Oct. 1, 2012
OG Mason Walters
On the importance of being physical: I think it's important every week. Even more so this week. West Virginia is coming in with an explosive offense and defense. We're going to have to do everything we have to keep that offense off the field, if that's just running the ball, get a few more plays. Everything we can do will help. Being physical late in the game, like last week, helps that.
On endurance as the game goes on: Coaches always talk about winning the game throughout. So later in the game you've worn your guy down. The first three quarters allow you to rush for 77 yards or whatever we had in the fourth quarter. That was a testament to how we played the first three quarters of that game. Hopefully everybody is buying into more so going on into conference play.
On the thought that West Virginia can always come back from a deficit: I think we're going to go in with the attitude that every time we get the ball we're going to have to score a touchdown. Even if you're ahead of them, they can come right back. If you get behind, you don't want to be there long because they can stretch that out.
On the West Virginia defense: We'll see. Start looking at more film, do a lot more of that today. I know they've got some athletes on their defense. They're going to be good. Even with the numbers last week, everybody has a good offense in this conference. Everybody is able to play ball. So you can't look at that and think they're not going to be a good team. They've got athletes. [They] play good, sound football. We'll have our hands full.
On QB David Ash’s difference in game-time demeanor: I think it's just a process. I think every player goes through it at some level. It's just not as micromanaged as much as it is at the quarterback position. You can't expedite that process. It's maturing, growing up. It's the difference between a freshman offensive lineman going out there and getting beat - it's not talked about as much as a struggling freshman quarterback. It has been really good to see him start having that success that I know he has been working towards. I know he's capable of performing. It's been good. Really I expect it to continue because he hasn't taken any days off since he's been playing well.
On if Ash’s play give the offense more confidence: I think as of lately, David has been commanding that position. It's easier to build off that confidence that he's exuding in the huddle. We're going to be in that position again sometime this season. It's really inevitable. You try to be ahead at that point in the game. Sometimes just doesn't happen. We're going to be in this position again. We've been in it once. We should expect to be able to perform there. Doesn't really get more stressful of an environment than that situation. We should be able to handle whatever is thrown at us now.
On RB/WR D.J. Monroe It's great. D.J. has been here for five years. He was older than me when I came in. I feel like he's really old. Just to see how he is week in and week out is really inspiring. There's guys out there like D.J. that have put the time in and really deserve to have it handed to them, and they still work their tail off. It's good for everybody, especially young guys to come in and be able to see selfless acts.
On if Monroe will make it to the NFL: If he aspires to, he's capable of it. He's going to work his tail off to do it.
QB David Ash
On being second in the nation in passing efficiency: I mean, yes, that's important. Completions, good decisions, high-percentage throws, things like that are very important in creating successful drives that score points.
On the mindset that it is him versus the West Virginia QB: No, I'm not playing against Geno Smith. He's a great player. West Virginia is a great team. Their defense is talented. My job is to do my job, to try to get the guys on my team ready to do theirs. Hold them accountable, they're going to hold me accountable. This week we're going to prepare and game plan.
On how he has changed from his first start: I've had to learn the difference between a high school game and a college game. In high school, I kind of had a little gun-slinger mentality, ran all over the field, throw as hard, as far as I could. It was fun. But the college game is different. You have to understand the risk involved in everything you do, understand how good the other team you're playing is, make your decisions and understand that you've got a lot of good athletes around you. There's so much more you have to take into account when making decisions back there.
On if it takes time to mature as a QB: Yes, for sure. Different quarterbacks, it takes different amounts of time. But there's been some quarterbacks who can come in as a true freshman and get a pretty good handle on things. As a quarterback, as players, as people in general, we're creatures of habit. We create habits daily. You probably don't even know the habits you have. So whenever you're coming into a new place, a new situation, learning a new offense, playing a different kind of game, you have to create some new habits. Sometimes you have some really bad ones you got to get out of and form new ones. Sometimes it takes a while.
On if there is an advantage to facing a good team early in the season: Well, I don't know, you know. I guess it's fair, I can say that. They've had as much time to get better this year. If we face them at the end of the year, they would have gotten that much better as a team - we would have improved that much as a team. So it's fair.
On the fourth down conversion to TE D.J. Grant against OSU:
I don't think a lot's going through your mind. It's kind of just like, “Well, I hope he catches it. I'm fixin' to throw it. I'm about to pull the trigger. Hope he catches it.” Well, I think the cool thing about it was we were there on the sideline, we're going into a clutch situation. I'm there telling them the situation. They probably all know anyways. But I'm saying, “There's so much time left. This is a time not to shy away. This is a time to go play. Do your job. Get out of bounds. If you can't get out of bounds get a first down so we can try to save as much time as possible.” As I'm saying that, Coach comes over and said, “We're all going to win this game, we just have to believe.” I believe the whole team bought in. Showed some great resiliency. Came out. There's a lot of emotions going. We were able to get the “W” like that. The thing about an emotional win like that, all the hard work you put with your team throughout the summer; seven-on-sevens, off-season workouts, it pays off in the final seconds of the game in a highly emotional, hostile environment. [It] really unites you as a group. I thought that was pretty cool.
On RB/WR D.J. Monroe: So blessed. I can't explain. He's good. He gets the ball in his hands and he makes things happen. He provides a spark. He's been playing football for a long time here. He's calm. He's able to bring a swagger to the team and play-making abilities. o blessed to have D.J. on the team.
On how exciting this Top 10 matchup will be: Well, it's exciting. There's going to be 100,000 [fans] plus out here supporting us against a great team. It's pretty exciting because it's been a while since we've gotten the opportunity to be in this situation. It's taken a lot of hard work. We don't need to forget that. We just need to make the best of this opportunity.
RB/WR D.J. Monroe
On his career twist and turns: I've gone from wide receiver to running back, back to wide receiver, kind of back to running back. Now I'm just a little bit of both. I mean, I've accepted my role as a player on the team. At this point I'm just doing whatever it takes to win, not really worrying about the whole position thing.
On how he would describe his demeanor on the field: I’m definitely not calm on the field. I am just one of those guys that gets into the game. I get to jumping and hollering, I'm so into it. I don't know what you would call that. I just stay into it, to be honest with you.
On his valuing his contributions to the team: Yes, like if I'm getting the ball or if I'm not, I try to show people that I can block, I can catch the ball, I can carry the ball, go in, run a motion. Yeah, I can do it all. You have to set that example because you have some freshmen that come in and don't absolutely understand their role. Then when you show someone, “Hey, this is how you do it,” they get a chance to do it. They understand that you're not doing it just because they want you to, you're also actually helping the team.
On his role on the team this year: I took it into myself not to run track the second half of outdoors. I just wanted to come back to the team and be more of a leader. I also lift weights really hard this year off-season. This summer, me, Mal[colm Brown] and Joe [Bergeron] and [Johnathan] Gray decided to work at 12:00, the hottest part of the day. It was not fake weight being put on, it was real weight.
On if he felt he was contributing enough his previous years: I wasn't ever a selfish player. I've never been a selfish player. I didn't really buy into it, to be honest with you. Everybody would like more touches, more playing time. As long as we are winning games – [other players] doing the same thing I could do on the field, it really doesn't matter to me. I just want to win for the University of Texas.
On how this game will differ from the last home game against New Mexico: I think it's going to be different. You have two top-10 teams coming in. I think it's going to be a shootout. I think everybody wants to see this game. Texas Longhorns are going to come and perform. I hope the Mountaineers do.
On sharing time with other running backs: You know, if you think about it, the University of Texas has always been like that. In '07, you had Chris [Ogbonnaya] and Jamaal [Charles]. They split roles. Every time Jamaal got in, he made it happen. Every time Chris got in, he made it happen. That's why I never got mad at it. It's always been that way. You can't change something that's always been going in. When I do get in, I take full advantage of my time in, try to score a touchdown.
On his reaction to his 100-yard kickoff return against OSU: I don't know, to be honest with you. I didn't know how to react to it. I knew that was my third [career kickoff return] touchdown. I wasn't sure if it was a record because I couldn't remember. I was pretty excited about it. I just think everybody [on the return team], I thank them first before I took the credit. Those guys are there for me blood, sweat and tears. I've always told them, “Just get on your man and hold on and I'll do the rest.”
On if his freshman year seems like yesterday or a long time ago: To be honest with you, it just seems like yesterday. Flew by fast. I can't believe I have a couple months to get finished with school, have a degree, [and] go into the real world.
WR Mike Davis
On his fourth quarter 32-yard reception: Well, this year I always had it in my mind to just be aggressive to the ball. I have the mentality that when the ball is in the air, make a spectacular catch. I do it in practice, one-on-ones, just taking the ball. I just know [David] Ash threw a great ball, enough air on it where I could jump and get the ball. It feels pretty nice.
On Coach Brown mentioning he seems more mature than before: I agree. Last year a lot of things were going through my mind. I really wasn't as focused as I am right now. Like now I can have a short-term memory. If I mess up on a play, drop a pass, I forget it right then and there, just keep playing. When the next ball comes to me, I catch it. I think since last year, I matured a lot, have grown a lot. I've become really focused.
On going against West Virginia: West Virginia is a good team. Offense is really good, defense is really good. Our offense and defense are really good. It will just be a really great battle.
On RB/WR D.J. Monroe: D.J. has been like a driven player. Always confident, tough. He really runs like he's 200 pounds. He's just been doing great this year. I like how he’s playing.
On Texas’ offense: Our offense has grown. Our offense is clicking now. But it really doesn't surprise me they're talking about West Virginia because they've been doing a great job. They're a great team. We'll just see Saturday how everything goes.
CB Carrington Byndom
On what is at stake this weekend: I think a lot's at stake. We know we have a tough opponent this week. Top-10 team. Another Big 12 game as it is a conference game. So a lot is on the line.
On West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith’s ability: It's amazing. Great quarterback. We know that he's able to handle the offense and going to put up a lot of numbers. As a defense, we know that our goal for this week is just to stop them and limit the amount of yards, points and things that they're able to get.
On what the Texas defense needs to work on: I don't think it's just one thing. I think you can always work on a lot of things as a defense. You know, just anything in general. There's always a lot of room for improvement. I think we have ways for some room to improve. We have a lot of things we need to work on. There's not just one thing, there's quite a few things.
On the defense: We haven't played to the standard we think we're capable of playing. I think there is a little frustration to get back to the way we know we're capable of playing. I think for us, we just know that we aren't playing the way we're capable of playing. Giving up big plays and things like that with missed tackling and stuff like that is just not things that we expect. So just getting back to playing our style of defense is what we're looking forward to, trying to accomplish [that] this weekend.
On this week’s challenge: Just like last week, Oklahoma State was number one scoring offense. Coming into it, we see that as a challenge for us. Again, with the numbers that Geno put up last week, we know again it's going to be a challenge. I think we're ready for it. I think we're ready to step up and rise to the occasion.
On how much the preparation for OSU helps to prepare for West Virginia: Definitely two explosive offenses. I think also down the line we're going to get explosive offenses, too, that run the same [things], similar offenses that are going to put up points and are quick-tempo, things like that. I think this Oklahoma State game was definitely key for us. It definitely is going to help us moving forward into the next week and the weeks after that.
DE Jackson Jeffcoat
On what is at stake in the game against West Virginia: Well, it's another conference game. It's very important to win conference games, especially in your house. That's very important to us, winning games and protecting our house.
On how important this game is to the team: I wouldn't say that this is our defining moment of being back. I mean, we need to win. We need to go out there and win. This is an important game for us to win, especially because it's our house. That's very important. And it's another conference opponent.
On the Texas defense: Well, we're not frustrated. But we're not happy with the yards we've allowed. I mean, as a defense you want to have shutouts and shut people out, keep people below 100 yards. That doesn't always happen. But we're working on getting back to that and improving on what we've done.
On playing at home after nearly a month: It's definitely exciting to come back home. We've been away for three weeks. Our crowd is excited. They'll be in this game. It's a conference game. So we haven't played a conference game at home this year, so it's going to be very exciting.
On his thoughts on West Virginia QB Geno Smith: Well, cool dude. I actually got to meet him at ESPN studios. He's a laid back guy, real cool. We chatted it up. Talked about anything. We had small talk. Talked a little bit about him coming here. He said he was excited to come. I told him it was a good place to play. So it should be fun. He's a great player. The guy sits back there and makes great plays. I mean, he has talented athletes at wide receiver. I remember I had said in an interview that he was fast, he could move around with his feet. He kind of laughed because I guess his fans don't think he's fast. But if you see him on film, you can tell he can run. That's something he doesn't want to do. He would love to sit there in the pocket and pass.
On the ESPN “car wash”: The ESPN car wash was fun. It's really when you go through a bunch of shows on ESPN, radio, television - me with all these guys, - it's just a lot of fun. Got to meet some good people. [OSU RB Joseph Randle, [Kansas State LB] Arthur Brown, Geno Smith - we were all there for the Big 12. It was a lot of fun.
On if it frustrates a DE to chase a QB around: No, it's not frustrating. We like to move, too. People running around. As the defensive line it's fun because sometimes a guy will try to get out of the pocket and run into you, help get a sack. A lot with the movement we use, it will be hard to find lanes to really just scramble out of.
On if he will treat Geno Smith lightly on Saturday: No, it's game time. It's time to compete. We're cool off the field. When it's time to compete, you don't really have any friends on the field.
On the excitement of playing a game with so much national attention: It's great. I mean, this is the stuff you live for and you play for. As a team, we're getting ready. We're going to probably pop the film in today, check it out today. Especially as a unit, defensive ends, we're going to go check it out. We haven't seen much on them. But we're excited to play.
On the defense accepting responsibility: We'll take it. It's fine with us. We're working on our game. We will continue to work on it. That's fine. We don't have a problem with anybody pointing at us. That's the thing. It's a challenge for us. We love that. We're competitors, all of us. So it's a lot of fun. We can't wait.
OT Trey Hopkins
On RB/WR D.J. Monroe: D.J. is definitely a big inspiration on the team. He's always going to make the play, go that extra mile for us. He's a very selfless player. Even when he's not getting the ball, he's inspiring the guys on the sideline. When he gets the ball in his hand, he's going to do whatever he has to do, claw, scratch, to make that play for us.
On if he roots for a guy like Monroe:
Yes, definitely, just because like I was saying, he's such a selfless player. Being a five-year guy, not getting the ball as much as someone who comes in as a freshman thinks they should get. People come in as a freshman [saying], “I got this many reps in high school. As many years as I've been here, I should get more and more plays.” He's not a guy like that. He sees the big picture. He sees, “This is what the team needs, the coaches need.” He is willing to take the backseat sometimes, and he's willing to help other guys out. When he's out there, he gives 110%.
On which team has more at stake this weekend: I think we both do. Everyone wants to get the “W” the next week. I think that's what we're both fighting for. I don't think either of us have more at stake. We're trying to win, be on top. That's what this game is about.
On playing at home this week: It's a great atmosphere. It's always fun playing at home. You have the majority of the people there rooting for you. You get to see a lot more family here, people that can travel out and be with you. That's inspiration for the guys. These are the people that you play for, your mom, dad, little brother looking up to you. Seeing them at the Longhorn Stampede, that's another great thing we have to look forward to. Coming through the crowd, letting the band lead us in, see all the fans out there.
On how different the team is than the last time they played at home: Just getting better. We're trying to get better each and every week. I think we're doing a good job at that. Analyzing ourselves weekly, little things we need to correct. I think to see advancements from that game to now.
On QB David Ash in the huddle: Definitely a lot more control. He's definitely running the show. Everyone sees he's a highly respected guy. He's taking charge of the team as he should, as he should as a quarterback. He is doing a very good job of that. He's such an inspiring guy, making big plays when we need them. Making sure he is checking down. He is leading this team. He understands the offense all the way now. Being able to communicate with the running backs and offensive line, make sure we're on the same page - he's doing a great job with that.
On a difference he saw in Ash’s eyes: Yes, we definitely can see, I think, a difference in everyone's eyes. Last year was maybe more of a panicked look, scattering look. We're rushed for time. Everyone is looking around, “What are we going to do now?” Everyone had the jitters. This year we're more collected. This year you can see more of a focused look than a panicked look. This is what we need to do, we're just going to go out there and do that. He took charge on that and led us to the victory.
OT/TE Luke Poehlmann
On his role this year: It's been a blast. I just try to make myself available to play whatever I guess the situation calls for. It's been a blessing to get to play. Wherever I can help the team out the most, whatever the situation calls for, wherever that is at, I have to do that. I've had a lot of fun with that. That's been fun.
On playing some right tackle against OSU: Well, I mean, it was kind of like, “Hey, we need you to play right tackle right now.” I went in. We executed. I mean, it was fun. Just my number got called, you know.
On how the win gave the team confidence moving forward: Well, I thought it was great that we got a chance to see what it was like to be behind, and as a team to come back and be able to come out with a win was really good for our team. Just now we can look back and say, “We've been there. We've done that.” That confidence can grow. If a situation like that comes up again, we're confident in knowing that we've been there and we've been through that together, so...
On QB David Ash: I mean, I think it was great. He did an amazing job running the offense. His play was awesome. That was really encouraging. I love watching him play. Looked like he was having a great time out there. Yeah, I think it was good for him.
On this week’s Top-10 matchup: Oh, it's great. It's fun. I guess the student population around here is excited about it, the fans are excited, which is really encouraging. exas, we're starting to get back to where we were, get back to being in games like this. I'm excited for it. I look forward to it. I think it's great for our team and great for our program.
CB Quandre Diggs
On the challenge of facing West Virginia this week: It's going to be a great challenge. But, hey, it's why you come to this league. You come to this league to go against great offenses. You knew that when you signed those papers. You have to be ready to go in. I'm ready for the challenge.
On West Virginia: They're a great team. I feel like this is one of the best conferences in the country. We're glad that West Virginia is here. It's going to be a great week, just great preparation. Just ready for this week.
On playing at home again after three weeks: It's going to be fun. Two top 10 teams. I feel like the crowd is going to be really juiced up for this game. The first time in Austin that we've had two top 10 teams in maybe five years or so. So it's going to be a real great game, great fans. I'm just ready for everybody to come out and cheer us on. We'll go out there and get that win.
On the defense’s confidence level: I feel like the guys on defense are always going to have confidence. That's one of the things, we have a lot of swagger on defense. It's going to take a lot, you know, to bring us guys down. We hear the talk. We hear all that. At the same time we're very focused. We're just ready for the challenge. I'm the type of guy, you know, I love challenges. That's just the way I'm made. I'm a competitor. I'm going to go out and compete each and every day.