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Football Meet The Press: Texas





Oct. 25, 2010

Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement...
"I feel very honored and fortunate to sit up here and represent a lot of people that have put in a lot of time, effort, attitude, belief, hope, focus, energy into making last Saturday (win against Kansas State) a reality. All of our football staff, all of our people that work in the office, all of the people who assist on the field from video to trainers to our training staff to our strength staff, all the way down to our players. I am fortunate to represent a lot of good people in this category."

On how he celebrated becoming bowl-eligible and what it means to be ranked...
"Special celebrations, no. It is enough for me to watch other people celebrate to let them enjoy what is happening. That to me is my celebration. (I) haven't really looked at the standings or paid any attention to them because they are kind of irrelevant right now. They don't hand out awards halfway through the season. They do it at the end of the season and that is where standings and rankings are most important."

On the play of the offensive line...
"Couple of stats that come to mind: last couple of weeks pretty impressive running totals, so that is what we are at. Those guys are playing at a real high level up front. They are doing what we asked them to do last December when we had our team meeting after the season ended and that was to be very physical, be very intense and to play with a lot of passion and great effort. That is what they are doing. That is why we are having the chance to be productive offensively."

On the play of Jay Finley...
"He is really no different than anyone else on our football team. All of our players have worked hard to get themselves physically and mentally in the condition they have to be in to sustain a 12-week season. Jay is a very explosive runner. He is a downhill guy that really has the unique ability to cut at full-rate speed, which makes him be able to get to the second level pretty quickly. He is hungry just like the rest of us. That is the bottom line. He wants to fight hard to win. We had our share of others, so it feels pretty good to get on this side of the boat."

On Robert Griffin III's dedication to football and school...
"Very disciplined. Very dedicated. Very goal-driven oriented and very passionate about the proper way to handle things, so those ingredients are paramount for that position on your football team. When that person is that focused and that energized and that capable of handling situations in a very disciplined manner, it bleeds off to the rest of the team."

On the importance of a good offensive line...
"When I first started coaching in 1979, I had never done anything but played outside the box. I was assistant coach at Sundown, Texas, and I did not know, because I had always just been on the perimeter. Then I saw if you wanted to be successful as a football team and you want your locker room to be the way you want it to be and you your meetings to be the way you want them to be, you want people to act the way you want them to act. They weren't going to listen to me. They were going to listen to the big guys up front on both sides of the ball. We want men up front. It is not a place for children and they are the ones that set the tone for your football team. From that point on, August 1979, I figured out then if I am going to be in a position to have any say in a football program, we start looking at the front first on both sides of the ball."

On if the passing game opens up the running game...
"Of course. I think so to be consistent. You can hit a good game every now and then, but if you want to be consistent, I certainly think you have to do both. We have good receivers. We have a good quarterback, so we are going to be able to throw the ball and we got good protection. We have been pretty good on sacks the last couple of weeks."

On what he sees from Texas...
"What you would expect you would see. A great football team. A lot of guys that are really good football players, well coached, well disciplined. They are coming off two weeks ago beating the No. 5 team in America on the road, so we understand that we have to be at the top of our game to have an opportunity to get out of there with a win. We are just focusing on doing what we do better than what we have done the previous eight games. That is our focus this week. The encouraging thing about our football team is that there is still a lot left out there on the table. We haven't played a clean football game yet and that is encouraging from this standpoint. The thing that is saving us is we are playing with a tremendous amount of energy, a tremendous amount of passion and a tremendous amount of belief and when you have three ingredients working for you, you don't have to be clean all of the time. If we can put it all together and play a clean game then we will be getting closer."

On how he makes sure his team is not satisfied with six wins...
"When I am talking about us needing to get to where we need to get, I am talking about not making mistakes during a football game and not hurting yourself from the fundamental standpoint. The six-win barrier of course is something that everyone in the United States of America is looking at. I mean, 120 Division I FBS teams, when they are pointing how many games do you need to win this year initially, they are not saying five. We are to that standard and now what we will do is keep improving as a football team and keep trying to be the best team on the field for 60 minutes and take it from there. We have the feeling of accomplishment, but not of our destiny having been determined. We are still rolling. We are going to roll. We are going to play and we are going to play extremely hard this weekend. That is a deal where we are certainly proud of where we are at this point, but that is not the end of the road for us."

On the defense's ability to come up with big plays when they need them...
"You can spin things however you want to spin them, but there are critical times within a football game and that's the thing we look at as a staff. We certainly now there is a lot of improvement we can do on both side of the ball and special teams, but it is those plays that you make when you have to make them that allow you to win the football game that are really the determining factors. We are working to make sure that we make sure our guys are in the proper position to be able to make those plays at the proper times."

On Texas' defensive end Sam Acho...
"You have to account for everybody on the defensive side of the ball if you are on offense. He plays real fast off the edge and has really been a really good leader for them the last couple of years. It will be a good matchup for our tackles depending on which side he is on by the field position and the offensive formation. It will be a good battle, a good match-up."

On worrying about keeping the team grounded...
"I don't for a couple of reasons. We are in a week-by-week profession and they are in a week-by-week playing profession. What happened last week was last season. It is done. It is over with. We are on a new season this week and all of our focus and energy started yesterday afternoon on the University of Texas and that is where it will remain until we get through with that game and go on to the next one. It is not a thing where we will walk around and feel like we have arrived, because we haven't. We are in the car, but we are not driving it yet. Really that is not a concern at all with me, because (when) you get hit in the mouth one time, you will come down to earth pretty quickly."

On his thoughts that Texas coach Mack Brown said Robert Griffin III should be a Heisman candidate...
"I think it is a great honor that an opposing coach would mention that without a doubt. We certainly feel like he is in the category and needs to be mentioned in that line of people that are mentioned with others around the nation. We are intelligent enough to understand if we maintain and continue at this pace that there will be some legitimate talk later on in the year. The main thing we got to do is just keep doing what we are doing and once again that will take of itself."

Closing statement...
"I would like to add a special thanks to Dary Stone, the chairman of the board of Regents, for being very proactive for Baylor University, having great vision and then Ian McCaw, our athletic director, for his very intelligent leadership methods. I am very, very impressed and feel very honored and blessed to be able to work under people of that much class and that much intelligence. It certainly makes our job as a football program much more meaningful and run much more smoothly."


Senior RB Jay Finley

On why he has had so much success lately...
"It is a collective effort. I believe we have a great offense, great team. The O-line played great. I came ready to play and when you have Josh Gordon, Kendall Wright and those receivers outside playing the way they are playing, it opens up holes. We are just playing good as a collective unit."

On what the offensive line is doing well...
"When you run a zone scheme, you pretty much run the holes. That is how we say it. They are moving the lineman up front and when you can do that: get into the secondary that is on me and they are doing a good job of doing that."

On if success in the passing games is opening up success in the running game...
"Of course it is. When you have Robert Griffin III - and he is a threat all together - it is going to open a lot of things for me and other players."

On how motivated he was coming into the season...
"I was real motivated. I had big goals set last year and I wasn't able to reach them. Just knowing me I am going to work hard every year, so right now hard work is paying off. It is just paying off."

On what it would mean to get to a 1,000 yards rushing for the season...
"It would mean a lot. I don't know the last time Baylor had a 1,000 yard rusher and I haven't had a 1,000 yards since I have been here, so that will be a blessing to reach that mark."


Senior OT Danny Watkins

On being bowl-eligible after getting the sixth win...
"We're excited. It is great that we've hit the six-win mark and we still have four games left, but we have to stay focused on our goals. It's not over after six games; we've got to keep going."

On playing Texas after such a big win...
"I don't think it matters who we play. After the game against Kansas State, we're confident and have refocused ourselves and are ready to have a good week of practice."

On the upcoming game against UT and how it feels going into the game ranked...
"Whenever we play a big school like that, it still doesn't change my perception. I'm not sure how it affects any of the other guys, but we're going to have to go there focused and knowing what we have to do and do it and have a good week of practice beforehand.


Senior DB Mikail Baker

On the excitement of being bowl-eligible...
"The energy is going around right now. We're looking forward to not only being eligible for a bowl but also to win our conference so that is what we're looking for."

On being bowl-eligible this early in the season...
"It is great to be bowl-eligible right now this early, but we are truly just looking forward to continue to succeed and excel."

On the strength of the team since Coach Briles has been here...
"Since Coach Briles has been here, he has recruited a lot of good players and with the guys that were already here it's been a great combination. We have a lot of guys that are strong seniors on defense and with Coach Briles' offense, it's a great collaboration right now."

On beating people's expectations...
"We knew we could do it. We always try to tell each other. The big key word around here is `believe,' and we believe in each other. Every time we're out there we don't think we're going to lose, we know we're going win the game. That is the attitude you have to have."


Senior DT Phil Taylor

On being bowl-eligible...
"It is a great feeling and I am glad I am here. I came down here to help Baylor turn the football program around and we're doing it."

On the success of turning the football program around...
"We've been working hard starting with this last offseason. We've bought in to what that coaches have been teaching and telling us and it's working really well."

On going into the Texas game ranked...
"That is a great feeling. We can't let it get to our head though. We have to play our game that we've always been playing."


Junior C Philip Blake

On the guard rotation...
"We've got a good guard rotation and we're always staying fresh. I'm getting used to working with both the offensive guards and it's working really well. Also, Danny (Watkins) is doing his job on the ends so everything is good. "

On the chemistry of the team...
"We're all good friends. We're always joking around in the locker room with each other and talking to each other so that's always good to have that. If you can talk to them off the field you can talk to them on the field so the chemistry between all of us is good."


 

 

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