Oct. 31, 2011
TE Blaine Irby
On his favorite Halloween costume growing up: Oh, man, I think I was definitely a Power Ranger for a couple years straight. Maybe just a generic superhero. I haven't been able to celebrate Halloween the last couple years, but they threw out candy to us yesterday during the meeting, so that was pretty nice.
On Texas Tech: We have to expect Tech to come in with a lot of emotion. The team that played against OU a couple weeks ago, that's the team that we're expecting to come in here. So we've got to be ready. We've got to start fast like we did this week and really just get after them.
On Saturday’s win giving the team more confidence: This is the first game of our second season. Our offensive line did a tremendous job. We had two young running backs get over 100 yards, which is pretty special. And the defense completely shut them out. I think the bye week was really good for us, kind of just getting everyone together and kind of buying into our offensive and defensive schemes. And so I think we just have to keep playing one week at a time, and Tech is our next game, and so we're going to be ready for them.
On possibly getting the sixth win of the season: You know, last year was a little eerie feeling just because we didn't get to that. Sixth win is a bowl game, and that's what our goal is right now. Right now we're still trying to get to the bowl game, and after this sixth win it's just going to determine what bowl game we're going to. It's a pretty important game for us.
On the offense’s mentality: It's just a hardnosed offense. You have to really just bite down on your mouthpiece and just get after it. You've got to expect going into the game that you're going to hit them at the end. Olinemen just kind of running downhill the whole game. Like I said before, the offensive line did great this last game. We had I don't know how many yards of total offense or rushing, but I just know we were pounding the ball the whole game. And I felt like every drive, the only time that our drive stopped was because of us. Little mistakes that we had on offense.
S Blake Gideon
On the Texas Tech offense: Obviously they throw it around the yard a little bit. It's going to be a challenging game. It's going to be us against their receivers every play, and they're going to challenge us. So we're going to be up to it, and we're looking forward to starting practice tomorrow.
On Texas Tech’s offense becoming more balanced: They've definitely become more balanced. You know, whereas my freshman year and a little bit of sophomore year we could trot out seven or eight DBs out there and really focus on the pass and kind of the guys up front could pin their ears back and worry about pass rush and not necessarily run gaps. I don't want to say it's easier to defend, but maybe easier to prepare for. It's going to be a challenge for us this week to be balanced and be able to stop the run. That's first and foremost. If they run it down our throats then there's no reason for them to ever throw the ball. We want to stop the run first and then force them to pass it.
On if last week’s shutout gives the defense more confidence: Well, confidence wise it helps us out, I guess. I don't know what the right answer there would be. I think we never lost any of our confidence. I know we had two tough games, but at the same time, we've watched the film from those and we've seen mistakes that can be improved upon. I think we did improve on those. There was really minimal mistakes this past weekend, so to be able to see it on the scoreboard, then that's definitely encouraging.
On which Texas Tech team they will face: Well, we're definitely not going to see the team that just played this past week. That's really always been the case here at Texas, that however bad a team has been playing this season, whenever they come to Austin, it's going to be a different team that we see. There's just a lot of tradition that comes with the name of Texas and playing against Texas. So I think a lot of teams, they come to Austin ready to play. It's definitely going to be closer to the team that everybody saw on TV a few weeks ago in Norman and how they're going to come out here and they're going to expect to win. You know, that's the thing about Tech, they go into every game expecting to win and expecting to be successful.
On what a sixth win would mean: Obviously we don't want to stop at six wins. That really wouldn't be too successful of a season to just stop after this next victory, but at the same time it is huge to become bowl eligible. It's something that we failed to do last year, so that is one of our goals, to go to a bowl game, obviously. To be able to get this win and really move past that, to be able to bend aside how good the bowl is and really not be worrying about getting a number of wins. We're going to be able to focus on just one game at a time from here on out.
On not being satisfied at this point in the season: You don't ever want to be satisfied as an athlete. You want to be able to improve every day, and you never stay the same. You take a step forward or take a step back. I think once you're done improving then you're really done as an athlete. As a person in life, you want to keep getting better at everything you do. So it's important for us to put this past game where it belongs. It really can't help us going into this next week. We can't roll over any of those points we scored. We can't start them in negative points. This game doesn't help us at all. We're going to start out with 60 minutes on the clock, and it's going to be 00, and whoever is the best team on Saturday is going to win.
On Texas Tech QB Seth Doege: Obviously he's got legs to worry about. He's not a guy that we're worrying about just pushing the pocket. A lot of guys you can kind of get outside the pocket and then their game completely changes, but he can still run and throw it. And that's something that we're going to have to account for is his legs.
On comparing Doege to other Tech QBs: I think all the Tech quarterbacks, it seems to be just a lot of those guys keep coming out every year. They all get the ball out on time. That's the main thing with Tech and their offense. You're not going to get a great chance to get pressure on them. They're going to get the ball out quick. There's a lot of timing routes that you can tell they've spent hours upon hours during the summertime in sevenonseven drills working with each other. It's a tough offense to defend, but at the same time it's fun to compete against.
RB Foswhitt Whittaker:
On the Texas running game: I won't tell you the particular number that we're looking for. I just feel like just running the ball effectively, getting us in manageable down and distance to be able to convert on 3rd downs is our main goal and what we look forward to doing.
On if he felt pride in RBs Malcolm Brown's and Joe Bergeron's performances: I felt like a proud father, I guess, just seeing the way they ran the ball. The type of hardened determination they threw at each run and not just letting one player bring them down and extending the run as much as possible. It kind of felt great, just seeing that I was a part of that is always beneficial. I can't really take the credit for it just because those guys do what they do best, and that's just run the ball.
On WR Marquise Goodwin getting handoffs: He did have a few runs. here was one of them where he slipped up where he should have scored, but I think he might have had a little jet lag or something of that nature. Marquise, those sweeper type guys, Jaxon [Shiplwy], D.J. [Monroe], those guys always are beneficial in the run game. It helps really keep the inside run game open just because if you have those guys on the perimeter the defense has to worry about, it kind of creates more opportunities for the defense to split and hit them right up the middle with one.
On the wild formation: It's kind of weird to say just because it's not anything in particular that we're doing different. I guess the biggest difference that's in the wild is of course I'm getting a direct snap. But we have a little bit of misdirection with the sweeper coming across and sometimes I'll hand it to the sweeper and other times I'll keep it. But as far as the play calling and the plays that we're running, it's the exact same thing as if I were in the “I”, except I'm receiving it directly from the center. Same type of play, just a little bit of misdirection. It's kind of odd whenever people discuss it as if it's something totally different. But offensively in our minds it's the same plays we've been running.
On scoring on the opening drive: You know, our goals are always to go out there on the first drive and make a statement, and you know, start it off right. By doing that, it just shows that everybody is on the same page and we're ready and firing on all cylinders. I know from a perspective of a defensive guy, whenever their offense if another team's offense goes down and scores, it kind of puts pressure on us, and so I feel like if we were able to put the pressure on them, we're a better football team in the end.
On QB David Ash: I feel like he's matured. Each game you can see he's getting better and better, especially at decision making. He's one of those guys, still young, freshman you know. He's just one that has been coming along each week, showing the character and leadership that he has. And I feel like he's still growing and he has a lot of potential.
On the team’s confidence: We have the 24hour rule, whether it's a win or lose after each game. That Sunday, which was yesterday, we always make sure we go over what we did good and what we did bad, correct the mistakes that we did, try to eliminate them, and then today is our day that we move on and focus on Texas Tech. We feel very confident, but in the end we still had mistakes that we need to correct, a couple of busts, a couple of errors. We want to make sure that we're more efficient in the red zone, and a couple of times we got down there, had a turnover and we weren't able to convert on 4th and goal. You know, we always appreciate a win as they're hard to come by. You don't ever want to overlook it. But at the same time we understand that we need to get better, and there are things that we can get better at.
On the Texas Tech defense: I don't think they're down. think they have a great defense. The Tech team that played Iowa State I feel like they're one that might have just been off. But we know that's not the team we're going to face this coming up weekend. We have to be ready for everything that they're going to provide and try to do to disrupt our offense.
On OG Mason Walters: Every play, every snap in practice in the game, even when we're not even doing competition, you can just tell the type of demeanor and type of person he is. He's always trying to get after it no matter what it is. Having him up there being a leader on the offensive line affects other guys around him, and whenever you have that type of power it makes the whole offense better.
On which Texas team we will see this week: I feel like we're going to be the team that just has to be consistent. [Co-offensive coordinator] Coach [Bryan] Harsin always talks about being able to run the ball effectively, rushing for 200, and then the run game will in the end open up the pass game. I feel like we'll stay balanced and continue what we've been doing the last couple weeks. Taking care of the ball is the biggest issue for us. Make sure we don't commit any turnovers and control the clock.
OG/C David Snow
On possibly getting the sixth win: You know, it's very important, especially to us right now. As a Texas team not being bowl eligible last year, that's not our standard. That's not anywhere close. This will be another step in getting that back and revamping what happened last year. All the work that we went through in the summer will pay off, so that's just another break that we need to get done.
On winning the Bevo Beast Award this week: I feel like each one of us can play better, including myself. I've got things to improve on. Yeah, it was great winning the award, but just got to get back to work and get better because in the game I did stuff that I can get a lot better on. That's going to be my focus this week, just getting better.
On the Texas Tech defense: They always, every time I play them, have really good defense. So we're looking forward to playing them.
On OG Mason Walters: Mason is a very good player, and I'm not taking anything away from him. He just shows up and works every day. He's 6'7", 315 pounds. You know, he's very aggressive. It's great having him on the inside of the ball.
On scoring on the opening drive in a game: It's very important. t sets the momentum for the whole team. It just gets everything going. It helps the defense out and keeps the ball away from the other team, so it's really great.
DE Jackson Jeffcoat
On his performance Saturday: I haven't had a performance like that this year, so I needed to. I needed to step up and make plays for my team. I needed to help them out, because my teammates have always had my back and made some plays.
On if he had been frustrated about previous games: A little bit. But I knew it was more about us, it was about our team. If we were winning, it was great. So I was happy about that. And that was greater than the sense of frustration I felt. The important thing is we just kept winning.
On what it took to play as well as he did on Saturday: There was just little things, little things I had to look at, go back and watch film. I just had to keep correcting things and see things that I wasn't doing right as far as getting off the ball and things like that. And I went back and corrected them and watched with my coach, [defensive ends] Coach [Oscar] Giles, and with other guys.
On when he knew he’d have a good game: I felt it before the game. I mean, just the way I was getting off and how I felt. I felt like it was that game. I mean, I also dedicated the game to my grandmother for cancer month, and so I wanted to play great for her, also.
On trying to meet other’s expectations: I normally don't. I'm a bigtime competitor, so that's what drives me to keep playing hard and doing better every game. So if it's not competing with one of my teammates and we're competing against another team, it's competing with maybe my dad or something like that.
On how to stay consistent: I think I found out what's going on, so just keep constantly working and working on getting better every week. That's been the goal all year, so finally feeling it.
On Texas Tech’s offense: Well, you know, they can throw the ball. They're great at that. But they can also run the ball, too. So we just have to know that they're a wellbalanced team. I feel like they've been running the ball more of the little bit of film that I've seen on them. So we've just got to keep continuing practicing hard. We know they're going to come out ready to play us, so we've got to be ready for them.
On how important pressure is to control Tech: It's definitely important to get pressure on these guys. If you let them sit back there, they'll tear us apart. We just need to keep the intensity up and not feel good about a win last week because that's last week. We're on to a new week.
On what it meant to dedicate the Kansas game to his grandmother: It meant a lot. My grandma has been there for me for a lot, and just to call her before the game and tell her I dedicated it to her, my mom told me it meant a lot to her. I talked to her afterward and she was in tears talking about how good it was. She didn't get to watch it but she was flipping the channel back seeing what the score was, and I told her about it, and my mom told her. So it was great.
On which Texas offensive lineman has made him better: The two guys I go against all the time are Tray Allen and Josh Cochran. Those guys are good. Josh is a freshman. He has a great set. He gets back there. He's getting better every week. And Tray Allen, that's a bigtime senior. Big guy. He's great. He can play.
LB Emmanuel Acho
On knowing Texas Tech will be playing really hard this week: I mean, as on older, more mature player, you've got to understand that. It's common sense. Common knowledge that after a loss they're going to come in upset and ready to play. And two, every team gets up to play Texas. That's just how it is. You make sure you watch the OU film extra hard. You pay attention to those details, because that's the team that you're really going to face.
On if preparing for Tech is different than other teams: Tech is always a fun week of preparation. I feel like we're preparing for more than a week because it's so mentally taxing. You really have to be nitpicking about all the details, and if you're going against a team like this on offense that's so spacing oriented, it's a difference in like an interception if you're one yard inside the hash or outside the hash. You really have to pay attention to all the minute details and just be locked in all week.
On staying confident and not getting cocky: I think that's when the seniors come into play, and I think that that's why I love this year's senior class. I love the guys I get to play with, Keenan [Robinson] and Blake, Kheeston [Randall] and those guys because we're so focused and we're so driven. And it doesn't really matter, the coaches don't have to give us the generic, cliché speech. We've already been there, done that, bought that tee shirt. So we're going to try hard regardless. We're going to prepare hard and prepare well regardless. And it's just who we are.
On shutting out Kansas: That was huge. That's why I went back on the field. It was huge. Keenan was telling me, I think in the third quarter, he's like, “We haven't shut a team out since we've been here.” And with the defenses I've been on in '08, '09, I was sure we had. But I haven't thought about it. Then I got to thinking fourth quarter maybe not. So they crossed the 50, and that was that, and it was time to stop watching.
On possibly getting a sixth win: It's one of the goals of ours, but at the beginning of the season we weren't breaking it out, breaking out the huddles on making it to a bowl game. hat's not a bigtime goal. Yeah, we want to get there, but our goal is to get better each week. To win every week. So that's what we're going to do, just because they're in our way and they're impeding our progress from our goal.
On Tech’s offense being more balanced than before: I think that's a big focal point for them. Since Tommy Tuberville has been in there they're willing to run the ball and they want to run the ball if you let them. And they're not just going to be onedimensional. Knowing that you have to prepare for that. Knowing you have to be ready to stop the run, you just can't sit back, relax and hope they throw it. You have gear up, be ready stop the run and make them throw it.
On Texas Tech QB Seth Doege: He's a heck of a leader. I got to watch the OU game, just the TV copy. Got to see some of the throws he made in that game, and man, he was hot. He was on fire, and he's a heck of a player. He's leading this team well, and so I am looking forward to the challenge.
On DE Jackson Jeffcoat: I was so happy for him, mainly just because I had an incredibly quiet game so I kind of lived through people on Saturday, and he's one of the guys I lived through. I texted him Saturday night after the game after I had watched the film, and I just said, “Great game. That's how you always need to play.” Because he has that kind of talent, has that kind of ability, and he dominated. And he just needs to continue to roll with that, continue to get better, build on that. But that's the type of player he is, and that's the type of player he needs to be for this defense. You know, you hate to say a guy needs something like that, but I think it was huge for him just because when you're quiet so to speak through six games or however many we played, you start to get frustrated. Especially as a young player you start to wonder like, “Okay, maybe this defense isn't for me.” But after a night like that, I think three tackles for a loss, - just complete domination, you understand? Okay, when it rains, it pours, and so it's starting to rain for him.
On his brother Sam Acho’s performance in the NFL on Sunday: I'm disappointed because I don't get to watch the games, but he finally got his first start and I think he had like six tackles, a sack, tackle for a loss and a forced fumble. Again, he's one of the guys I lived through this weekend, so I'll just claim some of his statistics. I talked to him last night, just so happy for him. It's so great for him. Sad for the team they didn't get the victory, but he's continued to improve, and I'm just extremely pleased.
OG Mason Walters
On why he is so tenacious as an offensive lineman: I just love playing the game of football. It's important to me. Every chance I get to go out there, I just want to give as much as I have each time I have the opportunity to go out and play. I think that's what attributes that characteristic to me.
On if offensive linemen are supposed to be nice and friendly: Not the good ones.
On playing Texas Tech since he is from Lubbock: It's something I think about being from Lubbock. I know a lot of people that are Tech fans and go to school there, so it's just one more thing that helps get me fired up for the game.
On the Texas offense rushing for over 200 yards on Saturday: Well, it meant the backs were running hard. It's obviously not every play we blocked was perfect, and they fought for what they got. I just think that gives us more opportunities throughout the game to be able to run the ball. We know we have at least two guys and pretty sure I know we have three, four that can do that around here.
On playing with Seth Doege in high school: He was injured his junior and senior year in high schoo,l and I got to know him well. He was always around practice, around football, his dad being a coach. So I got to know him but never stepped on the field and actually played a game with him.
On Doege making a comeback and now playing: I think it speaks a lot to his character and it shows. He comes from a great family. His mom and dad are great people. It just shows that he's been able to fight through any adversity he has. I think a lot of him for it.
On DE Jackson Jeffcoat: Jeffcoat has gotten me chewed out a couple times in practice. He works hard in practice, and that translates on the field.
LB Keenan Robinson
On what getting a shutout means to the team’s confidence: It's something that hasn't been done since I've been here, so I'm definitely happy to be a part of that, as well as the fact that we're the only team that scored. That says tremendous things for both sides of the ball because it's the offense that gives them a chance to score, and when defense was on the field we were able to keep them out of the end zone and just show that the game plan that we had and everything that we put into the game, it was well prepared and well executed on Saturday.
On Tech’s offense being more balanced than before: Last year, as well, I noticed that, too. They want to run the ball, but at the end we all know they want to pass it. We've got to make sure we stop the run, make them onedimensional. And once you do that, then we've got to get the quarterback pressured and make him make mistakes.
On how important it is to pressure the QB:
It's very important. It's going to be harder because Tech's passing game has been something they've been working on for years, something that they've got down to a ”T”. So they're going to do different things that Kansas didn't do. I see them executing their plays more efficiently than Kansas just because of the fact that over the years their passing history has been a lot better, and they've been top ten in passing history for the past I don't know how many years. But that's what they do. They pass the ball. Giving pressure is going to be important because we've got to make sure the quarterback can't show his reads and make sure that he has people in space. We'll force them to throw an interception or hit the quarterback with a fumble, pick it up and score or something. We need to do something to get the quarterback off his rocker and make sure we keep pressuring him all game.
On DE Jackson Jeffcoat having a good game to get things going: It didn't matter who it was. If somebody had to have a big game, whether it was [Alex Okafor] or Kheeston [Randall], [Chris] Whaley, anybody. We all just need the Dline to play well, and they did Saturday. It starts with the front seven. Once the front seven plays well, then it makes back forward a lot easier. Coach [Diaz] is very good at telling us just be patient, your time is going to come. Your chance is going to come. Just make sure you're ready when they do come. The same with a lot of guys on defense. Just keep on being patient, your play is going to come. Just things we tell you to do - take care of your job and everything will take care of itself.
On possibly getting a sixth win: It means a lot basically because last year we didn't make it that far. We've got to make sure we do everything we can to win this game. Get the sixth game. Focus on the rest of our season after that. Six games in the past - we would have already had it with our talent we had here at Texas in the past. But this year we played two great opponents that we lost to, so just getting back on track starting with last week in Kansas, now we can push forward by beating Tech.
On making sure to make good things happen: You don't want to let the team down or let the fans down or the history down, so we have to make sure we keep doing everything we've done all season to make sure we keep executing. Do what the coaches tells us to do because they're going to have a great game plan every game. Make sure we just take care of us and everything else falls into place and take care of itself.
On preparing for Texas Tech: We prepare for the team that beat OU, obviously. I'm going to watch both films, going to watch probably every game they played this season and just see what they like to do. See how they beat teams. Don't underestimate a team. You don't want to do that because any day when you see that Tech beat OU, come out, played against us, they'll play their hearts out. [They’ll] come out prepared and ready to beat us, and so we can't let that happen. Last year we beat them at their place, but this year we'll beat them at home and hopefully continue what we started last week.
On if he misses plays against Tech because of the nickel defense: I never missed any plays just because last year when I was a nickel it was me and Emmanuel. This year we'll probably get more nickel, a lot of prowler, and there's going to be two lines on the field all the time so I won't miss any plays in that aspect as far as formations and schemes go. But they've been fun for me because in the past obviously I've been outside, so I was out there covering receivers and doing all that. So I was very involved in the bubble game, very involved in the vertical games they played and just one of the key components of the stopping the pass. So this year I feel like my passing role will be a little bit less, but at the same time I'll still have a role in protecting the middle of the field, protecting the screens.
On if it is fun for him to cover in space: Yes, that's one of my strong points of my game, so that's something that coaches utilize when they can. Especially the last three years I've been here at Texas, they have been utilizing it. That's something that players or other teams, they don't know about, but they watch the history. They can tell that me and Emmanuel both can defend the pass very well.