playing in. It's a different feeling. It's hard to not get that vacation feeling to it, get that spring break feeling. But at the same time those young guys, they've done a great job of not letting all this get bigger than it is. We're really going to impress upon them that this is a business trip. We're going out there to win a football game and for no other reason.
LB Emmanuel Acho
On if he has confidence in this defense: I think it's a good feeling, but I mean, from day one I've been extremely confident in the defense. I've been extremely confident in the talent we have on defense from the line to the linebackers to the defensive backs, and so I knew that with the flow of the game, the momentum of the game, I knew if our offense got in the end zone I knew that would be it. They got them in and scored, and I made sure the defense, we upheld our part of the bargain.
On how having a brother who played helps: I think it makes you a lot more mature. It makes you a lot more mature on and off the field because you don't make some of the same mistakes as some of the guys who didn't have anybody to tell them how it's going to be. You always see the maturity on the field with guys like Jaxon [Shipley], Quandre [Diggs] and then Case [McCoy] coming into the game and just leading us back to a victory. You've always seen the maturity on the field. So that's one of the underlying things that nobody really knows about, but it's there.
On the team's resolve to win against BYU: I mean, it's huge. To be able to fight back like that and come back and win, it's something in the past I'm not sure we would have been able to do. And that's probably the biggest thing is to see how much the work we put in the summer, to see it pay off, to see the leadership on this team. Leadership on the offense. Leadership that's been on the defense. To see it all pan out, and when I talk about seeing the fruits of our labor, that's exactly what I'm talking about. We're trying to keep things rolling. We are 2 and 0. So got a good thing going, but we've got to focus, put BYU behind us and now it's all about UCLA. We're going to prepare very well for that one. Especially for me personally, I know last year it didn't go as planned. So I'm going to get back to the grind and make sure I play well and the defense plays well.
On how this week's preparation on defense is different: Our first two games were against spread offenses with Rice and BYU and so you go from sitting there watching a team pass it 50 times a game to now they're going to sit here and try to hammer you. It caught us off guard little bit, but it's nothing we can't handle. I think we've proved our physicality over the last 48 hours, and so now we just have to bring it to the table.
On DT Ashton Dorsey: He played a great game. Obviously, he played a great game. He has a low pad level and he gets off the ball extremely fast, extremely well and extremely low. So I'm rooting for him, but he's a young guy. He has to keep working. He can't sit and rest on one sack because in the grand scheme of things it's not that big a deal. He has to keep working. He has to keep grinding and make sure he continues to produce.
On the offense's slow start last week: You know, the defense, we just kind of play the hand we're dealt. Regardless of the situation, we go out there and we just fight hard. We knew early on in that game that we had to keep BYU from scoring to make sure that we stayed in it and keep fighting until the offense shows up and pulled out of this thing. Thankfully with ten minutes in the fourth quarter, they showed up in a big way.
OL Mason Walters
On the first road game of the year: The first two games at home, getting the jitters out of everything, it's never the same situation you get in practice. You can control things in practice different than what shows up in a game. And that's something we've got to improve on. We know that, and that's something we're going to work on this week.
On what impresses him about RB Malcolm Brown: The work ethic he has coming in every day with a great attitude ready to go to work. I think he does a great job of that, and the way he plays, obviously. As an offensive lineman, that's the way you want your running back to hit the holes.
On becoming more team-focused as you get older: Definitely. I think that's a big part of it, something you go through in the maturing process. Coming in as a redshirt sophomore this year, I think that's something I'm finally starting to get a hold of. It's not about one person just walking out there; you're at the University of Texas, and so many people are watching. And anybody can go out, and it's still going to be a productive program, still going to be really good.
WR Jaxon Shipley
On if he is looking forward to the first road game: I am. I think all of us are really excited for our first road game. Especially as a freshman, you know, just everything is already a big deal for us right now. This first away game, especially at the Rose Bowl, is going to be really fun for us, and it's something that we're all looking forward to.
On if he has ever been to the Rose Bowl: I was. It was at the National Championship game. That was a lot of fun. I was in the stands. I was in the family section. It was pretty good seats, around the 50yard line, I think.
On if he knew he would contribute so early this year: I didn't. I had no idea. I really didn't know what to expect. My thought process coming into this when I got here was just - I think I needed to make some plays, that's what I thought. I needed to prove myself and just go into each day with a confidence that I can get the job done. So far I feel like the season has been going pretty good for us, so I'm just really excited, and hopefully I can play a big part of this team.
On if the transition has been easier than expected: It's kind of like now I'm going through this process where I haven't really thought about any of that yet. I'm just kind of going through things right now. Hopefully I'll look back on this at the end and I'll be able to judge that.
On if he feels pressure when compared to his brother Jordan Shipley: Well, I didn't really worry about following in footsteps. I kind of just want to take my own path, and that's one of the things my brother talked to me about growing up was don't feel like you have to follow in my footsteps and live up to what I've done. So one of the things I've been trying to do is just have fun and not really worry about what he's done.
On wearing the number 8: It was one of those things where it was kind of in our family. Jordan had been wearing it for as long as I can remember, and I started wearing it originally because Jordan wore it. Now I think it's one of those things where I've had it so long I don't want to give it up. But if I do eventually have to give that number up, that's fine with me. But it's just something where I feel really comfortable in the number 8.
On QB Case McCoy: Extremely excited because he finally got his opportunity. Nobody knows really what the situation is going to be like next week with the quarterbacks, and we're just going to leave that up to the coaches. But as for Case this last week when he was [put] in the game, I think he did a great job of executing what he was supposed to do. Case came in with a lot of confidence and with a lot of energy, and he was motivating us as soon as he got in the huddle, telling us that he's going to lead us down the field and that we're going to score and we're going to win this game. And that's exactly what happened. We did win that game.
On players being ready to step up: Definitely. If you're a backup, you need to be ready to play at all times and you need to know what's going on because you could get thrown in that game. I think it's very encouraging. Like I said, you need to be ready at all times, and so I think you need to have the mindset that you're going to play every time you're going into a game preparing for a game if you're a backup because you never know when you'll get [put] in there.
On WR Marquise Goodwin: Marquise is great. I love Marquise. He brings a lot of energy and he's extremely fast, which is good for us. We'll take all the fast players we can get. I think he's going to fit in great.
On his fourth quarter pass against BYU: I didn't throw a great ball. Everybody knows that. I had my gloves on, and I wasn't used to it. David [Ash] made a great catch, and if he wouldn't have caught that ball, who knows what the situation would have been. But we got that first down, and that's all that matters.
OL David Snow:
On RB Malcolm Brown: Malcolm hits the hole very hard. He's very big and physical back and he's very fast. You know, he brings that extra dimension to the team.
On if he is looking forward to playing in the Rose Bowl again: I am. I've still got a bad taste in my mouth from the last time we were there, so it'll be good to go back there.
On the offense after halftime against BYU: You know, the game plan changed a little bit after that. We decided to run the ball more. Coach [Bryan] Harsin did a great job with that. He gave us plays to win the game.
On if he ever thinks back to the 2009 National Championship game: You know, I really do believe that you learn from the past. You learn from the history and you learn from your mistakes. It was really a bad thing what happened there with the whole Colt [McCoy] getting hurt and stuff. I don't go back and just think about it too much. It is what it is. It was a loss, so just got to learn from it and move on. That's what we did.
On why the offense had a slow start: There's not a really good answer for that. I don't know. We keep working at it and working at it and this is a new offense, so it'll keep on getting better and better. And we're working for that, and it'll get there.