Player press conference quotes: Sept. 26
Gametracker (at Iowa State)
Sept. 26, 2011
OG David Snow
On maintaining the team's confidence going forward: I think it's just during practice, the competition. If you get full of yourself in practice you're going to get your butt kicked by the opposing guy. We definitely saw that. I thought this week a couple guys that might have done well or they thought we've accomplished something, they might have just kind of stepped down and been a little flat during practice. And it shows, especially during film the next day. Coaches will get after that. But just got to realize we're only three games into the season right now. We're 3 and 0, and that's great, but now we're starting to get into conference and these are the games that really matter. I just think every day in practice we've got to just compete, and if you come out flat during practice it's going to show. We've got to try our best during practice, and that really helps us out during the games.
On if he thinks the bye week came at a good time: I thought it did. We divide the season into little phases, and we just got out of the first phase. I thought a lot of guys that have bumps and bruises or are injured got a chance to rest this week. The next three games I believe we have another bye week. Bye weeks are always good just because you get to kind of relax and rest up. I guess it just bumps up the anxiety. You just want to play so bad. I'm just glad it's over and we have a game week this week.
DT Kheeston Randall
On if last year's Iowa State game and last year's UCLA game were kind of similar: Yes, they both like to run the ball, so just got to stop the run.
On what he learned from last year's Iowa State game: They outperformed us last season and we can't let that happen again [this] year.
On this year's Iowa State team: They're 3 and 0. They're very confident. They like to run the football. They have a nice, solid offensive line up front and some pretty good backs.
On what the UCLA game did for the team's confidence: Got us to 3 and 0, so that's good. We know we're on the right track, but at the same time it showed a glimpse of how good we can be, and it also showed us what we need to do to get better and become a dominant defense.
On if the bye week has been helpful going into conference play: It's been helpful. We didn't have a game this weekend, but most of us still worked out. So we're excited for this upcoming game.
S Blake Gideon
On the seniors taking a leadership role once again this week: Well, I think the main thing before the UCLA game was we just wanted to make sure that nobody was in vacation mode just because we're flying out to California. It was a lot of guys' first time on a plane, much less flying to a football game, so we just wanted to make sure that everybody understood it was a business trip. We were going out there for one reason and that was to win the game, and that was all. That's all the focus should be. You know, as far as this week, I think it was good to have an off week, to let the young guys kind of get over a big win. The biggest challenge now for them is going to be to not pay attention to all the people patting them on the back and really just lifting them up and telling them they're great and all that. It's going to be to "start over" every week. And that's how good teams become great, because they're able to start over every week and start working on Monday towards winning on Saturday. I mean, that's my job. That's all my responsibility. I've been there before. My job is to convey to those younger guys what they're going to experience, what they're going to see and what people are going to say and help them stay focused on the task at hand.
On the game against Iowa State last year: I think they came out with a chip on their shoulder. They came out ready to play from the opening kickoff. They really dominated us from the start, and the score made it look a lot better than it actually was whenever you watched the tape. For whatever reason, we didn't come out with that same edge, and maybe we were just patting ourselves on the back a little bit from the win the week before. I know that that's not going to happen this year. We're not going to allow that to happen. It's going to start tomorrow with a good work week.
On every game being a tough game: With the way college football is today and the way the Big 12 is, everybody is competitive. Everybody has great players, and you're just a couple of plays away from not being within your responsibility and a team like Iowa State exploiting you. Everybody has the same great athletes, and they're a couple plays away from putting it together and coming out with a big game against you. Just like last year, they came out from the start and they were ready to play, and we weren't.
On this year's Iowa State team: I think their quarterback, obviously he's the catalyst. He's able to sit in the pocket, has a big arm. He can read defenses. He has a good understanding of the offense. You can tell he spends time with his receivers, timing routes and things like that and just having a feel within coverage. They know each other very well, him and the receivers, and he can also get outside the pocket and do some things that could end up on SportsCenter if you're not taking care of your responsibility.
On what it means for the secondary when an opposing QB extends plays: Well, it's a different challenge. There's a lot of quarterbacks that you cover for three, four seconds at the most, and the play is over. It's a sack, a completion, whatever. But guys like this that can run around, and they have just another aspect to their game, then it's hard. For us we have to practice on getting our eyes back to the receivers, covering a second time, whenever you have them covered and the guy starts to scramble and your guy breaks deep on you, then he's open. So you have to continue to do your job and cover him more than once.
On S Nolan Brewster's decision to quit football: It's a tough situation. I've been good friends with Nolan since we were recruited together. He's my roommate whenever we travel to outoftown games. I mean, that's a tough situation. I talked to Nolan yesterday, and the main thing that I wanted Nolan to understand, and he does understand, is that playing with any kind of head injury, it's no sign of toughness. That's unlike any other injury that you can rehab and get stronger and prevent from happening. Head injuries, it's not something to play with. It's just been three, four years of frustration for Nolan, I know that. For him having to leave several games and just go lay in a dark room because it's that bad. It's a tough situation, but at the same time, he's not going to be too arrogant to know when it's time to stop and think about his future, and we all support that decision.
On some Central Texas players on Iowa State's roster: I mean, that's just a testament to [how] Texas high school football is spreading throughout the country. Schools are coming into Texas and recruiting more and more, and you know, it's the same guys we played against in high school. It's the same talent level. Just for whatever reason some teams haven't put it together yet, and I think Iowa State has really figured it out the past couple years, and they're starting to win more and more games. It's a team that you really have to respect or they're going to make you pay like they made us last year.
On looking forward to playing in a hostile environment: Sure, I think that's part of what makes college football what it is, to be able to go into that hostile environment to where you really don't have anybody on your side except for those guys that are dressed the same as you on the sideline. It's fun. You get that usagainsttheworld mentality, and you really go back to all the hours we spent up here in the stadium running and stuff in the heat this summer and all the work we've put in and that bond we've built because in the end that's all you're going to be able to trust and that's who you're going to rely on.
RB Foswhitt Whittaker
On if something happens to the third string quarterback that he could play at that position: [Laughing] I wish. I hope so. I'll warm up my arm tomorrow at practice.
On this offense's innovation allowing that to happen: I guess so. It's really - you can't really prepare. [Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks] Coach Harsin, he's kind of an unpredictable, thinkoutsidethebox coach. He's one of those guys, he's willing to do anything. I guess it's really not that far out of the question, but also I think he'll want to win. I don't think I'm the best option.
On him now returning kickoffs: Well, ultimately I've been back there kind of practicing. I haven't been returning kicks ever since I've been here, and so it's kind of a new role for me. But basically if the ball is kicked to me, I just plan to get the offense the best field position and yardage as we possibly can. If not, then I plan to just basically go be a lead blocker for the one that is returning and kind of get the play started, as we call it.
On what he learned from last year's Iowa State game: Basically it was an emotional loss for us, home game, losing by 7. We weren't really fundamentally sound, had a ton of turnovers. So that's one of the things that has stuck with me all the way through offseason, but ultimately this is a new team and a new year. We've basically focused on eliminating all the turnovers and basically focused on the defense getting more turnovers and taking care of the football and being more physical. That's some of the aspects that we've stressed over these first couple of weeks that created momentum to go into Iowa State and continue to do the same thing.
On if he as advice for the young players: Basically just always remember what's gotten you here. It wasn't just the fact that you had to go out there on the field, no preparation, no work and show up and all of a sudden you were the best in the country. You had to do something before that, which is always working hard, putting your head down, what Coach Harsin calls being a blue collar athlete, always going back to work no matter what. That's always something we stress each and every week. No matter what we did in the game or no matter what we did at practices, the next day we're always putting our head down and going back to work.
On facing a very confident Iowa State team: I think it's going to be a great matchup for us going into a hostile environment as theirs. hey're undefeated, we're undefeated. They have great fan support. Their stadium is very compact so it's going to be very loud for us and another true test of what type of character our team has whenever it faces adversity out there and how we'll respond to that.
On not looking ahead to other parts of the season: Ultimately it was put to me like this - the biggest game that you play is going to be your next game. Iowa State is who we're focusing on right now. There's a time and place for everything. So everybody later down the line, we can focus on them whenever that time comes, but right now our time is for Iowa State.
LB Emmanuel Acho
On his comments at UCLA to the team: We have a lot of young guys playing this year. We have a lot of young guys traveling with us, and so I wanted to make sure they knew why we were in California. I wanted to make sure they knew we weren't there to take a stroll on the beach, but rather we were there to take care of business. So it was a business trip. You can enjoy it afterwards, and that was my mentality going into it. I don't even know if I cracked a smile all week, but after I was probably the happiest person. I wanted to make sure they knew it was a business trip, how important it was to win that game, and hey, it worked.
On if he plans to speak to the team in Iowa: UCLA, I don't know why it was a big emotional one for me. Iowa State I think it'll be back to normal. That was the first big road game and everyone kind of knows. That kind of sets precedence for what we do on the road. It would be repetitive if it were something that happened every week, but rather the first away game let them know what this is all about. Let the young guys know this is how you approach away games, and now just take it and run with it.
LB Keenan Robinson
On getting a chance to play Iowa State again this year: Yeah, I do like the chance. That's what happens when you lose and you play the same team two years in a row. Hopefully we can come away and have the result, if not better, than what we had at UCLA. I feel like we need to start fast this week, make sure we jump out early because that would definitely help playing in an away environment, a hostile environment like it will be Saturday night. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to play again. Last year was definitely not what we wanted to put on film, but this year we have a chance to, like you said, put that to rest.