Oct. 26, 2009
Press Conference Video
Opening statement: Well we had a really fun game up at Columbia this weekend with Missouri. It was the first sellout for their school. The kids really like going on the road and enjoy playing in a stadium full of their fans. Our away crowd was really unbelievable and our band makes us feel like we are home, but really proud of the fast start and they way the guys played. The only thing that happened was that our plane got delayed 2 hours, so we were in the Columbia airport late and got home at 4:30 a.m., so we adjusted our schedule yesterday, and I think the kids are back on track. If the coaches can hang in there, then the young kids can for sure.
Really proud of the offense, getting a quick start, looks like they are coming into their own, and continue to get better each week now, and we have more the full compliment of getting the type of offense we want this year. Colt was just named the Big 12 Player of the Week offensively, and he should have been; hitting 18-of-21, and I think those two of the three were dropped, in the first half. Really, really proud of him. He tied Peyton Manning for second-most wins in college football history. He is four wins away from beating David Greene for being the winningest quarterback in the history of college football, which is really a great accomplishment.
The defense continues to play at a really high level. You can win championships with defense, and our guys are forcing much more turnovers than they did last year. We are really excited about watching them force turnovers and stop the running game and being physical on defense, and we need to continue to do that especially on the road.
Our kicking game is the best we've had. The blocked punt right before the half put the game out of reach for good. Malcolm Williams continues to play well in the kicking game. Curtis Brown blocked the punt Malcolm recovered. We have a point system for our special forces and our special teams. Malcolm had 38 points for this game and that is the most points we have ever had from anybody. We are really, really pleased with our special teams and are really pleased with what Malcolm is bringing to the group.
We came out healthy, which is good and the real interesting thing about our teams is they have played really well after the OU game. It's like you have two seasons. You build up to the OU game, you need to win it. If you don't win it, you are in some trouble the rest of the season because you have to fight your way back into the mix, nationally. If you do win it, you are in the upper mix immediately and you have to go continue to play and put it behind you. Our teams have been able to do that very well. We felt like the second half we wished we played better offensively, we are going to protect Colt, we are going to substitute, and we feel like that had something to do with it, but overall we felt that our team played great.
It looks like it will be another sellout, the first sellout at Boone Pickens stadium on Saturday night, Halloween night. It doesn't get better than this. It's a great Oklahoma State team, one that we've had some really exciting games with. This kind of ends our four-game stretch and this part of the season with Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri and Oklahoma State, and then we restart the season to finish with the last four next week. They're on a five-game winning streak. (OSU head coach) Mike Gundy is doing an outstanding job with their program. They are getting consistently good. They're a team that you have to contend with each year, and I know they feel like this was going to be a big year for them. They've got 50 kids from the state of Texas, 12 of them start so it's always a very emotional game for them. They're an older team. We've played against these kids for four years now, so there's a lot of familiarity between the two schools. You've got some really fun matchups when you start looking at Mike Gundy calling plays, a young head coach and offensive coordinator and an exciting offense against Will Muschamp's calls on defense. And (OSU defensive coordinator) Bill Young, an old, heady coordinator that's been around a long time, and they're very sound. They're very well coached on defense, they're very tough, they tackle well, but he adds subtle wrinkles each week to change the game plan against Greg Davis, who does the same. It's really a good matchup when you look at defensive and offensive play callers throughout the game.
They're averaging 37 points a game. The quarterback is really a good player, Zac Robinson. Kendall Hunter should be back this week, but Keith Toston's had a couple one-hundred-yard games. They rushed the ball for 217 yards against us last year in this game. That's one of the keys this week. They've only given up four sacks all year, so they're protecting the quarterback well and they're running the ball well. Defensively, they play a four and three-down scheme like most people are doing now. They're only blitzing about 27 percent of the time, but as we said, Bill Young's one of the best around. He will come in with a great plan against us, and we know that. They've got some outstanding players on defense as well, and their special teams are just as good as anybody in the country.
Like last year at this point, we have a great window of opportunity. It's on our team and our coaches to continue to do well and win. It's a fun time for us. We're in the national mix here two years in a row. There are only seven undefeated teams left and two of them had to save their seasons on the last play of the game last week with Alabama blocking the field goal on the last play of the game and Iowa scoring on a slant the last play of the game. It's hard to be undefeated this time of year. I'm proud of our kids. I'm really proud that they have fought and competed and let all of our fans, our media and our coaches have fun this time of the year being one of the best teams in the country. I've told them not to take that for granted. We've also told them that you have to handle the situations that are ahead of you. Your legacy will really be determined by what you do in the next six, seven games. It will not have anything to do with what you did behind you. The guys have to restart every week and make sure they're excited and as ready to play as they were on Saturday night. It's hard to come out of OU and be that excited. I thought they were pumped and excited. It was a fun night to coach and fun to watch them.
It sounds like the weather's going to be great for our fans on Saturday night. It's going to be about 61 degrees during the day and 47 or 48 at night and not a lot of wind. It should be a perfect night for football.
On if he knows why he has been able to beat Oklahoma State all in all 11 attempts: I'm not sure. Most coaches don't get to coach against somebody 11 times. You start looking at them, I think the fact is they've got a lot of Texas kids. They've got more Texas kids probably than anybody we play outside the state of Texas. Those kids get really excited about playing in our game. You look at it, I think we've come behind three times in 11 years, the rest of them have been good games. They've been tough games, but it's because they're getting better. Les Miles did a really good job there, Mike (Gundy) has continued, now they're one of the best teams in the country. I think you're looking again at the Big 12 South has some of the best teams in America in it. That's what makes our division so tough.
On the unique atmosphere at Boone Pickens Stadium: The field itself is unique. I think it's the only one, or one of two, that is built in the opposite direction of all the other fields in the country. Theirs is east-west; the rest are north-south. The boundary is really, really close to you. I remember one year up there, I was on the sideline and my headphones went out and we scored a touchdown. Some guys that were enjoying their beverages felt like they were sitting with me and said, "Brown, you're such an idiot they don't even let you hear what they're calling when the score a touchdown." And I thought, "You know, he's really right. I didn't even have it on." You get to know the fans really well there. It's fun. The fans are always great up there. The fans behind the bench are aggressive but they're fun. They usually know your mom's name. They've got a lot of information on you.
On Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson: Zac's won a whole lot of football games and he takes care of the football. He runs the ball really well. You can tell by the fact that they've only given up four sacks this year that he is a very good quarterback. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. He's been good against us every year that we've played. He's really tough. You hit him and he jumps right back up and goes back to play. He's been a great player for Oklahoma State.
On the defense and turnovers: Our offenses here at times have had to outscore the other team because we've given up a lot of points. Right now we're giving up 13 points a game, we're in the top 10 in scoring defense, and we're in a position where we can be smarter, and a punt's a good play for us sometimes on offense. We don't have to take as many chances as we did in some years. At the same time, if we will go back and protect the ball the last five games like we did last year and continue to force turnovers that will be great combination. We're still having too many turnovers offensively. Last year we didn't have any. Last year the defense didn't force any. This year, the defense is forcing a lot more. I think we're at 21 now, and our offense isn't protecting it as well. We've got to make sure we're protecting the ball and continue to play the same on defense and get our field position in the kicking game.
On Oklahoma State's special teams: I thought covering kicks at Missouri was the best we've done in kickoff coverage. We were really aggressive and did a good job and our punting was good. Duane's just the best in blocking and returning punts. Oklahoma State's always good in special teams. They're averaging 45.5 yards per punt, so it will probably be a great challenge again for our punt block and return game because if you get a great punter it gives you more opportunity to return.
On how much the team spends working on special teams: We are doing more than ever. We thought we did more than anybody in the country and this year we've just added. When you have an opportunity to score like we do every play in special teams, the kids are so excited about it. They were fighting with coaches to try to get on the teams. I just feel like in these type games, when you're in the mix at the top, you've got to handle the turnover ratio and especially on the road you've got to make some plays in the kicking game. We're actually working on every phase every day in practice. We're putting a tremendous amount of time in and it's paying off.
On dealing with the pressure of big games: You can feel pressure or you can go in and say, "We are Texas." We've earned the right to be good here so let's go ahead and act like you're good and walk into the stadium like you're going to win the game. Not arrogance, not complacency. Swagger means that your body language is good, it means that you walk in with confidence and it means that you handle situations that come up and you handle them in a first-class manner. This team is getting its swagger now. I thought it was the first time the offense had its swagger. The defense has had it, special teams have it. I was really proud that Colt (McCoy) kind of jump-started that whole thing.
On the similarities between this week's game and last year's Texas Tech game: It's the same week, the same situation. How many times in your life do you get a chance to re-do something that you're not as proud of. That's the emphasis of this week. We don't need style points. We don't need to do anything other than win. We need to find a way to win this week against a really good team, but don't be so surprised. They're talking about all the excitement up there. We should be excited too. This is fun for us. This is a great time for us, and we need to enjoy it, embrace it and go attack it.
On how the staff is treating the pending status of OSU WR Dez Bryant: We always prepare for them to have their full compliment of players regardless of who we play. You start looking at (Oklahoma State WR Hubert) Anyiam is a guy that has 19 catches the last two weeks. They've done a great job of moving forward without Dez, but if he plays we'll be prepared.
On the history of comebacks against Oklahoma State: We haven't started in this game as well, but give our kids credit for hanging in there and coming back. One of the earmarks of our program has been comebacks in the fourth quarter, and this series has had a lot of those. I think it's who you are. You'd rather not get behind. The one where we fell behind 35-7 in the second quarter and won 56-35, I called my mom after the game like I do every game because if I don't I'll be in trouble. I said, "Mom, what about that comeback?" She said, "Everybody's bragging on your halftime talk, what about pregame? Could you give a pregame talk that's more decent than that to get them started right?" That's my mother.
On the team's focus right now: What I want these kids to do is, number one we need to win the Big 12 South. We're not looking at the end. We're looking at this weekend as a huge opportunity to be 5-0 in our league, and that's something that we need to do. That's what the kids are looking at and they're looking at it with excitement. There was the same buzz in the meeting room yesterday that we had before the OU game. This has got their attention, and it's fun. There are very few teams that will have the exciting challenge we will have this weekend. It's good for us to be in this position.
What we always expect as coaches, we expect the other team to play great, we expect not to get the breaks, we expect the officials' calls to go against us, and then you have to manage the game. When it goes like it did Saturday night, you just manage the game to figure out how many you're going to play and what you need to get done. We held some things that we had ready for that game that we'll use Saturday because at halftime we said we're not going to use anything we hadn't shown yet. What we were going to do is finish that game right, work on our depth, make sure we're in great shape and prepare for Oklahoma State. Actually, in the second half of the Missouri game, we were preparing for the next one at that point. In this one, they're going to have trick plays. I remember it was a fourth-and-1 they acted like they had a quarterback sneak and threw deep touchdown pass one year up there. There are reverses, double reverses, just like Missouri, they had a double reverse pass that never got off. We've got to anticipate all that this week. That's why it's a fun week to coach.
On Oklahoma State's loss to Houston: I think it's obvious when you look at college football and teams are having trouble playing consistently each week. The Houston game was the week after the Georgia game. I remember the Ohio State game for us a couple years ago. You've got a national game that people talk about all spring and summer and it gets so big, and at that time people would not have expected Houston to be a good team so Oklahoma State didn't play as well in that game as they have all the other games. We're seeing that happening.
On Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young: Bill Young is one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. He is so sound, and the kids believe in him. You look at what he did at Kansas, we've coached against him enough that he's been around. I talked to John Cooper about Bill a couple years ago and he said he's one of the best defensive coaches he'd ever seen. They're very sound and they're simple. They use blitz as a surprise, that's why he will have one, two or three blitzes that we've never seen that he'll use early in the ball game to try to disrupt your quarterback, and that's where he's good.