Player press conference quotes: Oct. 22
DT FRANK OKAM
On Nebraska's offense: Their offensive line to me has been one of the most consistent things all year. Obviously Marlon Lucky's a very talented back, (QB Sam) Keller moves around the pocket pretty well to find his receivers. To me, the biggest battle will be in the trenches this week to determine the outcome of the game.
On getting excited to play Nebraska: With the tradition that Nebraska has, you have to get excited for those kinds of games. Especially for me, it's going to be a very physical game because Nebraska tries to run the ball a lot. It's one of those games where you can be more involved, as a defensive tackle at least, and you have to look forward to those smash-mouth, physical games.
On the tradition of Nebraska: Growing up watching them, and they were running the option, they were killing people with it. I remember seeing Eric Crouch pretty much run through the Big 12 that year. It's a lot of tradition. It's a very historic program. I think of (Tom) Osborne and (Frank) Solich and the things they did up there. It's a lot of tradition going head-to-head on Saturday.
On the tradition of Texas and Nebraska: You know, to me it's Nebraska. I'm pretty jacked up about the game actually. Everything that goes into that kind of atmosphere, to me this is a fall classic. This is the meaning of college football. This is why you play the game, for match-ups like these. I'm just excited to play.
WR QUAN COSBY
On Ryan Bailey's kick to beat Nebraska in 2006: First, it was scary because I really didn't know him well at the time. We were shaking because we were cold and because of that situation. He showed then what he's capable of, and even more now. He's a big time kicker, and a huge aspect of our game. If it comes down to that situation again, we're happy we have him.
On Chris Ogbonnaya's role with the team: He's huge, a big-play back, really good hands, north and south guy, picks up the blitz as good as anyone I know. His role is huge, all throughout the offense and even more on special teams. He buys into special teams just as much as he does going back there at running back. He's a huge factor on our team and we're happy he's on our team.
OT TONY HILLS
On the frustration of the running game: The same thing that's been messing with us all year - the consistency. Not only just in the offensive line, but the receivers and the running backs. If one person messes up, then the whole thing doesn't work, so we've just got to make sure we go back as an offense and try and find some consistency. We'll get it together.
On Nebraska Football: They've got a rich tradition. I think the thing that stands out the most to me is probably their Big 12 Championship game (in 1996) with the famous pass. Just watching those guys and how hard they work, and I know they're going through a tough time right now, but like you said earlier, you may as well throw the records out the window because they're coming down here and they're coming to win. So we have to make sure that we match their intensity, that we're focused.
On the running game versus Nebraska: Well, each week you never really know what's going to happen. We're definitely going to go out there and try to run the ball and be effective running the ball, but I think the most important thing for us to do no matter what play is called is try to make sure that they work and that they're effective.
On the criticism surrounding Nebraska's run defense: I think they're going to come in here and focus on that, so we just have to make sure that we run every play effectively. We just want to make sure that we put points on the board.
On the last home game versus Kansas State: We definitely didn't play like we are capable of, and I think that's a big thing. We need to make sure that when we go out there, we need to give 100 percent and be focused. The thing I noticed after the Baylor game is that we had fun and we were happy that we won, but on the way home you could already hear a couple people getting ready and asking how Nebraska looks and things like that, so that shows you the focus of this team. You enjoy a win because it's hard to win, but just the guys asking questions about Nebraska and getting their film early just shows the maturity level of this team and where they're trying to go.
On trying to help Coach Mack Brown get his 100th win at Texas: Oh man, I'll tell you I've been a part of some great things and that will be another great thing for me to be able to say I was a part of, so we definitely want to make sure that we go out there do our best to get it for him. He's a wonderful guy and he's even a better man, as far as character and morals and just making sure that he's always there for us and that we're always doing the right thing, so that's just a credit to him. And hopefully we can go out there and make him proud.
DE BRIAN ORAKPO
On his thoughts going into the game: Playing to our standard is number one, and last year it was a great game. It could have gone either way, and Aaron Ross made a great play on the ball, and this year I'm going to try my best to not get a penalty at the end of the game. We don't care about their record because, especially this season, anything can happen. Nebraska is obviously not playing as well as they want to be, but they still have great talent on their team and they've still been averaging like 400 yards on offense, so they're going to come in here ready. They obviously felt like they should have won last year, so they're going to come in here with that same attitude and that same intensity that they had last year. They're going to try and come beat us in our home stadium. We just want to play to our standard, and we haven't played as well as we've wanted to in our home stadium, so we want to come in here and show our fans that we're ready to go.
On expecting trick plays: Oh yeah, we practice on trick plays all the time because the big thing nowadays in college football is to try and catch the defense off guard with some different looks and some trick plays. But we're going to be ready. We're going to be ready for anything they throw at us because we know they're going to come in here with their best shot like every team does, and we're just going to try and get this win. Like I said, Nebraska is a great team and even if they don't have trick plays they're still going to make plays and we've just got to learn how to handle that adversity and keep moving forward in the game.
On pressure to get to Nebraska QB Sam Keller: Today we're going to start looking at film, and I've noticed that Sam Keller is an accurate quarterback. He's a guy that can get the ball and make some plays for his offense, and he's not as mobile as other quarterbacks we've seen, but he's probably one of the best passers that we've seen in a long time. Putting pressure on the quarterback is the number one key to disrupting the offense, so that's what Lamarr (Houston) and I and the rest of the defensive ends and defensive line are going to try and do. We're going to put some pressure on him and try to make him throw some passes he probably wouldn't want to and hopefully create some turnovers for our defense and make some big plays happen.
On Nebraska: Nebraska is full of tradition and we don't get into their record and what's going on in their program, but we know that they've got talent and we know any given Saturday anything can happen. They could be 0-7 and still come in here and play us perfect. They're going to come in here pumped and ready to try and beat us, and we've just got to keep our heads on tight and get ready for a great game.
WR NATE JONES
On how they are preparing for the game: We have to go in and make sure the team is focused for it. We have to make sure we stay focused and that we don't slip up. Right now we have a two-game winning streak and we have to continue to work hard and come up with a win to keep this streak going on so we can be in great spot coming in at the end of the season.
On Nebraska's run defense: Coach Davis sees things that we can't see because he has a better view from the press box, so if he calls a running play we just have to get on our blocks to help make sure our guys get the good runs. It's a team effort. Sometimes none of us will touch the ball because there is a lot of running plays called so we have to make sure we stay focused, don't be selfish and go out there and do our jobs. That's to block and make sure our guys get touchdowns.
On if there are any nerves going into this game: No, I'm ready to see the crowd be pumped for the game. I know we have been gone for a month and to be able to come home and play against Nebraska, our fans know they're going to come in and give us a good fight. It's going to be great to see the orange in the stands and to go out there and continue to play hard for our fans and try to come out with a win.
On Ryan Bailey: When his number was called before that kick against Nebraska (last year) I went over and talked to him and told him it was his time to go out there and make a great kick for us. He did it and now he's one of those guys that speaks to everyone and goes out there and has a good time. It's great to see Ryan doing his thing and how everything turned out for him. He is one of the happier guys on the team. I've never seen him in a bad mood, he's always motivational, and if you're down, he'll come over and talk to you on the sidelines and keep your hopes up. He's one of those guys that I love to see on the team and will love to see in the future. I know that anytime we get in field goal range that he can make the big kick.
CB RYAN PALMER
On if Nebraska's record matters: It's just a big tradition, Texas and Nebraska, and it doesn't matter what the records are or what the rankings are, it's just a big fun game. A lot of kids dreamed about going to Nebraska or Texas, so it's going to be fun. We just have to go in there focused and ready to play.
On what the team is doing differently now to create turnovers: We have focused more on stripping the ball and doing high-point drills for the football for interceptions. We have been focusing more on picks and fumbles, so I think the concentration on getting turnovers in practice is helping us get more turnovers during the game. I think we're doing a great job in that area and I think we need to continue to do that to have a good defense.
On Nebraska's receiving corps: They're another receiving corps that is big. It's going to be another challenge for us to go out there and prove that we can go against tall receivers and perform at a high level. I know going into the game a lot of receivers have height advantages over us, but I think us studying film and being gym rats is really helping us out this year.
DT DEREK LOKEY
On Nebraska's offense: It is going to be a challenge. I watched some film this morning on them and they seem to be very balanced. That is one thing that they are. They can run and pass and they can do both effectively. We are going to have to go into the game with our number one goal of shutting down the run and then getting after the passer. That is something we try to do week after week. That will be a challenge for us because their offensive line is big and strong. They are a good line. The running backs are good and quick. The quarterback is doing well. It will be a challenge for us defensively. We just have go into it looking at it like that and get ready for practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On playing offense: I got a lot of opportunities on offense this past week and I enjoyed that. It was a lot of fun. There are five games left for me here at UT, and maybe (carrying the ball) will happen in one of those five.
On the difference between playing offense and defense: It's different just knowing the snap count. It is that simple. On defense you have to be ready to fire off the ball whenever it is snapped, but when you have a head start and you know that when Colt says the whatever the word is, you know that is when you get to fire off and you know who you are supposed to block and what gap you are going to. It's different and it's a lot of fun. It's something I try to take a lot of pride in. I think a lot of guys that play defense and kind of go over there and it's kind of a novelty-type deal. You go in there and do what you can, but you don't really play that position. I try to take a lot of pride in it and do a good job when I go over there. That is something that I'm going to continue to work on because it's a lot of fun, but I think it helps the team a lot too.
QB COLT MCCOY
On if he has 35 carries in him: [laughing] Well I was tired after the game on Saturday. That was what was there. They were giving that to us a little bit and I just tried to do what was best for the team and keep the chains moving.
On if he is still looking to pass first: Sometimes the pocket breaks. I saw a few holes and I made a few yards and helped us out offensively a little bit. I was still looking to pass. Like I said, to be consistent on offense I feel like we were doing fine throwing the ball. We can throw the ball. We've just got to be able to establish the running game and that will help us out in all phases of the game.
On if he sees differences in Nebraska's defense from last year: I see a little bit, but I see a lot the same. They lost a few personnel guys, they lost their two really good defensive ends, but they've got a defensive end on one side that is like 6-8. They are still really big, strong and aggressive. I just think they just haven't played as well together as they can. We've got to be expecting them to come out here and play as hard as they can because we get everybody's best shot every week. We just have got to be ready.
On Nebraska's numbers being skewed because they have played some great offenses: That's true. They played Missouri. I watched that game and Missouri was able to do what they do best. They were throwing the ball and moving the ball. They were at home and got some things rolling early on and it really took Nebraska out of their game. Like I said, Nebraska is a really good team. They just haven't played as well as I think they can. We've got to be expecting them to come in here and play really well.
On the defense forcing turnovers: On offense we have got to stop turning the ball over. We didn't turn it over at Iowa State and then we come in (to Baylor) and turn it over three times. We were fortunate for the defense to get a few turnovers during the Baylor game. It helped us out a lot. We were able to capitalize on those. Like I said, if we can continue to play as a team on offense, defense and special teams, I feel like that gives us a really good chance week in and week out.
On his tackle: I don't know. That was just a bad play. We didn't execute like we should have, we should of scored the play before and that play would have never happened. They came out and fought against us. They played really well on defense. We finally finished it off at the end, but we felt like we weren't as consistent as we should have been.
On being more consistent: We just have to do what we do. We know that we are better than that. We know that we can run the ball effectively. We just have to go out and execute. Somebody makes a mistake or somebody is not at the right place at the right time. We've got to put it on ourselves to be better. No matter what anybody else does to us, we know we have to be able to do what we do.
On Ryan Bailey: Ryan Bailey plays a big factor for us. He is on scholarship now so obviously he is a big guy for us. For him to come in at Nebraska and kick that last field goal with the pressure and everything that was on him, it shows what a playmaker he is and what he can do for us. We have been really fortunate for him to be on our side, he has kicked the ball really well.
On what he thinks about Nebraska football: I can just remember growing up that on Saturday's Texas and Nebraska were always on TV. They were always going to be on TV somewhere. Being able to watch them, Nebraska was really good when I was young and they still are, they just haven't played as well this year. It means a lot to be able to play against them, play here at Darrell K Royal. It is going to be a fun game. Like I said with a good week of preparation and trying to remain consistent, that is going to help us a lot.
On Jamaal Charles' catch: He made an incredible catch. That was big for us. We needed that. That put us up about two touchdowns. I think we might start spreading Jamaal out a little more, maybe getting him out wide and letting him run some pass routes because he has some good hands - kind of play to Jamaal's strengths. I think that is one of them because he is really fast and can get separation, especially when a linebacker is covering him. I think we definitely might look into that a little more.
On Chris Ogbonnaya: I think Chris is kind of like a guy like Quan [Cosby]. He is really consistent. When he comes in, he is going to make the blocks. He does really well on pass protection especially on passing downs where they know we are going to throw and they might put some pressure on us. He is really good at stepping in there and making a block. He is good at carrying the ball. We put him down there on the goal line to give Jamaal a rest and he runs it in for a touchdown. He is really consistent. He knows his job. He has been around. He knows the offense and he is a playmaker for us.
On not having a home game for a while: It has been a while. I was thinking about that the other day. It has been at least three weeks. We are going to be motivated and ready this week because we are ready to get back into our stadium and play a good game. I think it is good for seniors too. They only have a few more home games and for a team like Nebraska, the tradition and everything that comes with their program, coming in there to play us, I think its going to be pretty sweet.
On Coach Brown possibly getting his 100th win at Texas: That is a big step for him. What better time to try to get it than with two great programs playing together like Texas and Nebraska and for us to be at home?