Sept. 14, 2009
QB Colt McCoy
On being from West Texas playing a team from West Texas: This is one more week for us. Obviously anytime you play someone from your state, you get fired up. You get excited. Texas Tech is going to be a fun game. I do have a lot of friends and people who went to my school who went there from my area, so it’ll be special.
On Texas Tech: For us, this week our preparation and our focus is on them. We said at the beginning of the season that we were going to take it one at a time. We’ve done that so far, and now it’s time to start conference. It’s time to play Texas Tech, and we have them at our house. I watched some stuff on them today. They’ve got pretty much everyone on their defense back that we played against last year. We know what we have to do. We just have to really focus and prepare this week and get ready to go.
On Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts: I’ve heard he’s throwing the ball well. I’ve heard they’re doing some good things, but I haven’t seen their offense.
On Texas Tech’s game-winning touchdown last season: You see that play a lot. It’s pretty much on every commercial, but give them credit. That was an amazing play. That play will be replayed forever. That’s one of the best plays ever I think. They deserved to win that night. They played great, but we need to come out this week and not focus on that, not focus on what happened, but focus on, “Hey, what do we have to do to be the best that we can be this year?” We’ve played two games to prepare us to this point. We’ve come a long way. We’re improving each week, but now that you start conference play, now that you play somebody from your state in here on Saturday, you’ve got to be ready.
On whether or not he thinks about last year’s game: Honestly, I watched the tape one time, and I didn’t watch any of their offensive plays, I just watched (our offense). To be able to come back like we did was great. We felt like we had won that game in the end, but we could have definitely done a lot of things a lot better, especially in the first half. When you have a slow start like that, you put yourself in a pretty big bind. Our focus this week will be, “What do we have to do this week to come out and play four quarters consistently, and play them the best we can?”
On a lot of the team’s pressure to win falling on his shoulders: Football is the biggest team sport there is. No individual can walk out on the football field and win the game. Every one of us in the locker room knows that. It’s all about playing as a team, and making plays together. That’s what you’ve got to do in a game like this. You’ve got to go out and compete and play. You tell the secondary, “Hey they’re going to throw the ball around. That’s what they do.” If we can get a few turnovers, and the offense can take those turnovers and turn them into points, that’s playing together as a team. I feel like in the two games so far, we’ve done a good job of playing together.
On his mentality going into this week’s game: When I line up on the field, I’m going to do whatever coach (Greg) Davis asks me to do to win the game. If I need to run and use my feet to keep the chains moving, that’s what I’m going to do. We did it a couple of times against Wyoming. I think I had two running plays called to me. At the same time, you never know what’s going to happen during a game. You never know what you’re going to have to do. You might have to scramble two or three times. You may have to move in the pocket. So I’m going to do whatever I need to do to help our team win. That’s my job as a quarterback. If I get to stand back there and throw, and complete passes and stand in the pocket, then hey, that’s perfectly fine with me, but if I need to run and make some first downs, that’s fine too; whatever helps our offense get in a groove, and be consistent.
On the offense’s consistency: I feel like we’ve got some new faces out there making plays; guys like Dan Buckner and James Kirkendoll, who’s playing a little bit different position, but he’s catching balls and making plays, and he played great. Jordan (Shipley) is playing a different position, and you’ve got John (Chiles) out there. So we’ve got new faces and new guys doing different things, and for us to be where we are offensively right now, I think that it’s been really good. With Dan playing that flex position, he’s going to get a lot of balls because he’s matched up with linebackers. If you have a guy like Dan who’s big and strong and can make plays and match up with those backers like he does, it’s my job to get him the ball, so he’s playing great, he just has to continue doing what he’s doing. We saw a lot of zone versus Wyoming, so he did a great job of just sitting down and finding the little holes in the defense. He kind of has a knack for that. We work on it a lot. I thought he played really well in the game.
On Tre Newton: Tre came in at a time where we were wearing them down, and he came in and just played lights out. He caught a couple of balls. Two of them were brought back because of penalties, but he came in and ran the ball well and really provided a spark for our offense. Tre’s a play-maker. He does that every day in practice. He knows that when his number is called, he’s going to go out there and make plays, and we have full faith and confidence in him.
On the atmosphere on Saturday night: This place is going to be rockin’. We expect it to be. Our fans are going to be great. They’re going to be loud. It’s a night game. We are really looking forward to it. When it comes down to it though, you’ve got to go out there and do what you do. You’ve got to play the game that you play to help our team win. I think that we have enough seniors and enough older guys on the team to be able to handle that, and let everyone the team know, “This is what we do. Let’s go out there and play the best we can play.”
OL Adam Ulatoski
On the Texas Tech game Saturday: We know College GameDay is coming, and whenever they come, people tend to get pretty crazy, so we’re expecting the fans to be pretty pumped.
On opening conference play: We want to start the Big 12 conference play with a good start. Our focus is to get as good as we can and play Tech as hard as we can.
On playing a Big 12 team this early in the season: It obviously a little out of the ordinary, but you just go along with it.
On last year’s game against Texas Tech: They played hard. They have a really good defense. I think it’s an underrated defense. They had a good defensive line that came off the ball, and we’re going to have to prepare again this year.
On Colt McCoy in pressure situations: He’s pretty calm under pressure, and that’s what you need a leader to do. If you get all tight and wound up, you’re just going to get more tight and wound up, and you’re not going to play well. Colt does a good job of just keeping us calm and focused, and fighting through the struggles.
DE/LB Sergio Kindle
On what he learned from last year’s game against Texas Tech: It’s a lot harder to play teams when they have momentum at home, which means that we’ve got to be hitting on all cylinders when we go on the road. Once they get momentum, it’s kind of hard to get it back, we’ve got to take it away from them. That’s any team, I feel like.
On being motivated for this game: When they moved it up to the third week it was a little different, but it’s always good to have a conference game because those are the games you really look forward to. I’m not saying you look past the other games, but these are the ones that can get you in or not in the Big 12 Championship. It happened to be Tech.
On the atmosphere Saturday night: We’ve just got to go out and play. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, I think. The fans are going to be rocking the stadium just because of last year’s game and how the fans feel about it. Hopefully they’re as loud as they can be.
On rushing the passer: That’s always our game plan, to get to the quarterback. Those guys are great blockers and they’re massive human beings, so we’re just going to have to see how that goes. That was the game plan last year, too. They had a good game blocking. Maybe we can take from what we saw and what we learned from last year and implement it to this year’s package and see how we can modify it to be even better this year.
On how he and the defense have performed through two games: I’m satisfied with how I’m playing and how the defense is playing, but we’re always trying to get better. Adjustment-wise, it’s just having a team scheme based on where I’m located or having them check out of a play based on where I am. Knowing that, you just have to be prepared and not get frustrated because things aren’t going to go how you planned them all the time.
OG Charlie Tanner
On last year’s Tech game and how that affects the team going into the Tech game this year: Well first of all, whenever we lose here at Texas, it’s really disappointing because it doesn’t happen that often. One thing we’ve got to do here is put it in the past. I was watching some film earlier this morning and their defense looks great. The linebackers are back, they have a lot of really physical defensive linemen. The thing we really need to focus on this week is having a few good days of practice and really focusing on taking our proper splits, steps and really getting the game plan down.
On motivation: We have this wristband that says, “We are Texas,” and it’s our motto for the year. It’s really about the standard we set for ourselves, and each week we want to play to that standard and be the best we can be. That means in practice, in games, that means in film sessions, however we can prepare to be our best. That’s what we want to do.
On last year’s Texas Tech game: Like I said, we don’t like thinking about the past. It’s buried, it’s a new Texas Tech team, and it’s a new Texas team this year. We really can only play week to week and do the best we can. It cost us last year, but all we can do this year is play the game again. It’s in the past. One thing we’re really trying to do, especially the offense, is when we get on the field, even if we have a really long drive, say 95 yards or something, we look at each other and say, “Take it one play at a time guys because that’s what’s important.” If we take care of one play at a time it is going to get us down the field.
On how the fans will react on Saturday: They’re going to be crazy. I hope they come out and I hope they have a wild time. It is GameDay, so it’s going to be a national spotlight game. It will be a really good chance to showcase our offense, and that just means we have to prepare really well this week.
On having a different RB behind him each game: We have a lot of great running backs, and they had a great game this past week, too. I want to say Vondrell McGee averaged five yards per carry. Tre’ Newton had seven yards per carry, I’ve been told. He’s just a hard runner. It doesn’t really matter who is behind us because either way we’re going to block to our best, and those backs are going to find the hole and start running.
C Chris Hall
On Saturday’s game: We’ve got such a great winning tradition here anytime you lose, it is a big deal. Which is a great spot to be in. You wouldn’t want it any other way. To lose is a big deal around here, especially to an in-state school, but every year is a new year and whether we’ve lost the previous 70 or won the previous 70, we always want to win. So, we’re looking forward to a great game. We know Texas Tech is going to do a great job. Coach Leach does a phenomenal job of bringing everything they have, the kind of offense they have, all these kinds of things and especially with GameDay being here, it’s going to be great competition.
On playing to standards: Anytime you have pressure on the quarterback that is not up to our standard. So as an offensive lineman, especially with as good a job our coaches do with bringing in great talent, Colt and the boys, if we can give them time, our skill guys, if we can do an adequate job of giving them time, something will probably happen.
On lessons learned from last year’s game: I think something that I learned is it is a team game, which means that every one of us, including myself, if I would have done better on one play in the second half and extended maybe a drive and completed a third down because of maybe just a little extra strain on a play, the entire outcome of the game may have been different. It is definitely a team game requiring every member to give his utmost effort.
DT Lamarr Houston
On what Saturday’s game is about: It is a chance to improve from last week. It is for us to work on ourselves, and see how much improvement we can make from week to week. We want to focus on this game and kick the conference season off with a win, and move on to the next week.
On if any players on the team are mad about last year’s loss: You just have to move on. It’s something that happened. It was a loss. It’s 2009 already, so nothing to worry about 2008 for.
On what Texas Tech looks like on film compared to last year: They look about the same, but they are more balanced in the running game. They have a running game that is back and refined, so I think they are doing really well.
On what the atmosphere for Saturday’s game will be like: I think it’s going to be fun. It is one of the first games I’m blessed to be a part of. I’m just going to be very excited.
WR James Kirkendoll
On his performance: If you have the best quarterback and the best receiver in the country in Colt (McCoy) and Jordan (Shipley), things open up for a lot of people. I just took advantage of my opportunities.
On player positions: Everybody can play different spots. Dan (Buckner)’s playing the flex spot, and that’s opening up the middle for everybody. I’m playing a little bit of the slot. John (Chiles) brings a lot to the table on the outside, and so does Malcolm (Williams). Jordan can play all three spots. Everybody in the receiver room is pretty talented, and I think that brings a lot to the offense.
On his touchdown at Wyoming: Wyoming had a good defense, and they had a strong surge the first half. After I scored I felt a sigh of relief, because we needed that momentum going into the half, especially because we kicked off. Anytime you score before the half it’s really big, so it was huge confidence booster for me.
On Texas Tech: They have a bunch of new faces like we do. We haven’t really looked at them on film yet, but based on the stats they gave up 232 yards per game on the defense, so I image the defense is really good. We’re just going to practice hard this week, look at the film and try to get ready for them.
On Saturday’s game: We have to come out ready for the first conference game. It’s early in the year, so it’s going to be a challenge. We just have to go back to work and keep working on the little things and we’ll be ready.
On his expectations after high school: I think any freshman coming in wants instant success, but it’s Texas, so we have a lot of great players here. You come in, you learn and you just have to be patient. It’s tough, but I think it is just part of the growing up process.
WR Jordan Shipley
On Dan Buckner: I think Dan’s done a great job in that flex spot. He’s done a great job of taking that spot and making it his own. He’s catching the ball great, he’s running great routes and I think he’s doing a great job.
On versatility of the receivers: I think we’ve got a great group. We have five or six guys that I feel are good enough to play a significant amount of time. When you have that kind of depth, it’s definitely helpful. All of those guys are capable of making big plays, so I think we feel good about any of them being out there.
On which team has more at stake: It’s a big game for both programs. I feel like every week’s a big game for us, so we’re just excited about the opportunity to get to start off the Big 12 play, and to get out there on Saturday.
On last year’s Texas Tech game: The thing about the way coach Brown has us handle these situations, is that he’s so good about helping people realize that every week is a new week. As soon as the game was over last year, we were focused on the next game and we went out and played well. Coach always says don’t let a loss beat you twice, so we’re really excited about this year.
On the team’s progress: I think it’s a totally different team and situation. We’ve played different teams than we played last year, so it’s hard to really compare, but I feel good about where we are. I think we have a lot of things we can work on, and it’s encouraging when you know that you have several things to improve. It’s early in the season, so I think we’ll do that.
On the team’s improvement during the game at Wyoming: At first, we just didn’t execute well on offense. I think the defense played great all day. The only real score they had was the blocked punt. For us, it was just that we didn’t execute well early on and then for whatever reason, it turned on and we started executing. We played hard the whole game, but at the very beginning we didn’t execute great, and then we turned it around at that last drive before halftime and then in the second half.
On Tre Newton: I think Trey can do some great things. Everybody saw that Saturday, and most of us weren’t surprised. We’ve seen it all through two-a-days in spring and at camp. The great thing about being at a place like Texas is that you have several guys who can get the job done. We’re all really excited about Tre and what he can do.
DE Sam Acho
On last year’s Texas Tech game: With games like that you don’t even think about rivalry, you think about how important it is for us to win the state of Texas. Week in and week out whether you win or lose you try to prepare and improve. We learned lessons from that game just like all the other games we’ve played in order to improve and reach our goals.
On this year’s game: Obviously it’s our Big 12 opener, so we want to win the opener and win the state of Texas. You never want to lose a game, so we try to get better after our losses and wins.
On Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts: Our goal week in and week out is to try and put pressure on and affect the quarterback, so that’s what we’re going to try to do this week.
On Texas Tech’s offense: Different teams have different styles of offense. Texas Tech has a great offense, I think one of the top in the nation this year. We’re going to try and do a great job of affecting and putting pressure on the quarterback, and play a whole 60-minute game.