Tracking Mack: Oct. 17
Opening statement: The kids are excited about this game for probably a number of reasons. One thing is that after you win and you feel like you played well, you really look forward to going back and trying to improve upon that performance, and (the players) were excited about last week's game and not only the outcome, but the way they dominated the game. Secondly, they know all these players. This is an in-state game it's nearly a local game because Waco is so close. We've got three players that grew up around Waco – Roy Miller in Killeen, Quan (Cosby) in Mart and Billy Pittman over at Cameron – so they'll be excited about kind of going back to their home area to play. And we always have probably our best group of fans that travel to this ballgame, so it's been a great opportunity for people to come see us play. And we've already played TCU, we've already played Rice, we've got Baylor, we've got Texas Tech and we've got (Texas) A&M, so there is a lot of history with these games that go back to the Southwest Conference. And even though we're in the 11th year in the Big 12, people still have memories of old (SWC) games, so it pulls out a lot of old memories and history for different guys.
On not knowing who Baylor's starting QB will be: Well when their offense is like it is and all three quarterbacks have been throwers, it really doesn't matter because you prepare for a scheme. If it's like us right now with Colt (McCoy) and John (Chiles) who are doing distinctly different things it's more of a preparation problem, but we feel like Baylor has gone more in the direction of a Texas Tech-type offense where they are going to spread it out and throw the ball all over the field. All three young men have played and all three young men are good, so it's not an issue to us. We’ll just prepare for the guy that's out there.
On becoming bowl eligible if they win at Baylor: We talked about that on Sunday, and we take that for granted around here. We've been to nine straight (bowl games) and we're expecting to go to 10, but it's something that (the players) need to take seriously and it's something that they need to be accountable for. It is challenging to get bowl eligible every year, but it's just a standard that has been set here for a long time and we expect that. And obviously six wins is a goal, but it's way below the standard we've set for our goal at the end of the year. There are a lot of teams in America that maybe have an opportunity to win six games for the first time this year and those kids would get chance to go to a bowl game with six or seven wins and that's really a special thing for them. I would like to see us get a playoff system and see us move forward so one loss, or in the case of this year, maybe two losses wouldn't determine an entire season, but I wouldn't ever want to take an opportunity away from a team that's struggled that could win six games and have the chance to go to a bowl game.
On playing another early morning game: The other part of that is that this is an 11:30 a.m. game, so we'll be up at 6:15 in the morning, (the players) will be eating at 7:30 a.m. and will be on that bus getting out of there early and will walk in that stadium at 9:30 a.m., so they've got to have that early energy and make sure they're ready to go at 11:30 a.m.
On defending the pass against Baylor: Well it will be that way this weekend and against (Texas) Tech, and then Nebraska is doing a lot of throwing the ball down the field and Oklahoma State is throwing the ball down the field. So it's something that we've improved each week, but this will be a great test for us. And defensive guys get excited about this type of offense just because it's rushing the passer, and you still have to stop the run and you still have to stop the screens, but you've got to defend the pass and get pressure on the quarterback and they all like that. Those (defensive) ends like to rush, the linebackers like to blitz and the defensive backs like man-coverage, so it's a week that they really get pumped about. The defensive tackles like to rush the passer because they don't get much credit for sacks, so if they can get there, they get pumped.
On the expectations for Baylor: Well we expect them to play their best game. They had a tough game at Kansas. And normally when you see guys that do not play as well as they wanted to and did not have the outcome that they wanted to, their coaches get back on, the players pull closer together and they come out and have a great attitude. And like most of the teams we've played, Baylor would love to beat Texas, so we're expecting their best efforts.
On former Huskers' coach Tom Osborne filling in as the interim AD at Nebraska: Like Coach (Darrell) Royal, Tom Osborne is Nebraska football. He's a legend. He's a guy I've looked up to my entire career. I used to go there and visit, and one of the reasons I went to the Big Eight to coach was so I could coach against Coach Osborne and Coach (Barry) Switzer and see why they were winning so many ballgames. I think he will be a rallying cry for all those fans to pull back together and that's why I think you'll see a great response in Lincoln this weekend.
On punters Justin Moore and Trevor Gerland: Justin Moore and Trevor both have really helped us a lot, and Richmond (McGee) was such a good punter for us for three years. And we take this for granted, but all our snaps have been good and they've got the ball well, we haven't had a blocked punt, they've gotten them all off. We've had some really good punts we just want to continue to be more consistent, but Justin and Trevor have really taken some pressure off each other.