Nov. 26, 2012
CB Quandre Diggs
On the team’s improvements: After the OU game, we've come back, taken great pride in our work. Just intensity on the practice field has picked up so much. We just look at those senior leaders, those guys came out, gave it all they had at practice, Tuesday through Thursday. Those guys were in the film room on Monday. They had us in there watching film just preparing. [We] have a lot of young guys on the defense. We all just have to mesh. It took a lot longer than we expected. I feel we can come out and play a good brand of football these last four or five games.
On using the seniors’ examples of leadership to grow for next year: No doubt. Those guys are great examples for us. Like I said, they come out and give it their all at practice. There's something being young you have to learn. Those guys, I look up to A.O. [Alex Okafor] and Kenny [Vaccaro] as my older brothers. They taught me so much over this past year. That's just going to help me continue and be a great player in the future.
On his big hit versus Kansas State last year setting a tone: No doubt. You have to get after everybody each week quick. If we can get something jumping like that again this week against them, it will definitely be fun. Bring us a lot of intensity, have guys excited to go out and play. You can wake everybody up with something like that. If I have to do it again, I'm going to try to do it again for my teammates because I love those guys. I just want to go out and win this game.
On Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein: He's a warrior. Seen that last year against us. He took those shots but he continued to get up and lead his team. He's their team leader. They fight for him. They know he's going to give it all he has. They're going to spill whatever they have for him. We just got to go out, gap assignment, continue to be physical.
On if there is another quarterback like Klein that he’s faced: No, I don't think we played a quarterback like him that runs the same, the way he does. He comes up, you know he's going to run the ball, but he still continues to get yards. Like I say, you got to be physical with those guys. If we out-physical them, I feel like it will be a good game.
On if this will be a test for the defense: Every week is a test. This is the biggest test. You're on national TV at 7:00. Everybody is watching to see how much Texas improved just from last week. You know they're going to run the ball this week. I feel like this is a statement game for us. They're a top-10 team. Who can't be excited for that?
On playing a “spoiler" role: I am not into those spoiler things. Regardless of any motto, I want to go out and win every Saturday. Spoiling anything, that's not a big deal to me. Heisman thing, that's not a big deal to me. Like I say, I want to go out and win.
On if he will look at film from last year’s game: Of course we do. We look at that, try to bring that same mentality this year. Just go out, be tough with those guys, start the game off right. If you start the game off right, you're going to have a good vibe for the rest of the game. It's something we got to do. We got to start and finish fast. Like I said, out-physical those guys, you're going to have a great game.
On Kansas State’s improvements from last season: Last year they wasn't number seven in the AP. They must have improved. I know Collin is throwing the ball better. That's helping their offense out a lot.
Like I said, go out, out-physical those guys, we'll have fun.
On paying attention to bowl scenarios: I haven't really been paying attention to that. If we're just being real, I haven't paid attention to it. I know if we win, we have a better chance of getting to a better bowl. That's the fun thing.
On the reason for Kansas State’s recent success against UT: Honestly, I couldn't tell you. I watched a couple of those games. They're a great-coached team. They come to play each and every week. I feel like they're mature guys. They play each and every week with a lot of intensity. It's kind of crazy to see our record against them. We can go out and change that. I have three more years to play these guys. I hope to change that while I'm here.
On P Alex King possibly playing quarterback: Alex used to play quarterback before he was a punter. He can throw the ball just as well. Got to get him reps, have him ready to go. Hopefully we don't have to get to that. Keep him at his job of punting, let David [Ash] and Case [McCoy] take care of that. I don't want to think about that situation (laughter).
On the team’s mentality when they returned to practice: Guys came back with the mentality that you got to work. We can't let that loss beat us this week, that's for sure. These guys are going to come out ready. It's their Senior Day. It's fun, national TV. Who can beat that.
RB Johnathan Gray
On the game against TCU: We had opportunity. Couldn't get the job done. We have the 24-hour rule. You think about the game late at night. You have to get over it and move on. Life goes on. Football goes on. You have to get ready for your next opponent. We're getting ready for K State. Let the past be the past. All we can do is look forward to a 9-3 season and getting into a good bowl.
On quarterback Case McCoy: We have confidence with each and every quarterback that goes in, no matter if it is Case or David. We are willing to play for those guys, play hard. We know both of those guys can get the job done.
On his leadership role: I consider myself being vocal. I am always willing to get the team going, telling the team we're not down, let's get ready for the next series, let's go out and score. I'm always trying to pump my teammates up, get those guys going so we can get the job done.
On his impressions of the Earl Campbell documentary screened for UT athletes and staff: It was a great movie, knowing how Earl grew up, what he overcame, how he went through life being on and off the field. I thought the movie was enjoyable. You can learn a lot from Earl. Teaches you a lot about the game. He's a very respectful player.
On the Kansas State defense: Great defense. Great linebackers, great secondary, great defensive line. Watching film on those guys, seeing what schemes we can get done, see how we can take on the task of beating K State.
On if he feels added pressure with a new QB starting: I feel there's no pressure. Case has been here. He's been in big games. He knows how to get the job done. For me, I'm doing what the coaches ask me, blocking for Case, running the ball, trying to get open so Case can have a target to throw to. I feel he knows what to do and can get the job done.
On his best attributes as a running back: Just knowing the game, getting better, learning how to run against these guys. It's a lot faster game. I feel like I've gotten better in those areas. Pass throw is getting better. Taking on each game every week. Hands, feet, vision getting better each week. I feel I have to get acquainted with this game. I feel like I've done that, and it shows. Now I'm trying to get better every week and trying to help my teammates out.
OG Mason Walters
On P Alex King possibly playing at quarterback this game: Alex is an athlete. We have faith in him. Saw him throw the ball around a little bit yesterday. I was impressed. It's been a while. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. If it does, he's our best bet, so...
On how King is handling the situation: He's taking it in stride, not letting it get too overwhelming. I think really just having fun with it. He's going to have to love the game, go out and be a competitor. I know he is that. Getting to know Alex - I didn't really have a tight relationship with any of the kickers. Just seeing how much of a competition that it is every time he goes on the field, he's got a competitive attitude.
On Alex King: Alex is a great guy. Since he got in from Duke, we've welcomed him with open arms. Great person to be around. Great competitor.
On QB Case McCoy starting this week: I heard that this morning. I'm going to have to talk to David, see what's going on. Before the season, everybody on this team, all the quarterbacks we have are capable of playing well. Nothing we stress out a whole lot about. Everybody outside of the program wants to know who is going to play this week. Inside, we have extreme confidence in whoever steps up as a signal caller.
On possibly playing a “spoiler” role this week: We're going in as underdogs. Kansas State has played good ball almost all year long. They're a talented team. They're an experienced team. Great quarterback, really solid defense. I really think this week is more about accepting the challenge and going out and putting everything you have on the line. Your pride is put out there. They are a team that can blow you out, or you can go out and give yourself a chance to win. Last time I went to Manhattan, it wasn't a fun experience. Last year we had a close game here where we fought hard. I expect more something like that. We're going to give everything we have for this regular-season game. It will be a better performance than what we put on last week.
On paying attention to bowl scenarios: Myself personally, I don't even look at it. A lot of people talk to me about it on the team, outside the team. I don't care. I want to play week by week. I can't even think of a bowl game. I don't know where it's going to be, who it's going to be against. For the most part a lot of the guys on the team are focused on this week only. Whatever happens after that will sort itself out.
On QB Case McCoy: You always notice Case in practice being keyed in not getting as many reps as David during the week. He hasn't been the starter. He's always keyed in every day. You feel like he's ready. When he comes out on the field, he's going to let everybody know, “I'm going to give you everything I can, just as good as what David can.” We don't miss a beat when he comes in the game. Maybe that's because we had to roll with him past spring, past training camp. I don't think there's a drop-off as how the team comes together and gels.
On if this has been a “tough” season: No, just because the standards we have around here is you win every game. You don't lower that because you play a really good team or because you have an off week. That's the standard that this place holds. We didn't meet that this year. What we can do is focus on the rest of it. When you break down the season like that, I think it's done a lot of the times because it's so long. You look at it at the beginning. How are we going to get through this? You break it down, take it in smaller chunks. We have one game left in this thing. You go out and fight with everything you have. Don't have to worry about holding anything back.
On Kansas State’s defense: What they put on film, definitely be up there in the top one or two [defenses]. They're very experienced. They have great athletes. After playing TCU, I think it will be similar to what we saw on Thursday, maybe a little bit more refined. They have a lot of great athletes. It's a great challenge for us, another chance to go out on a big stage, prove we can play ball with anybody.
On how to get the win: I think if we execute a few things better, it changes the game a little bit and their scheme. I think execution is going to be key this week.
On how Kansas State’s blitzing linebackers affect the game: Definitely pass protection, being keyed into all that. [The] offensive line in the back has to work together. Just really being keyed into what they're doing, getting a good read on a presnap. Haven't seen that as much this year. They will blitz really not any more than any other team we've seen this year. When they do, they disguise it well. That's going to be the challenge.
On having seen tape of the Kansas State defense: As far as film, haven't really gotten into the film room too much this week. Watched the Kansas/Kansas State game. I'm sure the coaches are looking at it. When it comes down to it, when you're playing what you know is a good defense, playing assignment football, it comes down to a fight, who wants it more. We're going to have to fight for four quarters. To give yourself a chance to beat a good team like Kansas State, you have to do that first.
On if Kansas State is more physical than anyone else they have played: I think so. Up front, they've got a couple of big run stoppers, another good set of defensive ends. They do play physically. When you see a team that plays well with them - the Iowa State game I got to watch when it was going on - Kansas fought them hard, Baylor, saw glimpses of that. They're matching that every play.
OG Trey Hopkins
On if he notices any difference in the two Texas quarterbacks: Not really. They have different playing styles, but I don't think there's a difference as far as the result goes. We know they're both capable of getting the job done. Case comes in, he might be a little bit more vocal here and there because of situations he's put in. As far as getting the job done, we're confident with either one of them back there.
On how satisfying a win this week would be: It would definitely be great. I feel personally we owe it to our seniors. We need to send them off with a bang. We need to get these last wins we can get. Haven't been able to beat them in the past. It's going to be a great game for us. They're a tough opponent. It will definitely be a tough game for us, see what we really have.
On this season: I think we've seen improvement. I think we still see areas that we have to improve on. I think that's the biggest thing. We're not to a point where everyone is confused as to where did we go wrong. What we need to improve on are things that can be fixed. That's a big step for us.
On it making a difference who the quarterback is during pass protection: I don't think it really does. Most of the time when I'm pass protecting, I try to make sure they're not in my line of sight, I want them to stay behind me.
On playing for a positive result this season, not just preparing for the future: This is definitely our season. This is the season we owe to our seniors, like I said. We're not going to look forward to next year when we still have two games left to play. We have people who have fought to get this team back on track. We owe it to them to finish the season off right and not look forward. Not that we can't achieve anything we wanted to. We still have time to fight.
On his thoughts about the Earl Campbell documentary: I thought it was a great documentary. I’ve seen Mr. Campbell in there getting rehab a couple times. I've seen them recording him. I think what was most impressive was his son's testimony, about how they view their dad. They don't have trophies in the house. They view him as the old man. They have stories about them going to friend's houses and showing clips of Earl Campbell running. He's not concerned with his sons in a football manner, but just being their father. It's also great they can learn because of the legacy he set, the way everybody knows and respects him.
On the documentary making Earl Campbell into a “regular” person: That was a great point in the show that we watched, just the fact no matter how high you get up to the top, no matter what successes you have, you're still going to have pitfalls, hit valleys, low points. Like any other person, you're going to have to fight your way out of them. That's what he did. Strong man. Mental and emotional trials. Lost his father early, losing his mother, still having a job to do. Things like that, it's a credit to him as a person. Shows us all that no matter how easy we think life will get with money or fame, it's still life and there's still going to be trials.
S Adrian Phillips
On what is at stake this week: I think we still have a lot at stake. Going in and beating Kansas State, they're a top-10 team. Being able to knock them off, if we can handle that, I think it will be good for us. There's still a lot at stake. We're still fighting for the best bowl possible.
On Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein: I mean, they're a good team. He's a good quarterback. He knows how to lead them. It's going to be a great challenge. But that's what we want. We wouldn't want it any other way.
On Kansas State’s recent success against Texas: I mean, they just came out and executed better than we have. That's with any team. The biggest thing for us, we just have to end that streak. Have to go in there and set things right.
On how important a win to finish the season will be: It's real important for us. To be able to get the ninth win and still being able to get our 10th win, that's one of our goals for the season. This is big for us.
It's basically helping us take the right step and getting back to where Texas needs to be. So it's important.
On the defense: We still feel good about ourselves. I feel like the defense has been getting better. Everybody is going to have plays they're not proud of, but overall the defense is getting better.