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Meet The Press: Football Battles Rival A&M

 Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement...
"Good win the other night. I thought we showed a lot of resilience and toughness from our football team, without a doubt. Now, we move on. We play [Texas] A&M this Saturday at A&M."

On the challenges the Texas A&M offense presents...
"They just didn't get good now. They've really kind of evolved over the last two or three years. Much improved from 2008-09, 2009-10 and then just 2010-11. They've just continued to get better and better. They started out good, so now they're very potent on the offensive side of the ball. Great schemes and really good people around those schemes, which makes them dangerous from a defensive standpoint, without a doubt. And the trigger-man is doing a good job. [Ryan] Tannehill is a great fit for what they're doing."

On the improvement and impact of CB Chance Casey...
"Just like me as a coach, Chance [Casey], as a player, has room for improvement. When a mistake is made out there, it's very glaring. The thing about being out there is that you need to have a lot of self-confidence, you have to have a lot of awareness and you have to have a short memory. Chance has all those qualities. The thing I like about him as a player is he was a high school running back, which [means] he's a tough kid. He's a track guy that really does a great job for us in track and field. [He was] also one of the best hurdlers in the state in high school. He's just kind of a grinder. He just kind of does what he's supposed to do, and doesn't really involve any drama along with it. I like his personality for that position."

On the Texas A&M running game with running backs Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray...
"[Don't forget] [Ryan] Tannehill, because he can run, too. Once again, it wasn't just like they got good this year. They've been good through their high school career. They've been good through their collegiate career. They've been threats every time they've stepped on the football field. [They're] extremely fast, good moves, good vision, and good balance. That's why they're a potent running attack. Those guys are almost mirror images of each other. When you add Tannehill to the mix, then it really makes you play assignment football on defense."

On the play of offensive line...
"The offensive line played well. The thing about o-linemen is that they love to run the football. When you get in a groove like that, it really inspires them and they kind of feed off each other. Terrance [Ganaway] did a nice job of breaking some tackles and making positive yards once he got an open field. Then Robert [Griffin III] did a good job running. We have a quarterback who rushed over 100 yards. That's a big deal. From that outlook, it was very productive. That was something we needed to do because prior to them, we've been basically a throwing football team. We'll see how everyone plays us from here on out."

On the play of DE Tevin Elliott...
"I've been a Tevin Elliott fan since the day we signed him. I always thought he was just different. He's a guy when he's on the field, he just makes things happen. That's what you look for in a football player. What happened [against Iowa State] wasn't surprising. When he's on the field, something's going to happen. Most times, it's good for us. It's not like he's evolved into this. He's just getting better and better. Thankfully he's got another couple more years after this year."

On looking back at the 2010 Texas A&M game...
"I don't think we ever had them beat. You don't ever have anybody beat until the game is over. I think we're in good position to have a chance to win the game. We had a 16-play drive, no points. We had an 11-play drive, no points. You can't do that and expect to win a football game. We played well enough to give ourselves a chance to win. We played a good football team. When you play a good football team, you better take advantages of opportunities you have when you got them. Because it's not like they're going to just lie down on the other side of the ball.

"They're going keep fighting, keep fighting, keep playing well and keep making plays. Every play, every drive and every possession on both sides of the ball is critical in the football game. We can always point out two or three plays at the end of the game that might have made a difference, but that's not the way we look at it from a coaching standpoint or the way our players look at it. The second play of the game could be the difference in the ball game. Every play that you step on the field is a critical football play."

On the development of OL Robert T. Griffin...
"He's a big body. Robert's 6-foot-5, 340 [lbs.] and carries himself really well. The thing that is impressive about him is he's a four-year straight guy. He played two [at a junior college], he played two here and he'll be 22 in November. He's got a high ceiling. The thing that I've talked to him about is that we can't change where he's at. O-line men would be nice to have in five years because they really mature and develop strength-wise. That's what separates guys - their strength level.

"We've got a lot of big guys, but you've got to have big, strong guys. He had a shoulder injury first spring here, had to have surgery and missed about five and a half months. He got a little behind on strength, but we can't use that. He's got to play at a very high level right now because this is all he's got. The thing that I appreciate about him is that he's pushing himself, striving to be a good leader and he plays with a lot of passion. I like that; it's most of the time controlled. He brings a lot to the table for us from a physical standpoint to an emotional standpoint."

Senior RB Terrance Ganaway

On the play of the offensive line...
"The offensive line played a really good game, and it makes our jobs easier. Getting up in there and making plays after the line of scrimmages, it's really easy when you don't have anybody to run through at the line of scrimmage. So I just want to thank the offensive line for that. Sometimes they're the forgotten heroes; you never get to hear about them or see about them. But when you see a running back busting holes like that, then you know that the offensive line is doing what they need to be doing, and they definitely did [against Iowa State]."

On playing A&M this weekend...
"It's the biggest game on the schedule because it's the next game on the schedule. So that's how we're going to approach it. We're going to approach it like it's a must-win situation and we're going to go get after it. We're going to put our best product on the field this weekend and we're going to show the Big 12 what we're able to do."

Junior QB Robert Griffin III

On being prepared to play on the road again after playing at Kansas State...
"I think anytime you have an away game where the crowd's pretty into it, it prepares you. A&M's obviously a unique place, a lot of tradition there with their crowd. And that's great, but we'll be prepared. It was good that we got on the road before going to Kyle Field."

On any extra motivation towards playing Texas A&M this weekend...
"What motivates guys internally is what motivates them internally. But as a team, we're not going to focus on that. We just know that they're on our schedule. We have to play them early in the morning and we're looking to get a victory."

On the running game against Iowa State...
"It was good to see our team do that. They took away the pass; they were pretty determined to do that. It wasn't just that they had great cover guys. They were dropping everybody into coverage. And whenever you have a team that does that, they're giving up the run. And our offensive line manned up and said `alright, put it on our backs and we'll take it' and they took it all the way."

Senior LB Elliot Coffey

On the rivalry between Baylor and Texas A&M...
"You're going to have big games that mean a lot on the field but mean a whole lot off the field as well. So I think that the fact that that's here and we have the chance to play. Man, A&M week you're ready to go from day one. You're ready to just get it. Practice will be great; it will be up-tempo, everybody will be focused. Film work will be good and meetings will be on fire."

On the defense improving each week...
"We're definitely getting better. When you put a new scheme in, when you get a lot of different looks from offenses like we have this season, it takes a lot of time to really not only understand the defense, but adjust to different offenses that you're seeing at the same time. So the more we're together, the more we're playing; everybody's starting to click and it's really starting to look good."

Senior C Philip Blake

On the offensive line's play against Iowa State...
"It was a good game, to see [Terrance] Ganaway rush for 200 yards. We had kind of a mentality before the game that we were going to run the ball and show them what we can do."

On the overall play of the offensive line so far this season...
"We're playing at a really good level right now. The last week when we took a loss, we put that on our backs and just came out with the Iowa State game and showcased what we could do. We're looking forward to keeping our momentum going, so we'll see what we can do this week."

Senior IR Kendall Wright

On finishing drives...
"We have to finish off drives and score touchdowns. But we have a plan and right now we're just going to play Baylor offense on the offensive side of the ball. We're going to play Baylor defense on the defensive side of the ball and the defense is scoring a lot of points and just trying to get stops."

Junior CB Chance Casey

On the play of the defense...
"We've been progressing as a defense, just trying to get better every day and every game. And one of the things we've got to start working on is playing consistently. Because you'll see it, we'll get a bunch of three-and-outs but, every once and a while, we'll give up a drive or a big play. And we've just got to become a consistent defense and then I think we'll start to become a really, really great defense."

On playing Texas A&M...
"It's a big game and we're going to prepare really hard this week. Last year, we had a lead and we gave up a loss. We just want to go down there and play all four quarters and get the `W.'"



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