Oct. 18, 2011
Opening statement: First, we feel excited to have a bye week. Even though we've had two in the first part of the season, it's more important this year than ever with all the new coaches and young players. And the coaches know more about the guys right now, and the guys know more about the coaches. Some of the players didn't go through spring practice and then all the freshmen showed up, so everybody's got a pretty good idea right now about what's going on and where we are headed. I thought there was great improvement from Rice to Oklahoma State, even more improvement from Oklahoma to Oklahoma State.We felt like we had ourselves in a good position to upset one of the top teams in the country and didn't make the plays to do it. But we can see that it's there.
Special teams, kickoff returns have been unbelievable. [Co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach] Major Applewhite, [tight ends coach] Bruce Chambers and [wide receivers coach] Darrell Wyatt have been doing our kickoff returns, and those guys have so much confidence right now. Even last week after the Oklahoma return, we told them that they could return from at least five yards deep. And we've never done that before, because we're in a league that scores a lot of points. We're not scoring enough points offensively right now so we've got to find some other points. [RB Foswhitt] Fozzy [Whittaker] is really, really good at the kickoff returns. Guys like [RB] Joe Bergeron and [RB] Traylon Shead made blocks for him last week that freed him. He's the only player in Texas history to score on two kickoff returns back-to-back two weeks in a row. [RB] D.J. Monroe obviously has the two - they weren't consecutive games - and [WR] Marquise Goodwin has a kickoff return for a touchdown. So we have three guys on this team that have scored on kickoff returns. And I think we've only had 16 in our history and nine in fourteen years, and three guys on our team right now are responsible for five.
Punt returns. We've only returned seven punts this year. Most of them have been fair catches or poor punts. Sometimes because we're trying to block them, the punter will shank them. And that happened a couple of times on Saturday. So when we're going after it we don't have an opportunity to return. We're averaging 10 yards per punt return. We've only blocked one, but we did block it for a touchdown. So we've scored on special teams each of the last three weeks. We feel like that's an area that can improve, but we have gotten a significant play with a blocked punt against Iowa State. Net punt. When we came into this year we changed our punting completely. Now we can rugby punt or we can regular punt and we're doing it from a lot of different formations. [Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach] Manny Diaz and Major went all over the country and starting looking at different punt protections. And knock on wood, but no one has even gotten close to blocking one yet. Our punting average is right at 40 yards, and the net's at 37,8,9. So there's only been a couple of yards on the return on average each week. We feel like we're getting what we need out of our net punt. And nobody's returned one for a touchdown. Manny and Major and Darrell Wyatt are doing a great job there.
Kickoff coverage. We felt like it had been better until Saturday when it just killed us. It's a tougher position right now than ever before. The last few years when they moved the kickoff back, people are returning them, like we are, from five, six yards deep in the end zone. [OSU CB] Justin Gilbert did on Saturday for them. [PK/P] Justin Tucker kicked three out. That one would have been kicked out normally, and we had two missed tackles on it and a couple of busted assignments. So we've gone back and reevaluated the schemes again. It's a tough thing across the country. You're seeing more kickoff returns than ever before. And we also have got a lot of freshmen playing in those areas and freshmen are no longer freshmen. So we're looking at the personnel that was on the kickoff coverage team and seeing if we can help in that area.
Extra point and field goals have been really good. We're 8-of-9 on field goals. We missed the one at Iowa State, and we've kicked a long of 46 yards and Justin is 22-of-22 on punt returns. We'll try to rest him most of this week because he is doing all three phases. I don't remember having someone do all three and do it throughout the year and do as good of a job as he's done. It'll be really, really hard to replace him next year. But we've got to continue to gain field position and score in our kicking game. Because that's key and as we said, we've scored the last three weeks. We've got to continue to look at who replaces Justin next year and it will probably be a number of people. It will not just be one.
Defensively, we played great last week. We held Oklahoma State to 218 yards passing and 120 yards rushing, and we wouldn't have felt bad about the 74-yard run if it had just been 120 throughout the day. We did such a great job against the running game except for two plays. The defense that we're playing is all over the place, and you've got to have gap control. Then the two runs for touchdowns we didn't hit our gaps, and the same thing at Oklahoma. We had a guy run under the block and run over the top of a block. So we've got to do a better job on those two plays. Other than that, they threw one touchdown pass. I think [OSU QB Brandon] Weeden had 47 yards passing in the second half. And we played well enough defensively in the second half to win the game if we could've scored more points and not give up the kickoff return in our kicking game. But we felt like we're tackling pretty well. When we took the three-man front into the ball game we knew that we'd be susceptible to the running game. But you've got to pick your poison against them. It's kind of like Oklahoma; they're really good at what they do. So we knew that we'd have to give them something and we cracked in the running game on the one big play for sure, the 74-yarder which broke our back late.
We need more sacks. I think we're getting pressure on the quarterback. We're affecting the quarterback. We can do a better job of getting in the rush lanes and getting on the edge. That creates more turnovers when you hit the quarterback, or you can get a fumble. That's where most of our turnovers have come from, is when the quarterback has been affected. So we've got to continue to get back there. We've played two quarterbacks that will be in the NFL and one is up for the Heisman, probably both should be. And at the same time they're so smart they get rid of the ball fast. So two or three times when we've held the ball as young quarterbacks, those two guys just get rid of the ball when it would have been a sack. And they know where the receivers are, and they throw it out there.
We feel like we've missed too many opportunities on our turnovers. One of the great things about having a bye week in the middle of the season is we'll go back now and show them every opportunity that we've had to have a turnover that we missed. You go back to Saturday - [CB] Quandre [Diggs} had one in his hands, [CB] Adrian Phillips had one up high that he touched, and [CB] Carrington Byndom was so close on his. I was really surprised it was overturned because usually unless there is evidence enough they don't overturn them on the field. But there's three right there in one game. So for us to continue to get better we have got to force more turnovers. We're not where we want to be right there.
[DE] Alex Okafor, [DT] Kheeston Randall, [LB] Keenan Robinson, [LB] Emmanuel Acho, Carrington Byndom, Quandre Diggs, [S] Blake Gideon, [S] Kenny Vaccaro, Adrian Phillips and [S] Christian Scott are playing really well on defense. And those guys are making a lot of plays for us. Like I said, we've just got to score more points.
Passing comparisons from OU against our defense; 367 for OU, 218 for Oklahoma State. Average yards per pass 7.2 [for OU] as compared to 5.3 [for OSU]. Three passing touchdowns for Oklahoma compared to one against Oklahoma State. And I thought the most significant difference was 8-of-15 on third down conversions with Oklahoma, 2-of-12 with Oklahoma State. And there were six three-and-outs [against OSU]. So we did a much better job and saw much improvement against one of the best passing attacks in the country.
Offensively, we're in a league with great skill. We've got great quarterbacks in this league. It's a point scoring league. And all the coaches we've brought in from across the country, especially the SEC say it's harder to defend here because they're all over the place with spread [offenses]. There's great skill at wide receiver and running backs may be smaller in some cases, but they're really fast. And the quarterbacks are really good.
Our quarterback situation will stay competitive like all others. We will look at it. All we are trying to do is beat Kansas and get better. So when you ask where it is, if we feel like a different combination of both or a different start is going to help us win at Kansas, we'll do that. If we feel like [QB] David [Ash] needs to continue going, we'll do that. And that will be determined at the end of next week. We're young enough at a lot of positions that we've got to continue to have them compete to see how they're getting better.
We thought the offensive line was most improved against Oklahoma State. We ran the ball better. We protected better. We've had too many sacks, so we've gone back and pulled up every sack for the season. Has it been a third-and-long? Has it been a fourth-and-long? Was it right before the half? Was it at the end of the game? What could we have done differently? Did somebody get overpowered? Should we have had a chip or a double team on a guy and helped one of our guys? But we've had too many sacks the last two weeks, and we've got to get that stopped.
[OL] Josh Cochran's playing well for a true freshman. We're trying to get [OL] Sedrick Flowers to get more snaps. He was injured early in the year. He sprained an ankle. That got him out of shape some, and he's fighting his way back in. So hopefully he can get some snaps when we come back for the Kansas game.
We're running the ball well. We've had time of possession for about 34-7 minutes. I think that's about ninth in the country. The thing that you get with a spread offense, if they're ineffective you get the ball more. If they are effective they score really fast and get off the field. So time of possession in our league doesn't necessarily mean you win. Like last week because they scored points and we didn't. We're getting the time of possession. We're getting the running game. Now we've got to score points.
I'm really proud of our running backs. Fozzy Whittaker and [RB] Cody Johnson have been very unselfish. They've helped [RB] Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron a lot. They've reached out to them and shown them what to do. They've been mentors for them. Cody's played great at fullback. He'll be an NFL fullback in my estimation. The way he's playing, it's kind of unnoticed and unheralded because you don't see a lot at that position. But he hasn't griped a snap. Fozzy's helped himself a lot and his future by being a third-down back. Making powerful runs out of the wild formation and in the kicking game.
[C] David Snow, [OG] Mason Walters, [WR] Jaxon Shipley and [WR] Mike Davis have all played really well. So we're making progress there. Our tight ends have been up and down. [TE] Barrett Matthews hurt his knee early in the year. He missed a lot of practice so he's just coming in, and he played really, really well last week. He practiced well again today. He's catching the ball well. He's a good blocker. So hopefully in an offense that needs dominant tight ends, he will be able to step up and continue to play for the rest of the year like he did last week.
We've got to continue to get better on third downs, which we did this week. We've got to keep them manageable because right now we're not a great throwing team. And we've still got to do a better job in the red zone. [If] we'd have scored touchdowns last week, we would have won the game. Instead of being stopped on fourth downs. Two critical fourth downs stops. And another time where we kicked field goals. So we've got to go back and look at our explosive plays.
We threw deep, I think, eight times and didn't connect on any of them. We had the one pass interference penalty. But I think the offensive staff and [co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach] Bryan [Harsin] are trying to get the ball deep. But we're not connecting. So we've got to figure out why and do a better job.
It's pretty typical of a new offense and new quarterbacks that are young and wide receivers, but we had two or three missed communications that you saw. The first third down Marquise [Goodwin] is running deep and David throws an out. And that's a communication between a quarterback and a wide receiver that didn't get communicated properly during the game. At the end of the game, we probably had a touchdown on a post route and Jaxon Shipley ran a flag in one-on-one coverage and the middle was wide open. Again, we had a call, they have 12 on the field. The defense changed, the call changed, and one of them didn't get it. So it's miscommunication. Those are things we can't have. We've got to get better. The last sack that took us out of the game completely was a miscommunication up front. Left tackle didn't fan to the blitzer. So all of those things are things we've got to look at now. Are we being too complicated? Do we need to simplify some things because we've got young players? Or do they need to do a better job of handling what we've got for them?
Right now we're even in the turnover margin, which isn't good enough. We've lost seven fumbles, most of them [by] quarterbacks. We've gained seven fumbles. We've lost six interceptions. We've gained six interceptions. So we're dead-even on where we are, but we've got to do a better job in that area to win in the last six weeks of the season.
We practiced and had a great practice today. Did a lot of running at the end. We'll practice hard tomorrow. We were going to practice in the stadium today, but the winds were too big. We were going out on the practice field, but our rule is if the wind is more than 12mph you can't get the lifts up because the danger of those young people getting hurt. So if it's really windy we can go in the stadium, but we can't go outside to the practice fields.
Our coaches are going to be recruiting hard this week because it will be their last real break between now and the end of the season. So most of them will go out Thursday night. We'll move practice up a bit, get them out of here early. They'll stay out Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night. They'll recruit all day and watch games at night. We'll get a lot done with recruiting. Then we'll go back to work for Kansas on Sunday.
Longhorn Network has taken up a tremendous amount of time. Much more than we had anticipated when the season started. Obviously, we didn't have any idea what we were doing, they just put it on us. But it's great stuff. They've gotten a lot of good information. I hope it gets to the cable system soon so people can start watching it. I think it will give people a lot of good insight into who we are, who our players are, what we're doing at practice and how we're doing it. But we have put a lot of energy into it. Our coaches, our players, our staff and everybody. Like I said, I hope we can get it sold.
We're definitely headed in the right direction. I love this team. They've been fun. Today they came out and worked like they'd never been on the practice field before, so excited. I was a little surprised. The first bye week wasn't that way on the first day. So I was really pleased with practice today. You love their "no quit" attitude. You love their fight. You love their toughness. The senior leadership is great.
The staff has had tremendous chemistry. They had pressure at halftime of Brigham Young and came back and did a great job of managing that game and coming through. You come back and all of a sudden you're sitting here with a blowout against OU. It could have cracked the staff and fragmented some things. But they picked their heads back up, were embarrassed, and tried to fix some things. I thought they made a lot of progress between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. And they're moving forward. We all learn more about each other. All the coaches that are buying into the new systems have to learn the new system like the players do. So we're learning how to adjust better as we do that.
To say we're a work in progress is an understatement because we really are from so many different angles. But I don't think it's surprising to any of us. How many games will we win at the end? I don't have any idea. I think we've got to improve in all the areas. I said we've got to improve. We've got some tough games left, and we expect to be a really good football team by the end of this year. That's what we're working to do.
We do like the two open dates. We can get a lot done this week. Normally you're trying to rest and save some guy's energy. We've got to work. It's very difficult for the 18 freshmen because they've been here since May 31st and haven't had many days off. So some of those guys have probably gotten more than they asked for. And they are tired, but they'll have this weekend to rest up. Probably a lot of them will go home and then get ready to have the six-game stretch.
I might have said this before, but we divide the season up every year. This year the first games were the three out of conference games. That was the first phase of the season. The second three we knew would be very difficult. Going on the road against Iowa State, playing Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. They ended up three and four in the BCS Poll. And now we'll take the third phase for us which will be Kansas here, Texas Tech here and going on the road at Missouri. Then we finish up Kansas State, Texas A&M and Baylor.
I told the players this. I thought the BCS poll gave them some recognition for the two tough games they played the last two weeks in putting them 24th. Because that's the poll that puts everything together and tells you who you are at the end. So that's the one we want to move up in.
On the quarterback competition: Every position is open day-to-day. Quarterback is no different. What we've got to do is figure out how to win.
On if the younger guys will get some extra practice in during the bye week: The young guys will get more work this week than some of the older guys. We've told them that we've been moving at such a fast pace, and there's a whole bunch of new stuff that's been put in. So if someone feels like they've gotten behind because they're not sure what to do, they need to pick it up this week and show what they can do. If some other guys aren't on special teams and think they should be, this is the week to show it. So they really got after each other today. It was like a scrimmage. They were knocking each other out. So I think there's a lot of guys trying to get some attention here. To get a chance to get on the field at the end of the year.
On freshman OL Josh Cochran: I thought he did a good job. There were a few mistakes that you would figure with a freshman. But Josh has played a lot more than we anticipated coming in. He even had a sore shoulder in the spring at his high school and we didn't know whether he'd be able to come through and play or not. He's done a really good job. So hopefully he'll be much better this week.
On changes made during the week between OU and OSU: The last two teams showed us a lot of different looks. [Offensive line coach] Stacy Searels did maybe the best job I've ever seen from Oklahoma to Oklahoma State of cleaning some stuff up. The offensive staff had to look back at exactly why we had the problems we had at OU and why did we have free guys, and why did we have guys get whipped and why didn't we help them? And I thought they did a really good job of that for last week.
On Director of High School Relations and Player Development Ken Rucker's role: Ken is great because he's coached at A&M, he's coached at Baylor and he's coached at Texas. He's one of the nicest human beings there's ever been. When high school coaches come to practice he hosts them. He runs our clinic with Bruce Chambers. When high school guys are around here, he greets them and meets with them and makes sure we get them what they need. And he's able to call coaches and email coaches. So he's the guy that every Monday [he sends], what we call a little pearl, a little motivational quote for high school coaches. A lot of the guys use it because if you're not careful, you get stale during the season. You don't want to sit around looking up quotes, so ol'Ruck has got them a quote for every day. The players absolutely love it. And he handles all of our Fellowship of Christian Athlete stuff, all of our chapels - he runs all that stuff. He's a great mentor for the kids. If someone's getting an operation while we're at practice, he's the guy to meet the parents and be at the hospital with them until we can get down there. So he's in constant contact with the parents as well.
On turnovers: We are breaking them down. We are doing that this week, probably tomorrow and Thursday. By Thursday, we will have all of them and we are going to show every one of them, and that will be an interesting number to look at. The graduate assistants are pulling out missed opportunities just to show them if you got 13 and you could have gotten 26, for instance, maybe you win those two games. You find a way to win other games when you get the confidence to get them. We talked about them so much last year and didn't get them. You don't want to talk about them so much that you jinx yourself and make the kids get too frustrated and try too hard. Carrington Byndom, by the way, has played great. He's been amazing. He is much further along and we saw that in the last two games than we would have thought at the start of the season. He has come from nowhere to covering some of the best guys in the country really well. We put a lot of pressure on him Saturday and he stood up to it and played well. Malcolm Brown was the offensive player of the week and Fozzy [Whittaker] was the special teams player of the week.
On playing "dime" against Oklahoma State: What we wanted them to do was not throw for 555 yards like they have against everyone else. If you watch the Kansas film, it scares you to death. I've never seen anyone hit five touchdowns [in the first half]. He [Weeden] hit 24-of-28 before he sat down, and they took him out with five minutes to go in the half. It's just a scary thing after you got back from Dallas. We felt like last year they burned us very easily with the pass and the screen, and we had to take away their down field throws the best we could. We had to take away their screen game and I think we held them to nearly nothing, where last year it was 134 or 137 yards, something like that. The one thing is we had a little game with our three-man front on the 74-yard run, and we didn't get there. This is one of the problems when you are playing against the run against Oklahoma with a 64-yard run and the 74-yard run against Oklahoma State. The middle was free because we had "three over two" in both cases on their best wide receivers trying to take that away. So all of a sudden, they hit a little trap in there that squirts and you have nobody in center field. If you jump on [defensive coordinator] Manny Diaz, he says, "We could have let them throw it." Again, you are playing two of the best offenses in college football and you just got to figure out how to do it. I thought as disappointed as we all were with the two runs, the first one should have been stopped without question. We had enough people on a fourth-and-one with 39 seconds left in the half, and that's another thing we talked about. We gave up points before the half at UCLA. We gave up points before the half at Oklahoma, and we gave up points before the half at Oklahoma State. So that is an area we feel like we have to do better in, and we don't want them to take momentum in the half. On fourth-and-one, you stop them there and you're 14-10 in great shape going into halftime instead of giving it up. You're also in a bind. We thought we got a little winded there. We didn't stop Oklahoma before the half, so we thought maybe we should have called a timeout. Oklahoma State has two timeouts left. We called a timeout on this one and they score the next play. I think again, give them credit. They had not run that play before. They've run the stretch in that situation, and they had not run the weak side isolation and they hit us and made a good play.
On losing focus at the end of the half: I don't know. If we could answer that I wouldn't have brought it up in here, and we would have stopped it after UCLA. I think that's another thing we are doing. I've asked Manny and [assistant Hhead coach/defensive backs coach] Duane [Akina] to go back and look at every defensive call in the last three minutes at OU. It was 2:47 I think at OU. It was 3:06 the other day and at UCLA it was less than that. We screwed up at UCLA. We squib kicked and they ran it back to the 49 and kicked a long field goal, so that one is probably on the kick-off team more than the defense. You are sitting there again at 27-10, 2:47 and three timeouts left at OU. You kick off to them and you hold them, and they go down and score like it's recess. It was harder the other day, but it's the same thing. An 80-yard drive with 3:06 left, and it just breaks you down. You spend your whole halftime talking about how you have to come back and stop them on the first series of the second half, and they run a kick-off back. So that just breaks you. I thought for a young team, there were so many momentum changes in that game Saturday that hurt us, and they kept coming back. You go with that momentum change and then our offense answered by the kick-off return. Then you go down to Fozzy's near miss at the goal line. Then you think you have a safety on first down, but the sucker throws you a ball on second down that you intercept for a touchdown that cuts it to six points and he is out of the back of the end zone. No body can see it. So here we are all excited, and they are blowing a whistle and stopping everything. We can't imagine what's wrong, and he stepped out of the back the end zone. The only mistake he made all day was stepping out and he throws a bad pass, but he had to make it good for them. Then we don't come down and score on the next drive, which is where we had the turnover and the game gets out of hand.
On stopping the running game: It's getting better. I think we are getting tougher. We are getting our toughness back, and it will help us. The last two weeks we haven't seen a team that is going to line up and try to run downhill. Both runs caught us short-handed at the line of scrimmage, and we didn't execute as well as they did. You have to do everything perfect with a three-man line when you are spread out all over the field against a good team.
On Texas' run game: We are doing better. We need to do a better job in the red zone of running the ball in. If we are going to be inconsistent in the pass game and in the red zone, than we have to be tougher and try to knock people out. The isolation play right after the turnover by Malcolm Brown was a thing of beauty. It was blocked perfectly and he was untouched for 12 yards, or whatever it was. We need more of that and we had more runs in this game than, I think, we've had in any game up inside where we actually blocked them and there were big holes. There was a trap put in and some new things. Stacy Searels is really good at what he does, and he is going to continue to make these guys tougher. He and Major and Bryan are working so hard on the running game to try and get it [right], because that is who we are right now. We've got to get better in the passing game. We do feel like if we continue to run it well then there will be some play-action passes that can get the ball deep, because they are going to have to come up and start stopping the run. I think Malcolm is really good. He's tough, and he's a durable guy who can carry the ball a lot during a ball game.
On QB David Ash decisions with the ball: As I said after the game, if you aren't careful with the young ones sometimes they stare at the one guy too long or they hold it too long. That's just part of growing up. That's what we've got to do and this week will hopefully help him and [QB] Case [McCoy].
On which young players are surpassing expectations: [LB] Jordan Hicks was playing great until he hurt his hamstring. He needs to get back and get 100% healthy. That slowed him down. [DT] Calvin Howell has been better than we would have thought at this time. [DT] Ashton Dorsey was doing great, but he hurt a hip flexor. If a young one doesn't practice, he can still play in the game, but he doesn't play as well. We have noticed that, and we have talked to guys about it. If you don't practice on Tuesday and you don't practice on Wednesday then you are not old enough to miss a practice and play as well. So we have seen that drop off. We have put [CB] Quandre [Diggs] in a tough spot with those two teams the last two weeks. He has really stepped up, and he did better Saturday than he did against Oklahoma. The speed of the game helped him there. [WR] Marquise [Goodwin] played a few more plays the other day. We have to keep him to where he knows the offense. He is in better shape. I watched him running today, and he is finally getting his football conditioning down. Each time we have to get him with more plays, because he's new in the offense, so he would be considered a younger one. Josh Cochran has done better than we thought. [OG/C] Dominic Espinosa has played well. He sprained his ankle a couple of weeks ago, and it has bothered him some. We are seeing [OL] Sedrick Flowers can be really good if we can just get him on the field knowing what to do. We tried to force some of that on him today. Joe Bergeron can be a good player for us. He's done great in special teams, and we probably need to try and find a way to get him in the game more.
On what qualities this team has to make him optimistic about being on an upward trend: I think their attitude. You go back and look at last year and I thought we came back from Nebraska thinking we were better than we were. This team right now isn't giving itself credit for anything. I think this team understands we have to fight for everything we get, and that is what a 5-7 season does to you. It gets you back down to earth. It will humble you really quickly at Texas. This bunch isn't taking anything for granted.
On putting so much on a young Malcolm Brown: His ceiling is like Saturday. He is a guy that can rush for a lot of yards for us. We will keep using him and Fozzy and figure out whether Joe can help in that group. I think he's really good. Most of the freshman that we had play in the Oklahoma game did not play well. Redshirt freshman have a chance, but if you go back and study them historically, that's been a game for some freshman that is too big for them. It wasn't for him at all. He ran hard. He got it. He was physical, and he didn't fumble. He blocked and he made the right reads, so I think he is a really good player and he is really mature. I think he is as good as advertised. He made explosive running plays on Saturday. I think he is faster than some people had given him credit for. We do think he can make the long run.
On changes to the playbook: We made some last week. When you look at Oklahoma, we had too many mistakes. I've always been taught that the bigger the game and the more pressure on the kids, the simpler the game plan needs to be. You can't cut it to where you can't win the game, but you don't add a bunch of stuff. It will send a message to your team, unless you've been working on it all year and then don't stick stuff in that week. I didn't think we did that last week, but I thought as young as we are some of the guys didn't respond as well. We said when you mess up, you look bad and we need to simplify. So we simplified for Oklahoma State and played better. What we are doing right now, and the guys were over here all day Sunday, all day yesterday and all day today, is to try and figure out especially every red zone play. Why haven't we scored? We were early, and we aren't now. You can't just say the two teams were a lot better than we are, because that doesn't help us. We still have to score. We are looking at every play and trying to figure it out. I think our identity has pretty much shown its face on both sides of the ball out on the field. We are showing who we are in the red zone on defense. The two-of-12 was unbelievable with Oklahoma State on third downs on defense. We were eight-of-19 on offense, which was better. Not great, but it was better. Now we just have to figure out the red zone offense, and we need to do a really great job of coaching. We didn't score in the red zone last year, and we aren't scoring now. We are halfway through the season. We've got to figure out why and fix it, and we have to fix it fast. Again, they are going to score 30 points a game in this league, usually. Unless you are a 30-point team, you are going to get beat. You go back and look, Oklahoma State scored 37 against Arizona, and they scored 30 against A&M. We thought if we could score 30 then we have a chance to win the game, and that's exactly where it was when you come down to it.
On recruiting quarterbacks: With [QB] Garrett Gilbert leaving, we are looking at who is out there. We are looking at who would be interested that fits who we are. Again, you have gone from four to two with one coming in, so you would like to have four. We are not going to take one unless we feel like one is going to be good enough. We are having the same conversations you are probably writing about. We haven't made a decision. Bryan will go out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and look like he did last open day. He will look really hard this weekend at different guys, and he has gotten a lot of video and film in. We haven't made a decision on whether we will take another one or not.
On Case McCoy's mindset of not playing against Oklahoma State: I think he was disappointed as he would be. He has really worked hard. He worked hard today. He has not given up. He's competing and wants to play.
On how the fans have been this season: I think the fans have been great. They've been so supportive, and I think they understand where we are and who we are. You'll have some people that gripe when you're winning. So I think the fans have been great. They all came Saturday and tried to help the kids. In fact, I don't think since our first year here I've got so many encouraging emails and letters about the team fighting and starting over. I think they truly understand that we've got a lot of work to do and we are who we are. And good for them. I didn't know you could do that here. But they're really responding well.
On if he'll get to watch a lot of college football this weekend: I will. I love this weekend. It's fun for me because I'll try to see Kansas-Kansas State. That will be required for all of our players, because we'll play both of them and that will be their assignment for the weekend. But I'll start tonight. I'll "Tivo" Florida International. When I get home tonight I'll watch every play. I just love college football. I love watching it, and I love the games. You see fakes and you see things that you like. You see how people motivate and what they did. I love to see people go for fourth downs, kids competing and fighting. It's really a game about will. Your will against their will. It's like a boxing match. It's like the military, except you don't die. And it tells you a whole lot about yourself when you're out there fighting. And the good thing for them, they didn't blink at Oklahoma. I thought they got down so much that we didn't carry ourselves with confidence in the second half. But I even thought Saturday they thought they were going to win until four minutes left when we fumbled it. And that's a good trait for this team, and I'm excited about watching them the rest of the way.
On Texas fans: What I have learned about Texas fans from the first year I got here, they want you to be well coached and they want you to try hard. They expect those two things, and that's the most important thing. Right now the guys are coaching as hard as they can, and these kids are trying. And I think fans appreciate that.