Player press conference quotes: Oct. 8
QB COLT McCOY
On the status of the team: Iím really proud of our coaches, of my teammates, of everybody sticking together. At this point in time, it could be real easy for guys to give up, for the seniors to just play for themselves. Thatís not what this team is about, itís about everybody pulling together, sticking it out. Thereís more energy, more focus, more preparation going on now than thereís been. I think thatís really motivation for us. We want to be as good as we can be and we feel like we still can be.
On playing against former UT co-defensive coordinator and current Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik: He has been around me for two years, been around our offense and Coach Davis and everybody, so he knows what we do, but we know what he does too. Itís going to be pretty fun, itís going to be a challenge for us, but if weíre on top of our game we should be fine.
On Iowa State: Iíve seen them a couple times, I watched (the film) with Coach Davis a little bit. They fly to the football. They blitz. Itís like watching spring practice from two years ago, itís a lot of the same stuff. I feel like in their secondary, they do a little bit more than when Coach Chizik was here. They do more shell coverage, deep safeties and stuff. Weíre just going to have to figure out what works for us and have a great week of preparation and be prepared because Coach Chizikís going to throw some stuff at us. Weíll handle it, weíll get prepared and weíll be fine.
On if he expects Coach Chizik to blitz more than usual: No, I donít expect Coach Chizik to blitz more. Heís a guy who sticks to what he does. Heís a great coach. We miss him. I like him a lot. Heíll have his defense ready to play.
On the offensive line: I feel like they played tremendous on Saturday. Itís so hard sometimes because defenses do different stuff to us every week. They throw different blitzes, and for a young offensive line, itís a struggle. I canít be more proud of them for what they did on Saturday, they played really well and they competed and played hard the whole game. If we can do that, weíll find ways to win.
On Jamaal Charlesí fumble: We believe in him, weíre confident in him. You canít point your finger at anybody. This is a team game, this is a team effort and overall our effort was there. We did the things we needed to do to win the game. It was unfortunate for us that we had a few turnovers. As far as Jamaal, heís the man, heís fine. He knows he made a mistake, nobody has to go tell him. Heís hard on himself anyways. (We) just talk to him, give him some encouragement, say, ĎKeep your head up, youíre fine, just relax, go out there and play, we all know you can do it.í
On Limas Sweed: Heís a great player. Heís had some struggles with some injuries, and heís been trying to play, trying to fight and be out there with this team. His effort has been tremendous, we all respect him for that and understand at the same time that he has a legit injury. If he can play, he can play, if he canít, he canít. I feel like heís done everything he can for this team so far this year.
On Jermichael Finley: I felt like early on that he was getting a lot of man-to-man coverages with the linebacker. I feel pretty comfortable with that match-up because he can run pretty good routes and heís got great hands.
TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY
On Iowa State: Weíre 0-2 in conference, but weíre starting a new season against Iowa State. I know for a fact Coach Chizik is going to come out and play us hard because he was here with us for two years. That team is going to be pumped this week.
On using this game to start over: Weíre going to be ready. Weíre starting a new season. Weíre just going to go out and try to win every game.
On playing against Gene Chizik: Coach Chizik is a blitzing coach, I know weíre going to have a lot of (blitzes). Heís going to bring the house probably the whole game and so weíve got to be ready for all of that. Like I said, he was here for two years so he knows what we do and we know what he does. Weíve just got to be ready.
DT DEREK LOKEY
On getting to play against Coach Chizik: Itís going to be a challenge in that he knows a lot of what we do, offensively and defensively. Heís kind of got a book on us I would imagine. Thatís going to be a challenge as far as going in there and against him because heís such a good coach and heís so smart and at the same time, he spent two years around our offense and our defense. He knows us; he knows our personnel and it will be a challenge.
On if itís strange going against someone that played such an important role for him as a player: It is, but in this business as in most other businesses, the people that rise to the top end up getting head jobs. He was a great coach, a great defensive coordinator and I couldnít be prouder for him. This week heís not our friend, but after the game weíll shake his hand and pat him on the back. Heís a good guy, and Iím proud for him to be in that position, but this week heís the enemy.
On what the defense learned from watching the film of the Oklahoma game: The most frustrating thing was that they ran 70 something plays and we stopped them. If they ran 78 we stopped them 74. They had about four big plays that really probably in the end, wound up costing us the game as far as the defense. To play nearly perfect for 95 percent of the snaps and then to have three or four mistakes cost you is whatís frustrating.
On if itís comforting knowing that other teams may have more than one loss this year: I donít know, maybe. Itís a strange year in college football. Everybody is playing so close, Stanford beating SC at home, just some strange things that are happening. We just need to take control of the things that we can control and play Iowa State and give them our all this weekend. Weíll see how things unfold; itís been a weird year, so you never know.
DT FRANK OKAM
On what it is that make Coach Chizik such a good coach: His demeanor was what sticks out the most, the way he carried himself. He was very direct towards you. You were very aware of how he felt about you as a player and a person. When a guy comes to you like that, you have to respect that.
On the Iowa State game and playing against Chizik but also needing to get a conference win: Thatís really the most important thing; we have to get our first win in conference. We have to get back on track and theyíre the next team on the schedule, so you have to take it like that. I have always felt like you can be friends before the game, but during the game itís time to take care of business then shake hands after that.
On how much he pays attention to college football outside of this program: You are very aware of everything that is going on, especially this year. Itís basically the top and the bottom has flip-flopped really. Teams that have historically not been there are ranked in the top 10 and the teams that are normally there are either ranked near the bottom of the top 25 or not at all. Itís one of those years that you realize anything can happen and you really realize how much parody there is in college football and how you really have to prepare every week. I think if you get caught up in the names on the jerseys instead of the players, instead of actually going in there and performing, you can get beat every week. Our main objective is to keep playing and take care of ourselves and see what happens in the end.
WR QUAN COSBY
On anticipating Jermichael Finleyís performance: You never know what is going to happen during a game. You really have to go with what the defense allows you to do. (Finley) made huge plays and definitely kept us in that game. And again, heís a big time player, and we just hope the success continues.
On praise surrounding his accomplishments: This is the ultimate team sport, and I just think that there are a lot of guys, especially on special teams, really giving it their all for me and I guess making me look a little better than whatís actually going on. And at receiver, Colt (McCoy) and the (offensive) line and the other receivers we push each other to make plays and try to do anything positive for the team. So as far as any of those comments, thanks, but Iím just out there trying to be positive for our team.
On a special teams score: Itís funny because different things happen to where unfortunately we havenít (had a special teamsí TD) yet. But the guys are out there trying really hard and I just need to see the crease and hopefully hit it and maybe we can get a (special teams) score sooner or later.
On his approach on special teams: Run from the opposite color jersey because again looking out there even before it all sets up, you just look across and you know your player and the way itís all going to set up. And again, you just kind of look for a crease and follow the big guys that are working for you. Weíre really close and weíve been positive for our team, and we just want to continue to do that.