Player press conference quotes: Sept. 13
Sept. 13, 2010
S Christian Scott
On preparing for Tech with a new coach: Oh yeah, our coaching staff will have a good plan for us, and we will pretty much go at it with the same mindset as any other year, any other away game. It will be the same.
On the feel of the atmosphere of the Tech game: It is hostile. It seems a little different for me than any other atmosphere, but the game is still played the same way so you just try to tune out the atmosphere if it’s going to cause any negativity.
On playing safety with Blake Gideon: It’s great playing beside Blake. He’s a great player. If you’re nervous, he gives you that great comfort. I enjoy playing with Blake.
On Blake’s game: I love his personality. His personality on the field is great, and he’s really exciting to play with.
On the defense’s preparation for the Tech game: As far as the secondary goes, we’re always talking about turnovers: forcing turnovers, forcing interceptions. We feel like it will be really important for an away game at Lubbock. So we feel turnovers will be key in a game like this.
On starting and being in the mix every week: Oh, it’s unexplainable feeling. Just to be back out on the field with the guys that I’ve been working hard with, and we’ve all been working hard together. It’s just really exciting to be back.
QB Garrett Gilbert
On the performance from game two: I think we’re still a work in progress. We’re making strides to where we want to be. We accomplished our goal of being 2-0. There are times where we look like the offense that we do want to be. There are times in the first half, for example, in the third downs where we didn’t do a very good job. There is a lot of stuff we can take from that game and improve upon.
On his performances: I feel comfortable in the game situations. I felt prepared in the first two games. I felt like we were able to execute our game plan like we wanted to. I felt we were able to stretch the field out a little bit more than we had, and those are things that we can continue to build upon.
On needing to make a good start on the road: Absolutely. Going through the film yesterday that [was something] Coach Davis and Coach Brown talked to us a lot about; finishing drives into the first quarter, finishing drives into the first half and not waiting. I think we have put up quite a few points in the second quarters of the two games this year. We need to put up drives in the first quarter and continue to improve upon that.
On the difficulty of a loud crowd: Hand signals are going to be huge this week. We’re going to have to do a great job communicating with each other. I feel like I’m going to have to be a lot louder at the line of scrimmage. We’re going to have to be smart. The lack of hearing can cause false start penalties and we’re just going to have to be smart and communicate well.
On finishing games: Coming in last year, that was something we talked about in camp. Just being able to finish games - being able to start strong and in the fourth quarter still know exactly where we need to be and how to finish games and how to win them.
On his statistics: Being a very tough critic of myself you would like to complete them all [pass attempts]. We’re accomplishing our goals. We’re 2-0, and we’re doing a great job of taking care of the ball as an offense and there are a lot of positives there as well.
On S Blake Gideon’s influence: Ever since I have been here - even last year as a sophomore he was a leader on the team. Out on 7-on-7, he was always there, communicating with the younger guys, and now he has taken a lot of those guys under his wing. He told them how to do things and [has] shown them the way. He has been a leader since I’ve been here and that is the thing I notice about Blake on the field.
On the energy from the sidelines: The defense brought a lot of energy to the first quarter when our offense was a little bit stagnant, and Fozzy [Whittaker] makes a great run there in the second quarter and that livens up the crowd. I think that it feeds into everyone else and the sidelines start to come alive and from there on out we did a very good job with that.
On his leadership: Again, I think that is a work in progress, the vocal leadership part of things. That is something I continue to try to focus on and improve upon each and every week.
On playing well on the road: Colt [McCoy] did such a great job last year. It seemed like everywhere we went we felt comfortable playing there. Being able to look at the film this week we’ll see exactly how to handle that atmosphere. You learn a lot from those teams last year about how to handle the atmosphere. It’s a lot about communication. It’s a lot about staying to your game plan and playing your game.
On what the team has to do with a team that blitzes: As a quarterback I have to be able to communicate with the offensive line and then be able to communicate with the receivers and make sure we’re all on the same page on the field. We can see where the blitzes are coming from and how we need to adjust from that.
On knowing how Texas Tech plays: I haven’t had a chance to look at too much film from Texas Tech quite yet. I do know that they do mix in a lot of 4 down [linemen], a lot of 3 down [linemen]. They’re going to be very aggressive. They’re going to fly to the ball and we’re going to have to be very sharp offensively and really execute our game plan well.
On the Texas running backs: The three of them, like you said, all do different things very well. They’re all ready to play at any given time when Coach Applewhite throws them in there. Each one wants to make a big play whenever they get in there, and I think they’re all chomping at the bit to do so. They’re all very smart running backs and they all do a great job of complimenting each other and making plays when they get chances to.
OT Britt Mitchell
On playing in Lubbock with the fans: You just have to be really zoned into the game. The fans are right on top of you, screaming during the whole game, so you just have to really concentrate. I love it. I love someone just down on you - it just makes me play better.
On supporting QB Garrett Gilbert due to his inexperience at Tech: I think it helps us to tell him that, “everything’s alright” and, “we’ve got your back” and stuff, but I think he’s fine. He’s really calm under pressure. I know he hasn’t been in this exact situation, but he was in the national championship game. I don’t think anything can be more nerve-racking that that.
On the importance of conference games: I feel like every game counts. Everyone said it’s just Rice or Wyoming, but if you lose to them, your season’s in jeopardy.
On getting off to a better start offensively: I mean, there are a lot of things that we need to work on still. But I feel like we’re doing great each week. I think we made a huge jump from the first to the second week on offense and defense, so I think if we just keep on doing what we’re doing we’ll be fine.
On the Texas Tech defense: They have a defensive tackle that’s pretty good and they’re number three in the nation in sacks. They’ve got a pretty good defense, but we’re excited. We have a pretty good offense, so we’ll see.
DE Eddie Jones
On what it is about Lubbock that makes it difficult: It’s a different atmosphere. Their crowd is rowdy. It seems like their crowd always stays on our fans and team when we’re coming in. But I mean, it’s football. You’re going out and playing on the field. Wherever we are we just have to get the job done.
On the crowd pumping him up: For me, it does. I love adversity, and I love when people are pushing against you.
On Tech without Mike Leach: I couldn’t tell you much on what they’re doing. I think they’re trying to run the ball a little bit more, but they’re still passing the ball outside a lot. They’re just that high-tempo team. They snap the ball with a high tempo.
On Rice and Wyoming preparing UT for conference play: I mean, it’s conference. You have to always step your game up when you’re going into conference ball, and now you have clear goals. We’re going out to win the Big 12, but we have to be pushing every day to win that and it starts this week.
On what it means to play hard the entire game: You have to go out and fight. You have to go out and fight every play - no matter what time it is - when the play is called. We have to go out and just play our down and hope to make a play.
On the offense finding their identity: We’re a team. They play their game and we play our game. I think they’re coming together. Their identity is slowly showing, and our identity is slowly showing too. This is an entirely different team than last year’s, and we’re all slowly showing what our identity is going to be. We just have to continue to keep playing.
OG Michael Huey
On the Texas Tech crowd: It really doesn’t play much of a factor. I guess once you get on the field, you kind of get a little field vision and focus on what you need to do. You kind of just block out everything else.
On changes in the Texas Tech defense: They have a new defensive coordinator, so we expect something different to happen from them. But from the film, I’ve been very impressed by them.
OT Kyle Hix
On preparation for this match-up: Well, we’ve gotten increasingly better since the season started. We made big improvements from Rice to Wyoming, and we’re going to continue to work and hopefully make big improvements from Wyoming to Tech.
On this game being a gauge for the team: Tech is, like I said, a really great team. They’ve got [a] great offense and [a] great defense and it will really show us where we are in the season. It’ll be a good test for us.
On the importance of focusing despite the crowd: It’s very important to be focused when you go into a place like Lubbock because it is loud. It’s a hostile environment and you have to really be focused and concentrate on what you’re doing.
DE Sam Acho
On the Texas Tech atmosphere: I expect a hostile atmosphere. Tech has some great fans; they’re crazy, they’re loud. The team itself will be ready to play. I expect a hostile environment. It’s something we always look forward to. It’s a big game - national television, prime time. I will be excited.
On the Texas defense: We work to get better each week. With the defense you can never have a down game or a down week. It’s all about the effort, and we focus ourselves on working hard and playing hard every week. You can’t coach effort, so as long as we play our best there is never a down week or down game.
On knowing how Texas Tech plays: They have Coach Tuberville who has been at Auburn in the SEC, so we know they will be prepared and they will be ready to play. We have to prepare and be ready to play Tech and win our first game in the Big 12.
On Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts being a pocket passer: Potts played last year, and he is a great quarterback and has a great arm and they have a lot of great receivers. I wouldn’t say it’s any easier - it’s just a little different with a pocket passer. They have a lot of great receivers, and their running game has improved and Potts is back there doing well.
CB Curtis Brown
On S Blake Gideon: He is a leader, [and] knows what he’s doing. He picks up guys when they’re down. He’s just overall a leader. He’s not a senior but people look at him like he is one because he’s been here awhile.
On the Texas Tech team: They’re a solid group. They’re going to be good competition and I’m going to be ready to play against them. We will see Saturday.
On how the first two games have prepared him for this week: The teams we play are all different. Wyoming is a creative team also, but really you have to go in every week [and play]. It is a different coaching staff [with] different players, so you have to prepare for them. You can’t think of last week’s game and have comparisons.
On what he knows about the Texas Tech team: Their offense for the most part is still the same. They had 90 plus plays against SMU. That is a lot of plays, so we just have to go out there and play.
On what the team needs to do: We have to improve. Every week there is room to improve. We have to learn from our mistakes and improve from last week.