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Meet The Press: Football Preps for TCU





 Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement...
"It's great to be back. Like I tell our coaches and our players, it's a blessing to be able to do what we do. It's fun to be back in this atmosphere, getting ready to put our trade on the stage. It's unbelievable to be able to coach football at any level, but especially at a great university like Baylor with the atmosphere we are going to have Friday night at Floyd Casey Stadium on national TV against a very good football opponent."

On opening the season on national TV...
"I think it's great for fans and national attention. I think - in all honesty - you would like to have a good gauge on your team before you jump into a well-lit fire, but that's not what we have. Like we have talked about, we have to be mid-season ready on the first snap of the ball and that's the way we have approached it since January. It's not like all of the sudden we noticed we have a good opponent in the first game; we have known it for a while, so we will be ready."

On playing on Friday night, opposite the high school football games...
"It doesn't matter how I feel, that's what we deal with. Network television tells us when we play and then they pay us accordingly. High school football plays on Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday nights, so it's not like the Friday night atmosphere is sacred to only high school football anymore. That's what TV and everything has changed, not just collegiately, but professionally and at the high school level. You can kick the TV on this Saturday and probably catch a nationally televised high school game. That's just the way it is this day in age."

On the TCU defense...
"They are really good on the defensive side of the football. I think they have led the nation the last three years (in total defense). They have some guys who are confident in what they are doing, know what they are doing and are well-coached, well-schooled and well-schemed. A lot of times when you believe in what you are doing, you do it pretty well. They believe in what they are doing and they do a good job. We were not very good schematically and we didn't perform very well as a football team offensively, defensively or in special teams (last year at TCU). We had a face, there was dirt there and we found our face in the dirt. We got our lips punched by a good football team, but last time I checked, we didn't roll over and die and we aren't going to. Ever. If we are breathing, we are fighting and we will be breathing Friday night at 7 p.m."

On Baylor's defense...
"As a whole, from the spring, what Coach (Phil) Bennett and the staff have been able to accomplish is pretty remarkable, I think. They do a great job of anticipating and adjusting, which is what football is all about. Then you have to have players in a position to make plays, which Phil (Bennett) and his staff are going to do. I am very excited and anxious to get on the football field together with our team and our staff and start this journey."

On the rivalry with TCU picking back up...
"I haven't studied the history of the Baylor/TCU rivalry to be honest with you. I know it existed back in the Southwest Conference days. I am a product of the Southwest Conference, so I am pretty familiar with the quality of teams that were playing back then and how everybody ranked within the conference for about a 15-, 20-year period that I was involved with it. Baylor/TCU specifically, the only history that I have would have started in the last year, and there seems to be some distant thoughts that have rekindled through the process."

On the development of Baylor's offensive line...
"They are really doing a great job and that is an area where we really have to be dominant. We can't just be good, we can't be better than average, we have to be great and we have to be dominant. Those guys have to be very passionate, very intelligent, very tough, very physical, very mean and very aggressive because we feel like we do have the ability to take the football and pound it. We feel like we have to be that football team and we can be that football team because of the people we have up front and because of the people we possess in the backfield. I can sit up here and say whatever I want to say, but they have to do it on the football field, and Friday will be a good chance to kind of see where they are at because they are going up against a very good defensive line of TCU and two exceptional linebackers."

On Terrance Ganaway starting at running back against TCU...
"We have known this for the last seven to 10 days. What I like about him is he is big, physical, fast and driven. He can bring something to the table that I can't bring. I can bring some mentality, but you have to have the physical nature to go with it. That is the part that I like about him. He is 240 pounds. Don't let the nice-boy look fool you. He has a mean, tough streak in him and he is doing a nice job of starting to bring that out."

On last season's TCU game...
"Last year we got fooled a little bit going into the game. We weren't really sure where we were as a football team. We had played Sam Houston State and Buffalo prior - both at home. Robert (Griffin III) was coming off an injury where he hadn't been active in 10 months on the football field. We had done a good job protecting him the first two ballgames, schematically and physically, as was planned. So, that was really our first chance to get on the field against a really good football team on the road in an atmosphere where we weren't like very well. I think (this year) the tables are different, the players are different and the faces are different both on the field and in the stands.

 Sophomore Linebacker Brody Trahan

On his transition from quarterback to linebacker...
"There's a lot of film study going on behind the scenes and just learning everything is pretty mentally taxing - a lot more mentally taxing than I thought it would be. I didn't realize how much went into defensive schemes and everything. Little things such as vocabulary and terms - it just took me a while to get used to, but I'm starting to get the hang of it."

On mentality going from quarterback to linebacker...
"I used to go to practices and watch [Robert Griffin III] and get mental reps. So now, it's a lot different. Going out and hitting every play, where I wasn't hitting much at all, unless we did a special teams series. It's definitely a lot different mentality. "

On the physicality of playing linebacker...
"It's something I'm getting used to. (On) the first day of spring, I'd get a headache here and there. But now it's kind of weird how you become accustomed to it and get used to it, so I'm really enjoying it."

 Senior Running Back Terrance Ganaway

On a rivalry between Baylor and TCU...
"I've got a two-game rivalry with TCU. So, that's about as far as I can look into it. I'm not going to look forward to next year. Right now I'm 0-1 against TCU, and I want to even things up."

On the change in appearance during last year's TCU game...
"I think we went in a little bit too overconfident (last season). TCU had a great offensive scheme and defensive unit. Now we know what we need to expect from TCU. Their linebackers are going to play good, the (defensive) ends and (defensive) line are going to play really aggressive. From an offensive standpoint, we really (have to) get after them. I'm not going to talk about the schematics of what we're planning on doing, but we have to get at them and get at them early and show them that we're going to play for 60 minutes."

 Senior Linebacker Elliot Coffey

On being one of the older guys on defense...
"When I got here, there were about 10 guys that were in the same room as me in my first camp. I'm definitely the old head on the defense. It's a good feeling just to know that I did the right thing to stick around for as long as I have and have another crack at it."

On his new position and the new defense...
"I think Coach (Phil) Bennett doesn't allow us not to learn the defense. There are guys who are slower to adapt to it, but at the same time, everyone's getting it down and everyone's figuring it out at a pretty great rate."

On memories of TCU and how it motivated them...
"I try to focus on it as two different teams because, last year, it hurt. We got beat bad down in their house, but this year they're coming to ours. We're excited to have the chance to go back and play them again and show them what we've got."

On this game being a great opportunity...
"First game of the season, Friday night, just like back in the golden days in high school. (It'll be) on ESPN in front of the entire nation, so to go out and show how hard we've been working, I just feel like it's a great opportunity."

 Junior Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On whether team has work done heading into season opener...
"Definitely. If we needed motivation to get ready in the off-season knowing the first game that we had, we definitely had that motivation. The guys worked to get prepared for that, to get bigger, faster and stronger and just improved themselves physically, so that once we step into the season, we'll be ready to go."

On motivation for TCU game...
"To me, it's not a thing about revenge or holding a grudge, but they definitely got into us last year. We didn't play like we wanted to play, and they did things that were part of the reason for that. We are a more prepared team offensively and defensively this year, so we're looking forward to going out and executing it."

On how he's improved going into this season...
"Just realizing what it takes to be a great quarterback and like I've been telling Coach (Art) Briles: `if I'm calm we're on.' So, I've just got to make sure I stay calm, so the guys around me can stay calm, and just let them know that no matter what happens we're still a team. We go through everything together, just like we got through that TCU game last year together, and it made us a better team the rest of the year. We're looking forward to continuing to grow as a team and win some games."


 

 

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