Texas A&M quotes
Nov. 27, 2008Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery
I'm proud of our guys. There was a tremendous amount of pressure on our guys tonight, because A&M had nothing to lose and we have everything in the world to lose. I felt like they made the statement that they needed to make. Starting with Colt [McCoy], things weren't going as easily offensively as they were defensively in the first half, but Colt started making plays to turn that entire thing around. He made people miss him and got it rolling with some scrambles and by throwing the ball downfield. I thought he made a huge statement tonight, because I do think he's the most valuable player on one of the best teams in the country. I've said it repeatedly and I'll say it again tonight - we would not be where we are without him. I really feel that way. What a great night and what a statement for him for awards here at the end of the year.
As far as our team is concerned, I think the conference has a really tough decision. The voters have a tough decision because there are a lot of really good football teams that are out there. Oklahoma is a great team. Texas Tech is a great team, and I do not want to sit up here and take anything away from either one of those teams. It would be really classless of me to sit here and say they are not great teams. Missouri is a great team. Oklahoma State is a great football team. This league is just the best that it's ever been. I would hope that in the future we would look at the Southwastern Conference's rule for determining how to separate a tie, because they do go head-to-head, and that's the way to determine it. It's the two highest teams that are rated in the BCS, and if it's head-to-head, they take the one that won. I do think that if we go to the Big 12 Championship, it will probably be because we are a great football team and we did beat Oklahoma on a neutral site. We lost on the last play of the game out at Tech. Then, we had the very treacherous four-game stretch with Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Tech. But, I do not want to say that Oklahoma and Tech are not deserving as well, because they are really good football teams.
I'm proud of our guys and I'm proud of the night. This team has been unbelievable this year, and whether we get to play next week or not, I hope we do, I think we will end up in a BCS game somewhere. Hopefully, we can continue to play like we did tonight.
On taking Colt McCoy out of the game in the fourth quarter: It's what we always do, and I can't sit here and act like we really believe in sportsmanship and then throw it on every snap at the end. If the difference in 49-9 and 56-9 is going to make the difference in whether we go to Kansas City or not, then the system is more screwed up than I think it is. Greg [Davis] and I discussed it and Colt wanted to stay in, but to me, this is what we do and this is who we are. I just believe that's the best thing to do, and then the second team scored. I wanted them to get better, because we might have to play John [Chiles] in the next couple of ball games. He's got to continue to get better and he got a couple of throws tonight. Cody Johnson needed to play and I really believe that kids deserve to play. I was really disappointed that we gave up the long kickoff return and the quick touchdown, because that would've killed some more clock. If it takes 56 points to get somebody to vote for you, then folks, we've got a bad system. We sit here and talk all the time about sportsmanship and the NCAA sends out messages about sportsmanship, and then we throw it right out the window when we need to get to a game. I just don't think you do that.
On the 45-35 signs all through the stadium: There were a lot of them and I agree with them. I think that's the deal. We won head-to-head. Again, I don't want to make a big deal out of it. Alabama and Florida get to play theirs off and the Big 12 South won't be able to play it off. If that's the case, then the two Heismans have already played it off, so that's why I feel like we deserve to go.
On holding Texas A&M to -24 yards rushing: It was unbelievable. The only play they made in the first half was the screen, which is really disappointing. It was a 54-yard play and we could've gotten some points there and have gone up 21-0 at halftime instead of 21-3. But our defense played great throughout the night. I was really proud of our offense, because after they kicked the field goal, they took it right back and scored. It's really important to score right before the half and be the last one to score. I was concerned when they scored.
On his 200th coaching victory of his career: It means we've been doing this for a long time, for one thing. I can remember being at Tulane and being 18-24, so it's been a long way from that. At the same time, it means that I've had really good jobs at North Carolina and here and had a lot of great young people that played for us. I've also had a lot of great coaches. When a coach wins 200 games, he would have to give all of the credit to the assistants and the kids. Ahmad Brooks came up and was all excited after the game because he was a part of that. I think that's what the 200 really stands for.
On the potential three-way tie in the Big 12 South: I don't want this to sound wrong, but those kids have done everything they can do, and to me, they should go. So if they don't go, we're going to go play somewhere else. I'm not going to sit around and pout and worry about it. If there are three teams that could go in the Big 12 South, then I really think we need to look at the system, because if we go, then Oklahoma gets left out and they are a really good football team. So, somebody is going to get left out that shouldn't be left out. I'm talking about the Big 12, period. Then, we need to look at the BCS. I don't want to sound like the BCS is horrible. I think there are a lot of good points to it. It's a lot better than what we've had. I've been there when the AP had a national champion, the UPI had a national champion, the guys down the street had a national champion and somebody else had a buddy they gave a trophy to. That wasn't good either. I figured all that out at some point. What we've got is good, and what I'd like to see is not to send conference champions to the BCS unless they deserve to go. Then, we'd at least have the eight best teams playing in the BCS. They don't even have to have a playoff, but that'd be a place to start, because if you have a horrible conference one year and three really good teams in the Big 12 South, then that's not fair to those three teams to not to get to go. That's what I see if it's about the best teams. Right now, it's about the conference champions and then we pick a couple at-large. But I'd like to see it about the best teams if we're not going to a playoff, and that way, Tech, Oklahoma and Texas don't suffer, because you get rewarded for a great year.
On the team over the course of the year: They've been so much fun, they've worked hard and they were one play away from being number one in the country and undefeated. The loss didn't start well, but they fought their guts out to come back and go ahead. I really think this team is special.
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR Greg Davis
On giving playing time to more players: We wanted our young guys to play. They've been working hard. The first series (they were in for), they didn't get a lot time, but then they came back the next series to take it in and score.
On keeping the team's focus: We told the guys that they cannot go out with the attitude that we needed to follow a bunch of polls. We just needed to play, it was a rivalry game and we knew they were going to play hard. All we wanted to do was win the ball game. As it got later and we made the decision, Mack and I were talking about what to do in the fourth quarter and he said, "We have built this program on doing things the right way, that's what we're going to do tonight."
On Texas' postseason fate: We tell [the team] that wherever they send us, it's an opportunity to win 12 [games]. It's out of our hands and there's nothing you can do. You play the hand that's dealt you.
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR Will Muschamp
On the defensive players: The kids have played hard all year. They have bought in and really believed in what we're trying to do, and we've installed things and go through things and they believe they're going to work. Regardless of any change, they don't look at it as change, but rather as something that is going to work for us. I've been so impressed all year with the effort, the attitude and the emotion that they play with. We certainly have some things we obviously can improve upon, but that was a pretty complete performance especially in the first half other than one play. In the second half, we did a good job for the most part.
On Texas' postseason fate: We can't control any of that. We just go out and coach and play. We have 12 games on the schedule, we've won 11 and that's all we do. We let all the other stuff handle it out. We just coach and play.
On having six sacks tonight: We've done a great job all year pressuring the quarterback with four guys rushing. We feel like we had some advantages based on some protection things they did, and then the kids did an outstanding job of executing in those situations.
On the Ryan Palmer and Deon Beasley getting sacks: We had not involved the corner much since probably the first of the year, and based on the full weak protection that they got setup, we felt like we were at some advantage with it. We brought the corner quite a bit in the game to build five-and six-man pressures. It was something we saw protection wise and we felt like we could take advantage of.
On the 45-35 signs: I looked up into the bleachers after the game and saw them. It's been a great season and we finished strong and left it all out on the field. I thank God for giving me this opportunity to play for this team. We can't control anything that happens after this, but we're super excited right now. We got back onto the right track against A&M. We're super excited.
On why he believes Texas should go to the Big 12 Championship: We took care of business out here, and that was our goal. If nothing else happens, we share a part of the South, and that was our goal from the very beginning. So, we're excited about that.
On his first win against Texas A&M: I think that's the goal every time I step out on the field. You have to treat every game like a new game. Like Coach Davis says, "Every play is a different play." You have to be focused the whole time. We've been unfortunate the last couple of years, but tonight, we left it all out on the field and came out on top. A win is a win, and I'm excited for all of them.
On the students politicking for the team: How awesome were the fans tonight? That's the loudest I've ever heard it. I thought the Missouri game would be the loudest, but tonight was just awesome. To be able to play on Thanksgiving against A&M was just great. The setting was amazing. To know that our students and our fans are behind us is great. You walk around campus every day and you hear something about the BCS or other things. That makes us play even harder for this university. We're excited about the future. We can't control it, but tonight, we left it all out on the field.
On the team's focus: We're excited. Our main focus was all on A&M. We knew we would be able to control this game if we played well and we would have a chance for special things. Tonight, we did that.
DE Brian Orakpo
On his victory lap after the game: It was something I'm never going to forget, playing in a huge and great stadium. It's been good to me over the years. I'm surely going to miss it. The only time I'll be back in this stadium is watching these guys. It was a great lap for the seniors, especially going on a good note with a good team like [Texas] A&M. To go out there and play a complete game felt really good.
On stopping the run: You have to control the line of scrimmage. That's the main thing in each and every ballgame. If you can't do that, that's when they can take advantage and run the ball and work the play action. Roy [Miller] and company did a great job up the middle. They did a great job pushing the pocket and making our job easier off of the ends. I can't say enough. Like I said, it was a great team effort with the DB's holding the receivers up, guys stopping the run and the linebackers clogging up the holes.
On if the defense prepared for both quarterbacks: We did, because we figured [Stephen] McGee would come in seeing that he has been successful against us in the past. I'm just happy we tied the series up [in the past four years].
DE Henry Melton
On the team's Big 12 title hopes: All you can do is really hope. We tried to do all we could. I thought we played really well so it's all up to (the voters).
On the team's record-breaking rush defense: We just came out in practice this week and said we've got to stop the run. That's the first thing we have to do. We had to shut it down.
On how the team accomplished the win: It was an all around effort. The defense played excellent, the offense played amazing. They just kept getting the ball back to us so we could stop them.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
On how it feels to get a win over Texas A&M: It feels so good. Everybody was confident in the game plan, the coaches were fired up, the team was fired up. We just couldn't wait to come out here tonight and show everybody that we were trying to get rid of that bad taste from the last two years.
On his emotions after the win: I'm just so happy right now that we got the win. We just went out there tonight, we put in four quarters worth of work and that's all we can do. When all the smoke clears we'll see what happens but right now we're just going to enjoy the win.
WR Jordan Shipley
On the team's case for the Big 12 South championship: I feel like we've played really well most of the season. We had one game where didn't execute as well as we would've liked to but we fought back and lost in the last second of the game at Tech, which is a tough place to play. Other than that, we've been pretty good, so I feel like we're in good shape. We played really well tonight and I think we've executed really well lately. I feel like we're in a good spot.
On the possibility of attaining a medical redshirt: I would like to be back. We'll have to take a look and see what's going with the NCAA, I haven't heard anything back yet or anything like that so we'll see what happens. There's a strong chance that I'll be back next year.
On how he feels about the team now that the regular season is complete: I feel like we played hard all the time. The first half at Tech we just didn't execute. We played really hard, we just didn't execute. Other than that, this team has answered every challenge. Four straight weeks with basically top-10 teams, I think we got through that and I'm proud of our team, proud of our guys. We've got a really unselfish group of guys and so it's been really a fun year to be a part of.
DB Ryan Palmer
On the corner blitzes: It's something we put in our defense. We had a lot of corner blitzes, a lot of nickel blitzes. We called a lot of them, and we just executed them. That's the main thing today - we executed what (Will Muschamp) called. We got off the edge pretty good and made some plays.
On his team's case for the BCS: We did what we could do. I think we've done what we can do all season, played a tough game against Tech and they're still a good football team. We really can't do anything else. We played hard today, went out there and showed (the voters) that we can protect our house. Whatever happens now I know Coach Brown is going to do what he does and we're going to do what we do and see what happens.
WR Quan Cosby
On finishing the regular season and his last home game at Texas: There's so much satisfaction, not only beating a huge rival but keeping our goals in tact, playing with a group of guys that we did, there's so, so much to be excited about. It's almost overwhelming. Taking a last lap around the field, everything about it was great. Those are some great guys there lining up next to me. It's a true blessing to play with those guys this year.
DE Aaron Lewis
On holding Texas A&M to -24 rushing yards: It's an honor. It's a great defense to be a part of. I love the guys. We fly around, we have fun and we were really physical tonight. I'm proud of them.
On whether this was the most physical game of the season so far for the defense: I believe that we've played as physical before. This was one of the most physical games we've put together, all four quarters.
On whether Texas should be playing for the Big 12 Championship next week: It's not up to us. We played to the best of our abilities, we just have to hope that it was good enough. I'm proud of what we did tonight and I'm sure everyone else is too.
OG Cedric Dockery
On his victory lap around the stadium after the game: It felt great. The fans are great here, they give us a great fan base. I appreciate them for the last five years.
On the emotions of playing in his last game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium: It was pretty emotional. It was my last lap around the stadium, I'll probably never get a chance to do that again. Whatever bowl game we go to or the Big 12 Championship, I hope we get another chance to just tell our fans how much we appreciate them.
On the strong offensive performance against Texas A&M: Coach Brown is always telling us to put it all together, almost like the perfect game. Nobody is ever perfect, but to put it all together. I think tonight, we were close to doing that. But it's still not finished. We have a lot of work to do. But I was happy about the way we played. I appreciate my offensive line for playing their butts off. Colt had a great game. As an offensive unit, I thought we played well.
On Coach Mack Brown's 200th victory as a head coach: I just want to say, sorry Coach Brown for the Gatorade [shower]. I'm happy for Coach Brown. He's a great coach, he's a great leader and I see why guys love to come here.
LB Rashad Bobino
On whether Texas should be playing for the Big 12 Championship next week: That's a great question, but you're asking the wrong man for the answers. All we can do, like I said earlier this week, is control what we can control. We went out there, we played hard and we had a great game. We'll let all the voters decide that. All we do is just play.
On tonight's defensive performance: (The front four) really played a huge part. They rushed the quarterback, pressured, caused so much disruption, they made it easy for us to make plays and for the coach to call plays.
WR Brandon Collins
On whether Texas should be playing for the Big 12 Championship next week: I really don't get too much caught up in there. I just know that we go out there and try to play hard every game. I hope that the voters look at us.
On Colt McCoy's Heisman Trophy prospects: He's a great quarterback. Every ball is on the money, he really doesn't have any bad throws. He sets his feet and can throw on the run. He can run the ball. He's a great quarterback, the best in the country.
On Colt McCoy's leadership: He's a great leader. He gets us where we need to be, tells us what to do if we don't know. He helps us out with everything.
On how Colt McCoy has made him a better receiver: He tells me little things about separation and how the (defensive backs) are going to play me. He reads coverages and helps me get open just by knowing what they're in before the snap. That's where he helps me out the most.
DT Roy Miller
On whether Texas should be playing for the Big 12 Championship next week: I think the fans did that [with the] 45-35 [campaign]. We beat Oklahoma. We had a strong season. We played a lot of tough teams, including Missouri, that they haven't, and those are some things that should be looked at. Unfortunately we can't control what's going on and it's up to the voters. But a lot of things can happen. They talk about Oklahoma being fresh on the voters' minds. But I think we had a great game tonight. I think we played very well tonight and those are some of the things that should be looked at when you're talking about who should be number two or number one in the country. It's up to the voters, but I think we played a heck of a season, beating Oklahoma, beating Missouri, beating Oklahoma State, all those teams, and to come out here against our rival Texas A&M and winning.
On holding Texas A&M to -24 rushing yards: It was definitely tough. They were comboing us and double-teaming us a lot, and they were moving the pocket at the same time. It was hard for us to recognize the difference between the run and the pass, but we were able to do it. It's definitely a credit to the defensive line because they played their hearts out and held them.
On playing more physical than A&M: It's satisfying just to win the game. The way we won definitely feels good. It's a rival team, it's my last time. It felt great just to go out like that, beating a great team like A&M, like that.
On the difference against A&M this year from the last two meetings: It's just a different team this year. We've got a lot of energy on the sideline with different coaches, different schemes and guys that coach just to play lights out and finish strong. We've got so much chemistry. Guys are fighting for each other and working together so well. Our defensive line works together so well. That's one thing me and (Brian Orakpo) were talking about, we work together so well in games. It's just being together, knowing each other and knowing what this person is inclined to do, just practicing together so much. Those are things that help this team win games like we have tonight.
TEXAS A&M COACHES AND PLAYERS
On his quarterback situation: Stephen (McGee) had had the shoulder injury on two occasions during the year. I was very nervous about causing further damage to that shoulder at different times throughout the course of the season. We've been very sensitive to that. But in my conversations with him over the last couple of days, we felt like he was pretty healthy, and I thought he deserved the opportunity to play in this ball game.
Jerrod (Johnson) was going to get the first couple of series, and if he had had greater success in those two series, I would have stayed with him a little bit longer. But, I felt like Stephen deserved the opportunity to play in this game. It had meant so much to him in the past and meant a lot to him today. It was unfortunate we couldn't get anything done.
On Texas and QB Colt McCoy: We just didn't stop them on third down. Give Texas all the credit. They've got a heck of a football team, and he (Colt McCoy) is a heck of a quarterback. They had a couple of penalties in the first couple of possessions and it put them in some long yardage. I thought we were going to be able to get off the field, but he did some nice things with the football and with his feet and converted third downs. We didn't convert third downs, and they did. We didn't stay on the field, and they did. That was the name of the game.
DL ALTON DIXON
On pressuring Colt McCoy: We understand that they have a pretty good offensive line and that they were capable of making plays, but he did his job and all his receivers did a good job of playing with him.
On Texas converting on third downs: It is very frustrating because you are just giving them more confidence. That's the type of team that you want to stall and not have any type of a rhythm. Unfortunately, they were able to convert those third downs and those big plays. At the end of the day, that is where the win is.
On where A&M is heading: I think this program, this team, this family, this organization is headed in the right direction. Coach does everything from a player's standpoint, every aspect of the game, he covers. Coach Sherman is a great coach and he has a great staff. It's basically coming down to just winning the game, and going out and playing well.