Sept. 1, 2008
QB Colt McCoy
On why he ran the ball so much on Saturday: I was just doing what (the coaches) told me to do. As the game went on, (Florida Atlantic) started dropping more and more guys in the secondary, so it was a hard to get a ball into somebody, especially down the field. Coach Brown just kept saying, 'If you've got a lane, go make 10 with your feet,' so that's what I did a couple times. It worked, we moved the chains and I felt like offensively we executed pretty well.
On how it feels to join Vince Young as the only quarterbacks in Texas history to throw for 200 yards and run for 100 in the same game multiple times: That's crazy. Vince is the best that ever played here, and it was pretty cool to have him at the game when I did something like that. I didn't realize it at the time. Coach Brown told me this morning. It's pretty neat. The offensive line gave me a lot of time, the receivers played great. I think we had two dropped balls, that's it. We completed a lot of passes. If we can continue to do that, continue to get better, we have a chance to be pretty good.
On his comfort in running the ball: I think I might have run a couple times too much, because I was really tired after the game. I did feel comfortable. A couple times we ran play action and didn't get the linebackers to react, they dropped deep. We go over that in practice all the time, if I don't get a reaction out of them, go ahead and run and make eight or 10 and sometimes I might have made 12. There is a balance. Obviously, I like to stay in the pocket. The line gave me a lot of time. When you can go through your progressions, go through your reads and they're dropping guys back and nobody's there, it's good to just go make a few with your feet. I do feel comfortable with that. After this game, I think there will be more pressure put on me to stay in the pocket so we're going to have to handle that. UTEP does a great job of putting pressure on the quarterback. They try to confuse you. They're always bringing five or six guys, so we have to handle that.
On how it feels to play so well in a season opener as compared to last year: It feels much better for us. We were really prepared this year, we were focused. We wanted to come out and play as best we could. We know in a first game there are going to be some bad plays, you're going to make mistakes, but if you just go out and play hard and compete and get after them a little bit, that kind of sets the tone for the rest of the year. I felt like we did that pretty well.
On the team's emphasis on consistency: I think it's really good for us to focus on day to day, practice to practice, even rep to rep. That goes from in the weight room to out on the practice field, in the film room. It's like the wristband says, consistently good to be great. Coach Brown puts a big emphasis on that, we've all put a big emphasis on practice and making ourselves the best we can be and focusing just on ourselves and what we can control. When we do that like we did all fall camp, we come out and play a great game. We've just got to build on that every week.
On playing UTEP: We know what it is. Inside our locker room we always have our goals, and one of the goals is to beat every opponent we play in the state of Texas and UTEP's one of those. It's a night game, it's on ESPN and it's going to be fun. We're looking forward to it.
LB Rashad Bobino
On his plans for Saturday are with a late kickoff: All the work should be done, so that's the time to lay back and chill and wait for the game. What I normally do is go through the playbook a couple times, go look at our checks, and after that just sit back and play dominoes and talk and joke around and laugh and stuff. Being focused on the game, but also giving myself a little relaxation time so I won't have too much anxiety.
On playing UTEP for the first time: They are very excited about this game. It's just like any other game. For the first time for us coming (to El Paso), so many people want to come down. You're going to have not only people in the stands, you'll have people in the mountains. I'm really looking forward to it. It's a really nice stadium. I think it holds like 50-60,000. They can get really rowdy, so it's going to be interesting to see how it goes.
On what he's looking for in the defense this week: As a defense, to improve the mistakes we made last week. To go back over formations that we kind of slipped up on and make sure we iron out all the principles in that. Also, preparing for this week, getting game preparation ready.
On the keys to playing with younger players: You always want to keep in touch with the young guys, make sure we're talking. The big thing when you're playing with some of the young guys, communication is the key. If everyone talks, 95 percent (of the time) we're going to be correct. The thing is, it's hard to get everyone to talk. As long as we have everyone talking, practicing on communication, making checks and calls, everyone's going to be okay.
On Roy Miller: Roy's intense all the time, especially when you turn on the lights, then you know he's ready to go. Roy can't wait to get out there. He's the Texas Tornado, that's what I like to call him. He gets back there and he does havoc. Any time you've got the big fellas in front of you fired up, it's going to be a great day. I look forward to all of the front four being fired up.
WR Jordan Shipley
On Blaine Irby: Blaine had a great game. He had a great opener. Basically he did everything. He had a bunch of catches, a bunch of knockdowns. I think he had an awesome game. He's a great guy, kind of laid back. Obviously he's from California, he's kind of chilled out off the field. He's really good at what he does, he runs really good routes and catches the ball really well, and he's been blocking really well too.
On Saturday's late kickoff in El Paso: I've never played a game that late in my life. I think it will be fun. Coach Davis was telling us this is a mentally challenging week for us. We've just got to go out and be sharp mentally and be focused. It'll be a fun atmosphere, I think.
On how the wide receivers fared against Florida Atlantic: I think we had a pretty good game. I think we've got a lot of room for improvement. Obviously we had some rust, had some dropped balls that definitely should have been caught. I think we blocked pretty well and made some plays. We had a decent opening game, but we can play a lot better than what we did.
On what he thinks when he sees Colt McCoy scrambling outside the pocket: Whenever you see him get flushed in the pocket, that's when it gets fun. You just go wherever you think you can catch the ball and hopefully he sees you. That's basically all there is to it. It's kind of a fun deal. Quan (Cosby) and I always talk about that, it's like a little backyard game.
On his pass against Florida Atlantic: It was just one of those deals where I saw Quan wide open but I just had a guy right in my face. I tried to get the ball off but I couldn't really get a good grip on it.
LB Jared Norton
On his playing time and excitement to be on the field: Last year I actually played a lot towards the middle (of the season). Me and Rashad (Bobino) were going in every five plays. Now I'm just starting to get in my groove of things. I'm just glad to be out there again.
On how the linebackers fared on Saturday: I was real impressed with how we did. I knew we were going to do good based of off how our d-line was and how our linebacker corps as a unit has been playing all throughout two-a-days and practice. I pretty much knew we were going to do pretty well.
On Roy Miller: Roy is a linebacker's dream when it comes to keeping linemen off you. He always does his job. You don't have to worry about linemen coming on you. We call him a two-fer; he always eats two blocks. It's great playing with him. I'm glad when he's in the game.
On the team's change in mindset from last season to this season: We came out pretty aggressive. Last year I think at times we didn't come out as aggressive as we normally have. This year we have a different mindset, we just want to come out and give our all from the get-go, from the first quarter to the fourth quarter.
On what he expects the atmosphere to be like in El Paso: It's probably going to be very pumped. I heard it's been sold out for some months now. We're real excited to go down there and play UTEP.
On if Will Muschamp is different between a game and practice: It's the same. He's enthused and aggressive during practice. He'll praise you when you do well, and he'll jump on you when you mess up. He really cares about us. During the game we're already prepared. He's prepared us pretty well. From a linebacker, we didn't have too many mess ups.
OG Cedric Dockery
On the season opener: I was happy after the game. As a team, I thought we worked hard, and I knew it was a great performance for us. It was just a really fun game. On how the young offensive players performed: Blaine Irby played great. He had a really good game. He had like nine knockdowns and a lot of catches. He caught a lot of key passes.
On the offensive line's performance: The O-line did an exceptional job. We still have a long ways to go. I believe this O-line can be one of the best here at Texas. Coach McWhorter has emphasized that to us a lot. I appreciate how hard the other guys have worked, this being my senior year. I'm the only senior we have. They're doing a great job, we're all doing a great job working and progressing this year.
On why this could be one of the best offensive lines Texas has had: I think our focus has been a lot better this year. We've really worked hard at practice and given it our all. I believe we have great athletes with the two-deep, and just about anybody can play on this O-line. I think this year we're going to have a lot of success.
On UTEP: We're expecting them to come out there and play hard. This is going to be a tough challenge for us seeing as we have to go up to UTEP and be focused. It's an away game. We're at their house. Every college football game, you're going to have to play because if you don't play, you're going to get beat. It's not about the most talented team or the strongest and fastest team, it's about the team who is best on that day.
On playing so late at night this coming Saturday: I've always been an early morning guy, but you just have to stay focused all day, try not to fall asleep, just stay up, keep actively thinking about your assignments, what you have to do. I think everything will be okay.
On the schedule for this Saturday before the game: We sit around, we have meetings, we get to go back up to our room every now and then. We'll have breakfast and dinner. We just have to stay focused all day. On Adam Ulatoski's recent team award: The Boss Hog award. We call him Boss Hog Uli. He's a great player. He plays really hard. He's a leader, that's Ulatoski.
On the desire to win the award: I want to try to win it every week. I want to play my heart out. This is my last year, so I want to at least win it once. But whoever wins it, wins it. I just want us to play well as an offensive line.
On Colt McCoy's scrambling: Colt is an exciting player. I'll take 12 over any quarterback in the country, that's my quarterback. I'll protect him with my life. Every time rolls out of the pocket, I know something exciting can happen. You've seen in the game how much he's improved over the last couple of years. Colt is a great leader. He's an exceptional guy voicing his opinions and voicing his leadership to us.
DT Roy Miller
On the game day excitement: You just have to feel it, you know? You go out there and your emotions take over once you start getting ready for the game. It's a week long preparation. I was talking to somebody the other day, you can't get too tired wired up too early in the week. It's kind of a progression. But towards the end of the week and right before the game, all the emotions you've been trying to hold back, just going over plays in your mind, especially last week, hearing people saying things kind of gets you amped up.
On his performance in the season opener: I had a lot of production. I didn't think I really had that much because there weren't any sacks, but when you look back, I had a couple of hits on the quarterback and pressures. They say that's just as good as a sack. A lot of things happen when my teammates are able to help me and I help them. We're a team, we're going to keep helping each other and building on the things that we can, keep working towards the next game.
On the young defensive players' performance: I was impressed by the whole team. Everybody did well. I liked how Ben Wells played, I liked Earl Thomas, those are some of the guys that stood out to me. Earl Thomas played very well, special teams and everything. I really like the way he played. Week by week, they get more experienced; they get more confident. I've seen them in practice. I've seen what they can do. I've seen all the plays that they can make. Athleticism, I've seen all that. I'm just looking forward to seeing it come out in the game. That's going to be the most impressive thing to me. The full potential of this team coming out, that's going to be something I'm really looking forward to.
On keeping everyone grounded and focused for this week's game despite UTEP's loss last week: We worry about ourselves. Coach [Will] Muschamp worries about us a lot. He worries about the little things we do, so that's what we want to do. Like we say all the time, we're a blue-collar team, we go to work every day, it doesn't matter who we play. We're going to do the same thing every week, every day. We're going to get better, the coaches are going to get on us over the little things. We're just going to work. That's going to be one of our things this year - we're going to keep working every day. It doesn't matter. We're going to wake up in the morning, come in and do the same routine every day.
On how Will Muschamp's intensity fires up the team during the game: We see it all the time, but it's one of those things that gets you fired up, especially if he's banging on the ground. Coach Muschamp is very inspirational to this team, especially on game day. During the week is another thing, but you see him on game day, it's a whole other event.
On Aaron Lewis: He's very athletic. Great pass rusher, but he's doing very well with the run. He's a great person. Going back to the U.S. Army All-American game, we're great friends from way back then. He's a great player, he's going to do a great job this week. We're looking forward to watching him play. I know he's going to do a good job. He did a great job when he went in last week.
CB Ryan Palmer
On the young defensive backs in the season opener: It was a good test for them to get their feet wet. I think they did a pretty good job. Everybody played well. We watched film on Sunday, we made a couple mental errors, but that was a given in the first game. I think we played well overall. Blake [Gideon] and Earl [Thomas], they did good in their start, I think they got their feet wet. The sky is the limit for the next game against UTEP.
On his feelings after the first quarter: You never get discouraged. Like I said, it was the first game and you never know what could happen with a new defense. We still were kind of iffy, but when we came back after halftime, we settled down and realized that we really can run this defense. I think we played well after that.
On facing teams that throw the ball a lot: It's a good thing because against Florida Atlantic, we played against a good quarterback and UTEP has a good quarterback too. They throw the ball a lot too, so it's going to test us again and see where we're at this week.
On facing a possibly hostile crowd this week: The fact about Texas is wherever you go, it's going to be a sellout crowd. That's the good thing about coming here, you get to play in front of a lot of people. It's nothing that we're not used to, so we just have to go in there and make sure that we execute everything that we do in practice this week, just go out there and play well.
On this week's late start time: It's kind of crazy, I've never played that late before. But like coach said, it really doesn't matter when the game starts, we just have to go out there and play.
On the leadership role he took as a senior after the rough start last week: I just told them to stay calm, nothing really bad is happening, we just have to stay together. Like I said, they're going to make mistakes, we're all going to make mistakes, but you just have to learn from them and we did. We went out there in the second half and executed the defense.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
On how the players will spend their time this Saturday before the late game: This is the latest one I've played. We're going to be ready, it's just another day. No matter what time we play the game, where we play the game, when it's time to kick off, we're going to be ready. It's going to be similar to last week, just keep your calm. As the day goes on, you get anxious for the game, you just try to hold your composure during the day. But once kickoff time comes, we're going to be ready to play.
On the linebackers' performance in the season opener: We played pretty good together. We had a lot of communication on the field. We made sure that all three of us were on the same page at the same time, and we just communicated the calls within the defense. Together, as a group, I think we played pretty good. We still have some things that we can work on. Individually, I think I can work on a couple more things to better the group. On the improvements that can be made when looking at last week's film: Just my pass coverage, I need to work on that and tweak it just a little bit, focus more on where I need to end up in the pass coverage. Keeping offensive linemen off my legs. I think I got cut three times last game, so I want to focus more on that this game and try to eliminate those things.
On facing teams that throw the ball a lot: You have to make the adjustment a little bit, know that you're going to be doing a little more pass coverage or stopping the run. But at the same time, you have to focus because they will run the ball too. You just have to stay focused on stopping the run first and playing the pass second. We're going to be focused on it this week, and I think we'll step up to the challenge.
On his nickname: Everybody calls me Young Muck. I got the nickname when I first got down here. I was the youngest linebacker. One of those days somebody called me Young Muck, and it's been with me since '05. It just kind of stuck with me. Some people say I'll always be Young Muck to them, that's just my nickname on the team. On facing a possibly hostile crowd this week: I'm pretty sure they're going to come out with their best game. We just have to match their intensity. I think the game has been sold out for months now. We just have to come out and play Texas football, just step up to the challenge. I've been here long enough to see that everyone brings their best game when they play against us.
On Roy Miller's excitement: Roy gets excited. I don't ever want to tell him to calm down during the game. Before the game, he was excited, he was wired up. I was like, "Roy just calm down a little bit, save it for the game." But I'll never tell him to calm down during the game. Release the beast.
DE Brian Orakpo
On playing in pass coverage in the season opener: It's kind of fun out there, playing some LB. It was good. I can cover. I'm an athlete. I can play some DB. I mess with [Ryan] Palmer and all the guys, trying to do my back pedal thing all the time in practice. But I was out there covering a little bit.
On the defensive line's performance: After the game, we weren't really disappointed, but we didn't get any sacks. But after watching film, we were very pleased with ourselves. We got after it. I felt like we put pressure. He wasn't able to really step into his throws and he was throwing off his back foot. With the protection they were giving us, they had a mission to protect their quarterback and they tried their best with max protect, sliding the line left and right. I feel like we did a great job of getting after it and putting pressure on him and disrupting his passes. He completed some, but Coach Muschamp and the rest of the coaching staff were very excited about us getting after it.
On carrying the momentum into this week's game: This week, I feel like it's going to be a huge atmosphere. UTEP has already sold out their tickets, and I think you have to buy season tickets to even get tickets for this game. It's huge for us because we've never played in El Paso. It's going to be fun. It's another atmosphere and environment we have to go into, some adversity we have to face with their fans. We just have to go in there with a great game plan and hopefully come out on top.
On the late game time: I like the 6:00. The 9:00 thing is a little long, something we have to get used to. I like 6:00 games. I've never played at 9:00. We'll see how that goes. That's something different, but we'll be ready. On how the players will spend their time this Saturday before the late game: My thing is personal. I try not to go sleep when we have late games, I just stay up playing dominoes or something, trying to keep myself occupied. But 9:00 though, I guess I have to go to sleep because there is nothing to do in the hotel besides just watching TV and watching other college games. I'll probably do something, go swimming in the pool, I don't know what to do. It won't affect our game play though, we're going to come in there ready with a great game plan and scheme. It doesn't matter what time it is.
On the importance of the second game after so much excitement in the opener: It's very essential for us. We want to go out there and fix the problems we had in the first game and feed off of that. I felt like the first game was great for us because we had some problems, but we fixed it. One thing I like about it is we fought for four quarters. We didn't quit, we weren't complacent with the score or what was going on. We just kept fighting. It didn't matter what the score was, everybody was on the same page, everybody was ready to play four quarters and we haven't done that in a while, and I believe we did that this past Saturday.
On watching other college games: Me personally, I (enjoy it) because I get to watch a lot of players that I know around the country and just see how they do. It's fun to watch other guys.
On Aaron Lewis: The guy has been a starter. He was a starter before. He's ready to come in and make some plays for us. He's very versatile in what he does and it's really going to be essential for us.
RB Chris Ogbonnaya
On his spectacular catch on the sideline: It was a lucky catch, but I have to give a lot credit to the offensive line for giving Colt the time to roll out and to make that throw, because without them, he can't put the ball where he put it. Colt made a great pass. He put it in a place where I could get my hands on it.
On playing different positions: Coming in being recruited as a receiver, it always meant a lot to me to be a crucial part of the passing game and that's why I wanted to lose a little bit of weight, to become more versatile and give coach Davis and coach Brown an opportunity to put me into different positions than I was last year. With that being said, it feels great. I am glad I have another area to help our team win games.
On having several different running backs: Between me, Vondrell (McGee), Cody (Johnson), Fozzy (Whittaker) and some of the other guys, it is great for us to have four or five different guys that have to ability to carry the ball, catch the ball and pass protect. It gives us all the opportunity to play and it makes it harder on the defense. If we can stay consistent as a group and play well, it will be hard for the defenses to slow us down.
On worrying about UTEP: We try to play to our standards. We don't look at a team's record. We don't look at their comments because in college football, anybody can lose on any given day. We want to play to our standards and that is championship level football.
On the Cody Johnson's first touchdown: "Big Baby," Cody Johnson, I was real happy about it. He is a very passionate football player and he is very young and he will continue to get better. It was very exciting to see Cody, Jeremy (Hills), Tre' Newton and some of the younger guys to start to develop and understand the scheme of our offense and what it takes to win. Having him run up to me and push me around kind of hurt a little bit because he is 250 pounds. He is a big guy and to see the joy and excitement on his face was great.
C Chris Hall On which player he was most impressed by their performance: David Snow, he is true freshman, 18 years old and went out and played in front of 98,000 people. I know when I was his age I was no where near ready to play, and for a true freshman to play his first game to play against a good team like Florida Atlantic, I think that it was just great.
On what he is going to do all day waiting for the UTEP game: Because we will have more time during the day, we will have more time to focus and think about the game. When we do come up, we will be ready to play. Even though it will be a late start, our coaches have always done a great job preparing us in whatever situation we are going to face. UTEP is a great atmosphere to play in from what I have heard from my brother. He has played there before, and we are really looking forward to it.
On Roy Miller: Roy Miller is great defensive lineman. Going through my four years here, Roy has really helped me out as offensive lineman, especially this off-season, spring training and two-a-days. Roy's motor is cranked up two or three notches from where he was before. If he is not an All-American candidate, I don't know what one looks like. He is a great player.
On communication as an offensive line: We are still working on a couple things. Even when you come out and have a great offensive game like we did Saturday, there always things to improve. Coach McWhorter told us this, "Your greatest improvement as a offensive lineman is from game one to game two." I felt really good about Saturday, but of course there are things for us to improve.