Dec. 6, 2009
Coach Brown Teleconference
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis
On playing in the National Championship Game: We’re excited to represent the Big 12 in the National Championship game against a historically tremendous program in Alabama. We have a lot of ties through Will (Muschamp) and Major (Applewhite) to (Alabama) Coach (Nick) Saban. Kirby Smart, the defensive coordinator with Will, was at Georgia when (Texas offensive line) Coach McWhorter and I were there. They’re cut from the same cloth. They have an outstanding program. We know they have an outstanding team. We’re just excited to have the opportunity to once again to play in the National Championship game.
On what he’s seen from Alabama’s defense: Just like any other fan on TV. We haven’t really started breaking them down to this point. We are breaking them down as we speak. Out graduate assistants are working on that. We’ll get started on that tomorrow looking at them. I do know that they can run well. They do a great job. They’re really a good, solid football team on both sides of the ball. what you would expect at this point in the season.
On using Will Muschamp and Major Applewhite’s knowledge of Alabama’s program: We’ll do a lot of that. One of the good things is being able to work against Will. During this time, he’ll have a great idea of the way they’ll prepare for certain formations, certain blitzes and things like that. Will will be a great resource for us.
On being perceived as the underdog: I’m not surprised. Mack actually talked in the dressing room last night that we’d probably be the underdogs in the bowl game. It really doesn’t matter. We’re excited to be there, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity.
On making it to the National Championship this year after the disappointment of last year: I’m really proud of these kids. Since that (Texas Tech) ballgame, that was re-dedication throughout the offseason and the summer and throughout the season. Last year was kind of a magical year because we were picked third in the South, and things fell right. This year the team fought expectations from the beginning of the season. To come out 13-0, you have to be proud of your players, especially the seniors.
QB Colt McCoy
On playing in the BCS National Championship game: I’m just so thankful for the opportunity. I really feel confident going into this game, I think our team does too. It was good to overcome a game like that, the ups and the downs, where not very many things go your way and you find a way to win. I think that really boosts your team. We’re excited. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to be in this championship game. It really hasn’t soaked in yet. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ve got a month’s preparation and we’re really looking forward to it.
On Alabama: Both sides of the ball, they’re a tremendous team. There’s a reason they’re in the National Championship. We’ve got our hands full, but at the same time, we’re really excited to be there. We’re going to go back to work and be the best we can be.
On the amount of work the team put in to get to this point: I feel like we’ve worked so hard to get to this point. We’ve had to have a few lucky breaks here and there but you look at the game last night, nothing went our way. We didn’t have a single thing go our way, hardly, all night long. We were still able to find a way to win. It’s going to be a fun ride. This last month is going to be very enjoyable. We’re really excited.
On if the team has less momentum after the close call against Nebraska: We’re 13-0, they’re 13-0. I don’t think you can think about anything other than this game. I think for us, we have a lot of confidence going into this game. Being able to fight through a close game like that, you don’t play as well as you would like, you don’t get any breaks and you still find a way to win in the end, that is something that this team has really done a good job of all year long.
On how much the team will lean on Will Muschamp and Major Applewhite for scouting Alabama: They both have experience in the SEC and at Alabama, so who knows. Each team is different every year. Every year teams change. We’ve just really got to go back to work and understand there’s one more game. We’ve talked about one more time all year long. This is the ultimate game and we’re fired up.
On being the underdog: We’re going into this game just like we’ve gone into every game this year. They’ve got our complete attention. We know we’re going to have to be our best to come out on top. We’re going to have to come out and really be sharp. We’ve got a month. We’re going to enjoy this time, enjoy that we’re Big 12 champs and then really try to get our bodies healthy, try to get prepared, really go back to work. We’re going in here with the full intention of being the best we can be.
On the final drive against Nebraska: My emotions were so high. I have all the faith in the world in Hunter (Lawrence). I’ve never seen him miss a field goal hardly. In practice we stand around and scream and yell in his face and he’s pretty clutch, and last night he proved that. I knew if I could get him down there around the 30, that’s his range and he would be solid from there. When they kicked the ball out of bounds I said, “It’s go time.” I told the guys to believe and it’s just one at a time. Really it didn’t take much. We completed a ball, got a first down and we were pretty close. We just found a way.
On Nebraska’s defense: They played their dime package all night and expected their four rushers to get to me. When I did have some time, all our guys were covered up. We made plays when we had to. I thought coming off the goal line like we did and making that long drive was big. Obviously, that interception was buzzard’s luck. It shouldn’t have happened. We got that drive going and when we came out on (the last drive) we really had some confidence. That was big.
WR Jordan Shipley
On making it to the National Championship: It’s such a relief, especially also because you have a few weeks where you don’t play to get refocused and get a little time to relax. We’re definitely excited, and happy to be the Big 12 Champions.
On playing Alabama: We didn’t know what was going to happen. We’re excited about playing Alabama. We’d have been just as excited to play Florida. It didn’t matter to us. As long as we’re in the Rose Bowl we’re excited.
On making a case for Colt McCoy for the Heisman Trophy: I think Colt is the best player out there. He’s won more games than any other quarterback in college football history. He’s had more fourth quarter comebacks. He always finds a way to get the job done. He always finds a way to win. Sometimes it might be running the ball, sometimes it’s throwing. Obviously, he’s the most accurate guy out there also. I definitely feel like he’s the favorite to win the Heisman.
On the season: I think this team always finds way to get the job done. Last night, the defense stepped up and played huge. No matter what the case may be, I think we’ll always feel like we’re going to win and somehow find a way to get it done.
On what he expects from Alabama: It’s going to be a huge challenge for us. We have a lot of respect for Alabama. They’ve got a great program and great tradition. We’re excited about the opportunity to play them.
On if last night was the most excited he’s been after a game: I think so. I got hit probably as hard as I got hit all night after the game. I was celebrating with Hunter (Lawrence) and all of a sudden I got trucked and I was on the ground underneath the dog pile. It was fun. We had a good time, and it’s good to get some rest last night and enjoy it.
On earning a place in the National Championship: I think we’ve found a way to get the job done, and I think our strength of schedule is pretty good. Playing in the Big 12, you’re going to get beat down towards the end of the year. It’s a slug fest every week. We’ve made it through the gauntlet. I think we found a way to get it done every week. We’re excited about being in the Rose Bowl.
S Earl Thomas
On the opportunity to play for a National Championship: You look forward to it coming out of high school. You want to play for a championship team. It feels unreal right now. I have to get adjusted to it real quick.
On if he’s seen Mark Ingram: He’s a big back. We’ve got to gang tackle. Once he gets started he’s hard to stop. It’s going to be a physical game.
On Alabama’s ball control offense: Nebraska kind of did that. They iced the ball. They run it a lot. They try to play action and throw it deep. They try to keep your offense off as long as they can. We’re going to try to get Colt out there. Once he gets going it’s hard to stop.
On what makes this team special: I think our team has had a lot of trying times with the offense and defense struggling at points. What makes this team great is that somebody steps up always in a big situation. This time, the defense did. I think we played lights out. The offense struggled a little bit. The kicking game helped us out a lot. It goes hand in hand, week in and week out.
On what he was thinking at the end of the game: I was praying, hoping that he would make it. I was like, “This can’t be happening. Not again.” I had a feeling. Colt is a great quarterback. I knew he was going to get us down there. It was the simple fact if we were going to make the field good. When I heard it was good I just ran and jumped on the ground. It was one of the best moments in my life.
On if being thought of as the underdog motivates a team: If you can’t get up for this game, you don’t need to be here. It’s a big game. It’s a big stage. Most of us have never been here before. It’s going to be a great, physical game. Both teams have great defenses and two offenses that can score. It’s going to be a good game.
DT Lamarr Houston
On playing for the National Championship: It’s hard to put it into words but we get our shot and now we get to practice and prepare ourselves and hope we do a great job.
On two traditional powers playing for the championship: It’s two great powerhouses of football that have been around for a long time. You’ve got Bear Bryant versus DKR. It’s important on so many levels. So much tradition is going into this game. It’s going to be a great game.
On if the team is surprised to not be playing Florida: It was no surprise. Florida’s a great team. They had a great battle for the SEC and whoever came out the victor is the victor. We knew the SEC champ was going to play the Big 12 champ if we were undefeated. That happens to be us and that happens to be Alabama, so that’s the National Championship.
On Texas’ run defense facing Alabama RB Mark Ingram: That’s very exciting. Any time you get a challenge to go up against one of the best, the proof is in the pudding. We’re very excited about that.
On the journey the team took to get where they are today: It took a lot of work to get where we are. We just stayed on track, kept focus, kept our goals right, fixed things that needed fixing, kept improving. We’ve got a lot we need to improve on after this last game. We’re just happy to be where we wanted to be at the end of the year.
On returning to the Rose Bowl: I’m just happy we’re going to the National Championship. I don’t care if it’s in Alaska. It’s just great to be the National Championship. It doesn’t matter where it is. California’s been special to us but if we had to play it in Nova Scotia we’d be happy to be in the National Championship.
On stopping Alabama’s offense: That’s a great challenge to play somebody who’s always challenging your strength. It’s kind of a man-to-man challenge. Mark Ingram’s a great running back. He breaks tackles. He catches, run screens, he does so much for them. He causes so many problems for the defense.
On putting the Nebraska win behind them: Tonight’s the last night we’re going to enjoy anything from that game. Now it’s time to focus on what we need to accomplish, our goals and how we’re going to stop Alabama, what we’re going to do to contain them and start working our game plan.