Sept. 15, 2008
DE Brian Orakpo
On the bye week: It was fun. My family is good. Everybody is good back at home. Just a little house damage and stuff like that, but everybody is straight. The weather didn't too much, it wasn't as bad. It was fine, and everybody is good.
With all the hurricane stuff, it was kind of different. We're in Texas, we're not used to hurricanes and stuff like that, not to my knowledge. To cancel the game, it was kind of tough at first because we were all pumped and ready to play Arkansas. Then all of a sudden on Wednesday night, we got a message saying the game was postponed and we were thinking, what do we do from there? It was an automatic bye week I guess. It was tough because we were so anxious to play. We had our game plan ready and everything. We had to flip the script and start studying Rice, it was so fast. That's what you have to do, learn how to adapt and go from there.
On being nervous before the storm: I was because being over here and not being able to get on the road and go back home or do anything was kind of a wreck because my little brothers and sisters are over there and my parents are out of town right now. I was like, what can I do from here? Luckily the storm didn't do too much as far as flooding and stuff like that.
On having people close to help get through such a situation: It's very nice. Ogbonnaya and all the other guys from the Houston area that are going through the same problems you're going through with your families and stuff, you have that special bond with these guys to talk and make sure everybody is okay. All of our families know each other's families, so we know if they're good, then most likely our family is good because they're in the same area and everybody is close to each other. That's a positive thing. Everybody is on the same page.
On preparing for Rice: We have to just get back to work. The show must go on. We've been going through this hurricane stuff and now we have to flip the script and start focusing on our opponent this week and go from there.
I watched film and they're looking pretty good. People are really going to be surprised. They gave Vanderbilt a good game last week, they were up on them 21-14 before halftime and Vandy is a team that beat South Carolina. Rice's spread offense is really doing well and they're averaging 400-plus yards. They have a good quarterback back there.
On the games this past weekend: I watched my boy [South Florida DE George] Selvie play Kansas. That was a nice game to watch and see how he compared to the Big 12. He passed the test I guess. That's about it. I didn't really watch too many others. I watched the USC game a little bit, but really just the Kansas game.
On everyone talking about Big 12 offenses: We can stay low key. I'm not worried about that. They do have great offenses. Every time you turn on the tube, someone's putting (a lot of points on the board). It's an offensive game, you just have to take it and run with it. We have to hope we can maintain, do what we do, stay low key, and hopefully get to where we want to be at the end of the season.
WR Quan Cosby
On the bye week: I went to Waco to visit some family. We got the edge of the storm, 30 mile per hour winds and a little rain, it was pretty interesting. It was all right to get away, but then again we're always ready to play. We prepared all week to play, so that was a little uneasy, but it was definitely nice to get away and relax. I have family in Houston also, so it was hard to see what they were going through in their situation. It could have been worse though. We were happy to know that everyone I know for the most part is safe.
On the games this past weekend: I watched a few of them. I tried to watch a few of the Big 12 teams and of course I watched a little bit of the USC-Ohio State game.
Even when I watch baseball now, I look at different things, different situations. It's double with football. Every little thing, I find myself looking at and talking about. People I'm watching with don't even notice it. You're in a little circle of people that look at things differently than most. It's always a cool thing to discuss with others.
On Sunday's practice: Practice was really good on Sunday. We had some really good work. The run afterwards was pretty interesting, but practice was really good. It was a lot of fun, nice to get back around the guys and know that most of their families were safe, and get ready for another week.
On the offenses in the Big 12: I definitely don't compare ours to the other teams or anything. But being a part of the Big 12, we definitely take pride in that and in my opinion, we're one of the best conferences of any. We take pride and deep down, we kind of wish that the Big 12 teams win, especially in bowl season.
On watching wide receivers from other teams: I definitely watch receivers, but it's more from a learning stand point, to see if something is or isn't successful and how they play certain defenses. It's not from a stats or numbers standpoint, it's more of a learning curve of different ways to succeed.
QB Colt McCoy
On the bye week: I went home and watched my brother (play). He had a game in Abilene this weekend, so that's what I did. It was fun, they played good. I came back and started studying Rice on Saturday. It wasn't too bad. I really felt like I should be playing though, that was a bummer.
On preparing for Arkansas and not playing the game: It'll just be better the next week because we've already prepared, we'll have an extra week of preparation for them. You just have to put that in the back of your mind and focus on Rice now. It won't be too bad because Rice and Arkansas do a lot of the same things defensively. They kind of have the same structure. We'll get to play that two weeks in a row.
On Rice: They're really good. They have the same coaches form last year, so we can kind of watch the film from last year and see what they did against us. But we just have to have a good week of practice. Like I said, they play the same type of structure as Arkansas, so last week's preparation will almost be the same for (Rice). They have a pretty good secondary. They have a lot of guys coming back, so we'll just have to be on point.
On the offenses of the Big 12: We love the Big 12. It's going to be challenge every week for us. There are no easy games any more at all. Everybody can compete and everybody has a chance to win. We love the challenge and look forward to playing them all this year.
On using last year's game against Rice in preparation for this year: I watched it the other day. I watched myself playing, thinking why did I do some things like that. We caught a lot of lucky breaks last year. I think we threw four touchdowns but at the same time, there were some bad throws. You can use that as a learning tool. I'm sure we'll run a lot of the same stuff. We just have to be on point and stay consistent.
On how the bye week changes the schedule for the rest of the season: We really used this to rest up. Coach Brown tells us to take care of our bodies. If you need to stay in the training room, stay in the training room and get well because we have a long stretch ahead of us. I really think it helped. It helped Charlie [Tanner]; he had a sprained ankle. He had that extra week to get healthy. A lot of guys had some bumps and bruises here and there. We used it in the right way. Everybody was around here all weekend pretty much. Now it's on to Rice and this long stretch we have coming up.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
On if he is ready to get back on the field: Yeah, I am ready to get back on the field. We had a week off, so I took advantage of it and just let my body heal. I got a lot of rest, but I'm ready to get back on the field to get ready for Rice.
On what he did with his time off: I went back home to Hallsville [Texas] and I was just home with my family. I went to one of our high school pep rallies and I just went back and had a good time back at home.
On if he watched any football games over the weekend: Actually, the storm came up through East Texas, so our power went out by 6:30 p.m., right before the Ohio State-USC game was about to come on. I didn't get a chance to watch anything. I was just listening to the radio and trying to find games on the radio.
On if his house and family are okay: Everything is okay, we just had a lot of wind. There wasn't much rain, just a lot of wind. Trees and different things were falling, but we were okay.
On if other teammates were affected by the hurricane: I talked to a couple of my teammates and it hit South Texas pretty hard. I talked to Rashad Bobino and I think he said that he couldn't even find his house right now. He thinks that it's under water. I think a couple of guys from Beaumont still have their things under water right now. It was a pretty serious thing for them down there. I prayed for those guys on Saturday night when I laid down, because I know their families are going through a lot right now.
On if it's nice to get back on the field: It feels good just to get back on track. Last week, due to the cancellation of the game due to the storm, it threw us off a little bit. But now, we are back on track and everyone is back and ready for football. Yesterday, there was a lot of excitement at practice. It's time to start getting ready for Rice. They are a pretty good team coming in this weekend, and we have to be ready.
On the Rice offense: I was looking at them and their offense has improved. They have some pretty good guys at quarterback and receiver. It is going to be a pretty good challenge. I know it's not the same Rice team that has been coming in here the past few years. We just have to stay focused and practice hard this week.
OL Chris Hall
On his reaction to his teammates having families being affected by the hurricane: Of course it is really hard. Everybody that was affected by Hurricane Ike was of course in our thoughts and prayers in our time off. I have some family in East Texas that is actually without electricity right now, but we're thankful that they are okay.
On having to turn around and prepare for Rice after preparing for Arkansas: That is definitely not the norm, so it's a little different for us. But the good thing is that Rice's defense, at least schematically, is very similar to Arkansas'. So as far as preparations for that kind of defense, we're thankful that it fell that way.
On if he marvels at the success they've had against Rice the past few years: Well, to be honest, we are really focused on Rice this year. If you really look at them, they've really played some good ball. They nearly beat Vanderbilt and they are playing really well. So, we are just focused on getting prepared for them on Saturday and it should be a good game.
On the offensive line having played well so far: Like Coach Brown says, there is always some good and some bad. There have been some bright spots so far. In comparison to last year's offensive line, we've got some more seasoning and some more experience together. But, you know, there's always stuff that we can get better at. We are just looking to improve on those things during practice and hopefully we'll produce on Saturday.
OT Adam Ulatoski
On what he did this weekend: I sat around and watched some TV and relaxed. I really didn't do very much.
On what he took from watching the games this weekend: I didn't actually watch a whole game or anything, but from what I saw, there's a lot of talent in the Big 12 and we are going to have to work and be on top of our game, every game.
On transitioning from learning the Arkansas defense to Rice's defense: They have an eight-front base, and they obviously have different players, so you have to watch them differently and see which techniques they do differently. But scheme wise, they are pretty much the same.
On if he knew anyone that was affected by the hurricane: I don't know many people on the coast that were affected badly, but I just know some people that are without electricity. I'm praying for them and I'm praying for everybody. But, I don't know many people that were directly affected by the hurricane.
On practice on Sunday: It was good. We had a full pads practice and we started hitting each other again, which was good. We are just really excited about playing. We saw everybody else play on Saturday, and I think we came out Sunday ready to play because we had been watching everybody else. We had a really good practice and we think that will carry over to Tuesday.
On playing Rice this weekend: Rice is a good program and they have a good team. We're going to come out there and play to our standard and just play to the best that we can.
On what he would like to see the offense do better: I'd like to see us run the ball better. We were so close on having a bunch of big runs, we just have to get those one or two blocks on those plays corrected, and I think that will improve our running game a lot.
On if he takes it personally that the running game improves: Being an offensive lineman, your name is not mentioned, but you take pride in seeing Chris [Ogbonnaya], Vondrell [McGee], Fozzy [Whittaker] and all of them getting yards. You know you are a part of that and you take pride in seeing that.
DT Roy Miller
On the mental adjustment the team had to make last week: It's a big thing mentally to let a game go. You've just got to focus. Ultimately, we just want to play against somebody else. Coming in yesterday and getting that practice in, it felt good that we've actually got a team to play this weekend.
On the team's goal for each game: We want to play every team at our best. We want to play up to our potential every game. We feel like when we play our best, we do a great job in the game. We're just looking forward to competing against somebody else.
On Rice's offense: Offensively, they've got a great offense. The quarterback's a great player, number 81 (WR Jarrett Dillard) is, number 12 (TE Casey James). They've got a pretty experienced offensive line. They like to run the ball a little bit. They like to do a lot of different things. We've got to prepare for it just like any other team. We expect them to come out ready to play and ready to try to beat us. We're looking forward to it.
On what coach Brown told the team to do with the weekend off: He told us we need to scout some (Big 12) teams like Kansas and Missouri and Oklahoma - teams we have on our schedule. Fortunately they were all playing, we had a good chance to look at them and they looked good. The Big 12 looks great, which is good for us that we get to play against great teams like that. Oklahoma looks dominating right now, they're dominating teams. Missouri looked good too, Texas Tech also, they looked good. Baylor looked good. Robert Griffin is doing his thing.
On if he had any loved ones affected by Hurricane Ike: I had quite a bit of family down there that came up to Killeen, and I got to go down there and hang out with them for a little bit.
RB Chris Ogbonnaya
On his family members affected by Hurricane Ike: My dad is okay. It was just kind of a nerve-racking deal. I couldn't get a hold of him for about 12 hours after it had happened. We took on a little house damage, a little flooding, some broken windows, but for the most part, he's okay, so I'm glad.
On the team's reaction to last weekend's game being postponed: We were real disappointed about the weather because we wanted to play, but it was something that wasn't in our control. It was probably something that should have been cancelled anyway because of the effect that it had in Houston and Dallas and stuff like that and Louisiana where a lot of our parents come from. We had the opportunity to still practice and get off of our feet for a little bit and kind of enjoy the weekend. It was just a tough deal. It's tough for a lot of people we don't know that are affected in Galveston, Orange or Port Arthur along the coast. You've just got to keep praying for them and hope for the best.
On if it is good for the team to get back on the field: Absolutely. That's one of the things that Rak (Brian Orakpo) and I were talking about that we were kind of getting into our rhythm, and with the cancellation of the game it kind of knocked us out of it, because we usually get that consistent flow going and we're ready to go. To get back out on the field was good because football is our gateway out of anything troubling us and releases stress for us, so it was good to be out there and practice and stuff like that.
On if he had the opportunity to watch any games Saturday: I did. We did get the chance to watch the games. It was good because it's always good to feel like a fan. When there's no pressure of a game that weekend and we don't have to prepare for it, it felt good to relax and watch some teams that you might not be able to watch. It was good. It was interesting. There are a lot of really good teams out there, which is exciting to see and a lot of teams that we have the opportunity to play, so we're looking forward to that.
On Rice: I got a chance to actually see a little bit of the Rice game. I think they were tied with Vanderbilt at halftime, which is really good because Vanderbilt beat South Carolina, which played Georgia really close. It was really interesting to see how far they've come and how talented they are. I think they are a really disciplined team and it will be a great challenge for us when they come to Austin this weekend.
WR Jordan Shipley
On what he did with his weekend off: I got to go watch my brother play high school football in Dallas. He plays at Coppell and they played Highland Park. That was really fun for me to get to go watch him, because I may get one more chance to watch him play this year. It was awesome. They got beat 57-41, it was kind of a shootout, but he had a really good game. He had, I think, seven catches for 165 yards and a touchdown and two pretty long kickoff returns. It was awesome. It was fun to watch.
On adjusting to the game's postponement: It was tough. Wednesday we thought we were playing still, you kind of prepare your mind mentally to go out and play a game and then they told us they had to postpone the game. It is kind of a weird thing whenever you're preparing for the game and then all of a sudden you have the weekend off. It was nice for me to rest my legs a little bit and get some rest. There's nothing really we could do about it, but it was good to get a little break.
On if he watched any games this weekend: I didn't watch the Kansas game because I was at my brother's game but I just kind of flipped back and forth between several different games on Saturday.
On the proliferation of the passing game in college football: A lot of teams are throwing the ball around a bunch right now, especially in our conference. It's kind of fun for me to watch as a receiver. I get tired of watching games where they just pound the ball over and over again. It makes it interesting, it makes it fun to watch and so anytime one of those games comes on, I definitely try to watch.
On the team's main goal for practice this week: I think the main thing we're trying to do is just refocus after the whole hurricane thing and not having a game. We've just got to come back and refocus and be ready for a little bit longer stretch of games than what we would have had. I think that we'll do that. We're just going to come out and play the way that we know we can and not worry about what happened last week.
OG Cedric Dockery
On college football this weekend: I was shocked by some of them. Everybody is good now. You've got to play every week. If you don't, you might be expecting an upset.
On the other Big 12 teams: I was impressed by Missouri. They have a really good offense. OU is strong as usual. Baylor looked pretty good. Their quarterback looks like he is a really, really good player. Kansas was kind of upsetting because I am always rooting for the Big 12. (South Florida DE) George Selvie is a really good player. He forced the quarterback a lot out of the pocket. Kansas looked good too. I am sure towards the end of the year they will have grown from that game. It is going to be tough game when we go there.
On the games to come: There are not any cupcakes. I can continually say that. Kansas, when I was freshman, we blew them out the National Championship year and where they came from then to now is unbelievable. They are a good team. They have a lot of good players and I respect them.
On forgetting about Arkansas: You never want to go into another week thinking about somebody else. You have to be focused every week on your plan. If you don't focus, bad things can happen. The focus this week is Rice.
On how good Rice is: Rice has a really good defensive line. They have some big guys in the middle. They look like big pocket pushers. They look athletic. Their defensive ends look like they are pretty good players. The offensive line is going to have in front of us a challenge this week. I'm just glad we are home and we'll have our fans to back us. I think it will be a really good game.
On the team reacting to the guys from Houston affected by the hurricane: This team is always been family-oriented. Most guys already know they can call the seniors or one of their buddies if they need anything. This team is all about the family atmosphere and being there for each other. I actually went to Dallas and one of my roommates had his grandmother stay in my room. It is a family atmosphere. If you need anything you give each other a call. I really love the atmosphere at Texas. It is really good friendly atmosphere.
CB Ryan Palmer
On bye week: It was good to be out, but we wanted to play. It was good to get some rest and watch some other games. I watched the USC game. I watched Rice play. I watched Missouri play, so I got to watch a lot of games. It was fun to watch other people play.
On the hurricane: I know a couple people in the secondary their house was flooded. You have to stand behind them and pray for them and hope everything will work out for them. When bad things happen, you got to have good people around you to lift you.
On Rice: It was good to have a week off and get a little rest to prepare for Rice. They have a good offense. They throw the ball a lot. It was good to rest up and watch some more film. They have gotten better. They played Vanderbilt well. They have a couple good receivers back. It is going to be a good challenge against them.