Player press conference quotes: Oct. 18
Oct. 18, 2010
QB Garrett Gilbert
On running the ball more like he used to in high school: I do feel comfortable running [the ball], obviously. It just depends week to week on the game plan and what we decide to do. It definitely helped, and I did feel comfortable doing that.
On how it felt to beat Nebraska: It was a lot of fun. The atmosphere was great. Nebraska has some great fans. The whole time it was a lot of fun. It was definitely a big win for us. It was a very good win for us, so we were very excited about that. It felt great being able to execute the game plan like we did as an offensive unit. I think that was very big for us, and it helped us grow a lot.
On if they have reached their goals as a team: We still have a long way to improve to where we want to be. We felt like we did a good job running the ball, especially in the fourth quarter when we needed to grind out some of that clock. We did a really good job of doing that when we needed to, but we still have a ways to go as an offense. We still feel like we’re a work in progress, but we do feel we have improved and that we are improving.
On where he learned his moves that he displayed in the Nebraska game: I don’t think I am that fast, and I don’t know where I learned the juke moves. I guess just watching football growing up.
On how he rates his performance: I think looking at the film yesterday, there were some balls that I missed. There were few balls in there that I missed. But again, going into it, knowing how good they were in pass coverage and what they do in matching their man-to-man coverage, we knew the game plan was going to be a little more geared towards running the ball and taking advantage of that. Obviously that doesn’t look very good on paper, but it was part of the game plan and we’re okay with that. Obviously, you would like to hit them all, but we’re going to keep improving.
On how the bye week helped the team: I think during our bye week, during the last week of practice, we focused on improving every day, [and] just getting better offensively. Working on finishing and we still can get better at that. Finishing in the red zone. Finishing drives and turning [them] into seven [points] rather than three points. I think just learning about ourselves, that we are going to fight no matter what and keep fighting.
What they can build upon leading into the Iowa State game: Obviously, football is a series of one game seasons - each week is a new challenge. We can take what we did in Nebraska and use it to learn from it, but having a 24-hour rule whether it is a win or a loss, we try to have it to where our full focus is on Iowa State.
On how the Nebraska win helped him become a better leader on the team: That is something Coach [Greg] Davis and I talk about daily - being a better leader. A lot of coaches on the offensive staff mention that to me about sometimes just being able to step out of your comfort zone and stick your neck out there and be able to say something to the guys. It definitely helps. It is something I have been improving upon slowly week by week. I think that it has definitely taken its effect.
On playing games at home: Playing on the road is a lot of fun for us, but being at home we’re going to have our fans out here and it is going to be a great atmosphere and it is going to be fun.
On what he has learned in the six weeks of the season so far: I don’t think there is just one thing – [there’s] a lot of things. Just about how you don’t really understand just how fast the game moves until you go out there and play in it. Being sharp and being able to make quick decisions. Trying to get faster at that every week in practice. Every defense we play, they were the best at what they did in high school and they were handpicked. You play guys every week that are very athletic just when it comes to their speed. And just being a leader, how important that is. Making sure that during the course of a game there are going to be ups and downs and making sure you keep the offense positive.
On the mentality of the team: We feel that every game we need to be emotional. That is something that maybe we didn’t quite understand at the beginning of the season. We know what it takes now. Again, we’re not going to be able to just walk in and do what we have to – it’s something that we have to prepare ourselves for mentally and physically. A lot of the seniors and the leadership - those guys have stepped up and really done a great job of helping the rest of the team understand that, and I think that that really feeds [the team].
On the offensive line: I was very proud. I thought they did a heck of a job all game long. Obviously, not too many passes called but [there were] no sacks. We were able to run [for] 200 yards. I think they really took it upon themselves to go do their job, and if you look at the film they really did do a heck of a job.
OT Kyle Hix
On Garrett Gilbert’s running game against Nebraska: He’s done it in practice, but the way we game-planned our matchups allowed us to give Garrett [Gilbert] more open space like that and let him run. We game-planned and they did what we thought they were going to do and it worked out for us.
On how they brought intensity to the Nebraska game: You have to remember what it feels like to win. You think about that. You want to feel like that after each game, and you want to play well. So that alone makes you want to play well regardless of who your opponent is.
How it feels to have a home game: Playing at home is awesome. It’s a lot of fun. Our fans are awesome. It’s nice to have, I think, our last five out of six games here. So that’s going to be nice.
OG Michael Huey
On being surprised by Garrett: Garrett’s an athlete. It shouldn’t surprise anyone.
On the offensive line being praised now and approaching this game: You just take it in stride. You just keep on building. We aren’t going to dwell on this win. We aren’t going to stay focused on that. We’re going to stay focused on Iowa State.
On the emotion at the game: Oh yea, I showed plenty of emotion. After the game I was hoarse.
On building upon the win: Just keep taking steps. I mean, that was a huge step, but we have to keep building on that to improve our game.
On what the offensive line did differently to achieve such a complete game: First thing, we started fast. We didn’t hang around for a little bit, and also, we showed a lot more consistency.
OT Britt Mitchell
On the feeling of the win: It felt great. Nebraska is a really, really good team, and it’s a hard environment to play in. In Lincoln, the fans are crazy. It was wild.
On Gilbert’s running ability: Gilbert’s a great athlete. A speed-demon. On the offensive line’s performance: It was just a step in the right direction. Every single week we try to get better and that was just a big step in the right direction, we feel like.
On waiting for Garrett to make those plays: Every week we have a different game plan, and this last week the game plan was for him to run the ball more.
On how fun it was to watch him: It was awesome. Awesome. I love watching him run. It’s hilarious.
On if the offensive line made more effort this game: I wouldn’t say effort. Just taking a step in the right direction. I wouldn’t say it was effort. I think we’ve put effort out all year long.
On things just clicking: Yea, coming together as an offense and everything just clicking. Everyone just really focusing into the game. I think that was the key.
On the offensive line’s confidence: Like I said, it’s just a big step in the right direction. I guess it’s better than a step backwards, you know.
WR James Kirkendoll
On coming back from the two losses: I think it showed that we are a tough team, and we can come back from adversity. It shows how good we really are because we had a lot of people against us, and we came out with the win. We really were able to start over this week and kind of build off of that and keep moving forward.
On Iowa State: They beat [Texas] Tech, and Tech was a good team. They had a good game with Kansas State. Any team in our league can beat any team at any time if you don’t show up to play. We’re going to take this like any other game - like if we played Nebraska this week. That’s the same mentality we’re going to have.
On how they were more balanced on offense against Nebraska: Different weeks cause different game plans. We knew that coming into the game we had a lot of opportunities to spread them out and run the ball. If we have to run the ball 40 times a game or throw the ball 40 times a game, it doesn’t matter as long as we get the “W.”
On how QB Garrett Gilbert played: I think he has come a long way. He really has showed his poise in the last game, and I think if he keeps playing like that we are going to be hard to beat.
On how it feels on campus after the win: You can definitely feel the difference as far as the spirits [being] higher. It feels good to get back on track. We know what we lost sight of, and we know what our goals are. We just have to keep pushing towards them.
On Garrett Gilbert’s running performance: From what I know, he was pretty shifty in high school when he won those state championships, but we already all know what he can do. We see him run [the ball] in practices. But like I said, he can beat you with his arms or he can beat you with his legs, and if he keeps playing like that then it’s going to be hard for teams to beat us.
DT Kheeston Randall
On keeping the good play going: I’m sure we can, we just have to take it a day at a time. It starts with weights tomorrow and practice. So we’re going to go out and have a great practice and continue with our momentum.
On the preparation of the team: We’ve just been working hard - wrestling alligators and swimming with whales - doing whatever we have to do to win.
On there being any change in practice last week: Not at all, we’ve been doing the same thing. Coach Muschamp just had a great defensive scheme for us and everybody did their job and handled their right assignments.
On stopping the Cyclones: I don’t know. We’re going to have to line up Saturday and see. It’s going to be really interesting.
On watching Iowa State: I haven’t started watching the film yet, but from what the coaches have told me, they have one of the biggest offensive lines in the Big 12. It’s going to be an interesting match-up. I’m looking forward to it.
S Blake Gideon
On reevaluating the team: It was just a great opportunity for us with the open week to get back to some of the fundamentals - some of the things that we were getting away from with the two losses. The open week came at just the right time for us. We were able to reevaluate some things and get back to playing Texas football and Texas defense. Some of the tackling drills and some of the things that we hadn’t seen since two-a-days, [and] just getting back to the fundamentals. Things that we had perfected that we had gotten away from.
On beating Nebraska: It was a blast. It was everything I could’ve imagined. You watch games of the Nebraska teams in the ‘90’s, how great they were with their national championship teams. You look up [in the Nebraska stadium] and see kind if their ring of honor, I guess, and their retired numbers. You know having some of those All-Americans back - it was surreal. It was awesome. We definitely had to keep our focus in order to not get caught up in all the fanfare, but it was a blast, obviously, to come out with a win. That topped it off.
On how to stay focused after the win: It’s just going to be important for us to go week-to-week. This week we have Iowa State and after today, this was our day off, we’re going to start at 6 a.m. tomorrow and get ready for the Cyclones. As of right now, that is the biggest game of the year. That is how we have to look at it, and that is how we have to prepare. We have started a new streak. We talked about with Coach [Mack] Brown. We have started a new winning streak on Saturday and in order for us to keep that up we can’t look ahead too far and we can’t look in the past. We have to go week-to-week.
On how to shut out teams: For Nebraska, like you said, it was taking away the legs of the quarterback. [Taylor Martinez] had obviously done some big time damage to teams on the ground in weeks leading up to our game. That was mainly the main goal, as far as you want to take away what a team does do best. You want them to get to their secondary looks. If it’s a great passing team, you want to get them off their first look, off that best receiver. Make the quarterback make decisions on the run to beat you and if they do, more power to them. They were better than us that day. That really is the main goal - to get teams to their second look, their second option.
On how they were able to have fun last week: Just being able to put the past behind us really. No one likes the feeling of losing. Just to be able to get that swagger back that Coach Brown was talking about. Above all else, we play this game for fun. It is a game. We wouldn’t be doing all of the awful things they do to us in the off-season in the summer in the heat, if [football] wasn’t fun. We really needed to get back to that, and I think it showed earlier that we were able to go out and jump on them early. No one was uptight. We had good tension. We were ready to play, and I think that showed and we had a lot of fun.
On LB Jordan Hicks and S Adrian Phillips performances: We talked about that a couple of weeks ago. Those guys aren’t freshmen anymore. They have played in front of 100,000 people. They played in special teams against OU and all of that. Those guys aren’t freshmen anymore. They’re expected to step up and fill roles just as any other guy would. One thing you notice about those guys, and the whole freshman class, is how willing they are to go out there and make full speed mistakes. They’re not going to worry about what they could have done, [or] what they should have done. They’re going to play their hearts out, and they’re going to make adjustments. They’re not going to go out there worried about making mistakes. They definitely weren’t, you might say, wide-eyed or googly-eyed stepping out on that stage. I feel like both of those guys were very relaxed, and they have both been able to step in the last couple of weeks. We had the opportunity to mix some things up. They got a chance to practice with the first team, so we’re all comfortable with each other. They have been here since the beginning of the summer, and so we have been able to have a lot of reps with those guys. They know what is expected of them, and they were able to go out there and do a great job of executing.
On how Jordan Hicks fits in with all of the Texas teammates: We always kind of jab him a little bit being from Ohio. That’s always a lot of fun. I don’t think that will ever stop. He laughs at it, and I think that he fits in fine. The only thing we expect from guys coming here on the defensive side of the ball is play hard and bring that same mentality every day. It gets really hard to not get caught in the lull in the middle of the season. It’s hard to get up early on Tuesday morning and have the long day. Tuesday is our long day, and we have the long practice in the middle of season. Those guys have done a great job of coming in and improving everyday and bringing that intensity and Jordan is no different.
On playing Iowa State: I’m going in with the same approach every week. Like I said before this; this is the most important game of the year. We’re going to go in and do what we have to do to stop them and give our offense the best chance with the best field position to go and put points on the board. No doubt, they are doing some different things up there. They have turned it around. I do know that their running back put up some good numbers last year, so it’ll be a challenge for sure.
DE Sam Acho
On where his motivation came from last Saturday: Especially like the game with the Nebraska game, this may be the last time Texas ever plays Nebraska. What a great opportunity to just go out there and play your heart out, and that’s what the entire team did. Offense, defense, special teams and the coaches. What a great opportunity for such a historic game like this. You always talk about such a rich history and tradition with Nebraska and with Texas and with that rivalry. To be able to play in a game where this is probably the last time the two teams will ever meet, it was a huge honor for everyone on the team.
On the Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud: Austen Arnaud is a very versatile quarterback. He is very fast. He has great legs, and they run a zone read type of scheme so that will be another game where we have to focus on responsibility defense.
On the defense: From week-to-week we are a responsibility defense. That is what we want to focus on. Everybody do your job. Tackle guys you’re supposed to tackle. Have your eyes in the right place. That is what it is from week-to-week, and last week we just did a great job of that.
On forcing turnovers: We did a better job last week of forcing the turnovers, and now what we need to do is to be falling on those fumbles or intercepting those balls. I know I had an opportunity last week where the ball was basically right in front of me and I tried to fall on it and somehow it slipped out, and I am kind of beating myself up over that one. There were also three or four more opportunities where the ball was on the ground, so what we’re going to keep on working on is capitalizing on those opportunities.
On new players starting on the team: Really, it is just everyone working hard and focusing from week-to-week. Coach Brown always says that you always have to be consistently good to be great. So we have to be consistently good from week-to-week in order to be a great team. So that is what we are doing from here on out. We are not turning back but going full speed from here on out.
On LB Jordan Hicks and S Adrian Phillips: Oh, I was so excited to see Jordan Hicks and Adrian Phillips - we call him AP - see both of those guys do such a great job. Jordan played over half the snaps and had unbelievable production with eight or nine tackles. AP did a great job and made a big play in the end zone that could have been a touchdown. It is encouraging because we see those guys doing it in practices, and so it is encouraging to see those guys do the same thing on the field.
On his concern when his brother, LB Emmanuel Acho, got injured: I was a little concerned. I went over to check on him and then the whole defense went over and we all prayed for him. Prayed for protection over him and all of us in such a rough game. Thankfully he got back up and kept on playing.
On if it is different if his brother gets injured in a game over another teammate: In all honesty, it is different because we have grown up together. I have known him my entire life. It is a little different, but I know God is protecting us out there and we have a bigger plan. It was good to see him back out on the field.
On beating Nebraska in his senior year: It meant a lot. I got a little emotional after the game with just how much this game means to college football. You know there is so much history and so much tradition. It was an exciting win, but with that you still have to forget about it and move on and that is what we are going to do just like the past five weeks we have done it. [A] win or a loss - forget about it and you move on. Now focus on Iowa State, who has a great team and talk about their quarterback, Austen Arnaud. Fast quarterback, and they also have some really great linebackers and a great running back, so it will be another great opportunity for this team.
On how to carry the win against Nebraska throughout their season: It can be difficult but that is what comes with a mature team. I’m sure, as you all have seen, this team is starting to mature a lot and we’re starting to grow into our personality. And this team’s personality is a team that is going to work hard every week no matter who the opponent is. We play to a standard and that is what we are going to continue to do, and like I said, Iowa State has a great team and we are going to come out there focused and ready to play.
CB Aaron Williams
On what it meant to put it all together: It feels really good, because if every player does their job, and every player realizes that they don’t have to make the big play - as long as you do that little thing on the field - the outcome is going to be great. The past two weeks, everybody felt like they had to make an outstanding, top 10-ESPN-play to win the game. And it’s not about that. It’s about doing your job, having fun, doing your assignment, and not worrying about what everyone else is doing.
On how that translates into practice this week: What needs to happen this week is we need to have the same performance that we did last Saturday. We need to go out there and just follow the coaches’ schemes and game plans. They’re the best coaches in the country, so why not follow what they’re telling you to do. You’re out there for a reason, and we’re here for a reason. You were put in a spot, in a position where you need to make plays and that’s what we’re going to do.
On the confidence from shutting down Nebraska QB Martinez: Once Martinez got out of the game, we were just like, man, we must be doing something right because that guy is very talented. He’s a very fast quarterback, a very talented quarterback. So once Nebraska put [Zak] Lee in, our confidence just went up even more. Because if a guy like that comes out of the game, our momentum goes on our side even more. So that just pumped us up more.
On how they stopped Nebraska’s offense: It’s definitely being in the film room, definitely. Knowing what a guy is doing before the snap even happens. Knowing what formations they’re going to do or the play they’re going to do helps. If you are not in that film room, the transition from just being out there playing to knowing what is happening before it happens, is a big difference. Especially in college football.
On doing that without a bye week: I think you could. Watch film. It’s like doing homework. You think you can ace a test right before, or do you think you could study a week before and just go day by day by day. It’s just preparation a week before.
On LB Jordan Hicks: Jordan did a great job coming in [the] second half. I was in the same position as Adrian Phillips and Jordan Hicks my freshmen year at Oklahoma, and I just told those guys to just relax, that we’re already up, and good thing we are because you’d be in a worse position. But just go out there and have fun. Ask coaches questions. If you have any questions on the field, don’t hesitate to ask before the snap happens because I don’t want you not knowing what you have to do when a play is going on. Jordan and they were in the same film room we were. They were in the same practices we were. They had the same amount of reps that we did, and it’s their job. That freshman, sophomore thing is out the window now. You played your first game and a big game at that - at Nebraska - so you just have to keep playing.
On breaking in a guy from Ohio [Jordan Hicks]: I always ask Jordan why he came all the way down here, because it’s a long way from home for him, and he felt like Texas was the best spot for him. I’m grateful he came down instead of [going to] Ohio State. He’s here now, and we just have to keep going from there.