Oct. 16, 2009
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis
On what went wrong with the running game against Colorado: Usually when something goes wrong, it’s a combination of things. We were on the edge with the offensive line. There were times that we missed a crease. There were times that we had some run-pass options that we perhaps could have thrown the ball in those situations, so it’s a combination of a bunch of things. We’re just disappointed that five games into the year, we haven’t done a better job of getting it cleaned up.
On the offensive line: They’ve done a good job protecting Colt (McCoy). So in that regard, it’s been good. But, in the run game, it has not clicked as well as we had hoped. There are some schematic things that you play without a tight end, you’re limited on the amount of things that you can do. I think we as coaches need to go back and see if what we’re asking of the running game, if we’re asking of it something schematically that it can’t do, but certainly we’re disappointed in that aspect.
On Oklahoma’s defense: I think that it will be the best front that we will play this year. I mean, you look across the board with (Jeremy) Beal and (Auston) English at the ends, and (Gerald) McCoy in the middle; they’re very explosive. They play with very good pad level. They play with their hands well, so it’s a chore to find runs against them. The backers do a good job. They fit with their secondary well.
On the Red River Rivalry: This is a fun game. I think it’s a game, being able to grow up in this state, and be able to follow it for years; it’s a fun game to be a part of. It’s one of the few games in the nation that is split right down the middle. One side of the 50 will be Horns, and the other side will be Sooners. It’s a very loud game, because on every play, something good happens for somebody. It’s a game that you’ve got to have your hand signals down. Going into the fair with all the people, it’s just a neat atmosphere.
On Jordan Shipley: Obviously he is playing at a very high level. One of the things we did at the beginning of the season is we wanted to make sure we played him at some different spots. So he’s not only playing the single receiver, but also in the slot in the empty formation. We’re also getting him some time back at his old position; the slot to the fill position. We’ve even played him as a wide receiver to the fill, so we want to keep moving him around so, not that you can’t double him wherever he is, but at least you have to go find him. And when he starts drawing that kind of attention, you know Dan (Buckner) is going to come up in the middle for us with some plays, and James Kirkendoll and John (Chiles). A lot of times when he’s playing by himself to the sideline, he’ll get a corner with safety over the top. Colorado chose to give us some single coverage, and he did a heck of a job; both of the double move route, and on the tight coverage where Colt threw a back-shoulder ball and he made a great catch. He’s a tough match-up, because he’s got the quickness to play inside and work option routes on backers, yet he’s got enough speed to play outside and get after a corner.
On whether Shipley could be a potential Heisman candidate: It would be neat because he and Colt are roommates, but I was told it’s the first time in Texas history that a receiver has caught double-digit balls in three straight weeks. That’s quite an accomplishment.
On what he’s going to say to the players for this week’s game: Well you don’t have to say a whole lot this week at all. It’s Oklahoma and the guys point to it year round. It’s one of those games that you look forward to when you come here. I’m sure we’ll have great practices, then we’ll have to take it from the practice field to the game. And what we told them on Sunday is that they did a lot of good things in the ballgame. But the running game was not part of it, and we need to get it fixed. We need to help them as coaches. But we all need to do our part.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
On Sam Bradford: Well it is Oklahoma, and I know our guys are excited. Sam Bradford is an outstanding player. He was the Heisman trophy winner last year, and certainly played well against us last year. So we are all looking forward to that opportunity.
On Oklahoma's offense: They are running the same things that they have run. They are doing a great job in tempo. They’re good at getting in line and making the right play. And you have to make sure that you find your gaps in the running game, and you get your guys where they are supposed to be in the throwing game. So that to me is the biggest obstacle even though they have good players, it is the tempo. It’s about how quickly things happen when you play these guys.
On Saturday’s game: Well it is an interesting point other than the State Fair, and pulling into the Cotton Bowl it is sight for both sides. It is not really a home or away game, it is just a neutral sight and so that’s a really interesting part of the rivalry. Coming out of the tunnel is a little different for me personally, but that’s the way we do it, so that is what we will continue to do. It’s a little different to play or coach against somebody and still be walking down the tunnel with them. It’s a little unusual, but the game is a great rivalry. There are a lot of players who have played against each other in high school. The history and the tradition of the game are pretty phenomenal.
On the defense: I talked to the defense yesterday and I said that their mental and physical preparation Monday through Friday will determine how they play in the game. They’ve got to have a great mental focus throughout the week. I know people don’t want to hear this but we approach every game the same – the same mental practice, the same amount of time studying film, and the same amount of time breaking them [the opponent] down. When you start to treat people differently, the kids start feeling like this is a big game and four weeks from now might not be a big game. I like to think that we whould maintain a solid level of focus on how we approach each game and that is how we are going to approach this week.
On the team’s mentality: You don’t have to tell them it’s a big game because they know, and you don’t have to accentuate anything that anybody else does because our guys will pay attention to the details of the game plan and take it slightly differently than they do in other weeks. I just think it comes with mental and physical preparation Monday through Friday getting you ready to play Saturday. But we’ve had a lot of big games around here and had a lot of success. So, our kids know how to approach it and have a good game.
On team standing versus this point last year: We’re 5-0 and we’ve got a lot of football to play. I think those are things that when this year is over with, you sit down and evaluate what you accomplished and we’ve got a lot of football to play, and I think at the end of the year you sit down and examine what you did and could have done. That’s the way I approach it. I think it is very difficult to compare year to year because there are so many different factors from injuries to players so, it is difficult to compare years.
On the players participating on the punt block team: Well, Duane [Akina], does an awesome job, and that is really great for our kids to be on the punt block team and guys understand that when you look at Sergio Kendall and you look at the great players in the past, Roy Willams, Derrick Johnson, players that are getting on every time now. Guys who aren’t necessarily on a punt return team in a lot of places, but they are here because it’s an honor to be a part of that. And Duane has created that. So he’s got a lot of speed on the field and he has done a great job of scheming the other teams on the field. And when you’ve got a guy like Jordan Shipley back there, he is special, he really is.