Sept. 3, 2011
Box Score |
HEAD COACH Mack Brown
Opening statement: I felt like at halftime we played pretty well on defense, keeping them out of the end zone. I was disappointed after the field goal, right before the half. We prided ourselves on not letting them score right before the half and us trying to get a long drive, score some points, and come back out and drive the second half, and we really didn't do either. So at halftime, I felt like defensively we had done okay. We forced the one turnover with our punt coverage team that led to the points. We had some long drives, but we didn't score when we got into the red zone. Coming out the second half, I was really proud of the offense taking a 99-yard drive to score, a 94-yard drive to score, and being really physical in the running game. I felt like that really, really helped us.
On how Rice played: Rice did a good job against our defense, of running some traps and options, quick hitters and trying to throw the ball short, trying to keep our pass rush from getting killed and trying to stay on the field. So I thought [head coach] David [Bailiff] and his offensive staff had a tremendous plan of trying to slow the game down. You could tell we didn't have the ball early in the game. And then our offense had to stay on the field.
On Rice's kicking game: Their kicking game was better than ours, [senior punter Xavier] Webb is a great punter and the kicker didn't miss. Their kicker didn't allow us to return a kick-off in the first half. He kicked both deep in the corner. When he did kick to us, we did a poor job returning. So we've got to do a better job with the kick-off returns. I did not think we did a good job with our punt returns. We caught one at the five, and the four - the 94-yard drive. So we've got to do a better job in both those areas. Kick-off coverage was really good, except for the one that they did return out to the 45.
On the Longhorns performance: We protected the ball well on offense. The "two" offense had the one fumble exchange. The "one" offense didn't turn the ball over. Our defense did not force a turnover and we had our hands on some, so we need to.
On the second half: I thought we did better in the second half. I thought the offense relaxed and played better. I thought the players are in great shape, and they played well. [In] the fourth quarter, I was really proud of the freshman defense that was out there on the last two drives. They shut them down, kept them from going. They did a good job. There were a lot of good young players out there.
On if he felt better after this game than after they placed Rice last year: Yes. I thought that last year it should have been a blow out. Rice played better tonight, I thought. And I also was mad at the team going into the game because we didn't scrimmage well. This team has got a long way to go, but they have done everything we have asked them to do and I thought they handled their poise tonight. They kept playing tonight.
On the Longhorn's running game: I liked the fact we ran the ball for over 200 yards, and we were pounding the ball in the fourth quarter. That's something we have been trying to do for the last three years and haven't been able to do it successfully.
On the freshman class: The freshmen are good. It's a great freshman class. [Freshman WR] Jaxon Shipley plays like he is older. I really didn't see him step out of bounds on that touchdown, but we were close. He makes a great catch on the reverse pass. [Freshman RB] Malcolm Brown showed some sparks when he came in the second half. [Freshman RB] Joe Bergeron had a couple of runs at the end of the game. All those guys are really good football players. I thought the freshman linebackers and the freshman secondary played well when they came in.
On the role of trick plays for the offense: I think we only had two and that's not even in [co-offensive coordinator] Bryan [Harsin's] playbook, so I'm sure he will open it up later. I thought at halftime that he was disappointed because he wanted us to be more consistent. There were a couple penalties and we had some things to stop us, and he wanted to see us be more physical. When you're more physical, more of the trick plays work.
On junior QB Garrett Gilbert: I thought he did a good job. He threw for a bunch of yards. He had a touchdown pass or two, hit some deep balls, made some plays with his feet, and didn't turn the ball over. What we've told Garrett is that he doesn't have to win the game by himself. The good quarterbacks make some plays with their feet and they don't turn the ball over, and he did that well tonight.
On freshman QB David Ash: I don't know how many plays David got tonight. He got two or three, but we do have a package for David. [Sophomore QB] Case [McCoy] is the second team quarterback and Garrett knows that. But we feel like there are some things that David can do with his feet, with movement, and his ability to run and throw that it will make it tough on teams to prepare for.
On how it felt to play their first real game against another team: It was really good. We actually sat there Thursday trying to figure it out. The guys didn't even know where to meet at halftime. They said, "Coach, what do we do for this? What do we do for that? What do we do Friday nights?" I mean it has been a circus for the last three or four days here to get everything in order. But I think they did a really good job tonight.
On the crowd tonight: The crowd was great. I thought they welcomed the new coaches and the young players and stayed in their seats. I thought it was just a great night for Texas.
On how he felt about the team performance: I liked it better the second half. I didn't like it much the first half. But I thought they were triumphant, I did not think they panicked. I thought they handled the adversity well, and I thought they played with confidence the second half. It's a confident team. Saw Brigham Young beat Ole Miss on the road today. They came back with thirteen points in the fourth quarter so that will be a great test for us next week.
On Rice's running game: I don't know why they were hitting the inside crash lane on us as much as they were. We kept thinking that our nose wasn't crossing the center's face like it should. So obviously, they found something that we had a crack in. I thought other than that, they didn't really run the ball very well. Again, I thought they did a good job with managing the game. They did take some good shots. They wanted to stay on the field and make sure they kept the ball away from us. We probably weren't as patient as we should have been on defense.
On the offense: I thought the offensive line was okay in the first half. I thought they really dominated in the second half. I thought they were in great shape. I wasn't seeing them get tired at all in the second half. Like I said, for the last three years we have been wanting to dominate a fourth quarter running the football, and we were able to do that tonight. And the guys liked it, you could see it in their faces. They liked being physical. I thought our fans liked it. That's something we have got to be able to do well, and get back to running the ball like we have in the past.
On sophomore WR Mike Davis: Yes, Mike started slow I thought. He dropped a couple of balls there early. He can really run. He has got the ability to be our big play guy. And that obviously started the 99-yard drive, when he had the little slant go, he was breaking off in the run. Also, the staff did a tremendous job on the six-inch line, because they had snap counts to get Rice to jump offsides to get us five yards. They did jump offsides so they drew them offsides, and then it gives us the chance to drop back and throw the ball. And that really started the drive.
On if he thinks senior RB Foswhitt Whittaker is quicker than last year: Yes and stronger. I think he is about 204 pounds. He probably had been at 195. I thought he did a good job. He made a couple of quick moves in space.
On senior TE Blaine Irby: I sat with Blaine this morning some, and he and I talked about it. We talked about it the other day. He was off for three years. And when he got hurt in the Rice game, he got hurt on that play. So I'm sure it was good to get that play out of the way. But he kind of looked at me like, "Can you believe that?" But he has got good hands, and he'll be better next week. I just saw his parents out in the hall. They had tears in their eyes. What a great comeback for him, and that fact that he made it through another one.
On missed opportunities:
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR Manny Diaz
On his overall thoughts on the game: We never let them come up, and we take that very personally. No long runs or passes for touchdowns, and that is the key because we talked about how our playing is that we don't give up a big one. I think I will look at the tape, and I don't think we were very clean at the beginning part of the game. Really what I thought was crucial was we kept playing and getting out of bad field position when our offense was on the field. I think our guys will look at all three of their scoring drives on defense that kept their drive alive. It's good to get the first one under our belt. There is a lot of good things to go off of on the film, but there will be a lot to correct too, which is pretty standard in the first game.
On the defense against the run: It was uneven. Part of it is not a surprise to me going into a new game. We will change our looks to get some more pressure and things like that. I think they will see as we were talking on the field in the first half of the game, we were always like an inch away. We just need to lock in, get that inch, make the plays to secure the second-and-tens and the third-and eights-instead of being third-and-four and first-and-tens. It's dry mechanics, and that's the first blow of our defense and we have room to improve there. That's really college ball in this day and age. That's what you're going to get with a shotgun running game. I thought they did really well, and on the last run I thought they made an outstanding play. It was passed, and he was able to respond and call it over there at the end. That as a coach is what you want to show. If you follow your key and trust your eyes, then bang all of a sudden you get a good play. Our guys will see that until we sew up our runs defense, it's hard to get out and form a play. I thought Rice did a good job. They didn't put the ball in jeopardy and played a small ball against us and tried to stay in the game. But also we kept our poise. We kept our patience, and never flinched and that's the big key.
On the play of the cornerbacks: I feel like they handled the challenge. Everything they threw out there they fought them well, tackled well, and they played physical and prone to attack. Those guys are good players.
CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR Bryan Harsin
Overall thoughts on the game: We want to start faster in the first half. I think getting out there and trying to establish the run and get everybody going in the run game, get Garrett going and kind of get everybody in the flow of the game. We want to start faster. That will be an emphasis that we have to have in practice this week is starting faster. I thought after the third series, those guys kind of settled down and started getting into a little bit of a rhythm. With play calling, just to see where we are and how we are going to respond in a game situation. We started getting into a little bit of a flow, and I thought the second half we did a good job mixing it with the run and pass and handling that and making some plays. Garrett got us out of some potential sack situations, which really helped us, which we need in those scenarios. Our goal here was to try to be physical and run the ball, to hang onto the football. I know we had a turnover there towards the end of the game, so to eliminate those and win the football game.
On the play of the freshmen: I thought those guys are playmakers. [ WR Jaxon] Shipley, [RB] Malcolm [Brown], [RB] Joe [Bergeron], all those guys that were in the mix there did a good job, so they had their package. [QB] David Ash had a package in there as well. We're just trying to get more guys involved, and those guys are obviously the ones that we chose in those particular situations. I thought they handled it well and I thought there were some big opportunities there for them to make plays and they did.
On the decision to play QB David Ash: David's done a really nice job in camp. It's part of a variety of what we would like to do. He provides that, and I think that he is a guy that is capable of playing. We want to be able to get him in the game and let him get in the flow. Let him get the feel. Let him get out there and play a little bit, and then we'll see where we go from there. As far as what he did tonight, I thought he did a very good job handling himself out there, calling the plays, everything we asked him to do.
On WR John Harris' touchdown-scoring pass: That was a heck of a throw by John. He pinpointed that, so I thought it was very good. I think as part of stuff that we're trying to incorporate with these players and utilize their skills, that's part of it. We've run that play in practice, and John's made great decisions on that whether it's there or not. We trust him, and he did the exact same thing and actually threw a heck of a ball. Jaxon went up and battled for it, and that's just part of what we do on offense and those guys executed it perfectly and we ended up getting a touchdown out of it.
On Garrett's confidence: I think that's part of it, having some explosive plays in the pass game. You get a chance to run the ball and had the chance to throw it when the safeties were coming down, and I thought he did a great job with those. Looking at him, I thought where the ball was placed and where the route was run - I know we missed one there at the end - were great. That's just part of it, taking some shots and trying to get some bigger chunk plays down the field. From what we felt like we were seeing tonight, those opportunities were there. I thought [WR] Mike [Davis] and Garrett did a good job of connecting on those, and we had really good protection from the offensive line in that situation for those guys to do that.
On the play of WR Mike Davis: I thought Mike made some big plays tonight. There were a couple in there early on that we'll have to go back and look at. Consistency across the board is probably the main thing we need to focus on offensively. It comes down to consistency. Guys know what to do. They know where to go. It's consistently doing those things and making those plays, and that's where we will focus on this week in practice is more consistency. Those guys know that, and it's just a matter of continuing to emphasize that so we make those plays in those situations. As Mike comes back in the second half and we have some big plays, I think he's an explosive guy that can make those plays. And we will continue in that direction utilizing those guys.
On the second half: Going into this, we talked about where our plan was, running the ball and getting it going there. Once you get a feel for what you're getting defensively and in this game really where we are offensively as well, we started to add a little bit more of the wrinkles and some things that we've done and get some more guys involved. I thought that was what sparked us a little bit. We got some variety in there and some guys like [RB] DJ Monroe got the ball in their hands. Jaxon Shipley carried the football, really provided a spark and was able to help us with our run game, the inside stuff, and help us with the pass game as well. That's just part of our building process right now. We'll go back and look at that and see where we are and evaluate our game plan as well. Next week we'll look at what worked well for us and try to implement that in the next game plan.
On misdirection plays: We tried to pick the ones that work. I think just the variety, and it comes down to our personnel and gives us the ability to have that variety. There are things that we can add to the package that we can build off of. Stuff that we did through camp, and that we have yet to utilize. That's part of it. We're still progressing right now in these games so when you get a better feel for where we are after analyzing it, then we'll come back out and see what's going to work best for us then.
QB Garrett Gilbert
On his overall thoughts on the game: We got the win. We are going to go back and look at the all film tomorrow, and there will be a lot of stuff that we could work on. This game was a lot of fun. You know when you win it is always fun, and I had a blast out there.
On being comfortable throwing the deep ball: We had a couple of them tonight, and we need to get a complete passing game. We have to continue to work on that and hitting those deep balls but also getting those short ones.
On the flip play: It was a dumb play, and I shouldn't have pitch it there. I heard Fozzy [Whittaker] call my name and thought I saw him in the corner of my eye, and it was just a shady situation.
On the play of the offense: We are going go back on film and look at it and there should be a lot of stuff to build on. I thought we really ran the ball well and created some more options. Not as well as our wide receivers got down the field. They did a great job with that. We hit a couple of big ones and we just have to be more consistent with it.
On RB Malcolm Brown: All the running backs did a great job. Malcolm went out there and ran the ball well. Going into the game we knew what he could do and everyone out there did a great job.
RB Malcolm Brown
On his performance: It was a good start. I've got a long way to go. I have to hold on to that ball. I had that one fumble. That's going to stay in my mind for a little bit. It was a great team win. It was a good start.
On getting his turn to play: I knew eventually I might get in. Coach [Applewhite] already let me know I would get in on the rotation, and when I got in there I tried my best to get four yards like every single time.
On what he expected: It's better than I expected. It's a real fun time. Before the game I was real nervous, but once that first hit was out of the way everything was pretty good.
WR John Harris
On his pass and bringing fun plays back: We were just having a little fun. It's a big deal. It grabs the crowd and grabs the team. It brings a lot of energy to the team when you need it. It brings a big surprise to the defense when they have a lot of momentum going their way.
On whether he should throw or run: Well, I had a lot of people in my face so I thought I might as well give it a chance. [Jaxon Shipley] made the play in practice, and I knew he could do it again. We worked on it quite a bit. I didn't know if it would get played or not, but it happened and he made a play.
On playing in high school: I didn't play that much. I played my senior year. I ran the reverse pass a couple of times. I played quarterback, so it was fun throwing a touchdown pass again.
TE Blaine Irby
On WR Jaxon Shipley: You can tell even in the summer workouts and during camp he didn't look like a freshman. He came in, and I feel like he was physically prepared for this and it shows today. He was doing really well today, and I don't want to compare him to his brother but he's a great receiver. I'm hoping that he is going to do that every game, and I'm hoping that he keeps on improving.
On being in the tunnel before the game: Yea, I got a little bit of happy feet. It's a great feeling standing right next to my buddy Blake [Gideon], and he was hitting me on the chest.
WR Mike Davis
On getting over a slow start: When we went to the halftime meeting, we corrected the little things that Coach [Bryan] Harsin had seen from up top, and we came out with a better attitude and a better execution on plays.
On the new offense: It's really fun. As the season goes, we will still put more stuff in and we are still learning this offense and putting everything together. But it's really fun.
On completing the big pass: It felt real good. The offensive line did a great job blocking and giving [Garrett] time to set his feet and to let it go. In the huddle, Garrett said, "We got to hook up." And I just made the play for him.
WR Jaxon Shipley
On being back on the field: It felt great. I didn't know what to expect coming into it. I knew we had been working really hard. First half, we were a little down a little bit, but second half we came out and made some plays. Our offensive line played great. Our new running backs Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown played really great. Fozzy played good. Garrett had a great game too. It was a great experience for me, and something I'll remember for a long time.
RB Foswhitt Whittaker
On getting over a slow start: At halftime, we basically just went back to the drawing boards and talked overall the things we wanted to do in our game plan and emphasized that a little bit more.We started out a lit flat, a little sluggish while we were working the kinks out, but it felt really good.
On getting in the endzone twice: It felt good. I have to give all the credit to the O-lineman. On the first one that I [scored], the O-line just opened up the hole and all I had to do was run. The second one was a screen, so it was again, the O-lineman that were springing me free. I have to give the credit all to them because they really did all the hard work, and I just had to run basically.
LB Emmanuel Acho
On improvements to the defense: I'm pleased. I'm always pleased with a victory, thank God for that. We just need to get better in every aspect of the game. It was the first game so we got the first game jitters out. Now we just have to improve daily.
On strengths of the defense: We never let them get in our endzone. That's really big. We played well in the red zone, but we let up too many big rushing plays. But when it comes down to it, they never scored. So that was good.
CB Carrington Byndom
On shutting down the defense on the outside: Coming into the game, we wanted to establish ourselves as a defense as a whole, and then ourselves as corners. We showed that we are physical, and we can get in there and help with the run or help with the pass. That was one of our goals coming into it was to be physical.
S Blake Gideon
On his thoughts on the game: Well, we won. That's the main thing. Nothing can replace that feeling. Whether it's 100-99 or 1 -0. A win is a win. It's a reason for us to celebrate.
On the defense: As a defense we went out there and did what we wanted to. They got some drives going and were able to run the ball a little bit. It was the first game of the season, and we're going to have to improve. Like I said before, we got to where we were looking pretty good against the Texas offense. Rice got into a couple of grooves and had a couple of drives, and that's something were going to have to look at in film.
CB Adrian Phillips
On opening the season: We've been grinding in the spring and in the summer. Being out there felt real good in front of the 101,000. I felt like I had a good game. The defense played well, and the offense played well. Coming away with a "W" always keeps us happy.
On getting over the first game jitters: That's how I was. For the first couple of plays, I was kind of anxious and nervous. You are wondering, "What's going to happen? Are they going to try after the first?" After the first tackle, everything is smooth.
On improving between the first and second game: As a person, there is always room for improvement. I am always trying to get my technique better by doing little things that won't tip off the defense. As a team, we just got to keep working. We came away with the "W" tonight, but there is always room for improvement. We have to be more efficient in stopping the run and stopping the pass.There is always room for improvement.
DT Kheeston Randall
On the team's performance: We did good. I liked the fact that we didn't allow them in the end zone, and we held them to field goals. We had a few too many big plays on the outside with the option, and the zone read and the quarterback run. That's something we need to fix, but other than that I cant really tell until we get into the film room tomorrow.
LB Keenan Robinson
Overall thoughts on the first game: It felt good because we haven't played since last November. With new coaches and new teammates, we had an impression that they were going to be impacting this game. We made sure that we worked hard all summer. We made sure that we learned all the new plays and everything. We came out here and had first game jitters, even for me. I'm a guy that's been here for four years, and I still have the jitters. But we settled down and made some plays. We let them drive to the red zone sometimes, but as long as we keep them from scoring touchdowns we have a chance to win the game and we put away the win.
On his evaluation of the team's performance tonight: We weren't perfect. but we showed a lot of good things that we are going to take this week and practice on and build upon and then fix the things that we messed up and then we'll go from there. It wasn't a dominating win, but that's okay. It's our first game. Last year we lost the last game, so we are looking for wins and that is what we are doing right now and that's where we're working toward. I'm just glad we got the win.We're back on track. Our motto is "brick by brick."
HEAD COACH DAVID BAILIFF
Opening statement: I'm really disappointed. It's one of those [games] you put a lot of hard work into, you go out there and you expect to win, and it hurts when you don't. I thought we played a tremendous first half, but the second half we gave up too many big plays, and had opportunities to make plays and didn't make them. We've got to continue to eliminate costly penalties and mistakes.
On Rice's lack of offense: We'd get into a rhythm offensively, and then [succumb to penalties.] When you get into third-and-long against Texas, you're not going to overcome those. I don't believe we converted a third down in the second half. We're going to watch this video and get a lot better, and go to work.
LB JUSTIN ALLEN
On the defense in the first half: I think it was great to get out there and stuff them a couple of times. We knew we had it in us. We know it was coming at us. We were being really basic and getting our right gaps, and from there it seems like we got away from it a little bit.
On the defense in the second half: I don't think we were wearing down. We're in great shape. I think were in the best shape we've been in going into a season. I've only been here three years, but even when I was at my old school, this is like definitely the best shape I've ever seen the team in going into the season. We show up here to win, not just to play.
QB TAYLOR McHARGUE
On not capitalizing on touchdown opportunities: That was probably the story of the game for us, offensively, to not capitalize on our opportunities. First off, our defense played outstanding, and they know that. They still trust in us to do our job and put points on the board. But getting back to the first point, we had the ball in their red zone two or three times and came away with field goals. And that's something we talk about all the time. Were going to have to turn those into touchdowns, especially against a team like Texas, to have a chance to win.
On confusion and not converting in the red zone: A little confusing on my part and then the last play was a fade. It wasn't really anything. There wasn't a procedure penalty. There wasn't anything where we really beat ourselves. They gave us a look there on that second down play. We weren't expecting that. We tried to check out of it, but the clock was running down.
DT SCOTT SOLOMON
On defending the play action: I feel like on that play action, too, the D-line wasn't getting enough pressure and that's something that we need to focus on -- getting pressure on that play action.
I wanted to win, really. I felt like we could have, we just needed to eliminate those big plays, get some more turnovers and, like I said, get pressure on that play action.