Player press conference quotes: Nov. 5
C DALLAS GRIFFIN
On missing the rest of the season: This next game will be senior day, so thatís one thing. Weíve been talking about it today and I can testify to the fact that will have on our team and the rest of the senior class. Theyíll come out fighting again. I played my last game in this stadium without knowing it, so I know that these guys who do know it will really put something special forth.
On getting upset about the injury: Well itís kind of hard to get mad at anybody or anything when something like this happens. I just try to think back to it and I really donít know what happened with the knee, whether it was angle or step or not being in position for the hit, or if itís just a freak thing. Iím not upset at all, just disappointed. Itís kind of a weird feeling I guess, but at the end of that game I was happy. I feel really blessed to have gotten to be a part of any of it.
On support from his teammates: It was really emotional. Everybody came up to me and kind of told me what they thought of me and just about everything was good. It was an emotional day. It was happy too because Iím proud of being here and Iím proud of what weíve accomplished. Iím blessed and Iím so thankful that I was a part of this team.
On how the team will play without him: Weíll be fine without me, and I look forward to helping out the younger guys and contributing in that way. Hopefully I can pass on something that will be of value in these last couple of games here.
On what will be going through his mind on Saturday: Iíll still be excited for the game. I canít wait to see us play. Itís been an incredible season here and all over the country. Iím really excited to see the guys come out and play, and even though I wonít be on the field senior day, it means a lot to me personally. Iím really excited about it.
On Chris Hall: Chris Hall is a very positive person. You canít get him to say a negative thing, and I think thatís something that really helps him and helps our team. If you let a play get you down, it can beat you twice. Chris Hall will never get beat twice by a play. I think heís confident and he puts all his faith in God. Heís an incredible guy, and his approach to the game is really something a lot of people could learn from.
On some of the highlights from his career at Texas: Itís been an incredible ride. During recruiting I was so thankful that Texas was interested. It was a dream come true to come here. I didnít play a whole lot the first couple years behind Jason Glynn and Lyle Sendlein, but I had an opportunity to learn from the best, and theyíre great guys. The quality of people is what makes this place special, so itís been fantastic. Iíve gotten relatively more accolades this past season, I donít know why, but itís been great. The Preseason Playboy All-America thing was a ton of fun and Iím really honored to be up for the Draddy Trophy, so itís been awesome Ė every little bit of it. From the Holiday Bowl to the two Rose Bowls and the Alamo Bowl, the experience and all the wins, but more importantly the people have been really special.
On the roles Mack Brown and Mac McWhorter have played in his career at Texas: Coach McWhorter and Coach Brown are both extremely important people in my life, and I have so much respect for those two men. What they mean to me I probably canít get across to yíall, but they both really care about my success on the field and more than that, my success as a person. So going forward, itís a testament to this place that you donít drop off the radar, at least in their minds. I sent Coach Brown a message after the game and I told him how thankful I was to be a part of this place. Theyíve both been really important to me, and itís been awesome and Iím so thankful for the chance to be here.
On his life after football: Well, I finished a little early so Iím looking for a job now. Iíve got a year and a half left until I finish my MBA, and I look forward to starting that part of my life, but I really want to make sure that this doesnít end prematurely. Even though (my career) on the field has ended, I take my commitment very seriously and I look forward to helping in a different capacity.
QB COLT McCOY
On receiving the ball from other guys: Itís just different because we havenít practiced as much with the second and third-team guys because Dallas and I are always together at practice. It will be fine once we work on it a little bit. We had a couple boggled snaps during the game, which I bet made some people nervous, but it will work out. Everybody snaps a little different, everybody has a different way and you know the ball comes in different, so weíll just have to work on that and practice and it will be fine.
On being especially excited for the Texas Tech game: Every game is a big game in the Big 12, but it is fun to play Texas Tech because I have a lot of friends who go there and most of my high school (class) went to school there. So being able to see those guys and play against those guys is pretty fun.
On this teamís resiliency: I think that really starts with the coaches, the program and what you entrust in yourself when you decide to come here. Youíre going to get everybodyís best shot and youíve got to win football games. Youíre expected to win and thatís why we came to play here, but I think it starts with the coaches. And for us to be able to come through with a win in tough times and at the end just shows the determination, the character of this football team and the ability to finish. Itís not just one person, itís not just the coaches, I think we all come together and expect to win in the end.
On coming from behind to win at Oklahoma State: Well it was really tough for me early on because things werenít going right. I mean the ball slips out of my hands on the first play of the game, and so just being able to come back to the sideline and have everybody say it was all right and to just keep playing really helped. And then when things arenít going well at the end of the third quarter and then it was 35-14 at the start of the fourth and still something hadnít happened, I just went over to the sideline and told everybody, ďWe just have to make something happen and give the defense something to believe in. Letís go score. Weíre going to win this thing.Ē And everybody just believed, and thatís what itís all about. And once we could finally get in groove and get on a roll, those guys started lighting up and it ended up being a lot of fun.
On how he personally overcomes adversity on the field: I just tell myself to not to give up and to stay confident. Honestly the whole game I had a good handle on what (Oklahoma State) was doing and I had studied enough and knowing enough of what they were doing that I felt comfortable out there. I just told myself to keep fighting and make something happen but donít try to do something spectacular. Once we got on a roll and we got in a groove, those things started happening. It was just a matter of staying confident and believing in myself.
On Coach Brownís demeanor when the team is behind: I think Coach Brown is one of the most positive coaches that I know. Heís always lifting us up and telling us to keep our heads up even in times like that. I think thatís a prime example of us believing in our coach and him believing in us, and thatís why this team is doing some good things right now.
On RB Jamaal Charles: Jamaal has been big for us offensively, especially in the end (of games). We ran a lot of no-huddle offense (at Oklahoma State) and they kind of got tired in the end and Jamaal stayed strong and made some big runs. He played really well for us and heís got to continue to do that. I think heís gotten a lot of confidence back for himself and the offensive line is blocking really well, so heís going to have to continue to play well for us and I believe he will.
On the Texas Tech team: Itís all about in-state; everybody wants to win the state football games whether itís (Texas) A&M, Texas Tech, or whoever we play, itís going to be a battle and itís going to be a fight. With Texas Tech coming here, theyíre explosive and they make a lot of plays, so weíre just going to have to counter that and come out and play strong from the beginning.
On running more: I think the zone-read has helped us a lot. I think it put (Oklahoma State) in a bind a little bit because they had to respect that and respect Jamaal (Charles), and then it opened up the play-action for us in the shotgun. I think we were 8-for-8 off of play-action, and even though one (pass) went to the other team, it was still pretty good. It worked well for us.
On Senior Day: When I think of Senior Day, I think of Nate (Jones), I think of Tony (Hills), I think of all the guys on offense that are going to be gone next year like Billy (Pittman). We all want to go out as a team and fight for them because theyíve contributed so much to this football team, not just this year, but also the past few years. And to know that it is their last home game, I think it is really special and really important to them that we come out and play hard and play well and come out with a win for them. It will be pretty emotional, but thatís what it is all about, so for us to come out there and play with them, play hard and do our best for them is important.
On his relationship with Chris Hall: Chris Hall will light anybodyís day up. Heís such a positive person, heís always got a smile on and you know youíre going to get his best effort in anything he does whether itís school, on the field or whatever. And heís also a great friend to me and to a lot of our teammates.
On his rushing over 100 yards against Oklahoma State: I think it starts with the offensive line; I think they give me a good pocket. And I think a lot of teams have put a lot of effort into putting pressure on us up front, and when I can break through the line of scrimmage and keep my eyes downfield and nobody is open, Coach Brown is always telling me to go make some yards and get some first downs. Heís been kind of telling me to do that kind of stuff and telling me to run the ball instead of always looking downfield, and when I can make a first down with my feet, I should just go ahead and do it. Whatever itís going to take to move the chains and keep the offense on the field, thatís what he wants me to do. Obviously it worked out pretty well last week because Iíve never rushed for 100 yards in my life, so that was pretty cool.
On the offensive line: Theyíve grown a lot and theyíve grown every week because every week different teams try to do different blitzes and (our opponents) look at the film from our previous games and they try some of the same stuff, and weíve been handling them better every time. Every week theyíre growing and getting better and every week I feel more comfortable with them up front and being able to stand in the pocket. Last week (at Oklahoma State), I was able to stand in the pocket a lot on third downs and make some big plays.
DE BRIAN ORAKPO
On Texas Techís offense: Tech has always been one of those offenses that can put up points by any means necessary. They have huge playmakers on that team. Graham Harrell is a great quarterback and heís getting the ball to everybody. And their new guy, (Michael) Crabtree, is just putting up amazing numbers. I canít even do what heís doing on a video game. I watched film and heís a great player. Weíre just planning to attack them and do the best we can to maintain their potent offense.
On what he can contribute as a defensive lineman: Like I say every week, we just try our best to continue to put pressure on their quarterback throughout the game, and make the quarterback throw some passes that heíll wish he can take back. So we plan to try to get after (Graham) Harrell a little bit and try and try to help our defensive backs out by disrupting their offense a little bit by putting some pressure.
On the team effort: You know, we come hand-in-hand. Weíve got to find a way to stop their offense and get off the field when we need to because our offense is playing great right now. With Jamaal (Charles) putting up some great runs, Jermichael Finley making some great catches and all of our receivers making great plays and Colt (McCoy) is playing terrific, we need to have our offense on the field to put as many points as possible up on the board.
On the seniors: Those are my boys and I came in with them, so I want to try my best to get this win for them. Itís Senior Day this week, and everybody is going to try their best to get this win for them because it means so much to everyone.
WR NATE JONES
On his favorite memories as a Longhorn: One of my best highlights was my freshman year when we played against Oklahoma State, we were down 35-7 I think, and we came back and scored 49 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarter when Vince was here. I was just excited to get the chance to play with Vince and Cedric Benson and Michael Huff and Derrick Johnson. I got a chance to play with those guys, I got a National Championship, two Rose Bowls, and last year the Alamo Bowl. Itís just a great environment to get a chance to play in three bowls. Most teams donít get that chance.
On the heart of the team: This team doesnít ever give up. Weíre going to fight to the end. These past two weeks weíve had two great comebacks, weíve won by three each time. Anytime a team is down by 21 points going into the fourth quarter, they really donít have a chance to win the game. We just stayed in there, hung in there, we fought and came out with a win.
On outscoring Texas Tech: Coach Davis always harps on, just outscore their points. If they score 35, our job is to score 36 to get a win. If itís going to be a shootout, we have to outscore the opponent to get this win.
On playing Texas Tech: Weíre going to try to take advantage of every opportunity we get. Coach Davis is going to be up there calling the plays, itís our job just to go out there and execute. Jamaalís doing a tremendous job for us, heís stepping up big in the fourth quarter, and then you have Colt who is running the ball, keeping his eyes down field and making plays with his feet. Thatís what you need out of a leader and a guy that you know is going to step up in the fourth quarter. With Jamaalís speed when he breaks the line of scrimmage, I donít think anybodyís ever going to catch him. Our job is just to go out there and make big plays for Colt and also make big blocks for Jamaal and Colt.
DT FRANK OKAM
On the change on defense during the comeback against OSU: I think at the end of the game we definitely started tackling better. There werenít that many extra yards after contact, there were a lot in the first half. I think we just shored up on our techniques and our fundamentals and just tried to make more plays.
On playing Texas Tech: Weíre just going to have to get pressure. Knowing that they pass a whole lot more, it kind of helps you out knowing that theyíre a little bit more one-dimensional. That always helps when you know a teamís going to be pass first, run second.
On the Texas Tech offense: You have to respect that offense a lot. Itís a scheme similar to the Wishbone, you have to prepare for it a different way because you donít see it a lot. Usually the only way you can slow down those kinds of teams is if your fundamentals are right and you play sound football. If we donít, they can run up and down the field on us the whole game, but if we do, and we find ways to slow them down and we find out ways to take out the run and the screen game, I think weíve got a shot.
On Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree: Itís amazing the pace that heís on, especially being a freshman. Obviously that means heís a talented receiver, itís not just the system. You have to look at that as a personal challenge as a defense to try to see if you can do something to slow these guys down. Itís going to be an interesting week of practice to see how we prepare for them.
On Senior Day: It means a lot to me, this being my last official home game at Texas. You kind of just get in the mode of preparing each week, but now you really see itís your last one in your career. You see the guys you came in with, weíve all matured and grown together. Itís going to be a special day.
OT TONY HILLS
On losing Dallas Griffin: It hurts. Me and Dallas came into this season with high expectations for one another, as far as from a football standpoint. We worked out together a lot. Heís helped me with things. Iíve helped him with things. Just being there for one another in tough situations trying to get the offensive line where it needs to be so that weíre able to do the things we need to do on offense, finally seeing all that come together and then losing somebody, it hurts really bad. You feel sad for him because of all the work that heís put in and how well heís played. Itís going to be a big task trying to fill his shoes.
On what Coach Brown tells the team when down at halftime: Basically, he talks to about the situations that happened in the first half. They were playing very well, and we werenít playing as well as we could. He gives us the breakdown of the situations in the first half and then he tells us we weíre going to go out and get it fixed in the second.
On playing Texas Tech: You just have to keep pushing. Tech has a great offense, they can put points on you fast. Theyíre playing real well right now. You just have to make sure as a team that you help one another, offensively that weíre able to control the clock and time of possession, defensively that theyíre able to do what they need to do to get the offense off the field, and special teams to keep them pinned back in their territory. Itís going to be a total team effort to get this one done, but I think weíre capable of getting it done.
WR QUAN COSBY
On how the team can start like they finish: That is a good question. I think what we all are forgetting is how good the teams are that we are playing. We prepare all week, but itís not a lot of what we are seeing once we start the game so it is about adjustment at halftime. Itís about weathering the storm. That was a pretty big storm last week, but we ended up pulling it out. Our defense made some nice plays and stops and our offense started rolling. We made the adjustments we needed because they did different things than what we saw on film.
On the coachesí approach at halftime: They come in and have smiles on their faces, they tell us we have 30 minutes left and that type of thing and this is what we need to do. They mention the bad things, but it is very brief and we move on to the positive things and it helps a lot. If their heads are down then our heads are going to be down and that is never the case because they are always very positive and looking forward to what we can do and what we need to do to pull out a win.
On how tough it is to keep the faith after being outplayed for three quarters: Itís tough, but that is when your leaders come into play. Colt being our main offensive leader is out there being positive and definitely believing in us. Everyone out there was really encouraging and guys that normally donít say much step up and I think that is the difference. More than anything, just believing, the comebacks that have happened are something you donít necessarily coach or something you even talk about. Itís something that just comes out in your character. Fortunately, we have a team that whatever 11 guys are on the field they all have that same character and that has been the difference in coming out and making the big wins or the big comebacks.
On Deon Beasley: During game time he steps it up. Heís a gamer. Heís really been huge for us the last few weeks going out there and knocking some key balls down. He is really progressing in our defense and being a huge factor for our guys.
S DREW KELSON
On Texas Tech: This weekend is going to be exciting against Tech. They always have an exciting and explosive offense so it will be something that is going to be a challenge to prepare for. I guess the difference with Texas Tech is we kind of know what to expect. We know theyíre going to come out and want to get the ball in the air and that is definitely going to be a focus this week on taking care of that.
On how the role of the DB changes with an offense like Tech: They are definitely more involved. Guys who donít play as much have to play a little more and it is very important to make sure we donít have any mental errors and that everyone is in tune to whatís going on. That should always be the case, but you have a lot of guys that have to come in that donít play as much that have to make sure they really come in and prepare this week as if they play more on the other weeks as well.
On how they can fix missing tackles in one week: That is always a major deal. Coach Akina always lets us know that the reason why the teams get explosive plays is because of missed tackles or missed assignments. We definitely have to make sure this week that we get down on it because it could be 3rd-and-6 and if you donít make a strong physical tackle, he can get the first down. Tackling against a team like this is very important because you know theyíre going to complete passes, you know theyíre going to get some yards, but you canít allow the extra yards after contact.
On playing his last game at home: It is bittersweet. Every time I think about it, I smile at the same time. Time has gone by so fast playing here at Texas. I just remember North Texas my freshman year and itís gone by really fast. Itís our last practice for a game here at DKR. We only have so many practices left for this season, so every day youíre just making the most of it. Youíre just counting every second and every minute. Itís going to be exciting this week.
On playing at Texas: It has definitely been exciting and itís been everything I thought it would be and even more than that. I think about my years here and the storied programs here in the country, USC, Ohio State, Michigan Iíve had a chance to play against all those teams and not only play against them, but also beat them. Not everyone who comes to Texas has that happen in the four years they were here. Just to say Iíve experienced that is an exciting thing -- to have played and beaten some of the best teams historically in the country. I wouldnít change a thing. Itís been exciting.