Oct. 11, 2011
Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach:
On if the team is “grumpy” about third down stops: Grumpy is a good word. Third down is something we take very seriously. We have a lot of pride in our third down defense. We knew it was going to be a key in this game, and realistically, to me, that's where the game was won by them. Part of the credit goes to them for being good on third down, but I believe that when we watched the film that we'd have liked to have made it harder on them than we did.
On his concerns facing another explosive, up-tempo offense in OSU: Well, they get the same production. They go about it a little bit of a different way, but I don't think it matters how many days you'd have to prepare for it. You could have a month and a half to prepare for it, they're still going to be hard to defend. Their offensive output this year, it's video gamish to be honest, and they're really well coached. They're very well drilled. They execute at a very high level. They can go fast, so tempo is an issue again this week. They can slow it down when they want to and go fast when they want to, and they're the style of offense that goes out and plays you and finds out what your plan is to defend them and then they start calling the plays that hurt that plan. So you've got to be ready to counter with them, and then the guys that are executing the offense are very good.
On the defense’s confidence: I don't know that our confidence is shaken. I think our guys will feel good about ourselves, still. I think we will be ready to go. The one thing that happens when there's a game with the result on the scoreboard is that we still film it, luckily, and we watch the film with our players, and the reality is there's a lot of good stuff on that film. They threw three fades to [DB] Carrington Byndom, and two of them he played outstanding and the other one [he] got an offensive pass interference penalty on. Against high, high level players. We had some guys up front play the best game they've played all season. So it's always easy to paint the broad brush stroke and say everybody is down in the dumps. There are some things we have to fix. There's some things that we can do better. Some of the credit has to go to who we play, but I think we'll feel good about our chances on Saturday.
On if it helps against OSU to have seen OU the week before: I think the common denominator is what you understand, that if you don't outexecute them they're going to make you look bad. And that's really what those offenses do have in common is that they both execute at a high level. They're pretty simple in terms of what they do, and so they plan on making it an execution game. What we saw is that against good teams you get punished for your mistakes. There's still a lot we did right, but when we did something wrong they were there to jump on us.
On DT Calvin Howell and DE Jackson Jeffcoat: I would say Jackson, Calvin, [DE]Alex Okafor were effective. I would have never predicted going in that we would be able to play the run as well as we did in the first half and turn the game into a onedimensional game, which I don't think they minded because it was putting the ball in their quarterback's hand. But they threw it 27 times on Florida State, they threw it 50 times on us in a game that they were really in control of from the second quarter on. That was unexpected that it would turn into such a throwing game, but it's a tribute a little bit to our guys up front.
On playing top five teams back to back: I think when you get into the game week and the practice and the preparation, you really just start watching the film, and the rankings really sort of become irrelevant. Our guys know that they're really good, and no matter what they're ranked - in terms of our challenge, to us they're No. 1. They're No. 1 because they're there this week. They're our opponent. But from an offensive standpoint, if it gets harder than this, I'd hate to see it. This is a really difficult challenge for us. So our guys will know that we have a great challenge. But here's the whole point - that's why we come to Texas. That's why we play, too. As a competitor, that's what you want. Our defensive backs want to cover their wide receivers. Our front wants to go up against their front. We want to play against their quarterback because they're great players, and that's how you want to measure yourself.
On OSU WR Justin Blackmon: He's got great body control, catches the ball so well, runningforthecatch guy, creates separation. You know, I don't know. I mean, dance? Cook? Knitting? I haven't seen it, not on the film they sent us. He does everything pretty well from what I've seen.
On OSU QB Brandon Weeden: Well, I don't know how easy either of those are. He sits back there. He has such a great sense of where to go with the football. You know, I was at Florida State when Chris Weinke was our quarterback, and Chris was in a similar situation, and it's a grown man. That's a grown man in the huddle. And as some of you all can attest, what goes through a 19 and 20year old's brain during the course of a week as opposed to what goes through a 26, 27, 28yearold person's are two entirely different things. As if they didn't offer enough problems, yeah, that's certainly an issue, as well, in terms of his experience and maturity.
On OU QB Landry Jones quick release being similar to Weeden’s: Well, they have both elements in their passing game, as well. That was a big thing. The irony is when we looked back after the game, Oklahoma actually only averaged 7.1 [yards] per pass attempt against us, which believe it or not, is actually less than the average against Florida State and Missouri. It's actually only a yard more than we averaged per pass attempt, which I don't think by the eye test that anybody would have really believed. But I think what that showed was that they were doing a good job of getting the ball out to try and protect him. I thought early in the game, I think this will be important, that when we brought pressure he did a good job of finding his hots, which where they outexecuted us in their hot passing game, the guys that we needed to be jumping to make them hold onto the ball longer didn't jump. That's where we always say that defending the pass is an 11man sport. That the coverage has to match up to the rush and then vice versa. So two pass plays over 20 yards, and one was the first play of the game. People are finding ways to get the ball out quickly on us, where your coverage has to be able to match up against that. And then usually when that's the case, it brings it back to third down, because usually when they're throwing the ball shorter, then usually they're going to get into third downs, and that's why it always comes back to our third downs.
On OU completing a third-and-25 in the first half: I think that was the play of the game because it was 13 to 3, it was coming off of a turnover for us. They don't get it, they're faced with probably a punt, the idea to punt. And it's a situation where we should have had help on the play, and again, we did not execute the coverage. And against a quarterback like that it's ultimate punishment, whereas maybe some other quarterbacks it's not the same. And then we had a third and 5 following on the next set of downs, and I thought those two third downs were crucial. But the third and 25, I think if we would have gone out there and put the fire out after another turnover, after we had sort of done that already once in the first quarter, I really felt like that would have been a big momentum swing back in our favor, and that was definitely disappointing.
Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bryan Harsin:
On if he still is seeking the quarterbacks to separate themselves: I'll say this about every position on offense: We're always looking for guys to separate and step up and compete. It's a competitive battle all year long, and each week in practice, each game is another opportunity for those guys to compete, show what they've got, take advantage of their opportunities, get more opportunities based off their performance, and the quarterback is no different. As you go back and you evaluate the games, you look at what they did well, what we need to work on, what needs to happen in practice this week, and if those things happen for both, then they're both right there and doing what we've been doing. You're always looking for a guy to step up and separate himself, and we'll continue to do that all year long at every position.
On what he learned from studying the film of the OU game: What's bad and what is going to be bad regardless are the turnovers. That is one thing that we've talked about and know that we have to eliminate in order to be competitive and playing in the games, no matter what scenario or who you're playing. And that's got to be handled. You know, to have three of those for touchdowns, that's very difficult, puts our team in a very difficult situation. The previous two games we had no turnovers on offense, and you could see the result, and we've got to go back to why that happened and where it happened from a protection standpoint. Myself, I've got to help those guys out in protection, and then we've got to protect the football and just be smart in those situations. And we reserve the right to punt and not put our defense in a bad spot and let those guys play and try and get the ball back for us.
On the players’ confidence level: Youth or not, we went in there with a plan and felt like our preparation leading into that week was good. And give credit to OU; they did a great job off defense. Those guys flew around. That's a very physical, fast defense, and they created problems. We knew there was going to be some issues. It wasn't going to be a perfect game. The hard parts are the turnovers and how we could have eliminated those, the sacks, and looking at what our plan was there. I know that we could have eliminated some of those sack issues by getting out of some plays. That's on me in order to do a better job of making sure we're in better situations, but those scenarios right there, we really kind of hurt ourselves from that standpoint. And then it was compounded with the turnovers and then the turnovers for touchdowns.
On how to address the tackles for loss: Well, it's never one thing, and it's never one position. It's a combination. I thought our guys played very hard. I thought they were out there doing what we asked them to do. Obviously there were some guys on their defense that made plays, and we expected that to happen. But I'll go back to the plan and making sure that from my standpoint that we don't have those negative plays. Got to be able to get rid of the ball, got to be able to eliminate some pressure situations there with some protections, and that would have helped that situation with the negative yardage plays. But you know, OU, they took advantage of it, and they were flying around, and the guys when they had opportunities to make those tackles, they did. And they didn't miss, and it's a credit to those guys.
On if he would have done anything different: As you go back and you look at every single game, win or loss, you go back and look at what was your plan, what would you do differently. There's several things in there, and as you go back and look at it, that's something as you go into this week of practice now you really prepare for. You prepare for the situations that we were in that we had the turnovers. How do we eliminate those? Whether we hang onto the football, taking that sack, or throwing it away in that scenario there, and we've got to reemphasize those things and continue to improve that and really just correct some of the decision making. Some of the schemes that we used in there, as well. Do a better job from that standpoint myself, and make sure that we have a better week of practice this week on those type of situations.
On trying to get RB D.J. Monroe more touches: That's always something in the plan, to get him the ball. I think we try to utilize our personnel the best we can, and each week is a little bit different. Obviously, you look at teams we're scouting, as well. So we're trying to find ways to get those guys the football, and he's the guy that with the ball in his hands has done a very good job for us. So we'll continue to try to find ways to get him the football and try to be creative that way and get him out in space and let him do his deal.
On OSU’s defense: They're an entire football team. That's not just one side of the ball. And the reason why they've been so successful, offense, defense, special teams - you see that. It's an entire football team. They're doing a nice job. They're flying around and playing with confidence. Defensively you see a lot of the same things we saw last week. You see speed on the field. You see guys making plays. They're very opportunistic on defense, and so it's another big challenge for us, the speed of the game, just playing against those guys. We've got to do a great job in preparation preparing for those guys and their speed.
On the Texas offense sustaining long drives to keep the OSU offense off the field: Everything we've done up to this point that we've emphasized has to continue, and the number one thing will be turnovers. Running the ball, throwing the ball, we know we have to do those things, but we can't turn the ball over. And if that happens again, you're putting those guys in good field position. They've obviously got a good offense and they can take advantage of that, and we don't want to do that. So we take care of the football and we do those things number one, then we've got to find ways to run the ball and get the ball downfield. But it's always going to be about turnovers.
On if he is concerned that the QB’s will now become too conservative: No, I don't think so. We're going to go play our game, and I don't think those guys are being conservative. As we moved around in the pocket, those guys got hands on the football, and we've got to protect the football better back there. We've got to protect our quarterbacks better. And that comes with our protection schemes and those type of things. You know, it's not that mentality. It's just we've got to protect the football better, and we'll continue to be as aggressive as we can and run the football and do all those things that we've been doing up to that game. But the number one thing will be protecting the football and taking care of our quarterbacks back there and not getting in turnover situations.
On if playing OU prepares them for other up-tempo teams: Well, we knew this: we knew going into this game and the speed of the game is going to change. It's going to continue to change from this point on. And really what you get, you get a very good idea after playing a team like that of how you need to prepare in practice, and you won't be able to get those looks from your scout team. They're not going to be as fast and as big as what you see on game day. So you've got to go out there thinking that that opponent next to you is that big, is that fast, and you've got to practice that way. You've got to get in position extra quick in your scout team periods and just understand that by getting there right now, that guy may not be there, the scout teamer, but against OU and Oklahoma State they're going to be there. So that speed of the game and watching it, that's what you learn from and that's what you've got to take into your preparation.
On RB Fozzy Whittaker: Fozzy did a great job. I mean, I think the one thing is that he's been in that game a few times. He came out there, his mentality was out there to play. He had kind of seen everything and been there and done that, did a great job. We got into a situation, yeah, where we had to utilize him in protection and try to throw the ball a little bit more because we were behind. But he's a guy that each week continues to step up and make plays, and we've been very happy with what he's done for us, and we're going to continue to try to get him the football, and he just continues to make things happen.
On why some reverses were not successful: A little of both, more the scheme, but the speed, as well. Those guys coming off the edges and trying to get those guys picked up, obviously, again, just makes that a little bit more difficult. That's what we have to go back and prepare for and just understand that - that it's not going to get any slower. We're going to be playing a lot of fast individuals out there and a lot of fast defenses and teams that are very opportunistic, and we've got to make sure that we're putting our guys in the proper situation to be successful on those plays, too, and that comes back to me.
On the offensive line: They were going against some good players up front, but they did a great job of fitting up on their guys and battling through. OU made plays, and when those happen, we've got to be able to on the back end of it either get rid of it, find the quick throw and get the ball out of our hands. hat's what's going to happen. So it's not just one person, it's an entire group. And that's what happens when you play against good defenses. Everybody has got to kind of help out and account for each other, and as we look at that game and we prepare this week, those things are things that we're talking about and keeping in mind.