Nov. 30, 2009
QB Colt McCoy
On playing in the Big 12 Championship as a senior: Yeah, we are really at a spot that we wanted to be in when we first started the season. We felt like if we could get to this point we would have the chance to accomplish a lot of things. For us offensively, Nebraska’s defense is really good. They have a lot of playmakers. You look across the board in all areas of their team, they are really well coached and they don’t make mistakes and they are tough. So for us, we really have to be prepared this week.
On Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh: He is really good. He has the ability to make several plays in the course of the game. He is very talented obviously. He is talked about a lot. When you watch film he is a playmaker. He controls the line of scrimmage. I think for us the game is going to be won at the line of scrimmage if our offensive line can execute and play well and get some holes and creases for our back to run in, that will open up our play-action and I think we will be able to execute. I think that it starts up front, and when you play a team that has guys like Suh, their whole defense is good, it is a big challenge for us.
On getting to the Big 12 Championship: It’s tough. It is a challenge. It’s something that is easy to talk about, but is hard to do; we have never done it before. This group of seniors has never played for a Big 12 Championship and it has been a goal for us since we first got here. It is something that we want to do. We are here. It’s arrived, so I think they will have our full attention all week long.
On it being exciting to play against Nebraska: Yeah, playing against Nebraska is always going to be tough. I have been fortunate enough to play against them twice, and both times they have been a really solid football team. This will definitely be the best team that I have played against from Nebraska, so we have our hands full.
On Vince Young’s performance yesterday: That was amazing, that was special. I think he has kind of found his rhythm again.
On what he has picked up from Vince Young and what Young passed on to him: I was able to play behind him for a year. He taught me so much. We still keep in touch. We still talk to each other pretty much every week. I am so glad he is in the position that he is in able to be himself again. He is really being the VY that I remember. That’s what I told him – to keep it up. To be able to play behind him and learn things from him. That has really helped me get to the point where I am.
On getting back to being himself as the year has progressed: Definitely, you go through ups and downs throughout a season every year. I feel like throughout my career I have been through the most ups and down this year. Being able to overcome the things we were struggling with and faced with early on in the season to get to the spot where we are now has been really special. It has been a challenge, but it shows you the character of our team and how hard we work and prepare and how bad we want to be the best. If you ask anybody on our team, we want to be the best. That is our goal. To be able to see where we have come from and where we are now has been a blessing.
On looking back to the point where a change was needed: You look back at the first part of the season. I think the change would be after the OU game. You are playing good enough to lead your team and your team is winning, but you are still not playing as good as you know you can, and you are not leading your team as well as you can. I basically started the season over after that point, really just tried to have more fun, tried to relax, tried to be the leader out there – a guy that your teammates can trust and follow. It has been a big change since then.
On going through the tough time and putting himself where he wants to be: You are going to go through ups and down every year. This year I felt like it was a little more than normal, but at the same time we were able to pull through and find ways to win. You really learn from those times, and now we find ourselves in a solid position with one more week ahead of us and we will be ready.
On being 12-0: We are in the spot that we want to be in. We have handled our business each week so far this year. We’ve got possibly the biggest challenge for us going against a tough defense like Nebraska late in the season. From the film that you watch, they get better every week, they are more aggressive, they are strong and they are physical. It’s going to be tough, but we are in the position that we want to be in. We have one more week.
On avoiding putting the pressure back on himself now that they are in the Big 12 Championship game: You can’t change what you have done to get you to this point. Just because you are in a Big 12 Championship you can’t change anything, change your attitude, change your approach, you have to keep that the same. You have to figure out what has worked for me every week, what has worked for our team every week and that is how we will approach this one too.
On having more fun with the new approach: It is really taking the pressure and the expectations of everybody around you off your shoulders, off your back, and just saying, “Hey what has got me to where I am?” It is not thinking about all these extra things. It is going out there and having fun and enjoying what I am blessed to do. It is having a passion about the game that you love. You have to have that attitude, and if you don’t you are not going to be as good as you want to be. So for me, it took me a while to realize that, but when I did, it has been downhill ever since.
WR Jordan Shipley
On team goals: Well, we started off the year with the first and foremost goal of winning the Big 12 South. We’ve done that and now we’ve set a new goal. The new goal is to win the Big 12. When the game is over, we’ll re-evaluate and make a new goal. The main thing is to put all of our focus into the task at hand and then when it’s over, we re-evaluate and set new goals.
On the BCS system: We feel like if we go up and take care of business this weekend, then we’ll be where we want to be at the end. We don’t want to put it into the hands of the system or the computers. We feel like we have a good chance of accomplishing all of the things we want to accomplish, so we’re excited.
On Colt McCoy: Colt is under as much pressure as anybody in the country probably. For him to be able to handle that the way he’s handled it is a huge compliment to him. He had his best game towards the end this year, and when you have all of those things weighing you down, to come out and have a huge game like that is really impressive. I feel like he’s the best quarterback out there.
On the Nebraska defense: The Nebraska defense is really good. Everybody talks about the defensive linemen and defensive tackles; they’re incredible players. They have great players all across the board on defense, so we’re going to have to be extremely prepared.
On the Texas A&M game: It seems like every time we play A&M, they play as well as they’ve played all year. You have to give them credit for the way they played the other night. They played lights out. I think our offense played really well and stepped up when we needed to and the defense held them out when they had to, so we’re excited about where we are and we’re looking forward to this weekend.
On the atmosphere at the Big 12 Championship game: I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be exciting to have a lot of Texas fans there. We want to encourage anybody that can get up there to come. We’re excited to get to play at Texas Stadium. It’s going to be a special atmosphere and we can’t wait.
On their offense's match-up with Nebraska’s defense: The good thing for us is that we have a lot of guys making plays. Whether it be the running backs running the ball really well – Tre (Newton), Cody (Johnson), and Fozzy (Whittaker) and all those guys are running the ball great. Then, we have a bunch of receivers making plays – James Kirkendoll and Malcolm Williams had huge games last week. It’s somebody different each week. Marquise (Goodwin) had a huge game, and John (Chiles) and Dan (Buckner) and all those guys are making plays. If we can continue to spread the ball around and all those guys can contribute the way they have, I think we’ll be pretty tough to stop.
On Colt McCoy and the Heisman Trophy: I don’t know how many yards rushing he had in the last game, but he threw for almost 400 yards and ran the ball for over 160 yards. I don’t think there’s anybody else that can do that. I definitely feel like he’s the best quarterback out there.
WR James Kirkendoll
On the Big 12 Championship game: It is going to be a big game for us. It is everything that we have been hoping for this season. I am looking for another big game. If we would have had the same situation last year, I’m sure everybody would have traded for it. We just look at it as a one-game season. We’re going to go out there and prepare for this game like we have every other week.
On thinking about the big picture: We just have to focus on this game. Nebraska is what we have to do this week and that is our mission and we are just going to prepare for that.
On the 47-yard touchdown catch at Texas A&M: I just like to I like to make plays in space. I finally got one where I had an opportunity to make a play in space. You’ve just got to take advantage of the opportunity, and they played a little bit of man coverage and it opened up for me.
On Colt McCoy not getting caught on his running plays: He is faster than what a lot of people think actually. He made a good play and pulled read and he scored for us.
On Nebraska’s good defense and Texas’s good offense: I think it is going to be a good test for our offense and we know they have a good defense. We’ve just got to make plays like we have been doing and get ready and hopefully get this win and keep this train rolling.
On the way Colt McCoy conducts himself and giving the other players confidence in him: Colt is so poised in the game and you know we go over all this stuff in practice so really you know it is muscle memory. We just go over the same thing, different reads and watch film. Everybody is comfortable with each other and Colt is just a good quarterback and he is just the quarterback of the team. He is like a point guard he is just a great player.
On Colt McCoy’s leadership style: If you have any questions on the field, Colt is the guy to go to. If something is not working, he is the guy to go to. He is really just like another coach on the field.
OT Adam Ulatoski
On big games for seniors: I think it is a great opportunity for us, and we’re happy to be in the game. We’re ready to get to work this week and play.
On this year and last year: Last year was last year. I know it was disappointing, obviously, but I think we’ve all moved on, and we have used that pretty well this year to keep our destiny in our own hands. I think it was disappointing, but we are excited about this year. It is going to be exciting to have a great defense to play, and we’re just going to have to go out there and prepare really hard.
On Nebraska’s defense: It is hard to say because I have only watched like four with some of the guys. From what I have seen on TV copies and just watching games, I’d definitely say they are up there with Oklahoma and could be better.
On Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh: He’s just a strong guy. You always see him tossing people around and pushing people back into the quarterback. He’s a good player, but it will be good and we’re excited for the challenge.
On Colt McCoy: He’s a great leader for us. When things aren’t going quite right, he always knows how to calm us down and says just go out there and just take it one play at a time and just do what we do every play. You just have complete confidence in him that he is going to make the right choices and do what he’s supposed to do. All you have to do is worry about your job, and it is very calming. Like in the one-minute drills, he is going to make all the right decisions and you want to go out there and block your heart out for him, so he can get those balls out.
On Colt McCoy being more confident: I think he put a lot of pressure on himself at the beginning of the season, and he had all these expectations and trying to live up to the season he had last year. As incredible as it was last year, I think he kind of put too much on himself, and I think he is having more fun, and I think it really shows.
On how to focus on each game: As you grow older, it’s a little bit easier. You know that obviously from what we had last year and from my experiences, you can’t look ahead. You have to take it one game at a time. As long as you focus on the process of making your goals and not the outcome of the goals, I think that really helps.
On blocking the Nebraska defensive line: They are really physical up front. They have a bunch of really strong guys. I don’t think they do a lot of a twists and exotic blitzes. They play really strong fundamentally, and it’s going to be a great challenge for us.
OG Charlie Tanner
On the Nebraska defense: I’m really hyped up. They’re really good. I haven’t watched a lot of film yet. We’re starting that today, but I got to watch them on TV the other night. They spend a lot of time in the backfield, and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen. I mean they are dominating. Suh is a guy who is playing and just having an excellent year. He’s really dominating. And Crick, his counterpart is really doing a good job, too. They both help each other out and free each other up taking on double teams and they just get after it, so we have to really be ready for that. Not only that, but they have a really good middle linebacker, so he’s going to be coming too. So all the interior guys are coming and ready to step up. The rest of the team has held us up, so it’s our turn, so we need to do that.
On staying focused for this week: It’s championship week for us. It’s a big week for us. We’ve been talking this past week about wall games this week and putting up numbers during our team meeting. These past couple weeks have been wall games, and we’ve been able to put numbers up for that. George Wynn does a great job of the next day having the number up, so we can be proud of it. This is a huge one for us. We really don’t have to say one game at a time anymore because if we don’t get past this one, it really doesn’t matter anymore. It’s the biggest game for us this year. This is a championship game. This is my fifth year. I was involved with one when I was a redshirt freshman that year. This has been the first one that I have played in, so it will be exciting for me.
On the BCS last year and how it affected this year: One thing we said about last year is that we weren’t in control of our own outcome last year. This year we have made sure that is something we have control of. Like, “Look, let’s make sure every week we are in control of our own destiny. Let’s make sure we control where we end up and not let it come up to voters or computers or anything like that.” That is something that we have focused on, and so far, it has worked out well. Once again, we realize that if we want to be in control of our situation, which we do, we have to take care of business.
On Cowboys Stadium: I am really excited about playing there. I never played in Texas Stadium. I know a lot of my teammates have for playoffs and stuff like that. I have heard awesome things. I was watching it the other night and was sitting there thinking, “Yeah, we get to play there next week.” I am excited about it. We’ve been excited all week.