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Meet The Press: Football Hosts Rice





 Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement...
"Today is a good day. Especially where I grew up, being a dry-field cotton farmer. When it rains and you get a football win, the music sounds better, food tastes better and money spends easier. From where we've been, we're very thankful for the rain we got last night and then thankful for the victory Saturday night. In the football world and in the coaches' world, wins are what counts. In a farmer's world, rain at the proper times is what counts."

On what concerns him about playing Rice...
"I have a lot of respect for them. First of all, I know David [Bailiff] really well. He's an outstanding coach; he's got a great résumé coaching throughout the years. He's done a great job there at Rice. [Rice] had a couple of big wins, went to the wildcat formation a little bit, and had to play two tough games this year, playing at Texas and Purdue at home. They're just a very intelligent, scrappy football team that knows what it's doing on both sides of the ball and they're sound in the kicking game. They're a tough team to beat. They always have been, and they always will be. The thing you know about when you play Rice is you know what you're going to get from the other side of the ball. You'll get great maximum effort, with a lot of intelligence involved. I have a lot of respect for them. Since 2003, I've coached against them seven times. I'm pretty familiar with them, the players that they get and how they play."

On the play of the offensive line...
"Quite honestly, a game like the other night is a tough game to get mostly excited about. No disrespect to Stephen F. Austin, but it's just the nature of the world. In those games, you have to win up front because you can find guys that can run, that can jump and that can catch, but you can't find big guys that can play. That has to be the difference in those football games, and that's why we start recruiting every year with the [offensive line], [defensive line] and just a couple of specific skill positions. We have to be strong and physical up front. Our depth in our offensive line is finally Big 12-caliber. We're really solid across the board, whereas three years ago, we weren't. Not even close. We've really done a good job stockpiling that. Defensively, [the defensive line] - we're probably a year away from feeling really solid as far as the depth issue there. We're better, but we're still a little bit thin in the interior part. The ends are in good shape, but the interior is going to improve."

On decision to play Bryce Petty and possibly redshirt Nick Florence...
"That's always a tough deal. We knew we were fighting the clock. I actually saw Ian [McCaw] at halftime, and we had to make a decision about how much time we put [on the clock in the] third and fourth quarters, because you have to play three quarters for it to count in the NCAA. You're kind of walking that line of: do you take a chance with that storm coming in? Because we wanted to play our young guys. They deserve to play. It helps them rally the team, and it helps them get better and gives them opportunities to get on the field. So, that was a concern. We certainly would have liked to play them a whole lot more, and that was an opportunity to play them a bunch. From that standpoint, that was kind of a downer. The deal with Bryce [Petty] and Nick [Florence] - and it's kind of been our thought process since the first day of camp - if we can redshirt Nick, we think for the program down the line, we think for him, that that's the best thing to do. He agrees with that, which is Nick all the way. Nick is a great team person, a great leader and he's a very intelligent person. He's a good guy for us to have in the meeting room and the sidelines. The longer we can keep him around, the better we'll be as a program. We've just got to see what Bryce can do."

On the young guys that did get to play vs. Stephen F. Austin...
"They didn't really get many plays. The funny thing about a game - once it's over, all your focus immediately switches toward the next one. I can't really think of anybody that really just jumped out at you. I thought Glasco [Martin], when he got in, ran really well. He did a good job. Defensively, of course Rodney Chadwick came in and made some good plays while he was in the game. That might be a couple of guys that showed up a little bit. Demetri Goodson did a good job on special teams, which we were kind of anxious to see. He showed his athletic ability, and we think he's going to be able to help us."

On the defense...
"I think it took us a little while to get game-ready because we had 15 days off between games. I think it took us a couple of series, both sides of the ball. When you play somebody, they're going to come in very excited, going to come in pretty polished. SFA was coming off a game that they really should have won against [Northern Iowa]. We knew they'd come in with a little bit of confidence. Our decision for deferring was to put them in the hole, make them punt and get the ball to go midfield. It didn't work out that way. On both sides of the ball, it took a while to be at the level we need to be at."

On Nicolas Jean-Baptiste's play and development as a player...
"The thing I love about Baptiste is that he's a pure person. He's just a good guy. The thing you worry about, and the thing I talked to Baptiste about when I put him on scholarship a couple years ago, is they think they've arrived. They've done something. They've accomplished a goal. That's not the case. That's not what I want. That's not what he wants. If he just wants to say, `I'm on scholarship'... that's not good. That's not what we want. We want hugging and kissing because he got five sacks and recovered a fumble. Because he contributed to us winning the football game. He's a good football player. He's just got to burn hot all the time he's on the football field, and he's really helped himself develop into a good player. He's had a good path, and he's developed into a really good player that can still get better."

On Kendall Wright's receiving record...
"I'm proud of the way that he's developed and his achieving it. I'm glad that's past him because now he just needs to continue to grow as a player. We've watched him go from 18 to 22. We've watched him develop as a man. That, to me, is the fun part of coaching. When you see guys learn responsibility, learn accountability, learn direction, become...an inspiration to other people. That's something I get a kick out of. Kendall is a guy that plays with an extreme amount of passion, and is a fierce competitor. That's why he's a great football player."

On his confidence of the depth at running back...
"They all are going to feed off of each other. They're all different and bring different things to the table, but they all have to produce and be productive when they're on the field, and that's the main thing. I thought Terrance [Ganaway] would have played better than he did the other night. He needs to play with a little more passion; I need to coach with a little more passion, so we all might not have been where we needed to be the other night. We will be this Saturday. All those guys are good football players, and I have confidence in all of them."

 Senior RB Terrance Ganaway

On his lack of passion during the game against SFA...
"It was pretty easy to get up for our first test, TCU, and you always try to find ways to get motivated and I need to reevaluate what that is because I know these next couple games are going to be difficult if we come out as flat as we did, or if I come out as flat as I did. But the main thing is just to keep practicing hard. I thought I had a good week of practice; it's just that the level of intensity that I played with, or lack thereof, was not good on my part at all. When we watched film yesterday, I really could see a lot of things that I didn't do. The stats are misleading because it definitely wasn't a good day at the office."

On the running game...
"Those guys are great, great athletes. They have great practices; they know their stuff, so when the ball's in their hand, they don't have any choice but to produce. It doesn't matter who we're playing, as long as those guys are playing they're going to be ok. So I wasn't surprised; I didn't think that they did anything beyond what they're capable of doing."

 Junior OL Cameron Kaufhold

On the team as a whole...
"As a unit, I mean you can see the numbers we're putting up. It's pretty good. We're clicking. As we've said all along, we're comfortable with each other, it's almost like we know what each other's thinking and it's starting to show up on the field. I feel like we haven't missed a stride from last year. We could say as much as we wanted in the off-season about how well we were going to play together, but until it showed up on the field, it's just going out there and doing what we knew we could do. It's just going stride-for-stride with what we thought we could do."

On the running game...
"We're not going to be firing on all cylinders this early in the season, but we're hoping that we progressively get better in each game. And it's all fitting into place right now and we're just happy with how we're performing."

On the weather delay and the game ending early...
"You could see the lightning looming in the background, so we knew that was coming. We were just trying to get a big enough lead that we could sit comfortably in the locker room and not have to worry about the rest of the game and how that played out. It was weird. I've never been a part of a game set up like that. And then we ended up playing 12-minute quarters which was different. But all-in-all, it worked out well."

On playing Rice and having the chance to sweep the non-conference schedule...
"Yeah I've heard it's been awhile since we've done that. I've seen Rice play a couple games and know some people on the team and they're a good team. We're going into it preparing in that matter. And we're not looking past them; we're looking at them. We watched a little game film on them and they're a good team and a good opponent and we're looking forward to it."

 Senior NT Nicolas Jean-Baptiste

On playing with the weather delay and the game ending early...
"The weather delay wasn't a big deal since it was so close to halftime. But the 12-minute quarter, it just felt weird. I didn't even know the game was called until I saw the ref and I was like `I guess the game's over with, so we can go home now.'"

On the overall play of the defense...
"We're playing pretty well; we're making strides. Especially this game, we finally got back there, got two sacks so we basically broke the seal. Now we're trying to do a lot better, trying to challenge ourselves."

 Senior IR Kendall Wright

On being the all-time receiver in every category for Baylor...
"It's good. Coach (Briles) wanted me to get it that game so we can just forget about. So we did what we had to do to get it and move on to the next week, and just get ready for the next game and what we have for the rest of the season."

On what these career records mean to him...
"I didn't know about any of it until last week, how many yards, or whatever, I needed. But it means a lot. I couldn't have done it without my teammates and working hard every day."

On the overall efforts of the offense...
"I feel like we're playing good. When we come out starting fast on offense, we know good things are going to happen. So we've just got to keep the intensity up every game. It starts at practice so we've got to start at practice first."

On playing Rice and having the opportunity to sweep the non-conference schedule...
"That would be great. Rice is a pretty good team. We've just got to go out there and play like we've been playing every week that we've played. And just keep working hard. That's where it starts, working hard at practice."

 Junior S Mike Hicks

On playing against the Baylor offense in practice...
"To tell you the truth, I think we have one of the best receiving corps in the nation. It helps us out tremendously. If we go up against them, then I feel like we can hang with anybody."

On playing as a secondary safety...
"Anytime there's an injury to the team or to a position, you're always trying to overcome the adversity. But to tell you the truth, we'll always miss the guys until they come back or are healed, but you can't really think about that. You just got to come out and practice like you want to win."

On taking pride in being one of the hardest hitters...
"If that's what you call it. I don't know, I'm just doing my job. Like I said, the linebackers fit, I fit off the linebackers, and the linebackers fit off the defensive line. It just kind of works that way. If you hit them right, it feels good, but there's always that one time that you come up and your head's spinning."


 

 

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