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Meet the Press: Football Hosts Missouri

Oct. 31, 2011

 Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement:
“(We’re) excited about being back home. We’ve had our share of road games the last couple weeks. Somebody asked me the other day talking about Oklahoma State being in uncharted territory being ranked No. 3 in the nation, how would they handle it and everything. Of course, they handled it pretty well. Baylor’s kind of in uncharted territory the last couple of road games. We go to Texas A&M and it’s the fourth-largest crowd ever at Kyle Field. We go to Oklahoma State, second-largest crowd ever in that stadium. From that standpoint, I like it for our program. People want a piece of us, and when people want a piece of you, well you better respond with a lot of passion, energy and faith, or you’re going to be in trouble. So what it gives our team a chance to do is to play at a level that’s uncharted territory for us as a program. What we’ve got to do is match the demands that are getting placed on us. We are happy to be home, and expecting a really good, vocal and supportive crowd that will welcome us back after a month of being away.”

On the red zone offense:
“I think we had 12 snaps inside the three-yard line the other day, which is a tremendous amount. We should have had 13. We’ve just got to do a better job – got to do a better job at coaching, got to do a better job of executing when we get in that situation. We had a pretty good chance to score on the opening drive, and just kind of mishandled a pitch opportunity and then didn’t cash in on it after that. So, we’ve had decent success. We were 5-7 on fourth downs the other day, which you don’t remember the five, you remember the two. That’s the way it is. We’ve had decent success being able to pound the rock up in there. Whether our strategy changes or not depends on the personnel we’re playing.”

On confidence playing in front of the home crowd:
“It definitely helps. I think that’s why they call it a home field advantage. You have to take advantage of your opportunities at home. You’ve got to be a tough road team too. That’s something we’ve prided ourselves on the last two or three years. We’ve had two or three really pertinent road wins. They’re hard to come by, and they’re impressive any time you do it in the Big 12 against any competition. When you’re at home, you certainly have to take advantage of the home field because the surroundings are familiar, the crowd is supportive and you don’t have to alter your snap count. It allows you to, especially on the offensive side of the ball, work at a rate speed that you’re comfortable with.”

On the play of the secondary and Chance Casey’s move to safety:
“Honestly, I thought K.J. [Morton] and Joe [Williams] did a good job the other day. Statistically, it might not show like we’d want it to, but those guys weren’t here Aug. 1. To be able to come in here and adapt to our system, be able to get on the field and be productive in a lot of circumstances is pretty astounding for them. I’m really pleased with the progress they’ve made. Sam [Holl] was dinged up a little bit, so we moved Chance back there. It’s a good position for Chance. He’s a guy that has the ability to make plays and has been in the big arena before. [Mike] Hicks has been steady all year. He’s just a tough kid that’s going to do his job and do it with a lot of energy and passion.”

On the development of Missouri QB James Franklin:
“James is a good player now. He’s a tough kid. I think his dad was an All-American years ago at Oklahoma. You knew he was going to be a good player when he won the starting job last spring. That was a big deal for him. He fits what they do extremely well, and vice versa. They scheme up to him really well. His improvement has really taken off over the last three or four weeks. You can just see the improvement from the first and second game to the last couple of weeks. You look at their games that they have not won, and it’s a little deceiving. He’s done a really good job. He’s a catalyst, without a doubt.”

On the offensive output throughout the Big 12:
“Do we need to score more? Yeah, you’ve got to. Does it change how you approach the game? Certainly. We punt fewer than any other school in America. We’ve punted 12 times this year. Is that good? I don’t know. It’s not good if you’re not scoring. The object is to score a lot of points, not to be good between the fives. We feel like when we touch the football, we need to score points, regardless of what the other team is doing and what the trend is in the Big 12. That’s an offense’s job; when you get the ball, you’re supposed to score. When you’re on the defense, you’re supposed to make stops. You’re on special teams, you do your job and you don’t hurt your team. That’s the way football is in general.”

On Missouri RB Henry Josey:
“He can run. He’s a good back. Like I said, with him and Franklin back there, it really fits the style of offense that they like to play. Those guys are dangerous when they do a good job and they keep you honest on the defensive side of the ball because they spread the field on you with their speed and with their schemes.”

On the team bouncing back after two losses:
“We don’t have a choice. It’s like I told them – we’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. Not anything. We’re playing hard, we’re a good football team and we’re going to keep fighting. We’re not going to walk around with our head down, and we’re not going to act like something’s wrong because nothing’s wrong. We’re breathing, and we’ve got a chance to get better. That’s all you can do. If you’re a competitor and a fighter, then you don’t dwell on mishaps or things that don’t go your way. If you do, you have no chance. We’re going to give ourselves a chance, and that is going to be with our attitude and our effort.”

On the Baylor linebackers:
“They’re a work in progress, just like a lot of facets of our program. I feel like they’ll continue to improve and get better. They were not pleased entirely with how they played the other day just like all of us were. That’s something that we’re looking at – ways to schematically give them a chance to be better. As a whole, being pretty inexperienced at that position, those guys are good. They’re going to make plays. We’ve got five in front of us, so we’ll see what it’s like at the end of the year. Right now, I really think they’re getting better.”

On CB K.J. Morton:
“The thing about being a cornerback is that you’ve got to be scrappy. Those guys are out there on their own and they’re trying not to get exposed every snap. You don’t remember the assisted tackles or the knocked-down passes. You remember when they get beat for a touchdown. That’s what people remember about them. Those guys have to be fighters. They’ve got to be scrappy, tough mentally and they’ve got to have a short memory. It’s a position that I respect a whole lot. It’s like a kicker, honestly. When they go jogging out there, there’s one of two things that could happen. You always hope it’s good if you’re wearing green and gold. Those guys are out there every snap under those conditions.”

 Junior QB Robert Griffin III

On playing Missouri:
“They’re a good team, just all around. They’ve had games where they’ve thrown the ball well, and they’ve had games where they’ve run it extremely well. I didn’t get to watch the game, but I think against A&M they ran the ball extremely well. I think Franklin threw it a couple times. And then defensively they’re solid. They’ve got a lot of playmakers of the field. They like to keep their linebackers on the field as much as possible, so I’m pretty sure it will be based on formation, who’s in the game. You know, we’ve been in this for three or four years now so we know teams are always going to play us differently than they play anybody else, so we’ll be ready for that. We know that we’ll get different looks, but what they’ve done so far they won’t completely go away from, and that’s playing hard, playing fast and playing physical.”

On simulating a fourth-and-one in practice:
“You don’t. That’s the bottom line, unless you have three bye-weeks coming up, you don’t simulate something like that because it’s just too physical. Whenever you get 10 or 11 guys between the hashes, because we have a receiver at wide, there’s a lot of bodies, a lot of knees, a lot of ankles everywhere so you can’t simulate that in practice. The thing is, in the game, if you think positively, a lot of times it will happen for you. I’m not saying if you’re just back there thinking positive and not moving that you’re going to score. But if you think ‘we can do this, we’re going to do this, whatever coach calls is going to be a great call’ then it will happen for you.”

 Junior WR Lanear Sampson

On playing at home this weekend:
“It’s definitely going to be good being back home. And like you said, we only had one home game this past month so it’s just going to be good getting in front of our crowd and just being able to feel comfortable on our home turf and defend it against Missouri. “

On the attitude of the team:
“It’s the Big 12 Conference and there’s a lot of competition in this conference. You can’t hold your head down and you can’t let one team beat you twice. We’ve just got to clear it and keep going with our season. We’ve still got five games ahead of us so we’ve got to make the best of these five.”

On the offense:
“The Big 12 has been a high power offense for a long time so you see Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech; teams that throw the ball a lot. Then you have Kansas State which runs the ball a lot and Missouri is going to run the ball more than usual. It’s just high power offenses everywhere and we’ve been competing in this league, and we have good players to put up good numbers when we need to. “

 Senior RB Terrance Ganaway

On playing in the red zone:
“Everything’s smaller. You’re not playing with a huge field, the defense, the safety’s no longer at 10 yards, they’re at four or five yards. Everybody’s creeping in. They’ve got the guys in the backfield trying to make a big play, trying to make a big stop. You’ve just got to execute; no turnovers, no penalties in the red zone.”

On playing on Homecoming this weekend:
“We should just be fueled by playing football. The crowd is going to be great this weekend. We know because for the last two years now our stands have been pretty full, over 40,000 every game. We’ve just got to go out there and play football, not worry about the crowd noise. We’ve got to go out there and play football because last weekend it wasn’t the crowd that caused us to have turnovers. We’ve got to make sure we capitalize on every opportunity that we get and make sure we put points on the board.”

 Junior S Chance Casey

On the overall performance against Oklahoma State:
“Well I’m sure you saw, but we made a few mistakes out there. We let a really good team put a bunch of points up on us, and we helped them to do that. We’ve got to cut that out. We can’t make mistakes and allow them to take advantage of that.”

On the message from the coaches:
“We need to practice determined. Last week is done, it’s over with. We watched film and we learned from it. This week we have Missouri, and all we’re looking at is trying to beat Missouri.”

On playing at home this weekend:
“It’s been a while since we’ve played at home. We’re really excited to play at home this week, especially with Homecoming and everything.“

 Sophomore CB K.J. Morton

On tackling:
“Me not being the biggest guy, I have to bring more to the table than the average cornerback. So that’s just something I strive to do; bring more to the table. My dad always told me, ‘the bigger they are, the harder they fall.’ It’s just like cutting down trees. I promise you, you can’t go anywhere without your legs. You might want to, but you can’t go anywhere.”

On why he chose to come to Baylor…
"I chose Baylor because of Coach Bennett and Coach Briles. Coach Briles is just so calm and collected. He’s a role model. I look up to Coach Briles and Coach Bennett and Coach Buckels, and I just love the way that they’re all Christians. Coach Norwood, we’ve got a really good bond, and they love my family, and I just feel like this was the best place for me. I had seen Baylor on the rise and I just wanted to come contribute and help put Baylor on the map.”

On putting pressure on the quarterback...
"We got to get back at what we do well. The games that we did get penetration, caused the quarterback to move, we had a lot better outcome most of the time. But when we let him sit, guys can do good things with the ball."



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