Sept. 5, 2009
Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery
Head coach Mack Brown
Opening statement: I felt like it was a great opener for us. The guys played hard. They looked like they were in good shape. It got really humid out there. I was just pleased overall with the way they played. Colt (McCoy) wasn’t as pleased with himself the first half, but his standard is set really, really high. I thought he played well in the third quarter. We caught the ball well. I thought Vondrell (McGee), even though he had the two fumbles, I thought he came out and ran it well in the third quarter. We were pleased that the offense had quick tempo. It pretty much moved up and down the field. I’m excited about the defense’s short-yardage and goal-line defense. They have developed a tremendous amount of pride in that area. D.J. Monroe looked like he was in a track meet. He was really fast on that kickoff return, and (ULM WR Luther Ambrose) looked really fast when we lost him. That’s two 10.3 (100 meter dash) guys that scored touchdowns about 15 seconds apart, so there was a lot of speed out there in that part of the game. We’re pleased overall.
We felt like our kickoff coverage was good, our kickoff returns were good and those are things that bother you in your first ballgame. You’re concerned about your kicking game, but we also felt like that the only concern offensively was we had the three turnovers that we haven’t done. The positives for the defense other than short yardage and goal line is that we forced three turnovers, and that’s something that we had as a goal coming in the ballgame.
We got to play everybody. A lot of the young guys played, and we thought they played well. We thought they looked like they should have been in the game. I’m glad we could get Garrett (Gilbert) in the game and get him some throws and felt like we moved the ball down and scored and played real well.
On RB D.J. Monroe: We’re excited about what he can bring us. We’ve just got to continue to work on his package. The obvious thing for him is he’s so fast. When Fozzy (Whittaker) didn’t get to practice it forced us to look at he and Tre (Newton). He’s real fast. We knew that. We’re concerned about his size, but he plays bigger than 165, 170 pounds. We think that he can be a real factor for us as we get more used to what he can do best.
On the emphasis on the running game: We know we can throw it, protection was great. I think the only time we lost on protection was right before the half, a free guy came in and (ULM DE Aaron Morgan) came in and sacked Colt (McCoy) and we had to kick a field goal. We do want to continue to work on the running game and make sure that we run it better when we get in those situations where we have to.
On WR Dan Buckner: Dan has looked good throughout camp like he did tonight. We think he can be a real factor inside because he’s so fast inside and his height just gives him the ability for Colt (McCoy) to be able to lay the ball over the linebackers and he can beat the safeties. We felt like he’s one of the real pleasant surprises in camp.
On the decision to extend Colt McCoy into the fourth quarter: We didn’t get the ball much in third quarter. (ULM) kept it two long drives. We got backed up, had the one three and out at the three-yard line or something, so we wanted to get him some work, and he needed to. You’ve got to be careful in the opening ball game when you hold some of your starters out in some of the scrimmages that you get enough work for conditioning. It’s a real hard balance when you’re trying to figure out how long to keep them in there. We felt like they needed the work, they’ve got to stay in shape.
On QB Garrett Gilbert: Garrett looked in the game like he did in practice. He’s very confident. He’s very poised. Every pass was right on the money and he can run. That’s something that people have not seen him do as much because he’s so tall at 6-4 and he’s a lot more athletic than people would think. I think he’s about 210 pounds, so he’s really a strong runner. We thought he played well.
We just need to get him ready to play. He passed for more yards than anybody in the history of Texas high school football, so he’s been really successful. We think he’s got a chance to be good. When you see a great player like (Oklahoma QB) Sam Bradford have to come out of the game tonight that’s where we are. We’ve got to get Garrett ready to go in if Colt (McCoy) has to come out, and he’s got to play at a high tempo.
On the value of playing as many freshmen that played tonight: It’s really valuable. It helps morale. It makes them feel better, more prepared for next week. And now we have something on film in a game where we can go back and study tonight, and in the morning and try to do a better job of getting them to be a bigger part of it. There were a couple of times where it looked like Marquise Goodwin had a chance to break it, too. So with he and D.J. (Monroe), those are two young guys with a lot of speed that we can continue to look at.
On managing expectations and getting a team ready for an opening game: One of the things we have to be careful of is the standard is set so high right now by everybody – by us, by (the media), by the fans – that it’s like you can’t make any mistakes. If we were great tonight, why practice anymore? This should be the worst we’ll be. Opening games are really, really difficult. It is harder in an opening ballgame to take care of the ball because you don’t scrimmage as much as you run against opposing players tonight that are full speed. We feel like when you get the opener out of the way, then you can start really coaching them on a different level because they know now what the speed of the game is like.
On the touchdown pass from ULM QB Trey Revell to WR Luther Ambrose: It was man coverage. Curtis Brown was on a blitz and he hit (ULM QB Trey Revell) as he was throwing, the guy made a great throw but I think Chykie’s eyes got on the quarterback. (ULM WR Luther Ambrose) runs 10.3. We worried about him.
On DE Sam Acho: Sam Acho is really good. He’s another guy in preseason we thought made a huge jump, like Dan Buckner, from spring to fall. We thought he and Kheeston Randall just looked like different players from last year and from spring.
On if ULM showed what the staff expected: Weirdly enough, they were a three-down team every snap at New Mexico and came in and played four-down most of the night and didn’t blitz. We finally thought we were going to know what somebody was going to do in an opening ballgame, and they went just the opposite. I thought Greg (Davis) did a good job of adjusting to it over time.
On if he saw any surprises and RB Vondrell McGee’s play: I think what we saw tonight is about what we’ve seen in practice. There will be some things on film that we’ll like and not like. I did not think (Vondrell) McGee hit the creases in the first half that he’d been hitting in camp. I thought early in the third quarter he really looked like what we’d seen him look like every day. Hopefully he can take care of the ball better and do a better job of relaxing and do what he did in the third quarter.
On RB Cody Johnson and the short-yardage package: Cody, we feel like is a guy that can line up and hammer. He’s such a good player on short yardage and goal line, and we were pleased with Lamarr (Houston) tonight. He stepped into the Roy Miller, Derek Lokey (full back) spot and it looked like those weren’t even contested on the goal line. They just knocked people out and he stepped in most of the time.
On the decision to move RB D.J. Monroe back to running back from wide receiver: We felt like he was uncomfortable because he missed the spring for academic reasons. We felt like, since he was redshirted and played tailback, and he was being the tailback last year on the scout team at Colorado, and the defense couldn’t tackle him. At that point, I thought we probably should have put him on kick teams, even though he wasn’t ready to play receiver. He’s never played receiver, and it’s a hard transition. When it wasn’t working for him at receiver and we had some depth at receiver, that’s when we said, ‘What the heck, let’s put the ball in his hands.’ We also felt like in our no backs, he’s a guy that can line up in the backfield and split out and run better routes than most of the other guys because he has worked out there for a year. He gives us a lot of versatility as a receiver and a running back.
On DB Kenny Vaccaro: Kenny Vaccaro did a great job on special teams and we thought he would. His knee is well, and he didn’t get to do anything in spring, and he can be a real factor on our special teams, and that’s why we thought we definitely need to play it.
On WR John Chiles: I thought he did well. The run that he had on the touchdown right after the half was the way we’ve seen him in preseason, and I think we’ll see more than that. He’s such a strong runner. Then he made a couple other third down catches that were real big plays. He’ll step up and be a real factor for us before it’s over.
On QB Colt McCoy’s performance: I thought he played really well. We’re so hard on the kids about turnovers, and when he had the turnover it really got to him. That was one of his goals coming into the night that he would not have a turnover and he just lost the corner. It was a two-deep coverage, (ULM CB Otis Stamps) just fell back underneath it, and he didn’t see him and he was really mad at himself when he went in at halftime, and he didn’t throw the ball away right before the half because we would have had one more play when they sacked him. (ULM DE Aaron Morgan) came in untouched, so that’s not really his fault, but he puts so much pressure on himself. He thought if he had gotten it out of his hands we would have had one more pass before we had to kick the field goal.
On the up-tempo play tonight: I thought other than Ohio State, that’s really the only time we’ve played that fast. And we liked it so much against Ohio State that we felt like on the turf, in the heat that we can wear teams down and we’ll continue to do that. We really like it and the kids like it. That’s why you have to be in great shape, but I thought our offensive linemen were in better shape tonight than any opening game that I’ve been around, and I think it’s because we do so much up-tempo now in practice.
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis
On the offense’s play: Turnovers are a problem. We had three and that is three too many, but you know that they are going to happen sometimes. I do think that the third downs in the red zone were extremely positive. Right before the half, we scored. The defense went out and got us the ball back. We went right back and got a field goal, and I think that that was really good that we were able to function in that situation. I thought that we had too many fumbles and too many turnovers.
On DE Sam Acho: Sam [Acho] has had a great camp, and I certainly think that it has carried over today. He has a great motor and he is playing really well. He has worked on things in the offseason that he needed to work on to be a productive player. He had two turnovers for us and big pressure on third down early in the game.
On playing QB Garrett Gilbert and other reserve players in the second half: You want to get those guys in [games] before you start conference. We wanted to let Garrett [Gilbert] go in and play, and I thought that he did a heck of a job. Marquise Goodwin had a heck of a play. We have tried to get it to him and will continue to get him involved. I thought that the second group as a whole really performed well.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
On the defense’s play: You do not want to give up 20 points ever. You do not want to give up a 75-yard touchdown pass. Obviously we have an awful lot to work on. We did a good job on third down for the most part, especially early in the game. We got three turnovers in the game, which was good. I really think that if you take away a few plays in the first half that we played a pretty good ball game, and we just have to clean it up a bit in the second half.
On the 75-yard ULM touchdown: It was a scramble pass. You just have to stay locked in coverage. It is a typical first-game mistake. It should not happen, but it did happened and we just need to do a better job coaching and running these situations more in practice.
On DE Alex Okafor: We think that Alex [Okafor] is going to be a really good player, so he just needs to get as many turns and reps as he can. He is a true freshman, and we need to let him be a true freshman. We are going to try to give him as many turns and reps as possible. I thought that he did some good things tonight and had some opportunities for sacks. We just have to finish a little better on the quarterback, but he is going to be a good player.
QB Colt McCoy
On the offense turning around in the second quarter: We were battered up. We just were not playing as consistent as we should have been. John Chiles really came through on a third-down play, made a great catch, a great first down, and then we built off that. Jordan [Shipley] is fast, so if I throw it up for him, he is going to get the ball and score. That was a big boost for us.
On whether he thinks he and the team as a whole played well: A win is a win. That is great. We are super excited, but it is just like I told everyone in the locker room – we have to watch the film, make some adjustments, figure out what we did wrong, clear up some mistakes, and move on. You are always going to have things you can improve on after your first game. The second half as an offense we played really well, and a win is a win. We are very happy.
On RB D.J. Monroe: D.J. [Monroe] is great. His kickoff return was a big boost for us in the first half. He is real quick when he has the ball in his hands. He is a playmaker for us.
On the reserve players who came in the second half: Those guys have worked so hard and had such a good camp. I love that Garrett [Gilbert] got in there and played well. For those guys to come in and make plays like that, it is hard to do at a place like this, in a stadium like this, with the fans this loud. They really stepped in there and did a good job, so I was definitely happy for them.
On WR Dan Buckner: I thought Dan [Buckner] did really well tonight. Hopefully he will continue to get better. He has had a great camp and it carried over tonight. He had a great catch across the middle. He gives us a secure edge when we are trying to run the ball, but he also has really good hands to make plays at receiver.
LB Sergio Kindle
On DE Sam Acho: He played his tail off. That is evident. He was all over the field. Like coach said, he has a motor that does not stop. Whenever he is on the field, you can almost be sure that he is going to be around the ball because that is just the type of guy he is. In my mind, he had a great game, and I think everyone else would say the same thing.
WR Jordan Shipley
On the first game: I think we’ve definitely got a lot to work on. We had some times where we kind of stalled out, and I felt like we should have executed better, but overall, I think it was a good opener for us. We played well and we played hard, but there are definitely some things we can fix.
On Colt McCoy’s impression of the game: I think his standards are really high. I don’t think there is any reason for him to be disappointed. He put the ball where it was supposed to be every time. He had a great game. I think sometimes it’s tough in a game when you come out in the third quarter and get out of that rhythm. I think it was a great opener for us, and I think Colt played really well.
On Dan Buckner and John Chiles: I think the young receivers played great. All those guys that were in there from the start played great. Actually, the guys who came in there at the end caught two balls, so that was good to see, but all those guys have worked really hard and they’re on the right track and are going to make some big plays.
On not playing in a spot he is used to: I love it. I don’t care where you put me. As long as I’m out there I’m happy. I like getting to play out there singled up sometimes. It’s definitely a lot of fun. I got a lot of zone coverage on my side, too, but we caught them a few times.
On D.J. Monroe and the younger players: I think D.J.’s kickoff return got everyone on the sideline fired up. That was fun to see. It’s a huge momentum booster for the team. So, D.J. Monroe had a great first play as a Longhorn. It doesn’t get much better than that. Marquise Goodwin had a lot of good little catches at the end, so that was good to see.
On talking with McCoy when the offense was struggling: We don’t talk much about that stuff during the game. We just go out and play. I think he just has a great sense of knowing where to go with the ball and he always puts it on the money. When you’ve got him back there, you have to be ready for the light to go on with him.
On Dan Buckner: I think he got a whole lot of reps this spring and then he worked hard in the summer, and a bunch of reps in camp in his spot. He’s kind of coming into that role, and I think we’re all really excited to see what he is going to do with that spot.
On John Chiles: John has worked really hard coming into receiver. He’s worked on catching the ball. He’s only going to get better because he doesn’t have a lot of experience as receiver and is new at the position, so the only place to go is up.
QB Garrett Gilbert
On his first drive and first touchdown: I was a little bit nervous. It was a cool feeling at the end of that drive.
On being nervous for his first game: I definitely had some jitters going before. Like I said, those guys helped me settle down and get into a groove as we started moving the ball down the field.
On his connection with WR Marquise Goodwin: Marquise and I have been working together since two-a-days started and DeSean [Hales] too, and all those guys. We’ve been able to work together with the second team and third team, and we’ve been able to build up the relationship and feel good about those guys catching the ball for us
On RB D.J. Monroe: Wow, he was very impressive. From two-a-days when coaches noticed he was a running back doing special things. That was really cool.
On how the other freshmen played: Alex (Okafor) obviously played great. That was a lot of fun to watch and they made a lot of plays on special teams, so I enjoyed that.
On his completions: I feel like having a better relationship with my receivers really helps. The past few weeks have been huge for me getting to know those guys and getting to know everybody on the field.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
On if he felt that they gave up many big plays: We gave up a couple of runs towards the end. Those are things we can work on. They scored in the end, but we can fix those things, little things like that. I think we came out tonight, and we had a pretty good game.
On the short-yardage defense: That was fun to be in as a player. I was hoping that we were in that situation so we could get in on the goal line. That was a fun series. Then we got a pass interference, so I think we ended up with a couple more plays. We ended up stopping them. On the sideline you congratulate everybody. It’s one of those things you love to be a part of.
On what it’s like to get the opening game out of the way: It was fun. We were working all summer for this game just to start the season. So, we were excited. The crowd was into it all game. It was a fun game. It was a fun atmosphere and everything. It’s fun to be in.
On what it said about the defense in the short-yardage situations: That we paid attention in meetings. They were doing a lot of different things, shifting and moving. We all stayed in and fought to the end. We didn’t give up because they got the pass interference. I think they were on the two-yard line, because I was in the end zone. It showed that we’ll fight to the end. That’s what I think it shows.
On if he has any advice for the second unit: Things happen during the game, just going back to the drawing boards. We’ll correct those things next week. It was fun to get them in. They’re going to get some game time experience. It was fun for them to be in.
WR John Chiles
On the connection between him and QB Colt McCoy: It’s progressively getting better. We were in the same (quarterbacks) room for two years, so I’ve seen him every day. We talk about stuff every day.
On if he has a different connection with McCoy because he was a quarterback: I think it is, because actually on that touchdown catch I knew from the look that I was going to get the ball, it’s just knowing little things like that.
On how much more comfortable he is having a definite spot: I’m very comfortable. I’m glad to be playing here. I’m glad to be out there with the guys and just having a good time with James (Kirkendoll) and Ship (Jordan Shipley) and the other receivers.
On what he needs to work on: I think I can improve on route running. That’s going to take time, just because I haven’t had the amount of time as some of these other guys.
On if he ever tells Colt what he sees on the field: Sometimes I try to tell him if I’m seeing anything if he asks. A lot of times he’ll come up and, “What are you seeing?” I just tell him what I see on the field.
DE Alex Okafor
On how he felt in his first game: I can’t even describe how I felt. I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life, being able to come out of that tunnel, being able to play on the field, being able to play on this team. It finally came here. I was excited, and tried to keep my composure on the field.
On how he thinks he played: I felt I played pretty good. I messed up a couple times. The major part is that I went out there and had fun and played hard. I thought I played pretty well.
On if he thought he could contribute this early: When I first came in, not really, but as I started going along, I felt like my role started developing on the team. I had expectations, and I just tried to meet them.
On how much he’s grown as a player since high school: I feel like I’ve gotten a lot more mature as a player, handled all the pressure, being able to play for 100,000 people. It’s just an amazing feeling. I think I’ve grown a lot.
On how he feels now that the first game is out of the way: It’s a big step to take. I’m glad I’ve got it out of the way. Now when I come out next time, I’ll be more comfortable, be able to make plays more, and just be able to be more focused on the field.
On if he felt that ULM wanted to test him as a young player: I wouldn’t be surprised. If I was a coach, I would gone after a freshman, too. I’ve just got to get used to it if I’m going to be on the field. Other teams see me as a weakness, so I’ve just got to step up and show them that it’s not a weakness.
RB D.J. Monroe
On standing out against ULM: There was no star. I just got in when they called me in, and there were certain plays I was able to capitalize on.
On playing for the first time: It was a great feeling. It couldn’t have been a better feeling, just to get out there in front of all the fans. That’s what I like.
On the gratification of the game: It was great. Everything I do, I’ve just been waiting my turn. With my team behind me, they were just there for me the whole time. I was able to push myself through, and it was just a great feeling.
On the move to running back: I was just trying to play and fit in wherever coach Brown wanted me. It was fine wherever I played. Wherever the team needed me, I was there to play. He moved me, and I just went with the flow, jumped in and took care of my responsibilities.
On where he is with the offense: I've got a lot to learn and a long way to go. Fozzy (Whittaker), Cody (Johnson), Vondrell (McGee), Antwan (Cobb) they all help me out. I'm just a freshman so I'm really just starting to get into the playbook. The other guys will pick me up and carry me through and I’ll try to keep helping when they call my number.
On the reaction of the other running backs after the game: It’s not about how many yards we get or how many yards per carry we average. We all as one had our rushing yards. Nobody says, “I had this or that.” It’s all of us. This is what we did, and this how we did it. It’s not an individual thing. We’re all brothers, and we’ve got to stick together.
ULM COACHES AND PLAYERS
ULM head coach Charlie Weatherbie
On playing Texas in the season opener: There’s no doubt in my mind that Texas is the No. 1 team in the country. They’re a great football team, have great talent, and of course with Colt McCoy running the show out there, he’s an excellent quarterback. It seems like he’s slippery, gets out of trouble and makes things happen.
On playing in front of 100,000 people: I thought it was a great crowd atmosphere. What a great atmosphere to play college football. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our young men, an opportunity to come in and play in front of over 100,000 people. I thought it was a great crowd, and I thought they did a good job of making noise and doing the things that they needed to do to be the 12th person.
On the players getting fatigued and cramping early in the game: I don’t think it has anything to do with training. I think that when you get into a game, you put out more energy. You explode faster and stronger than you ever would in a practice. That’s just because you’re playing in a game. I don’t think you can simulate that during a practice.
On turnover battle: Three turnovers those cost you and you can’t do that against a great football team. We have been in these situations before, playing against teams like this, of this caliber, and you cannot afford to give them anything if you want to be in the football game. They’ve got a great football team.
On their red zone offense: They did a great job of stopping us, we could not run the football in when we got down there. We thought we could. They played very well. I thought they battled all game.
RB Frank Goodin
On how Texas played defensively and how that affected him as a running back: As far as their defensive schemes, they proved the reason why they are No. 2 in the country. They swarm to the ball, and they get there quickly. They must have a ball-radar. (laughing)
On playing in an atmosphere like Texas: It’s an experience of a lifetime. This is what you come to college for. This is what you sign that Letter of Intent for.
On running the ball: They proved the reason why they are number two in the country. They swarmed to the ball, they get there quick, they have a ball radar. What can I say?
LB Josh Thomas
On playing in an atmosphere like this: It’s why you come to college – to play in these big games. We just didn’t capitalize tonight.
On his fumble recovery: I tried to pick it up. I tried to scoop and score, but they have great pursuit. I kind of ran out of gas. I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to kick it. I want to make sure we get the ball.’
On playing against Colt McCoy: His timing is just amazing. His release is so quick. I mean, we were getting pressure, and we couldn’t even touch him at some points.
TE Alvin Jordan, Jr.
On playing in his home state: In the back of my mind, you always want to put on a good performance for a lot of your friends and family that were in the stands. You think about it a little bit, but the most important thing is to come out and try to get our stuff going and try to get a victory.
On playing against the Texas secondary: You come out every week and try to match your strengths against their weaknesses. When you come out against the No. 2 team in the country, you’ve got to step your game up. We came in with the mindset that we’ve got to be on our A-game, and try to give it all we’ve got every play.
QB Trey Revell
On playing in front on 100,000 people: It’s nice, it’s an adrenaline boost whenever you need one. It’s great going and showing people your skills.
On how he matches up against Colt McCoy: He is a real smart quarterback, he runs his offense real well and he knows where to go with the ball, and he makes good decisions, getting out of the pocket, getting out of the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield.