Oct. 30, 2010
Congratulations to Baylor. They have a good team. It's by far the best team they've had since we've been here. It all goes without saying to [Baylor QB] Robert Griffin. The guy is unbelievable. I don't know how he can be out of the Heisman talk. He was the difference tonight. He made play, after play, after play, after play. He makes them with his feet. He makes everyone else around him better. He also threw the ball better. He also threw the ball and made big play, after big play.
I thought the difference in the ballgame was three-fold. The turnovers ended up about even. We're still kicking entirely too many field goals and not scoring touchdowns. We're going to have to improve in that area. It's frustrating because we've always been able to score down there. We've been a great red zone team. We're working on it all the time. It doesn't seem to be getting much better. That's got to improve. Tonight we gave up entirely too many big plays on defense. Most of them third downs. We gave up a 69-yard run. We gave up a 30-yard pass, a 59-yard pass, a 17 and a 14-yard pass. Most of them on third downs.
Their punter was unbelievable. He had the 65-yard punt at the end of the game and averaged 56.8 [yards per punt] and did a tremendous job. We're obviously not getting anything out of our punt block and punt return. In fact, it nearly really hurt us twice tonight. We were fortunate. We've got to look at that. Our kickoff after the first two weren't very good at the end of the game. Kickoff coverage was really good tonight. Punt was fine. That didn't hurt us. The field goals were good. We just missed the one.
We missed an opportunity on fourth-and-two where we had the offensive interference. We gave up back-to-back huge plays with them scoring. They scored right before the half which hurt us with momentum. Then they score and we throw the interception - which was a ball that Greg Smith [usually] catches - it bounces up in the air and they catch it. The defense fights hard to keep them out but they score at the end.
We had too many penalties. We didn't force enough turnovers. We protected the ball decently, but we gave up a score with the turnover we had. We're more balanced with our offense which we wanted to be. Not scoring touchdowns was a killer. We've got to score more points. If we're going to blitz we've got to play better man coverage.
Again, give Baylor credit. I thought Baylor came in [and], they handled themselves. They had a lot of pressure. We came back and answered and scored right before the half. They came back and made the plays they needed to win the game.
On if there was a difference in the team's demeanor this week: Yeah, I told the kids in the dressing room if they played this hard against Iowa State and UCLA, they'd have won both games. That's kind of the sad thing about where we are. What they can take out of this is the positive that if they play hard each week and start making big plays - we had too many drops, receivers were dropping the ball all over the place - if we'll catch the ball, that'll help us score in the red zone. We dropped at least two touchdown passes. We played this hard at Nebraska. We played this way at Tech. We played the second half of Oklahoma this way. The rest of the year we haven't played this hard. Hopefully they can build on that. That will help them at least finish strong.
On if this is his most frustrating season at Texas: Yes. We were 9-5 and lost the last bunch of games in '99. That wasn't fun at all. This has been frustrating.
On how to fix the team: I think you just keep working. I read what [Florida head coach] Urban Meyer said. They've been in a similar situation to what we are. Somebody gave me an article yesterday where he said they just have to practice better and do better things. I think that's what all of us have to do. There's enough talent out there. It was obvious tonight. We've got to do things better. The offense was more tonight what we're looking for - except we've got to score. We've got to catch balls at receiver. We've said Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby caught those balls, stayed on the field. We scored touchdowns with them. We've got to start catching. Garrett [Gilbert] seemed to get better, to me, today. I thought he managed the game well. He ran better. I thought there were still some opportunities for him in the first half to run. We need to stay balanced like we were. I thought Cody Johnson and Tre' Newton ran the ball well, protected the ball. I thought the offensive line did a good job. Michael Huey went out at halftime and didn't come back. The defense played hard. They stopped the run except for the one long run and gave up too many yards in the passing game. If they'll keep fighting and finish strong, at least we can start building on this at the end of this year and try to get something headed towards spring.
On the dropped passes: We keep thinking it won't happen. They're catching it in practice. It's just like the punt returners. They're the two best. What do you do? Keep looking at it. Some of those guys that are dropping them are young. You don't want to throw them out and break their spirits right now, because they're going to be great players before they leave. It's frustrating for them as well. I thought John Chiles did a better job tonight. He is well. He's played his two best games since he's been here back-to-back. We've just got to keep working on those guys and try to get them to get more confidence. When you get in the situation where we are at Texas - and we haven't been in this situation since we've been here - guys try too hard and they get frustrated. When they're flat, they're bad. When they come out like they did tonight and try so hard they just fight things. That's what gets them in trouble some.
On the team's jumbo package: It's not good on third-and-eight. That's about what we've had. Jumbo package is short yardage. That's a two, three yard offense. It seems like what we're trying to do is catch the ball and fall at the 10. So we're first and goal from the 10 or nine-and-a-half. We haven't had many short red zone plays. It's just something we've got to go back and keep looking at. I think some of that goes back to Quan and Jordan. They got open a bunch and caught the balls.
On if he has considered using two punt returners at the same time: We thought about two. We even - a couple of times tonight to give Curtis [Brown] protection - we jammed the gunners to try to give him more confidence and get him more comfortable catching the ball. Duane [Akina] is the best in the country at that. He's trying hard to get it worked out. I've hated it for both of those kids. They're both really good players. We thought they'd be really good at it. Again, you throw out Quan and Jordan's names. I don't remember them dropping one.
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis
On red zone play: I think that we did some better things. Obviously, though, in the red zone we are not getting touchdowns. We had opportunities to put the game into a multiple position situation, and we kept having to kick field goals. That is an area that we have to get better at. I thought that Garrett did some really great things, both running and throwing, but the bottom line is we did not get in the red zone and that ended up costing us.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
On the team’s defense tonight: I think the game really comes down - and I can only speak on the defensive side of the ball - in the first half we gave up a big play, a good conversion on their part. In the second half, we split and [they] run for 69 yards and get bounced out of a gap and don’t get the run. And then we have two guys we don’t convert on third down. That’s the way I look at it.
On there being no margin for error for this team: We’ve just got to find a way. We’ll pull together and move forward. That’s what I plan on doing. I know that’s what our football team will do and what the administration and everybody else will do. We look forward to getting back to work tomorrow.
On Baylor RB Jay Finley’s 69-yard run: I was just trying to figure out who was supposed to be there. Keenan [Robinson] and I were both in the middle, and it split between us. As a linebacker, you’re responsible for any run that breaks. Keenan and I talked about it, and we are still not sure. We are going to have to go back, look at the film and make adjustments.
On Baylor QB Robert Griffin: He’s a great player. He is a solid quarterback, but nothing too surprising. We knew he was a good player going into the game, and we knew he was an incredible athlete. We just didn’t make enough plays. We know that when we are playing a high-caliber player, we have to step our game up and we didn’t do that.
On his overall feelings on the season thus far: We just have to get back to the drawing board, keep grinding day in and day out and turn this thing around. We’re working hard. We’re focusing hard, and we’re trying to pay attention to what we assume to be minor details. We aren’t pointing fingers or anything like that, but we’re just trying to get the problem fixed.
DE Sam Acho
On whether the defense felt strong throughout the game: We were feeling strong from the first play to the last play. Baylor made some good plays and had some good players, but we were feeling strong throughout the game
On coming into this game prepared: We had a great game plan going in. Coach Muschamp did an unbelievable job of getting everyone ready and getting the correct game plan in for the game. We played hard and played well. There were a couple mistakes that we have to improve on. We just know that God has a plan for everybody. There is something bigger that we can learn from this game.
On coming together as a team: Ultimately when it comes down to it, we are a team through thick and thin. That is the message that the entire team knows and is trying to get across to everybody.
S Blake Gideon
On the frustration of making the mistakes: It’s very frustrating. With the personalities that we have on this team, it is something that we’re never going to get used to. It’s very frustrating knowing that all the work we put in every week, and you fall short at the end. So, there is a little bitterness that comes with that.
On the margin of error with the team: Speaking from a defensive perspective, it is just a matter of one guy not getting their responsibility one play, and the offenses are exploiting it. I think we’ve seen that in a couple games this year, and they’re mistakes that we keep making that keep hurting us. So if we’re going to give ourselves any chance this season, we need to improve on those.
On his collision with CB Aaron Williams: I was driving downhill on the receiver, and I saw the ball fall short, so I took my eyes away from the receiver. I looked up and saw my good buddy was there. It’s one of those things that happen every now and then in football, and I’ll be the first one to check up on him tomorrow morning and make sure he’s alright.
OT Kyle Hix
On the loss: It’s very disappointing. I thought we fought hard, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
On the offensive line’s protection of QB Garrett Gilbert: We executed better than we did the week before, but we just have to make more plays. Give Baylor credit, they played well.
On Gilbert’s progression: He’s getting better in the offense. He’s feeling more comfortable. He’s making more throws that he probably wouldn’t have at the beginning of the season because he’s feeling more comfortable. But he’s progressed well.
On Gilbert’s running: He’s not afraid to tuck it and run when he needs to, and he can be a valuable weapon for us in the running game.
RB Tre’ Newton
On the team feeling down: Nobody enjoys losing. Everybody is pretty disappointed right now, but we fought hard. We tried, and Baylor was just a better team today.
On improving as a team: There’s always room for improvement whether you’re winning or losing. We have to come in tomorrow and look at our mistakes. Look at what we did wrong and just try to improve on it.
On worrying about not bouncing back after a loss: No, I trust my teammates. Everybody has fight in them. Everybody’s going to keep going and keep moving forward.
On this loss being more difficult than others: Every loss is tough. Nobody wants to lose any game so I can’t say this one’s any worse than any of the other ones. It’s just not a good feeling.
LB Keenan Robinson
On Robert Griffin’s success on third down: It’s hard to stop him. He’s a dual-threat quarterback. You try to stop his feet, then he hurts you with the pass. You try to stop his pass, then he hurts you with the run. He’s a good, balanced quarterback. We played hard, but they just executed a few more plays than we did. Their big plays at the end helped get them the win.
On his feelings about the game: I’m just mad because we played hard, and no one gave up or backed down. Everyone on the team fought, and it hurts even more to lose when you fight so hard and play well for the most part of the game. We played hard as a team, and it just hurts. You do all you can do and still come away with a loss.
On Baylor’s offense: They weren’t the team they had last year, since they had [Robert] Griffin back this year. They were more similar to the team they had in 2008, just a little better because Griffin has been there for more years. We knew that they were a high-powered offense, and that we needed to stop Griffin and their running back. So we knew who we had to stop, and we knew what they were going to bring to the table.
On if this team can bounce back: I know we can bounce back, especially if we play as hard as we did tonight. It was only a few plays here and there that helped swing the game in Baylor’s direction, and we still had a chance to win the game. So I know we’ll bounce back.
On Texas’ success on the road: We like to play on the road and play against crowds that are constantly booing us. I know we’ll bounce back and play well on the road. We’ll take our team, our parents and our fans on the sideline and in the stands with us, and bounce back after this tough loss.
PK Justin Tucker
On his missed 48-yard field goal: It’s pretty instantaneous. Right after I kick the ball, I have a feeling whether it’s going to be good or not. That 48-yarder felt good coming off the foot, but I could just kind of tell I didn’t get through on it enough. It went off pretty straight, but didn’t go through the uprights for me.
On the team’s feelings on the season: We’re a family, so we’re in this together. It’s not just the offense. It’s not just the defense. It’s not just the special teams. It’s everybody. It’s the coaches. It’s the trainers. It’s the equipment managers. It’s the players. Everybody in the program has their role, and there is no room to point fingers. Everybody has to be accountable.
On the team’s mood following today’s game: We fought really hard tonight. The defensive guys played lights out for a huge part of the game. The offense got in scoring positions, and they were setting me up to put punctuation on drives. But the mood in the locker room is that we have to get back into the locker room and keep sawing wood.
RB Fozzy Whittaker
On the offense not getting more touchdowns: It is not [acceptable]. We’ve been stressing having touchdowns rather than field goals throughout these past few weeks, and we still haven’t been able to accomplish those goals yet.
On Baylor erasing the lead: We just have to stick with it. We started the game off pretty well. Baylor’s a good football team, and we knew that coming in. We tried to stay on the field offensively to keep their offense off the field, but it proved a little too much for us.
On what’s holding the offense back: I don’t know right now. It seems every now and then we’ll stop ourselves with penalties or we may just have a couple of dropped balls or missed assignments here and there. I just feel like it requires more focus.
On the rest of this season: We’ve got to go back to work and can’t let these losses overcome us the rest of our season, because we still have more games to play. So we can’t let this affect the rest of the games we play.
On preparation: I think the thing that has helped us is the last three weeks. That is the thing I have been concerned with is the weeks building up to the game. We have been going down to the wire at Texas State, Colorado and Kansas State. Since we have been going down to the wire those three games, we are used to being in that situation and we have won two out of three of them, and our guys just think that something good is going to happen and are believing that. They are making the plays and understanding the situations that determine the outcome of the game.
On what this means to the program: I think the thing that I am excited about is that we have seven wins on the board, and we are in the middle of the Big 12 South. I am not looking at the rank from 15 years ago because that does not affect our players. Our players came in here with the notion that we were going to play hard for 60 minutes and get out of here with a win, and that is all that we were concerned with.
On the big offensive plays: We hit a few and we missed a few, too. We are not as sharp early as what we would have liked to been. Texas is extremely good on defense. Extremely talented and well coached, and I thought they did a great job offensively as well and they are a good football team as evidence as what has happened in the last 13 years. You are going to hit some and you are going to miss some and you have to go with it, and the thing that really helped us is when we flipped the momentum, because they really had it when they were up by nine in the third and we could feel it closing in a little bit. But then we got the interception and there we go.
On the momentum changing play with the interception: That to me was it, and I think the other thing is when they were up by nine and got down there and ended up having to punt the ball. Those are two big plays, but conversely we gave them good field position the first half, then we flipped it a little bit.
On the biggest thing that has changed compared to last year’s game: It is a whole different mindset without a doubt. Our guys have some proof to believe. That to me is first and foremost.
On giving Texas field position but Texas still taking field goals: That was huge and our defense really played well, and I thought we were sound on special teams and we did enough offensively. We knew it was going to be tough offensively, but we did enough to give us a chance to win the game.
On going for the fourth-and-one: When you get opportunities to win a big game on the road you have to take them, and that is what I have always believed. When you are at home it is a little different, but when you are on the road, if you can do something to swing the momentum you have to take a shot at it and you have to have faith in your guys to do it. If you don’t do it and decide to kick, that is not having faith and is just going by what the book says to do. But fortunately we were able to run eight plays inside the four and get it in.
On the difference in play from earlier in the year: Some teams get better the longer they play. I think we are getting to be a better football team the longer we are playing, and that is the encouraging thing about this team and that is what I have been saying the last three weeks. Every time we are stepping on the field we are getting better, and we are nine games deep and we are still not as good as we are going to be. We are just understanding football better and making plays when we need to be.
On holding the Longhorns on a short field: It was a complete team effort. We always do a pretty good job, but we usually have trouble on third down. Today we found a way to get them off of the field. We forced them into a lot of long third downs. We just stuck together as a team, and as a defense. Every man did his part so that the team as a whole had a good chance to win.
On trailing Texas by nine points in the third quarter: All I was thinking is that we had to get stops. I knew that eventually our offense would get it together. With the talent we have, we would start cooking. We just said to each other that if we get stops, and they don’t score, we win. We went out there and just tried to do just that.
QB Robert Griffin III
On overcoming his early struggles in the game: I just wasn’t on today. On the drives that we put up points, I was on enough to help us. I kind of look at it as I am, we are. So if I’m not playing well then we aren’t playing well as a team. That’s a lot of pressure on me, but I’m willing to take that.
On beating Texas after years of struggling: It didn’t come up at all during the week. Not until the end of the game guys were talking about how we haven’t beat Texas in a while. For us, it was another win. The tide has changed this year. We are the team to beat, and we are just going to keep rolling with that.