Player press conference quotes: Sept. 17
QB COLT McCOY
On playing better against UCF: Yeah, we did. We drove the ball and we had almost 500 yards of offense, but when you do that, you need to score more points than we did. I think we’ll be able to (in the future). Like I said, we had a grasp on what they were doing to us, but we just needed to convert and score more points than we did.
On feeling more comfortable: I feel fin,e but there are still a lot of things that I can improve on. I felt like I threw the ball well, but there were still three or four passes that I make all the time and I feel like I shouldn’t have missed. There is a lot of room for improvement, there are a lot of things we can do better, and we just have to move on.
On getting WR Billy Pittman back: It will be good having all those guys back -- Sergio (Kindle), Billy (Pittman) and Henry (Melton). Billy is going to help us a lot. I was glad Jordan (Shipley) came back last week because when Limas (Sweed) went down, we had to have somebody else step in. It was hot and we threw the ball almost 50 times, so they were running a lot of routes. And being able to have Jordan (Shipley) back and Billy (Pittman) back this week will help us a lot.
On Rice: They’re going to be prepared for us. We haven’t got a lot of good film on them because the first team they played ran the wishbone and the next two teams spread the ball so we’re going to have to guess a little bit and see what they are going to do to us. And we just need to be prepared for whatever they throw at us. They have a new defensive coordinator and a new staff, so it will be a challenge for us and we just need to be prepared for whatever they throw at us.
On his 47 passing attempts against UCF: I don’t know that I’ve even thrown 47 passes, not even in high school. And I didn’t even realize that in the game. (The coaches) were giving us a lot of short balls, not very many deep balls, so I felt like we took advantage of it for the most part, but there were definitely a few times I could have completed more passes and done some better things especially in the red zone.
On putting pressure on himself: I think we’ve got to have a little bit more fun. When we had (UCF) down 23-10, we should have just put it away. That’s what we’re talking about when we say we’ve got to be more consistent and we’ve got to finish. And when we don’t do that, I think it’s easy for a lot of guys to get frustrated because there are so many expectations. So I think we need to relax, we’ve got to have fun and we’ve got to get back to the basics. We need to understand that teams are going to make plays against us, but when we finish, and when we play together and when we play consistent, things with happen for us and we’ll find ourselves in a good position.
On the offense being more complex than last year: I don’t think it is more complicated, but I think that (other teams) are doing different things defensively than they did last year. Other teams are doing a great job of blocking on running downs and dropping a lot of guys back on passing downs so we’ve just got to figure out the combination of those and make this offense click a lot better. I think overall, this offense can do a lot better job. We almost had 500 yards of offense. We’ve just got to score more and not settle for field goals quite as much as we have this season.
CB BRANDON FOSTER
On his good start: It’s a good feeling, but it really comes down to just playing team defense. We have a great swarming defense and a lot of things have happened. It’s a great feeling.
On the biggest difference in him now versus the start of the season: It is definitely confidence. During the first game I wouldn’t say that I lacked confidence, but I don’t think I was as relaxed as I should have been. In each game, I just try to go out there and be more relaxed and let the plays happen instead of making them happen.
On the season so far: I’m loving every minute of it. I’m loving practice and I’m looking forward to going to practice every day. It’s fun and I look forward to every Saturday, and going out there and helping the defense play well.
On people’s reaction to his size: I’m pretty sure they have a question mark in their head as to, why is this short guy here, but it comes with the territory and it doesn’t bother me. I’ve been this height since junior high. If they want to check my talent with my height then that’s their problem. I don’t let it bother me anymore and I know I’m not growing any more, so I just use it as an advantage now.
On getting his first interception of the season: It felt great. That has been one of my goals since I’ve been here and it just felt great to get the momentum back for our defense and the team. It was definitely a great feeling.
On if they have proved anything as defensive backs after losing the three players to the NFL: I don’t think we’ve necessarily proved anything. We’re just trying to make progress every week and we still have a great coach. There are a lot of things that we have to work on that we’re not proud of. I think if we go out there every weekend and make progress from the last week that’s all we can ask for.
On what he needs to improve on: I just need to work on everything. I missed a few tackles and on covering I gave up a big third down in the beginning of the quarter. Every week we critique things from covering to tackling to reading the offense. I need to work on everything still.
On the game with Rice: Every game is going to be tough. Every team is going to give us 110 percent. All we can do is go out and handle the surges that they give us and take care of what we can take care of. We have to go out and match that intensity.
On knowing that every team they play against is going to give them their best shot: I think it’s great and that’s what you sign up for when you come to a big school like Texas. You don’t want to play any school that’s not going to give you a 100 percent. I look forward to it every week.
On the past games versus Rice: The past is the past and all we can do is focus on is the future. We have to go out there and play our best because you know they’re going to bring their best.
On if he knew he was going to score after his interception: I don’t know to tell you the truth. It happened so fast. All I saw was Scott Derry making a play on the ball and the next think I know it was in my hands and I was just praying that I would make it to the end zone. I couldn’t have told you what I was thinking at that point it time.
On going up against Jarett Dillard: They had a special on him this summer on ESPN and I was able to watch it. I’ve been looking forward to that and he’s a great receiver. He can make a lot of things happen when he has the ball in his hands. I think it will be a great challenge for the secondary this week. We’re going to go out there and do the best we can. It’s a great test for us.
On how much pride he takes in working with special teams: I take a lot of pride [in special teams], just as much as defense. Our coaches do a great job instilling in us that special teams is just as important as offense and defense. I take great pride in it.
DT FRANK OKAM
On some of the things they need to work on: I think the thing we need to work on is finishing. If you look at all three of the games we have been in, we had opportunities to finish our opponents and we haven’t done that. If it puts us in those situations we need to pass them, but we would rather not be put in those situations.
On if the team is getting better each week: We’re growing more. If you look at some of the things we did on defense, we held them to 3-of-15 on third downs so obviously there has been a vast improvement when you can hold any team like that to those kinds of percentages. We’ve forced 10 fumbles in the last two games. We’re doing a lot of things well, there are just some things we need to do better. Once all those get together I think our defense will be really great.
On if there is a sense of urgency with Big 12 play approaching: I think you have to [have urgency]. In conference play you’re more familiar with your opponent and they’re more familiar with you. Some of the things you tend to do well they will focus on and try to take away from you. As a senior, you recognize the importance of it and take your game to another level.
On the progress of the young players with all the playing time: They’re getting use to it. It’s always tough especially for some of the freshmen that are playing more to get adjusted to it, it’s a different kind of game and speed, but overall I think they’re doing a great job and they have made a lot of plays so far.
LB SCOTT DERRY
On playing close games: It shows that we can finish in the fourth quarter. It also shows that we have the ability to go deep in the fourth quarter and have the heart to pull out a win. Most people thought we would blow a team out but we overcame a lot of adversity and there are a lot of good things we can pull from a game like that.
On getting better: Week in, week out there’s more room for improvement. We can get better at each and every position. I just think we need to keep improving and get ready for Rice and conference play the week after.
On what he thinks the defense can improve on: One would be just a few mental errors on the defensive side of the ball. Whether it be maintaining leverage or keeping contain on the outside. Second would be tackling, we had a few missed tackles during the Central Florida game. If you miss a tackle on a good back like that, he turns it into a 30-yard gain. And then stopping the big plays, that was something that happened last year that was a little bit of a downfall. A statistic came out that we talked about yesterday in that more than half of their yards came on eight plays. Which means of the other 60 plays, they had 130 or 140 yards of offense. Negating those big plays is something we need to focus on.
On Sergio Kindle’s return: Sergio’s a great guy both on and off the field. We’re really excited about his athletic ability and his playmaking ability. He’ll just need to come in and make sure he’s ready to get accustomed to the game speed. We’re really excited to have Sergio back, he’ll add some depth to the linebacker position as well.
On Rice: We’ve played Rice numerous years in a row. We know each other very well, we know they’ve got a little bit of a different offense but it’s one that’s more prominent across the country. We know we’re going to take Rice’s best shot, they’re going to want to come in here and play the best they can like they always do.
WR QUAN COSBY
On the team’s struggles in the red zone: We just need to execute down there. Coach puts us in great situations and all 11 guys need to do a little bit better so we can get to where we want and need to be in the red zone.
On Billy Pittman’s return: We’re definitely happy to have him back. He’s been really eager to come back. That’s the great thing about Coach Brown and our coaching staff, they keep everything positive. Even during yesterday’s practice he was hopping around really excited.
On the team’s feelings about each opponent so far: We knew that these teams were a lot better than advertised. It’s a tough situation, you just have to whether the storm and grind and fight for a win.
On improving throughout the season: Even when we hit Big 12 play, it’s still a progress. You don’t finish progressing until the season is over, you want to improve every single day.
OT TONY HILLS
On dealing with the injuries on the line: You have to make sure you’re real rested because you never know what could happen. For example, against Central Florida you play 80, 90 plus snaps. That’s a credit to Mad Dog and the strength staff for going out there and getting us ready to play.
On playing close games: I’m glad that we’re going through these situations because now when we get put in these situations, we can recall on the times when we were down or had weather issues and say we’ve been there before and know we can make it out on top.
On staying focused during the game: For an offensive lineman, you definitely want to make sure that you’re concentrating. If you’re not, you can get beat, and getting beat can hurt somebody. That’s the seriousness of playing offensive line.
On Jamaal Charles: He came in this summer and he was hitting the weights really well. We all knew he could run, but he’s held up really well. He’s averaging 22 to 25 carries a game, that’s just a credit to the strength staff. The offensive line, tight ends, fullbacks, wide outs are all going out there trying to give him holes to run through and he’s doing a great job.
S MARCUS GRIFFIN
On Brandon Foster being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week: I think it builds his confidence a lot. He’s a guy with a small stature so people like to pick on him a lot, but he’s playing huge right now. I worked out with him quite a bit this summer. And he has always had quick feet. He and (Ryan) Palmer have always been fast. They’re like 4.3-4.4 guys. Like I said, all he needed was his chance to play. He’s playing huge. He has a great work ethic. His determination is to be good. He has seen the people in front of him do well, and the bar has been set high in the secondary, and he wants to continue to do good things in the secondary.
On the Rice game: Basically our goal is just to win. You worry about any team that comes in. (Every team) marks that game (against Texas) down on their schedule and they’re going to give you their best shot.
On Rice WR Jarett Dillard: He’s a real athletic kid. I didn’t get a chance to play against him last year because of past injuries, but I’ve seen him play before and he’s very athletic, elusive and he makes things happen.
WR NATE JONES
On staying relaxed: Everybody is just staying relaxed because you know you can’t get really frustrated by certain things. This is Division I football and we have other teams that are going to make plays too and when they make a play, you just need to come out on the next possession and convert on it. That’s one thing we try to do, and at halftime Coach (Greg) Davis told us that they’re Division I, too, and they’ve got good players too that are going to make plays, so we’ve just got to go out there and execute on the next play that we have.
On making comebacks: This team has one heartbeat and I think that we get stronger as a team. We know what we have to do and if our backs are against the wall, we’re going to come out fighting at the end.
RB JAMAAL CHARLES
On being stronger in the second half: That’s one thing I realized after the first game. In the first game I came back strong in the second half and my legs felt fresher. I guess (getting to rest my legs) during halftime makes me stronger and I feel good in the second half.
On the lack of red zone success: I need to protect the ball, and the team needs to come together and find the mistakes that are keeping us from finishing in the red zone. That’s a big thing we’ve got to fix that as a team.
On running stronger: I feel real good about my body weight, and when I feel an opponent coming at me, I think of which way I can break the tackle. If he’s going to tackle me with the arms, I can break out of it. That’s one thing I worked on last spring and through the summer and I feel real good about breaking tackles.
On the team not dominating this year: I don’t know why we’re not dominating, but we’re winning games still. We’re not playing together, but when we connect and when we play together you’ll see us. We’re not dominating right now, but we keep getting better and better every week.