Nov. 7, 2011
S Blake Gideon
On the team’s identity: I think offensively, any time you can rush for 400 whatever yards in consecutive games, then you kind of find what works for you. Defensively, I still think - which just because I play on defense - I think we still leave a little bit to be desired. There's so many plays that we see on film that we're so close. Just if one guy takes one step this way, you know, if one guy is making the right read or whatever. So I think we can improve so much on defense. We have four games, four guaranteed games left to do it.
On the final four games: It's going to be tough. Everything that comes with the latter part of the season. Just guys getting banged up, you know. Just the general feeling that everybody has in the later part of the season. It's a little bit tougher to get out of bed in the morning. But that's football, and it's about toughness. We pride ourselves on being a tough team. Part of that is being able to play tough on the road, being able to get out of your comfort zone of your home stadium and go on the road in the Big 12 against some great offenses and test ourselves that way.
On college being different than high school at the end of the year: Sure. That was a tough adjustment just because a lot of people don't realize what kind of pounding your body takes throughout a season. But at the same time, it is a job in that sense, that you have to take care of your body, and that's your job. To make sure you're in the best condition possible to be able to play a brutal 12,13game season. It's what we train all year for, and it's why we run in the heat and the cold during the winter. We feel like we're prepared.
On Missouri QB James Franklin: Yeah, Franklin. Any time that you have a quarterback that is in the top 100 in the country in rushing, too, that's just another element and another thing you have to worry about as a defense. You have to account for his legs, and we can't just worry about flushing him outside of the pocket because sometimes he can be even more dangerous whenever he's on the move. We're going to have to be sound with our responsibility up front and be able to get our eyes back to our receivers and cover them twice, even whenever the pocket breaks down.
On Missouri RB Henry Josey: It is tough that he's a small kind of dodgy guy like that that can hide behind his blocks, and he can hit seams whenever he sees them. Whenever they open, before they close. That is tough, but if everybody is in the right gap and we're playing responsibility football, then it shouldn't be a problem.
On if he has talked to the younger guys about what is next: I think they understand it. Those guys were there during those two losses, so they know what that feeling was like and what that letdown is like. None of those guys want to experience that again. All them are competitors, no matter how young they are. They understand the magnitude of it, that we don't want to stop here. We've got a great team we're playing this week, and next week we're going to be playing another great team. We just take it one week at a time to put ourselves in a position to achieve our goals at the end of the year.
On what it feels like to be back in “the mix”: It's exciting as far as, I guess, the rankings and stuff and having a little bit of attention back and stuff. But at the same time, a lot of that is for you guys and for the fans, and we have to realize that we do have four worthy opponents left that could really break our hearts if we don't prepare like we should and play like we should. We all need to realize that, that six wins isn't where we stop, and even though we're at an advantageous point in ranking and all that right now, that can all go away if we don't take care of business.
On if it was fun to watch the LSU-Alabama game: Absolutely, yeah. It was two great defenses going at it, and I think both offenses you could kind of tell that the game plan was for their offense to not lose the game. But yeah, that was a fun game to watch. I know a lot of fans may have tuned out just because any time you score 6 and 9 points, it's not very sexy to watch on TV. But yeah, as a defensive player I can appreciate how that game was being played, and it was a physical game. hat's what football is supposed to be.
On getting fast starts on the road: It's huge on the road to be able to take the wind out of the sails of the crowd that's always excited for the game and is behind their team. That's always important to sort of settle the game down and not let just the momentum of the home crowd that can always jump on the back of an away team. It's always important for us to settle them down as much as we can so they can't build that momentum quick on us. That's one thing that we always stress, that we want to start fast and be able to sustain that throughout the game.
OG David Snow:
On having fun in the run game: We're having a lot of fun. Whenever you control the whole game and run the ball effectively, it opens up a lot of doors. And it's just really great to be doing that.
On having a team identity: When you find out who you are, you find out what your offense is, it means a lot. That's kind of our identity now. So especially when you come here with all new coaches, that's the thing [as to] what is your identity going to be. What's your makeup of this team going to be because it changes from year to year, and we're finally finding our identity and it's going well.
On seeing their hard work pay off: It means a lot. We put a lot of work into it, and to see it finally pay off, it's amazing. We worked on it in the spring and the summer, working out and stuff. And it was just developing that mentality, and just to see it come through, it's really great.
On the challenge of the Missouri defense: It's a great challenge. They're a great front. [I have] been looking at them. Good linebackers. Good defensive line. They're going to be a good challenge, and I mean, we're going into their home. So it's just going to be a good test.
On if the team is better prepared for a road game:
I think we get better at everything, honestly. We're playing a lot of young players. They know what to expect now. We're getting better in every facet of everything that we do, so it's really coming along.
On the final four games: It is extremely hard. Everybody is fighting, because it determines the quality of the bowl that most people go to, so everybody is trying to win. The last couple months is always a grind because everybody has improved over the year, so you're playing the best team that they've had all year long. So in that sense you're going to get your best from everybody, so to expect less is foolish.
On QB David Ash: He's grown a lot in his poise, his command of the offense and stuff. You've seen his confidence grow. You can tell it in the game, when he took off scampering and had a huge game with the run.And he's just understanding a lot of stuff now. He's just growing. He gets better every week.
On not being satisfied with six wins: Oh, trust me, we're not satisfied. When you go 5 and 7 at Texas, no, you're not satisfied. We didn't work just for a bowl. I mean, the bowl is a milestone. It's another brick that we talked about. But the wall has a lot to go to be fully built. We've just got to keep on laying the foundation and building it up.
On if he wants to win the Bevo Beast Award every week: That's my goal. I try to be a little bit stingy.
CB Carrington Byndom
On if he has seen Missouri play: No, I didn't go and watch film yet, but what I've been hearing is they're a very balanced offense. They can run the ball and they can throw it. We're going to be ready for anything they throw at us.
On the young Texas secondary: Being young, understanding the game I think is a big part of where we've grown. The more and more snaps you get each week, I think that helps you with your confidence and being able to understand schemes and things like that. Week in and week out, I think we're continuing to grow, and we're just taking it step by step.
On how much the young guys have improved: You know, I think I've improved, too. Each week you always go in looking to improve, and you can't be conceited or you can't just be satisfied with where you're at. You have to continue to improve each week.
On the final four games: Definitely we're looking forward to getting these last four wins, but we have another steppingstone in our way. We're focused on Missouri, and we're trying to get another “W.”
On playing on the road: You know, playing on the road is a little bit different than playing at home, of course. It's a little bit different atmosphere. But I think we've handled some games on the road. One game we didn't play so well, but for the most part I think this team is ready for games on the road. I think that we'll rise to the occasion and accept the challenge. It's just different. A different atmosphere with the crowd and you just don't have that home feeling, that comfortability level. But we have to go out there and we have to make a statement.
On if the upperclassmen have stressed that six wins is not sufficient: They have mentioned it, but I think as players you're never satisfied with just six wins. We want to finish out the regular season the right way. And being bowl eligible is a good thing for us, but we want to continue to improve and just take it brick by brick and go, each game with a “W.”
OG Mason Walters
On if he enjoys running the ball: As an offensive lineman, I do enjoy it. It's something I like to do week in and week out. hat's just been the game plan and what our opponents have given us and we've taken advantage of it. It's been nothing more than that. We need to change it up to win. We're going to do whatever we need to.
On if it is harder to pass protect than to run block: No, it's just more obvious when we don't get the job done pass protecting, I think. You have a running back, make a guy miss, but you don't block. However, quarterback doesn't see a guy at times, and it can be a lot more obvious that you didn't pick somebody up.
On QB David Ash: I think he's relaxing, coming into his own a little bit. You see a little bit more emotion when he plays now than you did at the beginning of the year. He was kind of just a robot going through it. I think it's important he plays within the scheme, as any quarterback we have. But the biggest thing is you can see a little bit more of David coming out, and that's encouraging.
On the team’s confidence level: You know, it's not too high. I think we're more focused, more tuned in. If we do what we're supposed to do week in and week out. If we practice well. If we do the little things. If we get treatment. If we take care of our bodies and study our opponent and go out, we've got a chance to win football games.
On what he knows about Missouri: Not much yet. I'm going to watch film today. I've heard they've got some big, athletic bodies up front, and that means we're going to have to be on our game. It's going to be the next test, and we'll see.
LB Emmanuel Acho
On how hard the last month of the season is: It starts to get more mentally taxing than anything else. I walked in here and I was like, I hope we're not facing another top ten offense, and surely enough, we are. So it's another week of preparation. It's another week of just fighting and grinding through it. But again, only have four guaranteed games left, so I can't afford to take a day off, take a play off. So I'm excited for it. I'm going to really enjoy the next couple weeks and play through it.
On if he enoys the challenge of playing another good offense: It makes it more fun. You've got to love a challenge. Just as an athlete, as a competitor, you love a good challenge, so facing a top team like Missouri, a top offensive team like Missouri, it's just that much more fun. You have to make sure you study that much more film. You have to be locked in and practicing and got to be on you’re “A” game.
On what he has said to the younger players about the last four games: Just finish strong. [Defensive coordinator/linebackers] Coach [Manny] Diaz, he sat us down yesterday and he just made a great point. He said, “You have four games left. Let's just grind it out. We're right in the middle of writing this book for the season. Let's write a storybook ending.” So with four games left, let's grind it out, let's see how far we can take this thing.
On why it is tougher to play on the road: You know, I find it more fun on the road just because you have people yelling at you, screaming at you for no reason, and it's just that much more motivating. At home everybody is cheering for you and patting you on the back, but on the road they hate you. And it's just like, “Good. Let's go.” But on the road it's difficult because like I said, you don't have those people cheering for you. You don't have those people behind you. You only have your 70 teammates that traveled with you and the coaching staff, so you can't find support in the stands. You can only find support from within and from the sidelines. It's a little more challenging as a younger player, I would say.
On playing three of the four final games on the road: The good thing is two of them are in state, so it'll be relatively even. But you've just got to make sure that you're mentally locked in. You have to make sure that you do all the little things right because on the road things always seem to go to the home team's way, the small things. So you have to make sure you're a dominant team.
On preparing for a running quarterback: You just have to honor the run. They're not a team in the pass that you know they're strictly going to go out there and throw it 50 times for the game. You have to honor the run. I think they have the No. 5 running back in the nation, which is a credit to them, a tribute to him. And so we've got to make sure we honor that. We have to make sure we try to take away the run first and then make them onedimensional. Therefore it can just be like you're playing another passing team as opposed to letting them be dual-threat.
On if the rankings mean much to him: Not really. I mean, we just have to win. We have to keep winning, and at the end of the day, whatever it may be, December 4th, after the Baylor game, just look back and see where we are. If we can keep winning, I think good things can happen. I think all the cards will fall into place. But our job is to win, and the rankings will take care of themselves.
On if he watched the LSU-Alabama game: I did. Great game. I think if you're a football fan, you loved that game. If you're just watching to say you watched, no, if you're looking for 1,000 points. But if you're just a fan the game, that was a great game to watch.