Mack Brown Monday press conference: Oct. 1
Opening statement: Saturday was a really disappointing game for our fans, our players and our coaches. I think sometimes people don't realize that coaches feel responsible, and when you lose a football game, especially one at home and one you feel like you could have won, it's really sad for (coaches) as well because they know how many people they let down. It's our job to help the players.
If you go back and look at our series with Kansas State, it hasn't been good. It's been a hard game for us. Two of the three conference games we've lost at home were Kansas State and this looked about like the one in 1999. There were a bunch of turnovers, kicking game problems, punt returns for a touchdown. If you go back we've had 24 turnovers in our six losses at home in the 10 years that we've been here, and obviously that was an emphasis for this ballgame.
On turnovers we lost four and gained none, and it is very difficult to win when that happens. On explosives, surprisingly enough we gained seven and they only had four. So we had nearly twice as many. (We had) six passes for over 16 yards and one run (for 12 yards) to their (total of) four. The two plays in the kicking game were not only awful for us, but they were also at critical times with momentum. The one kickoff return (for a touchdown) came with 2:24 left in the half when it was a 14-14 game and we're about to take momentum into the half because we'd just scored and we would get the ball back at the start of the third quarter. And then the 89-yard punt return, we were going to have great field position because the defense was playing great and would have held them and there was 1:55 left in the third quarter and (we were) down by six. So we had our opportunities and we just did not take advantage of them at that time.
Offensively the kids played hard and they made some really good plays, but they got frustrated during the game. We did not protect Colt (McCoy) well enough, and if you go back and look at the tipped balls or the interceptions, on every one of them he had somebody in his face or he got hit. And we've got to do a better job (of protecting him), and it wasn't just the offensive line, it was a running back or a tight end or a receiver with a bust. So Colt (McCoy) got responsibility for a lot of things he didn't do poorly. And (Colt McCoy) also made some great plays.
And then we go back and look at why we felt like as a staff we got away from the running game too soon. Jamaal (Charles) was running really, really hard and well. And when we got down by 14 (points) in the late third quarter, we should have continued to run the ball to try and help us with protection. So we abandoned it quicker than we should have looking back, and we also had too many missed assignments, so we feel like we're doing too much. Kansas State was a blitzing team; they blitzed us a lot and we had too many missed assignments and too many free people.
The defense played really hard throughout the game. I was really proud that they hung in there at the end. The positives for the defense are that they only gave up four yards per pass to Kansas State and they only gave up two yards per run.
The turnovers put our defense in a really, really tough spot. But (the defense) did take momentum back for us. The last 51 plays of the game, after the first drive of 80 yards, our bunch held them to 147 total yards. So we did not let (Kansas State) do a lot offensively.
There were three areas we didn't do well on defense. Number one, we missed too many tackles especially on the first drive. We had 90 yards of missed tackles that they made after contact, which keeps you from having minus-yardage plays or getting sacks. And their quarterback (Josh Freeman) is a big, strong guy, but we had only one batted ball and one sack. And the other part of it is that we didn't force a turnover. We did what we needed to in order to hang in the game defensively, but we didn't do what we needed to in order to win the game, and the turnover area defensively (needs improvement). So both of those areas were concerns for us.
I was really proud of the group of students that stood and cheered for the guys as they left the field. I've never seen that before. And I thought to whoever they were, "Thank you." What a nice gesture for a pretty good (sized) group that stood after a very, very disappointing game. That's just unusual in college sports anymore. And the students that were there at the end (cheering) I really appreciated that for the (players) who really tried. And we've said this before, losses are on coaches, wins are on kids. And that's what happens at The University of Texas and that's not going to change.
Bob Stoops has done a great job at Oklahoma. This (game) is one of the premier events in college football. It's always a great setting. It is an event, it's not just a football game. And we've got a lot of work to do on ourselves, so we've got to go back to work. This is still a team that can be good, but we're inconsistent right now. We're too inconsistent to be where we want to be. I've always said the polls should come out this week, and boy was I right last weekend.
On Oklahoma's loss at Colorado: We've always said it's had for both teams to play the week before the game and the week after the game. We've looked at breakdowns but we haven't watched the whole game film yet. We pulled out 3rd-and-4 and we pull out 1st-and-10, so I really don't know what happened. Colorado has been a tough place for them to play historically, even when I was there. And it's been like Kansas State for us. But OU has got one of the most talented teams in the country and they're one of the best-coached teams in the country.
On Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford: He's great. He's big, he's tall and he's athletic. He's got the number one passing-efficiency (rating) in the country. He's completing 70 percent. He's got a bunch of touchdowns and very few interceptions, so he's really good. He's played more mature than his age that's for sure.
On the kick returns Texas gave up: Well, we're not kicking it and punting it where we want to. The punt was a little lower than we need and the kick was high and short. They're not in the areas we need them and then we missed some tackles. The effort was there. Our lane-integrity was not good in one situation with the punt because we had three guys that were too close together and the guy broke it off to the right. And on the kick, the same thing; we missed a tackle with one gunner and the other gunner is bunched up when it's supposed to be a shot at the ball for him. So we've got to continue to do a better job there. We've given up too many kickoff returns in the last four or five years.
On Texas and Oklahoma both having losses before the game: Well, I know both teams were disappointed Saturday. I thought our bunch played hard and Oklahoma always plays hard so you've got to give some credit to Colorado and Kansas State. It's a huge game at midseason and it's very, very difficult for both teams.
On being happy with how QB John Chiles was used: Yeah, we were in the first half, and then when we got away from the run and we didn't put him back in until the doctors pulled Colt (McCoy) out at the end. But we need to continue to look at (the package) with him because John is such a great athlete.
On Colt McCoy: He'll continue to learn how to get down. He's tough. Most kids probably would have come out at halftime, but he stayed in and tried to win, and that's what you really appreciate about him. I think the kids really appreciate it after watching the film how many hits he took. We've just got to take care of him better. He's got to take care of himself better and we've got to continue to take care of him better.
On the Oklahoma defense: They're really good. They're great against the run and they put pressure on your quarterback and try to hit him much like Kansas State. So we'll have to do a much better job protecting (Colt McCoy) this week.
On defending the pass against Kansas State: I thought (the defensive backs) did a good job. They did a good job of keeping everything in front of them. I think Kansas State tried five trick plays and I don't remember any of them working. Whereas last year, I think tried 17 and all of them worked. So that's an area we improved. We played well enough to win on defense. We didn't win the game on defense, but we played well enough to win. If we hadn't turned (the ball) over on the six plays we talked about are the six they made and we didn't. I thought we lost our patience offensively and (Kansas State) didn't. Last year they played field position and we didn't, and we turned the ball over and lost the game.
On Oklahoma's running backs: They have great running backs. Their three running backs could play just about anywhere in the country. All three are really good. Their offensive line is the same one we played two years ago. I think they're the second largest in the country. Somebody told me Texas Tech is the only one bigger, and that's great that we get to play (Texas Tech) too as we look down the road. But (Oklahoma) is really running the ball well; they're all really fast and good. The quarterback was their only question mark and Sam (Bradford) has more than answered that question. They're as talented as any team in the country and we know Bob (Stoops) is a great coach so that combination is really tough.
On the Texas-Oklahoma game continuing to be in Dallas: I've been here 10 years and that game was moved there in the 1920s. I really felt like guys like Coach (Darrell) Royal that played in that game and coached in it for 20 years and has been here 50 years and Deloss (Dodds) who has been here for 27 years should be making that decision. I really thought it would unfair for me, an outsider coming in, who has only been here for 10 years to start making a decision about what's best for a game like that, which has so much history.
On the impact of the Texas-Oklahoma game on recruiting: The game is a great game for recruiting whether it's in Dallas or in a parking lot. It wouldn't make any difference for recruiting. It's just a great game. If the game were to be home and home it would still be a great game. It's a great rival game. The history of this game is so unique like Georgia vs. Florida because it's played at a neutral site and there is a lot of history there. But in my opinion it would be a great game either way.
On team unity: I think it's most important because we're not talking about golf or tennis, which are individual sports. You've got to have a lot of diverse kids and coaches mix together to play like one and that's a very difficult thing to do. Your chemistry, your effort together, the offense, the defense, and the kicking game, it's all very hard. And like we told our team yesterday, we had some guys play the best they ever have on Saturday and it's really a shame that since the team lost they won't get credit for their play. Or we have a big win against somebody else and a player that didn't play so well will get credit for having a great game. But that's why it's all about the team and not about individual performances. I think every team can always improve in those areas. It's really early in the season. This was a team with a lot of question marks to start the year and we're improving in some areas each week and we've still got some areas that we need to continue to try and fix.
On going into the game with one loss: Well, what you do is try to play your best regardless. You don't worry about all that other stuff that is a reward for winning. You worry about winning. And the guys want to play better, the coaches want to get better, and we want to win. If we had been concerned about being (ranked) in the top 25, we might not have been in it, and that's why you don't even really look at those stats. You just try to play well and do the best you can do. And if you do the best you can do and you don't win, then you go the next week and you try and get better. That's what coaches and players do - they continue to try and get better. You don't think about negatives. I'm sure both teams are thinking about winning.