Oct. 24, 2008
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis
On dealing with criticism: I think being a quarterback helps, having played the position and understanding that you're never as good as they say and you're never as bad. You've just got to keep working and you can't pay a whole lot of attention to it, quite honestly. I don't read the paper. I don't get on the Internet. Just keep working and hopefully over the long haul things will work out.
On his love for his job: I have a very good job. I love Austin. I love The University of Texas. I love the fact that we can recruit character players that have a chance to be really good. I love working for Mack (Brown). We've talked several times at the end of years where people have called and if the right situation ever came along that I thought there was an opportunity to win and recruit character players and do things right, I would be receptive to that. I really enjoy what I do.
On Oklahoma State's defense: The same thing you see usually - really good athletes. Probably the difference philosophically this year is they're playing much more three-down (limemen). Three-down, generally speaking, in the Big 12 is a third-and-long look. They probably are playing about 40 percent of their snaps from a three-down look which changes up some of your blocking patterns both in the run and the pass game. They blitz about 42 percent of the time, they're very active, they're not afraid to play man-to-man. You don't have to look much further than Missouri to see what they did to a really good offensive football team, and they mixed it up in that game, they played three-down, four-down, they blitzed, they defended. We'll see all that, I'm sure.
On the Q package: We had a group of plays set up for the (Missouri) ball game, and we'll have a group of plays set up for this one. It has been frustrating because we wanted it to be a bigger part. It's been hard to mesh as easily as we thought it would be, mainly because John (Chiles) has to spend so much time as a quarterback. It would be easier if you were dealing with your third quarterback or something like that. He gets every other snap in practice and so we haven't been able to spend as much time with it as we had hoped. We're going to continue to look at it, both as a wide receiver, as a running back and I'm sure in different ball games it'll show up again.
On John Chiles: I think he's in good shape. I visit with him every Sunday. I visit with all of (the quarterbacks) every Sunday. Obviously he'd like to play more, but he also knows Colt (McCoy) is playing at an extremely high level and he understands that he can't spend as much time in the running back room as he needs to catch up there, as much time in the wide receiver room as he needs to catch up there. He's been really mature about the processes. At the end of the year, we'll sit down and evaluate where we go.
On why the offense has been so hard to stop: I think because we've been able to stay two-dimensional. Even earlier in the year where the run was not being as successful as we would've liked it to be, we've stayed with it and it has gotten better and better. I think the understanding by the receivers, because of a lot of different things they have options of where they can go within the framework, and then Colt (McCoy)'s accuracy has allowed us to treat, in some ball games, the short pass like a run. As people defend the pass more, the run gets better. They work hand in hand.
On Colt McCoy: The knock on all quarterbacks that play from the gun is that they can't play from under center so I'm sure that's something if you asked them. He's playing at a really high level and he's making a bunch of different kinds of throws and he has the ability to do things with his feet. In today's game if you're not going to have a quarterback that can make a few plays with his feet, then everything has to be better because it's just hard to sit back there if they can't buy some time and make some plays with their feet.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
On disrupting the offense's execution: I think that it comes down to execution on either side of the ball and I think that with the really good offenses there's precise execution. They're well-tied together run and pass, and defensively you've got to do things to disrupt the timing and the precision of the execution.
On Greg Davis: I think Greg has done a phenomenal job this year. I think if there's anybody playing more efficient on offense than us, I would struggle to find them. I think a lot is a credit to him. He did it at the University of Georgia. When I was a player, we had the top-ranked passing offense in the country. He continued that at North Carolina and he has done a phenomenal job at Texas. The kids have a belief in our system in what we do offensively and a tremendous amount of confidence in our scheme. Obviously Colt (McCoy)'s playing at a high level and Greg's the guy that's coaching him, so I think that speaks volumes for the job he does. He's as good of an assistant coach as I've ever been around.
On the defense's performance in the Missouri game: I think in the Oklahoma game we gave up too many explosive plays. When we execute, it's easy to watch the film and look at the execution, look at our front play and they made some plays. In the Missouri game we played an outstanding, dominant first half. In the second half, the key was third down. We didn't get off the field, and we had opportunities at third-and-six, third-and-seven, third-and-eight, they made the plays. We didn't make the plays to get off the field. We only gave up two explosive plays for the game, really. It wasn't a matter of giving up explosive plays. You're always disappointed in giving up 31 points. It's not what you want to do, but I also see the big picture and understand how the game was played. At 35-3 the game does change, the game changes. It changes how you approach the game and how you call the game because the worst thing you can do is give up big plays then. You've just got to be a little bit smarter about what you're calling and how you're calling it and the position you're putting your kids in. To that point, we still didn't give up big plays. It was third-down we couldn't get off the field. There were a lot of upset kids in that meeting room that we gave up the points we did, especially late in the game. Regardless of who you are or where you are on the depth chart, you're expected to play at a high level and a certain standard. We get paid to coach for 60 minutes, they need to play for 60 minutes to. I told the kids Friday night we would play our best game Saturday, and we did for a half and we've just got to put it all together.
On Oklahoma State's offense: They're very balanced. They're very explosive. I think they've had 19 touchdown drives that have been five plays or less, so they're hitting big plays, they're hitting chunk plays down the field. Sixteen touchdown drives have been under two minutes. Dez Bryant's a difficult matchup. He's got vertical speed, great ball skills, is a big receiver, so you've got to be concerned with your matchup on top of him at all times. (They've got) four touchdowns of 50-plus yards so they're hitting the ball down the field. (Kendall) Hunter is an outstanding back. He's averaging 136 yards rushing a game. (Zac) Robinson is very accurate, again another quarterback completing 70 percent of his passes. They do a great job of tempo at the line of scrimmage, checking based on what they see of the defense. Disguise is going to be a key for us in this ballgame. They're averaging 283 yards rushing a game, very balanced attack. They understand and know the identity of what they are. They're very similar to what we are offensively in the zone-read concept, some tackle pulls and the one-back power play. They'll give you a variety of different personnel groupings that we need to prepare for and play well. We need to dominate the line of scrimmage and we've got to limit the explosives. They're right at 48 percent on third downs. They're very efficient when they get to third down. They manage the game very well, they don't put themselves in tough down and distances. I've already looked at the third-down cut-up, you don't see a bunch of third-and-10-pluses, you see third-and-six, third-and-five, third-and-four where they give you a lot of run-pass options that they can go to. (Brandon) Pettigrew is an outstanding and a tough matchup because of his size and speed.
On Brian Orakpo and if his schemes are benefiting Orakpo: I don't think that schemes help guys play better. We've put him in some situations where, through watching tape, we've gotten him in some one-on-ones where we liked the matchup, whether it's sinking him down the front and getting him on a guard or getting him on a tackle, getting him in a pick game with another defensive lineman to free him up. Brian's an outstanding player. He approaches the game the right way. He works awful hard at practice every day. He works hard off the field. Football is important to him. He plays with a good pad level and leverage. He's blessed with a lot of ability, but he has worked hard to enhance the ability he's been blessed with. I'm just real pleased with how he's played, more than anything with how he's led this year. He's been a guy that is a great leader by example, by the way he works every day on the practice field.