Oct. 12, 2009
QB Colt McCoy
On Saturday’s game: Saturday is a huge game. I’m happy to be a part of it for the fourth time. It’s a conference game, and I think if you ask both teams, it’s crucial. For us, we can’t look at their record and the things that have gone on in the first five games of the season. We have to understand that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’re going to get their best shot. This game is the most important game for us this season. In a game like this, you have to go in, execute and not turn the ball over. That’s what’s going to win this game. Both teams are very good. For me, watching their defense, they’re very talented. They’re big, strong, physical, and they don’t give up big plays and they’re very well coached. I’ve seen that for the past three years, so it’s going to be a challenge and it’s going to be fun.
On concentration: You definitely have to be focused. The atmosphere is awesome and very loud. You have to be sharp as to what they’re doing, and know where they’re coming from. For me, I have to have my eyes right and just go out there and execute. We have to play consistently for four quarters, be effective on offense and stay on the field longer. It’s going to be a fun game.
On team rankings: I don’t think either team thinks like that. I think that both of us go in with the mentality that it’s a conference game, and usually the winner goes on to play for the championship. That’s enough at stake to go in there and be prepared and ready to play.
On the offense: It’s a constant work in progress. We have the chance to be really good. We’re leading the nation in scoring. There are a lot of positive things that we’re doing, and we really need to focus on those things, and really bring along the running game and just go out there and play. We have very talented guys. Our offensive line is playing tremendous; they’re giving us a lot of time to throw the ball. We have to bring along the running game, be more efficient offensively and give our defense something to play for.
On Sam Bradford: We are good friends, and we have a lot in common. I’ve been fortunate to get to know him a little bit. He’s a really good guy. He’s a great quarterback, a great leader, and a good competitor, but that doesn’t change anything about this game. I understand this game is huge. I want to go in there and play the best I can. I know that it’s going to be a challenge, but I’ve enjoyed playing it the last three years, and I’m looking forward to this one.
On Oklahoma: Their seven guys up front are really solid. They’ll be one of the best we play all year. I don’t think they’ve changed that much, they’re a really well coached football team. We understand that they’re really good, physical and strong, but we also know that they’re going to be in the right spot. They have everybody back, so it’s going to be a challenge for us. We have to be sharp, understand what we’re trying to do and execute.
On his personal performance: It’s a big game. Personally, I want to play the best I can every time. It’s not like I go out there and try to play bad one game and good the next. This game means a lot for our team and for our school, and it’s the same for them. We want to be sharp and go out there and play well.
On the atmosphere surrounding the game: After an off week, you can feel the intensity rise. We know that we’re about to get into a tough stretch just like we did last year. We have to take care of our bodies, get our rest, practice hard, and really have ourselves ready to go.
C Chris Hall
On his health: I feel great. I feel like I’m going to be 100 percent today and tomorrow. We’re feeling good. Our training staff does such a great job of helping us and keeping us healthy. Of course, coach Brown definitely knows everything that’s going on. We’re doing great.
On playing in the Texas-OU game and being from Dallas: It’s amazing for me, as a Dallas kid, to go back and get to play in this game. I grew up watching Texas-OU. It was a big deal to get to watch it as a family. To get to go back, be involved, the State Fair, all that special stuff, it just brings back so many memories.
On if he ever got to see a game from the stands as a kid: Never did. Actually my freshman year, 2005, was my first one. I was in the stands, so I have actually got to see a game in the stands. I was redshirting that year. It was so special, but even more so to play. It’s been a blast.
On Oklahoma: They’re really, really good. OU does a great job of bringing in great football players there. They play great defense, great offense. It’s going to be a fun one to play in. It is every year.
On his memories from last year’s win: It’s pretty special. I remember just really wanting to soak everything in. I remember us getting (the Golden Hat), us running down towards the band, all that stuff. It’s a pretty unique thing.
On Oklahoma LB Ryan Reynolds: He’s a great linebacker. I remember last year, I think his coach said that he graded out at 100 for one of his games before then. He’s just another in the line of all the great linebackers they’ve had there. That’s what you expect from coach Stoops and the kind of program they have there.
DE Sergio Kindle
On what excites him about the Texas-OU game: Everything. It’s Texas-OU, the Red River Rivalry, in Dallas, a neutral site, great atmosphere, hometown. What more could you ask for?
On the focus for this week: Basically just trying to come out with the Golden Hat. We’ve got to play a good game offensively, defensively and on special teams. We’re going to try to come out with a victory. They’re always going to play hard regardless of their record. They are OU.
On the return of Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford: They have Sam Bradford and a high-powered offense. The defense is playing well over there so we’ve got to step up to the plate and try to knock it out of the park.
On how important Sam Bradford is to Oklahoma’s offense: It’s a great offense. Now that Bradford’s back, I’m not saying they weren’t hitting on all cylinders with (Landry Jones), but Bradford is their leader. It’s going to be good to see how he performs. I’m actually glad he’s back on the field. He’s a great player.
On if playing in this game factored into his decision to return to school: To tell you the truth, I didn’t think about this game at all. My first deal was actually being able to graduate in December and coming out with a diploma and then basically increasing my skills on the field, another year under Muschamp, a great coach and mentor, basically being able to prepare myself a little bit more for the next level whenever that time comes.
On the Oklahoma offense: They’re just good at what they do. They’re a very balanced team. They can throw the ball well and they have two backs that can run it well. If they’re throwing it, Bradford can get it there and if they’re running it they’re going to open up holes. We’ve just got to play an all-around good game and try to hold their high-powered offense down a little bit.
On how important stopping Oklahoma’s run game was to last year’s victory: That’s one of our main focuses for every game, is to stop the run, and it’s always good to make a team one-dimensional. We basically try to do that every game and we’ll try to see if we can do that this game, too.
On growing up close to the Cotton Bowl: You could hear the game and you could hear all those fans going crazy from my house. It was too early in my youth to think about college then, but hearing the Texas fans did push me to Texas in 2005.
On the atmosphere at the Cotton Bowl: The atmosphere there is one of the best I’ve seen since I’ve been in college. Seeing the field split in half with the crimson and orange, it’s amazing to me how close they are. I’m almost out of breath before I take a snap, that’s how intense it is out there.
On Mack Brown saying this defense is one of the best he’s had at Texas: Coming from coach Brown that’s good and all, but there’s lots of things we can work on. We’re nowhere near perfect. The good thing is every week we can progress and get better as a defense. To hear coach Brown say that is always good.
DE Sam Acho
On playing in his hometown of Dallas: It’s always fun. Being from Dallas, I’ll have a lot of friends and family there, so it will be a really fun game.
On his thoughts about Bradford’s return: I’m very glad Bradford is back. You look at him and what he has done for college football, he’s a Heisman trophy winner, a great player, and you never want to see guys like that to go down, or anybody, so I’m glad he’s back and that I’m going to see him on Saturday.
On Oklahoma’s offense and what Texas plans on doing to counter it: They did a great job with rushing the pass. We’re going to try to do a great job of rushing the pass and trying to affect the quarterback and help the team.
On the Red River Rivalry atmosphere: It’s crazy just to see how it is split right down the middle, 50-50. Half the stadium is booing you, half of the stadium is cheering you on, it’s exciting.
On attending the games as a kid: We honestly didn’t. We really didn’t. It’s going to be fun and a lot of good memories. I never went, but I watched them all.
On coach Brown complimenting the defense: I think that’s really a testament to coach Muschamp and what he has done in his two years here, but we know we’ve made errors and we know areas that we can improve in. We feel like we have given up too many points on certain occasions. So we know we have areas we can improve in and we’re going to work on those every day.
On dealing with high expectations: We honestly don’t really look at the media and outside of our football team. We know what we can do and what we are capable of, and we’re not really concerned about the rankings or what people are saying about how good of a job we do.
On dealing with injuries: It’s weird, but it happens to every team. Look at us, we’ve lost a couple of guys. Even teams like Florida lost Tim Tebow for a little while. Injuries happen, but teams come back from it and that’s what OU has done. They’ve come back from injuries.
On Oklahoma’s running and passing game: Their running game is unbelievable, but they have a Heisman trophy winner at quarterback, so they’re good on both run and pass.
On the sideline mentality: It’s always exciting to see special teams go out there and make a play. It’s just great to see the whole team coming together and working hard. Some teams might take plays off on special teams, but thankfully with this team, we haven’t.
OT Adam Ulatoski
On his game against Colorado: I feel like I played well. Obviously, there are many things I could have done better, but there’s always that.
On if the group was upset by only 46 yards rushed during the Colorado game: Obviously, as soon as the game was over we knew that the running game was not up to the standard that it needed to be, but there is only one thing we can do, and that’s go back to work and fix the things that need to be fixed, and just listen to our coaches and go execute.
On the challenges the offense will face this weekend: Everybody knows that they have a great defensive line. We’re going to have a big challenge ahead of us. We’re just going to have to go to work all week and prepare the best that we can and perform.
On the team having plenty of motivation for this game: Every game is important to us, and this is no exception. We know we have a big challenge in front of us, and we’re not going to underestimate this.
On what makes Oklahoma’s defense so tough, and what has changed over the past four years: Every year they have some hard-nosed players up front. They’re big, they’re strong, and they’re talented. They come off the ball, and they’re very physical, and that’s how it’s been every year that I’ve played them. In years past, they’ve been pretty consistent in what they do.
On Oklahoma DE Jeremy Beal: I’m going to watch film at 4:00 today, so I can’t tell you specifically what he does well, but from the past I’ve seen, he’s very talented. He’s got great speed, he’s strong, and he plays with his hands well.
On Colt McCoy’s leadership: Colt’s a great leader for us, and we feed off of him. He does everything well. When things are stressful, he comes and calms us down. He gets us to relax and smile. You’ll have fun, which is important for this game. He does a great job. Everyone looks up to him, and he is the figurehead of our team. We look to him to be our leader.
OG Charlie Tanner
On the food at the state fair: There’s a buzz in the locker room for sure. One thing I’ve been talking about for sure is the State Fair of Texas. A lot of the Dallas guys have memories of corny dogs, turkey legs and funnel cakes, so we’re looking forward to that after the game. Chris Hall and I had a five-minute long conversation about all the fried stuff they’ve got over there.
On the excitement of the Texas-OU game: There is a buzz in the locker room. Everybody is really excited. I’m looking forward to this week of practice. It will be a fun week to prepare for. This game is one of the reasons why you come to Texas. I grew up watching the Texas versus OU game. Going to the Cotton Bowl is one of the most awesome games of college football. You got half the stadium crimson, half the stadium orange and coming out of that tunnel is everything you could want in a college football game. We don’t always see everything going on, so when you look up and see the orange side cheering, you know you did something good. One of the coolest things is coming in on the bus. On one side, everyone’s got their horns up, but on the other side are the OU fans booing you.
On the team having motivation for this game: Right now, we’re taking every game one step at a time, and this is just another game to get us to our ultimate game. We want to win every game and get to the Big 12 championship, hopefully, that will put us where we want to be at the end of the year. But beyond that, it is OU and it’s one of the games that you look forward to playing during the offseason and work hard to get to.
On the most important aspect of this game: The most important thing is that we go out there and get a W, and everything will take care of itself. It is a big game and it has a lot of impact on college football, but as long as we play our best, everything will work out for us at the end of the year.
On the running game against Colorado: We have a bunch of seniors on the offense, so when we get in the huddle, it is kind of an unspoken thing. We look at each other and know that we need to make things happen. We don’t have to talk about it. We look at each other and know it is time to go score. As always, we can get better in the running game, we can get better in the passing game. Anytime we can beat a team 38-14, it is a pretty good feeling.
On rankings: Right now there are some really good teams in the top five, but we really can’t focus on that right now. Everything takes care of itself at the end of the season, so if we keep playing and winning every game, then we will be where we want to be.
On Oklahoma’s defense: They look good. They’ve got nine of their defensive starters back. I’ve played these guys for two years and it’s going to be one of the best challenges we’ve faced all year. They have some really good pass-rush moves and they’ve got some really good stoppers, so we’re going to have to work hard all week.
On frustration with the running game: I wouldn’t say frustration. It’s something we’ve been working on. We’re always trying to get better. Whenever we watch the film, we see that 10 out of 11 guys are doing everything right on every play, so if we can get everybody on the same page, we’ll start rolling.
DT Lamarr Houston
On facing Sam Bradford: It’s a little different than just playing any quarterback. I think he’s like a young Peyton Manning in the way he runs his offense at the line. The way he checks down and checks out of things and reads coverages and reads defense. He’s pretty good at that. He’s actually one of the only quarterbacks who still does it. Last year Graham Harrell and Chase Daniel did it, and I think Bradford is one of the only quarterbacks we play who still does it. He’s a good quarterback. The atmosphere of the game rises to another level when you play someone that good.
On what the most important thing is in preparing for this game: I think it’s just mental toughness. When they break the ball and run all over you, people miss assignments and run to wrong gaps. I think preparing for this game mentally is a big thing.
On the atmosphere of the game: The crowd is half crimson, half burnt orange. It’s fun. It’s exciting. The game atmosphere doesn’t get much better than this when you play top rivals in the country.
On Texas’ defense: I think this is as good, complete team I’ve played on. Our defense has been on a steady climb upwards. I think we know more about the defense, mentally. We do our job. That makes us a good team.
On if he knows what to expect from Oklahoma’s offense: No, [you can’t predict their offense]. Everybody plays differently when they play us.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
On the Oklahoma game:
It is another game, another chance to step on the field. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited and need to calm down a little bit. It’s going to be a fun game to play in. It’s the Red River Rivalry game. It’s two teams going into the game planning on playing to the end. Emotions are going to fly. It’s us and OU going at it again.On whether a game like this defines the season:
I don’t know if it defines your season, but it definitely tells you where you stand as a team. Both teams are going to come in and put it all out there.On his emotions leading up to the Oklahoma game:
We still have a long time to go. You don’t want to put it all out in practice and then have nothing left for the game. You just want to keep yourself calm until Saturday and then let yourself unleash.
On how different the scenario is this year as opposed to last year:
It doesn’t change a thing really. When they come out, they are going to play like a number one team.On whether they have proven anything on defense yet:
As a defense, we try to prove and make a statement each week. OU will be a good team coming in because we know that they like to run the ball. Hopefully, after this game, we can make a statement that we have a pretty good defense.On the Oklahoma’s running game last year:
Coach Muschamp put in the game plan to basically eliminate the run. They have great backs, and watching those backs on film really helped us out a lot. We were successful in stopping the run last year.On Texas’ ability to stop Oklahoma’s run game two years ago:
If you can’t stop the run, as a defense, then you really open it up for your opponent to run the ball and pass the ball. Hopefully we can come in this weekend, stop the run, and make them one-dimensional. LB Emmanuel Acho
On going back to Dallas to play Oklahoma:
I remember watching the game as a kid when guys like Ricky Williams
and Derrick Johnson
were playing. I remember seeing how intense it was and yelling at the T.V. screen. Just to think that there will be young kids doing the same thing when I am on the same field along with my brother and the rest of the team will be a great feeling.
On whether he grew up as a Texas fan:
I definitely grew up a Texas fan, being a Dallas native. It was great being able to come here and then live out those childhood dreams.
On whether he was able to go to the game before he was able to play in it:
No, I never went to the game as a kid until my brother was here, my senior year in high school. On his motivation:
My motivation is just to be able to go out there and perform to the best of my ability. I have been gifted to do this, so I just try my hardest.
On his improvement with coach Muschamp:
With coach Muschamp just coaching me day in and day out, I’ve improved tremendously. Not only this year, but since last year I’ve taken major strides.
On whether he is glad to play Sam Bradford:
Yes, we are. Being able to play against the best is always a great thing to do. We are ready to step up to the challenge, and I am excited to be playing against a Heisman candidate.On the rankings:
The rankings don’t matter until the end of the season, so when we come into a game like this it’s not about ranking or talk. It’s about playing to the best of your ability and executing the game plan. They’re going to come out just as intense. We are not really worried about what they or we are ranked. It is just about the game and focusing one game at a time. We’re just trying to be ready to take on the challenge at hand.On defensive rankings:
We don’t even pay attention to it really. Coach Muschamp doesn’t like it. I’m not sure how good we are right now, but we can really get better. We are not up to our potential yet, so we are just trying to strive day in and day out to be as good as coach (Muschamp) knows we can be. It tells us that we are doing our job to be one of the best defenses in Texas history, but also, you just take that as a grain of sand seeing that we are just five games into the season. On how to handle the media and hype:
You try not to think about all of the media and the hype. You just try to focus on your job and the game itself. On Sam Bradford:
I think he is just so smart. He has so much experience and is such a wise player. He is so good at the system and what they do. And when you are that physically gifted and that intelligent, it just works to his advantage. He has great awareness on the field and knows what to do on each and every situationOn what coach Muschamp has said:
He just told us to pick up the intensity. That we make sure that we strike up front and maintain our blocks so that our linebackers can break free. He told us that when we have a chance to make a big play, make the play, ut really just pick up the intensity. we know what we can do and what we’re capable of doing.On being thankful to play:
It never really crossed my mind. I just thank God for the ability to go out in front of ninety thousand or so fans and play alongside my brother.