Sept. 10, 2008
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis
On Quan Cosby: On the field he is a leader. He's always in control of his emotions, always in control of his body. I guess the best thing you can say about Quan is the long pass that he caught he didn't surprise me. The second play of the game he didn't come up with that ball, that did surprise me because he's just got excellent hands. He and Colt (McCoy) have a real good chemistry about where they're going to be within the framework of the offense. (He is) just really solid, both on and off the field.
On the different facets the offense can use: We try to do what the defense will allow us to, within certain parameters and we want to do something a little bit different each week. We featured the empty set a little bit more this week. I think we played it two snaps in the opener. I think we played it 12 snaps this week and got some really good plays out of it. Some weeks it will be a bigger part than others. The two tight end set, we've kind of been in and out just a little bit, but as the season goes on that will be more. We jumped in the I(-formation) the other day for one snap, we didn't perform very well in that formation. We've got a lot of guys that can play. We feel good about that and that allows you to do more different things.
On Fozzy Whittaker: Fozzy, prior to getting nicked up, we saw all those things that you saw on Saturday. He's got really good vision, he's got great lateral movement, he has the ability to slide in the hole and make people miss. In saying that, I'm not implying that he doesn't have really strong legs because he does. Several times he got hit right at the line, right past the line, and he moved the pile for four or five yards. I think he's really a good football player and having him back helps us get better because it gives us more backs that we feel comfortable we can play with.
On Whittaker's ability to make people miss:
I think several of them have the speed to go, but he has an opportunity because of the ability to make people miss. He's a little more shifty, so that gives him an opportunity to get to the secondary and make somebody miss back there.
On why he thinks the passing game has begun to dominate the landscape of college football: I think it's a combination of things. I think the high school quarterbacks are coming to college much better prepared than in years pass. I think defenses in what they're doing to two-back sets make running the ball consistently tough, and so spreading the field not only helps the passing game, but it helps the run game. I think especially in this state, I've said it many times, the 7-on-7s that our high school coaches do in the summer have really helped us not only evaluate quarterbacks but, like I said, come in with the ability to play quicker.
On if it will be difficult to not let the team underestimate Arkansas: Not at all. We're going to get a great shot from Arkansas, just like we did from UTEP and everybody else. When you watch it, you see good young talent that is adjusting to a new style offensively and defensively, playing better each week. We'll have our hands full.
On his perspective of the Texas-Arkansas rivalry: I told the offense yesterday, having grown up in this state, I want them to understand what this game means. Obviously they didn't grow up with this being a big game. I was a senior (in high school) during the '69 game, so all those kind of things that you grow up with in this state, this generation has missed, in terms of the old Southwest Conference. We've talked to them about it, and having coached at Arkansas, I understand it from their perspective, also.
On Arkansas' defense: They are much more traditional than last week. They do blitz quite a bit more than the average team. Through their first two ballgames they've blitzed about 60 percent of the time, which is a fairly high number, most of the Big 12 runs between 30 and 39 percent of the time. A lot of their blitzes are with zone behind it, various kinds of zone. They're aggressive in the way they play. They play both from a four-down and a three-down package.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
On facing Arkansas before with Auburn: I think visibly seeing the players on the field the last two years (is the most important thing). I've always looked at Arkansas, when Houston Nutt did a great job there, the way he got his kids to play, the passion they played with, I always admired that. Bob Petrino is an outstanding football coach. He's brought a pro style attack to what they're doing. I think he's recruited well, as far as the receivers are concerned, they're very athletic. He's kind of tweaked and turned his offense to fit the personnel they have. I think, from a personnel standpoint, just seeing the kids is one thing, but obviously schematically they're a lot different.
On comparing the competition in the Big 12 and SEC: It's every Saturday. You have to show up and play, and the one thing I've learned is everyone likes to play Texas, so you better bring your A game.
On the meaning of the Texas-Arkansas rivalry: I know that to the Texas people, this is a very important football game because of the history in the Southwest Conference and Coach [Darrell] Royal. So to our staff and our players, this is a very important game because it's the next one and because of the history of the rivalry. We understand what's at stake. You look at some of the great games they've had over the years with Arkansas. We understand the importance of the game and what it means to a lot of the Texas people.
On not underestimating Arkansas: I think we learned that lesson Saturday night against UTEP. They struggle against Buffalo and they played pretty well against us in some spots. Regardless of who you play, where you play or what time you play, it should not affect how you play. You ought to play the same way all the time, and you ought to remove the clutter from your life so when you step on the field, you play hard and you play well. The opponent, the time, the place, none of that should matter.
On his intensity on the sideline: That's why you coach. You see the development of a player, you see the development of a situation when you make a third-down stop and it works on the field. I've said it before - I really enjoy what I do. I have a good time doing it, and that's why you coach, to go out there and prepare the team for game day, enjoy the environment and enjoy the arena. There are a lot of folks that want to be doing what I'm doing, and I like what I do.
On why there are so many passing teams nowadays: I think there are a lot of reasons. I think the front is more athletic, I think it's harder to run the football. I think that because of the 7-on-7s in high school, you've got kids in seventh grade going to 7-on-7 tournaments, I think the kids are a lot more adapted to throwing the football. It's easier to recruit players when you throw the football. It's easier to recruit good athletes that can play in space. I don't think there is any question that it's had an effect on everybody in college football and in pro ball, spreading the field and getting the ball to your best athletes that can make touchdowns.
On the defense's improvement from the season opener to the second game: We improved in some coverage areas. I felt like we took a step back in the running game a little bit. I was disappointed with some of the runs early in the game, especially. Two of the main points going into the game were to start fast and end the first half. We didn't do that the first week or the second week. We look forward to another opportunity on Saturday. We played well in the second half for the most part.
On Sergio Kindle: When you turn on the film, he plays hard. Football is important to him and he takes a lot of pride in what he does. He probably gets down on himself more than anyone else. You can visibly see him upset at himself when he makes a mistake, and we have to get him out of that. Just play the next play, put the last one behind you and move on to the next one. I've been talking to him about that. But it's important to him to play well, to play hard, to play physical. He's a guy that exhibits that a lot.
On Lamarr Houston: From a football standpoint, Lamarr has always done what he's supposed to, and off the field, he has too. He's made one mistake, and I think he's learned from his mistake, like we all do. Coach Brown made a good decision to punish him in a lot of ways, and taking football away from him is a big punishment to that kid because football is important to him.