Getting defensive: Sept. 7
On what the secondary will look like Saturday: We have a lot of people, a lot of options. You know, those of us that were watching the end of the SC (University of Southern California) game; we had quite a few guys out there that had a great opportunity when we lost both Michael (Griffin) and Tarell (Brown) on that one play. You know, Marcus (Griffin) has gone in and done well, Matt Melton, Brandon Foster were out there and played well. If you look at the last game, Robert Joseph showed up, Eric Jackson has played well for us, the two young freshman have really come along, and they are slowly learning the package more and more, so we've got a lot of options we can go with. We've got a number of different packages that we can also go with, so we're still waiting and seeing.
On CB Tarell Brown not playing: It's not a distraction, you know our philosophy here has been for a long time, even prior to coming here, and we support Tarell (Brown), but it's another one's opportunity. Even in our room downstairs what we've always said is "Faces change, but the standard will always remain the same," and that's been our philosophy. It's a "Who's next?" philosoph,y and we're ready to line-up and play because the game didn't stop, you know, in the second half of the Rose Bowl last year when we lost those two (Michael Griffin and Tarell Brown), we continued to play, and it's "Who's next?" and we're going to rally around those and we'll be fine.
On the Ohio State offense: [Troy Smith] is an outstanding player. I think in a lot of ways you could put him in the same category as Matt Leinart; very explosive, obviously he makes it work. They have a game-breaking wide receiver and an outstanding running game, so they put a lot of stress on you defensively, but that's why we come to a place like Texas- to play in games like this, and we're all excited about the challenge.
On containing Ohio State's Ted Ginn: Well, obviously that's an issue. He is a tremendous game-breaker, and we understand, especially being on the offensive side of the ball, he has got to touch the football. And we understand that and they do a great job of creating opportunities for him to get to the grass and play. So we need to find ways to eliminate that obviously, and the quarterback puts a lot of strain on you as well because once you add un his legs you're talking about creating some one-on-ones because they're plus one in the running game. There are a lot of the same issues that we saw a year ago, and we've seen them play and they've seen us play, and that's what I think will make this match-up really intriguing.
On more responsibility falling on Aaron Ross: Well I think a lot of responsibility will go to all those veterans - (Aaron) Ross, Michael Griffin, and I think we've talked to some of you about Marcus (Griffin) and where his future lies, I think he's another one that you can throw into the equation. It's never one person who will do everything; it's about the team and we're all as one. You know Michael (Huff) was not always on No. 7 (Ted Ginn) a year ago, there were others running around with him.
On his experience in big games: Well, I mean we've been there and so have they. I don't think any team is short on confidence, but I think obviously as you listen and read, we both have tremendous respect for our opponent, and that's what you have to have and just a little bit of fear needs to be thrown in there. It's a grand stage, but we've been there and so have they, and so we're just really excited about the opportunity to be in such a game. To be able to play No. 1 only two games ago and then to have another opportunity, I think it's exciting.
On the starting secondary: We'll have a lot of different guys that will be out there, and we have not made a decision because we're not sure yet which package we're going to start with either. It will be determined on personnel, who they trot out on the field, it will also determine who we trot out there. But we have always said it doesn't matter who's out there, we're only play one way, one standard, that's who we are, and we'll support each other no matter who is out there.
On the team's depth: We have the ability to rotate like we did that last week with our guys, as you saw both (Ryan) Palmer and (Brandon) Foster were both out there, and we'll do now much like what we've done in the past with Cedric Griffin and Michael Huff earlier in their careers. So I'm not hesitant to do anything like that, and so we'll have those opportunities also that will be out there.