Arizona State -- Holiday Bowl game quotes
HEAD COACH MACK BROWN
The game was what we thought it would be. It was very high scoring and it was very competitive. We knew we had to be aggressive throughout the game because we knew Arizona State would come back and score like they did. They've done it every week, and Dennis (Erickson) is a great coach and they've got a tremendous amount of pride. Anytime you get to play conference champions on national TV like we did tonight, it's fun.
I'm proud of the seniors because they've won four straight bowl games and that has never happened at The University of Texas in four straight years. I'm proud that they've won 10 games each of their years. They'll be leaving with a Big 12 Conference Championship and a National Championship, and most people don't get to experience four bowl games in their career much less the opportunities they've taken and turned into positives throughout their careers.
I felt like we really did a great job forcing turnovers tonight. We forced four and had a chance for about three or four others. That's something that we hadn't done as well throughout the year as we wanted to and we felt like that was probably the difference in the ballgame. We also protected the ball better. Even the one we fumbled in the end zone we had such effort and hustle that the guys got downfield and recovered it. So it felt like all of those were a positive. The penalty on my stepson Chris. I was standing there and I didn't think he touched it, but it just shows you how bad our family wanted to win the game he even got involved.
On pulling out all the stops: These kids have worked as hard as any team in the country over the last two months, and the coaches too. We knew how important this game was because we didn't finish like we wanted to. And if you go back, we had a chance to win against OU and didn't, and we had a chance to win against A&M and didn't. So we had our opportunities to win and we were disappointed with the nine wins. We weren't disappointed that we came here because that's where we deserved to be, and we were lucky to have a great opponent to challenge us. These guys wanted to win, and we felt like we should be aggressive enough to at least reward them for the attitude and the effort they put in over the last two months. We wanted to be aggressive throughout the game. The guys played well and the coaches made the good calls because the guys allowed them to. Jamaal (Charles) ran great, Colt (McCoy) played great and that means the offensive line did really well upfront.
On the defense: Well the defense played really, really well. We probably relaxed a little bit at the end, and I'm not sure what that is. You have to give Arizona State some credit. The guys did finish with an interception, and we had to have an onside kick in the game to make it part of this season.
On the team's determination: This week wasn't any different. They've been determined just about every game. Sometimes you just don't win, and we all get on them really, really hard when they don't win at Texas because they've set a really high standard and it's hard to live up to that standard. From the day we started practice with these guys, during finals, we've practiced at 6:00 every morning or had them up at 5:30 every morning for the 13 or 14 practices. Nobody has been late to a meeting, nobody has been late to practice and the guys were really physical and they hit hard. We didn't play great tonight, but we played determined, and that's what I'm so proud of for them. It finishes the seniors out with a great run and it also gives us a tremendous amount of momentum for the spring.
On the players enjoying their time in San Diego: They are enjoying their time, but they're a little worn out. They've worked really hard, and they've had their fun, but their fun has been clean fun around their teammates. And one of the disappointing things for tonight is that this is the last time that this group will ever be together, and that's a very difficult thing for young people that fight so hard together over a number of years to be successful.
On the key to starting strong: The guys played great. I thought they came in with a great attitude.
DT DEREK LOKEY
On the atmosphere after the game: I think it was a great atmosphere. Everybody was dancing around singing and Coach Brown gave an excellent post-game speech, and I was just excited to go out on a good note, to win our final game and to be one of the only senior classes I know to win four bowl games. I couldn't be more pleased. There was a great atmosphere in the locker room, and it's a memory that I'll take with me for a long time.
On shutting down Arizona State's run game: Like I said, I think it started with the calls. We were moving around, slanting and causing them to miss blocks. The defensive line played really strong and really tough tonight. I don't think many running backs slipped back to the secondary. So I give credit to Coach Akina, and then we went out there and played physical. We watched some film as a defensive line a day or two ago and we noticed how physical Arizona State's offensive line, so we really got motivated for a tough, physical game. And we were able to go out there and execute for the most part, so that's pretty much why we were able to stop the running game and make them one-dimensional.
S MARCUS GRIFFIN
On his two interceptions: I was pretty amazed myself, especially after the last one, I sat on the field for a few seconds. But I've got to give credit to the defensive line because like I said they made our job a lot easier tonight, and I had a great time playing out their with them. They were tipped balls, so I've got to give credit to Erick (Jackson) on the first (interception) and Brandon (Foster) on the second one.
On looking back on everything he has accomplished in his four years at Texas: I think that's something that's really going to hit me a few years down the road. You try when you're involved in it to take the time and appreciate things, but you know there is such a rush. I think it will take four or five years at least for me to realize that we won a National Championship, we played with Vince Young, who is probably one of the greatest college football players to ever play, and then our senior year things got off to a rocky start but we came back to win the bowl game. We won four bowl games in a row, and that's all going to take some time to set in. It's been a great career and a great time, but I don't think it's sunk in yet.
QB COLT McCOY
On how the last month prepared them for tonight: It contributed a lot to tonight. As a team we went back and evaluated ourselves and evaluated why we weren't doing the things that we should to win. And those things are important, but it's all about us. Tonight was about us not about Arizona State. It was about us coming together, playing as a team and playing to our potential, and we feel like we did that.