Player press conference quotes: Nov. 24
Nov. 24, 2008
DE Henry Melton
On losing to the Aggies the past two years: It hurts to hear it, so we've started off practice this week by tackling and hitting. Last week, we had our most physical week of practice to prepare for Kansas and we came out and that's how we played. That's how we've been practicing this week, and hopefully, that's how we're going to play.
On the last home game of his career: I mean, I haven't really thought about it yet because it has gone by so quickly. I remember being a little freshman out there running around playing running back. I haven't thought about it yet, but I'm probably going to cry or something.
On Jerrod Johnson: He looks good. I watched a few film clips on him and he looks like he's going to be great. You also have Stephen [McGee] out there, and he's put on a show for us in the past couple of years. I wouldn't be surprised to see him out there.
OG Cedric Dockery
On the last two years against A&M: In order to achieve our goals, we need to beat A&M. The loss last year was really upsetting and I think we've learned from it and moved on. I think it will help motivate us this year.
On what he remembers about his brother's senior game: I don't really remember what my brother did, but I'll be happy running down the tunnel. I'll be emotional, just like I am for every game. I'll be emotional and ready to play. I just want to go out there and get after it.
On if he thinks they need to win in a big way to impress the voters: I'm trying to not really get into all of the BCS stuff. You know what, we have to win our game on Thursday in order for us to be where we want to be. If we take care of business this Thursday, everything else will handle itself.
On why he chose to come to Texas: I knew that there was a good family atmosphere here at The University of Texas. I also knew that Coach Brown cares about his players. He may get mad at you at some points, but he still cares about you. He has always let that be known. If you take care of your business and do what you're supposed to do, he'll do anything to help you. He just wants to see us do well and play well, and he tells us that all of the time. He doesn't want to just see us do well now, but he also wants us to do well in the future. Things like that make you understand why you want to go somewhere. Coach Brown has been like another father to me, in a sense, because he's my head coach. I've spent more time around him in the past five years than I have around my own parents. That's why I can call him that. I think those are some of the reasons why I came here. I knew Coach McWhorter was a good coach. He had a real good work ethic and he tries to instill that in us in every game and every practice. He just wants us to play hard. He says that if we play hard, that it will make up for all of our mistakes.
OT Adam Ulatoski
On the Texas A&M team: I think they have a lot of talent. I think they are better and have a lot more talent than what their record shows. We're going to have to go out there and play hard on Thursday.
On the amount of distractions going on this week: Yeah, there are a lot of things going on, but there's only one thing we really need to focus on and that's the game on Thursday. None of the other stuff really matters if we don't beat the Aggies.
On if he thinks the team needs "style points" this week: That's for other people to worry about, not me. I don't think about that. All I think about is what I can do and that's to just focus on A&M.
QB Colt McCoy
On the game this Thursday: It's a Big 12 South game and it's a rivalry game. So when you put those two together, you want to win. We have them at home, there's going to be a large crowd and it's going to be exciting. We're fired up.
On how this is the big game for A&M: We understand that. We're going to have to match their intensity and their energy, because this is their bowl game. We know they are going to be fired up and ready to play, but so are we. We just have to prepare for that and be ready to go on Thursday night.
On his take on the BCS standings: We're in a good position, but we know everything is controlled by what we do on Thursday night. We want to go out there, play the best we can and win. We'll let the other things work themselves out.
On the many scenarios Texas could end up in: There are all different kinds of scenarios. You walk around campus, you go home and people are calling you from back home talking about what needs to happen and what needs to go on and if we're going to be there in Miami or not. I reply back with the same text message, "We've got to beat A&M. That's it." Honestly, this team is focused and our coaches are focused, and that's my focus. We have to play well on Thursday night and then let everything else work out.
On the senior class: This is a big game because it's the last home game for our seniors. This senior class has done a great job since the Holiday Bowl and since the guys decided to come back. They've done a great job with the younger guys and bringing them up. The way this team prepares and practices and the way we're hanging with each other, doing a lot of different things together all the time, makes our camaraderie really special. It means a lot for the underclassmen to go out and play well for the seniors on Thursday night.
On the rivalry game: Both teams have great athletes and you never know in college football what is going to happen. So, we have to be prepared to play the best that we can, because we know we're going to get their best. Not to say that we haven't known that the last two years, but at this point, we know what's at stake for us and we know they are going to play lights out. We have to match that. We're excited about it. We had one of our best practices all year, I think, yesterday. We were on point and we didn't drop any balls. That just shows you that if you practice to be great, you'll have a chance to play great on Thursday night.
On being one of the Heisman front runners: Honestly, what a blessing it is to be able to play here for three years and to have a season like we've had so far. We just have to finish. The awards and the things that come after that will truly be for the team and that's honestly how I feel about it. The most important thing for me is to win. I know that if we win, then I'll be in a position for some awards and things like that, but we have to take care of business.
On if he thought the team would have this kind of season: I did. The way that we prepared and the amount of work that has been put in makes me think that. I think this team has prepared for a season like this. At this point, we just have to finish. That's kind of the word you hear when you're walking around the locker room. The talk is, "hey man, let's get it done." That's what it has been like.
LB Rashad Bobino
On handling all the BCS scenarios: As far as the young guys go, all I do is tell them, you can only control what you can control. If you play your part, everything else will fall in place, so all we have to do is do our job.
On the importance of "style points" and margin of victory: That's the game we play, that's how the system is. Style points are playing a big role now and all we can do is hope that we go out there and play a great game. That's all we can do is play great within ourselves. Rivalry games are emotional games. It doesn't matter how ahead you are, what your rank is, it really matters who has the most emotion or who is the best team that day. Hopefully, we can put a great, 60-minute game together, and have a great outcome.
On the Texas A&M quarterbacks, Jerrod Johnson and Stephen McGee: McGee has beaten us twice and Johnson is the new kid that has taken over. They're really good with their feet. They have really good outside weapons. [Michael] Goodson, he's the one that's been having the explosive games and is really a great weapon for them. Having him and also having a dual threat quarterback is going to be kind of tough. A&M is going to come here ready to play and give us the best game they've had this year. You can toss out every film, every game that they've had because they're going to be a totally new team when they walk in here on Thanksgiving Day.
On the pressure of winning convincingly: It doesn't matter what happens with the BCS scenarios, because if either one of us doesn't take care of business on Thursday, you can throw that out the window. This is the biggest game by far for us.
CB Ryan Palmer
On the BCS: If we lose to A&M we're going to the Cotton Bowl, so we've got to get ready to play A&M. That's the main thing, we aren't trying to go to Dallas, we're trying to go to the BCS, so if we take care of our business and beat A&M, our cards will hopefully fall where we want them to fall.
On last year's loss to Texas A&M: It was painful because the way we played just wasn't the way we play. We had no emotion. To this day people ask me what happened. We were just emotionless. We weren't fired up about the game. At Texas, Texas A&M is going to play us hard always because it's a rivalry game, no matter what their record says they're always going to play us hard. We just have to be ready. I think this team is going to come out there with the intensity that we've been playing with all year. I think we're going to play well.
On the long-term effects of the loss to Texas A&M: When we lost, we went back to old-school 6 a.m. workouts in bowl practices and we were hitting every day. I think it just set the tone because we played well in the bowl game and we came back in spring and we were doing the same thing. We still had 6 a.m. workouts. I think it set the tone for spring, summer workouts and two-a-days. A lot of the things we were doing in the season we were doing in two-a-days and spring, so I think it worked out well for us.
On Texas A&M: The receivers, they're big like just like all the receivers in the Big 12. They've got a big, physical quarterback and I wouldn't be surprised if Stephen (McGee) doesn't play because he has played well against us. We're getting ready for everything, (Jerrod) Johnson, Stephen (McGee) and all of them. They haven't been playing well, but they're still A&M and it's still a rivalry game. They're still going to play hard so we've just got to be ready to play hard too.
DE Brian Orakpo
On if he was surprised by the losses to Texas A&M: I wasn't surprised because we knew how good A&M was. Their record doesn't show how well these guys play. When they play us, their emotion, their drive, their enthusiasm, it comes out and that's something that we have to match and try to carry it throughout the game. These guys started fast, and that's all she wrote. You can't start slow and then try to play catch-up against a team like that, no matter what their record is.
On his excitement for the game: For me, personally I feel it's something we have to fix. These guys are the only team the senior class has a losing record against in the Big 12 South. We're 1-2 against these guys. You've got to try to get it to even. I have a picture on my locker with the last play on defense when (Texas A&M RB Mike) Goodson shook me for a first down and the game was over. That's all the motivation I need.
On the BCS: I have no control over it. I don't really care about it. We've got A&M and that's the only thing that's important.
On what Coach Brown told the team about the BCS: He told us that in the BCS, the polls that only really matter are who's going and who's not, as we were very fortunate to be No. 2. We've just got to keep working, that's the main thing he told us. Keep working; don't take A&M for granted. We're in a good situation so just keep working and doing what you're doing.
DT Lamarr Houston
On if the team is concerned with style points: We're not worried about that. Coach Brown is handling it with class and we do things with class. We're not here to try to impress everybody.
On the Texas A&M game: It's a huge game. The last couple years there's been too much talk about everything else besides the A&M game. This game should always be the game that matters for us, both ways, for pride and for the rest of our season. We're preparing for this game. We've had two weeks and everybody's been focused.
RB Chris Ogbonnaya
On his attitude towards the team's BCS situation: Beat A&M, period. That's how I approach it. If we're not focused, if we don't take care of business on Thursday, then it doesn't really matter. We need to just take care of business and do what we can do, to play to the best of our abilities and execute the game plan that we get.
On if he is concerned about gaining style points: I think that we just need to win, all that other stuff will take care of itself. We can't control what (the media) thinks if it's not impressive enough. We just need to play our game and have more points than (Texas A&M) at the end of the day.
On playing his last game at Texas and saying goodbye to Coach Brown: It'll definitely be tough. I think that we have a very interesting relationship. He's a great coach. It's just time to grow up, time to get ready to get into the real world. Coach Brown has done this 11 times here at Texas. It's probably hard for him every time, I just have to do it one time.
On if he looks at this as a revenge game: I don't really look at it as revenge, I just look at it as we didn't play well the last two years. We didn't execute as well as we should have. This is an opportunity for us to correct that and put ourselves in a position that we are content with. We might not get to the big game, we might not get to the Big 12 Championship but all we're focused on is beating A&M because if we don't do that, it doesn't really matter. I'm not a vengeful person. I'm more interested in just winning.
WR Quan Cosby
On how he wants to be remembered: I want to be remembered as a hard worker more than anything. As athlete the most respect you get is the work you put in to it.
On if he ever second-guessed his decision: I think through prayer I chose this decision. God answered my prayer because my first year I won a national championship and actually was fortunate to start in it. This place is unreal and the treatment you get it, the opportunities you get, the education you get and everything about it is a blessing.
On Texas A&M: They beat us the last couple of years. Even one of goals is to win a state championship. We messed that up a little bit, but we have a chance play well against a really good rival. At home playing A&M, you can't write a script any better than that ending your career at a place. We are preparing well at practice and we just hope that this year we are the better team that night.
On being number two in the BCS standings at the same time as the 2005 team was:
WR Jordan Shipley