Jan. 6, 2009
Box Score |
TEXAS COACHES AND PLAYERS
HEAD COACH Mack Brown
First, let me thank Fiesta Bowl, Valley of the Sun, Tostitos for doing such a great job, Frito Lay. This week has been an unbelievable week for us. I also want to congratulate Jim Tressel and Ohio State on the great football team they've got. We knew with the pride they've got and the tough games that they've had in the BCS the last couple of years they would come in and play hard and play great. We knew our guys had a tremendous amount of pressure on them and they just didn't quit. It has been the way this team started. It is the way they have worked throughout the year. Things weren't easy tonight. Ohio State's defense was really good. Terrelle Pryor played an unbelievable game, the best one I have seen him. And I think that's a preview of what we will see in him for the future. And it was just a great -- a classic really between Texas and Ohio State and the way it should be.
You seem to be the tale of two halves. The first half and second half were very different. Were there some adjustments made at halftime? They blitzed about 49 percent of the time anyway, but we were using a lot of empty set. We had a drive right before the end that didn't end up well. But we thought we turned it going into halftime and Terrelle Pryor made two or three plays with his feet on third and long. Robiskie made the great play on third and long. We had a penalty on third and 9. So give Ohio State credit; they made the third downs in the second half. Colt and the offense settled down and started handling the blitz much better and we mixed the run in better the second half and made some plays. I thought Greg Davis and the offensive staff did a great job with the up-tempo and got them on their heels a couple of times. We had opportunities to get more time for Colt.
What is it about Colt that allows him to get beat up for three quarters and kind of even struggle in there at the start of the fourth quarter, and yet when the game is on the line he really came through? He has been raised right. He has been raised by a coach. His dad, Brad, he has tremendous faith. He is very strong. He is strong-willed and he is a guy that's very confident and he never thinks he is going to lose and very few times in his life has he lost. It is really funny that his career kind of started with Ohio State. In Austin we had three tremendous games with them now. He has another year to break punt records. There is very few left that he can break. But I thought tonight under a tremendous amount of pressure, he played as well as any quarterback can possibly play, especially the last drive. I mean, to me that's a Heisman-type drive.
Coach, it looked like Terrelle, the Vince clone, might do you in. Just address that feeling that you had watching that, and also it may not have been for the crystal ball, but did it have a similar feeling as when you left the Rose Bowl? First, Terrelle did -- we weren't tackling him well. We lost some contain in the first half. We thought we corrected that at halftime and then he would run up inside. We took an inside angle on him some and we tackled him sometimes in the second half, but he threw the ball better tonight. There is no doubt at some point he has a chance to lead them to a national championship which I said during the week.
He will be a guy that's in a Heisman race and it may be sooner than we think because he is a leader. He played with poise today. You saw him against Penn State where he had the fumble in short yardage. He didn't do that tonight. He took them down to win the game, and Colt just came back. We had a little bit too much time left on the clock. As far as the feeling -- what you want to do, you want to compete and you want to win. This team has done that. It doesn't get any better than to come from behind and win. We were behind all night and that's the hardest thing to do in sports. That's why I am so proud of these guys.
Talk about what a special ending this was for the seniors, especially for Quan to make the final touchdown and for Brian to get the final sack.
Mack Brown: It has been special because those guys are special. They have played well for the four and five years they have been here. B-Orak played in the in the championship game. To play in three BCS games, to be around for five years and play Michigan, USC and Ohio State is about as good as it gets when you are at the University of Texas. Quan hasn't dropped a pass in four years, and that's just amazing to see what he did time and time again. He nearly made a tremendous catch right before that. The other thing that Quan does not get credit for is the way he runs. He is so strong in his legs that he pulled through the arms of the defensive back at the end of the game, but he did it through the game. And some of the shorter passes he caught, he makes a fabulous catch when Colt gets hit on the third down conversion that led to the first field goal. Quan is a super player and he and Brian both had unbelievable answers at Texas.
Brian Orakpo: It was a dream come true. When you are a kid, you dream of making big plays towards the fourth quarter. That's what you lean on. Quan made a great catch. Colt made a great throw. They put us in the position to win the game. We had to finish the deal. Me, Roy and the rest of the gang had some adversity. We had to hang in there, make some huge plays, and my hat is off to the team. I love this team. We worked so hard and so many doubts coming into the season. Man, it is a story you can write in a book about this 2008 University of Texas team.
Quan Cosby: Oh, man, of course giving glory to God, because there is not too many people that can experience a night like this. We are very fortunate to do so. Again, our defense kept us in it all night long. We were struggling at first. Give credit to Ohio State's defense who were very good also, probably the best we played this year, and then of course Colt making a great throw. We had talked about it a little bit the first half. When they bring everyone, let's go ahead and do it, and it happened of course him believing in me and then of course our defense kept us in it all night and finished it. That's just the way it's been. Man, this team, we work together. We love each other. I think last year's Bowl game started it and we just have been rolling ever since.
Colt, can you talk about Quan and the impact he had on the offense and the last play, what you saw out there?
Colt McCoy: It is unbelievable what Quan does. He just leaned over and told me he had 14 catches tonight which is unbelievable. He is the MVP in my mind. I know he is a go-to guy. On that last play when they brought everybody, he kind of said over and over, If I catch the same look, give me a slant, give me a slant behind the linebacker. If he comes, you just make that miss, we will score. We had confidence in each other. We have done that all year long. I gave him a good ball and he made the play. Give credit to the offensive line too. They played tremendous all night.
Those guys are big, strong, physical, the best defense we have faced all year. They were coming after us especially in crunch time when the crowd is so loud. I can't explain the feeling that we have right now because to have the faith and the confidence in each other like we do, that was -- man, that was awesome.
For Colt, can you talk about what was going through your mind going out there on that final drive, I guess there was a 1:20, a 1:56 left?
Colt McCoy: I can't think of a better place to be at that point. I want to be in the last drive, going down for a championship. I thank God for the opportunity. I thank my teammates, coaches, Coach Davis called some great plays. On the fourth down we felt we were going to get man-to-man and James made a great catch. We got a great spot. It just all worked out. When you have a guy like Quan and a guy like Shipley, guys you can throw the ball to, and an offensive line that can protect, things will work out for you.
Mack Brown: I think there was 2:05 left when they kicked off. We had two timeouts left and for our offense that's a lot of time, especially when you are four downs.
Colt McCoy: We felt pretty confident because we did the same thing the first half. I made a bone-headed mistake. I threw off my back foot and I had the guy open. I shouldn't have done that. Luckily it didn't cost us, but that shows the character of this team. We could have easily hung our hats because we gave everything we could the first half and weren't getting anything going. But that's not us. We are going to fight to the end and we proved that tonight.
Colt, what did you say to Gibson? It seemed like he was mad at you all day long, when he kept getting the penalties against you.
Colt McCoy: I don't know. He was angry with me for some reason. I don't know. He is a tremendous player. Going into the game, we had to know where he was. We were sliding our protection either way that he was and he was still finding ways to get back there. He is a great player.
For the defense when they were switching out quarterbacks, were you guys ready for that? It said in the media they were going to do that. Were you prepared or did it bother you?
Roy Miller: Coach Muschamp does a great job with that. All year we have been preparing for those different quarterbacks. Definitely with the mentality that he helped to develop in us, we were just ready. The thing that Coach Muschamp preaches is being diverse. It showed tonight we do everything that Coach Muschamp asks of us; we listen to him, we do great.
Mack Brown: We felt like that they would try to run the ball. I think we looked up with 7:33 left in the first half and we had three snaps. Roy dominated the line of scrimmage and took over the running game in the second half. I don't think I have seen him play better.
Can you talk about the last first down where you got spun around and managed to reach out?
Quan Cosby: Coach Davis always has a saying. He says get the first for Texas and the rest for your family and everyone. That's basically what I was trying to do. Colt put the ball there. I was trying to get a first for Texas. They have been great to us and we just try to give a little bit back.
Quan, I know it happened real quick. What was that final play like for you when you know you are behind the defense and you know you are going to score? Was that a tribute to your baseball days with a slide into the end zone?
Quan Cosby: Like Colt mentioned, we had talked a little bit earlier. We knew they would bring a lot. So I told them, he told me, if they bring them, just get behind them and break a tackle and see what happens.
That dive, honestly, seriously, it was no one is going to stop me from getting in this end zone, and that's what it was. By no means was I trying to be unsportsmanlike or anything. I was just trying to ensure that we got in the end zone.
Mack Brown: He knew it was man coverage and he was trying to get deep in the end zone.
OHIO STATE COACHES AND PLAYERS
HEAD COACH JIM TRESSEL
You saw a great football game out there. Two teams going at it extremely hard. Can't tell you how proud I am of the leadership of guys like James and Brian and those other seniors. We wanted so badly to send them out in a big way, and we didn't get that done on the scoreboard, but I think they know by how hard their teammates played and prepared how much we all care about them. And our hats off to Texas. They did a great job. They have a great program. Mack does a phenomenal job and they have got an outstanding football team. It was an exciting Fiesta Bowl, that's for sure.
Coach, can you comment how proud you are of these guys? And, secondly, gauge how -- I am sure they all heard, but this one, you guys were so close to not finish.
COACH TRESSEL: Well, you know, that's the problem in tight ball games like this. Two outstanding teams, sometimes you finish it -- the game ends when you are the one ahead and sometimes the game ends when you're not.
As I said at the outset, so proud of the leadership these guys had, the character they have. What they do on and off the field. Most importantly, who they are. They are first-class people and great ambassadors for college football and for Ohio State. And we are going to miss them very, very, very much.
For James, Texas on offense they were doing their plays pretty quickly, getting up there and snapping pretty quick. Did that throw you guys off at all?
JAMES LAURINAITIS: No, we had prepared for that. We talked to other teams throughout the year. Our coaching staff knew they try to go at different paces at different times. We were used to that. There is a few teams in the Big Ten that do it as well with Illinois, Michigan. When we played Detroit, they would hurry up and do that as well. You can see on film some plays where the defense isn't even lined up and they are going "hurry up." We had our calls in and ready to play. You just have to be ready for it.
Jim, if you can talk about the two quarterback system, what you saw out of that and what you thought you got out of it and the 4th and 3, the spot, what did you see there with that call on Texas's last drive, the 4th and 3?
COACH TRESSEL: The guy closest to the ball spotted it one place and the guy from the other side said he had a better vantage point. They reviewed it. As far as both Terrelle and Todd getting an opportunity to help this team, I think they both did the best they could to do what they could for us. And Todd is a special guy. Every one of us wanted to do all we could to make him part of the plan. And when you have a little bit more time and you are not week to week to week game planning, it is a little bit easier to do that. I thought he stepped in and did a good job. And I thought Terrelle in a big game as a true freshman did some very good things. By just like the whole focus of the Bowl experience for us was our appreciation for that senior group and they are a special bunch and we wanted to do anything we could to help them see if they could beat a great Texas team.
This one is for Brian. There was talk before the game about maybe the difference in speed in the two teams. Did you find that any problem at all with their defensive backs with the plays you guys were trying to run?
BRIAN ROBISKIE: I don't think there was a difference in speed that was causing maybe a lot problems for us. Once in a while. I think a lot of it was them just making great plays. That's what great teams do. They get in the right position and they make plays, and I think as far as the speed and different play calls, I think we had a lot of good stuff for them. I think we did some things pretty good. But obviously a great team is going to make plays and that's what they did.
Coach, talk about your first half with the defense. Texas played well as far as in the offense -- or putting up about 40 points a game. Talk about the first half and how you held them to minimal points.
COACH TRESSEL: Our guys have done a great job all year preparing for opponents and our defensive staff is outstanding. Our defensive players prepare extremely hard and they play hard. And the offense was doing a pretty good job of keeping the ball a little bit away from them. When we were punting, A.J. Trapasso was doing a nice job of punting it deep. There were things that were contributing, but the biggest thing is we have good defensive coaches and players and they work hard to get ready.
In the second half, you know, Texas had the ball a little bit more. We didn't make a first down in the third quarter, which makes it awfully difficult for your defense. But we're awfully proud of how hard our guys prepared and how hard they played tonight.
Coach, Quan Cosby isn't the biggest guy or the fastest guy, but he played -- he made a big impact on this game. Can you talk about that and also about what makes him so difficult to cover?
COACH TRESSEL: He has got a lot of strength and he is low to the ground. When he catches the ball, I think he does a real nice job yards after catch. I don't know how much he weighs, but he is a physical guy out there. Really has good body control. He and Colt are on the same page as to where to put the ball so that maybe you could run with it a little bit after he throws it. He is just an outstanding guy. What did he have? 70-some catches or something. He is a special receiver.
This question is for James and Brian. How would you guys describe your careers at Ohio State in a few sentences?
JAMES LAURINAITIS: I think it has been an amazing career for all of us. We have done a lot of special things. Obviously it is not the way you want to go out. But, regardless, I think this class has done a lot of, like I said, special things, being a part of two outranked Big Ten championships, four BCS games, two Colgate Penn championships. We have done some good things, and obviously we wish we would have had this one tonight.
BRIAN ROBISKIE: I think it is hard to reflect on an entire career after a game like this. Obviously this is something that we have been talking about for a month for our seniors and for our team and our coaches and our community. This was really big for us. I think if you look back, I mean, obviously this class did a lot of things that nobody else did. Like James said, beating Michigan and going to whatever it was, four, five, straight BCS games, whatever it was, this class did a lot of great things. Obviously we didn't get it done tonight. We didn't achieve kind of what we had set out to, but looking back, we did some good things.
James, if you can talk about the defensive game plan tonight, how well you felt you executed in general but also the final drive, particularly the final touchdown pass.
JAMES LAURINAITIS: I thought we had a great game plan going in. I thought we executed very well. We did a great job the first half. Obviously you come out of the locker room, we really struggled at it all year. But you got to stop a team. The first drive out of the locker room they were able to go down and score. But you wish the defense to be put in that situation at the end of the game with a chance to win it and we didn't make the plays. They made the plays. That's all there is to it. There is no perfect call for anything. We had a chance to make a tackle. We have a chance to get to the quarterback or do this and that. We got to do it.
James, your connection with Colt goes back to '06. The award shows, the breakfast this week, for what he did against your defense, do you even have more appreciation for him?
JAMES LAURINAITIS: You can have a great appreciation and just prepare for them all month really. He's a phenomenal player and a great leader for their team and the way he leads with his faith and with his passion for his beliefs, he is a great leader for Texas' program. I can't say enough good things about Colt, the kid he is. And I have a lot of respect for him.
COACH TRESSEL: Thanks so much to all the great people at Fiesta Bowl and the folks here in the area. They have been wonderful to us for the last seven or eight days and just proud to have played in their game. Thanks.