Oct. 6, 2012
Box Score |
Head Coach Mack Brown
Opening statement:I want to really thank our fans. I thought they did a tremendous job. That is by far the loudest and the longest I've heard them yell since I have been here in my 15 years. I thought they really helped us. Kept the guys alive. Kept them working and kept them upbeat. They never got down, whether we were playing well or not. So I do really want to thank our fans.
Also, I want to congratulate West Virginia. They've got a really good football team. We knew it would come down to who made the most critical plays. And you've got to give them credit. They made the critical plays. We got them in trouble on third downs - they were 3-of-12. He made 5-of-5 fourth down plays. And two or three of them were touchdowns. Unbelievable play by [WVU senior QB] Geno Smith in the end. And [senior WR] Tavon Austin is one of the best players I have ever seen. He affects the game every time he touches the ball. He's a guy that we tried to stop, slow down and keep it out of his hands. And they've got a great game plan to get it into his hands.
Offensively, [WVU] scored 7-out-of-7 in the red zone. We were 6-of-7. And obviously we had our opportunity to go ahead, with about seven minutes left to go when we forced the fumble at the 17-yard line, and then had three unsuccessful plays. The last one, that moved us back. And then missed the field goal. That really hurt us. We felt like then we had to go back out on defense and stop them again. [Geno Smith] made an unbelievable third-down throw. We couldn't stop the run. Then they go down to score. Still thought we had a chance at the end. But I'm not sure what the percentage of onside kicks is, but they're not very good. Not disappointed in the effort. Just disappointed in the outcome.
On losing a close game:I thought we'd win. When we got the game down to seven minutes and 47 seconds and we forced the fumble, I thought, "Here we go again. This has been our story." Give them credit. It's disappointing we didn't finish it.
On predicting limiting Geno Smith's yardage:I would've felt really good about it. Obviously we tried to kick it away from Austin to start the game, and he either ran over and caught it or they pitched it to him. So they know he's really good, too, but we slowed that down some and we blocked a punt, blocked a field goal. We won the turnover ratio. If you had told me we would have done all those things, I would of felt really good.
On tackling:(Responded yes when asked if they were better at tackling) They're hard to tackle, but I thought we've done a better job than we've done in the past two weeks, and they're very good.
On the loss:The level of frustration is with the losing. We'll go back and look at all that tonight. The thing I'm having trouble with is we're giving up so many rushing yards, and we're not used to that. We're allowing people to be two dimensional. We've got to do a better job with that.
On what the team can learn from the loss: You take away disappointment because you need to win close games. I told the guys that three plays won at Oklahoma State last week. And [Oklahoma State was] really disappointed, and played really well. And three plays lost tonight. And we're really disappointed and played really well. So it's a fine line between winning and losing. What you have to take away from it, is you have to learn from the mistakes that we made and fix those. Understand that we're a lot better team now than we were the fifth game last year. But this league is better. There's a lot of parity in the league. You're going to have to play well every week to have a chance to win.
Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bryan Harsin
On the drive before the missed FG: We were trying to put ourselves in position. I felt like we could run the ball and get a little momentum there. On that particular play [high snap], obviously I would have to go back and look at it, but the snap and the communication wasn’t there. That was costly as far as field position goes. That is one of those plays in critical games that you have to eliminate, and they did it. They did a great job of recovering the football there and not making it a turnover. Obviously we will clean that up. We will find out what the issue was, go back and emphasize whatever happened in that situation there and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
On thoughts about RBs Johnathan Gray and Jeremy Hills: Both those guys—I thought Hills, just starting with him, did a great job for us with the screens. We had to do some things on early downs. They were pressuring so we had to make a couple of adjustments during halftime, and got him the ball. He is a guy that when he gets out there he is hard to bring down. He was close on one of breaking out of another arm tackle there, but that is something he does well. I thought Johnathan tonight we knew his role was going to increase. He had 14 carries there, and he played well. He came in and he did what he had to do in our wild formation. I think he did what he had to do in our base run and those types of things. As far as him being prepared and having the right mentality going out there, he did. If you go back and look at it, obviously not everything is perfect because of the way the game turned out. But he is a player that gets better and better every week in my opinion. He is a guy that prepares himself to go out there and play the right way. He is just going to get stronger and better as the year goes on.
On RB/WR D.J. Monroe: We had him on a couple throws in there that ended up going to our tight ends in those situations. So again it is one of those things that each game is a little bit different. The way he was going to get the ball was going to be some throws and some things like that. Also in the wild opportunities as well, but they presented some things defensively that didn’t look good. So we didn’t get to do some situations in the red zone where he has been accustomed to get the football on the hatches that we wanted to get. Just the way things fell that’s how it turned out tonight, but I thought he did a great job in the other packages we gave him. He understands that this is what he has to do in these other formations, and he will have more opportunities as the year goes on.
Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Manny Diaz
On West Virginia’s execution on fourth down: You knew it was going to be a tough task to slow them down. I thought our guys just battled like crazy, got them into third downs. It’s all about stops when you play an offense like that. We got them to third downs and won third downs. You know, you have to give them credit. The execution on some of those third down throws was outstanding. There were some 50-50 balls on that down and distance, and I think they all went their way. It was going to be a game, where, we knew at halftime, we told the guys, somebody was going to make one more play than the other team. And that seems like what happened.
On West Virginia’s running game: We probably forced them to do that (run the ball). That was sort of by design the way we had set ourselves up schematically. We were going to try and make them run the football, which we felt like every time Geno [Smith] turned around and handed it off to that guy [Buie] or throwing the ball to Nos. 1 [Tavon Austin] and 3 [Stedman Bailey]. You look over the course of the game, we got what we wanted. So many runs out there that we will be unhappy with, but we got the game going the way we wanted it to go. The ones came on our possession defense which was good on third down. Then it came to red zone defense. I thought his [Smith’s] touchdown passes to Bailey, two of them, we were supposed to have the guy doubled, and he throws it into tight spaces. That was going to be the difference between getting stops and keeping the score down. We turned them into a running football team, which was partly by design, but still, there will be a lot of things that we look back at that we could have done better.
On West Virginia’s final drive: The last drive was poor. Our guys were giving it everything they had. We had a couple issues there at the end in terms of how we were setting ourselves up. Part of it was that the mentality had changed. You could see some of the guys giving it everything we had, but we were just one stop short on that last possession, which was obviously disappointing.
On tonight’s performance: I just like the way we battled. We knew it was going to be a game where they make a play, and we were going to come back and make a play. I think we had 50 snaps or so in the first half, and I thought our guys expended an extraordinary amount of effort. I was really proud of them for doing that. I thought one of the young linebackers showed up and made some plays, which is encouraging. It was just all about hunting the big play in the crucial situations. We made a couple plays ourselves, but they ultimately made more. And it goes back to the fourth-down throws they were able to make.
On West Virginia senior QB Geno Smith: You look at what he did, there weren’t a lot of times where we weren’t draped all over the guy that he was trying to throw the football to. You have to give him a lot of credit, his receivers a lot of credit. When the play was there to be made, they made it. And obviously, the crucial situations we talked about were going to be the difference in the game. That’s when they want the ball in his hands. And he was an immense challenge for us to play against.
DE Alex Okafor
On what the team takes from the loss: Obviously this one hurts, but we can’t let something beat us two weeks in a row. We have to learn from this, put it behind us, and go attack this next game. We can’t afford to lose two games in a row just because of this moment.
On West Virginia’s execution on fourth down: It’s very frustrating, but a lot of their fourth downs were fourth-and-short, and those are hard to stop. I mean, it’s frustrating, but we just have to move on from it and pick it up. We just need to make more plays on defense. That’s what it comes down to.
On forcing the fumble in the fourth quarter: I had faith in the offense. I thought they would go right down and score. That was my only thought. I knew they were going to put points on the board, and they just had a misstep. And that’s unfortunate.
On tonight’s crowd: We had a big crowd at DKR tonight. They were loud and they disrupted. They helped us disrupt their offense a lot. We need that every game.
QB David Ash
On the missed snap: That was my fault. I was letting the play clock play get down too low and I should’ve caught it. That one is on me.
On thoughts that the team could win when the second turnover occurred similar to the Oklahoma State game: Oh absolutely. The whole game I thought we were going to win. We came in and just came up a bit short. We had opportunities and I was proud of the way this team battled. We didn’t make some of the plays we needed to, but I think there are just a few things we got to clean up, practice harder, get after it this week, and get ready for Oklahoma.
On what he tells the team this week about the next game: Just don’t blink. We gave everything we had this week and now just put it behind us. The righteous man falls down seven times and gets up seven times. We are going to get up this week, and we are going to get ready to play Oklahoma.
S Kenny Vaccaro
On the loss: We knew it was going to be a dogfight. It is frustrating, and we left a lot on the table. [There were] a lot of plays that we could have made and a lot of possessions that we should have taken advantage of.
On how surprised he was by the success of their running game: Honestly yes, because going into the game that wasn’t their strength. They have two great receivers and a great passing quarterback. The run was supposed to be eliminated, and it is disappointing to see that. The run game basically saved them. It made them two-dimensional when they could pass and run.
On West Virginia going 5-for-5 on fourth downs: It is so frustrating. When you get to fourth down and they go for it, you’ve got to make a play. There were chances out there that we should have made plays.
On the Big 12: I think it is a strong conference. I think the championship team is going to be a one-loss team. There are such good teams across the board, so I don’t think anyone is going to sweep the conference. We need to keep our head up and keep fighting and we will rise again.
CB Carrington Byndom
On what play stands out the most: They beat us, and that is all it comes down to. It is never just one play. We knew it was going to be a fight between both teams, and they just ended up making more plays than we did. It showed on the results.
On WVU winning more of the 50-50 balls: Those are plays that you don’t really notice in the game, but if I can get the ball right there then the offense gets the ball back. Those are plays that we need to make. We weren’t good on fourth down, and that is something we need to improve on.
On the game coming down to who made the last stop: We knew that both offenses were in a groove, and we knew that they had the ability to score each time they got the ball. W knew that we were going to have to focus on getting stops. Throughout the game that was what our goal was to get one stop at a time.
RB Jeremy Hills
On his thoughts coming out of the locker room: I wish we had more time honestly. I feel like every guy in that locker room, every one of those guys gave it everything they had tonight. We played a really good team- a really, really good West Virginia team. [West Virginia QB] Geno Smith is everything that we heard, but we don’t back down. It is our house and we wanted to go out there and defend it. We ran out of time.
On his ability to break tackles and fall forward: That is just something we work on in practice. Every [running] back in there can do that. We want to make the first man either miss or break that tackle and when you get tackled fall forward always.
On the missed snap at the end of the game: That is just one thing that we hear every single day that [co-offensive coordinator] Coach [Bryan] Harsin says to control the things that we can. West Virginia didn’t do anything on that play. That was all us, and we can control that. That is something we have to go back on, look at film and see why we let the clock run down and what went wrong there so we can correct it and get it fixed. We don’t have time to put our head down because we have OU next week.
OG Mason Walters
On the loss to West Virginia: We are frustrated. We know we did some good things. We just have to figure out what we did wrong. I’m sure everyone is going to come to film tomorrow and get that feeling, “If I would have done one more thing right, we would have had more of a chance to win this game.” Collectively, we just have to get better and tighten everything up.
On the missed snap: You feel like you’re going to win the game right there just because it happened so close to the goal line, but when the game is over, then you realize there are so many opportunities that we missed out on.
On the game environment: The thing I was most encouraged by was the environment we played in tonight. The stadium was electric, unlike any I have ever played in before. Thanks to the fans for coming out and being as loud as they were. They really helped us at the stretch.
RB Johnathan Gray
On the game: West Virginia is a great team. They fought hard, and we fought hard. We played hard as a team. We tried to get some big plays. We got some when we needed to, but to take a loss like that, we really have to bounce back and get ready for OU. We played hard, we ran hard as a team, and that is all you can ask for.
On QB David Ash: David Ash was good. He is a leader. He has to lead the team. He knows what he is doing. He makes some crucial throws there in the clutch. Ash is a great player, and he has some potential to become one of the best players.
On the offensive line: They were good. It all starts with the offensive line. Those guys work day in and day out so hard for the running backs. They work hard so that gave us room to run.
On the wildcat formation: Getting the ball in my hands, I enjoy that. Any way I can get it. Those guys up front make holes so we can get first downs.
On his improvement: I have to get better and get in the end zone and make some bigger plays than what I made tonight. I have to go back and practice, watch film, see what I did wrong and progress that. I need to get better.
DT Chris Whaley
On West Virginia’s offense: It was pretty good. They have some great players on their team, and they came out rolling. We came out playing good but fell short in the end.
On WVU’s running game: It was tough. We played a good game, but they broke some big runs. We have a lot of work to do. We need to go back to practice and improve.
On trying to stop the run on the final WVU drive: We kept fighting. They just had some big runs on us.
On WVU's five-for-five fourth down attempts: It’s really frustrating. We try to get the guys off the field so our offense can have the ball more, but they converted the big fourth downs. There’s nothing we could do.
DE Jackson Jeffcoat
On WVU’s fourth down conversions: It was definitely disappointing. It was something that we didn’t want to give up. We never want to let up on fourth downs. It’s tough.
On how effective WVU’s running game was: We were very surprised because they didn’t run the ball much coming into the game. We got gassed on a couple runs. We had plays to stop the run, but they just didn’t work. We didn’t get our goals accomplished. They didn’t get executed the way they needed to.
On WVU’s RB Andrew Buie: We’ve seen him on film, and he’s a pretty good back. We knew he was going to be good. He’s a quick guy. He hit some holes and got out.
On the defense: We went out there and played hard. There’re just some little things we have to get corrected. We’ll go back to the film and see the things we messed up on. We’re going to bounce back and get ready for the next game.
RB Joe Bergeron
On Texas’ offense: The offense knew that we were going to have to produce. West Virginia has a high-powered offense and we are producing, as well, but there’s no room for minor mistakes. You can’t really have a perfect game, you’re going to have some mess ups but it comes down to how you overcome those mistakes. We overcame some and some we paid for. Overall, I feel like our offense did produce, and we played pretty well.
On RB Johnathan Gray: Every week he is getting better. I can see it in his eyes. He has no fear. You need that in a young guy like him. Look at him on the sidelines, he’s so anxious just to get in. He’s right next to Coach Applewhite, waiting for his number to be called. He’s like I was last year, just waiting to get his number called. He goes out there with confidence. He calls the play whenever we run the wildcat, and he produces. I really like that about him.
On why this game slipped away: I really don’t know. You just have to go back on film and watch. When you look at replays and highlights of the game from when they made plays, you look back and think how you could have done things differently. At the time, we weren’t really too focused on it because we have to move on to the next play. here’s really no telling. It’s really hard to answer that question because there are a lot of things we could have done differently.
WEST VIRGINIA COACHES
Head coach Dana Holgorsen
Opening statement: I’m really proud of the guys. I’m proud of the way they fought on all three sides of the ball. It was a tremendous team victory. Defense came up with some big stops in key situations. I thought they showed a lot of improvement. I thought special teams was tremendous. Texas has great special teams, and they put a lot of emphasis on that side of the ball. That might have been the difference in the game that we held our own in that area. I can’t say enough of how proud I am for these guys to come into this environment, which is a strange environment. I’ve never seen this place like that. I’ve been here when it was not loud, but it was loud tonight. And for us to be able to overcome that was something that was pretty cool. Great team win, and we’ll get back to work tomorrow.
On RB Andrew Buie’s performance: He averaged 6.7 yards per run and that’s phenomenal. What is surprising for me is to see him carry it 31 times. We did commit to the run. That was something that we talked about earlier in the week, and there weren’t any tricks either. We just lined up and ran it right at them. Texas is tremendous on third down defense. They can rush and they got guys that can cover, and if we got in too many of those situations we felt like it was going to be a long night. Proud of Buie and I can’t say enough about the offensive line as well. They did a great job of digging their fingers in the ground and coming off the ball.
On the offense killing the clock at the end: I think we did a great job of that. When you’re winning by a lot it’s not something you have to do, but we had to do it a little bit against Maryland and last week we had to kill the last three and half minutes. I also think it was key for us to control so much of the ball in the first half. I think we had 20 more plays than they did.
On throwing it on the last drive: We had to get first downs. That’s our four-minute offense. When we have to throw it and complete it, we will throw it and complete it. We knew they were going to bring that safety down and junk up the box, and if we just ran it into that we were going to punt pretty quick. We knew we had to throw it a couple of times to get the first downs and stay on the field.
WEST VIRGINIA PLAYERS
S Darwin Cook
On Texas’ offense: Texas was basically just running double post, and we blew coverage a couple of times. That’s how Texas got their big gains. Credit them, they played a good game.
On the atmosphere of the stadium tonight: I really wasn’t hearing it. I was just focused on the game. When it was loud, I really wasn’t hearing anything. I guess I’m used to it.
WR Tavon Austin
On whether being an underdog motivated his team tonight: Definitely. Texas was the team that I wanted to play [against] when I was little. I had the opportunity. I came in and tried to make a couple of plays.
On winning the game: At the end of the day, it’s just a game, but it’s Texas, too. Texas always has a good tradition, and they’ve won championships. When I was little, I always wanted to play a team like this and when I finally did, I got a win. It’s a good feeling.
QB Geno Smith
On Texas’ defensive play tonight: Those guys out there did a great job of getting to me. Two times, I fumbled the ball and put my team in a very bad position. Had that not happened, the game probably would have been different.
On his offense’s response to Texas’ defense: We knew we were going to have to carry the ball because those guys like to get after the quarterback. They put a nickel package out there for the entire game, kept two linebackers in the box. So we had to put an emphasis on running the ball, and we did a great job with it.
On going for it on fourth downs tonight: It’s how we play. We play as a team. We fight as a team. No matter what it takes to win the game, that’s what we’re going to do. Coach did a great job managing the situations. He kept us out there on the field and trusted us to get the first downs. I think for the most part we did.
K Tyler Bitancurt
On how he responded to the blocked field goal: I knew there were clutch situations that we needed to do well for the team. I just wanted to keep cool and not think about the situation that we were in. I just knew that I could be comfortable out there and kick the ball. It was big to come back off that big field goal that was blocked. We needed the points, and that’s what we needed to do.
On why his field goal was blocked in the first quarter: I just hit it too high on the sweet spot because I hit the ground first. They say, “Don’t hit the big fall first.” And that’s what I did—I hit the earth first.
CB Pat Miller
On how his defense prepared and performed tonight: We had tight coverage. I was out there with the receivers. We knew what to expect because we watched the film a lot. Trusting my team and breaking to the ball.That comes from just practicing.
On whether this week was tough for his defense because of criticism following last weekend’s game against Baylor: It was a tough week mentally because it’s hard to bounce back from a game like that. There were a lot of people criticizing me personally. But you know, we just feed off that. We knew what we had to do and we knew it was going to be a hard task.