Sept. 24, 2012
OG Trey Hopkins:
On the OSU defense: I'm sure they're going to put up a good fight for us. Definitely the biggest challenge we've seen so far on defense.They have a very athletic front. We've been watching them on film. Apparently the last few years they've done a good job. It's going to be a big challenge, an exciting game.
On if they can contend for the conference title: Definitely. We're definitely a very big contender. We're doing some good things. We've been improving from week to week. We have to at this point to make improvements. Each person's skills seem to be better. [We try]know what each person does best, just continue to grow in that.
On if the offense has more confidence: You see a little more confidence around the offense. Everyone knows we know our assignments. We know when we're put in the fire, we can execute our assignments. They know we know what they're doing. We can complete the task put in front of us. So that is what they are expecting. And anything other than that won't be tolerated anymore.
On knowing they are capable: It helps a lot. There's been a lot of talk about just saying that we're confident, saying we're a better team. Now that we're able to put it on the field, for us to see, to see we're able to do this, we do it in practice, now it's just not in practice but in the games. We can see the stuff correctly translating from practice to games. That's a big confidence booster.
On seeing the hard work pay off by scoring a lot of points: It's exciting that something is coming out of it. We know when we're on the field we're going to score. That's a great feeling. Exciting to be able to celebrate with your teammates, corral around each other, say, “We're doing good things.” Having [QB]David [Ash] do great things, seeing his face light up, seeing him improve and make big plays, lead this offense. I think it's great just not for the offensive line but for everybody.
On OSU: Definitely, they're going to be the biggest opponent we've had thus far. They're a great opponent. They're a great team. They've dominated us the past couple years. We have to get back in that fight. That's what we're going to do this year.
On capitalizing on being 3-0: Definitely, like you're saying, we've been 3-0 many, many times coming into the season, and things have changed from there. Things have either continued to do well or dropped off dramatically as we've seen. The biggest thing is not to let the confidence become arrogance. I think the last couple years we've let that get to our heads. We've said, “Okay, we've arrived, don't have to put any more work in.” We have to continue to monitor ourselves. We haven't arrived, accomplished much. We've been 3-0 most of the years we've been here. It's not very important what we have right now. It's just looking to the future we have to know that we have to continue to improve each and every week or we will get beat.That's the bottom line.
QB David Ash:
On the team improving: Well, we're just improving everywhere on the team. I think the results of my elevated play is the results of wide receivers and the offensive line’s elevated play –running backs running the ball so well. I think it's a team effort.
On his confidence level: Well, I've always been capable of it. I'd say I don't think as a player your confidence level can ever change because if it does in a tough situation you won't be as confident as you are in a good situation. You have to be the same player all the time. I think it helps for me to be able to do that just having faith, believing that God has put me in any situation I'm in, and that He'll see me through it. Through any situation I'm in, whether it's a good game, bad game, good season, bad season, He'll always be faithful to me. I can rely on that and have a strong foundation, and I can be confident in any situation whether I played good in the past or poorly in the past, knowing I'm here for a reason. I'm here because He's put me here.
On the pressure put on a starting quarterback: For sure. You have to be able to be resilient through people's opinion of you changing constantly. I played good last week. Before last week, I don't think there was anybody who liked me. Now everybody likes me. In the future, I know there will be times when people don't like me and there will be times when they like me. They'll be analyzing every move I make. But to me none of that really matters because I already have the approval of a God who loves me and that's all I need, so...
On if the offense can continue with momentum: You know, it comes down to execution. If we come into this game, 11 guys do their job, we're capable of doing anything.
On the conference portion of the season beginning: It's still just football. There's still 11 guys on the field, 11 guys that have to do their job. Do the games mean more? Does winning your conference mean more? Yeah, I'd say so. This is college football. You have to win the first three to be in the BCS contention. Conference play is important because we haven't been on top of our conference in a while. That's been a goal of ours.
On if the level of competition is rising: Yes. Oklahoma State has a lot of good athletes, good football players. We have to prepare. Maybe doing our job this week will be a little harder against those guys. At the end of the day we have to do our job to get prepared.
On the amount of video study during a bye week: You get a lot more, for sure. It's an extra week to prepare. Not only that, you have the weekend to watch film. You have all of Monday to watch film. You're not having to learn your game plan just yet. You can just concentrate on watching film, trying to learn what you're going to go up against. A bye week is always helpful.
On OSU’s secondary: Yes, they're very talented in the secondary. They have a lot of speed, a lot of experience. They have some very good football players in the secondary.
On WR Marquise Goodwin: He's just great for our football team because he's experienced, been doing this for a long time, steady player, doesn't get high, doesn't get low. He caught a lot of balls last game, but before that he was playing great, just doing his job. Leadership like that is so valuable because it's not necessarily vocal or anything like that. It's just showing if you just do your job - whether it's just blocking, catching, whatever it is - if you do your job, it helps the team win. He's done a great job of that this year, showing other guys that's all they have to do.
On the offense’s progress:
Well, we've gotten better. We've improved. That's what the season is about. Each week you have to get better. From game to game you need to improve. That's what we're looking to continue, is to continue improving each and every week going into practice with the mindset of closing each play and getting better at it, taking it one play at a time, one day at a time. Hopefully at the end of each day we can turn around and say, “We got better today.”On co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin:
Coach Harsin's one of the most positive and happy person [I know]. He's a very positive guy. He's constantly telling us what it takes to win, what we need to do each and every day. He tells us, then he says it's on us to do it.
WR Marquise Goodwin:
On having a good game versus Ole Miss: I really say the re-emergence of the offense, not so much Marquise. Definitely credit out to David Ash, the defensive line, tight ends. They are setting the platform and blocking, giving David time to throw to me. So really credit to those guys.
On if he expects the offense to continue to have success: I think we really got on a roll versus Ole Miss. We've been executing, getting better day in, day out, been grinding, really just listening to Coach Harsin. He's been implementing a lot of things in practice, focus, execution. We've really been doing that. It's started to show on Saturday.
On making plays on the ball: Coach always emphasizes - my receiver coach [Darrell Wyatt] - when the ball is in the air, you go get it, no matter where it is. Tell the quarterback to throw it up, I'm going to go get it. I think that's why he was able to throw it to me. I told him, “Just throw it, I'll go get it.” Wherever it is, I just try to go get it. You know, he's really not an under-thrower. He has a great arm. He does great at practice. It was just one of those times he underthrew it. I had to go up and make a play. That's just what happened.
On OSU: They definitely have the respect of the Texas football team. Last two years they have had the upper hand. Like I said, they have our respect. But we're looking to reclaim our title back as the top team in the Big 12. Just really ready to play them. Good team. They have a good defense, a good secondary. Just looking forward to playing them.
On the OSU defense: It was different than my freshman year. They had a few good players on defense, but they managed to get some bigger guys down low. They have some great skill positions, really good on offense. That's what's been different about Oklahoma State since I've been here.
On starting conference play: Really, the way I approach them is all the same. I think of every game as a conference game, win, lose or draw. Everybody's coming out there ready to play. Everybody's trying to beat Texas. We have that target on our backs whether we're the underdog or whether everybody is expecting us to win. That's just Texas football. That's how it's been since forever. Really we're just looking to go out there, play our hearts out, give it a full effort, get ready to go.
On the bye week: I think we definitely did get a lot accomplished. Everybody is healthy, ready to go. Got some rest. Really rested our minds, rested our bodies. Everybody's ready to go out there and play. Coach [Brown] is always emphasizing hydration, taking care of your bodies. We had a week off, and we were able to do that. They really took care of us during practice, the coaches, so we're able to go out there and play to our utmost ability this weekend.
On if he watched football over the bye week: I definitely just sat back, relaxed, didn't watch any football. I was with family. Visited my high school. Just had fun back home. Just hung out really.
On if he had time to relax after all that has happened this summer and fall: Definitely had a little time to take a breath. That three-hour drive home. That was exciting this weekend. Just really got to go home, chill, lay low for a little while. But now this week, it's back full tilt, ready to go, preparing for Oklahoma State. I got a few hours to myself. For the most part I just went home, saw family. Now it's just preparing for Oklahoma State.
On if they can contend for the conference title: Definitely we're contenders. Like I said, we're Texas football, and we belong up there at the top. I'm really confident in our team. We've been preparing. Now all we have to do is go out there and execute like we did against Ole Miss every day, we'll get the job done.
On younger guys doing their part: Definitely. You know, I think the depth that we have is definitely going to help us as long as the young guys remember that when they go in, that's their opportunity to shine. That's their opportunity to show coach what they can do. It's really been in place since the first game. If coach doesn't have the confidence to put a younger guy in, he's not going to be able to go in. They've been doing really good, studying plays, getting ready. [WR/RB]Daje [Johnson] is back onboard. He's ready to go. He's a young guy. He produced in the first game he played. We're just really looking forward to the receivers doing our parts, everybody doing their part so we can try to get this “W” this weekend.
WR Mike Davis:
On if they can contend for the conference title: Contenders. We’re going into a hostile environment, good team. They beat us twice in the last two years. So we have a lot on our shoulders. We have to get it off. We have to come out and play with an edge to win the game.
On being ranked: [It] doesn't really matter where we ranked. It's just a number. We just have to win 'em all, play hard like we've been doing, win our one-on-one battles, just do our jobs. We'll be already.
On if the passing game is emerging: I think you're seeing it. Hopefully keep going. Running the ball real well, throwing the ball real well. When you have a balanced offense like that, we can play as good as we did last week. That's really good.
On the offensive improvements: I just think everybody is on the same page. Everybody is doing their job, being accountable to the man next to them, practicing, getting it done.
On being 3-0 and improving from previous years: We always talk about it. The thing about that, you know, we didn't finish strong. But this year we going the right path, heading the right direction. Hopefully it will be a change.
On QB David Ash this season: Smarter, stronger, more calm in the huddle, better leader. ust more mature. He knows everything. He knows what he’s doing. More confident in himself [and] us as his receivers. [He’s] leading his team the right way.
On co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin: He's a nice coach, a great coach to be around and play for. Just fun to be around. Just honored to have someone like him coaching us. You can talk to him about anything. Just go to his office or even call him.
CB Carrington Byndom:
On watching film from the Ole Miss game: It wasn't as bad as it may have looked. We definitely have some things to work on. We definitely can't afford to give up big plays. That's one thing we know. That's one thing we saw on the film. That was the biggest thing for us during the bye week - something we need to fix for the rest of the season. I think just all in all we need to limit the big plays. We are creating turnovers, setting up the offense in good field position. It's not as bad as it looks, but we still can do a better job in not giving up the big plays.
On OSU’s offense: This definitely is an offense that's capable of it. A high-powered offense. We know that. Going into this week, that will be another one of our main goals, not giving up the big plays. It's what happened last year. We had two big run plays, though. But they have the capability of doing both, run and pass. But just not giving up big plays in general will help us in this next game.
On if the team improved during the bye week: I definitely think we did. Had another week to prepare, another week to practice definitely helps. In general, just as far as improving, I know we will. You do as each game goes along. Each week, I think that's another goal for us, just to improve. I think we're taking another step in the right direction.
On being 3-0 and improving on it from year’s past: I think we started 3-0 in the last six years or something like that. It's kind of something that has happened around here. I think for us as a team this year, we're looking at continuing to keep it going, not just be 3-0, 4-0, 5-0, just keep it going, playing each week like it's the last. The ultimate goal for this year was to win all the games. This is a stretch that we need to do it in.
On contending for the conference title: It's week one. It starts it all. This is where we make our statement about being conference champions. This is where we do it. This is the first game. We want to win it all, the conference championship, everything like that. We have to win this game.
On what changes with conference play starting: I don't think much changes. The ultimate goal is winning all the games. We won all our non-conference games. Now it's time to win all our conference games. We don't look at it any differently.
DE Jackson Jeffcoat.
On OSU’s offense: They're very talented. Looking at the stats, they have a great offense.
It presents a challenge for us. We're excited to have a challenge. We always like to have a new challenge. It's exciting to get into the first conference game. We're all very excited.
On Texas’ defense: Like I said before, you can't really tell until after the season how good a defense is. But we're definitely improving and getting better each week. That's what our goal is, to get better. Not trying to look ahead, just looking at what we have in front of us. Oklahoma State is in front of us, so we have to study them, get ready.
On what the defense did during the bye week: We just went back to working on the basics, working on us getting better as a Texas defense, worked on our plays. Just worked drills here and there, tackling, turnover circuits, things like that. Just things you normally want to do. Things we normally do every week of practice.
On if getting sacks is a challenge: Definitely. It's exciting. When you have a team that hasn't been sacked, we want to get pressure on him and sack him, create turnovers. It's fun to have that challenge set in front of you.
On starting conference play: It's the teams you played against before, the teams you're used to playing. They don't always do the same things. But it's just, I guess, you'd say familiar faces. It's exciting to get into conference and play the teams that we've been playing in the Big 12. I wouldn't say this is a statement game. I'd say it's the start of conference. That's what we're excited about. I mean, you want to start your conference game out right.
On the difference in OSU’s two quarterbacks: Both quarterbacks are good. If any of them play, they're going to be good quarterbacks. We have to keep them out of the pocket. They want to sit back there and throw, try to pick us apart. That's our job as the defensive line, move 'em out of the pocket, move 'em around, not have him be comfortable.
On if it is harder to prepare for both quarterbacks: No, because they're both on film. They both played a lot. You get to see both of them playing. That helps. Now, say, if it was a team that hadn't played a lot, the guy hadn't played a lot, it would be different. But we've seen them both play.
On the OSU running backs: They're very talented backs. They're very talented. You have to have them in your game plan and focus on them because they can break. That's what our job is to do, contain them from not making big gains, because that's what they did to us last year, and that hurt. They can run the ball. A lot of people didn't think they could run the ball. They've made some big plays on us, and that hurt for sure.
OG Mason Walters:
On if the offense has more confidence since the Ole Miss game: Oh, yeah. We've had the success the last couple weeks, thought we played well at Ole Miss. The thing you have to be careful about with that, you still have to work as hard as you did day one. Last couple years haven't been what we wanted to be around here. There's a reason we've been working hard. We don't want those results. We have to stick to that.
You have to handle success the same way you handle failure.
On QB David Ash: I really see him working hard, doing the same things. Saw him this morning watching films, as he always does on Monday. Sticking to the same schedule. Maybe we have a little more confidence in what we do, which is good, but you don't need to get overly so. Get ready to practice tomorrow, get ready for OSU. [They were] conference champs last year.
On starting conference play: We talk about conference all year, all off-season. You want to win your conference, that's our goal. Now we have a chance to go out and start taking the steps in the direction to accomplish that. You can never overlook pre-season. At the end of the year you have to win those games to be in it. It's important. But really the motivation you work all off-season for comes from your conference opponents, and now we're at a point where we can go out and start winning games to reach the goals we've set for ourselves.
On OSU being 2011 conference champions: I think it's a little bit tougher on them. They have the target on their back. They won it last year, all the other teams know that. I really think it's important because it's the next game on the schedule and you've got to win it to be undefeated.
CB Quandre Diggs:
On the secondary learning from the game against Ole Miss: We’re seeing things we need to fix. The coaches have pointed out the things we need to fix. But it's all things that are correctable. I know y'all have heard it. All the things that we've given up the whole year are all things that can be corrected. We just have to get better communication, better tackling angles and we'll be a lot better. We just have to focus a lot better. Got a lot of hype in the off-season. We have to continue to play our game and quit worrying about that stuff.
On the defense’s overall performance: It's still early in the year. We still have a lot of areas we can improve in. I feel like we still can be one of the best defenses in the country. We just have to come out focused and just keep our heads out of the magazine.
On the OSU offense: Those guys are good. They play great. They have two great quarterbacks, a great running game. We just got to, like I said, focus this week, take everything very serious. Just have a great week of practice. Just come out and play our game. We just have to worry about ourselves. [If] we take care of things on our side of things, we'll be fine.
On what the team wants to accomplish this week: Just go for a win, that's the most important thing. Doesn't matter if you want to call it dominating fashion or not. A win is a win. We can win by 1 point or 30 points. We're still going to be 1-0 if we win by 1 or 30 points.
On playing against OSU’s fast-tempo offense: It's fun. That's the reason you come into this conference to play defensive back. You know there's a chance you can get up to 50 balls thrown. You go out and compete. That's what DBs love. You love to get tested. It's something that I feel like we can handle. We're up for the challenge. We're just ready to go.
On if teams don’t throw his way: I don't know. I'm just going to go out and play my game. If I don't get any action, that's them. But at the same time at corner you want action. You want to bring action your way because you want to make those plays. I have a great secondary. Those guys are all going to come out this week and show out. Might not be in the game plan for them to throw the ball that way. You can never think too high or too low of yourself. You got to stay even keel. I'm the type of guy, I just want to go out and be able to play my game, help my team win. That's the main thing for me. I want to get that “W.” don't care about stats or anything like that.
On OSU’s ability to run the ball: We ahve to respect it. They ran for almost 200 yards rushing on us last year. Of course, you're going to have to respect it. Those guys, they practice just like we do. We just have to come out, focus on our keys and we'll be fine.
On preparing for two different quarterbacks: It's going to be tough. Both of those guys are great players. I think one is more of a dual-threat, one is more of a pocket quarterback. At the same time you have to focus on both of those things because you have different keys. Great practice this week, great focus, we'll be fine.
S Kenny Vaccaro:
On his assessment of the defense: I think in practice we are just focus on getting our big plays off the film and just working our tackling and our angles. That's our big emphasis.
On starting conference play: Honestly, as far as it being my senior year, I approached every game, took it serious. Nothing changed for me. The games do start mattering more towards the Big 12 championship, but nothing changes. It's the next game.
On if he enjoys playing against a fast-tempo offense: Yes, definitely. It's definitely fun to play offenses like that. It's fun going against traditional offenses again, not so much teams we played against. New Mexico was option, different types of offenses. I mean, the way that Oklahoma State runs their offense, there's a pass and run always set up. I think with them you just got to prepare and be ready for both.
On preparing for the two OSU quarterbacks: No question, when you have a guy that can run around, it's a lot more game plan for us. You just got to prepare for both. The main thing, do the things we do do best. Don't get too far outside of that.
On turning things around against OSU: That's definitely one of our goals, is to go up there and handle business. But, yeah, they definitely got the upper hand the last two years. We want to change that.