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Football Meet The Press: Oklahoma




Nov. 15, 2010


Weekly Press Conference 

Head coach Art Briles

Opening statement...
"It's winding down pretty fast. It's hard to believe this is the last week of the regular season because we've played straight through. It's not the last week for a lot of universities across the nation. It's flown by, it's been good. I think our guys have really grown a bunch as a football team. I think we've grown as a university in support of the football team as a Baylor fan base. Those are all good, positive things."

On the difficulty of missing so many opportunities to score...
"It's something you don't attempt to swallow because you might regurgitate it. You just go ahead and dry-heave and move on. It's something you can't do in the football world. You just can't do it because you just can't pass up scoring opportunities. We've been really good at that all year and so that's a little bit out of character for us. We've got to improve. The tough thing is, as the players, you pour your heart, soul, energy, talent, effort, attitude, into the cup and you look down and there's nothing in it. That's tough. Our guys poured a lot into that game the other night and that's tough, no doubt. They came to win the game as A&M did. We knew it was going to be that type of game and that type of atmosphere. From that standpoint, I was really proud at the way they came to play and we'll have the same energy this week because that's something that we need to build on. The stage was a pretty good stage on Saturday night and it was good for our football team to be in that atmosphere. Now we know how to approach that atmosphere and know the level that we're capable of playing at coming out of the gates. To me, I think that was a really good learning point for a lot of us, myself included."

On the importance of finishing with a win...
"Our deal is to fight to the finish and win. We're going to fight to the finish and try to claw out a really good win against a really good football team this Saturday. Oklahoma, in the last ten years, maybe four universities have done better than they have on a national level. It's going to be hard to do. Those guys are really good. They've got great people, good tradition, great schemes, excellent coaching staff that's been there forever. They've been winning for a day or two. It's what makes it exciting. It's what makes it fun. It's what brings energy to the table because you have an opportunity to do something and that's what makes the game what it is."

On being short-handed on defense...
"I don't think (we were short-handed.) That's part of the game. That's why you get 85 scholarships. If you don't get 85 guys that can play then that's my fault. We've got people that can play and people that are ready to play when they're called upon. They've done a good job all year, our guys that have stepped in and played."

On the troubles with kickoff coverage...
"I hate to get too specific with it from a personnel standpoint because that's something that I just don't like to do. I will say that we are certainly taking steps to explore other options to see what we can do better. You hate to use the word "inexcusable," what we did the other night because (Texas A&M) did the same thing to Oklahoma the week before. It's going to happen eventually, hopefully. We're waiting for ours. We feel like eventually we're going to pop one and score from the kickoff return team. But the thing about Saturday night is that it was a momentum shift. We just had a great offensive play. Our crown was juiced and we didn't get a chance to ride that wave. That's too important in a football game. It's very important. That was the most demoralizing part of that play the other night."

On the performance from Senior RB Jay Finley this season...
"First of all...it's not a surprise. Jay was an 800-yard rusher as a sophomore two years ago. He's a back that can get it done and will get it done. We're happy that he crossed that milestone for himself personally and for our football team because it's a big deal. It is impressive that he's been able to do it against the caliber of competition that we've been playing. So that's the impressive part."

On the young guys stepping up on defense...
"I'm afraid that I would leave some of them out because we've got a bunch of them, honestly. Chris McAllister, Rodney Chadwick, Tyler Stephenson, Tevin Elliot of course has been on and off throughout the year. Like I said, I know I'm leaving some people out. Those guys certainly come to mind right off the top of my head. It's imperative that those guys step in and play and contribute. That's what they've been able to do. We've got a lot of other young guys that have been playing throughout the course of the season but those guys have come on here lately and played a bunch."

On the play of Freshman LB Chris McAllister...
"Just a great kid. He had a really good offseason last spring and summer. First and foremost, just very dependable. That used to be one of my saying that "the most important ability is dependability." He has that. That is a tribute to him and the type of person he is. Athletically, just a big, gifted guy. He's a big guy that can run, move and think. Those are all good combinations. He's not going to get anything but better. He's a redshirt freshman and he's going to continue to improve."

On the importance of Senior LB Antonio Johnson to the program...
"The thing that I really admire from Antonio Johnson is just the passion that he plays with. He's a guy that is all over the field, full-tilt, practice, game-day, and he just loves the game. He loves the game of football. It's something that he's really good at and really enjoys doing it. That's kind of what you appreciate about the whole deal."

On the seniors helping turn the program around...
"It's really a big deal. I actually met with the seniors yesterday. It's a huge accomplishment, what they've done for Baylor this year as far as bringing our program back to a bowl-eligible team, which is a tremendous feat any year. From that standpoint, very indebted to them for their leadership and the way they've handled everything throughout the season. There are some guys that have been here four years, five years, six years and had some new guys come in that have added to the mix and really done a great job of leading and helping us. It's been a good combination of people headed in the same direction and that's usually how you get things done."

On what to expect from Oklahoma...
"They're typical OU. They're a really dominant football team on both sides of the ball. They play with a lot of energy, play with a high tempo offensively. They've got really good people on both sides of the ball, very aggressive defensively. On special team, they're really sound. You've got to be alert on special teams because through the years they've done some things that are a little out of the ordinary so you've got to be really alert when they're on special teams. They're not going to be a team that's going to fluctuate year end and year out. They're always going to have the opportunity to be a dominant football team on the conference level and national level."


Freshman LB Chris McAllister

On starting in Saturday's game against A&M...
"I was really nervous leading up to the game. I found out Friday that I would get to start in the game and really, the whole day I was nervous because Chris Francis is such a good player and I would have to fill in for him for this game and hopefully not drop momentum and keep everything flowing. Once I got in and got the first play out of the way, I was okay."

On being nervous about being a starter...
"I know I was a starter in high school, but this is Big 12 ball now. It is still football. The game doesn't change. I guess it's a bigger stage with more people watching. That's why I was nervous."

On being the leader in tackles for Baylor on Saturday against A&M...
"Once I made the second tackle in the game, I kind of calmed down and just started to run around. People always tell me that I play best when I don't think and just run and go for it, so that's really what I tried to do that night and I did a pretty good job of it, I guess."

On the upcoming game against OU ...
"I expect a really high up-tempo team. They get a lot of plays in every game, I think they run about 85 plays a game. I expect they'll try and wear us down and run a lot of plays. I expect them to be pretty physical. They'll probably try and run the ball a lot. We're going to have to be ready for it."


Senior S Byron Landor

On the frustration of losing two games in a row...
"What we're trying to do is put a lot less focus on the losses and focus more on the wins. I think that we have a problem since we've been winning a lot and we're putting too much stress and frustration in the losses and not enough joy and happiness in the wins. I think that is something we're really trying to focus on, like I said, you come out of last season being 4-8 and the reversal is that is almost harder because you get used to winning every week and then you come out and lose two and a row like this. But we're okay. There is another game this week and it will be a good challenge for us, a good test. We hope that there is a good crowd turn out, and if not, the game must go on and we're going to play."

On the meaning of Saturday's game against OU...
"Every game means a lot. When you're talking about the Big 12 and then Big 12 South, you're talking about teams that you rival and battle against every year. So we want to come out with a win. We're going to play hard we're going to play tough, and we know what is at stake. We're still battling for the Big 12 South and they are too."

On the upcoming game against OU...
"They try and use their speed a lot. There is no trick to what they do. They're going to come out and do what they do and we have to stop them."


Senior RB Jay Finley

On reaching 1,000 yards this season...
"It feels great. I worked hard to get this. 1,000 yards is a lot, but I just want to keep on going."

On the offensive line's performance this season...
"They have done great. They have been working so hard. I want the big guys to know that I appreciate them. Without them, I would not have 1,000 yards."

On playing the last game of the regular season as a senior...
"I've been thinking about it. We've got to try and go out with a bang, that's all we can do. Work hard, play hard. That is what I am going to do."

On the goal of finishing the regular season with a win...
"We want to finish strong and build a little more momentum going into the bowl game. But like we say, we're taking it a game at a time, and the first step will be starting with practice tomorrow and working from there, so that is what we're going to do."


Sophomore QB Robert Griffin III

On winning the upcoming game against OU...
"It is big for us. We have done a lot this season, a lot that hasn't been done before but we're not done yet. We've got one regular season game left and it's against Oklahoma, so we've got to go out there and just execute. We did a great job of that the first half against A&M and not so much in the second half. We've got to go out there and play a complete game."

On winning the last home game of the season for the seniors...
"That is always the number one priority. We got those six wins for the seniors and we want to get this last one for them so they can go out with a win. I know they're going to play hard and give us effort like we've never seen."

On finishing out the season strong...
"We have high expectations for ourselves. For us, the pressure is still on to go out and get a win. You always want pressure on you. We might not be able to finish first in the conference, but we can still finish third if we win out and that is our goal right now."

On the OU defense...
"The only difference between their defense and the Texas defense is that Texas is a little bit smaller, but quicker. Oklahoma brings both size and speed. It will be a challenge, but we've got weapons on our offense so it will be a challenge for them as well. We've got to go in there, scheme them up and get ready to play."


 

 

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