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Nov. 10, 2012

Recap | Box Score | Notes |


Head coach Mack Brown
Opening statement: It's a great win for our team. Really excited. The guys are growing up. Just left the radio room in there, and Kansas and Texas Tech are in double overtime. Texas Tech just scored to go ahead 41-34, or something. So you've got to play each and every week. I just saw Louisiana-Lafayette just lost it right at the end [to Florida] 27-20. One week really does [not] carry over to the next very much. So that's what these guys are learning.

But today we were very balanced on offense, which we wanted to be. Over 200 yards rushing, 387 or something passing. [Sophomore QB] David Ash didn't really throw a bad ball. No interceptions. No turnovers. We forced two turnovers. I thought our defense was dominating the second half. They really didn't give them anything. Shut down the running game, which was something that we needed to do. We gave up some points, offensively, that we had. We missed on a fourth-and-one. We also had a field goal blocked and missed an extra point, which we can't do down the stretch. And defensively, we let them score right before the half, which is something we've got to correct as well. But I thought overall we accomplished what we needed to.

We put ourselves in a little bind when I told the coaches I wanted to dedicate the first play to [former head coach Darrell] Royal with the wishbone. All the coaches said, "It's Wednesday, and we don't have one. So what are we going to do?" So these crazy young coaches come back to me with a double-reverse pass. And I said, "You are kidding. That would make him madder than anything if we do that." And we deferred because he always wanted to defer. He never wanted to take the ball. He thought it was stupid football when you do that. Some people said, "Oh take it so you can have the first play of the game out there." I said, "No. He'll be really mad about that."

So we decided that the only way I could justify the double-pass was that Coach [Royal] said, "When you throw a pass, three things can happen, and two of them are bad." So I thought if you throw it twice, that means two good things can happen. So, that was the only way I could figure out how to make it work. Bless his heart. We miss him. A lot of people in that stadium had good memories of Coach [Royal]. And I thought it was a fitting way to honor him. I kind of really wanted to wait until TCU to have more time to think about it and do it. But today was special. We gave the game ball to [Coach Royal's wife] Miss Edith [Royal] after the game. We gave it to [Athletics Director] DeLoss [Dodds] and [University of Texas President] Bill [Powers]. She'd already gone home. So they're going to give it to her afterwards.

On continuing to run the wishbone: I think we ran a wishbone when we didn't make the fourth-and-one, so it stunk the second time. So I think we're out of the wishbone business. We are going to keep the DKR in the middle of the stadium for the TCU game. We are going to keep the DKR on the helmets for the rest of the year, so the tributes that our staff and players gave to Coach Royal will continue.

On emotions this week: When I got up Wednesday morning and found out that we'd lost Coach [Royal] I just wasn't ready for it. I don't know why. I mean he was older, he was struggling and I should of anticipated something like that, but my granddad lived until 92 and he was struggling with some of the same disease, and I just sat down on the floor and cried. I couldn't talk to you all. I couldn't talk to anybody because I lost a huge part of my life. I think whether I realized it or not at the time, Coach Royal filled a void in my life when I lost my dad and my granddad 4 months before I came here. He's just been such a great friend. He and Joe Jamail are somebody I talk to all the time. When you lose somebody and you get the finality that it's over, it's a very difficult thing that's happened to all of us. Like I said it caught me off guard, I wasn't ready for it.

On any significance in throwing to a TE on the first play: I got a lot of emails that said 52 veer pass, and I thought [co-offensive coordinator] Brian [Harsin] doesn't know what 52 veer pass is, but that's about as close as we could get. If it was on the right hash we couldn't have run it because we wouldn't have had anything to run. So we spent all day yesterday trying to figure it out. We didn't want to use a timeout, but we thought if it was on the right hash or if we were backed up, we would get in it. We would let the clock run down and we would call a timeout just to signify for Coach that it was honoring him and we're not good enough to waste a time out and then we wasted one anyway after we made the play. And then when we were backed up Brian said, "What do you think?" And I said, "Heck run it. What the heck - he's watching. He's got enough spunk, he'll like the fact that we took a shot at it." And you could tell it was going be open from the beginning, so it was a fun play and maybe had a little intervention from up above on that one

On thoughts after the first play: Well, what we wanted to do was just honor Coach [Royal] anyway we could, and even if we had taken the timeout all the kids were going to point to the sky and say. "Thank you, Coach." But it couldn't be any better than that. I think they told me ESPN stopped all production to look at that play, so they got their money's worth too.

On giving Edith Royal the game ball: We haven't seen her. [Mack Brown's wife] Sally talked to her before the game, and we didn't tell her what we were doing until today. And she was not in the dressing room - she had just left. I always feel like it's a bad deal to start talking about game balls when there's 5 minutes left in the game even when you're up 30-7. I just don't do that. So we waited to the end, and I never want to talk to somebody about a game ball and not have it at the end of the game either because you get beat. So you always wait till the end and she had already gone home, but [Athletics Director] DeLoss [Dodds] and [University of Texas President] Bill [Powers] are going take it to her. Sally told her this morning what we were doing and DeLoss talked to her about it during the game and what she said was, "Yeah, I never knew much about that wishbone." I don't know that the formation was as significant for her as it was for our fans.

On what he saw from the team during the week: They practiced hard. It was important for them. I think they're learning.. There's such an influence for the military in their lives. So many of them have family members in the military because Texas has such a significant importance in the area with our military and troops. Each year for Veteran's Day they dedicate the game to somebody they care about in the military, and that was before we lost Coach Royal on Wednesday. We talked about that on Monday or Tuesday, and they wore their camouflage shirts and their camouflage hats in for Veterans and people that are currently in the war. We gave [sophomore DS] Nate Boyer the game ball as well after the game. Guys practiced hard. They practiced well. They've got great respect for Iowa State. I didn't think we blocked Iowa State very well last year even though we scored 37 points. We had some trick plays and defense had a blocked punt for a touchdown, and we got three or four turnovers so we really challenged our offense. If you're going to start being a physical offense and you're going to continue to talk about running the ball, you've got to run it against a good defense, and this defense is really a good run defense. I was proud of those 222 hard fought yards.

On having many weapons to use on offense: It's the second year of this offense. About the only thing I've told them is, "Try to get it to your playmakers. Let's make sure they get it." I don't think [senior WR] Marquise [Goodwin] got it much today, but they tried to get it to him. Had him wide open on one, for a touchdown. And we threw short. And the wind was a big factor as well. But I do think they're getting a better feel. [Freshman RB] Johnathan Gray is really good. I was proud of the way [sophomore RB] Joe Bergeron played today. It looked like [sophomore RB] Malcolm Brown was well back into the game. We've got our backs back like we need to. But I feel like they're doing a better job during the week that they're making sure they can get the ball to the guys that have made the most plays during the year.

On this being one of the more exciting play-calling games by co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin: Probably was. He's got all this stuff in all the time. And he just feels it against certain teams. Malcolm's [Brown] been a statue of liberty [play] guy. But Malcolm's been out for a long time, so that's why he hasn't run it. It wasn't a very exciting play. But they're also doing such a better job of when people stop the speed sweep, like they did today, and they were getting people upfield quickly. It leaves the inside run game open. It leaves the deep pass open. So they're really doing a good job and all getting on the same page. With the offense now that the first time you run the speed sweep, and it gets tackled for a yard, all of a sudden they say, "Here's two more things that are there off of it." Even the little pitch-toss-sweep to Johnathan Gray for the last touchdown was off of it. So they're using their speed guys. And when people are taking them away, they're getting a lot more things done.

On progressing as a team: Well, I don't think people forget about the first half of the season. But we do have a sign up that says, "Remember November." Because you've got to finish seasons well. That's very important for us. And it gives you momentum going into the bowl season, and into next spring, and next year. We can't go back and rehash what happened in those two games we lost. Obviously, now you look at what happened with Florida and [Texas] Tech today, and it's going to happen. Syracuse is way ahead of somebody, they said? Louisville, who's leading their league? So you just never know. You're dealing with human beings. You're not dealing with video games. Anytime you get a win, you need to mark it up in that left column and keep going forward.

I was really, really proud of [defensive coordinator/linebackers coach] Manny [Diaz] today. He had [freshman LB] Peter Jinkens for the whole game. And they didn't tell us until this morning. They told us that [sophomore LB] Kendall Thompson could have played if we had to have him, in an emergency. He didn't practice one snap all week. It was why we waited on the injury report. Because last week we were told [freshman TE] M.J. McFarland wasn't going to get to play. And we didn't know that until then. So we tried to wait until we got our final answers this morning. Did you release that Kendall was okay to play? Okay, well we heard that. In fact I asked [Associate Athletics Director for Media Relations] John [Bianco] when I got to the stadium. They couldn't test him until they got here. So that was done probably at 9:30 a.m. or 10. Before we knew. So it makes it little more difficult for us.

On sophomore QB David Ash: David is getting more comfortable with everybody. He is leading better. He was more focused during the week, the last two weeks since Kansas. He made an interesting statement to you all, that I heard him say. And it was kind of you unique. He said, "It wasn't that I didn't respect Kansas, or wasn't ready to play. But I wasn't ready to overcome adversity." That's part of growing up. And that's what he saw. And he's got to be ready for things not to be working well and still be able to handle them. But we moved the ball better in the third quarter today than we had. And that was a huge issue for us. We wanted him to come out and lead better in the third quarter. So we thought we accomplished some things today that we hadn't.

On if this is the team he expected at the beginning of the year: Yea. I didn't know. It's the team we want to get to. And obviously, what we're talking about with kids is, "Will it be here in two weeks?" Who knows. You've got to get better and plan for it to be. But they're starting to show signs of what we want. And I think offensively, we've seen that. Whereas defensively, we saw nothing from about Ole Miss to Baylor. Then the second half of Baylor - first part of Baylor, then second half of Baylor - we started seeing some guys getting in the right places. The last three weeks we've played better defense at times. I was mad at the defense for the score right before half. I just hate that. Them taking momentum into halftime makes me want to throw up. They know it. Players know it. Coaches know it. They took the air out of the stadium. They took the momentum and changed it. That's why we had to get points to start the third quarter. And our guys did that with a field goal. But really proud of the defense in the second half. And when we've gotten two turnovers and lost none, we've won the game every time.

Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks backs coach Bryan HarsinOn running the wishbone for the first play: I will let Coach Mack Brown answer that because he made the call there, and it happened to work. I was very happy that we were able to do that, and I was very happy about the players and the way they executed - they way they did because it is obviously important. Not just the play but the meaning behind it. I will leave it from there.

On if there were multiple options for the wishbone: That was it.

On thoughts about doing the play while backed up at their own goal line: We're doing it. When we heard about Coach Darrell Royal - and we discussed it the whole week and that is what we decided. There wasn't really a choice there of what we were going to do when we got in that particular situation or that hash. That was the main thing, and it was a great execution by the guys who ran it.

On having two receivers with over 100 yards: I think this; I have tremendous respect for Iowa State's front seven. Those guys showed it. They showed it in short yardage again today, and they showed it last year. Just running the football and we knew that, in my opinion, that the front seven linebackers in particular are very good players and very well coached. Our job was to try and spread them out a little bit by putting the ball on the outside and utilizing the wide receivers. I let my guys go out and make plays, which they did. [QB] David Ash had a great game. He made decisions, wide receivers made plays, and they are a very difficult team to run the ball on consistently. So you got to mix it up, and that is what we did tonight. It helped out the run game and we had a chance when we did that to soften it up just a little bit inside for us to be successful because they're as good of a front seven as we have seen.

On having confidence in his players: Yes, I have had tremendous confidence in those guys. I think sometimes the designs, or whatever you call them, don't always play in their favor, but it's not because they are not out there trying and working hard. Having [TE] Greg Daniels and [TE] Barrett Matthews on the first play - that was a no brainer. Those guys have practiced well. They play hard, and they have done a lot of things to deserve to be in there. Then with Barrett, that was something that we put together because you want to throw a guy a bone that has been out there grinding and banging his head out for a lot of games and just being physical but not complaining about it. So after that, we were like, "Lets give him a bone here and lets throw him a touchdown." We found a way to do that, and we executed it. David made a great throw, and it worked out.

On saving any plays for rest of year: We used quite a bit today, I will say that. There is a lot of things in there we have probably had over the last weeks that we have been practicing and haven't gotten an opportunity to do it. Those things need to kind of marinate as the season goes on, and then it's time for it to come out after you have had quite a few reps with it in practice. So we still got some things that we have at our disposal, and we will come up with some more. We will have time with the bye week to look back and analyze ourselves, look at what we have done, how we are going to be attacked, spend a lot of time self-scouting. What we can do from what we have done to protect it, and we will go from there. The bottom line is when it comes to it, when you are running the ball like this and it's in the zone, that is what we do. And you see the movement, the backs hitting it like that, which they are going to do that. We will still find ways to be creative and get some explosive plays.

On any influence Coach Royal had on him: He did. I told the quarterbacks this--you see a lot of pictures of him around here, there is a stadium named after him, there is what he has done with National Championships, and there is so many things that we have talked about. We talk about success a lot, and he is one of those guys that you can look right at that has been a part of this program and go, "This is why he was successful." I don't know all the whole history behind it, Coach Brown does a tremendous job explaining that to us. The more we hear about Coach Royal and what he did and who he was more importantly, I think it really helps myself, it helps the players to understand that these are the traits that it takes to be successful and it has happened right here, in this program. A guy that is so well respected around here that I think we just shut up and listen and try to be more like that and follow his example.

Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Manny Diaz
On the pressure put on Iowa State QB Steele Jantz: The guys are getting better at our pressures. We have done a better job at practicing that over the last few weeks. But I think we were also able to get them in some third-down situations. We were able to do some more stuff to get after the quarterback. You have to because he is so hard to sack. You got to try to introduce as many athletic people around him as you can.

On holding Iowa State on third-down conversions: To me, the game was about third downs. They couldn't get us off the field, and they couldn't stay on the field when it got to third down. We talked to our guys all week- if we can do a great job and just win first and second downs, we can get the third-down defense on the field. And we felt really good about that. The guys did a great job of executing on third down. And it's a sight to behold when we are on the sideline watching David [Ash] and our offense execute those third-down conversions. It is so difficult to play defense when teams are able to drive on you. It was an absolute team effort.

On the play of freshman LB Peter Jinkens: It was exciting watching him run around out there. He can make some plays. He made a nice play there in the fourth quarter. For a true freshman to step up in a game like this, where they were a lot more dynamic in their running game than some of the teams we have played. Overall, I was very pleased with the way that Peter handled the occasion of what today meant and being in the starting lineup.

On CB Carrington Byndom's interception in the first quarter: We were bringing a corner blitz. They were throwing deep balls. We had great eyes on our coverage so that we could pounce on them and turn and make an important play. And I think what it comes down to, again, I think their longest play of the game was 23 yards. We knew that if we could avoid giving up big plays, we could force their quarterback into making mistakes. A great job by [DT] Brandon [Moore] forcing the turnover, and a great job by Carrington pouncing on the opportunity. We knew that would be important.


RB Johnathan Gray
On the first play: We came out on the flex for DKR. We worked to make it a success and worked all practice. All praise to DKR and his family. Coach [Mack Brown] said it would work if everything fell into place and everything did. We went out there great, got open and got a big gain.

On the emotional game for Darrell K Royal: In honor of DKR, Coach wanted us to play hard for him and the game was in his honor. Just play hard for ourselves and go out with a win.

On motivation: The first play was a big motivator for us. We came out with some more plays and executed those. [Texas] Tech was a motivator for us, and we continue on that streak. Today was a motivator for TCU. We keep going on these streaks, play hard every game and come out with a win.

On the passing game: The running game opens up the wide receivers. We work hand in hand. If they can't get open, we will run the ball. We need both the running game and the throwing game.

CB Carrington Byndom
On the season: We know that we can't listen to anything outside. We know that we are a family together - offensively and defensively. We want to continue to strive for excellence. We want to go out and work hard each day to try to get better.

On the first play: This week has been really emotional for not only Coach Brown, but also for a lot of other people. To come out in that formation and run the first play out of it, we just wanted to show respect [for DKR]. To get a nice chunk of yards on it also was a great way to get started. It sparked a lot of emotion and got the crowd involved. I think the offense did a great job today, with the first play and the rest of the game. We are going to continue to get better on both sides of the ball and get ready for TCU.

On the defense: The defense has been improving each week. We still have a ways to go, but we are showing signs of life. We are playing a lot better. We still have things we need to fix, but I think we are on the right track.

WR Jaxon Shipley
On the first play: All I was focused on was seeing if David [Ash] was open. After I saw him open, I knew it was going to work. We were just thinking that nobody would believe that we were going to do this. I don't think anybody knew. I don't know if Coach Royal would agree with the play call, but it worked and that's all that matters.

On the speed of the first play: You can see the play develop as he snapped the ball and then pitched it to me. At that point, I really did not have any idea at that point if it was going to work because I didn't know if he was going to be open. When I turned around and saw that David was wide open, I knew from there he could run it because he had a ton of room, or he could throw it down the field.

On being a key part of the offense: You never really know [how involved you will be] but you have to prepare like you are going to be a big part every week. That is one of the things [wide receivers] Coach [Darrell] Wyatt really does a good job of is getting us prepared for each game and having the mentality that we are going to have a big game each game. I am very fortunate that I got some good opportunities today, and I feel like everybody had a really good game. This week we were playing a defense that allowed me to get more balls. Mike [Davis] had over 100 yards, so it wasn't just me. All of our receivers are doing their job. I just feel like overall, it was a really good day offensively.

QB David Ash
On the first play: I was excited. I was kind of worried that it was announced on national news, but it worked anyways and it was a fun play. The cool think about it is, I think in Samuel it talks about God honors those who honor him. I think today was really cool to see that because obviously, Coach Royal has honored a lot people over the years, has honored God a lot over the years, and has touched a lot of lives. To be a part of him for honoring him for that, just makes you really thankful and really humbles you. Just being a part of that is something special.

On WR Mike Davis: He is pretty fast. It is all part of, I don't know, he's a great blocker. That has something to do with it. All wide receivers take a lot of pride in the way they block and whenever you block well, it sets up the deep ball.

On thoughts with working on short, medium and long passes today: Everybody on the team doing their job. We talk a lot about consistency. Doing your job on a consistent basis, and all the guys on the field are doing that. You throw the catch and you are not going to throw an incompletion. I guess it is pretty much that simple.

On options for the touchdown pass to TE Barrett Matthews: No it was him, out in the back of the end zone.

On what he gained from what Coach Brown said this week about Coach Royal: Coach Brown and Coach Royal have been great friends over the years and to see how Coach Brown related to him as, Coach Brown would say as a father and close friend, is really cool because I think, obviously, Coach Royal's success as a coach and as a person--not just how many championships he won or how many games he won as a coach - but people's lives that he touched in a more significant way. It is cool to see Coach Brown doing the same thing. He has won a national championship, he has been successful as a coach, and he has the integrity and character that has touched people's lives in a significant way as well. It's really cool to play for a guy like that and a school that has that sort of history..

On his confidence: I am just trying to do my job for the team the best I can and hold my guys on the team accountable for their jobs. All of us are getting better. Whenever someone gets better doing their job, it helps me do my job. As a team we are just improving. And that is what we are trying to do, get better every week. I have always said the confidence I have isn't in me but in my creator, it's in my God. Knowing that He has put me here, He has equipped me for whatever I am going to face and so we are going to be all right.

DE Alex Okafor
On keeping positive momentum heading into the bye week: We have to take advantage of this bye week, that's the biggest key. We have to get healthy on both sides of the ball. But then again, we have to go hard during this bye. We can't take off any plays, and we can't take off any days of practice. By doing that, it will lead us up into the next game and help us maintain this level of play.

On confidence in stopping the opponent's running game: I'm slowly gaining confidence. We are getting better game-by-game. We still have a long way to go. But slowly but surely, we are getting better at the run defense.

S Kenny Vaccaro
On the defense: Obviously, we are improving and that's good, especially getting late in November. We have a little sign that says "remember November". So, everybody will stop talking about how the first half of the season was if we just keep doing our jobs these last two games.

OG Mason Walters
On if the passing game has loosened up the run: I think so, especially that early in the game. Iowa State wanted to stop the run. They are a tough, physical team, and that is what they do. They try to stop the run and make you one-dimensional. With those guys playing the way they were, they were unable to stop the pass. That loosened that box up for us, and we were able to do a lot more. They were tough and physical the whole game.

On what he is seeing from this team: I see an improvement and consistency. We believe in the plan and we are getting better each week, which is important. There was a time in the middle of the season when people were saying, "This team is no good and [they are] off and there is not enough season to get better." We approach everyday the same way. We approach it that this team can better and grow and get back to the way Texas is and should be. With that attitude we can do good things. We still have a lot of season left with three weeks of practice and a bowl game so this team can still continue to get better.

On being physical against a respectable run defense: We were able to do some good things to loosen up that box. Iowa State, give them credit. You want to do what is smart when you play a good defense like that. If it is smarter to throw the ball, then do it. If it is smarter to run the ball, then do it. With the way the receivers and quarterbacks were playing at times today, we were able to loosen that box up a bit which really helped the running game down the stretch.

On the running backs getting yards after contact: It is great. I looked up a couple of times from blocks and saw them taking that initial hit, and they were still falling forward and getting four or five more yards. It is really encouraging when that is something that will extend drives and run down a defense. When you get to the fourth quarter, it makes your job easier.

TE Barrett Matthews
On the first play of the game in Coach Royal's honor going to a tight end: We were very proud, especially when it was coming to [sophomore TE] Greg [Daniels]. He has been working so hard, coming from the defensive side of the ball and getting involved with the tight end position, to make that big catch to start off the game and jump start us and get us rolling. That was pretty exciting. It was pretty honorable for us to do that for Coach Royal who put so much into this program.

On how the tight end position is evolving: I think we still are building trust within the position. It is nothing you can do overnight. We are still building and still want more things to come to us. We want to be able to lead the offense, but they still have to trust us and we are still building trust.

On what he saw during his touchdown catch: The ball. That is it, the ball. That was all I was focusing on.

On what you will take from this win into the rest of the season: We are getting focused for the next two games. We have a bye week coming up so we are going to get back to the grind. We will do some fundamental stuff to get ready for TCU and Kansas State.

TE Greg Daniels
On first play of the game: We called it flex and we just came out and said if it's not there then we wouldn't run it, but then coaches said we were going to run it. They told me to sell the run and get open to the open corner. I got open and David threw me the ball. It was a great pass. I'm honored they called my number. It was great to catch a pass, and I feel thankful the coaches called on me to do that.

On playing tight end in high school: I played a little bit my sophomore and junior years.

On becoming a bigger part of the offense: Hopefully I do, but I just stick to what coaches want me to do and that's helped the team win.

LB Steve Edmond
On confidence in stopping the run: It makes more sense now. At first we weren't getting what gap to go to, but now it makes more sense. I'll tell my other linebacker, "I got this gap and you got that gap." We get to our gaps, and it works better that way.

On improving communication: We're communicating better. When you communicate better, you play better. That's what we're doing now. We're communicating better and filling our gaps.

On motivation after Iowa State scored at the end of the first half: Just because they scored doesn't mean we would stop playing. We played even harder because they scored.

On LB Peter Jinkens: He played really well. He and Kendall Thompson are about just as good as each other. For his first game, he played pretty good. Peter and I communicated the whole week through practice so it was just like practice again. We were out there talking and playing good.

On getting comfortable on defense: We get more comfortable every game and every practice. Now, when they call a blitz, we all run our blitz harder than we used to. I used to blitz and be reading instead of just going. Now I'm just blitzing and going.

WR Mike Davis
On dealing with emotions regarding Coach Royal: It's been a tough week. We tried our best to keep Coach Brown up all week by practicing hard and leaving it all on the field. It's been tough, but we had to come out here and play for Coach Royal and Coach Brown.

On how hard this week has been for Coach Brown: It was pretty tough.

On excitement running the wishbone:We came out in honor of Coach Royal in the wishbone and instead of running, we took a shot.

On successful deep plays: I give it all to Coach Harsin, our play caller, and our offensive linemen, too, because they're protecting [David] Ash. Ash has been throwing great balls up there, and I've been beating my man.

On being the big play receiver: I've just been focusing and willing to get better everyday in practice. I'm trying to be consistent.


Head coach Paul Rhoads
Opening Statement: I said going into the week that I thought Texas was a very hot football team, and they are. They've now won four in a row, so congratulations to them. When you play a team like that you can't make many mistakes. We didn't have enough conversions. We didn't have enough stops. We just didn't do enough things right to give our team a chance to win.

On not taking advantage of opportunities: When a team is playing well they are going to make plays. But when they give you a window or opportunity you have to take advantage of it. When you have a third and five and a receiver open you have to throw and catch to take advantage of that. When you don't do that in those situations it magnifies the things they're doing right overall.

On drives fizzling out: We had a number of good drives. We ran the ball for 111 yards in the first half. We had three or four drives into their territory and only seven points to show for it. It's harder to keep drives going when the field shortens especially against quality opponents.

On regrouping and refocusing the team after a tough loss: It's different with every team. This team has maintained its focus throughout. To have an opportunity to win the next game starts with Sunday's preparation. Can't have a hangover. We have five quality losses if that makes sense, and I think our kids understand that. They realize it comes down to Saturday's execution and playing better. To do that you have to have a better preparation - both mentally and physically.


DL Jake McDonough
On how his team regroups for the final two games of the season: We've just got to come ready to work tomorrow, and we've got to bring the same intensity and focus that we have been bringing all year. We just need to stay focused and maintain focus on the goal at hand. It's six wins to get to a bowl game. We want to finish out the season strong. We have two games that we can win. We just need to show up.

On his team's critical missed tackles: That is something that we can't have if we want to win games. We can't miss tackles. We have to limit our missed tackles to the single digits. It was just not Cyclone football. We weren't tackling. We weren't getting enough pass rush so that our defensive backs could cover. We weren't playing good Cyclone defense.

On whether the defense was unprepared for this game: I thought we prepared very well this week, but we went out there and we faced a really good Texas football team. They came ready to play.

On whether he was surprised when Texas threw the ball out of the wishbone offense: You can't be surprised by anything, especially when they tell you what they're going to run. You can't assume that they'll have a run play out of it. That's great that they honored their [former] coach by doing that, but we had to defend it and we didn't get the job done.

WR Quenton Bundrage
On his touchdown in today's game: I knew what play was coming. I had the opportunity to catch the ball and make a play, so that's what I did. When I scored, I just got up and was ready to make another play.

On why Texas' defense was so successful against the offense today: They brought a lot of pressure, but for us as an offense, we have to check those protections and change things around. We just didn't click as an offense today. That's something that we have to learn from and fix when we play Kansas next week.

On whether the team's rushing game is improving: Here and there. There were points where we were hitting the holes and things were going our way, and then there were times when things weren't going our way. That's just a part of the game. Things like that are going to happen.

LB Jeremiah George
On where the team is positioned at this point in the season: That was a very good Texas football team that we just played. They're going to be very hot throughout the month of November. Today just wasn't our day. We're going to go back to work tomorrow and prepare for a very good Kansas football team, despite what the record says. I'm excited for the opportunities that we have facing Kansas in Kansas and even further into the season, playing West Virginia as our last home game.

On whether the defense missed tackles or Texas' offense made plays: It was missed tackles. We practiced it so much during the week and on the third down on the middle of the field - for me to miss that tackle was very inappropriate.

On whether missed tackles are a shot to the team's confidence: No. I think it helps us more than it hurts us. I think it makes us that much hungrier to go back to work tomorrow.

DB Durrell Givens
On what his team needs to do to win two more games and become bowl eligible: We have to capitalize when we have the opportunity to make plays and change the game. We need to get our offense back on the field and get turnovers. We need to stop them on third down and tackle better.

On whether it hurts his team when the defense does not get any turnovers: It's always better to get turnovers. They always help the offense and defense. When we don't get them, you lose an aspect of the game. We had opportunities and we blocked a field goal, which was good.

On Texas QB David Ash's performance today: He was reading the defense well. He was putting the ball right on the money. That's always good when you're trying to complete passes.

RB Shontrelle Johnson
On the offense's plan to establish the running game early: We came in with a game plan originally to run the ball. That's exactly how I think we came out for at least the start of the game. We said we were going to establish the run early, and I think that's what we did.

On Texas' defense bogging the offense down in the red zone: I wouldn't necessarily say it was anything they were doing. There were plays that we could have executed a little bit better. There were definitely a lot of plays that weren't made at the time that they should have been as we got closer to the red zone. I put that on us.

On whether Texas changed their play when defending the red zone: We were moving the ball pretty much at will, you could say. Then we got in the red zone. We just need to focus on executing better when we're in the red zone. We need to understand that the big plays are going to come, you just have to be more physical and pay attention to detail.

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