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Football Meet The Press: Texas Tech




Oct. 4, 2010


Weekly Press Conference  

Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement...
"It was fun (last Saturday) for the players, our fans, Baylor University and it was a much needed victory. Any time you can get a Big 12 win it's a big thing. We will certainly never lose sight of that because you're beating a quality opponent that has a lot of resources and is in a major conference. We were grateful for the win on Saturday. "

On playing against his Alma Mater...
"Quite honestly I'm keeping the personal issues out of it. What we have to do is just keep getting better. We're trying to focus on the small picture, which to us is taking care of this week. Going up and playing game number six and playing against another Big 12 opponent and becoming a better football team. I think, right now, we are playing at a pretty good level. The critical thing is to maintain that level and improve on it. That's what we're looking for out of our players and coaches. I do think we're bringing a little energy and passion into the game which lends itself to high production"

On playing in the Cotton Bowl...
"It means a lot to me. When I think of the Cotton Bowl I think of the Southwest Conference championships. That's the first thing that comes to my mind. Now it's just a great bowl game. It's a great venue to play in being at the State Fair and in Dallas. It's going to be a really good atmosphere for our football team and our fans."

On the importance of creating turnovers...
"It's certainly a major factor. Like we've said all along, field position, turnovers and momentum win football games. If we can keep that margin in our favor, then we will have a lot of smiling faces because that helps a bunch and makes a big difference. It made a big difference in the game (last Saturday.) They had two turnovers early that really determined the outcome of the game."

On the current offense compared to the offense at Texas Tech...
"We are a lot different than what Texas Tech was when I was there as an assistant. They were a pass-first offense without a doubt. We don't view ourselves that way. We like to think we're pretty balanced. That was just the philosophy that they certainly had then and really hasn't changed at all right now."

On the Texas Tech offense compared to previous seasons...
"Up to this point it's very similar. They have some no-back sets which Coach (Mike) Leach did not do. That's really about the only difference that I see. They are still fast-paced throwing the ball and doing a really good job offensively. We don't see a whole lot of difference schematically."

On getting an opportunity to play a competitive four quarters...
"The funny thing about coaching is that there is no safety involved anywhere throughout the football game. I think a pretty good example might be Iowa State being up 24-0 (last Saturday night) against Texas Tech and it was 24-24 early in the third quarter. When we're in the course of the game, we're thinking about what gives us the best chance to win this football game. That's really the only way we're looking at it. Or to try to come back and win it, as we've been in that situation. We're going to play hard every snap and what's going to determine how we play is what the scoreboard says with the time on the clock."

On the play of Texas Tech Senior WR Lyle Leong...
"He's been very productive for a long time. He and (Taylor) Potts grew up together. They were childhood friends and played at Abilene High together. They have a connection there that has certainly carried over through the collegiate careers. He's a good, precision route runner with really nice hands and Potts puts the ball on him. They're a good tandem."

On the performance of Sophomore QB Robert Griffin III...
"He's played really well. Of course it takes a lot of people to make one person play well. We did not have a sack (on Saturday) so we had really good protection up front. We caught the ball well and then Robert was able to break a few runs that opened up some other things. It was very much a unified effort offensively. When you take in the defense got at opportune times it allowed us to get a little momentum and keep it. It all lends itself to having some production on that side of the ball. He's playing at a high level that gives us a great opportunity to be successful."

On the performance of Sophomore WR Josh Gordon...
"He's just a very talented young man. He's really taken to practice habits and understanding what it takes to play at a high level. I think that's carrying onto to field on Saturdays. He's always been gifted athletically and now he's starting to put it to use mentally."

On competing with Texas Tech...
"We certainly would like to think that we're going to be competitive and have an opportunity to win the game every time we step on the field. It's not our goal to step on the field and be competitive. What's happened the last couple of years really has no bearing on what's going to happen this Saturday. It's a new day, new year, and new teams."

On winning providing confidence...
"It helps. That's what you've got to use. If you have confidence, then it helps with your production. We have to make sure that we use what we have going for us right now. We have a team that feels pretty confident about what they are doing on the football field. We have to understand that the reason they've been able to do that is the high level of practice and play on Saturday."


Sophomore CB Chance Casey

On the confidence of the team after such a record-breaking win...
"The confidence level is pretty high, but we're looking at it like we are 1-0 right now. We're not worried about last week and we're not focusing on next week. We're just focusing on this week against Texas Tech right now."

On the success of the defense against Kansas...
"Coach has always told us in practice that if we win the takeaway battle, we win the game so that's what we were trying to do. I think we had four turnovers, so that contributed a lot to the win."

On having to play a lot due to injuries...
"It's not tough; you just have to look at it like you're not coming out of the game so you better be in shape and you'll get a lot of reps and a lot of opportunities to make plays."


Freshman PK Aaron Jones

On the secret to being a good kicker...
"I feel like for me, at least, it's not only kicking but what you do leading up to the kick. The way you line up, the things you do before you line up and making sure everyone is in the same place when you line up. I just keep my head clear and take a deep breath before and then I'm ready to go."

On the possibility of an opportunity to have a game-winning kick...
"It wouldn't surprise me and I hope that eventually I get that opportunity because I'd like to be that guy; I'd like to be the hero and win (the game) for my team."

On the excitement of playing at the Cotton Bowl...
"I am excited to get to play there. It's a historic stadium; the Cowboys played there and it's a cool thing for me to play there being a huge Cowboys fan myself. It's also nice to be playing close to my hometown."


Junior LB Elliot Coffey

On the importance of turnovers...
"Turnovers are huge. Coach (Briles) has a saying: `Two turnovers, you're in. Four turnovers you win.' So we want to make sure that everything we're doing is geared towards big hits and turnovers."

On the defense energizing the offense...
"It's huge. Not only do turnovers give the offense good field position, but the momentum shifts so when you get those turnovers and put the team in a position to score, everyone can feel it."

On the confidence of the team with a 4-1 record...
"We know how hard we've been working and to see the numbers reflect that with a 4-1 record is great. The record feels good, especially going into Big 12 play like we are. We knocked out the first win in the conference and now we're ready to go."


Senior RB Jay Finley

On how to keep the momentum going...
"We just have to keep on playing with the effort we play with and keep on being consistent. We have to focus on that every day."

On the confidence of this year's team as opposed to other years...
"The confidence is different. Earlier teams were just building. This year, with the way things are going, we are very confident and believe that we can do anything we put our minds to."

On Texas Tech...
"We know they're coming to win also. Last year is last year. We have different players and they have different players so we've got to just show up to play."


 

 

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