Dec. 8, 2013
|| BAYLOR TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
"Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. What a deal. Our deal was if it had a capital B in front of it, we were going to be very excited. We're extremely excited to be in a BCS bowl game -- the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl -- for a variety of reasons. First of all, it's great honor to represent the Big 12. It's a great honor to represent this university in a postseason game. It lets the nation view Baylor some more. To go to a great state like Arizona and a great city like Phoenix and play in a great stadium like we're going to play in is a big treat for our players and our university. We're extremely honored and thrilled to make this journey and make it a worthwhile cause on and off the field for Baylor University."
"I haven't had a chance to look at them. I did see a little behind the scenes clip on ESPN earlier this year about them. When I was at Houston, we were both in the same conference at that time -- Conference USA -- and so we played them twice when I was there. That was right when Coach O'Leary got there and that was probably '05 or '06. He's always done a great job. Their program is always growing. They're an extremely talented and well-coached team. I have a lot respect for them."
On comparing this to other achievements:
"We've had some good times and we've had some tough times, just like anybody who coaches. When it's good, you get a few minutes to enjoy it with the people who helped you get to that point. When it's bad, it's the same thing. You all suffer and work together and try to figure out how to make what was wrong right. That's really it. There's no personal satisfaction at all involved because it's strictly a team event all the way through, good or bad."
On the completion of his vision:
"You always have the vision. You have the plan and the vision and you love to see it come to fruition. If it does, it makes you look like you knew what you were talking about and if it doesn't, it makes you not look like you knew what you were talking about. We don't feel like we're at the mountaintop though. We're still striving to be a respectable program year in and year out, to be a formidable opponent every time someone steps on the field against us, and that'll never change."
"I think we've got good momentum. I think we've played as well as any other team in the United States for 6 or 7 weeks out of the season this year, without question. It's hard to maintain that level that long. I think you can look across the country in your BCS leagues and I think the facts will back that up. I think for a span there we played as well as anybody, then hit a little bump in the road, and now we're just working and grinding and fighting to get back to where we need to be."
On closing down the Case:
"With the crowd and the fireworks. I just thought it was a really classy way to close down Floyd Casey Stadium. That facility holds a lot of memories, a lot of tradition for Baylor Football. We couldn't have closed it in a better fashion than we did last night."
On still being cold even though he is from the north:
"Oh it was cold. I thought the elements were like being in the frozen tundra of Green Bay or something. It was really challenging. I thought the players really handled the conditions extremely well and so did our fans. Our fans stayed and celebrated. A lot of them were there early in the morning. Some of our students actually camped out the night before. I was really proud of our fans supporting the team as well as they did."
On the allotment of tickets for the Fiesta Bowl:
"Our allotment is 17,500. I think our pre orders are somewhere around 8,000 so far. There are a thousand student tickets that are discounted. We are going try to get a bunch of buses with students to get them to Phoenix for the game. This is really a once in a generation type opportunity for Baylor Nation. We haven't ever played in a BCS game. We have never had an 11 win season. There are a lot of special things about this season, and we need to have everyone in Phoenix to celebrate it to finish it January 1st. I think people really want to be a part of this team and support them. I think we are going to have a tremendous following."
On what this means in taking the program to the next step:
"You put all these things together, a Big 12 Championship, a BCS Bowl game, moving into a new stadium, Baylor Football has unbelievable momentum and the Baylor brand has never been as strong as it is right now. We have got a lot of horsepower behind us right now and that is going to translate into success going forward. We just need to keep building on the planks in place."
On being the last quarterback to snap at Floyd Casey:
"I really haven't thought about it. This whole season has been such a blessing to be a part of. To be the final quarterback to play at Floyd Casey with all the traditions and all the Baylor greats that have played there too, we couldn't have closed it out any better. All those emotions just kind of pour out."
On having so few turnovers:
"I think there's a lot of things that go into that, receivers being one. We have really good guys who catch the ball and they do a very good job of not putting me in positions to get in trouble like that. That's a key part of it--you've got to have guys who know where they're supposed to be. It makes it easy to get the ball to them and not worry about picks and all of that."
On the defense stepping up this season:
"Like I have said before, they are the MVP of this team. They have been great, their turn around, their commitment is really what turned our whole program around, not that it was a bad program to begin with. They have done a great job all year."
On what it means to win the Big 12:
"You're playing the best of the best. There are some really good teams in the Big 12. We had a big November and December through the end of the season. We had to be on our A-game every week. That was just the grind of it. We had to be focused 100% every day. Even the Sunday after every Saturday game you're in the film room, watching film, correcting your mistakes."
On preparation for the Fiesta Bowl:
"When you can get back into the weight room a little bit during this time, you get your feet back underneath you, you can get some strength back. It allows you to get back healthy, get back right. When you have the young guys on your side to it really helps us out and we really got to build them up cause that's the future of our program."
On the time off:
"It's going to do me a lot of good because we've been playing tough rounds of football. We've just got to rest. We've been banging heads for awhile now."
On being Big 12 Champs:
"It's still a little hard to believe but it is what it is and we've got to take it in and live up to it."
On playing in the bowl with a professional vs. Baylor mindset:
"It is playing for Baylor. A lot of guys are going to be watching. I've still got to play the same way I've been playing. I can't change much. I'm still going to come after people and tackle at the line of scrimmage. I'm just going to do what Baylor taught me because I feel like that's the best thing I've got."
On what it means to win the Big 12:
"It's a great feeling knowing that for years and years people have been working hard at Baylor to get to where we are right now. To see everybody in that stadium, all the old guys, people I played with, people that played before me all in the stadium, cheering for one team, and wanting us to get this goal, it shows the family that is around here, the Baylor family. It's indescribable."
On the bowl game most special to him:
"This one is more special to me. That was good going to the first bowl game and that is a moment I will cherish, the Texas Bowl, but a BCS game that's like the elite team. You win the conference you go to the BCS and that means a lot because that was the goal to win the conference and this is the game we wanted to go to and we worked to go to all season."
On questioning Baylor's ability to succeed:
"When we first started doing it, it was maybe kind of questionable, but just the more work we put in in the weight room and outside, people started to believe more one by one until this year when we all believed it was going to happen, and it did."
On getting time off:
"It means a lot. I actually can't wait for the break just to tune some things up and hopefully play at 100% for the first time this year."
On TD after KJ's pick six was called back:
"It kind of showed that no matter what people try to do or stand in front of us, we're going to out there and take this Big 12 Championship."