Player press conference quotes: Nov. 3
Nov. 3, 2008
C Chris Hall
On how they were challenged by Texas Tech's defensive line: They did a great job, and you have to give Texas Tech credit for everything they did. That is first and foremost. They are really good at what they do, and they came after it every play. I think what I learned, and this is true for every game in every situation, is that you have to give your best effort on every play, every time you are out there on the field. In a game like last Saturday's, you can say that on every minute of the game, you could have done something differently that would have helped our team. I think that applies to everyone.
On how Coach Brown wants the NCAA to review the rules for fans rushing the field: There were a lot of people out there. Texas Tech was definitely excited and you could tell that. Of course, they should've been, it was a great game. I can't say that I felt unsafe, and unfortunately, we've been in a situation like that before with Kansas State a couple of years ago. I don't know about all of the rules and everything, but college football is definitely an exciting platform, especially in a top 10 game like that.
On how long it takes for the team to turn the page: Even when thoughts come up in my mind about the game, I put them away. We've got a really good challenge coming up this Saturday against a good Baylor team. This is the last time I plan on having any discussion about the Texas Tech game.
On if Tech's defensive line played better than they were on film: I don't think we saw anything on Saturday that would have surprised us from looking at their film. You look at their film all season, and they don't a bunch of crazy stuff that you never see on defense. But what they do, they do really well. I think that pattern just stayed true on Saturday. Their front seven played with a lot of intensity and they played really well. You have to give Texas Tech credit.
On consoling Blake Gideon and telling him to shake things off: I really hope that he is not [still upset] by now. You can point out certain things all game that you could have done differently. Like I said earlier, there were some plays where if I held on for a split second longer, or if I would have been a little stronger when a blitz came, things would have turned out differently. Each guy can say that for every play they were in there. Surely, we want all of our guys to be comforted and not think that their play lost us the game, because that's not true. You can say that about every play for every guy.
On if they can make a case that Texas is still not out of the picture: Well, we're number four in the BCS, which is really good. We're excited and thankful for that. Really, what we're focused on is winning the games that we have left, specifically Baylor. If we just take care of things that we can control, everything else will have to take care of itself. We're just going to do what we can do.
On if winning the Big 12 is a goal he can still see happening: Yes. We have Baylor, Kansas and then Texas A&M, and if we just control what we can control, everything else outside of us will have to take care of itself. If things fall our way, then great, but we're planning on winning and that's what we want to do every week. We're just going to strive to win ball games, and we still want to win the Big 12 Championship.
WR Jordan Shipley
On if he learned anything from the loss: I think we obviously have to be more efficient. In the first half, we probably played as bad as we ever played, really. Everybody has to be doing their job, and we just didn't play consistently well in the first half at all. There's nowhere to go but up from there. We can definitely hope to get that back on the right track.
On how much the passing game struggles without Quan Cosby: I think we really missed Quan, because he's definitely a huge part of our offense. We missed him, but I think that we have enough depth. Obviously, you saw in the second half that we were still able to move the ball. We definitely missed Quan a lot in the game, but I think we still think we should've been more effective than we were in the first half. You can't give Quan enough credit for what he's able to do. He just does everything well. We missed his leadership and his playmaking ability. I feel like we still should've been able to win the ball game if we would've played as efficient as we could have.
On what was going through his mind in the first half: It was just one thing after another. If you drop a ball, you have to refocus and not let that affect you the rest of the game. That's what we tried to do. You have to not let it affect you and just try to make plays down the stretch. I think we did that and put it behind us, but I just felt like it was one thing after another. When we finally did start completing balls, they were being called back, but we fought back and at least had a chance to win the game.
On the conversions he had with Colt McCoy after the game: We just both told each other that what happened, happened for a reason. It's tough to handle a loss, and we don't always handle it well, but we feel like it will work out for the best if we just keep our heads up. It will make us stronger and I think you learn a lot from losing. Obviously, it's not fun, but we can learn a lot from that, and we just have to keep our heads up, move forward and try to play as well as we can this week. We just have to have faith and keep believing. I think we will be fine if we just keep our heads up and have faith. That's all we have to do.
On having to win down the stretch: You have to be prepared for every game. We understand that we have some really good teams coming up and we're going to have to play as hard as we can play. We're going to give it our best and that's all we can do.
On how emotionally and physically taxing their four-game stretch was: Obviously, they were four great teams that we played. I think that we came to every game with energy and knowing what we needed to do. I think we just didn't play well last Saturday. We had enough in the tank to come back and make the game close. I think it was more of an execution thing than being tired mentally or physically. At this point in the year, you're going to be banged up a little bit and that's just part of the game.
On Malcolm Williams stepping up: It was really encouraging to see what Malcolm did in the game. He definitely established himself as a deep threat and he gave us a huge lift in the game. He deserves a lot of credit for what he did, and not just on offense, but on special teams too. He made some great plays on special teams and I think there's a lot to be said for that.
On if it's more important to bounce back mentally or work on their execution on the field: I think both are really important. Mentally, you have to move on first. You put it behind you and just realize that this is a game and it's fun. We can't control what has happened in the past. I think once you move forward from the mental part of it, then you can start working on the technical part. Once you have the right attitude, you can fix a lot of things. Hopefully, we'll be able to just put it behind us, fix some of the things we did wrong and be ready to play.
OT Adam Ulatoski
On how disappointed he was on how the offensive line played: Obviously, it's disappointing, but it all comes down to execution. We didn't execute as well as we needed to. That will be a big focus this week.
On what he thought went wrong on Saturday: Honestly, it just came down to execution. We knew what we had and the coaches gave us a great game plan. We didn't execute.
On what the loss means to the team's goals: We gave up the right to control our own destiny. But, all we can do is focus on what we can control, and that's preparing for Baylor this week. We have to focus on getting better and executing better than we did last week.
On how nobody is pointing fingers at each other after the loss: I think it's great and it shows the character of the team. It shows how much responsibility each person takes. Everybody knows that there's something they can do better, and it doesn't come down to one or two plays. It comes down to a lot of plays. If we had made them ourselves, then we would be in a different situation. So, you can't really point a finger at somebody else.
On how tough it is to be a UT football player a week after a loss: Luckily for me, I'm a lineman, so not a lot of people know who I am. It's tougher mentally, because you are so used to winning games. When you lose, it's such a surprise and it takes a while to soak in. Really, it's just being mentally strong, knowing that it's over and that all we can do is control next week.
On the Baylor defense: I haven't watched film on them yet, but they played Missouri really close. They have really good linebackers and a good safety. After we watch film today, we'll know a little bit more.
DE Lamarr Houston
On how the defense changes without Orakpo: We just have to step up and everybody has to step it up a notch. Rak is a great player and he means a great deal to our defense. Without him, all the defensive linemen just have to step it up a notch. Everybody was just trying to do their best to fill those big shoes of his on Saturday night.
On Texas Tech's offensive line: They have a very good offensive line. They are big guys and their game plan is built for them to especially be in the way the whole time. They were pretty good.
On how tired they were from trying to get after Graham Harrell: He bought a lot of time in the pocket, and obviously a lot of receivers were ready for him to scramble and they got open. They were still running their routes and looking to get open wherever they could.
On Robert Griffin: He reminds me a little bit of Vince [Young]. I never played with Vince, but I watched him. I haven't watched Robert Griffin play yet, I haven't seen the film, but he was in the NCAA track meet last year and I think that says a lot.
On how tough it is to focus on class after a loss: It's tough to go to class, because everybody is a fan and they are always going to ask questions that you have to answer. It's part of life and you have to deal with it. Some of the young guys will have to get used to it.
On Baylor: They are a different Baylor team and they are way better. It's a better "Bear," I would say. They are a lot tougher than they used to be.
QB Colt McCoy
On how hard it is to move on and shake it off: You have to shake it off, because all of the coaches and teammates are looking to you and the way you handle and carry yourself. You just have to walk in with a smile, be happy, encourage everybody and not hang your head. We fought until the end. We didn't play well at all, we didn't play our best game, or even near our best game, and we were able to still give ourselves a chance at the end. You just have to be happy, move on and prepare the best we can for Baylor.
On how hard it is to be the Texas QB after a loss: It's all right. I went to two classes already today, so it was fine. That's the thing, our fans are really supportive, but they have high expectations for us just like we do. After a loss, everybody hurts a little bit, but you can't let it get you down too much. You just have to move on and prepare like you have all year long.
On if their goals have changed at all after the loss: No, our goals are still there. Like I said, the only thing we can control now are ourselves and winning out. That starts this week. We definitely feel like we can and we are going to rally around our coaches and ourselves. We're not going to do anything different. We are going to prepare like we have and come out strong on Saturday.
On if it is therapeutic to be able to start preparing for another team and not get hung up on a loss: You have to lose track of all the things that happened last Saturday, because you can beat yourself up. I think every person on this team did something wrong. You can beat yourself up all day. So, to be able to look at Baylor tape is good. We need to start focusing on them and start getting ready for a game plan and practice. Like I said, you have to move on and put it behind you, no matter how hard it is. That's one good thing about this team. We watched the Tech tape, we learn from it, we saw our mistakes and we are going to correct them.
On Baylor: They don't do all that much that varies, and they are like Tech in a way that they run pretty simple things. They move around some, but at the same time, they are aggressive and they rush the quarterback pretty well. We just have to play our game and prepare like have all year long. We have to not let something like this set us back.
On losing Quan Cosby during the game: That hurt us in the game, but at the same time, it gave guys like Malcolm [Williams] and Brandon [Collins] a chance to step up, and they played really well. Malcolm caught the ball really well. I haven't talked to Quan today, but he's fine and he's a great leader. He was on the sideline encouraging everybody.
On his thoughts on having fans rush the field after a game: It's tough to say because I've always been on the losing end of that. I've never been in a crowd where our fans rush the field. It's not a good feeling, and it's probably one of the worst feelings that you can have. It's a little unsafe. You're walking around trying to shake their hands, and then you have fans coming out of the stands, running into you on purpose and screaming. That's pretty frustrating. But, they are excited and they are excited for their team, and I think that's just all part of the game.
On what the key is on turning bad execution back into good execution: We had poor execution in the first half, for sure. But I think the mark of a good team is how you respond to that. I kept coming off the sideline saying that it's going to happen. They're doing everything right and matching up against us well, but we just have to keep fighting and eventually something will spark and we will be able to get some things going. We did, and that's a positive for us. We definitely have to be able to start faster. I felt like they played with a ton of energy in the first half. They played so hard. We have to be able to match that every week, because we're going to get that from everybody. We didn't do a good job of handling that, but I was proud of the way we came back in the second half. In the end, ultimately, we gave ourselves a chance to win.
On what was going through his mind in the first half: You can't focus on [the bad things]. Especially in an environment and big game like that. You just have to keep playing. We did drop more passes than we have all year, but that's going to happen. We throw the ball a lot and that just goes back to execution. We just have to be consistent, and in the first half, we weren't. In the second half, we played better, but we have to figure out what was going wrong and fix it.
On the rollercoaster effect of the game: That's all part of the game. You're going to fight, fight and fight and sometimes the ball is not going to fall the right way. You just have to figure out what went wrong, change it and get ready for the next week, because there is still a lot of football left to play.
On if he is tired at all: I could play today. I'm telling you, losing is one of the worst feelings and if you play a sport, that's one of the toughest pills to swallow. So, when that happens, you want to get back on the field as fast as you can. I wish we practiced today, because I was ready to go to practice when I woke up this morning. We'll go back and watch some Baylor film, get this taste out of our mouths and get ready for next week.
On the rest of the schedule ahead: We've got three tough games ahead of us. There are a lot of games still left to be played, and a lot of things are going to pan out. If we put ourselves in the position we need to be, and we win the rest of our games, we'll be fine.
OG Cedric Dockery
On Texas Tech's defensive line: I thought the two inside players were pretty good. Those were the only two I had a chance to face. They played hard. They played with a lot of emotion.
On the plan for preparing this week: We practiced well last week. We went into to the game feeling like we gave ourselves a chance to win the game by the way we practiced. This week, our goals are you practice like you play.
On seeing Malcolm Williams and Fozzy Whittaker play well: Malcolm had his coming-out party. He played well. He caught four passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Fozzy stepped up and ran well. As an offensive senior and leader, I expect it out of those guys. They played well.
On whether the loss is tougher as a senior: I have two more games left here and another game left on the road. I wanted to win all the games this year. We still have a chance to do a lot of good things this year and that's what I expect out of us, that's what I think we'll do.
On Baylor: I haven't watched too much film on them. We'll watch a little bit of film today as an O-line. We're going to see how good they are. From what I know, they're a good team, they're much improved, and they have a really good quarterback. We're going to have to play hard this week to win.
DT Roy Miller
We understand that this is a long road. Unfortunately, the only game that matters is winning the Big 12 championship or the national championship. Those games are the only ones that tell you you have a championship and nobody can take it away from you. I will continue to be tough on the guys because I see what we can be. Obviously we didn't live up to that last Saturday, but we can be a lot better. We can improve on a lot of things. I continue to lead the same way. I continue to talk to the guys, encourage guys to keep pushing. We'll hold our heads high. We'll keep marching toward our goals. No matter what, we'll continue.
On keeping championships on the radar after a loss: We still have a lot of goals out there. We still have a lot of games. But number one, we still have our pride. We still play for that. We represent a lot. Every week, we represent the state of Texas and everybody that helps us - from Mad Dog [Jeff Madden] to DeLoss Dodds - we represent all of that. We take a lot of pride in where we're from in Texas. We take those into each game and for the rest of this season.
On the effect of losing Brian Orakpo during the game: Everybody knew they had to step up. Everybody thought about the reason they came, they felt like they had to play their parts. That's one thing about this team is we have depth. When somebody goes down, you have to be able to step up. I definitely felt like I had to step it up and guys around knew they had to. To lose somebody like Rak, who is such a game changer, you feel like you have to go in there and try to fill those shoes.
On Baylor and QB Robert Griffin: Robert Griffin is a great player. He's from my area and I've had the opportunity to hear a lot of stories about him, from my high school - they were in our district. The guy is a great player. He's a great leader for their team. He makes things happen. He gets the ball exactly where it needs to go and he makes smart decisions as a quarterback. He's able to continue to drive with his legs. When you have a guy like that leading the team, guys have a lot of confidence around him. They're able to feed off of him. He's doing a great job.
On the importance of pressuring the pocket against Griffin: It's definitely important for us to do our job in the game, to affect the quarterback and affect the run. We're looking forward to it. He's definitely a great presence in that backfield. We'll have to play hard to be able to contain him.
WR Malcolm Williams
On his 91-yard touchdown catch: It was a pump play where I give a double move, so I really didn't think I would be that open. When I saw the ball coming to me I was kind of shocked, I just tried to relax and do what I can.
On Colt McCoy's leadership in the huddle: He was just telling us all as a group that it was time for us to make plays because we need to do something for the offense, so we can help the offense get back in the game. He was just being a leader. He was motivating us to play better, so we could get back in the game.
On getting prepared for Baylor: We just need to re-focus and move on. That is really about it. We know what type of team we are. We have grown a lot this year as a team. We've just got to move on. Re-grouping and re-focusing is all we need to do.
CB Ryan Palmer
On what advice he gives to the team as a senior leader: I talked to them after the game and you can see that they are hurt. That is just them being competitive. As leader, you just have to tell them that are many more games left and they have got a lot of football left in their careers. They will make more plays in their career. Not one person lost the game for us. We all did not play well. The thing is we still almost won. It is heartbreaking, but we just have move on and get ready for Baylor. Everything that we have is still alive. We just have to keep rolling.
On the game: It just wasn't our night. Things that usually go for us didn't go for us Saturday night. You just have to tip your hat off to Tech they played a good game. Crabtree and Harrell played well. You just got to give it to them.
On his thoughts on the games to come: I know that we are a competitive team. Even though we are down, we are still going to compete no matter what. We've still got a good chance. We're number four in the BCS. We are still good. We've just got to keep our heads up and compete. It was tough loss, but we have got to realize, we still have three more solid games that we can play. We have to show the world that we are still a top team and that we are going to take care of business.
On Baylor: Baylor is a good football team. They are doing good things. They have a good quarterback and a couple good receivers. We've just got to get back to work. We can't keep dwelling on the loss. We got one on the "L Chart" and we have to see what we did wrong and come back Tuesday and just have a hard practice.
On the running backs play what they need to do next: I think we just need to refocus all around. We need to do a better job of reading it as backs. I need to do a better job of making plays and giving our team an opportunity. I think as senior it is my responsibility and as team member period. We are just going to go back to work tomorrow and get things fixed.
On the games to come: Basically, we just have to get back to work. We have treat this game as if it were buried. We have to treat it as we've treated every game. I think the preparation was there, we just didn't execute as team as well as we should Saturday night. So our goal is to do that this weekend.When we play Baylor, we need to be focused. It all starts in practice. We just go to prepare the same way we did.
On if their goals have changed: No, our goals are still the same. Our goals are to win the Big 12 and in order to do that we just have to continue to play our game and continue to win.
On the fans rushing the field: Especially after you lose, its probably the last thing you want to see, but that's way the game is. If it would have happened here, the opposing team would have been upset about it.