Tracking Mack: Sept. 5
Opening statement: Practice has been good. It's obvious that TCU has gotten our attention. Our coaches have gone back to work. We've really had great attention to detail, and it's not like we didn't before the first game, but now we've got something to go back and coach from. And we told them, "You start building pictures on film and memories after the games." You don't ever want to look back and wish you'd done something differently. We've worked really hard on the kicking game because we thought that really helped us the other night. We've continued to work on the running game. And TCU does a great job with their offense. The thing you've got to give (TCU head coach) Gary (Patterson) so much credit for, aside from the winning, is being second on defense and not giving up 100-yard rushers. They've done a great job with their defense, and their offense compliments their defense. They run the ball, they've got misdirection plays, they've got play-action and they're good in the kicking game. So they've done a great job overall, but you've got to give them credit for stopping the run that many times.
The guys did a lot of good things, we challenged the players that didn't do them as long or as well as they needed to, and we played well, but not consistently well. The guys know that and that's why we're moving forward. We need to play better. We're a work in progress. We're still trying to figure out who the leaders are and the team chemistry. TCU is tough, they're physical, they'll come in with a lot of confidence, and we've got to step-up and play better.
On DT Frank Okam: Yes, he looked great Saturday night. When you look at his performance Saturday compared to last season, the obvious thing is that he was well (Saturday night) and he wasn't well last season. He played through a lot of pain and through a lot of adversity (last year), and great credit to him that he continued to play the whole season even though he didn't get to practice a lot. The Frank (Okam) that we saw Saturday is the one that we hope can stay healthy and has the great senior year that we expect him to.
On the running game: Jamaal (Charles) is fine. He came out of it really well, he's excited about the fact that he could carry it 27 times, and he saw all the things he did well and he also knows the few things that he can improve. But we do need to play Chris (Ogbonnaya) more and we need to play Vondrell (McGee) some because that's a long time for a back to be in there and we probably need to play all three.
On TCU coach Gary Patterson: I like Gary. He and (his wife) Kelsey (Patterson) are good friends. We take a trip with them every year, and I talk to him a lot. This is not a week we'll spend a lot of time together, but he's done a great job. And Kelsey is a Texas graduate, we like her a whole lot, and she and Sally (Brown) have gotten close. You have respect for a guy when you coach against him and it's a little harder when you know him and you like him, but still on Saturday, both teams will play as hard as they can. It's a great game for Texas, and it's a fun game. It puts Texas high schools on the national scene again just like a (Texas) Tech game or a Baylor game or an (Texas) A&M game.
On TCU DE Tommy Blake: We feel like Tommy is as good as any defensive end we've seen here since Julius Peppers. We feel like Tommy is that good, and he's great one-on-one. It will be a great challenge for our two tackles, and we'll probably have to help them some because we can't expect them to go one-on-one with probably the best defensive end in the country. We were able to put a couple of guys on Julius (Peppers) when he was here and keep him from dominating the game like he does today, but at the same time then you're turning somebody else free. Tommy is just a great football player.
On Quan Cosby: Quan has been great. He's older, he's very mature, he's a tremendous leader on this team and he has sure hands. He makes really good decisions in the kicking game and he's got powerful legs. So what we need to do is help him some by allowing somebody else to come in and rest him a little bit more. But we thought he did a great job (against Arkansas State), and again I thought our kicking game was great the other night and that's unusual for a first game.
On playing backup QB John Chiles: (The game usually dictates that), and we weren't in a position the other night to let him get snaps because we couldn't get the game put away even when we were up 21-6. So we feel like we'd like to get him some playing time, but again we've got to get Colt (McCoy) going. And today is Colt's 21st birthday so he's old and he's experienced. We would still use John in a second-team role and we're not planning putting him in at the first of the game, but we might stick him in some for a change of pace.
On TCU's offense: TCU's got an offense that with their option is similar to ours. They can get on the corner and they use it enough to affect your defense and your blitz package because you have to have somebody responsible for the quarterback and the pitch. Every time you blitz when there is an option you have to make sure that you're in control of whoever is touching the football, and that's a hard thing to do. You have to be really disciplined and play great assignment football. They'll quick-snap you, so you really have to be alert because they'll just start walking back to the huddle and get down and snap the ball. They give you a lot of problems by what they do as a staff, and they've done a great job of coaching at TCU. We've studied at least a full year of what they do, and they do a good job with their trick plays. And anytime you run the ball as effectively as they have through the years, it gets people to bite on things and then they have the ability to beat you deep. So they've done a great job.
On Colt McCoy punting: Well, Colt was a high school punter. And it's so difficult for a punter, and especially inexperienced punters, to drop the ball inside the 10 (yard line), that we just started playing with it in two-a-days. We feel like it's something that can grow, and we have the ability, especially inside the 50 (yard line), to go for it or punt. And Colt did it perfectly the two times he (punted).
On Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe: Dan was the commissioner of the OVC (Ohio Valley Conference) for 14 years so he has a lot of experience in that arena. It is good not only that he was a football player, but an athlete because that will help him relate to the problems that the kids have and in some ways the coaches. So we do want to congratulate him and wish him good luck.