Oct. 8, 2012
CB Quandre Diggs
On the defense: I wouldn't think so. I feel like we played good enough to win on Saturday, so we've just got to continue to build, continue to grow with each other. I feel like we're getting more in sync with each other. I'm good with the preparation this weekend. We'll come out and just play our game.
On what made the difference on Saturday: A couple tipped balls we should have had. You know, we tackled better for one thing. Those guys were very elusive. We tackled better. There are still fixable things, a ball that could bounce our way but didn't. That's part of playing the game, and we've just got to continue to hope those balls bounce our way and continue to wrap up, continue to pursue the ball, and we'll be good.
On using last year’s game as motivation: It motivates us a lot. I still remember very clearly, it wasn't a good day for us. It wasn't the way we wanted to come out and play. But we have another chance this Saturday to go out, be prepared, be mentally prepared. We have guys that have played way more games than they played last year at this time. I feel like we're confident. We should go in with a great game plan, and guys should be hyped just to go out and play OU.
On OU QB Landry Jones: Landry is a great guy, too. He got the best of us last year. But he's a great quarterback, and that's the thing with this league. You're going to play a great quarterback each and every week. We respect all those guys, and we just want to go out and do our job and hopefully slow those guys down. He just found the holes. He made all the right throws, and the balls were caught. That's the thing about being a quarterback. It was his day. He had a great day, and we've just got to play him tighter this year, and hopefully the ball bounces our way.
QB David Ash
On facing OU: Well, you know, we learned a lot last year. We were growing as a team. We were still improving, and we were still young. We learned a lot, but I think this year it's a whole new season, two new teams, and again, it's going to be about preparation and execution. That's what we're going to do is try to prepare, and when we get to the game we're going to try to execute.
On the difficulty of letting last Saturday’s game be forgotten: It's for sure not an easy thing, but it's not a question of how easy or hard something is to do, it's what you have to do. It's what's necessary, it's what's right. And so that's what we're going to do.
On last year’s game vs OU: It was definitely a big moment of being a freshman, but there was a lot of moments last year. The good thing about it is each one of those moments I'll learn something. You know, I still have moments as a sophomore, and I'm just going to try to learn something. I think that's what we do with our mistakes so there's feedback.
On the difference in him personally: Well, I've got a lot more experience. I've got a better team around me. I'm one more year into the offense. My team has one more year into the offense, and we've grown as a team one more year together. I guess that's the best way to put it.
On praising the defense: I always give my defense a hug. I love those guys. They're my teammates, and we sweat and worked in the offseason together and did sevenonseven together this summer. Those are my teammates, those are my brothers on the team.
On if it is advantageous to have faced OU before: Oh, well, yeah. There's no substitute for experience. Being able to have the experience before, I have a good idea what it's like going in. There's not as many surprises. There's a lot of things you've already been through.
On how the team moves forward after Saturday: I think that's something to do with our coaching staff and how they've done a great job of getting us through some tough times. I think there's a lot to be said about the character on this team, and I think yes, I think we're going to move on. We don't have any choice. You have to.
On OU’s defense: Well, they were good. But it's a different team, and they're still good. We're just going to have to prepare for the one this year. You know, it's a new defensive coordinator so it'll probably be slightly different, but similar personnel. They're always going to have players that can make plays.
On avoiding turnovers: Absolutely. It's been said, Coach Applewhite said this, that the game of football is just a big game of keepaway, and whichever team can keep the ball away for the longest and get points out of it is the team that's going to win.
On the game: I think we can win because we've got good players. But at the end of the day, it's going to come down to which team executes better. It's all about execution. This week if we can prepare well, if we can get 11 guys to do their job, we've got the ability to win this game.
OG Mason WaltersOn winning the game:
Well, I just think we need to learn to win the big games. That's really going to help this team. There's going to be some big games later on down the stretch. As competitive as the Big 12 is, we're going to play in close big games, even after this week. I think you just have to realize the implications early in the week through preparation and practice and really getting as prepared as possible to go out and face each team.On preparing to change the result from last year:
Really I think the biggest thing that's affected are the habits, things that you can do early in the week like preparation. As far as the margin of loss in the game last year, 5517 loss, all that really comes into play in the offseason, through training, waking up early in the morning and going to work. Really once you get into the season it's getting prepared for the game and going. You're not going to be able to do much to increase your physical output. I think you learn what we do from practice habits, but a lot of that motivation comes from the offseason.On how to convey belief in one’s teammates:
I don't even think that's a question. There's a little bit of communication on the sidelines between the offense and defense, but for the most part it's all said beforehand. We've got all the confidence in the world in our defense. We still do. I think they can all get better at some things. But during the game, they're doing their thing, they're focused, and we don't weigh too much on them. Full faith in those guys. You just tell them to go out and do their job as hard as they can, and we're going to do the same. We believe in each other, and we're going to fight for them.On getting the young players ready for the experience:
Well, you can try, but the Cotton Bowl is something that's got to be experienced for oneself. There's probably not much you can give to a guy to compare it to. It's a huge game, the crowd is electric. It's a big crowd. It's why you come to Texas, and it'll be a great challenge, and it's really a great experience for everybody just to do it. You really don't have to worry about it because bigtime players play well in bigtime games. That's something we've got to work and focus on and prepare throughout the week for.On how the players are prepared as a whole:
Everything is just a little bit more maturity, a little bit more understanding of the offense, and really just a little bit better camaraderie. I've been excited to be on this team. I've had a whole lot of fun this year working with the same guys every day, and usually that's not a feeling you always have. It kind of gets a little bit of a routine instead of something that you look forward to going to do, even though it's a little bit the same. Just having fun together, enjoying each other, and being excited to go to work for one another.On QB David Ash being different this year versus last year:
I would think so. I mean, they're the same person, but then again, they're not the same football player. I don't think anybody is. I think there's been a lot of maturing going on for everybody, and David maybe even more so. As far as from last year to this year; probably time preparing, understanding the offense, understanding the importance of his role. I'm really proud of the guy for how far he's come, and I really hope to go see him well play on Saturday.On the team’s chances this year to get the victory:
I think first off OU is a good team, and it's a great challenge. But I think as far as what we want to get done and the goals we've set for ourselves that this is a game that we know we can go out and win, and we have to play well and do all the things that we say we're going to do each and every week. I think if we do what we say we can do and we really buy in and believe that this team is the team we think it is, we can go out and play a great football game and get a win. DE Jackson JeffcoatOn the defense staying positive:
We're definitely confident for this game. We're excited. I haven't looked at a lot of film, but I've had a chance to see some. They're a talented team. OU is definitely a talented team. It's a great challenge. They've got Landry Jones. They have two talented running backs. Wide receivers - Kenny Stills is talented. So it'll be fun for us to match up against them.On if this win is needed to keep pace:
It definitely is, and like I said before, conference games are important. You want to win them all. We dropped one, but we still have a chance to play again. We're not done with the conference. We've got a lot more conference to go. OU is next, and we're very excited for this.On which film of OU to study:
We'll probably look at Texas Tech first, and we'll probably go through all of them, just see some things that worked against them, see what we can do as far as get after the quarterback. I mean, that's our goal. We want to keep our quarterbacks uncomfortable.On the defense’s confidence level:
I definitely don't think we've lost confidence. There's been some things that we've done that we haven't executed on our defense, but we haven't lost confidence. We're excited to go, and we're getting back to practice, and like always, we are going to work our butts off and just make sure we get those little things corrected that we have messed up on. We've messed up on little things, and they're correctable.On Oklahoma QB Landry Jones:
They've done a good job of protecting him. They've done a very good job. So it's been hard to get back there. But like we said, our goal is to get pressure on the quarterback, and that's what we're going to work on and help out any way we can. We're going to hustle, make sure we make plays. On difficulty judging this defense because of the previous opponents’ offensive prowess:
It's definitely hard, but it's hard to have a verdict out on who we are yet. We've been fighting our butts off and working hard. Just like I said earlier, there's little things that we didn't execute on that have hurt us and that we're going to get back to practice and working on those.On if he was encouraged that they were able to pressure WVU Geno Smith:
It definitely is encouraging. That was our goal was to get pressure on Geno Smith, and for this week, again, it's our goal to get pressure on Landry Jones. You never want to have a quarterback sitting back there comfortable, especially a guy like Landry Jones that can get out there and he can put it in a spot, as well.On the challenge of beating OU:
Well, I think we faced some great competition early on in the year, and so that helps, playing teams like Ole Miss, West Virginia, before we play OU, so that will help us, as well. And again, we look at it as a great challenge for us, and we're excited for it. We like challenges.On scoring a touchdown in Saturday’s game:
It's crazy, especially how loud DKR [-Texas Memorial Stadium] was. Again, I want to thank our fans for coming out and being great. Tremendous. They were tremendous. It was the loudest I've ever heard DKR. It's a great field when you get a touchdown, especially being a defensive player scoring, and [RB] Joe [Bergeron] came up to me and he told me, “Man, now you can join me, we've both scored a touchdown.” That's the first one in college. Yeah, the first one in college I've scored.On if he talked to his father, former Dallas Cowboy DT Jim Jeffcoat about his touchdown:
I didn't really describe it. He just said good job. He said way to hustle. He said,”I saw you coming inside trying to get after Geno, Alex [Okafor] beat you there, got the ball out, you scooped and scored it.” And that's a drill we work on. Alex knocking the ball out, me scooping; me knocking the ball out and him scooping and scoring. It's good to see it happening again.On if the OU game means a lot because he went to high school in Dallas:
Well, technically I'm not from Dallas. That's what my teammates have told me because my family lives in San Jose. [laughs] But it's exciting. I love to go back home and play. It's a great atmosphere. You have OU fans on one side, our fans on the other. And it's just a lot of fun to be able to experience that. It's a great experience. We're just excited to get out there, and we've been working hard, and this is going to be a good one.
RB Jeremy Hills
On what he tells the younger guys about what to expect in this game: Just preparation. What we do the next seven days leading up to this game, like every week, is going to determine how we play. I have no doubt that these guys will come out - young, old - this whole team is going to come out this week focused and ready to go.
On why it is important for someone to step up and make a big play in this game: It's big. Next guy up. Next guy up is what we always say. When your number is called, what you just said, it's a big emphasis on being ready because at any moment that play can be the play that turns the tide of the game, can switch a game where momentum is such a big thing with the crowd split the way it is and fans playing an impact and just giving your team a boost when they need it.
On if the offense feels the pressure to score 40 points a game: Well, if there's pressure, it's a good pressure. I don't think it's a negative thing. We accept that challenge. We accept that challenge because we know we have one of the top defenses in the nation, and those guys are going to go out there and make plays. Our job is just to go out there every single time we get an opportunity to and drive down the field and score points, whether it's 40 points, 50 points, whenever it ends up being. Our job is to score points every time we take the field, score points. We don't want the punt team to be out there at all.
On adjusting to the earlier game-time start: I mean, no, not really. Not really. That's a mental thing. I don't think that'll have an effect on our guys. A game like this, we can play it at 12:00 midnight, guys will be ready to go. You're up to play this game.
On former high school teammate OU wide receiver Derrick Bradley: We're still real good friends. We've been good friends since we were about 13, 14 years old. We've been pretty much texting back and forth every time this week. Every time of year this week, me and him, our texts go up. It's just whenever we go back home, it's bragging rights for back home. That's my guy right there. We're still good friends. If I get a chance, though, yeah.
On his favorite Texas-OU memory from year’s past: One of my favorite memories actually wasn't even my brother [former Longhorn OT Tony Hills], it was [RB] Jamaal Charles. It was first quarter, and he spins out of a tackle. They were in an inside zone read to the right, and he spins out of a tackle and you think he's down, and he goes for about 80 [yards]. He just right down the middle of the field. He goes for about 80 right up the field, and nobody touches him. That's probably one of my favorite memories that I can remember seeing.
On sharing carries and occupying his role: Well, our room, we want to be the most dominating force out there. Obviously we always say. “Everybody eats.” That's kind of what we go into it, and it's like being an older guy, just learning from guys like [former running backs] Chris Ogbonnaya, Vondrell McGee, Fozzy Whittaker, Cody Johnson, guys like that. What I've come to see is it's about more than me. It's about more than me. It's about Texas. I try to teach those young guys as much as I can teach them, and they teach me things, and we go out there and our different skill sets is what allows the whole team to be a dominating force.
On him as a competitor always wanting to be on the field: Absolutely. I'll tell you what. If I was 18 getting recruited all over again, I would sign with Texas the first chance I got. I love being here. I love being here. This place is bigger than football, it's bigger than a university. That's family. That's family as far as I'm concerned. It's bigger than football. If it's competitive at anything, it's just we go in on Sunday, we want to make the big play, so we go watch the film, like who made the big play. But on Saturday we're out there cheering for each other like no other. Like no other we're pulling for each other. Whoever is on the field, the other three, other four guys are telling them what they're seeing and vice versa.
On if the wins in this game swing in cycles partly because of feeling extra pressure to win for the fans: I mean, there's a little truth to that. You don't want to let these fans down. You don't want to let these fans down. We have some of the best fans in the nation. You don't want to let those guys down. This game is such a big part of them. This is a big part of their season as well as ours. We understand that it's a whole season, and we understand that every game is just another game. They're ready for the TexasOU game. Whenever you go anywhere, that's what everybody wants to ask you about. That's the most popular thing, and it's a great rivalry. It's the person on the team that lost last that comes back and doesn’t lose again.
OG Trey Hopkins:
Of the team is better prepared to handle the OU game this year: I think we're much better prepared just because we've seen a variety of problems that can come up during the game. We're not into a panicking mode anymore. We're confident in the schemes. We understand the schemes. They're not new to us anymore. They're not trying to learn a foreign language like it was sometimes last year. So we're able to focus in and just play the game and not really worry too much about what our opponents are doing. I think that'll help us a lot in the long run.
On players stepping up to make big plays: Yes, definitely. There's going to be huge momentum swings, like you said, going on, with the way the stadium is set up, with the way both crowds are going to be pumped up. It's going to be loud. It's going to be exciting, and that emotion helps to build you up, but it can also help your opponent getting them built up. Just being able to remain calm, remain focused and just stay on the right path will help us.
On this game when he was a freshman: When I was a freshman this game was explained to me as the biggest thing we have. This is the biggest game we have. This is our huge rivalry. They explained the stadium to me as it's going to be a sea of orange and a sea of red. They're going to be separated right down the middle, the people in between are going to be fighting with each other. And when I got there, it pretty much was that. It was very loud, it was the most exciting environment I've ever played in. As a freshman, it was pretty nerve wracking, and I was pretty excited. I got pretty nervous on the sidelines. It's a fun game. I loved the environment.
On being prepared as a young player for the atmosphere: I don't think there's really anything that can really prepare you for that besides just going out there. Those five first minutes you'll be a little bit jittery, but as soon as you get that first snap you'll be fine.
On what he would say to a young player about the environment: I would say go out there and enjoy the environment. It's going to be a different environment, going to be a fun environment, just enjoy it. But as soon as you get on the field, after that first snap, the jitters are all gone. It's time to play.
DE Alex Okafor:
On his play this season: It's my senior year, man. I know that my games are limited, and it's just a sense of urgency for me right now. I've got to make sure every play. I give it my all. You run to the ball, and I just give everything because essentially I'm not playing that many games left.
On his defensive teammates: I think we're all on the same page. It's just an analogy that our coaches make a lot. A lot of the younger guys, a lot of the freshmen, they're playing with house money because they know they have so many years left, and I'm not. Essentially all my money is on the table, and I'm laying it all out every single play.
On teams converting third and fourth downs: It's frustrating [but] it also gives us hope, because we know at certain times we can make big plays, we can make big stops. Consistency is just what we've got to stick to. We've got to build upon that and do it every single play, and if we can, this defense and this team can be really good. It's not necessarily the youth, it's just our mindset right now. We're probably just not focused every single play, and we've just got to lock in every play and take every snap just as serious as the last one. We can't take any plays off.
On how to judge the defense right now: We just played so many prolific offenses right now, so many passhappy teams right now. These guys go so much through the air that we focus on we spend a lot of focus trying to stop them through the air, and it's kind of pick your poison. You've got to pick something to stop, and they kind of switched it up on us and exposed us through the run game. We've just got to be able to play an overall solid game and try to do that from here on out.
On his forced fumble and the resulting Jackson Jeffcoat TD: We're on the same team. We're a tandem, and usually with the sack one of us will get it [or] the other guy will get it. This time it was fun because we both could get some of the glory.
On OU quarterback Landry Jones: He's just grasped the scheme so much better as he's gotten older. The tempo is so much faster. He just makes his reads a lot quicker and he gets the ball out of his hands a lot quicker, and that's going to be difficult for us, especially up front, that he's so finetuned with the offense. It's going to be a great challenge this week.
On comparing him to any other quarterback: I mean, I wouldn't compare him to Geno [Smith], but just mentally he knows his offense, kind of like Geno Smith did this past game. They know where to go. They know who's going to be open and who he expects to be open. We've got to got to throw him off his rhythm a little bit.
On the Texas-OU game: To me it's the best game in college football. This is why you come to Texas. This is why you want to be a Longhorn. To be able to play in this game, I think it's every Longhorn fan's dream.
On what he was told as freshman before this game: They told me going into it that it was crazy, it was wild. You've got one side that loves you and one side that literally hates you. It's just different being there. You can't put it into words, and just to believe able to see that split in the stadium from burnt orange to red, it gives you chills, man.
S Kenny Vaccaro
On what makes him optimistic about the future: We watched film yesterday honestly, and there's a lot of good things we put on film. We made a lot of good plays, but honestly, we've got to win those critical downs. I think on fourth down they kept converting, and we've just got to limit those small mistakes that turn into big problems. We'll be fine. I think if we just pull it all together, we'll be great.
On a few critical plays going for the other team: It just makes you cringe because you played good so many snaps out of the game, and then just a few snaps can make the game just turn over. I think we did good. I think we're going to get what we need to get corrected, and hopefully we're going to pull together this weekend.
On learning from Saturday’s loss: He's a great quarterback, and they have a great offense, and you've got to respect that. You say, “Okay, we got beat. We lost, but yeah, they're a good team, also. And you've got to give hats off to those guys, too.” I think it was a good quarterback to go against going into the OU game because Landry Jones is a good quarterback. We'll be tested again, and we'll be ready.
On OU quarterback Landry Jones: I think he's a great leader. I think he's a general on the field. I see him making calls. I see him making great decisions. He's just a good overall player. He puts the ball on point, and he has a lot of good playmakers around him.
On the Texas-OU game: All the games are fun for me, but this one hits me deep. This is a good rivalry. It's rich. I think just the tradition throughout the many years. The battles back and forth. OU being a good team. Texas. The border. I think the fans going back and forth. I think it just builds up a lot of momentum going into the game.
On having confidence in the defense moving forward: After watching the film, I'm happy today. I'm happy just to go watch film again, get things corrected, because I think we're right there. We're just right there. People are saying this and that about our defense, but we're just one step away from pulling all together, and the great teams, you don't have to be great at the start of the season, it's how you finish.
On the Big 12 being a high-scoring conference: Yes, [the] Big 12 Conference is such an air attack, quick-offense type of conference. I mean, every game is like this. I feel like every game it's a highpowered offense that are ranked top 10 in the nation. That's what comes with it. But I like the test. I think it's fun for a DB, especially for me.
On using last year’s result as motivation: You definitely use it as a motivator. I think [strength and conditioning head coach for football] Bennie [Wylie] was stressing to us that we're not going to go to Dallas and get beat down like that again. After every workout, every rep, every set, you just think about the grind it's going to take to win up there in Dallas.
On S Mykkele Thompson: He's worked hard. He's come a long way. He's a good player. He made some great plays in the West Virginia game. A lot of unknown plays, concepts, things that y'all guys can't see from the TV. Just we know as a team how well he played, so yeah, excited for him.
On the importance of the game with both teams having one loss: To me it's just OU. We've got to beat them regardless. If they're undefeated it would be the same scenario. If they had lost two, it would be the same scenario. We've got to beat them to get to the Big12 Championship and try to win the conference.
On DE Jackson Jeffcoat after he scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery: Honestly I was running around acting like I scored my first touchdown getting the crowd pumped. The stadium was electric. It was crazy out there. But yeah, Jackson was happy. I wish I could score one.
On the atmosphere at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium last Saturday: It turned into a big movement and then "Jump Around" came on and I just started jumping around. I think [defensive backs] Coach [Duane] Akina started dancing, and just the whole thing erupted. That's how it should be every game. I think, with the crowd we've got and the fan base we've got, every game should be like that. And it's going to make it tough for teams to play us.