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Meet The Press: Football Takes On Texas Tech







  Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement...
"The thing I'm most proud of is how courageously our guys played. I thought we played with a lot of courage. The only way you can have courage is to have confidence, and they kind of go hand in hand. That, to me, is the most important aspect of the football game is the way our players approached it and the way they played with that amount of courage."

On the end of the last two games...
"Not just really the last two games. Kendall [Wright] starting at TCU, of course Missouri and the Kansas game. Right now the Kansas win is a tremendous victory. When you have positive thoughts and positive memories, you have more positive results. Of course, it starts with both sides of the ball. With Robert [Griffin III], offensively, it gives us an opportunity to win every game we're in at any time of the game."

On QB Robert Griffin III's play and anticipating an overtime against OU...
"You can't hide talent. It doesn't fall off. Michael Jordan is going to make a bunch of shots and score a lot of points because he's good. When Tiger [Woods] was at his peak, he was going to win a lot of tournaments because he's better than everyone else he's playing. Robert's going to make plays week in and week out because he's a heck of a playmaker, athlete, leader and he's intellectually gifted enough to have all the intangibles it takes to be a complete player. That's the separation point. The overtime deal - I covered that briefly the other night - we were just kind of seeing how it would play out. That was our approach."

On the end of the season approaching...
"We'll evaluate the season after it's over. One person's definition of special is different than others. In our mind, as a team, we haven't done anything special yet. We've done what we set out to do, and what we've got to do this week is play extremely well for 60 minutes against a team from Texas Tech that is fighting to get bowl eligible just like we're fighting to continue to improve as a program. You're going to have two teams on the field that are motivated."

On the play of the defense...
"Like I said, we really feel good about how we're playing both sides of the ball. I think we're really getting better defensively. Phil [Bennett] and the staff have done a great job of game planning, and our guys on that side of the ball are playing with a lot of confidence and a lot of spirit right now. So that brings something to the table that you have to have particularly on the defense because it is fanatically emotional side of the ball. They're playing with a lot of confidence right now because they believe in the direction they're going."

On whether or not the game against Oklahoma was a "signature" win...
"Really, quite honestly, I never even thought of that. It never even entered my mind because to me, if you have a signature win, then what do you have in front of you? I certainly don't feel like we're through. Hopefully, 15 years from now, if I'm fortunate enough to coach that long, we can look back and say, `Hey, that win in 2016, that was a pretty good win.' But we're certainly not hanging our head on anything. We don't feel like we've reached the pinnacle. There's a lot left out there. We're in conference, and our job is to go win games. That's our job, so we don't feel like we're doing anything out of the ordinary."

On the upcoming game against Texas Tech...
"They've been on track for a long time. [They have been] bowl-eligible for 17 years in a row. They've just had a lot of good things go their way for a long time, and they've made them go their way. As far as getting back on track, who can say? In this league and in this conference, you can go from smiling to wondering what went wrong in a hurry. You look around and say they may not have won the last few games, but take a look at the opponents that they're playing and what they've had to do throughout the season. You look at the end result, and we understand that they're a really good football team. You don't go to Oklahoma and win if you're not a really good football team. Doesn't happen. You can hope, wish and want all you want, but if you go up there and beat them up in Norman, that will get your attention. And it dang sure got ours. We know what we're looking at Saturday when we go to Cowboys Stadium to play."

On improving or targeting a bowl position...
"The thing about the bowl selection is they're going to pick who they feel best fits that bowl. You can certainly improve your position with more wins. What we're trying to do is become a really good football team. That's what we're trying to do, and we know that other things will take care of itself. We think we're kind of becoming a hot football team right now. The good thing about it is that it's not the third game of the season. We don't have to sustain that level for six or eight games. If we can stay at this level and improve on it for two games, then we've got a chance to finish decently. What we've got to do is understand how we were able to do the things we've done the last two or three weeks and continue on."

On whether or not breaks are going their way...
"To get good breaks, you have to make good breaks. How you make good breaks is by your effort, intensity and attitude. If we don't have guys playing fast all over the field, that ball hits the turf. We've got Kendall Wright on an off route, running as fast as he can run down the middle of the field trying to clear out. [He] catches the ball for a touchdown. If you're not playing fast, not doing your job, not hustling and not believing, then you're not having good breaks."

On why NT Nicolas Jean-Baptist didn't start against Oklahoma...
"It's not how you start, it's how you finish. To us, we have six or eight starters on the defensive front. The thing that has really helped Nick is that we've kept him fresher the last two or three games. It's like I was telling our players two or three weeks ago - I've never had a guy come up to me and say, `Coach, I'm tired, put me in. I'm worn out, I'm ready to go.' What we're trying to do is make sure that he's fresh where he can go out of the field and be productive. That's certainly what he did the other night. He played with a lot of passion. The hunger part - he better be hungry and play just like the rest of us. That shouldn't vacillate one way or the other. That should always be steady."

On S Mike Hicks...
"Him and Sam [Holl] are both ferocious hitters. [They're] very tough-minded kids. Mike's very athletic. He's got great hand-eye coordination. He brings a toughness to the field. He's a no-nonsense football player, a no-nonsense person, which we appreciate. It's not like we have to wonder, `Hey, I wonder how Mike's going to practice today.' You know what you're going to get. You're going to get maximum effort and anybody around him better be doing the same thing, or he's going to be right into them. We appreciate the mental attitude he brings to the game, because that's the type of people you got to have. He knows how to lead, play and perform."

On whether or not he can appreciate the drama of a game...
"Drama might be a pretty good word there. To answer your question, I haven't looked at a TV copy of any game we've played this year. All we do is we come up here the next day, we watch the tape and start on the next opponent. When it's over, you move on, because that's what you have to do. As we all know, time doesn't wait. You've got to make sure you use time wisely. It was a physical game the other night. That's something that I know both teams are proud of. As far as having a chance to really be involved in the moment, not very often."

  Junior Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On the final play...
"We were trying to kill the clock. We were really just trying to focus on getting into field goal range. So Kendall, I think, caught that pass and got us the first down that stopped the clock. And we got up, and all the offensive lineman were actually foot to foot, getting ready for the kill-the-clock play, and I looked over the sideline, because something told me to look over there, and the coaches were signaling me a play. So I changed the protection, got back, and it was pretty much an all vertical route. I moved up in the pocket to the left, and when I was going that way I saw Terrance [Williams] one-on-one down the field. My thought process was `I'm going to get hit either way, so I might as well give him a shot.' I threw it on the line and got hit pretty hard, but the rest is history. I was on the ground when he caught it, and the linemen jumped on me and told me we just won the game."

On the recognition and publicity following the win...
"No, it never gets old. You never get tired of being acknowledged that you're doing good things. `Sic `em' was trending on Twitter, just throwing that out there, so it wasn't just me. Everybody played great. Honestly, it was the greatest game I've ever been a part of, junior high, high school, anything. A great team effort. Our defense kept us in the game, the whole game. We're proud of them, proud of the way we fought. We continued to stay aggressive the whole game."

On the team's ability to be calm under pressure...
"Yeah, that's what you want to be, you want to be cool, calm and collective. We never lost the faith. A bunch of guys had a great feeling about this game. Going to the beginning of the week, everyone was in great spirits, we were moving around extremely well. It just reminded us of the TCU game, the feeling that we had before it. This was a little bit more of a fight than the TCU game was, but it had the same outcome. We won the game. Our guys did a great job of staying at it. We've worked at this for a long time, and we finally got that big victory that we were looking for. The season's not over and we know that. I know that. And we'll be focused and ready to go for Texas Tech, because we're not overlooking anybody."

  Senior Defensive Tackle Nicolas Jean-Baptiste

On getting two sacks of Landry Jones...
It was just a big deal. The whole defense really played well this past week. So it's really a credit more to the defense that to just me. We stuck to the game plan. I got back there and made some plays.

On the play of the defense...
We had a lot of really good stops in there. We really weren't looking at just the stats. We were just looking at how we played the game. We made some key stops, that fourth down they had on our side of the field and just keeping them out of field goal range. The defense made some real good plays down there and I think that's what helped us a lot."

On playing Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium this weekend...
Another good week of practice, even though it's Thanksgiving, we still have to keep our heads on Texas Tech. So it's going to be really focused. It's a big deal (to play at Cowboys Stadium), we've been here before two years ago, and we didn't get the score we wanted. It's a big deal playing at Cowboys Stadium, it's a big stadium, it's going to be a really good atmosphere and I can't wait to be out there.

  Sophomore Cornerbak K.J. Morton

On the play of the defense...
"Coach Bennett and Coach Briles put together a great scheme, and we just went out and put it together and came out with a great victory. The defense, we played tremendously. Everybody held everybody accountable. We just pulled it together and made great plays."

On the final two games of the season...
"Everybody's focused. We put that game in the past, and now we move forward to Texas Tech. We're just going to take it one game at a time and continue to be successful."

On the passing game of Texas Tech...
"They love to throw it. That's their strength, passing the ball. So the secondary is going to step up and play big."

  Senior Runningback Terrance Ganaway

On the overall play of the team...
"We fought hard, got down there a little bit in the second half, but we showed resiliency. We came back, kept fighting, kept fighting, and Robert Griffin II doing what he do. Oklahoma's a great team; you can't take anything from them. They play really, really well. But our team came out and just kept fighting. The biggest thing is there's going to be some bad plays that happen throughout the course of the game, but you've got to keep fighting through them and learn from them and get better, don't let the last play affect the next play."

On the momentum of the team...
"The biggest game of this year is this weekend. We've got to face off against a great team, a team that also beat Oklahoma. They're trying to fight for bowl eligibility. They're going to have all guns blazing. We've just got to execute well at practice this week and get better and focus on attention to detail and get after those guys this weekend."

On playing at Cowboys Stadium...
"It's one of the best venues in the NFL and one of the best football arenas in the nation. Just the atmosphere, we'll have a lot of Baylor people there, a lot of Texas Tech fans there. It's going to be a great atmosphere. We've got a pretty good rivalry with Texas Tech, so I expect that the crowd will be in the game for all four quarters. I believe it's going to be a dog fight. They're going to be really anxious to get their six wins to go to a bowl game and we're going to try to keep the momentum. So it's not really a football game, we've got to go out there and fight a battle for 60 minutes."


 

 

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