Oct. 2, 2012
RB Jeremy Hills
On sophomore QB David Ash: David’s doing a phenomenal job. But if you know David, he works like no other. So I’m not really surprised. But I am impressed. I’m not surprised because hard work pays off. And he’s outworking everybody.
On Ash being able to spread the ball around: Out there, you’re working hard, and you know if you get open he will find you. No matter what the play call is, if it’s designed to go this way or that way, we know if you get open that he will find you. So everybody is running full-speed routes. Doing everything they can to get open every single play.
On Ash’s personality: He’s kind of shy and quiet, but like I said, once you get to know him he’s so cool. He’s a laid back guy. He’s coming out of his shell more. He talks. But it’s crazy, because he puts that helmet on and gets in practice mode or game mode, and he’s a completely different guy. He knows how to take command of the whole offense.
On if Ash’s demeanor changed heading into the game-winning drive at Oklahoma State: That’s the thing about him. When it was 0-0, or when we were down, he’s the same David. The whole game. He kind of brings a calmness to everybody. It just lets you know to do your job. Just do your job.
On if Ash’s calm attitude helps the team in a pressure situation: Well, for me personally, I just have more confidence in him because he’s not rattled. I mean we’re on the road, we’re down, there’s a lot on the line. And he’s going out there like it’s just a routine two-minute drill. Going down the field, scoring touchdowns.
On being No. 4 in the FBS in offensive third-down efficiency: We refer to our third-downs as money-downs. I mean, you have to stay on the field. You have to stay on the field. Even if you’re going as hard as you can go, on third-and-whatever it’s time to turn it up a little more. You have to put an emphasis every single week on converting third-downs. So we put the emphasis on it. we put the work in. So on Saturdays when we go out there we’re seeing the results we want to see.
On the attitude of the team on the game-winning drive at OSU: Rise and rise again. That’s kind of what our message was for this game. Just rise and rise again. We knew it was going to be a heavyweight fight. We were going to trade blows all night. Which is exactly what happened. And our whole thing was, that this was what we said was going to happen. Exactly what we said was going to happen. So it was our turn. We rose, they stepped up and went and scored. Our defense held them late – like we said we were going to do. Then it was the offense’s part to do what we said we were going to do – go score and win the game.
S Kenny Vaccaro
On tackling issues:
We did a lot of tackling at practice. We stressed that really, really hard and even more than in the last couple of weeks. So we are getting it corrected.
On the fine line between risk and reward in going for turnovers against a team like WVU: The best way to go against teams like this is to let loose and to put pressure on the quarterback. I was watching film all week and I noticed a lot of time [West Virginia QB] Geno [Smith] was getting to his third read. He was just sitting back there and no one was coming. You have to put pressure on guys that can sling the ball like that or else they will pick you apart.
On the atmosphere of DKR for the match-up against WVU: It is going to be crazy. The crowd is going to help us a lot because they are a no-huddle offense. Geno Smith has to get the calls to every lineman. [Defensive coordinator] Coach [Manny] Diaz said today before practice that it is going to be a big factor in the game, how loud it is and how well he can communicate with linemen and receivers. When you go no huddle like that everyone has to have their calls.
On the Top 10 matchup: I think people try to downplay sometimes that every game is just a game, but this really is a big game. It’s a conference game. It’s a top 10 team, and I don’t think we have beaten a ranked team here at home in two years. So it’s a big game.
DT Chris Whaley
On how important it is to get pressure on WVU QB Geno Smith: It is very important. He is a great passer, and they have a great team. We need to come out and get a lot of pressure on him and play Texas defense.
On the excitement of going against this type of offense: It is real exciting. We take each game to be really exciting, but they are coming into our house and we have to protect our house. It is going to be a great challenge for our defense and our team as a whole.
On WVU’s offensive line: They are pretty big. If they get their hands on you, it is hard to get off of them. We need to use our speed and stay away by not letting them grab us.
On sophomore DT Desmond Jackson: He does a lot [for this defense]. He is a great player and a great person. He practices hard and plays hard. He is a great personality and is a leader on this team. He is always smiling and always in a good mood. He is always encouraging other people to do their best and he does his best.
On freshman DT Malcom Brown’s progress: Malcom Brown is doing real good and making progress. He keeps working hard and is helping us out a lot. He is a great player and a great person also. He is big and strong and able to get penetration. He is quick also so there isn’t much difference between all of us. We all can play, and we are all good. We have a great set of guys and everyone can roll in and play.