Player press conference quotes: Oct. 20
Oct. 20, 2008
CB Ryan Palmer
On if his game plan will change due to Oklahoma State's preference to run the ball: Not really because they have a good receiver in Dez Bryant so I know they're going to be trying to get him the ball. Against Missouri, they threw it a lot and they made some plays against (Missouri). I know that they're going to try to run the ball, that's the main thing, to stop the run. If we can do that, I know that it's all on us again like last week. They're going to throw the ball.
On Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew: He's a good player, too. This conference has good receivers and tight ends. With Pettigrew we're going to have to be ready to go. We gave up some yards to (Chase) Coffman. In my opinion, he's a good tight end. This week we have to make sure we remember where Pettigrew is at all times, lock him up and try to cover him.
On Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy: He's been doing a good job with them. They're undefeated and they're playing real well right now. We just have another challenge on our hands to show the world why we are Texas.
On the importance of tackling the next two weeks: Our coaches always emphasize tackling. We're probably going to do a little tackling this week in practice. Back there (in the secondary) we're ready to go, we're not scared to hit anybody. We're going to buckle up and go.
On the recent history of big comebacks against Oklahoma State: We don't like playing games that close. We want to go out there and just change all that, start out fast. That's the main thing - to do in this game, start off fast. The defense just needs to get three-and-outs to get the ball in Colt and (the offense's) hands and let them do work.
On the prolific receivers the defense has faced: It's always fun going against guys like that. Each week in practice we go up against Ship (Jordan Shipley) and Quan (Cosby), going against those guys makes it a lot easier. It's fun going against big-name guys, but when you cover in front of them you can't see their name on the back of their jersey so you've just got to go out there and cover them.
C Chris Hall
On last year's comeback win: I've never been a part of a win like that where we were down by a lot heading into the fourth quarter and things just started clicking. That last-second kick by (Ryan) Bailey, that was definitely emotional. We're definitely glad to have Oklahoma State here Saturday.
On playing at home: We love playing at home. Our fans are great. That atmosphere on Saturday was crazy. We really, really loved that. We love playing at home, especially a top-10 team. It's going to be really fun.
On the team's mindset: We just want to win ball games and we're thankful for the way things have turned out. It's been really, really such a sweet experience.
On if he is surprised by the team's success: I can't say that I'm surprised because I get to be around these guys all year long. Being around these guys all offseason, all summer, just seeing the chemistry, two-a-days, it was really good for us to go against our defense. It was a pretty good front seven we were seeing every day, and our defensive backfield has done a great job. I can't say I'm surprised but I'm thankful for sure.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
On handling the weapons of Oklahoma State: We just have to continue to prepare hard in practice. They have a great offense, offensive line, great receivers, great running backs and they have a great quarterback. He's very accurate. We just have to go in this week and stay focused on the things we have to do to be successful in the game. They're going to come out and they're going to test us. I saw they were ranked first in rushing in the Big 12. We just have to be ready this week.
On gaining confidence from the early defensive stops against Missouri: It was exciting to come out on that first drive, first play, and Roy made the big hit. For us to just come out and go three and out like that, that builds confidence right there within the defense. We just continued to build on that throughout the game. We had a couple more three-and-outs after that. Once your confidence is high and your players feel comfortable within the defense that we're playing, everybody is on the same page and having fun out there.
On Coach Will Muschamp's intensity Saturday: He was excited, especially after the first three-and-out because he always preaches, on third down, to turn it up a notch and get off the field. For us to come out and go three and out like that, I think he did a couple chest bumps with a couple players. It's exciting to see him get fired up like that as a player. I know if he could get back in those pads one more time, he would.
On facing such a balanced offense: That's something you look forward to as a defense. A good balanced team that runs and throws the ball. For us it's a challenge and we're just going to have step up to the challenge. Starting tomorrow when practice starts, we'll start focusing on the little things. I know they're going to come out and I know they have a couple good receivers, and some good backs, so it's going to be a great challenge for us as a defense.
On what he likes the most about this team right now: I just like how we continue to practice hard during the week and let it carry all the way through to Saturday and game time. Once the game comes, we all just turn it on. It's just fun and exciting to be out there on the field with 10 other guys that want to give it all out for the defense. It's exciting to be a part of that.
On whether he knew at the start of the season how good the team would be at this point: I never looked at it. I always took it one day at a time. I knew if we all just continued to be on the same page like we were back then, I knew great things were going to happen. I didn't know back then that I'd be talking to you right now about being one of the best teams. But to me, we've still got a lot of work to do, a lot of things we can correct within the defense. We're going to get it done. We just have to continue to practice hard and get ready for the next opponent.
On Brian Orakpo on and off the field: He's a great person to be around, he's a friend of mine. I'm excited about what he's done this year and I'm looking forward to what he's going to do. We've got a couple more games to go. It's just fun to be a part of it.
DT Lamarr Houston
On facing a running team in Oklahoma State: I think that's great. It gives us more action, gives us a chance to actually work our run techniques. With all these spread teams we have nowadays, you get so used to trying to pass rush, some people forget about the run block.
On whether he knew at the start of the season how good the team would be at this point: I didn't think about that. I still don't think about it. We don't even really talk about it. We just love going out there and playing football. I don't think that's a factor with us and I really don't mind it.
On Brian Orakpo: It's been great. Orakpo is a great defensive player and he's an even better person. He lives up to his expectations.
On Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson: He's by far the fastest quarterback we'll play, besides the quarterback from Baylor [Robert Griffin]. He's really good at throwing the ball too, so he's very dangerous. He's very effective in the pocket.
QB Colt McCoy
On comparing the coordinators, Greg Davis and Will Muschamp: The thing they have in common is their passion for the game. They both love the game. They're energetic at practice, watching film. They just love the game. I think that's their biggest attribute.
On if he's made Coach Greg Davis's job easier this year: I'd like to think so. But he's an awesome coach. He knows so much about the game. He's made me the player I am. Like I said, he knows the things we do best and he's putting us in the right situations.
On the offense playing at a high level right now: We are. We're doing a lot of really good things, especially this last week. We came out and tried to get on the board as early as we could and stay after it, and we did, which is important against a high-powered offense like Missouri. (That will be important) this week too with Oklahoma State. They can score pretty much every time they have the ball, so we're going to have to keep playing to that standard and keep getting better. There are a lot of things we can improve on. We just have to stay focused.
On how easy it is to stay patient in the offense: Being able to go 90-plus yards in the beginning of the game is important. That says a lot coming out of the game because you know you're going to get different looks from the defense in the beginning. To be able to handle those, to adjust to what they're doing, that says a lot about our offense and how we feel and play out on the field, how much control we have. Coach Davis called some simple plays early on just to get the feel of what they were doing - their twists, their moves, what coverage they were in. Being able to come out like that is pretty strong.
On comparing last season's game against Oklahoma State to this year's matchup: Oklahoma State always plays us tough every year. We definitely don't want to put ourselves in the situation we were in last year. That's something that is really hard to overcome and we were fortunate. We know they're a great football team, I've watched a lot. They're really aggressive. They come after you. It seems like a lot of defenses have been doing that. We've been able to see that and get those looks. We're going to have to handle it just like we have every week.
On Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson: I haven't really seen that much, I just watch their defense. But I know that he's doing a great job and they're scoring a lot of points. I think their balance on offense, running and passing the ball is a good mixture. He does a great job of leading their offense. He came in and took over for Bobby Reid, so that says a lot in itself. Each week, you're going to play against a quarterback that's really good. The Big 12 is blessed to be able to do that and it makes it fun.
On whether he knew at the start of the season how good the team would be at this point: I knew the chemistry that we had on this team. I knew how focused we were and how we wanted to win so badly. We wanted to be better than 10-3. I knew that if we took one game at a time, we practiced hard, if we prepared each week, I knew that we had the greatest coaches around that we know of. We have a tough schedule but if we could just say, "Hey, it doesn't matter. Put it all on the line every week. Practice like you want to win and see where we can go," and we've done that. The most important thing is that we continue to do that and not worry about number one. It means nothing right now us. That's how we played last Saturday, and we're going to do the same thing this Saturday.
On the young wide receivers: We spent three nights a week in the summer, nobody went home or on vacation, we were here working. That's starting to pay off. Look at Malcolm [Williams], the catch that he made. We've known those guys can do those things, it's just a matter of when they're going to step up and make a big play. All those things are starting to happen. You look at Brandon Collins who comes up big this week in our flex offense that we put in. It's just a matter of who's going to step up and make plays, and it needs to happen every week.
On dealing with the hype: It's just like I tell my coaches and my teammates - I just want to win. That's the most important thing. If we win all our games, then maybe some awards will come. But it's a reflection of the team.
WR Quan Cosby
On comparing last season's game against Oklahoma State to this year's matchup: I hope it's not that emotional because I hope we come out and start a lot faster. But I definitely know they are going to come out and play well. We have to handle the adversity. They are a really good team, especially on defense. It's going to be another tough one.
On his relationship with offensive coordinator Greg Davis: It's great. Of course, coach is great and he's one of the best in the business. Coach D and our coaching staff put us in great positions to be successful and that's what it boils down to. From the (offensive line) coach to the running backs, receivers, tight ends, everyone. They work tremendously together, and we see that and build off of it. It's about chemistry and camaraderie, and that has a lot to do with why we're so close. He puts us in great positions. He's very enthusiastic. More than anything, our coaches are extremely passionate. We love that about them. They take everything serious, sometimes of course we think too serious, but it just shows that they're definitely passionate about winning and preparing to win.
On whether he knew at the start of the season how good the team would be at this point: I think we believed it, definitely. I know this summer we worked extremely hard together. Everyone came out and was really focused. There were lots of comments on how special this could be. As much as we say that, you're never sure. As much success as we've had, we're not sure how this game is going end up this weekend. I think (Coach Brown) was being totally honest and definitely respecting our opponents. We have to go back to work and we're really not sure what's going to happen, but we're going to prepare to have a good one.
On the performance of the young wide receivers against Missouri: It's great because I know the work they've put into it and how patient they are, even as young guys. I think recruiting now is really interesting because guys come in really wanting to play their freshman year, and I don't think it was like that back in the day. These guys have never at any time stopped working. They love to learn. Each play they're not in, they pay attention. It shows because when they come in, they make huge plays for us. I'm extremely excited about it. It's fun to watch. Those guys are going to continue to be a positive for us.
DE Brian Orakpo
On comparing last season's game against Oklahoma State to this year's matchup: I wipe the slate. It's a different team, a different attitude we have with ourselves. And we're at home. That's something we can say will help us. Our fans are going to be stirred up for this game and will really give us that home field advantage. You know (Oklahoma State is) going to be ready, though. We know that they're a fast-tempo offense and they really get after it.
On the importance of starting strong this week: We've been saying it from day one - you have to start fast and strong. I believe we've been doing that so far. Against Missouri, we didn't finish strong, so that's something we have to fix. The guys have been really on the same page as far as feeding off each other goes. If the offense goes out there and scores, the defense has to go out there and stop them and give them back the ball. If we go out there first, we have to stop them and give the offense the ball so they can put points up. Guys are feeding off each other and having a good time out there.
On whether he knew at the start of the season how good the team would be at this point: I believed we were capable of being 7-0 right now. We had a lot of question marks, like the secondary, are they going to be able to sustain a pass rush or the running back situation; there were lot of question marks. The good thing about it is we answered those questions, but we can also get better. I feel like guys are continuing to try and get better as the weeks go on. We're not just being a complacent team, we always want to go out there and give our A game.
On Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson: I feel like this guy is very similar to Colt. They do a lot of the zone read stuff. He probably won't get as much attention as a lot of the great quarterbacks in the Big 12, but he does a great job of leading that offense. He's very fast on his feet, very deceiving speed like Colt has. He can run the ball really well and also has a great arm.
On the zone read: We see it all the time with Colt and them, but you still have to play it perfect because you always have to trust your teammates. If a guy has the quarterback, you have to trust him that he has the quarterback. One guy can mess it up and he's off to the races for a 20-yard gain. You can't be so aggressive. You've got to play assignment football, slow-play it, make sure he's handing the ball off or he keeps it. You just can't go attack it. You have to be very patient.
On the media hype over his play this year: It just shows how much work me and my teammates have been doing throughout the whole offseason. We worked so hard it was ridiculous - seven on seven practices, staying after that to help the younger guys, everybody working on their pass-rushing skills, going one-on-one with the offensive linemen. We had so much talent. We wanted to make sure we'd be ready for the season. It pays a tribute to the offseason work, everybody being on the same page, the great chemistry. But we have a lot of work to do. Colt will tell you, you can't get into the individual awards and all that stuff. You just have to keep going, keep fighting.
On what he is like off the field: I'm a cool, calm, collected guy. I'm a really laid back, chill type of guy. On the field, I'm kind of crazy and wild. In football, you have to have that split personality. If somebody gets on my bad side, then you'll see my football side. Normally I'm just joking around with my teammates, messing with the freshmen, picking on Earl [Thomas] and Blake [Gideon] all the time. I'm just a cool guy.
On how the home field advantage affects both home and visiting teams: Our fans are really paying a huge tribute for us this reason. These guys are very loud. The offenses can't even hear what's going on because it's so loud. They're false starting all the time, guys jumping offsides. It's a huge honor for our fans to do that for us, pay us so much attention and make so much noise for us to really go out there and win ballgames.
WR Jordan Shipley
On whether he knew at the start of the season how good the team would be at this point: We've got a lot that we've still got to prove but I think a lot of us felt during the summer that we had a special group of guys. You can't ever tell how a team is going to play, but I just felt like we had a group of guys that was special. Sometimes you can have a group of guys that is special and not be a great team, but it's just worked out that way. We've got some good leadership on this team and the main thing is we've got a lot of unselfish players. That's the thing that is helping us the most this year.
On Colt McCoy's leadership: I think he just has an aura about him that he knows he's going to get the job done and everybody else knows too. He's not a really vocal guy, but he just has something about that is a quiet confidence, and I know we all have a lot of confidence in him. We're glad he's in there with us.
On the young wide receivers: Those guys (celebrate) for us all the time. At times when they weren't playing as much and Quan or I made a play, they came over and always congratulated us, so we want to make sure they know that when they make a big play, it means something to us, and that we appreciate what they're doing. Whenever they make plays, it makes our offense a lot better. They can take away one or two things but if we have a lot of guys making plays, it makes us pretty tough to stop.
On the importance of a strong start against Oklahoma State: We want to come out and be ready to play this week. We like to be ready every week but the last few years, we've started slow in that game. It's just one of those things we'd like to change this year. We're going to come out and be as focused as we can be. We definitely have to get started a little faster this year.
DT Roy Miller
On the defensive's mentality: We are excited. Part of the defensive line's mentality is try to take over the game upfront. That's our mentality, and being disruptive is something I look forward too to every game.
On Texas' close games with Oklahoma State in the past: The past is the past, number one. This is a new team. We have a whole other mentality. Obviously, Oklahoma State is a great football team offensively. They are going to have surge. They have a lot of guys from Texas on their roster. We've got to be able to play better than the past. We are going to come out there with a new team, and a new defensive team. We are going to come out there ready.
On playing a team that is well balanced: Taking away the run and making the team one-dimensional is about the hardest thing about a team that can run and throws the ball so well. You've got to be able to stop the run, so you can make the quarterback scramble around. That is how you get hits on them and that's how you get sacks on them. Taking away the run is very important in game where the team is well balanced like Oklahoma State.
On if he thought this team could be something great: I've been saying it for a long time that this team is very good. The players are very good. That doesn't reflect us nationally because the season isn't over yet, but I always I thought we have had some great athletes on this team. I am standing next to Serigo Kindle, Brian Orakpo, Lamarr Houston, Roddrick Muckelroy, and all the guys on the defense. I am very proud to be a part of this team. We are mature in the fact that we know that you don't get a certificate for being number one at the seventh game of year. You get it at the end of the year. This team has taken challenges week in and week out. We just love the challenge. We love to play together. The chemistry is there. We enjoy being on the same field together and watching each other play.
OG Cedric Dockery
On Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State has a good defense from what I have seen. They have a really, really good offense. Coach McWhorter and Coach Davis told the offensive line that they will blitz 42 percent, but we will probably get a little bit more because usually that is what has happened to us over the weeks. We always usually get a little bit more blitzes. They have a good team.