Dec. 30, 2012
Box Score |
Head coach Mack Brown
On the game: They've got two tremendous receivers, and it really scared us going into the ballgame because of their ability to catch a ball in space and score or get deep double moves. [S] Kenny [Vaccaro] and I talked about it in the dressing room after the game. They didn't get a deep ball, which is amazing. Part of that was [DE] Alex's [Okafor's] fault because he didn't have time to get it off. The only trouble we got in defensively was right before the half when they were running the ball, and if they could be balanced then we knew we were in trouble. When we got them when they were in a position to throw and the crowd was tremendous tonight in our favor, and they really helped us, got the kids stirred up, and when that happened momentum changed. Then we had the fumble, and then they scored quickly, and then we come back and scored again, and then the defense just completely took over the game at the end. I don't think our defense has played better, four turnovers, I think, or three turnovers and a fourthdown stop in a ballgame. And in fact it hurt us that we didn't score off the turnovers early, but the defense was relentless, just kept coming and that's a really good offensive football team. I think [OSU head coach] Mike [Riley] is one of the best play callers, best offensive coaches in the country.
On the Texas offense: Just sitting thinking after the ballgame and halftime to see where we would go and what we would do. It was a real tough night for Major. He was put in an awful position with two weeks to prepare for play calling when he hadn't called them in three or four years, and it really wasn't even his total plan when he started it. The plan was in place when [former offensive coordinator] Bryan [Harsin] took the job to go to Arkansas State. So they tried to tweak it some. Then secondly [co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach] Darrell Wyattwas in a new position and trying to help, so those guys coached with four guys. And I thought their plan was to be a lot of up tempo and no huddle and the first half they weren't doing it. And I said, "Hey, forget it, let's go. Let's just do what you came in to do," because they were going to try to establish the run early and then get something going, and we couldn't block them. They're a really good defensive front, but they stopped the run better than they rushed the passe,r and I thought we got them on their heels with the no huddle and I thought it was a great move by the offensive staff. And I thought it changed the game and then got David some rhythm. The running the ball helped him. He has not been a guy who's run the ball at times when he could, and a couple of quarterback draws, the one he scored on was a tremendous play. He made a 2ndandlong run that got us in a 3rdandone situation, and then the escape play that he throws to [RB] Johnathan [Gray] for the touchdown was the kind of plays that the quarterback has to make to win games, and he did all that. And if you think he struggled at TCU, he didn't play at Kansas State, so he hadn't played in four weeks or something. And he had a new play caller and a new coach, so I thought he did a tremendous job. This game was so much like the '06 game and [former Texas QB] Colt [McCoy] came in and struggled the first half and came back and did well the second half.
On getting WR Marquise Goodwin involved: Well, we felt like that our advantage would be in space with our speed, and [RB] Daje [Johnson] had back spasms all week. He played one play tonight, but he didn't practice hardly at all. We needed to get Marquise and we needed to get [RB/WR] D.J. Monroethe ball in space when we could, and we tried it early and they had a good plan that stopped it with a Sam linebacker up field. We had a deep ball to Marquise that I think got caught in the lights because early those lights are right down the sideline, and we were wide open for a touchdown. It's interesting when you're in a bowl game, a lot of time the officials spot the ball differently than your league, and they spotted the ball very quickly on David one time, and we ran down one time and had a delay of game. And we had another one where we had to call a timeout coming out of a break, which is something you can't have. But then we had a great break. They lined up offsides to the punt, and then our guys did a real good job of calling the explosive play, and it was blocked perfectly for Marquise, and when he hits the crease, that speed happens. So he played a great game tonight. We challenged all of our players to make sure that our seniors left happy and had a happy dressing room, and that's happening in there tonight.
On if this win is the step forward he was looking for for next year: Yes, one of our young strength coaches Tim Cross was at chapel this morning, that's what Kenny was talking about. And he said you got to get your mind right and you've got to move off of the space that you're in, because we were ready to move for TCU and we didn't move. We were ready to move for Kansas State and we didn't move. He said you can either stay where you are, which is not the standard we've set, or you can move, and you can take a step forward. To do that you have to do that tonight. And the thing we told the guys at halftime is it can't be better than this to make the move because we're down, we're struggling. They've got the momentum, and for us to win this game, we're going to have to have everybody jump in and do their job and do the best that they can possibly do, but this is what we need. We need a tough win against a top team to get back in the mix so we can get confidence for all these guys coming back. Then you add 13 practices for a bunch of young guys, and it was a really good win for us.
On DE Alex Okafor's performance: I'm really proud of Alex. You look at guys that come in four years so Alex has really been here threeandahalf years, he's already gotten his degree, which is phenomenal for all the people who talk about kinds and academics and college. He's a guy that will be drafted high in the NFL. He'll play a long time in my estimation if he wants to in the NFL, and he and Kenny took over this team on leadership, which was obvious by the vote of the players for the captains. Probably when we were struggling up at West Virginia, something in there, Alex and Kenny, we asked them, said, "You just have to step up and help us on defense. We're just really struggling." And they did that, and they've made such an impact when we've had really, really hard bowl practices. I mean, really, really hard and demanding and physical and draining, and one of the things we said each day is if you all will practice as hard as Alex and Kenny practice every day, then you'll play hard because they don't know anything different. That's who they are. That's what they do. These seniors have done a great job, as few as they are, but Alex and Kenny have gotten the defense playing with some confidence and playing well tonight.
Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Manny Diaz
On the defense and DE Alex Okafor: Yes, very proud of the way the guys played. I felt like they had a decision to make at halftime. I thought we started the game well and then had a spell where we didn't play as well, and they had a decision to make. To me it was whether they wanted to fight their way out of it or sort of accept their fate, and I'm so proud of the way that they fought, the way that they battled in the second half.
As far as Alex, you always want your seniors to play well and finish off their career on a great note, but to ask for five sacks, whatever he had, four and a half sacks, he'd have been embarrassed to ask for that before the game. It's almost too good to be true. But I'll say this, the word "deserve" can be thrown around a little bit, but he deserved to have the success he had tonight because he's been a warrior for us all year. We haven't always played well around him, and he's never wavered. He's been one of our hardest workers in practice, been a great leader in the locker room. Again, in some sense he deserved the success he had tonight and very proud of him for it.
On recent bowl success stemming from the Big 12's competitiveness: First of all, yes, it's a different sport. We play a different sport in our conference than some of these other conferences do. I don't think there's any doubt about that. But I thought our guys in the secondary were just outstanding tonight. To me to hold Wheaton and Cooks to 6 for 68, again, I never would have asked for that in my wildest dreams. Those are outstanding football players. So we did some things on the back end to give the corners some help. The corners battled, the corners fought, and obviously you've got to compliment the pass rush, as well. It was really a team effort for those guys in handling their passing game.
On if the defense made a statement: They did some of that. It will be very important for us to understand by all means that we have not fixed all of our issues and we have not arrived. There's no "back." There's no everything is great. All we talked about was this being a step leading into what is a very, very important off-season in this football program. It's going to feel a lot better coming off this bowl game, but the fact we battled and won a close ballgame doesn't change the fact that this football team is going to have to grind to get where it wants to go. And I think the guys saw that in the month of December the way they attacked practice. We talked about the word demand. We talked about demanding and not asking of each other but demanding of each other. So maybe tonight they saw a little glimpse, and when we start to demand more from each other, the results can improve. But any notion that we should be happy and rest on our laurels would be foolish.
On the defense obtaining ten sacks against Oregon State: Well, that doesn't happen very often, obviously, but I think there were a lot of things that were in play. Like I said, I thought we covered them well, matched up with their pass game stuff. They're an unbelievable screen team. There's not a screen that they don't find a way to run. We intercepted one of their screen passes so we made a play there. And then the coverage guys, and just the way we were relentless in the pass rush. And it wasn't always one guy, of course Alex was dominant, but we had a bunch of other guys that were in there on the sacks, and sometimes the guy just had to hold the ball half a count longer for us to get there. And then the other thing is we were so much better in the run game in the second half, and everyone else is aware of what our issues have been this year. Of all the things that we have to address and fix, we have to obviously become a better run defense, more similar to what we were the year before. When we got them into more obvious passing downs, it was pretty simple after that.
Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Major Applewhite
On the advantage of WR Marquise Goodwin's speed: Sure. It's a tremendous advantage. This game is about speed. It's about speed and explosive players, and I think if you asked Manny or any other defensive coordinator, when they turn on the tape, the first thing they want to look for is who can make plays, explosive plays. That's why he talked about Wheaton. That's why he talked about Cooks, and it was real important to hold those guys to a combined six catches for about 68 yards. What [Goodwin] brings to the offense, you can't measure that. That's just the physical side of it. But the type of player he is, the type of competitor, he's done that since he was a freshman in the Oklahoma game. He's made big play after big play after big play. I hate that I only had one game with him, but he'll be a success at whatever he tries to do. He's just that kind of guy.
On getting WR Marquise Goodwin and WR D.J. Monroe involved in the offense: Yes, we wanted to get them involved early. Again, tying into what I just said about speed and explosive players, you've got to fire all your weapons, and I don't want to create the war analogy too much, but if you have weapons, use them. That's what we've got to do is use those guys. If they find ways to take it away from us, then we've got to find ways to get it back in their hand. What you learn even as a player, you don't have to block them all. You don't have to block them all. When you get those guys that have exceptional speed, they can do things outside of the design of the play so you don't have to be perfect. There's a little bit more margin for error in what you do when you give the ball to a great athlete.
On having QB David Ash involved in the running game: One thing, going into the game, talking to Coach [Darrell] Wyatt, we spent a lot of time together and talking to [offensive line coach] Stacy] Searels, with the backup quarterback situation, we didn't want to come in in the first half and run him a whole bunch and get a situation where we had to play a guy who wasn't ready. So when we got into halftime they were doing a good job against our run game, and they're a good defense. They're a top 15 team. They're a good defense. So we were having some struggles and we felt like we had to get him involved in the run game to loosen some things up, and he did a great job in the run game. Like Manny was saying [about th defense], by no means is it fixed. We've got some things that we can get better on. Our tempo tonight was a key factor. I'd say those are the two biggest adjustments at halftime was getting David running the ball a little bit and having some tempo, and we've just got to continue to build on that.
On his offensive philosophy in tonight's game: Stayed the course in terms of what we were trying to do. We felt like we watched Oregon against those guys, and they're obviously known as a fast-paced attack. We can create some advantages for us with our speed on the field and spread them out, and in the first half they were fresh. They were fresh. In the second half, the game gets a little bit looser when you come out at halftime, and we just stayed with it and guys made plays, and David did a great job of taking care of the ball. And that's just a big factor in winning and losing games, period.
On using the offense employed in this game going forward: You know, Darrell and I want to be able to move the tempo. We want to be able to move it up and back. We want to still be able to get in two backs and go downhill if we need to. Our term, our definition of balance is being able to win the game both ways, whether it's running the ball or throwing the ball. And tonight the way we needed to win the game was to spread them out, throw it, clear some loose lanes for the quarterback to run the ball and be effective. So we want to get in here in the off-season. It's not about the Xs and Os, it's really about just the culture of our program and demanding more of our guys, demanding more of our coaches, strength coaches, trainers, just getting guys tougher, and that's where we're going to improve as a ball club. You can call any play you want. That's why we've got to have an off-season and we've got to be uncomfortable as coaches, uncomfortable as players, and that's where you find your largest growth. And so these next eight, nine months are going to be vital for us. The good thing is these young guys, you can preach that to them all you want, but maybe over the course of their freshman and sophomore years maybe now it's starting to sink in. And like Manny said, I think they're starting to feel the effects of it was uncomfortable for these four weeks of practice following two losses, but this feels pretty damned good, so we'll build on that.
On QB David Ash: You know, David is a true sophomore. He's a young guy still, but I think he's got the determination, I think he's got the mindset. Games like this, games like Stillwater, games like Ole Miss, those are games that he just has to continue to build confidence in, and we've got to simplify things and make it easy for him so he can play fast. I thought as he got involved in the run game, I thought he loosened up and he got going. So we've got to look at that and see how he was responsive in that situation. He did well in that situation, and pleased with the way he played.
DE Alex Okafor
On his play in the game: I mean, we've just been breaking down film all month, and Coach Diaz saw a weakness in the protection, and he put me in a great position to go make plays.
On the last sack: Just like all the other ones. I just came off the ball, saw the pass set, and he was kind of kicking back tight, and I just ran around.
On his feeling in a "zone": As a pass rusher you work one move on a guy you start hitting on that move, and if you have accounted for that move, it's difficult for a tackle to really control the D-end. As you said, I just kind of got in the zone, and luckily I had the DBs back there and the LBs back there covering for me, so I got plenty of time to go rush the passer and make plays.
On what defensive coordinator Manny Diaz saw the he was able to expoit: Just a combination of everything. The DBs covered longer, they covered better. The LBs were great in their coverage. We saw that they were short setters, and he lined both our DBs up kind of in a nine technique and just told us to just kind of hang loose and do what we do.
On the win: It's always great to end the season on a good note, and that's what we did tonight. We're going to use this game as a stepping stone and Coach Diaz just talked about that we have to demand more from ourselves. That was kind of the mindset going into this game and that's what we did.
WR Marquise Goodwin:
On his touchdowns: First of all, giving all honors to God. Without him there wouldn't be no me and Texas. You know, coach Applewhite set up a great play. We've been working on it all week. It was an H reverse, I went into the slot, ran the reverse, and I saw 51 [OT Donald Hawkins] running out there, and then I saw Ash in front of me, and by that time it parted like the Red Sea and I just ran through it. And on the second touchdown, it was just a setup all game. They bit on the double moves, and I just escaped them Ash threw a great ball, and touchdown.
On if his performance alleviated some disappoint from the Olympics: Two different sports, you know. Two different sports, really can't compare the two. But I'm just happy that we got the W today and we played together as a team, and that's what I'm going to remember most today.
On co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite: Coach Applewhite definitely found a way to use me a little more than I was used early on during the season. You know, he did a great job coordinating the offense, and he set up great plays, and we just went out there and executed.
On QB David Ash during the game: Oh, yeah, he definitely got his confidence back up, got back rolling. He was playing good all throughout the game, not just in the last two sessions that we had the ball. He did a wonderful job tonight and he found receivers open, running backs open, tight ends, and he just made plays. He made plays on his feet, and he played a really smart game today, and I commend him for that.
QB David Ash
On the touchdown pass to RB Johnathan Gray: Well, you know, shoot, I don't know. He's a great player, first of all. Second of all, my offensive line was doing a great job protecting and giving me time to get back there and try to make something happen. And then, you know, I think at that point you just start reacting. It's not really designed that way, just kind of happens that way. J. Gray could have given up on his route but he kept wheeling up the sideline and did what he was coached to do, so he showed some discipline there, and that was awesome. Whenever players play hard and have a little freedom to play, they'll make plays for you. So he did, and I appreciate it.
On the last two offensive drives: Well, you know, I think we kind of had gained the momentum at that point in the game, and the guys were believing. You know, whenever you start just playing ball and you're not thinking about anything else but just playing ball, reacting and having fun out there. And I was just trying to do my job, and the reason I was 7 for 7 is because my offensive line was blocking well. My wide receivers were making plays. I was going behind receivers, under receivers and they were grabbing them for me. So I think the guys just made plays. It came down to it, it was a team win. The defense was making plays for us and getting the ball back. I couldn't be prouder of these seniors, couldn't be prouder of this team.
On his play tonight: I guess to answer your question, in every situation you have to be thankful. I learned a lot at TCU, tough situation that I was in, but I'm just really thankful that I got another opportunity to play a game I love. Thankful [that] God has given me the abilities I have and put me in this place with great teammates and great coaches. I believe his hand is in everything. I believe he's writing my story, and I'm following him. Just very thankful for the seniors and for the way the team played tonight.
On perservering throughout the game: Well, you know, I think you approach each game -- it's not like in other games, where it's like, well, since I started slow I'm just not going to play well the rest of the game. You just kind of keep plugging away and you kind of wait for that play that sparks. This game we started getting them, and we got the momentum back and we started playing well. You know, that's what it takes. It takes every guy on that bench to lead and get the job done, and the guys believed tonight. Believed in each other, believed in our preparation and played as hard as they could, and it was a lot of fun, and just couldn't be more thankful.
On halftime adjustments: We were just kind of looking at trying to get in a rhythm more. We were trying to get better on first downs. Obviously we struggled a little bit putting ourselves in some long yardage situations on third down in the first half, and it's pretty hard to convert on thirrd and long. So we tried to get better on first down, and we tried to get some tempo and momentum going. If we could get a rhythm going, we were going to try to get some tempo going, and I think we'll watch it on film and see that they were having trouble getting lined up and they were getting pretty winded. So those were the kind of adjustments we made.
S Kenny Vaccaro
On DE Alex Okafor: That's what he brings every game, just dominance, and that's what we said when we broke the huddle in the hotel, just dominate everything you do. And I demand a lot out of Alex, I know he demands a lot out of me, and when I'm covering out there, I just think about my boy getting a sack.
On how this win caps the season: I think just momentum for next year. We did better than last year, obviously, and our main goal this whole week was just seize the moment for these guys and set them up for what's to come and kind of like [strength] Coach [Tim] Cross had a good mention this morning in chapel - kind of get to the promised land. He said Moses got them to promised land and Joshua took him through, and that's what we want these young guys to do.