Player press conference transcript: Nov. 5
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Nov. 5, 2012

OT Luke Poehlmann
On Iowa State: They're a really good football team as far as I can tell. It's going to be a really good challenge for us especially on offense.

On not allowing Iowa State to do what they did in 2010: Well, I think we do what we've done every week which is prepare for that team, work hard and stay focused. I don't think that the time of day or the fact that something similar happened a couple of years ago. It's something to be aware of, but at the same time this is a very different team completely. Not just Iowa State, but also ours. We're a completely different team than we were then. So can't relate the two.

On the game being at 11 a.m.: We talked over there about sleeping a little more and just being really focused. But I think the fact that it's an 11 o'clock game - we've played good in games, we've played bad in games. I think the time issue is not really the thing. Just because it's early in the morning a lot of people want to talk about it and will put more emphasis on it. But it comes down to us preparing and being focused and ready to play. Doesn't matter what time of day it is. It's just that we're ready to go at kickoff.

On what make Iowa State a good team: What makes them really good in my eyes is how they've played other opponents. You look at the scores of playing other opponents and to be honest, I haven't gotten a chance to watch a lot of film on them at all. But I've seen some of the way they've played other people in our conference and guys we haven't. They play really hard from the little bit of film that I have seen. I think that a lot of people don't give them the credit that they deserve.

On the team's performance the last three weeks: I don't think we've been playing for our lives. I think we've been playing for each other. I want the best for the guys next to me. I want the best for the guys on defense, for our offense, special teams. I want our team to be as good as we can be. I want to reach our full potential and play to that. It's not an easy thing to do. It's easier said than done. So I want to keep working toward that. I think it's shown that we have won three straight. We want to work to try to make that four. I think we do that by trying to stay focused and keep working hard and hoping to reach that potential as I was talking about, for us to just play on all cylinders on offense, defense and special teams.

On being bowl eligible but playing for more: Yes, definitely. It's nice to know that we have a bowl game to go to. That we're eligible for that. But that's not our goal. It never was our goal just to be bowl eligible. Our goal, obviously, was to win as many games as we can to play to our full potential. Right now I'm not thinking about bowl games. I'm not thinking about where we're going to go for a bowl game. I'm thinking about Iowa State and thinking about taking this one week at a time and really enjoying it and soaking up the moments that we have. This team just has a few more weeks of regular season that we get to be around each other and play football with each other. I don't want to take that for granted. I don't want any of the guys on the team to take it for granted. Because it's a small window we have, and I want us to play hard for each team now, not start looking ahead and think of whatifs and whatnots. I want us to enjoy the moment.

OG Mason Walters
On the game starting at 11 a.m.: It's just pretty much college football. You've got to get up and ready for it and play ball. It's something this team will have to do and get ready for. Whatever we can do this week, we'll do. I'm sure the coaches will have something for us.

On the difference playing an 11 a.m. game: It's a lot shorter, really. You're up and it's football from there on out. Really, I don't know how you could change anything else to make us more productive. We're going to be up at 6 a.m., pregame meal at 7:00, and then play football. 2:30 games gives you a little more time to sleep in. Then obviously with the late game, you have to lay around in the hotel all day and make sure your mind is focused. So I think 11 a.m. for us brings challenges. We just have to get up and get ready.

On the fans: Another thing is this year at the stadium, our fans have been so great for us and coming out and supporting us full force. This year is the loudest it's been since I've been here, and that's always encouraging. So hopefully we'll have a good crowd and a lot of energy Saturday at 11 a.m.

On the 2010 Iowa State game: Well, something in that game, I realized how wellcoached and tough and physical Iowa State is. I won't take that for granted. I don't think anybody on this team will. They're a tough, serious opponent and they've played some good teams really close in this conference. They've held some teams to low numbers. Knowing they have a good defense will be a really big challenge for us on the offensive side of the ball.

On if the team can be a contender now: If we play consistently, yes. But if we keep having our ups and downs, then we'll be what we've been all year. But I think this team can find a level of consistency and put that together in all three phases for four quarters. We can play football with anybody when we do that.

On removing critics' doubts about the team's ability: You know, and that was just last week. That's happened a lot this year. This is something we've all addressed and talked about. [Team members thoughts] - those are the ones that matter and the other brothers on the team. Really coming together as a team and focusing on what we need to improve on and being critical of ourselves. But in doing that, understanding that we were critical with a positive attitude of getting better. But that's really the biggest thing.

On co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite being inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor: That's awesome for him. I didn't watch him too much growing up. But getting to be around him as a coach, he's a great man, a great coach, and he's fun to work with every day.

On all phases of the team playing well against Texas Tech: It was really good to see. I know we've seen glimpses of that. It's been a little frustrating for us and the fans this year is we haven't really seen a full, threephase performance come together for 60 minutes at a consistent level. Saturday was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, however, to see some consistent play in all three phases was really encouraging. Hopefully we can do that from here on out.

CB Carrington Byndom
On his play against Texas Tech on Saturday: I definitely think I want to play well each week, and this weekend was by far probably one of my best games this season. And I do feel like I need to continue to play just as well not only for me, but for my team and my defense.

On why he had such a good game against Texas Tech: I think I just brought a lot of confidence this weekend. Knowing that they were going to throw the ball a lot of times, I was going to get a lot of opportunities. So I think I just brought the confidence that I was lacking into this week.

On not having been able to have this performance in previous weeks: It's a little frustrating. But for our defense, we're definitely improving and growing up as the season has gone along. It's still a work in progress, but each week we're continuing to get better, and we still have a long way to go.

On Iowa State's offense: I definitely think they're a very balanced offense. They can run the ball and throw the ball. We know that they're able to make plays. Then again, it comes down to our defense, as long as we're playing our game that we know we're capable of, we'll be okay.

On if he feels that there are many forces fighting against the team: At times it seems like that. But then again, you need not to pay attention to anything outside. That's what they tell us. We need to not believe anything that's happened in the outside world, only what's happening with us as a defense, with us as a team. So we're going to continue to, like I said, just go back to work and make sure it's all about us in these next three games and then finish off the bowl season.

On who wins the practice battles between himself and WR Mike Davis: I think a little bit of both. I can't say it's onesided, even though I'd like to say that. He's definitely a tough person to guard. He causes havoc for other defenders. He's doing a great job this season. As you can tell, he's doing a great job running by DBs this weekend.

On who Davis reminds him of: He reminds me of Mike Davis. I won't classify him with anybody else. He is him. But I definitely think he's coming into his own. He's doing really great this season, and we look forward to him continuing to keep that up.

On if the team will be ready for an 11 a.m. game: We all will. We'll all be ready to go this weekend. We've had two 11 o'clock games, so we're all pretty used to it by now. We'll all get up and have a pot of coffee and be ready to go.

QB David Ash
On being a balance offense against Iowa State: Being balanced is always important. Depending on what your idea of balance is, and some people think it's like you throw the ball 25 times and run the ball 25 times. To me that's not really it. It's just being able to do what you need to do to win a game. So if they're going to play a run game, we're going to throw it. If they're going to play a pass game, we're going to run it on them. That's what a wellbalanced team does. They're able to find what the defense is giving them and take advantage of it.

On WR Mike Davis: With Mike, it's the same thing. He's worked hard this offseason. He practices well. He practices hard. He loves playing football. He's a fun guy to be around. Again, it's work ethic, and he's going to put in the work for the season. I think he's just probably gained a little more understanding of it's more important to just be a reliable catcher than it is necessarily to catch a ball and make a bunch of plays - but just to be reliable.

On co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite being inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor: I was still fairly young when he was playing, but I remember being a huge fan. It's really fun being on the sidelines with him. He does a great job of communicating with me on the sideline and helping me understand exactly the adjustments we're making during the game. I think he's got a great personality as far as a person. Just besides the fact that he was a great player at Texas and he has a great legacy, I think everyone appreciates who he is as a person, his character and how he coaches.

On Iowa State: As I've watched them over the years they've come a long way. The secret to success is not complicated. It's through hard work, through dedication to what you're doing, and through playing tough, physical football. Believing in each other and coming together as a team with one purpose. I think Coach [Paul] Rhoads has done a great job of instilling those values in his team, and they've played some tough, tough close ballgames this year. They're a great football team, so we have to understand that and be ready to play this week, just like we need to do that every week. As this team grows and matures, we're going to be more consistent.

On finishing the season strong: Yes, come together for three games. Whatever you've got left in the tank, we need it. Full effort. All in. Four more weeks of regular season football, and let's try to be in the best spot possible at the end of the year.

On playing at 11 a.m.: We haven't played well in 11 a.m. games. There is no denying that. What we change? I think we just need to get ready, wake up and let's go. Do I really think it's anything different than a 7:00 p.m. game? I don't think it is. I think it's just something that we need to show it isn't different.

DT Desmond Jackson
On Iowa State being a physical team: I like physical games. It just shows that all the work that we do in the weight room and all of the stuff that we've done over the summertime can actually show. So I'm very, very excited to play Iowa State this week. I think they're a pretty good team. I know they've been doing pretty well for themselves, so I'm looking forward to it.

On the team's improvements over the last three weeks: I think we've grown as a team in general. I think we've grown a lot on offense, defense, and on special teams. I think that as a team, I think that we've shown that we can do anything we can do just thinking about it. Even though we've played not to the best of our ability, we've found a way to win. That is one thing we do.

On the defense: We put a lot of work in just in practice and everything, so we haven't really played up to our best ability yet, but we're getting there. We've got a lot of young guys stepping up, myself included. I think that we're getting to the point where we're showing progress on a lot of positives. So like I said, the best is yet to come.

On a sense of urgency now that the season is coming to a close: I think it is. They say that the Texas Tech game we showed that we can do really, really good things. Our coach said they can put us at a higher standard. We've always been held to a higher standard. So we know we haven't played our best games, but we're getting close to it. So there is a lot of emphasis on we have to do what we can so we can win against Iowa State. So just get ready for it.

On what has led to more success: Confidence, that's what I would say. There's been a lot more confidence just playing with the guys and saying that the guys that are next to me, I've got to fight hard. I've got to beat down harder than the guy next to me, because I'm pulling for him, and he's pulling for me. We trust each other more. I think we didn't have that at first. We trusted one another, but we didn't really actually start playing as a team. So now it's like we have more trust in each other, so we're playing at a higher standard.

On trying to build momentum in the last game before a bye week: The only thing we're trying to say is grow momentum. We're just worried about playing Iowa State.They're the next team on the schedule. I don't believe things like we have a lot of momentum because we just won. So the next opponent is Iowa State. We're not worried about anything else.

On Iowa State QB Steele Jantz: I actually haven't had a chance to watch him on film yet. But I've heard a lot of good things about him. So I'll watch film after my class today [and] I'll be able to answer that question. But the only thing I know is he's a really good quarterback. He's very accurate. He can do a lot of things with his throwing ability, so we just need to be ready for that.

OG Trey Hopkins
On if the offense feeds off of the success of the defense: I think that our defense has been working hard this whole season. I think things are really clicking for them now, and it definitely helps our team. We're putting together whole games now. We're not just playing good on one side of the ball, offense or defense. It hasn't been just this year, it's been in years past. Now we're really coming together and pushing each other in practice and being better together to put together those total games like you saw this past weekend.

On playing at 11 a.m.: I definitely think a lot of emphasis is being put on an 11 o'clock game. But a game is a game. You have to be prepared for it, and that's how we have to take it no matter what the time is or if it's not announced until the day before. It's a game. You have to come with the mindset that I have to be ready to play when my number is called, whether it be 11 a.m., 2:30, 7:00 - whenever it's time to go out there, you have to be prepared.

On Iowa State being a physical team: I would say it's definitely going to be a tough opponent for us. They're very good. Their front seven is incredible, and they have a great defense and defensive coordinator. They're a hard working bunch. They're going to come out and compete. It's going to be a great challenge for us on the offensive line. We're going to have to come with our Agame.

On the 2010 game against Iowa State: Definitely disappointing. First year - I remember being heartbroken at that point. It worked as motivation for us the following year. We continue to build on that, get this next one. We have to continue to correct the things that we did wrong in these past games as well as we've done game to game. Just try to get the win.

On Iowa State: We're going to handle them as we would any opponent. We'll watch them on film and evaluate them. They're the next opponent. We'll continue to work and do the things that we need to do.

WR Mike Davis
On his play this season: This whole year I've just been focusing on being consistent and doing a better job of helping the team win and contribute to the team.

On his success: It means a lot to me. I just feel like I'm going to do my job and do whatever I can for this team. Just play hard every snap and go all in and be all in for this team. Do whatever I can to help us win.

On his confidence as a player: Well, my confidence has been high. I'm having a lot of fun. It's always fun when you win it playing for a team like this because we're all in, and we're a great family. Everything's going pretty good right now.

On using his basketball jumping skills to catch footballs: I've always felt like that ever since I've been playing football. I feel I've got to use that. It's been working out pretty good for me.

On the team putting together a total performance: I just feel like every game is not going to be perfect. Everything's not going to be the way you want it to be. But I just know as a team we come out there and play hard and give it all we've got. Sometimes you don't get the best outcome you want. You just have to stay focused and keep playing. I just feel like weekin and weekout we've shown that we can finish strong, and we'll compete to the end. We're just going to play hard.

On finishing strong: Yes, we're playing for the seniors. Got to make sure we win out, and we'll give it all we've got to make sure these seniors have a great career here at Texas. We know they're playing for us and giving their all for us, so we'll give it all for them, too.

DS Nate Boyer
On what Veteran's Day means to him: Honestly, I don't know if it's the same for other soldiers, but it's not that the day doesn't have a lot of meaning as far as obviously remembering guys that have lost their lives and guys that are over there right now and still fighting and all that. But, for me, it's something that's constantly on my mind anyway. I think it's important to remember that stuff, because it's something that I was a part of and still am really a part of. I fully intend last summer going back and going over and fighting this summer, too. I'm going to do everything I can to get back there, because that's why I came in the military.

For instance, every time we come out on the field and come out with the flag, that is the main thing I'm thinking about. We'll go down to the north end zone and take a knee and pray. It's like, I'm praying about everything in general. I want God's will to be done out there, whether it's good or bad for me and my team and the other team. But there's always a prayer for those guys, too. I remember being over there and watching football games when you could. It's just something that there's nothing more American than college football. It's something that we all had in common. Well, not all of us, but most of us had in common that we enjoyed. And something to bring you back here mentally when you physically had to be over there.

On keeping in touch with guys he served with who are still in a war zone: Yes, definitely. It's funny. There are a lot of guys that maybe I wasn't even super close with but that I knew, and we were over there at the same time fighting. Even guys I've never met that have contacted me and said, "You know what? Guess what? I'm in this unit and doing this." Yeah, getting my close friends on game day. My phone's always blowing up. I just have to turn it on and read them all afterwards. But it's cool. They're all just like, "Man, it's so great what you're doing and we're really proud of you and good luck and what not." It's cool. You've really got to take a step back and just think about what day it is today and what they're going through. Maybe they're just back here in the states right now, but they could have just gotten back from overseas or they're about to head back over there. That's a much bigger game, I guess. Everybody in America focuses on Saturday is college football day, but it's important to remember every day for those guys over there. It's just a different thing. It slips my mind even sometimes, and I feel terrible about it because I get so wrapped up in football and whatnot. I love that, but at the same time, it's important to remember what these guys are doing right now.

On getting better at deep snapping techniques: It's one of those jobs where you kind of are definitely in control of your environment. If you don't let the outside influences get to you, it's a lot like shooting a free throw. You should do it the same way every time. I've equated it to shooting a pistol. When you're trained to go shoot a pistol, every step is like a very controlled, slow process that you start with. That goes with driving and all of that, and you do it the same every time. The key for pistol shooting is to aim small. They say aim small, miss small. It's the same thing with that. I think I do better during the game, because I think all that crowd noise and the excitement of the game and all those endorphins or whatever just helps me zero in and focus on that little spot I'm looking at on the holder's hand. Yes, I definitely know that I've gotten better, but I've still got a long way to go that I think I can get a lot better than I am right now.

On if deep snapping is similar to target shooting: It really is in a lot of ways. It really is. If you start to get lazy and you aren't paying attention, you're letting the outside factors get in the way, I mean, common theme they say, "Pistol shoot something just front side post." You stare at that front side post. That's it. You don't look at the target because you've already acquired the target. You stare at the front side post. Then the rest becomes mechanical. It's very similar, yeah. I'm looking for the signal that he's going to give me that he's ready and I just go. I don't think about the movements after that. I'm just staring at one spot.