Oct. 10, 2011
Opening statement: The Texas-OU game is one of the great rivalries in college football, and the disappointing thing for us on Saturday is we didn't hold up our end of the bargain. We ran into a buzz saw. They played great, and we didn't play very well. We've got to clean up our mistakes, not forget it but move forward and try to learn from all the things we did, good and bad. Because there are a lot of good things even when a game is lopsided like that.
To win the game, we needed to win the turnover battle, and we lost it one to five. Which gives us no chance to win, and gave up 24 points on those turnovers. We had to outrush OU. They outrushed us 86 [yards] to 36 [yards], and really it was on one run because we gave up the 64yard run, which is unacceptable. We had to win on third downs. We were 5 of 16, they were 8 of 15, so they outplayed us on the offense and the defense. I was proud that we never quit. We did play a better second half, but we made way too many mistakes to beat a great team like OU.
Defensively, we controlled the run and screen game except for the one play, the 64yard run. And it's still hard for me to imagine that with 11 guys on defense that can run that they can squirt one like that, but we had to play three-over-two over the top against the great receivers that they had, and they bounced the ball into the boundary, and again, that's totally unacceptable. We did hold them on two fourth downs, but we also gave up a third-down-and-25 that led to a touchdown. Again, those are plays that you can't give up and win a game like that.
I felt like the kickoff return for the touchdown right before the half gave us a chance to get back in the ballgame that cut the score to 27 to 10. We played so poorly to that point. We had three timeouts left. There's two minutes and 44 seconds left, and they had a killer drive, driving right down the field in two minutes and 44 seconds and scoring. So the second quarter in general was awful. We tackled poorly and gave up 24 points.
The ball hawks of the game; [S] Christian Scott forced the fumble late in the game. I was proud of him to be playing with a sore wrist and still fighting and competing. And [DB] Josh Turner recovered the fumble. Hard hat award is for Christian Scott. Again, he was the hardest hitter on our defense. Most valuable player on defense was [DB] Carrington Byndom.
Offensively we lost with five turnovers for 24 points. Once again, inexcusable. You can't do that and beat anybody, much less a really good football team. And we've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball, and we've got to throw the ball away and not take the sacks. We had eight sacks. Two of them were on reverses, but six of them were on dropback passes where we need to get rid of the ball.
We were poor on third downs and poor in the red zone. We were 1 and 3 in the red zone, and last week we were 1 and 6. So we haven't done a good job in the red zone in the last two weeks. We did have eight explosive plays, which is our goal. We had three runs and eight passes, and we did play better the second half, even though we started the second half off with a fumble for a touchdown the first drive. So every time we'd start to have some little thing happen positive, we'd kill ourselves. And give OU credit for forcing us into those critical mistakes.
[RB]Cody Johnson played well. [RB] Fozzy Whittaker played great. Fozzy Whittaker is your offensive player of the game. He was the most valuable player on offense.
Special teams were all pretty good. We had good kickoff coverage, we held them to minus 24 yards on field position to start off each time. Kickoff returns, we had the 100yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Fozzy, which was blocked really well, and he made a great run. [RB] DJ Monroe came in and also had a kickoff return for a touchdown, and the sad thing about it, we had a double-team with a holding called on that play. And the guy had already run around to the outside, so it wouldn't have been a factor on the play anyway. So we did make great improvement in our kickoff return, and we're going to have to score more points as a team against these highpowered offenses we're playing until we can get on track offensively. So we've got to force turnovers, get field position and score some points like we did Saturday on special teams.
Punting we averaged 44.6 yards a point, net punt was 41.2. So with a great returner like Ryan Broyles, it really wasn't a factor in the game. We were 2 for 2 on extra points and kicked a 46yard field goal. So Justin Tucker had a really good day overall. The elite group for us on special games, [FB] Jamison Berryhill, Fozzy Whittaker, [FB] Ryan Roberson, DJ Monroe and [DB]Leroy Scott. Proud to see DJ picking it up.
The only significant injury in the ballgame was [LB] Aaron Benson. He had a concussion, and they will evaluate him throughout this week to see when he'll be able to practice and if he'll be able to play this weekend. So we came out pretty good on our injuries.
Oklahoma State [is] another top ranked football team. They're ranked 6th in the AP poll and 7th in the coaches' poll. They have 70 players from Texas on their 123 guy squad. Forty-eight of those guys are on scholarship from Texas, 30 of them in the two deep, and 11 of them are current starters. On offense, they're No.1 on scoring offense. They're averaging 51 points a game. No. 2 in total offense averaging 577 yards per game, in fact, 6.7 yards per play. Their pass offense is No. 2 in the country at 431 yards per game. They threw for over 400 yards against us last year when they were here. They're No. 10 in passing efficiency, with that many throws. They're No. 5 in third down efficiency. They're averaging 56 percent on third downs. They're No. 13 in the red zone, 94 percent. They've scored 26 touchdowns and only kicked eight field goals.
Brandon Weeden is another Heisman candidate. Colt's best completion percentage was 76 percent, Brandon's completing 75.8. He's had 15 touchdowns and only six interceptions. [WR] Justin Blackmon won the Biletnikoff Award last year. He's already caught 46 passes, six TDs. He's averaging 11 yards per catch. [IR] Josh Cooper has got 29 receptions as a receiver. He's averaging 10.9 yards per catch with two touchdowns, and [WR]Hubert Anyiam [has caught] 22 passes, three touchdowns, and he's averaging 13.3 yards per catch. So you can't just focus on one guy. Like OU, they've got a bunch of good receivers. Quinn Sharp, their field goal kicker, has kicked nine out of ten, and he's had a long of 46 yards.
Their defense is run by Bill Young. Bill is one of the best in the business. He's been around a long time. He's an Oklahoma State graduate. He gives you multiple looks, and obviously after we had trouble with the blitz from OU last week, I'm sure that'll be the game plan. We'll see each a week from now. They're third in the country in turnover margin. We went from 7th to a bunch, so we've got to go back and do a better job that area. Oklahoma State is plus ten right now. They're 14th in the country in sacks, getting nearly three sacks per game. They're No. 30 in the red zone. Leading tacklers are [Daytawion]Lowe, he's got 34 as a safety. [S Markelle] Martin has got 29. [LB] Shaun Lewis has got 25. [DT Sawyer] Levit has got 23, and [DE Jamie]Blatnick is leading their team with sacks. He's got three sacks.
We're 12 and 1 against Oklahoma State, but we've had some great games against them, and hopefully we'll do a better job on Saturday and get in the middle of this one because I'm glad we're back home. DKR should be really rocking on Saturday afternoon at 2:30. We need the help of all the fans, and we're playing two of the best teams in the country back to back.
I told the team about Saturday's game that nobody is happy. We're not going to let one loss beat us twice like we did last year. We used to do that well around here, and last year we got down on ourselves and didn't play well. There should be a huge learning curve with this team after that game, and playing one great team with the speed and the passing game they've got should help us playing against Oklahoma State this weekend. We do still have our 24hour rule even though the press conference extends it, but we do want to get rid of a loss and get rid of a win just as soon as we can and go to the next one. Regardless of the score and how poorly we played or how much we've got to improve, we're still sitting here 4 and 1, and a loss is a loss. We'd rather it have been closer. We'd rather have been competitive, but still, if you lose, it doesn't matter, you lose. So we've got to get better regardless and learn from it and move on.
The Big 12 right now is the only conference that has six teams in the AP top 25. So our league is really strong, and it's moving forward. Again, I'm excited about that. So we feel good about our league, but again, it makes it really tough for us as a young team that's working our way through things. We've got some great games down the road, so we've got to continue to get better.
On regaining momentum: What you do is you always feel so sick after a game like that that you're just really depressed and down and can't figure out how it happens. When you go back and watch the video you see every play, and a lot of players played really good, and it's a shame. Last year we didn't recognize anybody after a loss. In fact, we haven't done that since we've been here. This week we did. I wanted to acknowledge the guys that played really well. I mean, Fozzy Whittaker had the best game he's had since he's been here, so why talk bad about everybody playing poorly when they didn't. Coach Royal told me one time, when you lose, your team loses, so all of us lose the game obviously, but that doesn't mean that everybody played poorly. So we acknowledged who played well. We looked at the guys that didn't perform well, and we told them what they need to do to improve. So what you do is you take all the positive plays over here and you put them in one category and show them where we made successful plays and we had a chance. You take all the negative plays over here, and if they didn't handle them properly, if a guy just got whipped, he got whipped. So we've got to figure out from a coaching standpoint what we can do to protect him more the next week. But if he could have done better and he didn't, we show him what he could have done to improve in that area. So making those things a positive for this week.
On determining how to progress: After a win, if you're not careful, you grade too easily and think everything is good. Well, it wasn't. Iowa State we had to do the same thing. You take all the positives and then you take the last quarter offensively where we didn't move the ball and look at why we didn't and try to correct it. When you lose if you're not careful, everything is bad, and you just look at everything negative. So you have to go back and watch the video and take it out and see the same thing. So coaches first will be very critical on themselves, what could we have done differently? If we put a player in a bad position because he wasn't able to handle that guy, maybe in protection, then what could we have done differently. Limit your scheme. Limit what you're doing, but why take a player that couldn't block a guy and have him miss the guy for three hours. That's our job as coaches to help him. So you look first very critically at what you could have done as a head coach or coaches. Usually you don't share that publicly because that sends a message to Oklahoma State of what you're going to change for this week, so that's where press conferences are tough. I talked to my daughterinlaw today and asked her if my grandson could come up here and do the press conference for me, and she said, he'd only say, “Dadadada, mamama, dada.” And I said, “That's what I've got to say today because there's nothing else I can really tell anybody.” You're not going to be critical of players. You're not going to give away what you did poorly; that's obvious. And you're not going to tell anybody how you're going to fix it. So those get really tough. So that's the thing. And then you bring the player in and you have to ask him what he was thinking. Why did you not throw this ball away? What did you see in this situation? Why didn't you cover this guy on third and 25? I mean, we're in zone coverage. But you're not going to say those things publicly because this isn't pro football, and you're not going to put guys in [those] positions. So that's what makes coaching college football harder, I think, than a guy who will just come in here and throw the players or the coaches under a bus.
On why the team has been so successful after the OU game: I think because we've gone right back to work and said let's move forward and figure out why did they beat us so soundly instead of sitting around and pouting all week and feeling sorry for yourself.
On how to respond to adversity: This team has been great. They were great yesterday. They understood they didn't play well, and they did play hard. Last year sometimes the team didn't play hard. We've got to keep this team with a blue collar mentality and playing hard, and we'll tell them that a tornado came out of Oklahoma, hit the foundation, shook it up a little bit. We're going to have to put some new mortar back in and go back and start over.
On playing ranked teams back-to-back: Everybody is talking about how the Big 12 loves us and gives us all the breaks. I'm not sure they realized that when they made this schedule.
On preparation and motivation: Well, the fact that you see Oklahoma State is ahead 56 to 7 or something last week at halftime as we're getting on the plane to come home is not very exciting. It's, “Hey, guys, let's look forward to next week, and then they win 70 to 28.” They have great respect for Oklahoma State, like I said. [QB] Brandon Weeden game in here last year with Blackmon, and they threw for over 400 yards. So the secondary will be really challenged. We've got to get more pressure on Brandon than we did Landry Jones, and we're playing some of the best teams in the country here, so it's standard for us that we've got to keep working to get better because we know we're not at that point yet.
On if it is daunting playing an OSU team that did well against Texas last year: It is, but at the same time we should be able to get better because we had three hours of defending some of the best receivers and the best quarterback in the country, and now we're going to have three hours of defending one of the best quarterbacks and some of the best receivers in the country. So I think it's on us to get better. We know Oklahoma State is going to come in here and play well. Can we improve? And that's what we've got to prove.
On OSU WR Justin Blackmon: He's as good as I've ever seen because he's so physical. Last year, [former Longhorn CB] Aaron Williams plays the fade as well as it can be played, and he reaches above him and catches the ball with his big, strong body and hands and just runs off and leaves him for about a 60, 70yard touchdown. And then if you start trying to put two on him, then they run the ball well enough and they can throw to the other receivers well enough because Brandon Weeden can go to the right guys. You're not going to fool him much. He's got six interceptions and 15 touchdowns, so that's what makes them so tough to cover.
On OSU RB Joseph Randle: I looked it up today and just saw he was a sophomore, because I thought he was a great player last year. So he can also hurt you. It's like Oklahoma; you're defending the pass so much, the run becomes effective, and that's what gets you. You have to stop what they do best. They throw the ball best. Oklahoma State throws the ball the best, but they can run it well enough if you don't pay attention to the running game to run down the field against you in that phase, as well.
On QB’s Case McCoy and David Ash regaining confidence: They're both competitive. They're both really smart. They were both disappointed, so they'll bounce back. They'll come right back out here Saturday, and all of our fans need to help them, and we've got to help them as coaches, and I think their learning curve is faster than ever. We were unfair to Case last year and didn't let him play enough, so he's like a freshman as far as his experience. And David could have been in high school six months ago. So that's a pretty quick turnaround for playing OU in Dallas.
On OSU QB Brandon Weeden’s age being helpful to his maturity on the field:
It does. He's very much like Chris Weinke, who was a guy that laid out, played baseball, and I think Chris was 29 when he won the Heisman for Florida State. But you can't rattle the guy. You go back and look at the first half of him at Texas A&M -they struggled some. They scored three points, and then you look at what he did after the half to come back out the second half to run up and down the field. That's just who he is. He's smart. He's accurate. Older players, if you go back and study it, have been really good when they've played that position regardless across the country, and I didn't realize he was older than Aaron Rodgers, but he plays like it. On how taxing the OSU up-tempo offense is:
Well, it is taxing, and they're up tempo again. So we've faced uptempo offenses three times in a row, and experienced quarterbacks can do that. I'm sure you go back and study the games where they get out to such quick leads, they just jump on you so fast that it puts you in a real tough spot. And we're not an offense right now that can score like we have around here, just so easily and so quickly. So we need to make drives, and we had our good drives Saturday, but we either turned it over or didn't score in the red zone. So we've got to do a better job in those areas of trying to stay on the field and trying to score touchdowns when we get in the red zone. On if the OSU defense is underrated:
They are, and they have seven seniors on offense and only have two seniors, I think, maybe three on defense. But because their offense is so good, just like OU's, the defense isn't talked about very much. And I think the games at Oklahoma State have been out of hand so quickly that people have thrown the ball so much against them that that's when stats can get skewed. On the possibility of TCU joining the Big 12:
Yes, I don't know enough about it, but I was excited that they were invited. We as a group wanted them in. We thought they were a great choice. I think it fits exactly with what our staff wants. And it's great for the fans because they can drive to Fort Worth very easily and get back. It's great for the parents because they can see another game that their son will play on the road, which is more difficult for people that are playing across the country. And they've proven they're really good in football. I think they're 4 and 2 right now, and disappointed based on what they've had in the past. Gary Patterson has done a tremendous job, and I think if they accept they'll be a great addition, and I'm excited about it.