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December 29th, 2012
Oregon State Post Game Press Conference
Head Coach Mike Riley, Safety Ryan Murphy, Quarterback Cody Vaz, Running Back Storm Woods
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MIKE RILEY:  Well, I would say that in the second half we never really did get back to running the ball like we did in the first half.  We took some bad plays on 1st down.  I just don't think offensively we ever got anything going, and that allowed them too many chances, and that's a group of athletes that they can make plays and they sustained a couple drives and then they hit a big pass. I think Goodwin had two long plays in the game for touchdowns, and that was going to be something that was going to be hard for us to deal with.  We couldn't give up big plays, and we gave up two big ones, and offensively we had a hard time when we dropped back pass blocking the front, and so they gave us some fits doing that.  It wasn't very good to get in very many passing situations, and we got ourselves in too many in the second half.

Q.  Mike, was any thought given to swapping out with Sean in the fourth quarter when that feeding frenzy was going on?
 

MIKE RILEY:  Well, sometimes when there's a feeding frenzy, it's not a great deal for whoever, anybody who's quarterbacking at that time.  You know, it's unfortunate that we just didn't keep our balance going better than we did in the first half.  It seemed like, like I said, we just took too many bad plays on 1st down in a couple of series there that didn't allow us to play like we had been. 

We were using some quick turn back protections that allowed us to get the ball out or we'd hit a couple completions or we'd get a screen pass or might hit a bubble for a little bit, but as far as when we had to drop back and throw, it was all pretty hard tonight.
 

You know, one time we went in with a double extra protection, and they jumped into two man and got an interception on us.  You know, those are the kinds of things that really hurt you.

Q.  Why didn't you run the ball more in the second half?  You rushed for 111 in the first half, and it seemed like you came out throwing in the third quarter.  Most of your plays were passes in the third quarter.
 

MIKE RILEY:  Well, some of them, a lot of our running plays have a bubble pass mixed in with them, so we and the quarterback is not wrong, we just didn't block it.  But we throw a bubble and the guy makes a tackle for a three yard loss and now you're in a bad situation.  So we had two or three series like that, and when that happens to you, you have two or three series, you're well into the second half.
 

I think we had a turnover, good field position touchdown, and that was really about it.  We couldn't sustain much besides that.

Q.  For Cody and Mike, did you feel like the offensive line was just rattled the whole night?  Cody, what were you talking about in the huddle?
 

MIKE RILEY:  I don't think rattled.  I mean, those guys are good players, and they gave us some trouble.  When we did try to just drop back pass, it became difficult, and that's why Cody had to hang in there very, very tough, and he made some plays, and other plays we really didn't have time to develop or he had to throw too soon.  We had a couple major league plays to Markus that I think would still be running right now, but if he'd had a little more time, given Markus a hair more time to get into the picture.  But things just got tough that way.
 

CODY VAZ:  Like coach said, we knew coming in they had great athletes, so I don't think they were rattled, but got to tip your hat to them, they played good tonight.

Q.  Mike, how critical was the play in the fourth quarter?
 

MIKE RILEY:  I thought that was huge right in there, and I don't remember our exact sequence right in there, but obviously it wasn't good, we ended up punting from where we got the ball, and I thought that was a critical time.

Q.  Cody, did you hurt your ankle early in the game, and did it hurt the rest of the day?
 

CODY VAZ:  Yes, I did, but it was fine.  I was 100 percent, no excuse.

Q.  Mike, what about the end of the second quarter there when it looked like you had a shot at a field goal and you had a timeout?
 

MIKE RILEY:  Well, the word came down, and I think we were right, and even on our bench, the word came down we got a 1st down, and I was just    I was amazed, so I didn't want to wait    I thought we might could get another play, and I didn't want to waste the timeout.  We were going to spike it, take a shot, see how much time we had to do that and then kick the field goal from there.  And I was    all I wanted them to do was at least be able to look at it upstairs and say    because I think they can review that and the spot of it, and I don't know why that wasn't at least measured.
 

And the guy told me later on, much later going in, that they had decided it wasn't that close.  So that was too bad because we would have at least had a shot at a field goal.

Q.  Right after the UW game you said immediately afterward that you regret that you didn't run the ball more.  Did you feel that right away  
 

MIKE RILEY:  I probably will regret a lot of calls as we go through and evaluate this game.  You know, it's very obvious that's what was the difference in the second half.  We didn't have the running game that we did early, and some of it, they did a better job of, and some of it was we just didn't make the plays.

Q.  Ryan, for most of the game it looked like you guys were the better team.  Do you feel like you gave this one away?
 

RYAN MURPHY:  I feel like we played one half of football, and Texas just came out better than us the second half.  Yes, I felt that we had this game, we had this team, but then again, it's on us players to keep each other in, to keep each other focused in on the task ahead.

Q.  Storm, did Texas do anything differently in the second half to kind of slow you down?
STORM WOODS:  Not really.  You know, only difference I seen was instead of the linebackers being against the line, they were sort of stacked so one was in front of the other giving the deeper linebacker time to read the flow of the play.
 

MIKE RILEY:  They did play a lot more man to man in the second half and snugged up pretty tight on everybody.  A couple times, a lot of that stuff we were doing was an alert play, and so when they were back in coverage and Storm would get those plays, they were going pretty good.  But they ended up snugging it up pretty good and took some of that stuff away that we had tried to do, and then we've got to be able to hit the passes, and one time we drove quick and get the sack.  It was pretty rough sledding there for a minute.  But that was probably the biggest difference for Storm in the second half on some of the runs that we were doing so well early.

Q.  You guys have struggled to stop quarterbacks the last couple years.  When Ash escaped that would be Anthony Watkins sack, did you have flashbacks?
 

MIKE RILEY:  You know, those are plays that are kind of in the balance, right, and we made a lot of good plays.  I thought defensively I was really proud of our team.  There was a ton of really, really good defense against a good team and a lot of good athletes.  You know, and those are critical plays, and that's    if our player does that, it's a great play, and obviously if the other player does it we would like to make the play.  But you've got to give    at some point we would like to say that the next time our guy will make that play and we can watch it, coach it, help him be in a little bit better position to make it, and then we can also say I thought that was a great play by Ash.  It was a really, really good football player.

Q.  Storm, from your perspective did you feel like you guys gave one away?  You had a game coming home that you probably dreamed of having, but how much does the result change your emotions?
 

STORM WOODS:  Not taking away nothing from Texas, that was a great team offensively and defensively.  Like Ryan said, the first half felt like we played great sound football, and the second half felt like Texas just made some adjustments and they came out and they just    I guess they wanted it more or something.
But yeah  

Q.  On Texas defensive end Alex Okafor:
 

STORM WOODS:  He had a pretty good game tonight, hard, tough to block.  He had a good game.

Q.  Coach, I was wondering, do you feel your defense got a little gassed at the end of the game, or why did they give up those big plays near the end?
 

MIKE RILEY:  Well, again, it's football, so the ball goes up, and they made a    the receiver did a nice job of bursting out of his break and making the play, beautiful throw, and we were not in great position on the deep ball in the second half that ended up being the game changer.  But we probably were on the field too much offensively.  We didn't sustain enough, didn't get enough 1st downs to give our defense a chance.
You give a team like that with those athletes too many chances, that's what's going to happen to you.  I mean, there was lots of good defense for a lot of that game by the Beavers.  I thought guys made a lot of plays.  But in the end I think we had to play too much.

Q.  Storm, you guys are losing two pretty important seniors, and Markus Wheaton and Jordan Poyer have talked about how they want this program to take the next step.  Do you feel like the program is in good hands with all the young guys?
 

STORM WOODS:  It's huge to lose them.  At the beginning of last year during the off season those are the guys that grabbed this team by the neck and they demanded nothing but hard work.  But at the same time we have Brandon coming back, Cody, Ryan, myself.  While they were being leaders they taught us how to be leaders, so we've got to follow in what they did and do the same thing.

Q.  Cody, how would you rate your performance tonight?
 

CODY VAZ:  Not very good.  I definitely feel like I left some plays out there.  You know, it sucks, really.  I don't feel good about the way I played tonight, but it's in the past now, and this game will be good motivation for us this off season.

Q.  Cody, can you describe the start of the game, those first couple turnovers from your perspective, what happened on those?
 

CODY VAZ:  They just made a good play on the first interception, guy just read the screen and just jumped it, and the second one I was throwing the ball deep to Brandon and got the ball batted out of my hand by a D line man, I think.
 

MIKE RILEY:  There was a lot of pressure on him tonight.  He had to battle like crazy and the team did, too, and fortunately we got some good balance from the running game for a long stretch of it, but that was, I think, the big    the screen pass early was    they ran a stunt, Storm got mixed up with those bodies in there, so he wasn't clean, and really the guy fell right into the ball, and gosh, we had a great shot at a post route to Brandon, and No. 80 came underneath    or came around the edge and just got a hand, I think, as Cody was letting the ball go.  So we had to sustain the block a little longer.  Maybe storm could have got a little chip on the guy.  I don't know how that looked, but those are the kind of mini differences that really hurt us.

Q.  Coach Riley, you said a few times this week that your team decided to get you here.  When you look back on the whole of the season what are you going to tell your team?
 

MIKE RILEY:  Oh, I think this was a great team.  In all senses of the word this group fought together hard, came back from a real rough year a year ago with just a great attitude, a great off season, lots of fun to work with.  It was a real team.  I was really probably most proud of that, and they got ready every week.  Even this bowl time with them was awesome because I think they were really dedicated to winning this game.  They enjoyed the experience, thought they practiced hard.  They were very attentive at the meetings.  They did everything right.  They just came up a little bit short.
 

But that doesn't diminish anything about what this team accomplished this year to me.  We would love to have been the Alamo Bow.  Champions.  We had a great chance to do that, but we didn't get that done, but this team did a great, great job for Oregon State fans.

Q.  The way you lost the game, does that make it hurt a little bit more?
 

CODY VAZ:  Yeah, I think so.  It was a close game all the way to the end.  It's definitely a game that we feel that we let slip away.  We don't take anything away from Texas.  Like Storm said, they're a really good team.  But I think we definitely let this one slip out of our hands.

Q.  Cody, after your first start at BYU, you talked about you needed to throw the ball a little bit more.  Is that something you two talked about tonight when you were on the phone with him, and were there times that you saw the sack coming and you thought maybe I can get the ball out of my hand anyway?
 

CODY VAZ:  Yeah, I mean, it's kind of a bang bang thing when you're out there.  That's something I've got to work on is throwing the ball away.  But at the same time you're trying to make plays, too.
That's something I can definitely improve on.

Q.  Coach, do you feel like there's anything else you could have done with Alex Okafor on the edge, more chips, or do you feel like he's just a force of nature?
 

MIKE RILEY:  Well, definitely there's things you can do.  The problem we got in too late was having to be in a two minute drill and it's hard to be able to attack a coverage and keep a bunch of guys in to help protect and still be able to get guys open.  So you're always in a situation like that where, yes, you need extra people, and at times early on we did that and were able to throw the ball a little bit and got some plays.  But as the thing wore on and we got into that mode where we had to move the ball, we had to be in a two minute mode, we had to get some people out.  It's one of those things that you try to balance and adjust and even get some quick throws involved in that so the ball can come out a little quicker.  But then you go, what, 3rd and long, 4th and  long, it makes it a little tough.

Q.  Can you talk about the job their secondary was able to do on Cooks and Wheaton?
 

MIKE RILEY:  I thought their secondary did a nice job, and they played smart and they were aided tremendously by a great pass rush.
 

CODY VAZ:  I agree with Coach.  We knew that they were good athletes.  I had said that.  But I think, like Coach said, they were added with some good pass rushers all night.

December 29th, 2012
Oregon State Post Game Press Conference - B
Head Coach Mike Riley, Safety Ryan Murphy, Quarterback Cody Vaz, Running Back Storm Woods
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MIKE RILEY: Well, I would say that in the second half we never really did get back to running the ball like we did in the first half. We took some bad plays on 1st down. I just don't think offensively we ever got anything going, and that allowed them too many chances, and that's a group of athletes that they can make plays and they sustained a couple drives and then they hit a big pass. I think Goodwin had two long plays in the game for touchdowns, and that was going to be something that was going to be hard for us to deal with. We couldn't give up big plays, and we gave up two big ones, and offensively we had a hard time when we dropped back pass blocking the front, and so they gave us some fits doing that. It wasn't very good to get in very many passing situations, and we got ourselves in too many in the second half.

Q. Mike, was any thought given to swapping out with Sean in the fourth quarter when that feeding frenzy was going on?
 

MIKE RILEY: Well, sometimes when there's a feeding frenzy, it's not a great deal for whoever, anybody who's quarterbacking at that time. You know, it's unfortunate that we just didn't keep our balance going better than we did in the first half. It seemed like, like I said, we just took too many bad plays on 1st down in a couple of series there that didn't allow us to play like we had been.

We were using some quick turn back protections that allowed us to get the ball out or we'd hit a couple completions or we'd get a screen pass or might hit a bubble for a little bit, but as far as when we had to drop back and throw, it was all pretty hard tonight.
 

You know, one time we went in with a double extra protection, and they jumped into two man and got an interception on us. You know, those are the kinds of things that really hurt you.

Q. Why didn't you run the ball more in the second half? You rushed for 111 in the first half, and it seemed like you came out throwing in the third quarter. Most of your plays were passes in the third quarter.
 

MIKE RILEY: Well, some of them, a lot of our running plays have a bubble pass mixed in with them, so we and the quarterback is not wrong, we just didn't block it. But we throw a bubble and the guy makes a tackle for a three yard loss and now you're in a bad situation. So we had two or three series like that, and when that happens to you, you have two or three series, you're well into the second half.
 

I think we had a turnover, good field position touchdown, and that was really about it. We couldn't sustain much besides that.

Q. For Cody and Mike, did you feel like the offensive line was just rattled the whole night? Cody, what were you talking about in the huddle?
 

MIKE RILEY: I don't think rattled. I mean, those guys are good players, and they gave us some trouble. When we did try to just drop back pass, it became difficult, and that's why Cody had to hang in there very, very tough, and he made some plays, and other plays we really didn't have time to develop or he had to throw too soon. We had a couple major league plays to Markus that I think would still be running right now, but if he'd had a little more time, given Markus a hair more time to get into the picture. But things just got tough that way.
 

CODY VAZ: Like coach said, we knew coming in they had great athletes, so I don't think they were rattled, but got to tip your hat to them, they played good tonight.

Q. Mike, how critical was the play in the fourth quarter?
 

MIKE RILEY: I thought that was huge right in there, and I don't remember our exact sequence right in there, but obviously it wasn't good, we ended up punting from where we got the ball, and I thought that was a critical time.

Q. Cody, did you hurt your ankle early in the game, and did it hurt the rest of the day?
 

CODY VAZ: Yes, I did, but it was fine. I was 100 percent, no excuse.

Q. Mike, what about the end of the second quarter there when it looked like you had a shot at a field goal and you had a timeout?
 

MIKE RILEY: Well, the word came down, and I think we were right, and even on our bench, the word came down we got a 1st down, and I was just I was amazed, so I didn't want to wait I thought we might could get another play, and I didn't want to waste the timeout. We were going to spike it, take a shot, see how much time we had to do that and then kick the field goal from there. And I was all I wanted them to do was at least be able to look at it upstairs and say because I think they can review that and the spot of it, and I don't know why that wasn't at least measured.
 

And the guy told me later on, much later going in, that they had decided it wasn't that close. So that was too bad because we would have at least had a shot at a field goal.

Q. Right after the UW game you said immediately afterward that you regret that you didn't run the ball more. Did you feel that right away
 

MIKE RILEY: I probably will regret a lot of calls as we go through and evaluate this game. You know, it's very obvious that's what was the difference in the second half. We didn't have the running game that we did early, and some of it, they did a better job of, and some of it was we just didn't make the plays.

Q. Ryan, for most of the game it looked like you guys were the better team. Do you feel like you gave this one away?
 

RYAN MURPHY: I feel like we played one half of football, and Texas just came out better than us the second half. Yes, I felt that we had this game, we had this team, but then again, it's on us players to keep each other in, to keep each other focused in on the task ahead.

Q. Storm, did Texas do anything differently in the second half to kind of slow you down?
STORM WOODS: Not really. You know, only difference I seen was instead of the linebackers being against the line, they were sort of stacked so one was in front of the other giving the deeper linebacker time to read the flow of the play.
 

MIKE RILEY: They did play a lot more man to man in the second half and snugged up pretty tight on everybody. A couple times, a lot of that stuff we were doing was an alert play, and so when they were back in coverage and Storm would get those plays, they were going pretty good. But they ended up snugging it up pretty good and took some of that stuff away that we had tried to do, and then we've got to be able to hit the passes, and one time we drove quick and get the sack. It was pretty rough sledding there for a minute. But that was probably the biggest difference for Storm in the second half on some of the runs that we were doing so well early.

Q. You guys have struggled to stop quarterbacks the last couple years. When Ash escaped that would be Anthony Watkins sack, did you have flashbacks?
 

MIKE RILEY: You know, those are plays that are kind of in the balance, right, and we made a lot of good plays. I thought defensively I was really proud of our team. There was a ton of really, really good defense against a good team and a lot of good athletes. You know, and those are critical plays, and that's if our player does that, it's a great play, and obviously if the other player does it we would like to make the play. But you've got to give at some point we would like to say that the next time our guy will make that play and we can watch it, coach it, help him be in a little bit better position to make it, and then we can also say I thought that was a great play by Ash. It was a really, really good football player.

Q. Storm, from your perspective did you feel like you guys gave one away? You had a game coming home that you probably dreamed of having, but how much does the result change your emotions?
 

STORM WOODS: Not taking away nothing from Texas, that was a great team offensively and defensively. Like Ryan said, the first half felt like we played great sound football, and the second half felt like Texas just made some adjustments and they came out and they just I guess they wanted it more or something.
But yeah

Q. On Texas defensive end Alex Okafor:
 

STORM WOODS: He had a pretty good game tonight, hard, tough to block. He had a good game.

Q. Coach, I was wondering, do you feel your defense got a little gassed at the end of the game, or why did they give up those big plays near the end?
 

MIKE RILEY: Well, again, it's football, so the ball goes up, and they made a the receiver did a nice job of bursting out of his break and making the play, beautiful throw, and we were not in great position on the deep ball in the second half that ended up being the game changer. But we probably were on the field too much offensively. We didn't sustain enough, didn't get enough 1st downs to give our defense a chance.
You give a team like that with those athletes too many chances, that's what's going to happen to you. I mean, there was lots of good defense for a lot of that game by the Beavers. I thought guys made a lot of plays. But in the end I think we had to play too much.

Q. Storm, you guys are losing two pretty important seniors, and Markus Wheaton and Jordan Poyer have talked about how they want this program to take the next step. Do you feel like the program is in good hands with all the young guys?
 

STORM WOODS: It's huge to lose them. At the beginning of last year during the off season those are the guys that grabbed this team by the neck and they demanded nothing but hard work. But at the same time we have Brandon coming back, Cody, Ryan, myself. While they were being leaders they taught us how to be leaders, so we've got to follow in what they did and do the same thing.

Q. Cody, how would you rate your performance tonight?
 

CODY VAZ: Not very good. I definitely feel like I left some plays out there. You know, it sucks, really. I don't feel good about the way I played tonight, but it's in the past now, and this game will be good motivation for us this off season.

Q. Cody, can you describe the start of the game, those first couple turnovers from your perspective, what happened on those?
 

CODY VAZ: They just made a good play on the first interception, guy just read the screen and just jumped it, and the second one I was throwing the ball deep to Brandon and got the ball batted out of my hand by a D line man, I think.
 

MIKE RILEY: There was a lot of pressure on him tonight. He had to battle like crazy and the team did, too, and fortunately we got some good balance from the running game for a long stretch of it, but that was, I think, the big the screen pass early was they ran a stunt, Storm got mixed up with those bodies in there, so he wasn't clean, and really the guy fell right into the ball, and gosh, we had a great shot at a post route to Brandon, and No. 80 came underneath or came around the edge and just got a hand, I think, as Cody was letting the ball go. So we had to sustain the block a little longer. Maybe storm could have got a little chip on the guy. I don't know how that looked, but those are the kind of mini differences that really hurt us.

Q. Coach Riley, you said a few times this week that your team decided to get you here. When you look back on the whole of the season what are you going to tell your team?
 

MIKE RILEY: Oh, I think this was a great team. In all senses of the word this group fought together hard, came back from a real rough year a year ago with just a great attitude, a great off season, lots of fun to work with. It was a real team. I was really probably most proud of that, and they got ready every week. Even this bowl time with them was awesome because I think they were really dedicated to winning this game. They enjoyed the experience, thought they practiced hard. They were very attentive at the meetings. They did everything right. They just came up a little bit short.
 

But that doesn't diminish anything about what this team accomplished this year to me. We would love to have been the Alamo Bow. Champions. We had a great chance to do that, but we didn't get that done, but this team did a great, great job for Oregon State fans.

Q. The way you lost the game, does that make it hurt a little bit more?
 

CODY VAZ: Yeah, I think so. It was a close game all the way to the end. It's definitely a game that we feel that we let slip away. We don't take anything away from Texas. Like Storm said, they're a really good team. But I think we definitely let this one slip out of our hands.

Q. Cody, after your first start at BYU, you talked about you needed to throw the ball a little bit more. Is that something you two talked about tonight when you were on the phone with him, and were there times that you saw the sack coming and you thought maybe I can get the ball out of my hand anyway?
 

CODY VAZ: Yeah, I mean, it's kind of a bang bang thing when you're out there. That's something I've got to work on is throwing the ball away. But at the same time you're trying to make plays, too.
That's something I can definitely improve on.

Q. Coach, do you feel like there's anything else you could have done with Alex Okafor on the edge, more chips, or do you feel like he's just a force of nature?
 

MIKE RILEY: Well, definitely there's things you can do. The problem we got in too late was having to be in a two minute drill and it's hard to be able to attack a coverage and keep a bunch of guys in to help protect and still be able to get guys open. So you're always in a situation like that where, yes, you need extra people, and at times early on we did that and were able to throw the ball a little bit and got some plays. But as the thing wore on and we got into that mode where we had to move the ball, we had to be in a two minute mode, we had to get some people out. It's one of those things that you try to balance and adjust and even get some quick throws involved in that so the ball can come out a little quicker. But then you go, what, 3rd and long, 4th and long, it makes it a little tough.

Q. Can you talk about the job their secondary was able to do on Cooks and Wheaton?
 

MIKE RILEY: I thought their secondary did a nice job, and they played smart and they were aided tremendously by a great pass rush.
 

CODY VAZ: I agree with Coach. We knew that they were good athletes. I had said that. But I think, like Coach said, they were added with some good pass rushers all night.

December 29th, 2012
Texas Post Game Press Conference
Head Coach Mack Brown, Co-Offensive Coordinator Major Applewhite, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz, Quarterback David Ash, Receiver Marquise Goodwin, Defensive End Alex Okafor, Safety Kenny Vaccaro
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Q. Alex, can you talk about your night, four and a half sacks and a forced fumble.

ALEX OKAFOR:  I mean, we've just been breaking down film all month, and Coach Diaz saw a weakness in the protection, and he put me in a great position to go make plays.

Q.  Marquise, can you go through the first touchdown of the game on the reverse and then the play with Ash the last touchdown?

MARQUISE GOODWIN:  First of all, giving all honors to God.  Without him there wouldn't be no me and Texas.  You know, coach Applewhite set up a great play.  We've been working on it all week.  It was an H reverse, I went into the slot, ran the reverse, and I saw 51 running out there, and then I seen Ash in front of me, and by that time it parted like the Red Sea and I just ran through it.  And on the second touchdown, it was just a setup all game.  They bit on the trouble moves and I just escaped them, Ash threw a great ball, and touchdown.

Q.  It's been kind of a crazy year for you.  You had a great game in the last bowl and you had to go to the Olympics.  Does this make up at all for what happened over the summer?

MARQUISE GOODWIN:  Two different sports, you know.  Two different sports really can't compare the two.  But I'm just happy that we got the W today and we played together as a team, and that's what I'm going to remember most today.

Q.  Marquise, now that you've gone through it, what was the Applewhite factor?  What did we see different in this game?

MARQUISE GOODWIN:  Coach Applewhite definitely found a way to use me a little more than I was used early on during the season.  You know, he did a great job coordinating the offense, and he set up great plays, and we just went out there and executed.

Q.  Kenny, obviously you're pretty good friends with Alex.  What did you think about the way he went out tonight?

KENNY VACCARO:  That's what he brings every game, just dominance, and that's what we said when we broke the huddle in the hotel, just dominate everything you do, and I demand a lot out of Alex, I know he demands a lot out of me, and when I'm covering out there, I just think about my boy getting a sack.

Q.  Alex, I was wondering if you could walk me through that last sack, what was happening on the field to put them in that 4th and 14.

ALEX OKAFOR:  Just like all the other ones, I just came off the ball, saw the pass set, and he was kind of kicking back tight, and I just ran around.

Q.  Alex, it's rare to see a defensive player truly dominate a game like you did at the end.  Was there a point where you felt like you were in a zone and they couldn't stop you?

ALEX OKAFOR:  It's just when    as a pass rusher you work one move on a guy you start hitting on that move, and if you have accounted for that move, it's difficult for a tackle to really control the D end.  As you said, I just kind of got in the zone, and luckily I had the DBs back there and the LBs back there covering for me, so I got plenty of time to go rush the passer and make plays.

Q.  Kenny how does this cap off the season after a two game losing streak?

KENNY VACCARO:  I think just momentum for next year.  We did better than last year, obviously, and our main goal this whole week was just seize the moment for these guys and set them up for what's to come and kind of like Coach Cross had a good mention this morning in chapel, kind of get to the promised land.  He said Moses got them to promised land and Joshua took him through, and that's what we want these young guys to do.

Q.  Marquise, did you see anything change with David before the last two offensive series?

MARQUISE GOODWIN:  Oh, yeah, he definitely got his confidence back up, got back rolling.  He was playing good all throughout the game, not just in the last two sessions that we had the ball.  He did a wonderful job tonight and he found receivers open, running backs open, tight ends, and he just made plays.  He made plays on his feet, and he played a really smart game today, and I commend him for that.

Q.  Coach Brown, could you talk about Alex's performance tonight and just your overall thoughts on the entire game?

MACK BROWN:  Yes. They've got two tremendous receivers, and it really scared us going into the ballgame because of their ability to catch a ball in space and score or get deep double moves.  Kenny and I talked about it in the dressing room after the game, they didn't get a deep ball, which is amazing.  Part of that was Alex's fault because he didn't have time to get it off.  The only trouble we got in defensively was right before the half when they were running the ball, and if they could be balanced then we knew we were in trouble.  When we got them when they were in a position to throw and the crowd was tremendous tonight in our favor, and they really helped us, got the kids stirred up, and when that happened momentum changed, then we had the fumble, and then they scored quickly, and then we come back and scored again, and then the defense just completely took over the game at the end.

I don't think our defense has played better, four turnovers, I think, or three turnovers and a fourth down stop in a ballgame, and in fact it hurt us that we didn't score off the turnovers early, but the defense was relentless, just kept coming and that's a really good offensive football team.  I think Mike is one of the best play callers, best offensive coaches in the country.

Q.  In all of David's good games this year, it seems like he started strong and ended strong.  This game he didn't start as well as well.  What was different in terms of enabling him to turn it around during the game?

MACK BROWN:  Just sitting thinking after the ballgame and halftime to see where we would go and what we would do.  It was a real tough night for Major.  He was put in an awful position with two weeks to prepare for play calling when he hadn't called them in three or four years, and it really wasn't even his total plan when he started it.  The plan was in place when Bryan took the job to go to Arkansas State.  So they tried to tweak it some.  Then secondly Darrell Wyatt was in a new position and trying to help, so those guys coached with four guys, and I thought their plan was to be a lot of up tempo and no huddle and the first half they weren't doing it, and I said, hey, forget it, let's go, let's just do what you came in to do, because they were going to try to establish the run early and then get something going, and we couldn't block them.  They're a really good defensive front, but they stopped the run better than they rushed the passer and I thought we got them on their heels with the no huddle and I thought it was a great move by the offensive staff, and I thought it changed the game and then got David some rhythm.

The running the ball helped him.  He has not been a guy who's run the ball at times when he could, and a couple of quarterback draws, the one he scored on was a tremendous play.  He made a 2nd and long run that got us in a 3rd and 1 situation, and then the escape play that he throws to Johnathan for the touchdown was the kind of plays that the quarterback has to make to win games, and he did all that.

And if you think he struggled at TCU, he didn't play at Kansas State, so he hadn't played in four weeks or something, and he had a new play caller and a new coach, so I thought he did a tremendous job.  This game was so much like the '06 game and Colt came in and struggled the first half and came back and did well the second half.

Q.  Alex, can you talk about the flop that Manny saw in their protection?  Was it you adding the counter?  What was it?
 

ALEX OKAFOR:  Just a combination of everything.  The DBs covered longer, they covered better.  The LBs were great in their coverage.  We saw that they were short setters, and he lined both our DBs up kind in a nine technique and just told us to just kind of hang loose and do what we do.

Q.  Mack, when you were planning for this game what did you say about Marquise and what you wanted to do with him?

MACK BROWN:  Well, we felt like that our advantage would be in space with our speed, and Daje had back spasms all week, he played one play tonight but he didn't practice hardly at all.  We needed to get Marquise and we needed to get DJ Monroe the ball in space when we could and we tried it early and they had a good plan that stopped it with a Sam linebacker up field.  We had a deep ball to Marquise that I think got caught in the lights because early those lights are right down the sideline and we were wide open for a touchdown.

When we came out it's interesting when you're in a bowl game, a lot of time the officials spot the ball differently than your league, and they spotted the ball very quickly on David one time, and we ran down one time and had a delay of game, and we had another one where we had to call a timeout coming out of a break, which is something you can't have.  But then we had a great break.  They lined up offsides to the punt, and then our guys did a real good job of calling the explosive play, and it was blocked perfectly for Marquise, and when he hits the crease, that speed happens.  So he played a great game tonight.  We challenged all of our players to make sure that our seniors left happy and had a happy dressing room, and that's happening in there tonight.

Q.  David, on the touchdown pass to Gray, how fast is your mind spinning as you're escaping?  Did you ever panic and when did you realize that he was going to be open there?

DAVID ASH:  Well, you know, shoot, I don't know.  He's a great player, first of all.  Second of all, my offensive line was doing a great job protecting and giving me time to get back there and try to make something happen.

And then, you know, I think at that point you just start reacting.  It's not really designed that way, just kind of happens that way.  J. Gray could have given up on his route but he kept wheeling up the sideline and did what he was coached to do, so he showed some discipline there, and that was awesome.  Whenever players play hard and have a little freedom to play, they'll make plays for you.  So he did, and I appreciate it.

MACK BROWN:  David has never lost a bowl game, 2 0.

Q.  David, those last two drives, 7 of 7, just kind of talk about that.  What was going right on those drives?  Seemed like everything was working for you.  Did you feel that?

DAVID ASH:  Well, you know, I think we kind of had gained the momentum at that point in the game, and the guys were believing.  You know, whenever you start just playing ball and you're not thinking about anything else but just playing ball, reacting and having fun out there, you know, and I was just trying to do my job, and the reason I was 7 for 7 is because my offensive line was blocking well.  My wide receivers were making plays.  I was going behind receivers, under receivers and they were grabbing them for me.  So I think the guys just made plays.  It came down to it, it was a team win.  The defense was making plays for us and getting the ball back.  I couldn't be prouder of these seniors, couldn't be prouder of this team.

MACK BROWN:  That's a really good defensive line, too.  They were rushing us, and I did think we got them on their heels with the no huddle and our guys blocked them really well.

Q.  Mack, I think the celebration said it all, but is this the step forward that you were hoping for?  Is this the step forward into the off season, and this being a young team is this what you would want leaving here?

MACK BROWN:  Yes, one of our young strength coaches Tim Cross was a chapel this morning, that's what Kenny was talking about, and he said you got to get your mind right and you've got to move off of the space that you're in, because we were ready to move for TCU and we didn't move.  We were ready to move for Kansas State and we didn't move.  He said you can either stay where you are, which is not the standard we've set, or you can move, and you can take a step forward.  To do that you have to do that tonight, and the thing we told the guys at halftime is it can't be better than this to make the move because we're down, we're struggling.  They've got the momentum, and for us to win this game, we're going to have to have everybody jump in and do their job and do the best that they can possibly do, but this is what we need.  We need a tough win against a top team to get back in the mix so we can get confidence for all these guys coming back.  Then you add 13 practices for a bunch of young guys, and it was a really good win for us.

Q.  How proud are you of Alex, his final game in burnt orange, probably the best game he's played for you?

MACK BROWN:  I'm really proud of Alex.  You look at guys that come in four years    so Alex has really been here three and a half years, he's already gotten his degree, which is phenomenal for all the people who talk about kinds and academics and college, he's a guy that will be drafted high in the NFL, he'll play a long time in my estimation if he wants to in the NFL, and he and Kenny took over this team on leadership, which was obvious by the vote of the players for the captains.  Probably when we were struggling up at West Virginia, something in there, Alex and Kenny, we asked them, said, you just have to step up and help us on defense, we're just really struggling, and they did that, and they've made such an impact when we've had really, really hard bowl practices.  I mean, really, really hard and demanding and physical and draining, and one of the things we said each day is if you all will practice as hard as Alex and Kenny practice every day, then you'll play hard because they don't know anything different.  That's who they are.  That's what they do.

These seniors have done a great job, as few as they are, but Alex and Kenny have gotten the defense playing with some confidence and playing well tonight.

Q.  Alex, earlier in the week Manny talked about you had some unfinished business.  Do you feel like you had something to prove in this game and if so do you feel like you accomplished that tonight?

ALEX OKAFOR:  Yeah, it's always great to end the season on a good note, and that's what we did tonight.  We're going to use this game as a stepping stone and Coach Diaz just talked about that we have to demand more from ourselves.  That was kind of the mindset going into this game and that's what we did.

Q.  Marquise, are you all aware of the fact that at one point Storm Woods alone had more yards than the entire offense combined?  Were you aware of how well he was doing and how much you guys were struggling for a while?

MARQUISE GOODWIN:  There was definitely a sense of awareness, but we're really not worried about who has the most yards.  All we're trying to do is execute each play and worry about our own team and go out there and continue to fight for four quarters and try to get a W as a team.

Q.  David, you had so many moments throughout the year, so many good moments throughout the year but ended on a tough note against TCU.  How important was it and meaningful for you was it to play well in this game and try to go out on a good note?

DAVID ASH:  You know, I guess to answer your question, in every situation you have to be thankful.  I learned a lot at TCU, tough situation that I was in, but I'm just really thankful that I got another opportunity to play a game I love.  Thankful God has given me the abilities I have and put me in this place with great teammates and great coaches.  I believe his hand is in everything.  I believe he's writing my story, and I'm following him.  Just very thankful for the seniors and for the way the team played tonight.

Q.  David, in other games you started you didn't get to finish the game.  Tonight when you started out slow what was the difference personally?

DAVID ASH:  Well, you know, I think you approach each game    it's not like in other games, where it's like, well, since I started slow I'm just not going to play well the rest of the game.  You just kind of keep plugging away and you kind of wait for that play that sparks.  This game we started getting them, and we got the momentum back and we started playing well.  You know, that's what it takes.  It takes every guy on that bench to lead and get the job done, and the guys believed tonight, believed in each other, believed in our preparation and played as hard as they could, and it was a lot of fun, and just couldn't be more thankful.

Q.  (No microphone.)

DAVID ASH:  I don't know, there were several of them, but probably the first reverse, the guy was going a little bit, and usually points usually get you going a little bit, and defensive turnovers provide a lot of momentum.  When those start happening, pretty soon more of it starts happening, and guys start believing and playing hard and playing ball and forgetting about everything else and concentrating on    it's like you're in the backyard again.

Q.  What was the most important halftime adjustment?

DAVID ASH:  You know, we were just kind of looking at trying to get in a rhythm more.  We were trying to get better on 1st downs.  Obviously we struggled a little bit putting ourselves in some long yardage situations on 3rd down in the first half, and it's pretty hard to convert on 3rd and long, so we tried to get better on 1st down, and we tried to get some tempo and momentum going.  If we could get a rhythm going, we were going to try to get some tempo going, and I think we'll watch it on film and see that they were having trouble getting lined up and they were getting pretty winded.  So those were the kind of adjustments we made.

Q.  Coach Diaz, talk about the defensive performance tonight and specifically Alex Okafor.

MANNY DIAZ:  Yeah, very proud of the way the guys played.  I felt like they had a decision to make at halftime.  I thought we started the game well and then had a spell where we didn't play as well, and they had a decision to make.  To me it was whether they wanted to fight their way out of it or sort of accept their fate, and I'm so proud of the way that they fought, the way that they battled in the second half.

As far as Alex, you always want your seniors to play well and finish off their career on a great note, but to ask for five sacks, whatever he had, four and a half sacks, he'd have been embarrassed to ask for that before the game.  It's almost too good to be true.  But I'll say this:  The word deserve can be thrown around a little bit, but he deserved to have the success he had tonight because he's been a warrior for us all year.  We haven't always played well around him, and he's never wavered.  He's been one of our hardest workers in practice, been a great leader in the locker room.

Again, in some sense he deserved the success he had tonight and very proud of him for it.

Q.  Coach Diaz, y'all have had a lot of success the last few bowl games.  Do you feel like there's any carryover into Big 12 play?

MANNY DIAZ:  Well, no, I don't    first of all, yes, it's a different sport.  We play a different sport in our conference than some of these other conferences do.  I don't think there's any doubt about that.  But I thought our guys in the secondary were just outstanding tonight.  To me to hold Wheaton and Cooks to 6 for 68, again, I never would have asked for that in my wildest dreams.  Those are outstanding football players.  So we did some things on the back end to give the corners some help.  The corners battled, the corners fought, and obviously you've got to compliment the pass rush, as well.  It was really a team effort for those guys in handling their passing game.

Q.  Major, can you talk a little bit about the advantage that having a guy like Marquise Goodwin, that kind of speed on offense, gives you as a play caller?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE:  Sure.  It's a tremendous advantage.  This game is about speed.  It's about speed and explosive players, and I think if you asked Manny or any other defensive coordinator, when they turn on the tape, the first thing they want to look for is who can make plays, explosive plays.  That's why he talked about Wheaton, that's why he talked about Cooks, and it was real important to hold those guys to a combined six catches for about 68 yards.

So his what he brings to the offense, you can't measure that.  That's just the physical side of it.  But the type of player he is, the type of competitor, he's done that since he was a freshman in the Oklahoma game.  He's made big play after big play after big play.  I hate that I only had one game with him, but he'll be a success at whatever he tries to do.  He's just that kind of guy.

Q.  All season long with regards to DJ and Marquise, it's kind of been like when the situation calls for it.  Tonight you were clearly making more of an effort to get the ball in their hands.  How important going into this game was it to get them involved early?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE:  Yeah, we wanted to get them involved early.  Again, tying into what I just said about speed and explosive players, you've got to fire all your weapons, and I don't want to create the war analogy too much, but if you have weapons, use them.  That's what we've got to do is use those guys.  If they find ways to take it away from us, then we've got to find ways to get it back in their hand.  What you learn even as a player, you don't have to block them all.  You don't have to block them all.  When you get those guys that have exceptional speed, they can do things outside of the design of the play so you don't have to be perfect, there's a little bit more margin for error in what you do when you give the ball to a great athlete.

Q.  Coach Diaz, earlier in the week you talked about your team had a point to prove, had some unfinished business.  Did they prove to point tonight?

MANNY DIAZ:  It is.  They did some of that.  It will be very important for us to understand by all means that we have not fixed all of our issues and we have not arrived.  There's no back, there's no everything is great.  All we talked about was this being a step leading into what is a very, very important off season in this football program.  It's going to feel a lot better coming off this bowl game, but the fact we battled and won a close ballgame doesn't change the fact that this football team is going to have to grind to get where it wants to go, and I think the guys saw that in the month of December the way they attacked practice.

We talked about the word demand, we talked about demanding and not asking of each other but demanding of each other.  So maybe tonight they saw a little glimpse, and when we start to demand more from each other, the results can improve.  But any notion that we should be happy and rest on our laurels would be foolish.

Q.  Major, the drive that David scored, when David ran it in for a touchdown, that drive, he was able to hit Shipley a couple times.  Did you see his confidence level or anything about that drive where he started to kind of get it?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE:  Yeah, one thing, going into the game, talking to Coach Wyatt, we spent a lot of time together and talking to Searels, with the backup quarterback situation, we didn't want to come in in the first half and run him a whole bunch and get a situation where we had to play a guy who wasn't ready.  So when we got into halftime they were doing a good job against our run game, and they're a good defense.  They're a top 15 team; they're a good defense.  So we were having some struggles and we felt like we had to get him involved in the run game to loosen some things up, and he did a great job in the run game, and we've got    like Manny was saying, by no means is it fixed; we've got some things that we can get better on.  Our tempo tonight was a key factor.  I'd say those are the two biggest adjustments at halftime was getting David running the ball a little bit and having some tempo, and we've just got to continue to build on that.

Q.  Major, you exercised some patience tonight with this game plan.  You kept going back to the things that you started the game with and you started having success later.  Once the momentum started going did you change at all or kind of stay that course once the momentum got better?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE:  Stayed the course in terms of what we were trying to do.  We felt like we watched Oregon against those guys, and they're obviously known as a fast paced attack.  We can create some advantages for us with our speed on the field and spread them out, and in the first half they were fresh.  They were fresh.  In the second half, the game gets a little bit looser when you come out at halftime, and we just stayed with it and guys made plays, and David did a great job of taking care of the ball.  And that's just a big factor in winning and losing games, period.

Q.  Coach Applewhite, we saw a lot more shotgun spread, no huddle this game.  Is that something you feel is going to be a philosophic switch for the program under your coordination?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE:  You know, Darrell and I want to be able to move the tempo.  We want to be able to move it up and back.  We want to still be able to get in two backs and go downhill if we need to.  Our term, our definition of balance is being able to win the game both ways, whether it's running the ball or throwing the ball, and tonight the way we needed to win the game was to spread them out, throw it, clear some loose lanes for the quarterback to run the ball and be effective.

So we want to get in here in the off season.  It's not about the Xs and Os, it's really about just the culture of our program and demanding more of our guys, demanding more of our coaches, strength coaches, trainers, just getting guys tougher, and that's where we're going to improve as a ball club.  You can call any play you want.

That's why we've got to have an off season and we've got to be uncomfortable as coaches, uncomfortable as players, and that's where you find your largest growth, and so these next eight, nine months are going to be vital for us.  The good thing is these young guys, you can preach that to them all you want, but maybe over the course of their freshman and sophomore years maybe now it's starting to sink in, and like Manny said, I think they're starting to feel the effects of it was uncomfortable for these four weeks of practice following two losses, but this feels pretty damned good, so we'll build on that.

Q.  What's your reaction to seeing Cody Vaz sacked 10 times by the defense?

MANNY DIAZ:  Well, that doesn't happen very often, obviously, but I think there were a lot of things that were in play.  Like I said, I thought we covered them well, matched up with their pass game stuff.  They're an unbelievable screen team.  There's not a screen that they don't find a way to run.

We intercepted one of their screen passes so we made a play there.  And then the coverage guys, and just the way we were relentless in the pass rush.  And it wasn't always one guy; of course Alex was dominant, but we had a bunch of other guys that were in there on the sacks, and sometimes the guy just had to hold the ball half a count longer for us to get there.

And then the other thing is we were so much better in the run game in the second half, and everyone else is aware of what our issues have been this year.  Of all the things that we have to address and fix, we have to obviously become a better run defense, more similar to what we were the year before.  When we got them into more obvious passing downs, it was pretty simple after that.

Q.  Major, two parter.  Why is David Ash the right guy to play quarterback at Texas going forward, and how difficult was it preparing knowing you didn't really have a backup quarterback for this game, and did that impact your decision to run him or not run him early?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE:  You know, David is a true sophomore.  He's a young guy still, but I think he's got the determination, I think he's got the mindset.  Games like this, games like Stillwater, games like Ole Miss, those are games that he just has to continue to build confidence in, and we've got to simplify things and make it easy for him so he can play fast.  I thought as he got involved in the run game, I thought he loosened up and he got going.  So we've got to look at that and see how he was responsive in that situation.  He did well in that situation, and pleased with the way he played.

I'm not sure about your second part.  What was the second part?

Q.  On not having a backup quarterback:

MAJOR APPLEWHITE:  Not having a backup quarterback?  I'd like to forget that.  I spent about two hours with Jalen Overstreet in conference ballroom 15 trying to get ready for the game, and it was a little nerve wracking.  But the kids jumped at it, took to it.  We were ready to roll with him.  We had a package for him to go in there and get him moving.

I'm excited to work with him in the spring and get him going.  I think we can do some things.  Both these guys are big, strong stature quarterbacks that can throw it and run, and I'm looking forward to working with Jalen in the spring.

December 29th, 2012
Texas Post Game Press Conference - B
Head Coach Mack Brown, Co-Offensive Coordinator Major Applewhite, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz, Quarterback David Ash, Receiver Marquise Goodwin, Defensive End Alex Okafor, Safety Kenny Vaccaro
Play WAV audio of this Press Quote

Q. Alex, can you talk about your night, four and a half sacks and a forced fumble.

ALEX OKAFOR: I mean, we've just been breaking down film all month, and Coach Diaz saw a weakness in the protection, and he put me in a great position to go make plays.

Q. Marquise, can you go through the first touchdown of the game on the reverse and then the play with Ash the last touchdown?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: First of all, giving all honors to God. Without him there wouldn't be no me and Texas. You know, coach Applewhite set up a great play. We've been working on it all week. It was an H reverse, I went into the slot, ran the reverse, and I saw 51 running out there, and then I seen Ash in front of me, and by that time it parted like the Red Sea and I just ran through it. And on the second touchdown, it was just a setup all game. They bit on the trouble moves and I just escaped them, Ash threw a great ball, and touchdown.

Q. It's been kind of a crazy year for you. You had a great game in the last bowl and you had to go to the Olympics. Does this make up at all for what happened over the summer?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Two different sports, you know. Two different sports really can't compare the two. But I'm just happy that we got the W today and we played together as a team, and that's what I'm going to remember most today.

Q. Marquise, now that you've gone through it, what was the Applewhite factor? What did we see different in this game?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Coach Applewhite definitely found a way to use me a little more than I was used early on during the season. You know, he did a great job coordinating the offense, and he set up great plays, and we just went out there and executed.

Q. Kenny, obviously you're pretty good friends with Alex. What did you think about the way he went out tonight?

KENNY VACCARO: That's what he brings every game, just dominance, and that's what we said when we broke the huddle in the hotel, just dominate everything you do, and I demand a lot out of Alex, I know he demands a lot out of me, and when I'm covering out there, I just think about my boy getting a sack.

Q. Alex, I was wondering if you could walk me through that last sack, what was happening on the field to put them in that 4th and 14.

ALEX OKAFOR: Just like all the other ones, I just came off the ball, saw the pass set, and he was kind of kicking back tight, and I just ran around.

Q. Alex, it's rare to see a defensive player truly dominate a game like you did at the end. Was there a point where you felt like you were in a zone and they couldn't stop you?

ALEX OKAFOR: It's just when as a pass rusher you work one move on a guy you start hitting on that move, and if you have accounted for that move, it's difficult for a tackle to really control the D end. As you said, I just kind of got in the zone, and luckily I had the DBs back there and the LBs back there covering for me, so I got plenty of time to go rush the passer and make plays.

Q. Kenny how does this cap off the season after a two game losing streak?

KENNY VACCARO: I think just momentum for next year. We did better than last year, obviously, and our main goal this whole week was just seize the moment for these guys and set them up for what's to come and kind of like Coach Cross had a good mention this morning in chapel, kind of get to the promised land. He said Moses got them to promised land and Joshua took him through, and that's what we want these young guys to do.

Q. Marquise, did you see anything change with David before the last two offensive series?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Oh, yeah, he definitely got his confidence back up, got back rolling. He was playing good all throughout the game, not just in the last two sessions that we had the ball. He did a wonderful job tonight and he found receivers open, running backs open, tight ends, and he just made plays. He made plays on his feet, and he played a really smart game today, and I commend him for that.

Q. Coach Brown, could you talk about Alex's performance tonight and just your overall thoughts on the entire game?

MACK BROWN: Yes. They've got two tremendous receivers, and it really scared us going into the ballgame because of their ability to catch a ball in space and score or get deep double moves. Kenny and I talked about it in the dressing room after the game, they didn't get a deep ball, which is amazing. Part of that was Alex's fault because he didn't have time to get it off. The only trouble we got in defensively was right before the half when they were running the ball, and if they could be balanced then we knew we were in trouble. When we got them when they were in a position to throw and the crowd was tremendous tonight in our favor, and they really helped us, got the kids stirred up, and when that happened momentum changed, then we had the fumble, and then they scored quickly, and then we come back and scored again, and then the defense just completely took over the game at the end.

I don't think our defense has played better, four turnovers, I think, or three turnovers and a fourth down stop in a ballgame, and in fact it hurt us that we didn't score off the turnovers early, but the defense was relentless, just kept coming and that's a really good offensive football team. I think Mike is one of the best play callers, best offensive coaches in the country.

Q. In all of David's good games this year, it seems like he started strong and ended strong. This game he didn't start as well as well. What was different in terms of enabling him to turn it around during the game?

MACK BROWN: Just sitting thinking after the ballgame and halftime to see where we would go and what we would do. It was a real tough night for Major. He was put in an awful position with two weeks to prepare for play calling when he hadn't called them in three or four years, and it really wasn't even his total plan when he started it. The plan was in place when Bryan took the job to go to Arkansas State. So they tried to tweak it some. Then secondly Darrell Wyatt was in a new position and trying to help, so those guys coached with four guys, and I thought their plan was to be a lot of up tempo and no huddle and the first half they weren't doing it, and I said, hey, forget it, let's go, let's just do what you came in to do, because they were going to try to establish the run early and then get something going, and we couldn't block them. They're a really good defensive front, but they stopped the run better than they rushed the passer and I thought we got them on their heels with the no huddle and I thought it was a great move by the offensive staff, and I thought it changed the game and then got David some rhythm.

The running the ball helped him. He has not been a guy who's run the ball at times when he could, and a couple of quarterback draws, the one he scored on was a tremendous play. He made a 2nd and long run that got us in a 3rd and 1 situation, and then the escape play that he throws to Johnathan for the touchdown was the kind of plays that the quarterback has to make to win games, and he did all that.

And if you think he struggled at TCU, he didn't play at Kansas State, so he hadn't played in four weeks or something, and he had a new play caller and a new coach, so I thought he did a tremendous job. This game was so much like the '06 game and Colt came in and struggled the first half and came back and did well the second half.

Q. Alex, can you talk about the flop that Manny saw in their protection? Was it you adding the counter? What was it?
 

ALEX OKAFOR: Just a combination of everything. The DBs covered longer, they covered better. The LBs were great in their coverage. We saw that they were short setters, and he lined both our DBs up kind in a nine technique and just told us to just kind of hang loose and do what we do.

Q. Mack, when you were planning for this game what did you say about Marquise and what you wanted to do with him?

MACK BROWN: Well, we felt like that our advantage would be in space with our speed, and Daje had back spasms all week, he played one play tonight but he didn't practice hardly at all. We needed to get Marquise and we needed to get DJ Monroe the ball in space when we could and we tried it early and they had a good plan that stopped it with a Sam linebacker up field. We had a deep ball to Marquise that I think got caught in the lights because early those lights are right down the sideline and we were wide open for a touchdown.

When we came out it's interesting when you're in a bowl game, a lot of time the officials spot the ball differently than your league, and they spotted the ball very quickly on David one time, and we ran down one time and had a delay of game, and we had another one where we had to call a timeout coming out of a break, which is something you can't have. But then we had a great break. They lined up offsides to the punt, and then our guys did a real good job of calling the explosive play, and it was blocked perfectly for Marquise, and when he hits the crease, that speed happens. So he played a great game tonight. We challenged all of our players to make sure that our seniors left happy and had a happy dressing room, and that's happening in there tonight.

Q. David, on the touchdown pass to Gray, how fast is your mind spinning as you're escaping? Did you ever panic and when did you realize that he was going to be open there?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, shoot, I don't know. He's a great player, first of all. Second of all, my offensive line was doing a great job protecting and giving me time to get back there and try to make something happen.

And then, you know, I think at that point you just start reacting. It's not really designed that way, just kind of happens that way. J. Gray could have given up on his route but he kept wheeling up the sideline and did what he was coached to do, so he showed some discipline there, and that was awesome. Whenever players play hard and have a little freedom to play, they'll make plays for you. So he did, and I appreciate it.

MACK BROWN: David has never lost a bowl game, 2 0.

Q. David, those last two drives, 7 of 7, just kind of talk about that. What was going right on those drives? Seemed like everything was working for you. Did you feel that?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, I think we kind of had gained the momentum at that point in the game, and the guys were believing. You know, whenever you start just playing ball and you're not thinking about anything else but just playing ball, reacting and having fun out there, you know, and I was just trying to do my job, and the reason I was 7 for 7 is because my offensive line was blocking well. My wide receivers were making plays. I was going behind receivers, under receivers and they were grabbing them for me. So I think the guys just made plays. It came down to it, it was a team win. The defense was making plays for us and getting the ball back. I couldn't be prouder of these seniors, couldn't be prouder of this team.

MACK BROWN: That's a really good defensive line, too. They were rushing us, and I did think we got them on their heels with the no huddle and our guys blocked them really well.

Q. Mack, I think the celebration said it all, but is this the step forward that you were hoping for? Is this the step forward into the off season, and this being a young team is this what you would want leaving here?

MACK BROWN: Yes, one of our young strength coaches Tim Cross was a chapel this morning, that's what Kenny was talking about, and he said you got to get your mind right and you've got to move off of the space that you're in, because we were ready to move for TCU and we didn't move. We were ready to move for Kansas State and we didn't move. He said you can either stay where you are, which is not the standard we've set, or you can move, and you can take a step forward. To do that you have to do that tonight, and the thing we told the guys at halftime is it can't be better than this to make the move because we're down, we're struggling. They've got the momentum, and for us to win this game, we're going to have to have everybody jump in and do their job and do the best that they can possibly do, but this is what we need. We need a tough win against a top team to get back in the mix so we can get confidence for all these guys coming back. Then you add 13 practices for a bunch of young guys, and it was a really good win for us.

Q. How proud are you of Alex, his final game in burnt orange, probably the best game he's played for you?

MACK BROWN: I'm really proud of Alex. You look at guys that come in four years so Alex has really been here three and a half years, he's already gotten his degree, which is phenomenal for all the people who talk about kinds and academics and college, he's a guy that will be drafted high in the NFL, he'll play a long time in my estimation if he wants to in the NFL, and he and Kenny took over this team on leadership, which was obvious by the vote of the players for the captains. Probably when we were struggling up at West Virginia, something in there, Alex and Kenny, we asked them, said, you just have to step up and help us on defense, we're just really struggling, and they did that, and they've made such an impact when we've had really, really hard bowl practices. I mean, really, really hard and demanding and physical and draining, and one of the things we said each day is if you all will practice as hard as Alex and Kenny practice every day, then you'll play hard because they don't know anything different. That's who they are. That's what they do.

These seniors have done a great job, as few as they are, but Alex and Kenny have gotten the defense playing with some confidence and playing well tonight.

Q. Alex, earlier in the week Manny talked about you had some unfinished business. Do you feel like you had something to prove in this game and if so do you feel like you accomplished that tonight?

ALEX OKAFOR: Yeah, it's always great to end the season on a good note, and that's what we did tonight. We're going to use this game as a stepping stone and Coach Diaz just talked about that we have to demand more from ourselves. That was kind of the mindset going into this game and that's what we did.

Q. Marquise, are you all aware of the fact that at one point Storm Woods alone had more yards than the entire offense combined? Were you aware of how well he was doing and how much you guys were struggling for a while?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: There was definitely a sense of awareness, but we're really not worried about who has the most yards. All we're trying to do is execute each play and worry about our own team and go out there and continue to fight for four quarters and try to get a W as a team.

Q. David, you had so many moments throughout the year, so many good moments throughout the year but ended on a tough note against TCU. How important was it and meaningful for you was it to play well in this game and try to go out on a good note?

DAVID ASH: You know, I guess to answer your question, in every situation you have to be thankful. I learned a lot at TCU, tough situation that I was in, but I'm just really thankful that I got another opportunity to play a game I love. Thankful God has given me the abilities I have and put me in this place with great teammates and great coaches. I believe his hand is in everything. I believe he's writing my story, and I'm following him. Just very thankful for the seniors and for the way the team played tonight.

Q. David, in other games you started you didn't get to finish the game. Tonight when you started out slow what was the difference personally?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, I think you approach each game it's not like in other games, where it's like, well, since I started slow I'm just not going to play well the rest of the game. You just kind of keep plugging away and you kind of wait for that play that sparks. This game we started getting them, and we got the momentum back and we started playing well. You know, that's what it takes. It takes every guy on that bench to lead and get the job done, and the guys believed tonight, believed in each other, believed in our preparation and played as hard as they could, and it was a lot of fun, and just couldn't be more thankful.

Q. (No microphone.)

DAVID ASH: I don't know, there were several of them, but probably the first reverse, the guy was going a little bit, and usually points usually get you going a little bit, and defensive turnovers provide a lot of momentum. When those start happening, pretty soon more of it starts happening, and guys start believing and playing hard and playing ball and forgetting about everything else and concentrating on it's like you're in the backyard again.

Q. What was the most important halftime adjustment?

DAVID ASH: You know, we were just kind of looking at trying to get in a rhythm more. We were trying to get better on 1st downs. Obviously we struggled a little bit putting ourselves in some long yardage situations on 3rd down in the first half, and it's pretty hard to convert on 3rd and long, so we tried to get better on 1st down, and we tried to get some tempo and momentum going. If we could get a rhythm going, we were going to try to get some tempo going, and I think we'll watch it on film and see that they were having trouble getting lined up and they were getting pretty winded. So those were the kind of adjustments we made.

Q. Coach Diaz, talk about the defensive performance tonight and specifically Alex Okafor.

MANNY DIAZ: Yeah, very proud of the way the guys played. I felt like they had a decision to make at halftime. I thought we started the game well and then had a spell where we didn't play as well, and they had a decision to make. To me it was whether they wanted to fight their way out of it or sort of accept their fate, and I'm so proud of the way that they fought, the way that they battled in the second half.

As far as Alex, you always want your seniors to play well and finish off their career on a great note, but to ask for five sacks, whatever he had, four and a half sacks, he'd have been embarrassed to ask for that before the game. It's almost too good to be true. But I'll say this: The word deserve can be thrown around a little bit, but he deserved to have the success he had tonight because he's been a warrior for us all year. We haven't always played well around him, and he's never wavered. He's been one of our hardest workers in practice, been a great leader in the locker room.

Again, in some sense he deserved the success he had tonight and very proud of him for it.

Q. Coach Diaz, y'all have had a lot of success the last few bowl games. Do you feel like there's any carryover into Big 12 play?

MANNY DIAZ: Well, no, I don't first of all, yes, it's a different sport. We play a different sport in our conference than some of these other conferences do. I don't think there's any doubt about that. But I thought our guys in the secondary were just outstanding tonight. To me to hold Wheaton and Cooks to 6 for 68, again, I never would have asked for that in my wildest dreams. Those are outstanding football players. So we did some things on the back end to give the corners some help. The corners battled, the corners fought, and obviously you've got to compliment the pass rush, as well. It was really a team effort for those guys in handling their passing game.

Q. Major, can you talk a little bit about the advantage that having a guy like Marquise Goodwin, that kind of speed on offense, gives you as a play caller?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Sure. It's a tremendous advantage. This game is about speed. It's about speed and explosive players, and I think if you asked Manny or any other defensive coordinator, when they turn on the tape, the first thing they want to look for is who can make plays, explosive plays. That's why he talked about Wheaton, that's why he talked about Cooks, and it was real important to hold those guys to a combined six catches for about 68 yards.

So his what he brings to the offense, you can't measure that. That's just the physical side of it. But the type of player he is, the type of competitor, he's done that since he was a freshman in the Oklahoma game. He's made big play after big play after big play. I hate that I only had one game with him, but he'll be a success at whatever he tries to do. He's just that kind of guy.

Q. All season long with regards to DJ and Marquise, it's kind of been like when the situation calls for it. Tonight you were clearly making more of an effort to get the ball in their hands. How important going into this game was it to get them involved early?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Yeah, we wanted to get them involved early. Again, tying into what I just said about speed and explosive players, you've got to fire all your weapons, and I don't want to create the war analogy too much, but if you have weapons, use them. That's what we've got to do is use those guys. If they find ways to take it away from us, then we've got to find ways to get it back in their hand. What you learn even as a player, you don't have to block them all. You don't have to block them all. When you get those guys that have exceptional speed, they can do things outside of the design of the play so you don't have to be perfect, there's a little bit more margin for error in what you do when you give the ball to a great athlete.

Q. Coach Diaz, earlier in the week you talked about your team had a point to prove, had some unfinished business. Did they prove to point tonight?

MANNY DIAZ: It is. They did some of that. It will be very important for us to understand by all means that we have not fixed all of our issues and we have not arrived. There's no back, there's no everything is great. All we talked about was this being a step leading into what is a very, very important off season in this football program. It's going to feel a lot better coming off this bowl game, but the fact we battled and won a close ballgame doesn't change the fact that this football team is going to have to grind to get where it wants to go, and I think the guys saw that in the month of December the way they attacked practice.

We talked about the word demand, we talked about demanding and not asking of each other but demanding of each other. So maybe tonight they saw a little glimpse, and when we start to demand more from each other, the results can improve. But any notion that we should be happy and rest on our laurels would be foolish.

Q. Major, the drive that David scored, when David ran it in for a touchdown, that drive, he was able to hit Shipley a couple times. Did you see his confidence level or anything about that drive where he started to kind of get it?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Yeah, one thing, going into the game, talking to Coach Wyatt, we spent a lot of time together and talking to Searels, with the backup quarterback situation, we didn't want to come in in the first half and run him a whole bunch and get a situation where we had to play a guy who wasn't ready. So when we got into halftime they were doing a good job against our run game, and they're a good defense. They're a top 15 team; they're a good defense. So we were having some struggles and we felt like we had to get him involved in the run game to loosen some things up, and he did a great job in the run game, and we've got like Manny was saying, by no means is it fixed; we've got some things that we can get better on. Our tempo tonight was a key factor. I'd say those are the two biggest adjustments at halftime was getting David running the ball a little bit and having some tempo, and we've just got to continue to build on that.

Q. Major, you exercised some patience tonight with this game plan. You kept going back to the things that you started the game with and you started having success later. Once the momentum started going did you change at all or kind of stay that course once the momentum got better?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Stayed the course in terms of what we were trying to do. We felt like we watched Oregon against those guys, and they're obviously known as a fast paced attack. We can create some advantages for us with our speed on the field and spread them out, and in the first half they were fresh. They were fresh. In the second half, the game gets a little bit looser when you come out at halftime, and we just stayed with it and guys made plays, and David did a great job of taking care of the ball. And that's just a big factor in winning and losing games, period.

Q. Coach Applewhite, we saw a lot more shotgun spread, no huddle this game. Is that something you feel is going to be a philosophic switch for the program under your coordination?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: You know, Darrell and I want to be able to move the tempo. We want to be able to move it up and back. We want to still be able to get in two backs and go downhill if we need to. Our term, our definition of balance is being able to win the game both ways, whether it's running the ball or throwing the ball, and tonight the way we needed to win the game was to spread them out, throw it, clear some loose lanes for the quarterback to run the ball and be effective.

So we want to get in here in the off season. It's not about the Xs and Os, it's really about just the culture of our program and demanding more of our guys, demanding more of our coaches, strength coaches, trainers, just getting guys tougher, and that's where we're going to improve as a ball club. You can call any play you want.

That's why we've got to have an off season and we've got to be uncomfortable as coaches, uncomfortable as players, and that's where you find your largest growth, and so these next eight, nine months are going to be vital for us. The good thing is these young guys, you can preach that to them all you want, but maybe over the course of their freshman and sophomore years maybe now it's starting to sink in, and like Manny said, I think they're starting to feel the effects of it was uncomfortable for these four weeks of practice following two losses, but this feels pretty damned good, so we'll build on that.

Q. What's your reaction to seeing Cody Vaz sacked 10 times by the defense?

MANNY DIAZ: Well, that doesn't happen very often, obviously, but I think there were a lot of things that were in play. Like I said, I thought we covered them well, matched up with their pass game stuff. They're an unbelievable screen team. There's not a screen that they don't find a way to run.

We intercepted one of their screen passes so we made a play there. And then the coverage guys, and just the way we were relentless in the pass rush. And it wasn't always one guy; of course Alex was dominant, but we had a bunch of other guys that were in there on the sacks, and sometimes the guy just had to hold the ball half a count longer for us to get there.

And then the other thing is we were so much better in the run game in the second half, and everyone else is aware of what our issues have been this year. Of all the things that we have to address and fix, we have to obviously become a better run defense, more similar to what we were the year before. When we got them into more obvious passing downs, it was pretty simple after that.

Q. Major, two parter. Why is David Ash the right guy to play quarterback at Texas going forward, and how difficult was it preparing knowing you didn't really have a backup quarterback for this game, and did that impact your decision to run him or not run him early?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: You know, David is a true sophomore. He's a young guy still, but I think he's got the determination, I think he's got the mindset. Games like this, games like Stillwater, games like Ole Miss, those are games that he just has to continue to build confidence in, and we've got to simplify things and make it easy for him so he can play fast. I thought as he got involved in the run game, I thought he loosened up and he got going. So we've got to look at that and see how he was responsive in that situation. He did well in that situation, and pleased with the way he played.

I'm not sure about your second part. What was the second part?

Q. On not having a backup quarterback:

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Not having a backup quarterback? I'd like to forget that. I spent about two hours with Jalen Overstreet in conference ballroom 15 trying to get ready for the game, and it was a little nerve wracking. But the kids jumped at it, took to it. We were ready to roll with him. We had a package for him to go in there and get him moving.

I'm excited to work with him in the spring and get him going. I think we can do some things. Both these guys are big, strong stature quarterbacks that can throw it and run, and I'm looking forward to working with Jalen in the spring.

December 29th, 2012
Texas Post Game Press Conference - C
Head Coach Mack Brown, Co-Offensive Coordinator Major Applewhite, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz, Quarterback David Ash, Receiver Marquise Goodwin, Defensive End Alex Okafor, Safety Kenny Vaccaro
Play WAV audio of this Press Quote

Q. Alex, can you talk about your night, four and a half sacks and a forced fumble.

ALEX OKAFOR: I mean, we've just been breaking down film all month, and Coach Diaz saw a weakness in the protection, and he put me in a great position to go make plays.

Q. Marquise, can you go through the first touchdown of the game on the reverse and then the play with Ash the last touchdown?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: First of all, giving all honors to God. Without him there wouldn't be no me and Texas. You know, coach Applewhite set up a great play. We've been working on it all week. It was an H reverse, I went into the slot, ran the reverse, and I saw 51 running out there, and then I seen Ash in front of me, and by that time it parted like the Red Sea and I just ran through it. And on the second touchdown, it was just a setup all game. They bit on the trouble moves and I just escaped them, Ash threw a great ball, and touchdown.

Q. It's been kind of a crazy year for you. You had a great game in the last bowl and you had to go to the Olympics. Does this make up at all for what happened over the summer?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Two different sports, you know. Two different sports really can't compare the two. But I'm just happy that we got the W today and we played together as a team, and that's what I'm going to remember most today.

Q. Marquise, now that you've gone through it, what was the Applewhite factor? What did we see different in this game?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Coach Applewhite definitely found a way to use me a little more than I was used early on during the season. You know, he did a great job coordinating the offense, and he set up great plays, and we just went out there and executed.

Q. Kenny, obviously you're pretty good friends with Alex. What did you think about the way he went out tonight?

KENNY VACCARO: That's what he brings every game, just dominance, and that's what we said when we broke the huddle in the hotel, just dominate everything you do, and I demand a lot out of Alex, I know he demands a lot out of me, and when I'm covering out there, I just think about my boy getting a sack.

Q. Alex, I was wondering if you could walk me through that last sack, what was happening on the field to put them in that 4th and 14.

ALEX OKAFOR: Just like all the other ones, I just came off the ball, saw the pass set, and he was kind of kicking back tight, and I just ran around.

Q. Alex, it's rare to see a defensive player truly dominate a game like you did at the end. Was there a point where you felt like you were in a zone and they couldn't stop you?

ALEX OKAFOR: It's just when as a pass rusher you work one move on a guy you start hitting on that move, and if you have accounted for that move, it's difficult for a tackle to really control the D end. As you said, I just kind of got in the zone, and luckily I had the DBs back there and the LBs back there covering for me, so I got plenty of time to go rush the passer and make plays.

Q. Kenny how does this cap off the season after a two game losing streak?

KENNY VACCARO: I think just momentum for next year. We did better than last year, obviously, and our main goal this whole week was just seize the moment for these guys and set them up for what's to come and kind of like Coach Cross had a good mention this morning in chapel, kind of get to the promised land. He said Moses got them to promised land and Joshua took him through, and that's what we want these young guys to do.

Q. Marquise, did you see anything change with David before the last two offensive series?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Oh, yeah, he definitely got his confidence back up, got back rolling. He was playing good all throughout the game, not just in the last two sessions that we had the ball. He did a wonderful job tonight and he found receivers open, running backs open, tight ends, and he just made plays. He made plays on his feet, and he played a really smart game today, and I commend him for that.

Q. Coach Brown, could you talk about Alex's performance tonight and just your overall thoughts on the entire game?

MACK BROWN: Yes. They've got two tremendous receivers, and it really scared us going into the ballgame because of their ability to catch a ball in space and score or get deep double moves. Kenny and I talked about it in the dressing room after the game, they didn't get a deep ball, which is amazing. Part of that was Alex's fault because he didn't have time to get it off. The only trouble we got in defensively was right before the half when they were running the ball, and if they could be balanced then we knew we were in trouble. When we got them when they were in a position to throw and the crowd was tremendous tonight in our favor, and they really helped us, got the kids stirred up, and when that happened momentum changed, then we had the fumble, and then they scored quickly, and then we come back and scored again, and then the defense just completely took over the game at the end.

I don't think our defense has played better, four turnovers, I think, or three turnovers and a fourth down stop in a ballgame, and in fact it hurt us that we didn't score off the turnovers early, but the defense was relentless, just kept coming and that's a really good offensive football team. I think Mike is one of the best play callers, best offensive coaches in the country.

Q. In all of David's good games this year, it seems like he started strong and ended strong. This game he didn't start as well as well. What was different in terms of enabling him to turn it around during the game?

MACK BROWN: Just sitting thinking after the ballgame and halftime to see where we would go and what we would do. It was a real tough night for Major. He was put in an awful position with two weeks to prepare for play calling when he hadn't called them in three or four years, and it really wasn't even his total plan when he started it. The plan was in place when Bryan took the job to go to Arkansas State. So they tried to tweak it some. Then secondly Darrell Wyatt was in a new position and trying to help, so those guys coached with four guys, and I thought their plan was to be a lot of up tempo and no huddle and the first half they weren't doing it, and I said, hey, forget it, let's go, let's just do what you came in to do, because they were going to try to establish the run early and then get something going, and we couldn't block them. They're a really good defensive front, but they stopped the run better than they rushed the passer and I thought we got them on their heels with the no huddle and I thought it was a great move by the offensive staff, and I thought it changed the game and then got David some rhythm.

The running the ball helped him. He has not been a guy who's run the ball at times when he could, and a couple of quarterback draws, the one he scored on was a tremendous play. He made a 2nd and long run that got us in a 3rd and 1 situation, and then the escape play that he throws to Johnathan for the touchdown was the kind of plays that the quarterback has to make to win games, and he did all that.

And if you think he struggled at TCU, he didn't play at Kansas State, so he hadn't played in four weeks or something, and he had a new play caller and a new coach, so I thought he did a tremendous job. This game was so much like the '06 game and Colt came in and struggled the first half and came back and did well the second half.

Q. Alex, can you talk about the flop that Manny saw in their protection? Was it you adding the counter? What was it?
 

ALEX OKAFOR: Just a combination of everything. The DBs covered longer, they covered better. The LBs were great in their coverage. We saw that they were short setters, and he lined both our DBs up kind in a nine technique and just told us to just kind of hang loose and do what we do.

Q. Mack, when you were planning for this game what did you say about Marquise and what you wanted to do with him?

MACK BROWN: Well, we felt like that our advantage would be in space with our speed, and Daje had back spasms all week, he played one play tonight but he didn't practice hardly at all. We needed to get Marquise and we needed to get DJ Monroe the ball in space when we could and we tried it early and they had a good plan that stopped it with a Sam linebacker up field. We had a deep ball to Marquise that I think got caught in the lights because early those lights are right down the sideline and we were wide open for a touchdown.

When we came out it's interesting when you're in a bowl game, a lot of time the officials spot the ball differently than your league, and they spotted the ball very quickly on David one time, and we ran down one time and had a delay of game, and we had another one where we had to call a timeout coming out of a break, which is something you can't have. But then we had a great break. They lined up offsides to the punt, and then our guys did a real good job of calling the explosive play, and it was blocked perfectly for Marquise, and when he hits the crease, that speed happens. So he played a great game tonight. We challenged all of our players to make sure that our seniors left happy and had a happy dressing room, and that's happening in there tonight.

Q. David, on the touchdown pass to Gray, how fast is your mind spinning as you're escaping? Did you ever panic and when did you realize that he was going to be open there?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, shoot, I don't know. He's a great player, first of all. Second of all, my offensive line was doing a great job protecting and giving me time to get back there and try to make something happen.

And then, you know, I think at that point you just start reacting. It's not really designed that way, just kind of happens that way. J. Gray could have given up on his route but he kept wheeling up the sideline and did what he was coached to do, so he showed some discipline there, and that was awesome. Whenever players play hard and have a little freedom to play, they'll make plays for you. So he did, and I appreciate it.

MACK BROWN: David has never lost a bowl game, 2 0.

Q. David, those last two drives, 7 of 7, just kind of talk about that. What was going right on those drives? Seemed like everything was working for you. Did you feel that?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, I think we kind of had gained the momentum at that point in the game, and the guys were believing. You know, whenever you start just playing ball and you're not thinking about anything else but just playing ball, reacting and having fun out there, you know, and I was just trying to do my job, and the reason I was 7 for 7 is because my offensive line was blocking well. My wide receivers were making plays. I was going behind receivers, under receivers and they were grabbing them for me. So I think the guys just made plays. It came down to it, it was a team win. The defense was making plays for us and getting the ball back. I couldn't be prouder of these seniors, couldn't be prouder of this team.

MACK BROWN: That's a really good defensive line, too. They were rushing us, and I did think we got them on their heels with the no huddle and our guys blocked them really well.

Q. Mack, I think the celebration said it all, but is this the step forward that you were hoping for? Is this the step forward into the off season, and this being a young team is this what you would want leaving here?

MACK BROWN: Yes, one of our young strength coaches Tim Cross was a chapel this morning, that's what Kenny was talking about, and he said you got to get your mind right and you've got to move off of the space that you're in, because we were ready to move for TCU and we didn't move. We were ready to move for Kansas State and we didn't move. He said you can either stay where you are, which is not the standard we've set, or you can move, and you can take a step forward. To do that you have to do that tonight, and the thing we told the guys at halftime is it can't be better than this to make the move because we're down, we're struggling. They've got the momentum, and for us to win this game, we're going to have to have everybody jump in and do their job and do the best that they can possibly do, but this is what we need. We need a tough win against a top team to get back in the mix so we can get confidence for all these guys coming back. Then you add 13 practices for a bunch of young guys, and it was a really good win for us.

Q. How proud are you of Alex, his final game in burnt orange, probably the best game he's played for you?

MACK BROWN: I'm really proud of Alex. You look at guys that come in four years so Alex has really been here three and a half years, he's already gotten his degree, which is phenomenal for all the people who talk about kinds and academics and college, he's a guy that will be drafted high in the NFL, he'll play a long time in my estimation if he wants to in the NFL, and he and Kenny took over this team on leadership, which was obvious by the vote of the players for the captains. Probably when we were struggling up at West Virginia, something in there, Alex and Kenny, we asked them, said, you just have to step up and help us on defense, we're just really struggling, and they did that, and they've made such an impact when we've had really, really hard bowl practices. I mean, really, really hard and demanding and physical and draining, and one of the things we said each day is if you all will practice as hard as Alex and Kenny practice every day, then you'll play hard because they don't know anything different. That's who they are. That's what they do.

These seniors have done a great job, as few as they are, but Alex and Kenny have gotten the defense playing with some confidence and playing well tonight.

Q. Alex, earlier in the week Manny talked about you had some unfinished business. Do you feel like you had something to prove in this game and if so do you feel like you accomplished that tonight?

ALEX OKAFOR: Yeah, it's always great to end the season on a good note, and that's what we did tonight. We're going to use this game as a stepping stone and Coach Diaz just talked about that we have to demand more from ourselves. That was kind of the mindset going into this game and that's what we did.

Q. Marquise, are you all aware of the fact that at one point Storm Woods alone had more yards than the entire offense combined? Were you aware of how well he was doing and how much you guys were struggling for a while?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: There was definitely a sense of awareness, but we're really not worried about who has the most yards. All we're trying to do is execute each play and worry about our own team and go out there and continue to fight for four quarters and try to get a W as a team.

Q. David, you had so many moments throughout the year, so many good moments throughout the year but ended on a tough note against TCU. How important was it and meaningful for you was it to play well in this game and try to go out on a good note?

DAVID ASH: You know, I guess to answer your question, in every situation you have to be thankful. I learned a lot at TCU, tough situation that I was in, but I'm just really thankful that I got another opportunity to play a game I love. Thankful God has given me the abilities I have and put me in this place with great teammates and great coaches. I believe his hand is in everything. I believe he's writing my story, and I'm following him. Just very thankful for the seniors and for the way the team played tonight.

Q. David, in other games you started you didn't get to finish the game. Tonight when you started out slow what was the difference personally?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, I think you approach each game it's not like in other games, where it's like, well, since I started slow I'm just not going to play well the rest of the game. You just kind of keep plugging away and you kind of wait for that play that sparks. This game we started getting them, and we got the momentum back and we started playing well. You know, that's what it takes. It takes every guy on that bench to lead and get the job done, and the guys believed tonight, believed in each other, believed in our preparation and played as hard as they could, and it was a lot of fun, and just couldn't be more thankful.

Q. (No microphone.)

DAVID ASH: I don't know, there were several of them, but probably the first reverse, the guy was going a little bit, and usually points usually get you going a little bit, and defensive turnovers provide a lot of momentum. When those start happening, pretty soon more of it starts happening, and guys start believing and playing hard and playing ball and forgetting about everything else and concentrating on it's like you're in the backyard again.

Q. What was the most important halftime adjustment?

DAVID ASH: You know, we were just kind of looking at trying to get in a rhythm more. We were trying to get better on 1st downs. Obviously we struggled a little bit putting ourselves in some long yardage situations on 3rd down in the first half, and it's pretty hard to convert on 3rd and long, so we tried to get better on 1st down, and we tried to get some tempo and momentum going. If we could get a rhythm going, we were going to try to get some tempo going, and I think we'll watch it on film and see that they were having trouble getting lined up and they were getting pretty winded. So those were the kind of adjustments we made.

Q. Coach Diaz, talk about the defensive performance tonight and specifically Alex Okafor.

MANNY DIAZ: Yeah, very proud of the way the guys played. I felt like they had a decision to make at halftime. I thought we started the game well and then had a spell where we didn't play as well, and they had a decision to make. To me it was whether they wanted to fight their way out of it or sort of accept their fate, and I'm so proud of the way that they fought, the way that they battled in the second half.

As far as Alex, you always want your seniors to play well and finish off their career on a great note, but to ask for five sacks, whatever he had, four and a half sacks, he'd have been embarrassed to ask for that before the game. It's almost too good to be true. But I'll say this: The word deserve can be thrown around a little bit, but he deserved to have the success he had tonight because he's been a warrior for us all year. We haven't always played well around him, and he's never wavered. He's been one of our hardest workers in practice, been a great leader in the locker room.

Again, in some sense he deserved the success he had tonight and very proud of him for it.

Q. Coach Diaz, y'all have had a lot of success the last few bowl games. Do you feel like there's any carryover into Big 12 play?

MANNY DIAZ: Well, no, I don't first of all, yes, it's a different sport. We play a different sport in our conference than some of these other conferences do. I don't think there's any doubt about that. But I thought our guys in the secondary were just outstanding tonight. To me to hold Wheaton and Cooks to 6 for 68, again, I never would have asked for that in my wildest dreams. Those are outstanding football players. So we did some things on the back end to give the corners some help. The corners battled, the corners fought, and obviously you've got to compliment the pass rush, as well. It was really a team effort for those guys in handling their passing game.

Q. Major, can you talk a little bit about the advantage that having a guy like Marquise Goodwin, that kind of speed on offense, gives you as a play caller?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Sure. It's a tremendous advantage. This game is about speed. It's about speed and explosive players, and I think if you asked Manny or any other defensive coordinator, when they turn on the tape, the first thing they want to look for is who can make plays, explosive plays. That's why he talked about Wheaton, that's why he talked about Cooks, and it was real important to hold those guys to a combined six catches for about 68 yards.

So his what he brings to the offense, you can't measure that. That's just the physical side of it. But the type of player he is, the type of competitor, he's done that since he was a freshman in the Oklahoma game. He's made big play after big play after big play. I hate that I only had one game with him, but he'll be a success at whatever he tries to do. He's just that kind of guy.

Q. All season long with regards to DJ and Marquise, it's kind of been like when the situation calls for it. Tonight you were clearly making more of an effort to get the ball in their hands. How important going into this game was it to get them involved early?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Yeah, we wanted to get them involved early. Again, tying into what I just said about speed and explosive players, you've got to fire all your weapons, and I don't want to create the war analogy too much, but if you have weapons, use them. That's what we've got to do is use those guys. If they find ways to take it away from us, then we've got to find ways to get it back in their hand. What you learn even as a player, you don't have to block them all. You don't have to block them all. When you get those guys that have exceptional speed, they can do things outside of the design of the play so you don't have to be perfect, there's a little bit more margin for error in what you do when you give the ball to a great athlete.

Q. Coach Diaz, earlier in the week you talked about your team had a point to prove, had some unfinished business. Did they prove to point tonight?

MANNY DIAZ: It is. They did some of that. It will be very important for us to understand by all means that we have not fixed all of our issues and we have not arrived. There's no back, there's no everything is great. All we talked about was this being a step leading into what is a very, very important off season in this football program. It's going to feel a lot better coming off this bowl game, but the fact we battled and won a close ballgame doesn't change the fact that this football team is going to have to grind to get where it wants to go, and I think the guys saw that in the month of December the way they attacked practice.

We talked about the word demand, we talked about demanding and not asking of each other but demanding of each other. So maybe tonight they saw a little glimpse, and when we start to demand more from each other, the results can improve. But any notion that we should be happy and rest on our laurels would be foolish.

Q. Major, the drive that David scored, when David ran it in for a touchdown, that drive, he was able to hit Shipley a couple times. Did you see his confidence level or anything about that drive where he started to kind of get it?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Yeah, one thing, going into the game, talking to Coach Wyatt, we spent a lot of time together and talking to Searels, with the backup quarterback situation, we didn't want to come in in the first half and run him a whole bunch and get a situation where we had to play a guy who wasn't ready. So when we got into halftime they were doing a good job against our run game, and they're a good defense. They're a top 15 team; they're a good defense. So we were having some struggles and we felt like we had to get him involved in the run game to loosen some things up, and he did a great job in the run game, and we've got like Manny was saying, by no means is it fixed; we've got some things that we can get better on. Our tempo tonight was a key factor. I'd say those are the two biggest adjustments at halftime was getting David running the ball a little bit and having some tempo, and we've just got to continue to build on that.

Q. Major, you exercised some patience tonight with this game plan. You kept going back to the things that you started the game with and you started having success later. Once the momentum started going did you change at all or kind of stay that course once the momentum got better?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Stayed the course in terms of what we were trying to do. We felt like we watched Oregon against those guys, and they're obviously known as a fast paced attack. We can create some advantages for us with our speed on the field and spread them out, and in the first half they were fresh. They were fresh. In the second half, the game gets a little bit looser when you come out at halftime, and we just stayed with it and guys made plays, and David did a great job of taking care of the ball. And that's just a big factor in winning and losing games, period.

Q. Coach Applewhite, we saw a lot more shotgun spread, no huddle this game. Is that something you feel is going to be a philosophic switch for the program under your coordination?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: You know, Darrell and I want to be able to move the tempo. We want to be able to move it up and back. We want to still be able to get in two backs and go downhill if we need to. Our term, our definition of balance is being able to win the game both ways, whether it's running the ball or throwing the ball, and tonight the way we needed to win the game was to spread them out, throw it, clear some loose lanes for the quarterback to run the ball and be effective.

So we want to get in here in the off season. It's not about the Xs and Os, it's really about just the culture of our program and demanding more of our guys, demanding more of our coaches, strength coaches, trainers, just getting guys tougher, and that's where we're going to improve as a ball club. You can call any play you want.

That's why we've got to have an off season and we've got to be uncomfortable as coaches, uncomfortable as players, and that's where you find your largest growth, and so these next eight, nine months are going to be vital for us. The good thing is these young guys, you can preach that to them all you want, but maybe over the course of their freshman and sophomore years maybe now it's starting to sink in, and like Manny said, I think they're starting to feel the effects of it was uncomfortable for these four weeks of practice following two losses, but this feels pretty damned good, so we'll build on that.

Q. What's your reaction to seeing Cody Vaz sacked 10 times by the defense?

MANNY DIAZ: Well, that doesn't happen very often, obviously, but I think there were a lot of things that were in play. Like I said, I thought we covered them well, matched up with their pass game stuff. They're an unbelievable screen team. There's not a screen that they don't find a way to run.

We intercepted one of their screen passes so we made a play there. And then the coverage guys, and just the way we were relentless in the pass rush. And it wasn't always one guy; of course Alex was dominant, but we had a bunch of other guys that were in there on the sacks, and sometimes the guy just had to hold the ball half a count longer for us to get there.

And then the other thing is we were so much better in the run game in the second half, and everyone else is aware of what our issues have been this year. Of all the things that we have to address and fix, we have to obviously become a better run defense, more similar to what we were the year before. When we got them into more obvious passing downs, it was pretty simple after that.

Q. Major, two parter. Why is David Ash the right guy to play quarterback at Texas going forward, and how difficult was it preparing knowing you didn't really have a backup quarterback for this game, and did that impact your decision to run him or not run him early?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: You know, David is a true sophomore. He's a young guy still, but I think he's got the determination, I think he's got the mindset. Games like this, games like Stillwater, games like Ole Miss, those are games that he just has to continue to build confidence in, and we've got to simplify things and make it easy for him so he can play fast. I thought as he got involved in the run game, I thought he loosened up and he got going. So we've got to look at that and see how he was responsive in that situation. He did well in that situation, and pleased with the way he played.

I'm not sure about your second part. What was the second part?

Q. On not having a backup quarterback:

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Not having a backup quarterback? I'd like to forget that. I spent about two hours with Jalen Overstreet in conference ballroom 15 trying to get ready for the game, and it was a little nerve wracking. But the kids jumped at it, took to it. We were ready to roll with him. We had a package for him to go in there and get him moving.

I'm excited to work with him in the spring and get him going. I think we can do some things. Both these guys are big, strong stature quarterbacks that can throw it and run, and I'm looking forward to working with Jalen in the spring.

December 29th, 2012
Texas Post Game Press Conference - D
Head Coach Mack Brown, Co-Offensive Coordinator Major Applewhite, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz, Quarterback David Ash, Receiver Marquise Goodwin, Defensive End Alex Okafor, Safety Kenny Vaccaro
Play WAV audio of this Press Quote

Q. Alex, can you talk about your night, four and a half sacks and a forced fumble.

ALEX OKAFOR: I mean, we've just been breaking down film all month, and Coach Diaz saw a weakness in the protection, and he put me in a great position to go make plays.

Q. Marquise, can you go through the first touchdown of the game on the reverse and then the play with Ash the last touchdown?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: First of all, giving all honors to God. Without him there wouldn't be no me and Texas. You know, coach Applewhite set up a great play. We've been working on it all week. It was an H reverse, I went into the slot, ran the reverse, and I saw 51 running out there, and then I seen Ash in front of me, and by that time it parted like the Red Sea and I just ran through it. And on the second touchdown, it was just a setup all game. They bit on the trouble moves and I just escaped them, Ash threw a great ball, and touchdown.

Q. It's been kind of a crazy year for you. You had a great game in the last bowl and you had to go to the Olympics. Does this make up at all for what happened over the summer?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Two different sports, you know. Two different sports really can't compare the two. But I'm just happy that we got the W today and we played together as a team, and that's what I'm going to remember most today.

Q. Marquise, now that you've gone through it, what was the Applewhite factor? What did we see different in this game?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Coach Applewhite definitely found a way to use me a little more than I was used early on during the season. You know, he did a great job coordinating the offense, and he set up great plays, and we just went out there and executed.

Q. Kenny, obviously you're pretty good friends with Alex. What did you think about the way he went out tonight?

KENNY VACCARO: That's what he brings every game, just dominance, and that's what we said when we broke the huddle in the hotel, just dominate everything you do, and I demand a lot out of Alex, I know he demands a lot out of me, and when I'm covering out there, I just think about my boy getting a sack.

Q. Alex, I was wondering if you could walk me through that last sack, what was happening on the field to put them in that 4th and 14.

ALEX OKAFOR: Just like all the other ones, I just came off the ball, saw the pass set, and he was kind of kicking back tight, and I just ran around.

Q. Alex, it's rare to see a defensive player truly dominate a game like you did at the end. Was there a point where you felt like you were in a zone and they couldn't stop you?

ALEX OKAFOR: It's just when as a pass rusher you work one move on a guy you start hitting on that move, and if you have accounted for that move, it's difficult for a tackle to really control the D end. As you said, I just kind of got in the zone, and luckily I had the DBs back there and the LBs back there covering for me, so I got plenty of time to go rush the passer and make plays.

Q. Kenny how does this cap off the season after a two game losing streak?

KENNY VACCARO: I think just momentum for next year. We did better than last year, obviously, and our main goal this whole week was just seize the moment for these guys and set them up for what's to come and kind of like Coach Cross had a good mention this morning in chapel, kind of get to the promised land. He said Moses got them to promised land and Joshua took him through, and that's what we want these young guys to do.

Q. Marquise, did you see anything change with David before the last two offensive series?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: Oh, yeah, he definitely got his confidence back up, got back rolling. He was playing good all throughout the game, not just in the last two sessions that we had the ball. He did a wonderful job tonight and he found receivers open, running backs open, tight ends, and he just made plays. He made plays on his feet, and he played a really smart game today, and I commend him for that.

Q. Coach Brown, could you talk about Alex's performance tonight and just your overall thoughts on the entire game?

MACK BROWN: Yes. They've got two tremendous receivers, and it really scared us going into the ballgame because of their ability to catch a ball in space and score or get deep double moves. Kenny and I talked about it in the dressing room after the game, they didn't get a deep ball, which is amazing. Part of that was Alex's fault because he didn't have time to get it off. The only trouble we got in defensively was right before the half when they were running the ball, and if they could be balanced then we knew we were in trouble. When we got them when they were in a position to throw and the crowd was tremendous tonight in our favor, and they really helped us, got the kids stirred up, and when that happened momentum changed, then we had the fumble, and then they scored quickly, and then we come back and scored again, and then the defense just completely took over the game at the end.

I don't think our defense has played better, four turnovers, I think, or three turnovers and a fourth down stop in a ballgame, and in fact it hurt us that we didn't score off the turnovers early, but the defense was relentless, just kept coming and that's a really good offensive football team. I think Mike is one of the best play callers, best offensive coaches in the country.

Q. In all of David's good games this year, it seems like he started strong and ended strong. This game he didn't start as well as well. What was different in terms of enabling him to turn it around during the game?

MACK BROWN: Just sitting thinking after the ballgame and halftime to see where we would go and what we would do. It was a real tough night for Major. He was put in an awful position with two weeks to prepare for play calling when he hadn't called them in three or four years, and it really wasn't even his total plan when he started it. The plan was in place when Bryan took the job to go to Arkansas State. So they tried to tweak it some. Then secondly Darrell Wyatt was in a new position and trying to help, so those guys coached with four guys, and I thought their plan was to be a lot of up tempo and no huddle and the first half they weren't doing it, and I said, hey, forget it, let's go, let's just do what you came in to do, because they were going to try to establish the run early and then get something going, and we couldn't block them. They're a really good defensive front, but they stopped the run better than they rushed the passer and I thought we got them on their heels with the no huddle and I thought it was a great move by the offensive staff, and I thought it changed the game and then got David some rhythm.

The running the ball helped him. He has not been a guy who's run the ball at times when he could, and a couple of quarterback draws, the one he scored on was a tremendous play. He made a 2nd and long run that got us in a 3rd and 1 situation, and then the escape play that he throws to Johnathan for the touchdown was the kind of plays that the quarterback has to make to win games, and he did all that.

And if you think he struggled at TCU, he didn't play at Kansas State, so he hadn't played in four weeks or something, and he had a new play caller and a new coach, so I thought he did a tremendous job. This game was so much like the '06 game and Colt came in and struggled the first half and came back and did well the second half.

Q. Alex, can you talk about the flop that Manny saw in their protection? Was it you adding the counter? What was it?
 

ALEX OKAFOR: Just a combination of everything. The DBs covered longer, they covered better. The LBs were great in their coverage. We saw that they were short setters, and he lined both our DBs up kind in a nine technique and just told us to just kind of hang loose and do what we do.

Q. Mack, when you were planning for this game what did you say about Marquise and what you wanted to do with him?

MACK BROWN: Well, we felt like that our advantage would be in space with our speed, and Daje had back spasms all week, he played one play tonight but he didn't practice hardly at all. We needed to get Marquise and we needed to get DJ Monroe the ball in space when we could and we tried it early and they had a good plan that stopped it with a Sam linebacker up field. We had a deep ball to Marquise that I think got caught in the lights because early those lights are right down the sideline and we were wide open for a touchdown.

When we came out it's interesting when you're in a bowl game, a lot of time the officials spot the ball differently than your league, and they spotted the ball very quickly on David one time, and we ran down one time and had a delay of game, and we had another one where we had to call a timeout coming out of a break, which is something you can't have. But then we had a great break. They lined up offsides to the punt, and then our guys did a real good job of calling the explosive play, and it was blocked perfectly for Marquise, and when he hits the crease, that speed happens. So he played a great game tonight. We challenged all of our players to make sure that our seniors left happy and had a happy dressing room, and that's happening in there tonight.

Q. David, on the touchdown pass to Gray, how fast is your mind spinning as you're escaping? Did you ever panic and when did you realize that he was going to be open there?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, shoot, I don't know. He's a great player, first of all. Second of all, my offensive line was doing a great job protecting and giving me time to get back there and try to make something happen.

And then, you know, I think at that point you just start reacting. It's not really designed that way, just kind of happens that way. J. Gray could have given up on his route but he kept wheeling up the sideline and did what he was coached to do, so he showed some discipline there, and that was awesome. Whenever players play hard and have a little freedom to play, they'll make plays for you. So he did, and I appreciate it.

MACK BROWN: David has never lost a bowl game, 2 0.

Q. David, those last two drives, 7 of 7, just kind of talk about that. What was going right on those drives? Seemed like everything was working for you. Did you feel that?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, I think we kind of had gained the momentum at that point in the game, and the guys were believing. You know, whenever you start just playing ball and you're not thinking about anything else but just playing ball, reacting and having fun out there, you know, and I was just trying to do my job, and the reason I was 7 for 7 is because my offensive line was blocking well. My wide receivers were making plays. I was going behind receivers, under receivers and they were grabbing them for me. So I think the guys just made plays. It came down to it, it was a team win. The defense was making plays for us and getting the ball back. I couldn't be prouder of these seniors, couldn't be prouder of this team.

MACK BROWN: That's a really good defensive line, too. They were rushing us, and I did think we got them on their heels with the no huddle and our guys blocked them really well.

Q. Mack, I think the celebration said it all, but is this the step forward that you were hoping for? Is this the step forward into the off season, and this being a young team is this what you would want leaving here?

MACK BROWN: Yes, one of our young strength coaches Tim Cross was a chapel this morning, that's what Kenny was talking about, and he said you got to get your mind right and you've got to move off of the space that you're in, because we were ready to move for TCU and we didn't move. We were ready to move for Kansas State and we didn't move. He said you can either stay where you are, which is not the standard we've set, or you can move, and you can take a step forward. To do that you have to do that tonight, and the thing we told the guys at halftime is it can't be better than this to make the move because we're down, we're struggling. They've got the momentum, and for us to win this game, we're going to have to have everybody jump in and do their job and do the best that they can possibly do, but this is what we need. We need a tough win against a top team to get back in the mix so we can get confidence for all these guys coming back. Then you add 13 practices for a bunch of young guys, and it was a really good win for us.

Q. How proud are you of Alex, his final game in burnt orange, probably the best game he's played for you?

MACK BROWN: I'm really proud of Alex. You look at guys that come in four years so Alex has really been here three and a half years, he's already gotten his degree, which is phenomenal for all the people who talk about kinds and academics and college, he's a guy that will be drafted high in the NFL, he'll play a long time in my estimation if he wants to in the NFL, and he and Kenny took over this team on leadership, which was obvious by the vote of the players for the captains. Probably when we were struggling up at West Virginia, something in there, Alex and Kenny, we asked them, said, you just have to step up and help us on defense, we're just really struggling, and they did that, and they've made such an impact when we've had really, really hard bowl practices. I mean, really, really hard and demanding and physical and draining, and one of the things we said each day is if you all will practice as hard as Alex and Kenny practice every day, then you'll play hard because they don't know anything different. That's who they are. That's what they do.

These seniors have done a great job, as few as they are, but Alex and Kenny have gotten the defense playing with some confidence and playing well tonight.

Q. Alex, earlier in the week Manny talked about you had some unfinished business. Do you feel like you had something to prove in this game and if so do you feel like you accomplished that tonight?

ALEX OKAFOR: Yeah, it's always great to end the season on a good note, and that's what we did tonight. We're going to use this game as a stepping stone and Coach Diaz just talked about that we have to demand more from ourselves. That was kind of the mindset going into this game and that's what we did.

Q. Marquise, are you all aware of the fact that at one point Storm Woods alone had more yards than the entire offense combined? Were you aware of how well he was doing and how much you guys were struggling for a while?

MARQUISE GOODWIN: There was definitely a sense of awareness, but we're really not worried about who has the most yards. All we're trying to do is execute each play and worry about our own team and go out there and continue to fight for four quarters and try to get a W as a team.

Q. David, you had so many moments throughout the year, so many good moments throughout the year but ended on a tough note against TCU. How important was it and meaningful for you was it to play well in this game and try to go out on a good note?

DAVID ASH: You know, I guess to answer your question, in every situation you have to be thankful. I learned a lot at TCU, tough situation that I was in, but I'm just really thankful that I got another opportunity to play a game I love. Thankful God has given me the abilities I have and put me in this place with great teammates and great coaches. I believe his hand is in everything. I believe he's writing my story, and I'm following him. Just very thankful for the seniors and for the way the team played tonight.

Q. David, in other games you started you didn't get to finish the game. Tonight when you started out slow what was the difference personally?

DAVID ASH: Well, you know, I think you approach each game it's not like in other games, where it's like, well, since I started slow I'm just not going to play well the rest of the game. You just kind of keep plugging away and you kind of wait for that play that sparks. This game we started getting them, and we got the momentum back and we started playing well. You know, that's what it takes. It takes every guy on that bench to lead and get the job done, and the guys believed tonight, believed in each other, believed in our preparation and played as hard as they could, and it was a lot of fun, and just couldn't be more thankful.

Q. (No microphone.)

DAVID ASH: I don't know, there were several of them, but probably the first reverse, the guy was going a little bit, and usually points usually get you going a little bit, and defensive turnovers provide a lot of momentum. When those start happening, pretty soon more of it starts happening, and guys start believing and playing hard and playing ball and forgetting about everything else and concentrating on it's like you're in the backyard again.

Q. What was the most important halftime adjustment?

DAVID ASH: You know, we were just kind of looking at trying to get in a rhythm more. We were trying to get better on 1st downs. Obviously we struggled a little bit putting ourselves in some long yardage situations on 3rd down in the first half, and it's pretty hard to convert on 3rd and long, so we tried to get better on 1st down, and we tried to get some tempo and momentum going. If we could get a rhythm going, we were going to try to get some tempo going, and I think we'll watch it on film and see that they were having trouble getting lined up and they were getting pretty winded. So those were the kind of adjustments we made.

Q. Coach Diaz, talk about the defensive performance tonight and specifically Alex Okafor.

MANNY DIAZ: Yeah, very proud of the way the guys played. I felt like they had a decision to make at halftime. I thought we started the game well and then had a spell where we didn't play as well, and they had a decision to make. To me it was whether they wanted to fight their way out of it or sort of accept their fate, and I'm so proud of the way that they fought, the way that they battled in the second half.

As far as Alex, you always want your seniors to play well and finish off their career on a great note, but to ask for five sacks, whatever he had, four and a half sacks, he'd have been embarrassed to ask for that before the game. It's almost too good to be true. But I'll say this: The word deserve can be thrown around a little bit, but he deserved to have the success he had tonight because he's been a warrior for us all year. We haven't always played well around him, and he's never wavered. He's been one of our hardest workers in practice, been a great leader in the locker room.

Again, in some sense he deserved the success he had tonight and very proud of him for it.

Q. Coach Diaz, y'all have had a lot of success the last few bowl games. Do you feel like there's any carryover into Big 12 play?

MANNY DIAZ: Well, no, I don't first of all, yes, it's a different sport. We play a different sport in our conference than some of these other conferences do. I don't think there's any doubt about that. But I thought our guys in the secondary were just outstanding tonight. To me to hold Wheaton and Cooks to 6 for 68, again, I never would have asked for that in my wildest dreams. Those are outstanding football players. So we did some things on the back end to give the corners some help. The corners battled, the corners fought, and obviously you've got to compliment the pass rush, as well. It was really a team effort for those guys in handling their passing game.

Q. Major, can you talk a little bit about the advantage that having a guy like Marquise Goodwin, that kind of speed on offense, gives you as a play caller?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Sure. It's a tremendous advantage. This game is about speed. It's about speed and explosive players, and I think if you asked Manny or any other defensive coordinator, when they turn on the tape, the first thing they want to look for is who can make plays, explosive plays. That's why he talked about Wheaton, that's why he talked about Cooks, and it was real important to hold those guys to a combined six catches for about 68 yards.

So his what he brings to the offense, you can't measure that. That's just the physical side of it. But the type of player he is, the type of competitor, he's done that since he was a freshman in the Oklahoma game. He's made big play after big play after big play. I hate that I only had one game with him, but he'll be a success at whatever he tries to do. He's just that kind of guy.

Q. All season long with regards to DJ and Marquise, it's kind of been like when the situation calls for it. Tonight you were clearly making more of an effort to get the ball in their hands. How important going into this game was it to get them involved early?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Yeah, we wanted to get them involved early. Again, tying into what I just said about speed and explosive players, you've got to fire all your weapons, and I don't want to create the war analogy too much, but if you have weapons, use them. That's what we've got to do is use those guys. If they find ways to take it away from us, then we've got to find ways to get it back in their hand. What you learn even as a player, you don't have to block them all. You don't have to block them all. When you get those guys that have exceptional speed, they can do things outside of the design of the play so you don't have to be perfect, there's a little bit more margin for error in what you do when you give the ball to a great athlete.

Q. Coach Diaz, earlier in the week you talked about your team had a point to prove, had some unfinished business. Did they prove to point tonight?

MANNY DIAZ: It is. They did some of that. It will be very important for us to understand by all means that we have not fixed all of our issues and we have not arrived. There's no back, there's no everything is great. All we talked about was this being a step leading into what is a very, very important off season in this football program. It's going to feel a lot better coming off this bowl game, but the fact we battled and won a close ballgame doesn't change the fact that this football team is going to have to grind to get where it wants to go, and I think the guys saw that in the month of December the way they attacked practice.

We talked about the word demand, we talked about demanding and not asking of each other but demanding of each other. So maybe tonight they saw a little glimpse, and when we start to demand more from each other, the results can improve. But any notion that we should be happy and rest on our laurels would be foolish.

Q. Major, the drive that David scored, when David ran it in for a touchdown, that drive, he was able to hit Shipley a couple times. Did you see his confidence level or anything about that drive where he started to kind of get it?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Yeah, one thing, going into the game, talking to Coach Wyatt, we spent a lot of time together and talking to Searels, with the backup quarterback situation, we didn't want to come in in the first half and run him a whole bunch and get a situation where we had to play a guy who wasn't ready. So when we got into halftime they were doing a good job against our run game, and they're a good defense. They're a top 15 team; they're a good defense. So we were having some struggles and we felt like we had to get him involved in the run game to loosen some things up, and he did a great job in the run game, and we've got like Manny was saying, by no means is it fixed; we've got some things that we can get better on. Our tempo tonight was a key factor. I'd say those are the two biggest adjustments at halftime was getting David running the ball a little bit and having some tempo, and we've just got to continue to build on that.

Q. Major, you exercised some patience tonight with this game plan. You kept going back to the things that you started the game with and you started having success later. Once the momentum started going did you change at all or kind of stay that course once the momentum got better?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Stayed the course in terms of what we were trying to do. We felt like we watched Oregon against those guys, and they're obviously known as a fast paced attack. We can create some advantages for us with our speed on the field and spread them out, and in the first half they were fresh. They were fresh. In the second half, the game gets a little bit looser when you come out at halftime, and we just stayed with it and guys made plays, and David did a great job of taking care of the ball. And that's just a big factor in winning and losing games, period.

Q. Coach Applewhite, we saw a lot more shotgun spread, no huddle this game. Is that something you feel is going to be a philosophic switch for the program under your coordination?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: You know, Darrell and I want to be able to move the tempo. We want to be able to move it up and back. We want to still be able to get in two backs and go downhill if we need to. Our term, our definition of balance is being able to win the game both ways, whether it's running the ball or throwing the ball, and tonight the way we needed to win the game was to spread them out, throw it, clear some loose lanes for the quarterback to run the ball and be effective.

So we want to get in here in the off season. It's not about the Xs and Os, it's really about just the culture of our program and demanding more of our guys, demanding more of our coaches, strength coaches, trainers, just getting guys tougher, and that's where we're going to improve as a ball club. You can call any play you want.

That's why we've got to have an off season and we've got to be uncomfortable as coaches, uncomfortable as players, and that's where you find your largest growth, and so these next eight, nine months are going to be vital for us. The good thing is these young guys, you can preach that to them all you want, but maybe over the course of their freshman and sophomore years maybe now it's starting to sink in, and like Manny said, I think they're starting to feel the effects of it was uncomfortable for these four weeks of practice following two losses, but this feels pretty damned good, so we'll build on that.

Q. What's your reaction to seeing Cody Vaz sacked 10 times by the defense?

MANNY DIAZ: Well, that doesn't happen very often, obviously, but I think there were a lot of things that were in play. Like I said, I thought we covered them well, matched up with their pass game stuff. They're an unbelievable screen team. There's not a screen that they don't find a way to run.

We intercepted one of their screen passes so we made a play there. And then the coverage guys, and just the way we were relentless in the pass rush. And it wasn't always one guy; of course Alex was dominant, but we had a bunch of other guys that were in there on the sacks, and sometimes the guy just had to hold the ball half a count longer for us to get there.

And then the other thing is we were so much better in the run game in the second half, and everyone else is aware of what our issues have been this year. Of all the things that we have to address and fix, we have to obviously become a better run defense, more similar to what we were the year before. When we got them into more obvious passing downs, it was pretty simple after that.

Q. Major, two parter. Why is David Ash the right guy to play quarterback at Texas going forward, and how difficult was it preparing knowing you didn't really have a backup quarterback for this game, and did that impact your decision to run him or not run him early?

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: You know, David is a true sophomore. He's a young guy still, but I think he's got the determination, I think he's got the mindset. Games like this, games like Stillwater, games like Ole Miss, those are games that he just has to continue to build confidence in, and we've got to simplify things and make it easy for him so he can play fast. I thought as he got involved in the run game, I thought he loosened up and he got going. So we've got to look at that and see how he was responsive in that situation. He did well in that situation, and pleased with the way he played.

I'm not sure about your second part. What was the second part?

Q. On not having a backup quarterback:

MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Not having a backup quarterback? I'd like to forget that. I spent about two hours with Jalen Overstreet in conference ballroom 15 trying to get ready for the game, and it was a little nerve wracking. But the kids jumped at it, took to it. We were ready to roll with him. We had a package for him to go in there and get him moving.

I'm excited to work with him in the spring and get him going. I think we can do some things. Both these guys are big, strong stature quarterbacks that can throw it and run, and I'm looking forward to working with Jalen in the spring.

December 28th, 2012
VAB Head Coach Press Conference 12-28
Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley, Texas Head Coach Mack Brown
Play WAV audio of this Press Quote

 

MODERATOR:  Welcome to our head coaches' press conference for the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl. First I'd like to introduce the home team head coach Mike Riley. Just some opening comments, please.   

MIKE RILEY:  The home team, huh? Well, we are certainly excited to be here, as I've said many times, and it's everything, San Antonio, all the Alamo Bowl people, our sponsors, Valero, this has been just what I knew it would be when our team decided to bring us here, which is really what has happened. We are looking forward to the ballgame. I have a great appreciation for the University of Texas, the history, the tradition, and particularly Coach Brown. I think he's a tremendous model for our profession. I've watched him for a long time just be a great example for all of us coaches in this world, and he does it right, he does it first class, and one of the best jobs in America. So we are, for a lot of reasons, excited to be here. Our team has had a good year, and I think that it's really for me it's a special story because of where we came from a year ago. You can either continue to go down the tubes or you can fight back, and these kids made a decision to fight back and really they were just easy and fun to coach. I've appreciated that from the moment we started our off season in January. For all those reasons, we are excited about this opportunity to play the University of Texas and looking forward to the game. Thank you.

MACK BROWN: Thank you. As has been reported, we had a couple of young men that broke team rules last night. They have been suspended from the team, and they will be sent home and will not be available for the game, and I will not address any more questions in that manner. Like Mike, it's been a great week. We were here in '06, and I remember how wonderful the staff was and the Valero Alamo Bowl has done such a great job, and it just reminds me each time that I come to a bowl with players and watch the experience of our players and Mike's players that the bowl system works that's in place, and it is about the kids. It's one of the few things left in college sports that's really real for them to reap some benefits at the end of the year. Nobody does it better than San Antonio as a city of hospitality and the Alamo Bowl has just done a tremendous job all week for our guys. Last night was a lot of fun, to spend some time with the coaches of Oregon State and also the players, and the players have gotten along wonderfully this week. I think it's probably a lot because of the respect that Mike and I have for each other. I love Mike, I've known him a long time. I admire so much what he's done. I didn't realize Tim Cross, one of our defensive coaches, Mike coached him at linebacker. I always thought Mike was on offense. I never knew he was a linebacker coach. I learned something last night, back in the day, and Tim said he was good at it, too. I bet he was good at it. But to see what Mike has been able to do in his entire career and being the son of a coach and the fabulous job he's done for 12 years at Oregon State, being their best coach ever, and the turnaround this year, his team is really, really good. Their lines of scrimmage are great. They've got great speed at corner. They've got great speed at wide receiver. They've got two quarterbacks playing well. So we're excited about the challenge, and I think it's going to be a great match up. We have our hands full, and we understand that, but it's been a great week. Again, congratulations to Mike and his fans and his staff, team, on a great year, and we look forward to the game. Oh, also, we have Leroy Scott will be out. He is out with a concussion. Steve Edmond is questionable. He sprained his ankle in Austin, he came down here and was doing pretty well. He tweaked the ankle again on Wednesday. Daje Johnson is questionable because he's had back spasms all week, and we're not sure if those two will be available for the game or not.

Q: Talk about Jordan and Markus and their last game and sticking with the program and they were at the pep rally last night and what it meant for them to finish strong.

MIKE RILEY: Well, Jordan Poyer and Markus Wheaton are two really, really good stories, you know, from the moment we recruited those guys they began to set a standard. They're different stories. Markus was highly recruited out of Arizona, and I think primarily his chief recruiter to Oregon State was James Rodgers. They hit it off when Markus visited. Markus was actually, he didn't red shirt, he was always very talented, but the thing I'm really excited about, I think Markus embraced college. He actually went with a group of our student athletes called Beavers Without Borders, went to Guatamala for a week, helped to build a house for a family, came back. I really think it impacted a lot of who he is today, and he just started growing as a player, fun to work with, loves the game, loves to know how to do it better. And Jordan Poyer came basically unrecruited out of a little fishing town right where Louis and Clark came out of the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon, one of the oldest towns in the west, and not a lot of football players have come out of there, mostly fishermen and loggers. But Jordan, we knew him because he had been in our high school camp with his team for about three years, and offered him a scholarship, thought for sure he'd red shirt, he didn't, and he ended up being a good special teams player, the found his niche at corner, and he does everything for us. If we didn't have Jordan Poyer it would take five guys to replace him and probably the most competitive or at least in the top five guys of the most competitive guys I've ever been around in my life. Loves to play. Him and Markus were instrumental in the leadership that started in January with this team, and both are like team captains. 

Q:  In general terms, I remember the '99 Cotton Bowl, having to deal with distractions. You've coached a long time. Is this a blip on the radar with bowl preparation, or do you really have to do anything different to get your guys focused after something like this?

MACK BROWN:  I have not met with the team yet. I'll meet with them at 11:45 before the luncheon, and I will tell them exactly what I told you, and then you move forward. That's what you do. You have policies that you go by, and our policies are in better place right now than they were in '99, so we understand that when you have an issue, you deal with it and you move forward.

Q:  Mack, your first dozen years or so at Texas, winning in almost unparalleled fashion, the last three years more of an ordinary record. What are the factors that have been involved in that?

MACK BROWN:  You know, our last three years have been more like our first three, really. We were 9 5 one year and the world came to an end. I remember we came down here at 10 3 in 'O6 and the world was nearly at an end, and I remember being 10 3 in '03 and it was at an end. And then what we did, we got a let better in '04, '05, fell back off in '06 '7, and then got back at '8 to the BCS, and then in '9 played for the National Championship. We dropped off heavily in '10. I thought we were competitive last year but we played good defense, we didn't move the ball well enough. This year we've improved on offense; we dropped off on defense some. But I think in our process to move forward, we're about back to where we can compete at the highest level, and we'll have an older team for the first time since we made our changes next year, and I think we're making tremendous progress. Not all of it is visible, and that's something that's very difficult for Texas fans who have seen us be so good. It's difficult for us, too, because we want to be really, really good, and this will be a great way to end the season, competing against one of the best teams in the country, and see how much progress we've made there and then move forward to spring. But I'm excited about Major taking over the play calling. I think he will do a great job. It won't change much tomorrow night, but I think in time there will be some changes, and he and Darrell Wyatt will put their imprint on the offense and move forward, and I think the defense knows that we dropped off more than is the standard at Texas and they've improved here some as of late, but it's still not where we want it to be, and they've got a lot of work to do for next year. But I like where we're going. I think the kids get it. We've had very intense and very productive bowl practices, and I think we're seeing progress, got a lot of good young players that are growing up and growing older, and we may have some depth next year. It's been unparalleled the number of injuries we've had the last two years. We won't even start any of the three linebackers who started the season tomorrow night. And then you've got Jordan Hicks and Jackson Jeffcoat as team leaders that won't be out there. So you're in a position where I hope that we can see more depth next year, and when we've been good, we've had depth, and therefore when we've had injuries it hasn't cost us as much as it has the last couple years, and we've been playing more young players than anybody else in the country the last two years, and I think you have more injuries and you have less depth when you're playing freshmen. So hopefully we're working our way out of that.  

Q: Coach Riley, you talked about what a fun and special year this has been, and it's been a feel good story certainly in Oregon and around the country. Talk about what a win tomorrow would mean to cap it off. I know the players have talked about not be satisfied, but talk about capping off this special year if you can win.

MACK BROWN: Do I need to step out? It's really tough to sit up here and hear, isn't this important for you to win? Well, yeah.(Laughter.)

MIKE RILEY:  It is for this team, we have kind of managed to when you're coming off of 3 9, you certainly don't look at too big of a picture down the road when you begin. So this team has done a great job of staying in the moment and playing, practicing for each ballgame. They haven't all worked out, obviously, but that's been I think this team likes football. They like to practice and prepare and like the process, which is for us as coaches, that's a good world to be in. You know, I think that this game, it's a tremendous reward for a good season. I feel like, Mack alluded to it, we also use it as a kickoff for the upcoming season. A lot of young guys work during the bowl preparation. So it's a great time for a football program. And there haven't been, in the history of our school, very many double digit win seasons. I think two others. So if we can do that, then we make another place in our football history at Oregon State. All those kinds of things are good, but playing the game, competing against the University of Texas and doing everything we can to win, that just brings it down to the process of playing football. You hope when they put the ball down that your team is ready to compete.  

Q: Where your program is right now and making its way back, what is the significance of tomorrow night's game as it portends to looking ahead to next season?

MACK BROWN:  I think what Mike just said is true. It's a reward when you go to a bowl game. You get 13 extra practices, which is nearly a spring practice, to improve, especially with your young guys. We think we've already accomplished that. And you always like to win your last game. Mike and I have done it both ways. If you lose the last one, it motivates you to get ready to go to spring and you've got more to prove and if you win the last one you feel like you're on a high and you finished really well, like we did against Cal last year, and it takes momentum in the spring. But as coaches, what you got to do is do the best that you can do to win the game and if you don't you manage it and if you do you manage it and you move forward. Q. 

Mack, can you at least say if the two players were starters and if it'll affect

MACK BROWN:  No, I can't say anything else.  

Q: And do you have a curfew for the bowl? 

MACK BROWN:  Any other questions?

Q: Mike, you always talk about the resolve your players showed after last season to have something better this year, but what about the coaching staff? There must have been some serious meetings after that season about changing things or whatever, but how was that for the coaching staff?

MIKE RILEY:  Well, you know, all those kinds of things in football or in sports are hard like that, so I so you basically, with your staff and I've had real nice continuity. I have Mark Banker. Our defensive coordinator and I have coached every game together at Oregon State through the 12 years, and I know Mark well, and Bruce Read has been my special teams coach for a long time. And Danny Langsdorf has been with me for a long time. So we take a look hard look at the evaluation of what we need to do strategically football wise, what we might need to do in all the other areas of our program, and we tried to examine all of it, and you have to I think be willing to make some changes. We had to look at our team real hard and decide, okay, these guys have a chance to be the play makers for us, how are we going to get them the ball, they have to get the football for us to be good, and all sorts of things like that. And then we also looked at defensively we've been real good defensively and then dropped off badly, and we looked at what's missing here, and so we've been more multiple defensively as far as substitution defenses with nickel and dime than ever before, and it's given us a couple more curve balls defensively that I think have really, really helped. But I think the biggest thing there is development of players and teaching players how to play, and that's what I like most about football, most about our coaching staff is they take a lot of pride in teaching, and so we were challenged with 3 9 and trying to do the best teaching job of our life, so I'm proud of them for that part of it because of all the stuff, schemes, plays, all that, I think how to play and teaching guys how to play and developing players is really what we're supposed to do.

Q: Along this whole time of bowl prep, have you had a moment where you look at Major and say, yeah, that confirms he's the right guy for the job?

MACK BROWN:  Yes, I knew that two years ago when we made our changes. I just didn't think it was fair for Major because we weren't very good at that time, and he had played for Greg Davis, he had worked for Greg as a graduate assistant, he had worked for Greg with Greg as assistant coach, and I felt like there would be too many correlations between Greg and Major, and Major and I felt like we needed some new ideas, so I thought that was good. But in watching him over the last two weeks, I guess, he's done a tremendous job with the offense, and he's done a tremendous job with the quarterbacks. He's really worked hard with them to improve and gain their confidence. Bryan did a tremendous job for us. It's always difficult, you watch all these bowl games now and you don't know who's coaching. I think Cincinnati had four coaches last night. So it's a little bit crazy right now in college sports who's ending up coaching, so we're pretty lucky that Major had prepared for this, and we've always said I told Major, if something happened to Bryan or if he got sick and couldn't call plays you'd have to call them during the season. So he's prepared himself for this, and again, I don't think tomorrow night is fair to him to judge everything on him because he won't have his mark on the offense like he will this time next year when we open up. But I think that he'll do a really good job. I've always thought Major is a star, and I'm excited about watching him. The players are excited. They know this is a dream for him. He was patient to wait the two years to get this opportunity again, and he's excited about it. This isn't the best bunch to start it against. I think he watched video, he came in and said, do you think Bryan could come back for the game? But he's done well.

Q:  Along with the impetus your staff put in development, also talk about what the seniors did after the end of the season during spring practice and also the summer in trying to get the team back on the rails and really work together as far as setting the stage for the season.

MIKE RILEY:  Well, I think it's difficult to have a turnaround or to make progress if you don't have the older guys in your program in a position of setting that example. I think it can be done, but I think it's more difficult, and so I think we started a year ago two freshmen defensive ends, and so you can see those kind of guys working hard, developing if they have all the right stuff around them, and they're good guys. They want to get better and work hard. But I think what Andrew Seumalo, what Jordan Poyer, what Markus Wheaton, what they did as senior players that are good they're good players, and they're out there working real hard. I understand Markus had his own personal two a days all summer and grabbed quarterbacks and go all that kind of stuff. I think it's a great sign. You don't want to be too crazy about what might happen, but I told all of our folks as we went into the year, I've got a pretty good vibe about this group because everything looks good. We've got to go play now, but I think that really they set the tone in the off season, spring ball, summer workouts, fall camp was outstanding, and then they went and played. And that was all good stuff.

Q:  Mack, have you had an opportunity yet to do any legwork on hiring a running backs coach and how quickly do you anticipate that being done?

MACK BROWN:  No, in hiring over the last few years, I felt like in some cases it was disruptive and really unnecessary to call guys who were in bowl games and talk to their head coach before you talk to them about a position before they coach their game, and we were okay, we didn't need him in here for recruiting at this time, we didn't need the guy to coach because he wouldn't know our system anyway. So I felt like it's best to wait until after we get through and after the two or three guys I'm going to talk to get through and then talk to them and bring them in and interview. But I really haven't called anybody yet, and I've obviously looked at some things, and personally I keep a list of guys that you're interested in through the years, and then one of the good things about waiting, too, and it happened before is a lot of guys call you that you might not remembered were out there or that you might not remember or think they'd even be interested in coming. So sometimes being more patient than I've been at times is a good thing.

Q:  David said the other day that one of the benefits of Major being the quarterbacks coach is nobody knows what it's like to be the Texas quarterback like Major. You've coached Major as a quarterback, now Major is coaching a quarterback. Is that one of the fortunate byproducts of this move?

MACK BROWN:  Yes, I think it's really a good thing. He's helped our quarterbacks anyway because from afar, even when he was coaching running backs and Greg was coaching quarterbacks, I would say, Major in front of Greg and in front of Bryan, Major, meet with these guys and tell them it's a different place. You've got different pressures and you've got different expectations than a lot of places. He's a guy that's been through it all. He's a guy that started. He was a guy that was a star. He was a guy that was National Player of the Year as a freshman. He was a guy that got hurt. He was a guy who didn't get to play. He was a guy that got his opportunity and came back in a bowl game and came 19 behind against Washington and won. He's been the whole gamut with Texas, he's been a player, he's been a graduate assistant, he's been a second team quarterback at Texas, which is pretty popular, he's been the starter, which he was popular, and I think all of those things help him when he's trying to help David go through the process.  

Q:  You said after practice this week you felt the Pac 12 might be on the cusp of being the second best conference presumably I guess behind the SEC:

MIKE RILEY:  That's why I said maybe. I just feel like our conference has really grown, and I've seen it for a long time even taking it back to the Pac 8 back in the day, and seeing a lot of changes and seen a lot of good football through the years, but it just seems like with the addition of Utah and Colorado going to the Pac 12 and then the competition within these divisions, it's really been I think the football has all been amping up. You take what UCLA did this year coming in and Arizona with Rich Rodriguez going in there and of course Jim Mora at UCLA and Todd Graham at Arizona State, and those are all pretty good football programs, but they just all those teams rose up this year, and they had good players in the program already and they just grew as first year programs. So you can see this thing kind of all amping up a little bit.

Q:  I wonder after the Baylor UCLA game...

MIKE RILEY:  Yeah, bowl games are interesting, and it all comes out. I think the picture clarifies, and that was very, very interesting, though.

Q:  Mike, your impressions of Cody Vaz, that first start in Provo, Utah, can you talk about that day and what that meant to your program?

MIKE RILEY:  Well, I think it was a big day for the Beavers and a great day for Cody. I've always respected Cody as a young man and as a quarterback, and I've always wondered about him playing, actually. He's been a top competitor to play. We haven't been a team that's alternated quarterbacks through the years, so he really hadn't gotten much of a chance, and when given the chance against a really good BYU defense, I was just impressed in their place. That whole picture of him just going down there and playing really his first significant action and playing with the poise that he did, I was just totally impressed by it. It was neat to see our team's reaction to it, too. They were all happy for Cody because he's kind of been in the background, but I think they all respected not only his ability but also who he was, that he was always just ready to go, and he just proved it.

Q:  Coach Brown, Texas has won eight of the last 10 bowl games. What have been the keys for being so successful in these bowl games, and for this Alamo Bowl, were the practices more intense or harder than in previous years?

MACK BROWN:  No, I think that, number one, we've had good teams, and we've taken winning the last game very seriously. I think that you'd have to go back and look at all those games. I guess we lost to Washington State 28 20 and we lost to Alabama in the National Championship game of those 10, and we didn't play very good against Washington State and we obviously lost our quarterback early against Alabama. But I think the guys have worked very hard. We've had nearly spring training type workouts in Austin, and then when we've come, we've had just game week workouts at the bowl site, and it's worked very well for us.

Q: As far as David Ash, is every practice, every game an audition for next year, or what would you say is your level of trust with him at that position?

MACK BROWN:  You go back and look at what David has done. He won eight games. He's in the top 10, maybe top seven in passing efficiency in the country. He did get an injury, had an injury against Iowa State, and we thought he'd be fine, and I'm not sure that he's such a tough young man and he doesn't say very much, so I'm not sure that he was as healthy for TCU as he told us he was, and he didn't respond very well at that time because after Kansas we thought he was really on a roll and doing so well at Texas Tech and Iowa State. We said Case would start at Kansas State because we didn't really know David would play or not. We knew he wouldn't practice very much, and we felt like we should go ahead and make a decision to get the guy that's going to practice to play, and then they told us the morning of the Kansas State game that David was available if we had to have him, but he did very little during the week. So I think David has made great progress, and tomorrow night will be a big game for him because it's a very good defense, it's a defense that does things a lot like Kansas State and TCU where we didn't play very well against. They're going to stop the run. They're very physical up front, they're going to make you throw it, and they've got two pro corners. So they do it right and they do it good, so I'm excited to watch our offense respond against the two defenses we saw at the end of the year that we didn't handle as well.

December 28th, 2012
VAB Head Coach Press Conference 12-28-B
Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley, Texas Head Coach Mack Brown
Play WAV audio of this Press Quote

MODERATOR: Welcome to our head coaches' press conference for the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl. First I'd like to introduce the home team head coach Mike Riley. Just some opening comments, please.

MIKE RILEY: The home team, huh? Well, we are certainly excited to be here, as I've said many times, and it's everything, San Antonio, all the Alamo Bowl people, our sponsors, Valero, this has been just what I knew it would be when our team decided to bring us here, which is really what has happened. We are looking forward to the ballgame. I have a great appreciation for the University of Texas, the history, the tradition, and particularly Coach Brown. I think he's a tremendous model for our profession. I've watched him for a long time just be a great example for all of us coaches in this world, and he does it right, he does it first class, and one of the best jobs in America. So we are, for a lot of reasons, excited to be here. Our team has had a good year, and I think that it's really for me it's a special story because of where we came from a year ago. You can either continue to go down the tubes or you can fight back, and these kids made a decision to fight back and really they were just easy and fun to coach. I've appreciated that from the moment we started our off season in January. For all those reasons, we are excited about this opportunity to play the University of Texas and looking forward to the game. Thank you.

MACK BROWN: Thank you. As has been reported, we had a couple of young men that broke team rules last night. They have been suspended from the team, and they will be sent home and will not be available for the game, and I will not address any more questions in that manner. Like Mike, it's been a great week. We were here in '06, and I remember how wonderful the staff was and the Valero Alamo Bowl has done such a great job, and it just reminds me each time that I come to a bowl with players and watch the experience of our players and Mike's players that the bowl system works that's in place, and it is about the kids. It's one of the few things left in college sports that's really real for them to reap some benefits at the end of the year. Nobody does it better than San Antonio as a city of hospitality and the Alamo Bowl has just done a tremendous job all week for our guys. Last night was a lot of fun, to spend some time with the coaches of Oregon State and also the players, and the players have gotten along wonderfully this week. I think it's probably a lot because of the respect that Mike and I have for each other. I love Mike, I've known him a long time. I admire so much what he's done. I didn't realize Tim Cross, one of our defensive coaches, Mike coached him at linebacker. I always thought Mike was on offense. I never knew he was a linebacker coach. I learned something last night, back in the day, and Tim said he was good at it, too. I bet he was good at it. But to see what Mike has been able to do in his entire career and being the son of a coach and the fabulous job he's done for 12 years at Oregon State, being their best coach ever, and the turnaround this year, his team is really, really good. Their lines of scrimmage are great. They've got great speed at corner. They've got great speed at wide receiver. They've got two quarterbacks playing well. So we're excited about the challenge, and I think it's going to be a great match up. We have our hands full, and we understand that, but it's been a great week. Again, congratulations to Mike and his fans and his staff, team, on a great year, and we look forward to the game. Oh, also, we have Leroy Scott will be out. He is out with a concussion. Steve Edmond is questionable. He sprained his ankle in Austin, he came down here and was doing pretty well. He tweaked the ankle again on Wednesday. Daje Johnson is questionable because he's had back spasms all week, and we're not sure if those two will be available for the game or not.

Q: Talk about Jordan and Markus and their last game and sticking with the program and they were at the pep rally last night and what it meant for them to finish strong.

MIKE RILEY: Well, Jordan Poyer and Markus Wheaton are two really, really good stories, you know, from the moment we recruited those guys they began to set a standard. They're different stories. Markus was highly recruited out of Arizona, and I think primarily his chief recruiter to Oregon State was James Rodgers. They hit it off when Markus visited. Markus was actually, he didn't red shirt, he was always very talented, but the thing I'm really excited about, I think Markus embraced college. He actually went with a group of our student athletes called Beavers Without Borders, went to Guatamala for a week, helped to build a house for a family, came back. I really think it impacted a lot of who he is today, and he just started growing as a player, fun to work with, loves the game, loves to know how to do it better. And Jordan Poyer came basically unrecruited out of a little fishing town right where Louis and Clark came out of the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon, one of the oldest towns in the west, and not a lot of football players have come out of there, mostly fishermen and loggers. But Jordan, we knew him because he had been in our high school camp with his team for about three years, and offered him a scholarship, thought for sure he'd red shirt, he didn't, and he ended up being a good special teams player, the found his niche at corner, and he does everything for us. If we didn't have Jordan Poyer it would take five guys to replace him and probably the most competitive or at least in the top five guys of the most competitive guys I've ever been around in my life. Loves to play. Him and Markus were instrumental in the leadership that started in January with this team, and both are like team captains.

Q: In general terms, I remember the '99 Cotton Bowl, having to deal with distractions. You've coached a long time. Is this a blip on the radar with bowl preparation, or do you really have to do anything different to get your guys focused after something like this?

MACK BROWN: I have not met with the team yet. I'll meet with them at 11:45 before the luncheon, and I will tell them exactly what I told you, and then you move forward. That's what you do. You have policies that you go by, and our policies are in better place right now than they were in '99, so we understand that when you have an issue, you deal with it and you move forward.

Q: Mack, your first dozen years or so at Texas, winning in almost unparalleled fashion, the last three years more of an ordinary record. What are the factors that have been involved in that?

MACK BROWN: You know, our last three years have been more like our first three, really. We were 9 5 one year and the world came to an end. I remember we came down here at 10 3 in 'O6 and the world was nearly at an end, and I remember being 10 3 in '03 and it was at an end. And then what we did, we got a let better in '04, '05, fell back off in '06 '7, and then got back at '8 to the BCS, and then in '9 played for the National Championship. We dropped off heavily in '10. I thought we were competitive last year but we played good defense, we didn't move the ball well enough. This year we've improved on offense; we dropped off on defense some. But I think in our process to move forward, we're about back to where we can compete at the highest level, and we'll have an older team for the first time since we made our changes next year, and I think we're making tremendous progress. Not all of it is visible, and that's something that's very difficult for Texas fans who have seen us be so good. It's difficult for us, too, because we want to be really, really good, and this will be a great way to end the season, competing against one of the best teams in the country, and see how much progress we've made there and then move forward to spring. But I'm excited about Major taking over the play calling. I think he will do a great job. It won't change much tomorrow night, but I think in time there will be some changes, and he and Darrell Wyatt will put their imprint on the offense and move forward, and I think the defense knows that we dropped off more than is the standard at Texas and they've improved here some as of late, but it's still not where we want it to be, and they've got a lot of work to do for next year. But I like where we're going. I think the kids get it. We've had very intense and very productive bowl practices, and I think we're seeing progress, got a lot of good young players that are growing up and growing older, and we may have some depth next year. It's been unparalleled the number of injuries we've had the last two years. We won't even start any of the three linebackers who started the season tomorrow night. And then you've got Jordan Hicks and Jackson Jeffcoat as team leaders that won't be out there. So you're in a position where I hope that we can see more depth next year, and when we've been good, we've had depth, and therefore when we've had injuries it hasn't cost us as much as it has the last couple years, and we've been playing more young players than anybody else in the country the last two years, and I think you have more injuries and you have less depth when you're playing freshmen. So hopefully we're working our way out of that.

Q: Coach Riley, you talked about what a fun and special year this has been, and it's been a feel good story certainly in Oregon and around the country. Talk about what a win tomorrow would mean to cap it off. I know the players have talked about not be satisfied, but talk about capping off this special year if you can win.

MACK BROWN: Do I need to step out? It's really tough to sit up here and hear, isn't this important for you to win? Well, yeah.(Laughter.)

MIKE RILEY: It is for this team, we have kind of managed to when you're coming off of 3 9, you certainly don't look at too big of a picture down the road when you begin. So this team has done a great job of staying in the moment and playing, practicing for each ballgame. They haven't all worked out, obviously, but that's been I think this team likes football. They like to practice and prepare and like the process, which is for us as coaches, that's a good world to be in. You know, I think that this game, it's a tremendous reward for a good season. I feel like, Mack alluded to it, we also use it as a kickoff for the upcoming season. A lot of young guys work during the bowl preparation. So it's a great time for a football program. And there haven't been, in the history of our school, very many double digit win seasons. I think two others. So if we can do that, then we make another place in our football history at Oregon State. All those kinds of things are good, but playing the game, competing against the University of Texas and doing everything we can to win, that just brings it down to the process of playing football. You hope when they put the ball down that your team is ready to compete.

Q: Where your program is right now and making its way back, what is the significance of tomorrow night's game as it portends to looking ahead to next season?

MACK BROWN: I think what Mike just said is true. It's a reward when you go to a bowl game. You get 13 extra practices, which is nearly a spring practice, to improve, especially with your young guys. We think we've already accomplished that. And you always like to win your last game. Mike and I have done it both ways. If you lose the last one, it motivates you to get ready to go to spring and you've got more to prove and if you win the last one you feel like you're on a high and you finished really well, like we did against Cal last year, and it takes momentum in the spring. But as coaches, what you got to do is do the best that you can do to win the game and if you don't you manage it and if you do you manage it and you move forward. Q.

Mack, can you at least say if the two players were starters and if it'll affect

MACK BROWN: No, I can't say anything else.

Q: And do you have a curfew for the bowl?

MACK BROWN: Any other questions?

Q: Mike, you always talk about the resolve your players showed after last season to have something better this year, but what about the coaching staff? There must have been some serious meetings after that season about changing things or whatever, but how was that for the coaching staff?

MIKE RILEY: Well, you know, all those kinds of things in football or in sports are hard like that, so I so you basically, with your staff and I've had real nice continuity. I have Mark Banker. Our defensive coordinator and I have coached every game together at Oregon State through the 12 years, and I know Mark well, and Bruce Read has been my special teams coach for a long time. And Danny Langsdorf has been with me for a long time. So we take a look hard look at the evaluation of what we need to do strategically football wise, what we might need to do in all the other areas of our program, and we tried to examine all of it, and you have to I think be willing to make some changes. We had to look at our team real hard and decide, okay, these guys have a chance to be the play makers for us, how are we going to get them the ball, they have to get the football for us to be good, and all sorts of things like that. And then we also looked at defensively we've been real good defensively and then dropped off badly, and we looked at what's missing here, and so we've been more multiple defensively as far as substitution defenses with nickel and dime than ever before, and it's given us a couple more curve balls defensively that I think have really, really helped. But I think the biggest thing there is development of players and teaching players how to play, and that's what I like most about football, most about our coaching staff is they take a lot of pride in teaching, and so we were challenged with 3 9 and trying to do the best teaching job of our life, so I'm proud of them for that part of it because of all the stuff, schemes, plays, all that, I think how to play and teaching guys how to play and developing players is really what we're supposed to do.

Q: Along this whole time of bowl prep, have you had a moment where you look at Major and say, yeah, that confirms he's the right guy for the job?

MACK BROWN: Yes, I knew that two years ago when we made our changes. I just didn't think it was fair for Major because we weren't very good at that time, and he had played for Greg Davis, he had worked for Greg as a graduate assistant, he had worked for Greg with Greg as assistant coach, and I felt like there would be too many correlations between Greg and Major, and Major and I felt like we needed some new ideas, so I thought that was good. But in watching him over the last two weeks, I guess, he's done a tremendous job with the offense, and he's done a tremendous job with the quarterbacks. He's really worked hard with them to improve and gain their confidence. Bryan did a tremendous job for us. It's always difficult, you watch all these bowl games now and you don't know who's coaching. I think Cincinnati had four coaches last night. So it's a little bit crazy right now in college sports who's ending up coaching, so we're pretty lucky that Major had prepared for this, and we've always said I told Major, if something happened to Bryan or if he got sick and couldn't call plays you'd have to call them during the season. So he's prepared himself for this, and again, I don't think tomorrow night is fair to him to judge everything on him because he won't have his mark on the offense like he will this time next year when we open up. But I think that he'll do a really good job. I've always thought Major is a star, and I'm excited about watching him. The players are excited. They know this is a dream for him. He was patient to wait the two years to get this opportunity again, and he's excited about it. This isn't the best bunch to start it against. I think he watched video, he came in and said, do you think Bryan could come back for the game? But he's done well.

Q: Along with the impetus your staff put in development, also talk about what the seniors did after the end of the season during spring practice and also the summer in trying to get the team back on the rails and really work together as far as setting the stage for the season.

MIKE RILEY: Well, I think it's difficult to have a turnaround or to make progress if you don't have the older guys in your program in a position of setting that example. I think it can be done, but I think it's more difficult, and so I think we started a year ago two freshmen defensive ends, and so you can see those kind of guys working hard, developing if they have all the right stuff around them, and they're good guys. They want to get better and work hard. But I think what Andrew Seumalo, what Jordan Poyer, what Markus Wheaton, what they did as senior players that are good they're good players, and they're out there working real hard. I understand Markus had his own personal two a days all summer and grabbed quarterbacks and go all that kind of stuff. I think it's a great sign. You don't want to be too crazy about what might happen, but I told all of our folks as we went into the year, I've got a pretty good vibe about this group because everything looks good. We've got to go play now, but I think that really they set the tone in the off season, spring ball, summer workouts, fall camp was outstanding, and then they went and played. And that was all good stuff.

Q: Mack, have you had an opportunity yet to do any legwork on hiring a running backs coach and how quickly do you anticipate that being done?

MACK BROWN: No, in hiring over the last few years, I felt like in some cases it was disruptive and really unnecessary to call guys who were in bowl games and talk to their head coach before you talk to them about a position before they coach their game, and we were okay, we didn't need him in here for recruiting at this time, we didn't need the guy to coach because he wouldn't know our system anyway. So I felt like it's best to wait until after we get through and after the two or three guys I'm going to talk to get through and then talk to them and bring them in and interview. But I really haven't called anybody yet, and I've obviously looked at some things, and personally I keep a list of guys that you're interested in through the years, and then one of the good things about waiting, too, and it happened before is a lot of guys call you that you might not remembered were out there or that you might not remember or think they'd even be interested in coming. So sometimes being more patient than I've been at times is a good thing.

Q: David said the other day that one of the benefits of Major being the quarterbacks coach is nobody knows what it's like to be the Texas quarterback like Major. You've coached Major as a quarterback, now Major is coaching a quarterback. Is that one of the fortunate byproducts of this move?

MACK BROWN: Yes, I think it's really a good thing. He's helped our quarterbacks anyway because from afar, even when he was coaching running backs and Greg was coaching quarterbacks, I would say, Major in front of Greg and in front of Bryan, Major, meet with these guys and tell them it's a different place. You've got different pressures and you've got different expectations than a lot of places. He's a guy that's been through it all. He's a guy that started. He was a guy that was a star. He was a guy that was National Player of the Year as a freshman. He was a guy that got hurt. He was a guy who didn't get to play. He was a guy that got his opportunity and came back in a bowl game and came 19 behind against Washington and won. He's been the whole gamut with Texas, he's been a player, he's been a graduate assistant, he's been a second team quarterback at Texas, which is pretty popular, he's been the starter, which he was popular, and I think all of those things help him when he's trying to help David go through the process.

Q: You said after practice this week you felt the Pac 12 might be on the cusp of being the second best conference presumably I guess behind the SEC:

MIKE RILEY: That's why I said maybe. I just feel like our conference has really grown, and I've seen it for a long time even taking it back to the Pac 8 back in the day, and seeing a lot of changes and seen a lot of good football through the years, but it just seems like with the addition of Utah and Colorado going to the Pac 12 and then the competition within these divisions, it's really been I think the football has all been amping up. You take what UCLA did this year coming in and Arizona with Rich Rodriguez going in there and of course Jim Mora at UCLA and Todd Graham at Arizona State, and those are all pretty good football programs, but they just all those teams rose up this year, and they had good players in the program already and they just grew as first year programs. So you can see this thing kind of all amping up a little bit.

Q: I wonder after the Baylor UCLA game...

MIKE RILEY: Yeah, bowl games are interesting, and it all comes out. I think the picture clarifies, and that was very, very interesting, though.

Q: Mike, your impressions of Cody Vaz, that first start in Provo, Utah, can you talk about that day and what that meant to your program?

MIKE RILEY: Well, I think it was a big day for the Beavers and a great day for Cody. I've always respected Cody as a young man and as a quarterback, and I've always wondered about him playing, actually. He's been a top competitor to play. We haven't been a team that's alternated quarterbacks through the years, so he really hadn't gotten much of a chance, and when given the chance against a really good BYU defense, I was just impressed in their place. That whole picture of him just going down there and playing really his first significant action and playing with the poise that he did, I was just totally impressed by it. It was neat to see our team's reaction to it, too. They were all happy for Cody because he's kind of been in the background, but I think they all respected not only his ability but also who he was, that he was always just ready to go, and he just proved it.

Q: Coach Brown, Texas has won eight of the last 10 bowl games. What have been the keys for being so successful in these bowl games, and for this Alamo Bowl, were the practices more intense or harder than in previous years?

MACK BROWN: No, I think that, number one, we've had good teams, and we've taken winning the last game very seriously. I think that you'd have to go back and look at all those games. I guess we lost to Washington State 28 20 and we lost to Alabama in the National Championship game of those 10, and we didn't play very good against Washington State and we obviously lost our quarterback early against Alabama. But I think the guys have worked very hard. We've had nearly spring training type workouts in Austin, and then when we've come, we've had just game week workouts at the bowl site, and it's worked very well for us.

Q: As far as David Ash, is every practice, every game an audition for next year, or what would you say is your level of trust with him at that position?

MACK BROWN: You go back and look at what David has done. He won eight games. He's in the top 10, maybe top seven in passing efficiency in the country. He did get an injury, had an injury against Iowa State, and we thought he'd be fine, and I'm not sure that he's such a tough young man and he doesn't say very much, so I'm not sure that he was as healthy for TCU as he told us he was, and he didn't respond very well at that time because after Kansas we thought he was really on a roll and doing so well at Texas Tech and Iowa State. We said Case would start at Kansas State because we didn't really know David would play or not. We knew he wouldn't practice very much, and we felt like we should go ahead and make a decision to get the guy that's going to practice to play, and then they told us the morning of the Kansas State game that David was available if we had to have him, but he did very little during the week. So I think David has made great progress, and tomorrow night will be a big game for him because it's a very good defense, it's a defense that does things a lot like Kansas State and TCU where we didn't play very well against. They're going to stop the run. They're very physical up front, they're going to make you throw it, and they've got two pro corners. So they do it right and they do it good, so I'm excited to watch our offense respond against the two defenses we saw at the end of the year that we didn't handle as well.

December 28th, 2012
VAB Head Coach Press Conference 12-28-C
Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley, Texas Head Coach Mack Brown
Play WAV audio of this Press Quote

MODERATOR: Welcome to our head coaches' press conference for the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl. First I'd like to introduce the home team head coach Mike Riley. Just some opening comments, please.

MIKE RILEY: The home team, huh? Well, we are certainly excited to be here, as I've said many times, and it's everything, San Antonio, all the Alamo Bowl people, our sponsors, Valero, this has been just what I knew it would be when our team decided to bring us here, which is really what has happened. We are looking forward to the ballgame. I have a great appreciation for the University of Texas, the history, the tradition, and particularly Coach Brown. I think he's a tremendous model for our profession. I've watched him for a long time just be a great example for all of us coaches in this world, and he does it right, he does it first class, and one of the best jobs in America. So we are, for a lot of reasons, excited to be here. Our team has had a good year, and I think that it's really for me it's a special story because of where we came from a year ago. You can either continue to go down the tubes or you can fight back, and these kids made a decision to fight back and really they were just easy and fun to coach. I've appreciated that from the moment we started our off season in January. For all those reasons, we are excited about this opportunity to play the University of Texas and looking forward to the game. Thank you.

MACK BROWN: Thank you. As has been reported, we had a couple of young men that broke team rules last night. They have been suspended from the team, and they will be sent home and will not be available for the game, and I will not address any more questions in that manner. Like Mike, it's been a great week. We were here in '06, and I remember how wonderful the staff was and the Valero Alamo Bowl has done such a great job, and it just reminds me each time that I come to a bowl with players and watch the experience of our players and Mike's players that the bowl system works that's in place, and it is about the kids. It's one of the few things left in college sports that's really real for them to reap some benefits at the end of the year. Nobody does it better than San Antonio as a city of hospitality and the Alamo Bowl has just done a tremendous job all week for our guys. Last night was a lot of fun, to spend some time with the coaches of Oregon State and also the players, and the players have gotten along wonderfully this week. I think it's probably a lot because of the respect that Mike and I have for each other. I love Mike, I've known him a long time. I admire so much what he's done. I didn't realize Tim Cross, one of our defensive coaches, Mike coached him at linebacker. I always thought Mike was on offense. I never knew he was a linebacker coach. I learned something last night, back in the day, and Tim said he was good at it, too. I bet he was good at it. But to see what Mike has been able to do in his entire career and being the son of a coach and the fabulous job he's done for 12 years at Oregon State, being their best coach ever, and the turnaround this year, his team is really, really good. Their lines of scrimmage are great. They've got great speed at corner. They've got great speed at wide receiver. They've got two quarterbacks playing well. So we're excited about the challenge, and I think it's going to be a great match up. We have our hands full, and we understand that, but it's been a great week. Again, congratulations to Mike and his fans and his staff, team, on a great year, and we look forward to the game. Oh, also, we have Leroy Scott will be out. He is out with a concussion. Steve Edmond is questionable. He sprained his ankle in Austin, he came down here and was doing pretty well. He tweaked the ankle again on Wednesday. Daje Johnson is questionable because he's had back spasms all week, and we're not sure if those two will be available for the game or not.

Q: Talk about Jordan and Markus and their last game and sticking with the program and they were at the pep rally last night and what it meant for them to finish strong.

MIKE RILEY: Well, Jordan Poyer and Markus Wheaton are two really, really good stories, you know, from the moment we recruited those guys they began to set a standard. They're different stories. Markus was highly recruited out of Arizona, and I think primarily his chief recruiter to Oregon State was James Rodgers. They hit it off when Markus visited. Markus was actually, he didn't red shirt, he was always very talented, but the thing I'm really excited about, I think Markus embraced college. He actually went with a group of our student athletes called Beavers Without Borders, went to Guatamala for a week, helped to build a house for a family, came back. I really think it impacted a lot of who he is today, and he just started growing as a player, fun to work with, loves the game, loves to know how to do it better. And Jordan Poyer came basically unrecruited out of a little fishing town right where Louis and Clark came out of the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon, one of the oldest towns in the west, and not a lot of football players have come out of there, mostly fishermen and loggers. But Jordan, we knew him because he had been in our high school camp with his team for about three years, and offered him a scholarship, thought for sure he'd red shirt, he didn't, and he ended up being a good special teams player, the found his niche at corner, and he does everything for us. If we didn't have Jordan Poyer it would take five guys to replace him and probably the most competitive or at least in the top five guys of the most competitive guys I've ever been around in my life. Loves to play. Him and Markus were instrumental in the leadership that started in January with this team, and both are like team captains.

Q: In general terms, I remember the '99 Cotton Bowl, having to deal with distractions. You've coached a long time. Is this a blip on the radar with bowl preparation, or do you really have to do anything different to get your guys focused after something like this?

MACK BROWN: I have not met with the team yet. I'll meet with them at 11:45 before the luncheon, and I will tell them exactly what I told you, and then you move forward. That's what you do. You have policies that you go by, and our policies are in better place right now than they were in '99, so we understand that when you have an issue, you deal with it and you move forward.

Q: Mack, your first dozen years or so at Texas, winning in almost unparalleled fashion, the last three years more of an ordinary record. What are the factors that have been involved in that?

MACK BROWN: You know, our last three years have been more like our first three, really. We were 9 5 one year and the world came to an end. I remember we came down here at 10 3 in 'O6 and the world was nearly at an end, and I remember being 10 3 in '03 and it was at an end. And then what we did, we got a let better in '04, '05, fell back off in '06 '7, and then got back at '8 to the BCS, and then in '9 played for the National Championship. We dropped off heavily in '10. I thought we were competitive last year but we played good defense, we didn't move the ball well enough. This year we've improved on offense; we dropped off on defense some. But I think in our process to move forward, we're about back to where we can compete at the highest level, and we'll have an older team for the first time since we made our changes next year, and I think we're making tremendous progress. Not all of it is visible, and that's something that's very difficult for Texas fans who have seen us be so good. It's difficult for us, too, because we want to be really, really good, and this will be a great way to end the season, competing against one of the best teams in the country, and see how much progress we've made there and then move forward to spring. But I'm excited about Major taking over the play calling. I think he will do a great job. It won't change much tomorrow night, but I think in time there will be some changes, and he and Darrell Wyatt will put their imprint on the offense and move forward, and I think the defense knows that we dropped off more than is the standard at Texas and they've improved here some as of late, but it's still not where we want it to be, and they've got a lot of work to do for next year. But I like where we're going. I think the kids get it. We've had very intense and very productive bowl practices, and I think we're seeing progress, got a lot of good young players that are growing up and growing older, and we may have some depth next year. It's been unparalleled the number of injuries we've had the last two years. We won't even start any of the three linebackers who started the season tomorrow night. And then you've got Jordan Hicks and Jackson Jeffcoat as team leaders that won't be out there. So you're in a position where I hope that we can see more depth next year, and when we've been good, we've had depth, and therefore when we've had injuries it hasn't cost us as much as it has the last couple years, and we've been playing more young players than anybody else in the country the last two years, and I think you have more injuries and you have less depth when you're playing freshmen. So hopefully we're working our way out of that.

Q: Coach Riley, you talked about what a fun and special year this has been, and it's been a feel good story certainly in Oregon and around the country. Talk about what a win tomorrow would mean to cap it off. I know the players have talked about not be satisfied, but talk about capping off this special year if you can win.

MACK BROWN: Do I need to step out? It's really tough to sit up here and hear, isn't this important for you to win? Well, yeah.(Laughter.)

MIKE RILEY: It is for this team, we have kind of managed to when you're coming off of 3 9, you certainly don't look at too big of a picture down the road when you begin. So this team has done a great job of staying in the moment and playing, practicing for each ballgame. They haven't all worked out, obviously, but that's been I think this team likes football. They like to practice and prepare and like the process, which is for us as coaches, that's a good world to be in. You know, I think that this game, it's a tremendous reward for a good season. I feel like, Mack alluded to it, we also use it as a kickoff for the upcoming season. A lot of young guys work during the bowl preparation. So it's a great time for a football program. And there haven't been, in the history of our school, very many double digit win seasons. I think two others. So if we can do that, then we make another place in our football history at Oregon State. All those kinds of things are good, but playing the game, competing against the University of Texas and doing everything we can to win, that just brings it down to the process of playing football. You hope when they put the ball down that your team is ready to compete.

Q: Where your program is right now and making its way back, what is the significance of tomorrow night's game as it portends to looking ahead to next season?

MACK BROWN: I think what Mike just said is true. It's a reward when you go to a bowl game. You get 13 extra practices, which is nearly a spring practice, to improve, especially with your young guys. We think we've already accomplished that. And you always like to win your last game. Mike and I have done it both ways. If you lose the last one, it motivates you to get ready to go to spring and you've got more to prove and if you win the last one you feel like you're on a high and you finished really well, like we did against Cal last year, and it takes momentum in the spring. But as coaches, what you got to do is do the best that you can do to win the game and if you don't you manage it and if you do you manage it and you move forward. Q.

Mack, can you at least say if the two players were starters and if it'll affect

MACK BROWN: No, I can't say anything else.

Q: And do you have a curfew for the bowl?

MACK BROWN: Any other questions?

Q: Mike, you always talk about the resolve your players showed after last season to have something better this year, but what about the coaching staff? There must have been some serious meetings after that season about changing things or whatever, but how was that for the coaching staff?

MIKE RILEY: Well, you know, all those kinds of things in football or in sports are hard like that, so I so you basically, with your staff and I've had real nice continuity. I have Mark Banker. Our defensive coordinator and I have coached every game together at Oregon State through the 12 years, and I know Mark well, and Bruce Read has been my special teams coach for a long time. And Danny Langsdorf has been with me for a long time. So we take a look hard look at the evaluation of what we need to do strategically football wise, what we might need to do in all the other areas of our program, and we tried to examine all of it, and you have to I think be willing to make some changes. We had to look at our team real hard and decide, okay, these guys have a chance to be the play makers for us, how are we going to get them the ball, they have to get the football for us to be good, and all sorts of things like that. And then we also looked at defensively we've been real good defensively and then dropped off badly, and we looked at what's missing here, and so we've been more multiple defensively as far as substitution defenses with nickel and dime than ever before, and it's given us a couple more curve balls defensively that I think have really, really helped. But I think the biggest thing there is development of players and teaching players how to play, and that's what I like most about football, most about our coaching staff is they take a lot of pride in teaching, and so we were challenged with 3 9 and trying to do the best teaching job of our life, so I'm proud of them for that part of it because of all the stuff, schemes, plays, all that, I think how to play and teaching guys how to play and developing players is really what we're supposed to do.

Q: Along this whole time of bowl prep, have you had a moment where you look at Major and say, yeah, that confirms he's the right guy for the job?

MACK BROWN: Yes, I knew that two years ago when we made our changes. I just didn't think it was fair for Major because we weren't very good at that time, and he had played for Greg Davis, he had worked for Greg as a graduate assistant, he had worked for Greg with Greg as assistant coach, and I felt like there would be too many correlations between Greg and Major, and Major and I felt like we needed some new ideas, so I thought that was good. But in watching him over the last two weeks, I guess, he's done a tremendous job with the offense, and he's done a tremendous job with the quarterbacks. He's really worked hard with them to improve and gain their confidence. Bryan did a tremendous job for us. It's always difficult, you watch all these bowl games now and you don't know who's coaching. I think Cincinnati had four coaches last night. So it's a little bit crazy right now in college sports who's ending up coaching, so we're pretty lucky that Major had prepared for this, and we've always said I told Major, if something happened to Bryan or if he got sick and couldn't call plays you'd have to call them during the season. So he's prepared himself for this, and again, I don't think tomorrow night is fair to him to judge everything on him because he won't have his mark on the offense like he will this time next year when we open up. But I think that he'll do a really good job. I've always thought Major is a star, and I'm excited about watching him. The players are excited. They know this is a dream for him. He was patient to wait the two years to get this opportunity again, and he's excited about it. This isn't the best bunch to start it against. I think he watched video, he came in and said, do you think Bryan could come back for the game? But he's done well.

Q: Along with the impetus your staff put in development, also talk about what the seniors did after the end of the season during spring practice and also the summer in trying to get the team back on the rails and really work together as far as setting the stage for the season.

MIKE RILEY: Well, I think it's difficult to have a turnaround or to make progress if you don't have the older guys in your program in a position of setting that example. I think it can be done, but I think it's more difficult, and so I think we started a year ago two freshmen defensive ends, and so you can see those kind of guys working hard, developing if they have all the right stuff around them, and they're good guys. They want to get better and work hard. But I think what Andrew Seumalo, what Jordan Poyer, what Markus Wheaton, what they did as senior players that are good they're good players, and they're out there working real hard. I understand Markus had his own personal two a days all summer and grabbed quarterbacks and go all that kind of stuff. I think it's a great sign. You don't want to be too crazy about what might happen, but I told all of our folks as we went into the year, I've got a pretty good vibe about this group because everything looks good. We've got to go play now, but I think that really they set the tone in the off season, spring ball, summer workouts, fall camp was outstanding, and then they went and played. And that was all good stuff.

Q: Mack, have you had an opportunity yet to do any legwork on hiring a running backs coach and how quickly do you anticipate that being done?

MACK BROWN: No, in hiring over the last few years, I felt like in some cases it was disruptive and really unnecessary to call guys who were in bowl games and talk to their head coach before you talk to them about a position before they coach their game, and we were okay, we didn't need him in here for recruiting at this time, we didn't need the guy to coach because he wouldn't know our system anyway. So I felt like it's best to wait until after we get through and after the two or three guys I'm going to talk to get through and then talk to them and bring them in and interview. But I really haven't called anybody yet, and I've obviously looked at some things, and personally I keep a list of guys that you're interested in through the years, and then one of the good things about waiting, too, and it happened before is a lot of guys call you that you might not remembered were out there or that you might not remember or think they'd even be interested in coming. So sometimes being more patient than I've been at times is a good thing.

Q: David said the other day that one of the benefits of Major being the quarterbacks coach is nobody knows what it's like to be the Texas quarterback like Major. You've coached Major as a quarterback, now Major is coaching a quarterback. Is that one of the fortunate byproducts of this move?

MACK BROWN: Yes, I think it's really a good thing. He's helped our quarterbacks anyway because from afar, even when he was coaching running backs and Greg was coaching quarterbacks, I would say, Major in front of Greg and in front of Bryan, Major, meet with these guys and tell them it's a different place. You've got different pressures and you've got different expectations than a lot of places. He's a guy that's been through it all. He's a guy that started. He was a guy that was a star. He was a guy that was National Player of the Year as a freshman. He was a guy that got hurt. He was a guy who didn't get to play. He was a guy that got his opportunity and came back in a bowl game and came 19 behind against Washington and won. He's been the whole gamut with Texas, he's been a player, he's been a graduate assistant, he's been a second team quarterback at Texas, which is pretty popular, he's been the starter, which he was popular, and I think all of those things help him when he's trying to help David go through the process.

Q: You said after practice this week you felt the Pac 12 might be on the cusp of being the second best conference presumably I guess behind the SEC:

MIKE RILEY: That's why I said maybe. I just feel like our conference has really grown, and I've seen it for a long time even taking it back to the Pac 8 back in the day, and seeing a lot of changes and seen a lot of good football through the years, but it just seems like with the addition of Utah and Colorado going to the Pac 12 and then the competition within these divisions, it's really been I think the football has all been amping up. You take what UCLA did this year coming in and Arizona with Rich Rodriguez going in there and of course Jim Mora at UCLA and Todd Graham at Arizona State, and those are all pretty good football programs, but they just all those teams rose up this year, and they had good players in the program already and they just grew as first year programs. So you can see this thing kind of all amping up a little bit.

Q: I wonder after the Baylor UCLA game...

MIKE RILEY: Yeah, bowl games are interesting, and it all comes out. I think the picture clarifies, and that was very, very interesting, though.

Q: Mike, your impressions of Cody Vaz, that first start in Provo, Utah, can you talk about that day and what that meant to your program?

MIKE RILEY: Well, I think it was a big day for the Beavers and a great day for Cody. I've always respected Cody as a young man and as a quarterback, and I've always wondered about him playing, actually. He's been a top competitor to play. We haven't been a team that's alternated quarterbacks through the years, so he really hadn't gotten much of a chance, and when given the chance against a really good BYU defense, I was just impressed in their place. That whole picture of him just going down there and playing really his first significant action and playing with the poise that he did, I was just totally impressed by it. It was neat to see our team's reaction to it, too. They were all happy for Cody because he's kind of been in the background, but I think they all respected not only his ability but also who he was, that he was always just ready to go, and he just proved it.

Q: Coach Brown, Texas has won eight of the last 10 bowl games. What have been the keys for being so successful in these bowl games, and for this Alamo Bowl, were the practices more intense or harder than in previous years?

MACK BROWN: No, I think that, number one, we've had good teams, and we've taken winning the last game very seriously. I think that you'd have to go back and look at all those games. I guess we lost to Washington State 28 20 and we lost to Alabama in the National Championship game of those 10, and we didn't play very good against Washington State and we obviously lost our quarterback early against Alabama. But I think the guys have worked very hard. We've had nearly spring training type workouts in Austin, and then when we've come, we've had just game week workouts at the bowl site, and it's worked very well for us.

Q: As far as David Ash, is every practice, every game an audition for next year, or what would you say is your level of trust with him at that position?

MACK BROWN: You go back and look at what David has done. He won eight games. He's in the top 10, maybe top seven in passing efficiency in the country. He did get an injury, had an injury against Iowa State, and we thought he'd be fine, and I'm not sure that he's such a tough young man and he doesn't say very much, so I'm not sure that he was as healthy for TCU as he told us he was, and he didn't respond very well at that time because after Kansas we thought he was really on a roll and doing so well at Texas Tech and Iowa State. We said Case would start at Kansas State because we didn't really know David would play or not. We knew he wouldn't practice very much, and we felt like we should go ahead and make a decision to get the guy that's going to practice to play, and then they told us the morning of the Kansas State game that David was available if we had to have him, but he did very little during the week. So I think David has made great progress, and tomorrow night will be a big game for him because it's a very good defense, it's a defense that does things a lot like Kansas State and TCU where we didn't play very well against. They're going to stop the run. They're very physical up front, they're going to make you throw it, and they've got two pro corners. So they do it right and they do it good, so I'm excited to watch our offense respond against the two defenses we saw at the end of the year that we didn't handle as well.

December 27th, 2012
Oregon State Practice 12-27
Oregon State Fullback Clayton York
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On the ability of Texas’ kick returners:

“When you’re playing kick return you just have to be disciplined. You can’t fly down and try and make a technical. You have to be technical and smart about what you’re doing. We’ve seen them on film. We know how fast they are.”

On the possibility of special teams being a difference maker in the game: 

“We know how important it is. It’s no different than offense or defense. If you miss an assignment on defense, it may be a big gain. If you miss an assignment on punt return or kick return, it’s a touchdown. We’re not by any means overly relaxed on those cover teams or those return teams, at all.”

On how rewarding getting to 10 wins would be for the team:

“It’d be huge, especially coming off of what happened last year and the year before that. I haven’t been to a bowl in two years and this is my last bowl so it’s pretty huge.”

On how the team feels heading into the Valero Alamo Bowl:

“We’re confident. We think we’re going to win.”

 

 

 

 

 

December 27th, 2012
Oregon State Practice 12-27-B
Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley
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On how game preparation is going thus far:

“It’s been a good build up. I feel like the guys have had good practices the last few days and it’s time to count it down to game time. I think they’re confident. They did what they need to do today. This is actually a pretty typical Thursday practice for us.”

On the team being able to accomplish its goals during practice:

“We‘ll find out if we did or not. I feel real good about the work we‘ve had. You always wonder how to approach 15 or 16 practices so it‘s always interesting. You always wonder if you‘ve got the right approach but regardless of any of that I think these guys are excited about playing Texas.”

On keeping the players focused with all the distractions San Antonio has to offer:

“That‘s one of the advantages for us. From our vantage point our players have done a great job combining what I think is a real nice time, great hospitality, lots of nice events with good practices and good meetings. That’s what we asked them to do coming down and the guys have done a great job with that. We’ve had virtually no distractions. They’ve had a curfew and will continue to have (a curfew). It’ll get a little earlier tonight and tomorrow.”

On having any down time to spend with Texas Head Coach Mack Brown:

“Yeah. We had dinner last night, both staffs, at a function put on by the Alamo Bowl. They’ve got really good people at the University of Texas and I’ve known that for a while. There’s lots of connections. It was neat kind of reconnecting. They have a class group and it was fun to see them and talk about the game and the past.”

On recommendations for Beaver fans while visiting San Antonio:

“The first thing they should do is start with the River Walk. That’s simple. With a little more time there’s LaVillita, the old Mexican village right next to the River Walk. There’s Mi Tierra Mexican restaurant I think everyone should go to in the Market Place downtown. If you have a little time go some place in the Hill Country. When we moved here we did not know about the Hill Country, the rivers and the lakes and it’s really nice country around here. The Beaver fans will enjoy it.”

On whether or not he‘s interacted with any fans while in San Antonio:

“A little bit. Seen quite a few Beaver shirts and hats as we‘ve got through the last few days. We’ll travel well and be well represented. And the other guys, I guess, are gonna wear orange on oue behalf so that’ll be a lot of fun.”

On how this game is a long-time coming for Beaver fans:

“It‘s really fun and exciting to be involved in a game like this and bring a team to this area. Actually the team brought us and we‘re traveling on their coat tails. So we’re proud of them for doing that and happy for all the Beaver fans.”

On his philosophy concerning open practices:

“I’ve always liked people at practice. I think I learned that from John Robinson when I was at USC. We just like the atmosphere that it brings. I just enjoy having people come watch our team, whether it’s the games or practices. We do keep an eye out for somebody who might be filming in appropriately or taking notes. At home it’s pretty easy to monitor and here it hasn’t been that hard either. It’s nice to have people that want to come and watch us. I like that.”

On how emotional it is to see the seniors practice for the last time:

“It’s kind of emotional and kind of neat. It’s really amazing. All of them kind of made that same comment that they can’t believe how fast it’s gone by. It’s a good group that’s blossomed this year. We couldn’t have been here or had this year without that senior leadership. I just don’t believe you can make that kind of turn around without the older guys in the program really being committed to what we’re trying to do. It’s an absolutely tremendous group. The three senior captains were really big time in how this team took off in the off season right up until today in San Antonio.”

 

 

 

 

December 27th, 2012
Texas Defensive Press Conference
University of Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz meets the media in San Antonio along with cornerbacks Quandre Diggs & Carrington Byndom, defensive end Alex Okafor, defensive tackle Desmond Jackson and safety Kenny Vaccaro.
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 THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Texas Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz.  Could you introduce the players and give an opening statement.
 MANNY DIAZ:  Going down the line, we have:  Cornerback Quandre Diggs; cornerback Carrington Byndon; defensive end Alex Okafor; defensive back tackle Desmond Jackson, and safety Kenny Vaccaro.
 Just brief opening comments.  We've had a great month of practice.  Everybody always talks about that Bowl practices, normally you split the month up into two.  You have sort of a spring practice where you work on the youth of your football team and then as the game gets closer you move on to game preparation.
 I'll say defensively that's been true for us to a point, but I do think since the season has ended, I think we've taken a good hard look at ourselves.  I think we've had a really good month of preparation in terms of not just this game but this defense going forward.
 We were not pleased with the way that we played this season.  And everything we did through this past month to me will benefit us on Saturday but also benefit us going forward here on forward. 
 

 THE MODERATOR:  Questions?

 Q.  Alex, was there an overlap when you guys were at Pflugerville, or JV/Varsity, what do you remember from Storm?
 ALEX OKAFOR:  He was on varsity my senior year.  My senior year I played with him, he was our starting running back.  So I know Storm well.

 Q.  Surprised he went up to Oregon State?
 ALEX OKAFOR:  I am.  I'm surprised he stayed there.  Usually when people leave Texas, they end up coming back the next year.  That's a good thing.  Proud of him.

 Q.  Manny, you said you took a good, hard look at yourselves.  Just talk about why you think it got away from you a little bit, in the beginning of the year, what helped turn things around and what you can take away from this year going forward?
 MANNY DIAZ:  I think there's 99 reasons we didn't play the way we wanted to play.  Some that were in our control and some that were not in our control.  But we're responsible for all of them.
 The bottom line is what I was proud of our defense as the year went on despite the fact we played very poorly especially in the middle part of the season I thought we were resilient.  I thought we hung together and I do think we improved as the year went on.
 Sort of the theme, this month, we talked about it over the last three, four, five weeks, the time for resilience is over.  We've proven we can take a punch, but that the time for that is over.  Now it's time to start moving forward and having    I think what's important I think the guys understand this is having a higher expectation of the man playing beside you, and higher expectation of yourself and higher expectation of what you demand of the man that plays beside you.
 And that's really, like I said, it's a process.  We have to go play a game on Saturday.  I'm sad we can't practice next week, because every day it's a matter of just grinding closer to that goal.

 Q.  Manny, there's some talk about maybe Quandre taking Kenny's spot in the nickel position next year.  Is that something you looked into this game or just something for the future in the spring? 
 MANNY DIAZ:  No.  To me you would have to come back in the springtime, find out who you've got, where everybody fits in the best positions.  I think one thing Coach Akina has been done an unbelievable job is cross training all guys for all positions.  With the injuries we've had in the back seven of our defense, there's guys up here that know, between nickel and dime and safety and things like that, and because Coach Akina makes a big point of trying    we don't want just DBs we don't want cover corners, we want complete football players.
 So I think all of our guys have a lot of versatility in the ways they can help the football team.

 Q.  Manny, obviously injuries are never an excuse, but just what did it mean when you all lost Jordan for the year, how did you all have to compensate for that? 
 MANNY DIAZ:  A little bit like losing    I was speaking the front seven.  It's like losing the quarterback of your defense.  Jordan's a guy that was going to make all the calls.  I think Jordan    it didn't make us    it didn't hurt us at one spot, I thought it hurt us at three and four spots because with him being out that affected some of the inexperienced guys that were around him.
 But I think what we learned this year it's not about losing Jordan Hicks, it's about the preparation level of the guys that had to step up and take his place.  I think the lesson for our football team going forward is injuries are going to be part of the game and what it really shined the light on, it shined the light on the preparation of our guys that it shouldn't have put us in a four week hole the way that it did.
 And coaches we preach it.  You never know the year one sprained ankle away from being a starter.  But that's really where    and that again that's ultimately my responsibility as a coach is having our team prepared to handle anybody's absence.

 Q.  Kenny, you've been guarding the big receiver on the other team for a while now.  They've got two receivers with thousand yards.  Is one more dangerous than the other?  And do they remind you of West Virginia's pair at all? 
 KENNY VACCARO:  I think they're really good receivers not just when they're catching the ball but when they're doing the assignments to get guys open.  That's where they earned my respect on films.  They play hard all the time.  We're going to match up where we need to match up.  We're not going to necessarily cover a certain guy.  I think Quandre and Carrington can handle the outside, so I'm just going to do my job and do my assignments.

 Q.  Do they remind you of West Virginia?
 KENNY VACCARO:  No doubt, they're one of the better pairs we're going to cover this year.

 Q.  Kenny, has it hit you yet that this is going to be your last game in the orange and white?
 KENNY VACCARO:  I don't think it's hit me yet.  Honestly, I've just been preparing all week.  I think it will when I get out there and start warming up.

 Q.  Manny, the job search early with Florida International, what was the key for you taking your name out of the hat and how do you find that players at this level, do they see it    I would assume there's no hurt feelings and that you can pick up where you left off?
 MANNY DIAZ:  Well, you don't leave the University of Texas for any position unless it's a perfect situation.  And so that was on one side of the equation.  The second side of the equation you have some pride about yourself.  And there's something that I came here to do.  There's something we started last year and we had a setback this year.
 And there's something that every day    every day when you wake up in the morning you just    you want to get back at it.  And you want to get back to getting these guys playing the type of defense that we're capable of.
 So all those things    there was a little bit of unfinished business here.  I think we've got some guys, I think they understand that we have a little bit of chip on our shoulder now.  I think we've seen    I think we've seen both sides of the sort of the equation in the last 12 months.
 And that's going to fuel us going forward.

 Q.  Alex, midway point of the season one of the lower points you talked about having zero confidence, low confidence in terms of what the defense was doing.  Was confidence an issue this year?  And how did you kind of build that up throughout the year the rest of the way?
 ALEX OKAFOR:  We had a couple of new guys on the defense that needed to step up.  And they progressively got better throughout the season.  But I think that was one of the biggest issues at the beginning was we didn't have    some of the players didn't have confidence.  When you don't have that confidence you don't play as fast.
 You start thinking too much.  And I think that was the issue at first.

 Q.  Carrington, we had a question come in    have you approached this Bowl week any different knowing that next year Kenny's not going to be there and you probably have to step up and have more of a leadership role?
 CARRINGTON BYNDON:  Not at all.  Like we said, we're all taking this just one game at a time.  And we're trying to work towards beating Oregon State.  And as next year comes, we'll worry about that.

 Q.  Quandre, can you assess the play of their quarterbacks, I guess Vaz is going to be the starter, what are his strengths and weaknesses?
 QUANDRE DIGGS:  Really nothing different with either one of the guys running the show.  They're going to run the same offense.  So we just gotta go out, continue to prepare, even with the off day tomorrow, we've just gotta continue to look at film, continue to just look at different tendencies and know these guys because we had a good two or three weeks to prepare for them.
 So they have a great team, great offense, and we just gotta go out, do our thing and I feel like it would be a good game for us.

 Q.  Manny, what would you say his style is as a quarterback?  I know he's only got one interception this year?
 MANNY DIAZ:  He's always done a good job of    I think the thing that stands out about him is that his first start since high school was at Provo Utah against a BYU defense, probably one of the best defenses in the country this year.  And he just tore them up.  They couldn't stop him.  They came out, I think the first drive, they might have threw it four of the first five plays of the game.  They obviously had a lot of confidence in him.
 And as these guys know, they've got a lot of great weapons.  It's a quarterback friendly offense because the tight ends catch the balls well, the backs catch the ball well.  They have a advanced screen game to help out the quarterbacks.  And the two main guys running down the field, also play action stuff.  But he came out all guns blazing in that game and that certainly caught everybody's attention.

 Q.  Desmond, what's your assessment of Oregon's offensive line, just when you see them on film, what do you notice? 
 DESMOND JACKSON:  I notice they're a pretty good offensive line.  They can move the ball pretty well.  They're pretty much aggressive just like any other offensive line that we had played this year.  So from a defensive line standpoint, we just gotta go out there and punch them in the mouth.

 Q.  Quandre, can you talk about the reps you took at safety and the early part of these practices and what your comfort level would be if they said, hey, can you take over for Kenny there next year?
 QUANDRE DIGGS:  Pretty much.  I'm a team player.  So I'll do anything, whatever the coaches    the coaches need me to play corner, safety, nickel, whatever.  I'm fine with it.  It was fun.  It kind of took me back to some of my high school days playing safety.  But I'm not really    we're not really worried about that right now, playing corner this week.  I laid it up to Kenny you know he's going to go out there and make plays.
 That's his position.  I'll stick at corner and do what I do, and if it happens to come around next year, maybe we can talk about it then.

 Q.  Desmond and Quandre, could you just talk about what you have seen down the stretch and in Bowl practices that give you a good feeling going into next year, that this defense can be better? 
 QUANDRE DIGGS:  Well, you know, the thing we've been saying, it's changing.  It's changed since that last game of the season.  And just the intensity, the things we do at practice is just a different level that we've been taking it to.  So being the guy that's going to be here next year for sure.  So we know we have to step up.  We know we've gotta get this defense back on track from having a setback this year.  So it's going to be fun.  And you guys stick with us, we're going to bounce back, I can promise you that.
 DESMOND JACKSON:  I feel like since it's the end of the season that we have taken a step forward as a program, and I feel like we have put more accountability on the younger guys than ever before.  I feel like most of the guys who probably didn't get a chance to play a lot this year since the end of the season we've been pressing for everybody just to come together, be more of a team, just working as hard as we can to make sure that we make sure we put Texas back on the map.

 Q.  Kenny, some of the struggles you've all had this year, has it been a blow to your pride?  Is it something you totally didn't expect? 
 KENNY VACCARO:  I mean, coming into the season, we had all the high blah, blah, blah.  But I knew before the season that it was ultimately going to be our game play and I mean it's disappointing but it's the cards that I was dealt.
 And we just had to grind through it.  It could be worse.  Some guys are sitting at home.

 Q.  Manny, but anybody can answer this, everybody's talking about the struggles.  But certainly an 8 4 team there's got to be some good things to talk about.  What were you proud about about the defense this year? 
 MANNY DIAZ:  I think like I mentioned before, with all the negativity I thought we were resilient.  I thought the guys focused on getting better.  It's like what Alex said.  Defense is about trust.  And it's really hard to play great defense if you don't have a high level trust of the man next to you.  That's where we had to find our way.
 You have to earn that.  You can't just sit there we can't get a secret handshake and learn to trust each other.  It's got to be forged through practice, through workouts, through things like that.  As our guys were improving and through the leadership of guys like Alex and Kenny, we were able to bring our young guys along.
 The problem we have when we were doing it, we were going against a run of outstanding offenses middle part of the season.  What happened is everybody else in our conference went ahead and played those offenses as well.  And sort of had their day ruined, too.  We sort of had the perfect storm.  It all kind of happened for us right there in the middle of the year.
 But I am proud of the guys being resilient.  But I'm tired of being resilient now.  It's time to be something else.

 Q.  Manny, the Oregon State offense as a whole does it remind you of anybody you guys have played this year in particular? 
 MANNY DIAZ:  They're not really built like the offenses that we play against in our conference.  Obviously more pro style of offense.  They have an outstanding coaching staff.  A lot of NFL experience.  So you're going to see more of that type of game than what we do.
 In terms of formations and personnel groups, it's not very different than what we see in practice every day, which I'm sure they'd acknowledge the same thing in terms of going up against our offense.
 So a lot of personnel groups.  A lot of multiple tight end formations, a lot of 1, 2, 3, wide receiver sets.  But the element of the quarterback run game and some of those things are removed from what we've had to defend against.

 Q.  Question for Manny.  You talk about the linebacker play this season.  You mentioned when Jordan goes down and maybe some guys got caught having to step up and roll, they weren't totally comfortable with, but talk about where that position is and we've seen some flashes from Peter and Tevin, and just assess that situation right now?
 MANNY DIAZ:  It's obviously been a work in progress.  But I would say that the room has improved.  I'm very proud of the improvements that they've made actually in the last couple of weeks.  I'm looking forward to them playing well on Saturday night.  But you mentioned Peter Jenkins and Tevin Jackson, those are two guys in the early part of the season were, Peter being brand new and Tevin still being relatively inexperienced, they were just trying to make their name in special teams and being trustworthy in terms of their assignments running down in kickoff coverage, let alone being able to handle playing defense.  But they've really stepped up their attention to detail.
 Tevin Jackson played well against Kansas State and look forward to him to improve.  And Peter Jenkins has added a little bit of spunk, which I think these guys would agree.  At linebacker we're young, and we're naturally quiet guys once we lost Jordan.  And Peter brought a little bit of bravado to our bunch and get in some play we can get excited about.

December 27th, 2012
Oregon State Offensive Press Conference
Oregon State offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf meets the media in San Antonio along with quarterback Cody Vaz, running back Storm Woods and wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton.
Play WAV audio of this Press Quote

 Q.  Can you talk about the week and how the preparation has gone?
 DANNY LANGSDORF:  Yeah, we have had a very good week.  We got here on Sunday, and we are able to get out of the rain a little bit up in Oregon, but we were hoping for a little bit warmer temperatures the last few days.  But we've had great we've been out at University of the Incarnate Word, and they have got a nice facility.  And we have had a lot of    you know, busy with the Bowl.
 But we have had I thought really spirited practices and we have been efficient, met in the morning, had some good work in the afternoon and then had some time for some Bowl he we have all felt this has been a really fun they have been    everybody associated with this deal has been more than hospital we have really all been appreciative of how we've been treated and taken care of.
 So I think speaking for everybody on, this but we have all felt that this is one of the best Bowls we've been at.  I've really enjoyed our time up to this point and we are getting ready to win a game.

 Q.  Danny, just talk about the decision to go with Cody, now that he's healthy and what you think he brings to the offense?
 DANNY LANGSDORF:  He's had a great three weeks of we had a situation where we felt like all year, we got a few quarterbacks that can play and win the game for and really played the Nickel State Game, our last game of the year, pretty much evened up and we were going to basically trade quarters with the quarterbacks and kind of keep evaluating where we are.
 We felt Sean had a good game and Cody did, too, in that last game of the season, and then as we progressed through Bowl practices, we gave it a couple weeks where they were real evened up on the reps.
 We just felt Cody was playing bet we felt he was moving the ball and playing he, throwing the ball accurately.  One of his strengths is getting rid of the he gets back and he plays at a fast pace and he's an accurate thrower and those things are important to us.
 So we decided to go with him.  It's been a hard decision. It's been probably more difficult on the two kids.  They have been kind of flip flopping back and forth.  But I also think our team understands that there's two guys that can go out and win a game, and we just felt that this time of the year, how Cody has been playing, we felt he was the best guy to start this game.

 Q.  When you first got the announcement you were going to start, how did you react to that and how has the week gone now that you're the No. 1 snap? 
 CODY VAZ:  I was really excited.  Great venue like this, great opportunity for our team, playing against a great opponent in Texas.  You know, I've just been trying to get better each day this week.  Keep trying to improve, watch more film, and you know, they are a great defense.  They got great athletes. 
 So it will be a challenge for us, but if we go out there and execute, we'll be good. 

 Q.  Talk about protecting the ball, all quarterbacks say they can do it but you only have one pick all year.  What do you attribute that to? 
 CODY VAZ:  Just being as smart as possible really.  Not trying to force anything.  Taking check downs.  There's nothing wrong with checking the ball down the back.  That will be something that I'll have to do this Saturday.

 Q.  When you look at game tape of Texas games, was there an opponent of Texas that kind of mirrors what you all like to do philosophically that you can use? 
 DANNY LANGSDORF:  You know, with this conference, there's a bunch of spread teams and we had to look long and hard to find some similar concepts, formations.  There's some things Kansas State did that we felt were similar to us besides the emphasis of running the quarterback.
 But we thought that that was a pretty good game for us.  There was a few things that Texas Tech did.  We looked even all the way back to last year's Cal Bowl game, and you know, you get a whole season of film, you could almost overdo it on your breakdown.
 I believe we felt we have had enough time to prepare for this that we have been able to find some good concepts and formations that we can learn from and figure out how to attack.
 So it's been a challenge just from the way the teams are going to these spread formations and offenses, but usually we can find enough, spending enough time at it, you can find some good things.

 Q.  Inaudible. 
 DANNY LANGSDORF:  Yeah, we are probably not going to do that in the game.  If we have to get him out on the edge a few times, we'll go for it (laughing).

 Q.  Cody, wonder if you can talk about how this season has been for you.  You picked up and took the starting job after Sean got hurt, played very well and then you got the job, the starting job back.  Talk about how this season has been, what you've had to live through as far as the whole discombobulation as far as knowing if you were starting or not. 
 CODY VAZ:  It's been a great season for our team and a great ride.  But you know, I just try to prepare each week like I'm going to be playing no matter who is the starter.  That's something I've really tried to do this season.
 DANNY LANGSDORF:  I might add one thing, too.  He has a great attitude about this whole thing.  Sean really went through the whole season last year as a starter and had that advantage going into fall camp.
 But this battle that we've been having, it's daily.  Every rep that they take is important, and I think they know that.  I think that the competition between the two has been good for our team.  I believe you get their best every day.
 So you know, I think that we have all been appreciative of Cody's attitude, even when he has not been the starter, he's been very helpful.  That thing was close as can be all through fall camp and we basically made a decision off of last year's experience.   When Cody got his chance, he did nothing but play well.  And so I think we are all very excited, whoever is behind the center; and we have always felt like we have got a lot of confidence that both can get the job done. 

 Q.  Storm, how has this last week been for you, being from the area and being prepared for a Bowl game with family members around and stuff? 
 STORM WOODS:  It's been great.   This is my first Bowl game.   I got to see my mother, my grandmother and a few siblings of mine.  And while that's been fun, I've just been trying to stay focused on the University of Texas.   I'm just looking for a win here.   A win over these guys would mean a lot for this program.

 Q.  Since you've obviously had a great year; who is the next great Texas running back that's going to go to Oregon State? 
 STORM WOODS:   I think we have one committed, I can't think of his name right now, but I've watched film on him and he's pretty good.   So I'm going to say it's going to be him.

 Q.  Is Oregon State a little bit overlooked nationally?  You guys came so close to ten wins already, but is the program kind of overlooked because of its location in the northwest and all of the publicity that Oregon gets? 
 STORM WOODS:  I wouldn't say we are overlooked, but I definitely think some people, they don't get to watch as many games and they don't know how good we really are.   I think we are one of the top teams out there in college football. 

 Q.  Brandin, can you talk about what Markus does well, give us a scouting report on him and then Markus, vice versa for Brandin.  
 BRANDIN COOKS:  You know, Markus plays pretty well and one thing he does great is use his speed a lot.   He goes out there and run around fast and things like that.   He knows how to use his speed on the field and those little things and he's really strong and powerful and he'll run through you and run around you.   That's his game. 
 MARKUS WHEATON:  Brandin is a great receiver, a lot of speed as most people know.  I think he uses it very well, uses his hands well.   He's thrown a lot in the past year.   Last year, he wasn't nearly as impressive as this year and you can see the growth in his numbers. 
 So I think his best asset is wanting to get better.   He's always focused, always trying, and even in classroom, he's a great receiver and he wants to get better. 

 Q.  The Texas defense, they had three defensive backs, can you just talk about those guys, what they do best there and the problems they present? 
 BRANDIN COOKS:  Well, they have got a great defensive back core and those guys can run around and they have got a lot of speed on the field and that's the difference.  And this game, compared to other games we've had this year is really fast.  And for that safety, yeah, he prides on hitting and we are excited for this matchup and to test our ability to match our speed with their speed.
 MARKUS WHEATON:  I would say that they are probably the fastest group we will go against, we have gone against this year.   They use their hands well.   Very physical.   And the speed, the speed is what stands out when I watch film.

 Q.  Talk about having weapons like Brandin and Markus and how they are able to help each other out because of the different things they do well.  
 DANNY LANGSDORF:  Like you said, they help the quarterback out, and I've said numerous times throughout the year, you get the ball in their hands and they can make a play any time.   Even a guy like Storm, too, we have great athletes on our offense, so it definitely makes my job a whole lot easier. 

 Q.  Just talk about your level of enthusiasm for this game, going to another part of the country, the hoopla and facing a team like Texas, kind of a name team in college football; how do you view this opportunity? 
 MARKUS WHEATON:  Very excited.   We actually grew up watching Texas.   I was a big fan of Texas, actually, when I was younger.   I lived in Dallas for a little bit when I was young, and I'm very excited about getting the opportunity to play them. 
 As far as being excited about the game, the Bowl, you know, last year    and we didn't go to the Bowl game the year before that, so we are very excited about the opportunity and how this year went. 
 BRANDIN COOKS:  Like Markus said, growing up watching Texas, you always want to play against those guys and at the time, my favorite team was SC and when those guys beat USC in the Rose Bowl, I wanted to get my opportunity to get those guys back.   And to be down here playing those guys, that's pretty special and a big program on a national stage is going to be a fun time. 
 And the excitement of being out here in a Bowl game, it's all fun and games and then we'll all lock down and we know when it's time to focus and that's what we've been doing.   

 Q.  Storm, have you had a chance to text message or talk to Alex Okafor?  Any trash talk you want to throw out right now, get him going? 
 DANNY LANGSDORF:  We don't need to get him going at all.   (Laughter).
 STORM WOODS:  I agree with Coach.  We've been texting him, but you know, Alex is a humble guy.   He doesn't talk trash at all.   He just told me, he wished me the best of luck.  I ran him into yesterday at Sea World (ph) and he gave me a hug and told me how much he's proud of me and how much I've grown since he's seen me the last time.  I just wished him good luck in the game and that's about it. 

 Q.  Markus, senior leadership, what does it mean leaving the program in better shape? 
 MARKUS WHEATON:  It means everything, this game means everything, after coming off the last two seasons, we were all extremely disappointed and we didn't want it to happen again obviously. 
 So our senior group, we got everybody together and we made sure that it didn't happen again.   So like I said, we are very excited about being here and we are excited about playing in this game. 

 Q.  What was it like for you today walking off the field knowing that this is your final practice as a Beaver? 
 MARKUS WHEATON:  To be honest, I didn't think much about it.   I'm still focused on the game.   I'm pretty sure that it will hit me on the way home or something like that.

 Q.  Do you feel you're totally ready for the game? 
 MARKUS WHEATON:  Oh, yeah.   We obviously haven't played in a couple weeks, we've been studying for these guys for a long time but we're ready to play. 

 Q.  Up to the Civil War, you and Jordan both talked about what a disappointing loss that was because you wanted to take another step forward with this program.   If you can beat Texas, how big of a step will this be for the program? 
 MARKUS WHEATON:  Huge.   I'm not sure where we would finish if we did win, but I think the main point is just leaving it in a better spot than when we came in.   You know, feeling like we contributed in a major way to the program and to the school. 

 Q.  Brandin, talk about Cody, what you've seen from him this season, what you think he brings to the offense.  
 BRANDIN COOKS:  What stands out to me is his poise in the pocket.   He never gets rattled.   No matter what happens on the field, he never gets rattled.   Sean, also, great quarterback.   We are confident in both of them. 
 He obviously didn't play last year and came in this year and didn't get rattled at all in that first BYU game and that's what stood out to me. 
 MARKUS WHEATON:  Cody is a special quarterback.  He's real calm during the game.   Sometimes I get scared how calm he is.  But he's gets poised in that pocket and he'll deliver the ball on the money, and his confidence I feel like is what brings him up and for him to be able to play so well. 
 I always knew Cody from back home and knew how special of a quarterback he was.   To see him get an opportunity, I was real happy with that and I was real confident with him playing in the game. 

 Q.  You are from the Pac 12, what is your opinion about the Big 12 offense, where the Big 12 conference, where the offense is powerful and what are the main defensive style of offenses played in the Pac 12 and Big 12? 
 DANNY LANGSDORF:  I think it's getting to be similar.   I haven't studied a bunch of Big 12 offenses, just, you know, watching them on TV and we'll get a few games here and there.   But there's been some prolific offenses for sure.   I know Oklahoma State has had big numbers and Oklahoma has had a good run and Texas is always up there, too. 
 So, you know, we are looking at what we are doing and what we are trying to accomplish.   We are a little different style being more of a pro system and using more two backs and probably not as much shotgun that you'll see from this conference. 
 But you know, we have quite a few spread teams in our league.   We are becoming a little bit different than everybody, which I think has helped us.   We are the team that's harder to defend and harder to prepare for because of our personnel groups and formations. 
 So I think that's to our advantage.   You know, I think teams are playing at a high level and fast paced and I think those are one way to play.   But we also led our conference in time of possession where we were in the top two and we are doing that at maybe a little bit of a slower pace. 
 I think we are getting the same thing accomplished.   We are running a lot of plays.   I think that just boils down to execution rather than how fast you go.   If you go fast and you're punting a lot, then it's not going to be good. 
 So we are going to try to sustain some more drives.   We are going to still have some big plays.   We are going to try to score fast and as many times as we can and we have had some games this year that we have been over 50 and up in the 70 range, and not really changing our tempo as much and our style. 
 So I think it boils down to throwing completions and catching the ball and being able to run the ball and all of the things that we try to do that create big plays.   You know, so our style is going to be a little bit different than maybe this conference. 
 You know, I haven't studied    like I said, I haven't studied it very much, but I know there's been some big numbers put out from some teams in this league.
 

December 26th, 2012
Oregon State Practice 12-26
Head Coach Mike Riley (1 of 2)
Play m4a audio of this Press Quote

Coach Riley on the amount of buzz the game is generating:

I know our guys are excited about being here. The one thing about our team that’s been really consistent is that they like football. They like to play. They’ve always enjoyed the process of getting ready for a game. Regardless of circumstances, we haven’t been perfect, we’ve had downers but it’s been mostly good.

It’s a credit of how these guys like to practice and play. We can’t control what the other team feels, what their mood his or how they’re thinking. It’s not pat of our life. We just have ourselves to worry about.

How has the game-prep process been going:

Really good. I think our kids are enjoying the city and the festivities. The people who run this bowl game do an outstanding job. Everything is really well organized.

Do you feel like the program has something to proves going into this game:

We always do. Every time we walk on the field we try to prove something. It’s a great thing for us to be playing the University of Texas. We’ve got a lot of respect for the program and Mack Brown as a coach. He’s one of the class people and a great model for coaches in our profession.

On the intensity in practice:

That’s what we always look for. It’s really the key in being able to win and these kids are really trying to do that. There’s been enough of a hunger for winning with this team to keep it going. It’s all about how the seniors approach it and we’ve got such a good group. Those guys are solid, solid guys. That fire about wanting to win is huge and (the seniors) are highly responsible for that.

On the possibility of scheduling Texas in a home and home scenario:

I don’t know that Texas has ever come up. We’ve talked about a lot of different places and maybe vaguely I remember something like that but I might be wrong. That’s why it’s fun though. (Texas) is a place with rich tradition so it’s fun to get to play here.

On getting up for big games against non-conference opponents:

I don’t know if it’s always smart in the preseason to do that. In our world it’s so competitive. You need to try and get bowl eligible but (non-conference games) are more fun. They are really exciting for our program. I really like our kids to have the chance to play someone like this. I think our program has throved on that. We haven’t always done well, but it’s been really good for our growth. And to be able to do it in a bowl game is even more special.

On upcoming non-conference match-ups:

We’ve got some on the horizon that might be real big but haven’t been announced yet. Next year we play San Diego State, Hawaii and Eastern Washington.

On building a program in Oregon’s shadow:

It’s tough operating in their shadow in that they’ve been so good. We can’t worry about that and we don’t really talk about it. Oregon) is doing a really nice job right now. Chip’s doing a great job and they are a good football team. We haven’t beaten them in a little while, that’s the hardest part. We try to focus on our world, and we love our world. We have to get ready to beat them the next time. Our league right now is really the best it’s ever been from top to bottom. The quality of it is good. We’re rising up I think to be one of the top two leagues in the nation. We’re maybe there or maybe not there, but we’re going there.

On how hard it is to recruit against other conferences:

We have to go elsewhere. We try to do a good job at home and get our share. But when you try to compare the 10 or 12 kids out of Oregon to the 400 out of Texas it’s clear we have to…that’s why we have a handful of kids from Texas. The bulk of our team comes from California, but we’ll get 3 or 4 kids from Washington…maybe a kid from Utah or a couple from Arizona. But we have to pretty diverse in where we go and use our contacts from around the country. We don’t recruit nationally except where we’ve established, maintained or have some contacts. Those (contacts) have been real good to us.

On Oregon State’s ability to recruit nationally:

“We have to be pretty diverse, I’d say in where we go and use our contacts around the country. We don’t recruit nationally except where we’ve established or maintained or have some contacts and those have been real good to us. Chris Brasfield on our staff know some people so we’ve gotten a guy out of Louisiana and I think we’re going to get another one this year. So that’s how we get guys.

On using members of his staff with roots in this region to recruit:

That’s a bonus for having anyone who has a contact like that. We’ll stretch out and get some guys. First we recruited Texas with the Rodgers’ brothers. That’s one of the greatest things that’s happened in my coaching career was recruiting those guys.

On how Oregon State recruited James and Jacquizz Rodgers:

James was unrecruited almost. Only Texas State had offered him. A friend of mine coached him in an All-Star game and said ‘Mike, there’s a guy here that’s not being recruited heavily and I think he’s a real good player. You ought to take a look at him.’ That was in January, one month before signing day. Long story short, we watched the film, liked it, sent a coach down here and started recruiting him. (We) got him up here for the last weekend you could visit and he committed after that and signed. Then we recruited his brother one year later.

On the head coach at Lamar Consolidated High School, Lydell Wilson, believing Oregon State recruited James Rodgers in an effort to sign his brother:

(Coach Lydell Wilson) basically said ‘you’re using James to try and get Quizz and we didn’t even know who Quizz was. Lydell Wilson said ‘why is somebody from Oregon State coming here to recruit this guy that nobody else is recruiting?’ You must be trying to get his brother. And Danny (Langsdorf) said ‘who’s his brother?’ Quizz had scored 54 touchdowns that year. We truly liked James and what we saw on film. We recruited him and then we recruited, all year, his brother and got Quizz. Those are two of the finest kids and players we’ve ever had at Oregon State.

On the difficulty of recruiting being higher at Oregon State than at Texas:

I love the world that we’re in. We’ve been there a long time and realized what we have to do. We have to do a great job of evaluation and a long job of recruiting. We don’t get all of our commitments until Signing Day. That’s when we find out. We have to recruit a long time but we know who we are. We know our product too, we know what we have so we love talking about our place to families. It’s also fun to come here and find the right guy to come to Oregon State. We’ve got a handful now and we’ll get a couple more this year, I think. We’ve already got one commitment so it’s fun to do that. We’ll get the right guys and good enough players and get to keep coming back here.

On the potential of Oregon State’s program:

I tell our players all the time, there’s no ceiling to what you might become. I think the same for us. My goal always was to make it Happy Valley West, way back in the day. This can be a real good, solid, consistent football program. We have to just continue to work hard at it.

 

 

December 26th, 2012
Oregon State Practice 12-26-B
Head Coach Mike Riley (2 of 2)
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Coach Riley on the amount of buzz the game is generating:

I know our guys are excited about being here. The one thing about our team that’s been really consistent is that they like football. They like to play. They’ve always enjoyed the process of getting ready for a game. Regardless of circumstances, we haven’t been perfect, we’ve had downers but it’s been mostly good.

It’s a credit of how these guys like to practice and play. We can’t control what the other team feels, what their mood his or how they’re thinking. It’s not pat of our life. We just have ourselves to worry about.

How has the game-prep process been going:

Really good. I think our kids are enjoying the city and the festivities. The people who run this bowl game do an outstanding job. Everything is really well organized.

Do you feel like the program has something to proves going into this game:

We always do. Every time we walk on the field we try to prove something. It’s a great thing for us to be playing the University of Texas. We’ve got a lot of respect for the program and Mack Brown as a coach. He’s one of the class people and a great model for coaches in our profession.

On the intensity in practice:

That’s what we always look for. It’s really the key in being able to win and these kids are really trying to do that. There’s been enough of a hunger for winning with this team to keep it going. It’s all about how the seniors approach it and we’ve got such a good group. Those guys are solid, solid guys. That fire about wanting to win is huge and (the seniors) are highly responsible for that.

On the possibility of scheduling Texas in a home and home scenario:

I don’t know that Texas has ever come up. We’ve talked about a lot of different places and maybe vaguely I remember something like that but I might be wrong. That’s why it’s fun though. (Texas) is a place with rich tradition so it’s fun to get to play here.

On getting up for big games against non-conference opponents:

I don’t know if it’s always smart in the preseason to do that. In our world it’s so competitive. You need to try and get bowl eligible but (non-conference games) are more fun. They are really exciting for our program. I really like our kids to have the chance to play someone like this. I think our program has throved on that. We haven’t always done well, but it’s been really good for our growth. And to be able to do it in a bowl game is even more special.

On upcoming non-conference match-ups:

We’ve got some on the horizon that might be real big but haven’t been announced yet. Next year we play San Diego State, Hawaii and Eastern Washington.

On building a program in Oregon’s shadow:

It’s tough operating in their shadow in that they’ve been so good. We can’t worry about that and we don’t really talk about it. Oregon) is doing a really nice job right now. Chip’s doing a great job and they are a good football team. We haven’t beaten them in a little while, that’s the hardest part. We try to focus on our world, and we love our world. We have to get ready to beat them the next time. Our league right now is really the best it’s ever been from top to bottom. The quality of it is good. We’re rising up I think to be one of the top two leagues in the nation. We’re maybe there or maybe not there, but we’re going there.

On how hard it is to recruit against other conferences:

We have to go elsewhere. We try to do a good job at home and get our share. But when you try to compare the 10 or 12 kids out of Oregon to the 400 out of Texas it’s clear we have to…that’s why we have a handful of kids from Texas. The bulk of our team comes from California, but we’ll get 3 or 4 kids from Washington…maybe a kid from Utah or a couple from Arizona. But we have to pretty diverse in where we go and use our contacts from around the country. We don’t recruit nationally except where we’ve established, maintained or have some contacts. Those (contacts) have been real good to us.

On Oregon State’s ability to recruit nationally:

“We have to be pretty diverse, I’d say in where we go and use our contacts around the country. We don’t recruit nationally except where we’ve established or maintained or have some contacts and those have been real good to us. Chris Brasfield on our staff know some people so we’ve gotten a guy out of Louisiana and I think we’re going to get another one this year. So that’s how we get guys.

On using members of his staff with roots in this region to recruit:

That’s a bonus for having anyone who has a contact like that. We’ll stretch out and get some guys. First we recruited Texas with the Rodgers’ brothers. That’s one of the greatest things that’s happened in my coaching career was recruiting those guys.

On how Oregon State recruited James and Jacquizz Rodgers:

James was unrecruited almost. Only Texas State had offered him. A friend of mine coached him in an All-Star game and said ‘Mike, there’s a guy here that’s not being recruited heavily and I think he’s a real good player. You ought to take a look at him.’ That was in January, one month before signing day. Long story short, we watched the film, liked it, sent a coach down here and started recruiting him. (We) got him up here for the last weekend you could visit and he committed after that and signed. Then we recruited his brother one year later.

On the head coach at Lamar Consolidated High School, Lydell Wilson, believing Oregon State recruited James Rodgers in an effort to sign his brother:

 

 

(Coach Lydell Wilson) basically said ‘you’re using James to try and get Quizz and we didn’t even know who Quizz was. Lydell Wilson said ‘why is somebody from Oregon State coming here to recruit this guy that nobody else is recruiting?’ You must be trying to get his brother. And Danny (Langsdorf) said ‘who’s his brother?’ Quizz had scored 54 touchdowns that year. We truly liked James and what we saw on film. We recruited him and then we recruited, all year, his brother and got Quizz. Those are two of the finest kids and players we’ve ever had at Oregon State.

On the difficulty of recruiting being higher at Oregon State than at Texas:

I love the world that we’re in. We’ve been there a long time and realized what we have to do. We have to do a great job of evaluation and a long job of recruiting. We don’t get all of our commitments until Signing Day. That’s when we find out. We have to recruit a long time but we know who we are. We know our product too, we know what we have so we love talking about our place to families. It’s also fun to come here and find the right guy to come to Oregon State. We’ve got a handful now and we’ll get a couple more this year, I think. We’ve already got one commitment so it’s fun to do that. We’ll get the right guys and good enough players and get to keep coming back here.

On the potential of Oregon State’s program:

I tell our players all the time, there’s no ceiling to what you might become. I think the same for us. My goal always was to make it Happy Valley West, way back in the day. This can be a real good, solid, consistent football program. We have to just continue to work hard at it.

December 26th, 2012
Oregon State Defensive Press Conference
Defensive Coordinator Mark Banker, Lineback Michael Doctor, Defensive End Scott Crichton, Cornerback Jordan Poyer and Safety Ryan Murphy meet the media for the Oregon State Defensive Press Conference on December 26.
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**Full audio of the press conference are available for download at the Valero Alamo Bowl's Media Library.
 
MARK BANKER: I'd just like to say that it's a pleasure for us to be here. We've had a great time up until this moment, and just really happy to be here at the Alamo Bowl and look forward to our upcoming game on Saturday against Texas.
 
            Q. Talk about your time with coach Riley and your success in bowl games.
            MARK BANKER: Well, probably number one would be the preparation. Mike has come up with a good formula for all of us to follow, and I think the players would agree to that. We've used ‑‑ every time we've been to a bowl game, just like a lot of teams do, we've used the early stages of the practice as a spring practice for the younger players in our program, and then little by little we work in to working against the opponent as well as against ourselves.

           Then it helps to not only prepare but to have a good team. We've been fortunate in the years that we've gone to bowl games that it's only fitting that we've had a good team and have had success in those games. I don't think it's any magic.

            Q. Jordan, any thoughts about this being the last time you're putting on a uniform and what it means when you walk out of the tunnel on game day?
            JORDAN POYER: Yeah, actually I've thought about it a lot, just the fact that it is my last game as a Beaver. Really trying to go out with a bang. I really enjoy my moments with these guys, I made a lot of friends throughout the years, and it's been fun. This team has ‑‑ we're all brothers on the team, and I'm definitely going to miss them. But definitely it's been a lot of fun just going on this ride with them, and I want to get this program in the right direction as far as winning this game. So our preparation has been going really well and got two days left to practice and then game day. We all live for game day.
 
            Q. Can you talk about going from 3‑9 to 9‑3? Was there one moment during the season where you thought you had something good this year?
            JORDAN POYER: Well, last year as a team we felt we were a lot better than being 3‑9. The talent that we had on our team, we felt that it was unacceptable to be 3‑9. So basically after the last game of our season we all came together and said, you know what, we're not going to feel like this game, so we're just going to start this off‑season, and we really hit the off‑season hard. We came together as a team, came together as a unit and we bonded together. We did extra stuff day in and day out to get to where we're at today, and that's what's been the biggest turnaround.


            Q. I'm curious, of all the game film you've watched of Texas, who do they remind you the most of? 

            MARK BANKER: Well, on the lighter side, the answer to that, I don't know if it's a team we played last year, but remind me of the U.S. Olympic track team in some cases. They have a lot of speed at their running back position, wide receiver position. But this year, oh, I don't know, probably a combination of maybe UCLA and Arizona in some respect, just from the standpoint of how they play the game and how they use their athletes, not necessarily per se the particular plays, but there's a lot of similarity there.

            Q. Mark, do you expect anything different from the Texas offense now that they have a new play caller? What's your approach to that?
            MARK BANKER: Yeah, I don't know. We just go with what we know of a team. Texas has a system in place utilizing their athletes that they have on the team. You know, the plays that they have, we go down in all the games that we've broken down on them, sometimes you want to make sure these guys keep their eyes open in film study and show the explosive plays on the film, and it's real easy to find the plays that they had a lot of success at.
            I don't anticipate per se the plays. Maybe the platform in which they deliver it in, they might change some things up. I think maybe in those special situations when it comes down to a 3rd‑and‑medium, maybe a 4th down, maybe how they start a series, there may be a preference. But we just go with what we know, and I'm sure there will be some in‑flight adjustments that we'll have to make. But it's tough to answer that question until the game gets started.
 
            Q. Michael, Texas doesn't have a whole lot of momentum coming into this game having lost two‑in‑a‑row and disappointed in their expectations. You guys haven't been to a bowl game lately. Do you feel like y'all's team will be more jacked up than maybe Texas because of that and maybe have more to prove?
            MICHAEL DOCTOR: We are going to be the underdog. Pretty sure Texas, they're amped up to get back to their winning ways, and we've just got to take it like any other game and just come out and play Beaver football.


            Q. Michael, you're familiar with the Texas‑Oklahoma rivalry. How would you compare the Oregon‑Oregon State rivalry to that?

            MICHAEL DOCTOR: I think it's pretty much the same. All in‑state rivalries, you hate the other team and all the teams just want to go out and get the win and have the bragging rights for the rest of the year.
 
            Q. Jordan, the rivalry between Oregon State and Oregon, does Texas seem like an Oregon type of program to you? Obviously nationally prominent where Oregon has been the last 10 years and obviously a whole lot of money.
 
            JORDAN POYER: Yeah, I mean, Texas, when you think of Texas, you think of football, historic program. You know, me growing up in Oregon, I always grew up watching the Civil War, so I can kind of relate to the hatred between the teams, the fans outside the program. But as far as seeing Texas as a rivalry game, I don't know, Texas, like I say, you see Texas, you think football. We know they're a really good football team and they're probably going to be the best team that we've played all season, so we're definitely going to have to be on our top game.
 
            Q. Why do you think they'll be the best team? You've played some good teams in Stanford and Oregon.
            JORDAN POYER: Well, as far as every team is going to be at their best at the end of the season, and so Texas, they want to be back on track. Like you said, they lost the last two games and they're hungry for a win. So just like us, we're hungry for a win, too, so we're going to give them our best and they're going to give us their best. It's going to be two good football teams playing on Saturday.
 
            Q. Scott, I guess I'll ask you, the story of the off‑season in the Pac‑12 was kind of all the overturns, several new programs getting coaches and most of those programs were predicted to finish higher than you guys. Can you talk about what your consistency and the coaching staff and your players has done to make you as successful as you were this year?
            SCOTT CRICHTON: I think it was just like the intensity in our players that was just ‑‑ we had a mindset that we just wanted to win. Obviously last season we didn't do so good, and we all knew we were better than that. So we just decided to work even harder to get where we're at right now.

            Q. Jordan, another big story in the off‑season for you guys was the death of your teammate Fred Thompson. At the Alamo Dome they made a locker for him, the equipment staff did.  What was your reaction when you saw that?

            JORDAN POYER: We bring Fred everywhere we go. He's in our hearts, he's in our prayers all the time. I'm sure Murph can speak a lot more about him. That's his best friend, his homey growing up. We bring him everywhere we go, he's always in our hearts everywhere we play, and we play for him and we play through him.
 
            Q. If he were here what would his advice be to you guys?
            RYAN MURPHY: Yeah, I think his advice would be just like let's compete, let the best man win, let's go. He'll be amped up for us and for himself, as well. As Jordan said, we play with him, we play through him, and we're ready to go.
 
            Q. Jordan, were you surprised to see a locker for him? It's like he's still here, wherever you guys go, you travel to Texas and he's still with you. Are you surprised at how prevalent his memory is amongst all you guys?
            JORDAN POYER: Not at all. I kind of expected him to be there with us. His locker is in the locker room. We still break out break squad every practice. He's just with us all the time. Like I say, we play through him and we play with him, and we know he's up there watching down on us.

            Q. Ryan, what's it like playing in Oregon's shadow with what they've accomplished the last 10 years? 

            RYAN MURPHY: Me, you know, I'm from California, so I look at it as just another game. I know it's a big rivalry, and I mean, I wouldn't say we're in their shadow. Obviously we want to be the best team in the state, as well as the Pac‑12. But I feel like a lot of our teammates just go at it as another game, just another team out there trying to beat us. I mean, as far as being in their shadow, me personally, I don't look at it as that.

            Q. What's the upside for Oregon State? Why hasn't the program been more prominent over the years, and what do you think it's lacking to get to that next level?
            RYAN MURPHY: Well, just by what we accomplished in the off‑season, in the off‑season players said we're just going to take it step by step, lift by lift, day by day, practice by practice. This year we've been taking it game by game. You know, the sky's the limit for us as a program.
 
            Q. When you looked at David Ash on film, how much attention did you pay to the Oklahoma and Kansas and TCU games where he did not perform well and what did you see in those games?
            MARK BANKER: Really didn't pay much attention at all to whether he had success or not to be honest with you. Why he did or didn't, I think really quarterbacking comes down to ‑‑ I think you're speaking specifically about the passing game, I think it just comes down to decisions, you know, that a quarterback has to make and envision. I see him at times checking the ball down maybe when he should hang in there a little bit more and throw the ball downfield. But you know, I have never really gotten too much into evaluating what someone did or didn't do because I always expect them when we get into a game and play that person, as soon as you make that judgment or cast that judgment or let alone pass it on to guys like this, they light it up. So I expect whoever starts, I know that Ash is going to start for them, but whoever plays for them will probably be improved. He's a scholarship football player, and the coaches on the other side of the ball will coach him up, and they've had some time now not only to spend time with them but they're sitting there staring at us on film, too, and watching our pluses and minuses. Maybe, in fact, he does sort some of those things out. So we're not going to worry too much about what he can do or can't do. 
            I know one thing, the offensive line does a great job in protection. People don't get to whoever the quarterback is back there. They've had ample time to throw the ball. Our biggest concern is that we ‑‑ when the ball is going to be thrown we have good coverage and we have good pressure on the quarterback.
 
            Q. And if you had to name the Texas offensive identity, what jumps out at you about what they're trying to do?
            MARK BANKER: The first thing which ends up being a concern for us in looking at what we need to accomplish, they're a team that can get to the perimeter with their run game, whether it's with what we call a sweep or even their stretch game. Off‑tackle plays whether they have pullers or not, you have to definitely leverage their run game, what we term as their fly sweep with 26, 27 or 84 off‑the‑zone look in the backfield and then hand it to them, get to the edge again. Getting to the edge, utilizing that speed they have as well as their bubble game.
            And then again, very deep at the running back position with a good offensive line. I mean, they can downhill run at you, so they present a pretty good challenge, and this isn't coach speak, it's, like you said, what you see on film.
            You know, and then in the passing game, they've got threats in 1 and 8. I don't mean to be so impersonal, but again, depth, I don't really care what the names are. I know what the numbers are and what they do by position. They can get downfield in those early downs, come off the play action and hit you down the middle of the field in the seam post with 1 or get ‑‑ throw the out game and things of that nature.
            But that's probably the things that come to my mind the most, leveraging that running game with their speed outside and then making sure you're still sound on the downhill run inside and then be sound against their play action pass game on the other downs.
 
            Q. What would this mean to the Oregon State program, having had a tremendous run in Bowl games? What would this program to the mean?
           MARK BANKER: One thing would be the obvious, it would be a 10‑win season. I believe in some of the local media, local, I'm talking Oregon media, I believe this is our third ‑‑ would be only our third season that we've won 10 games or more. And it will be twice that Mike Riley has done it, which would mean more to me than anything as opposed to who we beat or who we play against.

            Q. Jordan, being from Oregon you've had the luxury of a lot of family members watching you play but you know you also have family members in San Antonio. I wonder what that's like. 

            JORDAN POYER: It definitely is. These family members out here, they've been itching to watch me play for a long time now. We played TCU out here two years ago, I believe, there was a lot of family that came to that game, and now that I'm at where I'm at, it's going to be exciting to see my dad's side of the family all out there. He said there will probably be like 20 people, 30 people at the game that have bought tickets, going to be able to see a lot of people that I haven't seen before. So definitely a lot of motivation for me. I'm excited about the opportunity to play in front of them, and I'm sure they're excited, too.

            Q. You talked about the fly sweep for players. It's a play you run quite often with Wheaton and Cooks on the outside. Do you feel like going up against that in practice has prepared you well to face Texas' version of it?

            MARK BANKER: Well, it helps as opposed to never seeing it, but what's curious about the play is more of the perimeter. It's how you set the perimeter, and our offense varies it from time to time so it gives you some challenges, especially with what type of coverage you're in at that time. And Texas does it really ‑‑ when you talk about scheme, kind of an interesting way. They always have an extra person. They have two blockers and the ball carrier, so you always have to have three people in order to actually make the play, not suppose you might make the play. 

            So it helps having seen it, and we know how to spell fly, which is good, and then having had to work with that with our team has helped, yes.

            RYAN MURPHY: Like coach said, it helps once we see our offense run it. Again, they do have an extra guy, and I mean, we see it on film, so you know, it's easier for us to practice against it seeing how they run it and then how the scout team has to portray what Texas does.
 
            Q. Scott, just wanted to ask you for your scouting report on the Texas offensive line and can you compare that unit to another one that you've seen this year?
            SCOTT CRICHTON: Talking about the offensive line? Oh, man, they're really athletic, so it's tough to get around them. They're strong, too. They're big, and they're kind of like Stanford's offensive line. But it's a good group, and it's going to be a tough game against them.

            Q. Everyone has talked about the Oregon State started its ties in Texas with the Rodgers brothers. When you were in high school did you pay attention to that? 

            MICHAEL DOCTOR: Yeah, Danny Langsdorf came down and recruited me, him and Keith Heyward when he was out at the time. Once I got the recognition who that actually was, I started paying more attention to them. To see two Texas guys that go there in the early days, really creating the offense, just really made the decision to go to Oregon State that much better.

December 26th, 2012
Texas Offensive Press Conference
Texas Offensive Coordinator Major Applewhite, Quarterback David Ash, Running Backs Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown, Wide Receiver Marquise Goodwin and Offensive Lineman Mason Walters meet the media in San Antonio in advance of the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl.
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MAJOR APPLEWHITE: All four have done a great job for us this year and all four are healthy and ready to roll.

            Q. Anything about the preparation so far, coach?
            MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Yeah, we've had great preparation since we got through with the season. The guys got done with finals, they did some conditioning on their own, did some conditioning with the strength coaches. We got off the road, we made the changes when Bryan took the job at Arkansas State, tried to hit the ground running as best we could. We've kind of reconfigured our staff, Blair Peterson, our grad assistant is helping with the running backs now. He's very in tune to the offense, been in the offense a couple years, so he's been able to help us in that area.
            I think the guys have taken to changes, have done a great job with it, they're giving great effort.
            Just like any other bowl practice, early on, you start to practice the younger guys, start to develop some depth, and as you draw closer to the game you start to get more game focused, but it's a chance for you as a program to steal some reps for the younger guys and get those guys ready for down the line in spring practices.
 
            Q. Major, just talk about your role now as the play caller, what, if anything, is going to be different about the offense for this game and possibly in the future?
            MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Well, I think the guys for the most part did a great job all season on offense, and I think we've got a good system in place that we want to keep in place. Obviously just like any other offense, you'll make some changes in the off‑season, and those were things that Bryan and Darrell and I had already talked about, Coach Searels, as well, things we wanted to look at in the spring. So we'll obviously make the minor changes that you make to an offense on a normal annual basis.
            But in terms of just calling plays, that's the only difference in my day‑to‑day responsibility is just calling plays, and I've always felt like even as a player this game is about players, put it in the best guys' hands and let them make plays. I think sometimes we over think it a little bit as coaches, so I'm excited to watch these guys go play.
 
            Q. Johnathan, Oregon State has had a pretty good run defense all year. Talk a little bit about what you see on film and what you expect on Saturday.
            JOHNATHAN GRAY: They're pretty big up front. They've got two good D ends, linebackers play fast and they're big and they've got a good secondary. As far as the running game we just plan to go on with what Major calls and execute plays and try to find a hole in their defense to get the running game going.
 
            Q. Mason, you obviously don't bring a ton of momentum into this game. Are you afraid the fans are concerned that maybe y'all don't want to be here because it's not a BCS Bowl and you didn't finish strong?
            MASON WALTERS: Well, if they're concerned we don't want to be here that's definitely not the case. We're excited for the opportunity to go out and play. Oregon State is a great opponent and present a lot of challenges and we're excited to go up and play against.

            As far as momentum there's so much of a break between times of playing since the K‑State game and going into this game, you're really going to have to make your own edge just like in any game maybe after a bye week. But with the focus and intensity we've had in practice up to this point, bowl week, there's no need for concern.

 

            Q. Malcolm, coming home this week, finishing up what might have been a frustrating season for you. Can you kind of go over what the season was like? I know you had high hopes.
            MALCOLM BROWN: Yeah. Things happen, really. That's just what the case is. It was unfortunate that I had my injuries these past two years and everything like that. But things just happen, and that's really the game of football. There's no real explanation for it. It's just the game of football and things happen.
 
            Q. Malcolm, we had a Facebook question. Talk about coming home and playing in front of the San Antonio crowd.
            MALCOLM BROWN: It's exciting. I have a lot of family coming, a lot of family that got tickets on their own so I didn't have to go search for tickets and everything. It's going to be real exciting for me. I've played in the Alamo Dome a couple times and it's always a fun atmosphere, so I'm really excited to play.
 
            Q. This question is for Major and David. Just talk about, Major, you're now the quarterbacks coach. Talk about what you wanted to kind of get across to David to maybe unlock him for this game, and David, just talk about how the preparation has gone with major now as your quarterbacks coach.
            MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Well, going into the situation not having coached a quarterback the whole season until the final game, the last thing I want to do is make a lot of changes. I don't want to change a lot of the ways he's been coached. I think he's done a great job this year. Has there been a game or two he wants back? Absolutely. That's usually the case for most players. But I think he's improved from last season. I look at some of the mistakes he made as a true freshman and then now he's doing it as a true sophomore, big wins on the road in Oxford, big wins on the road in Stillwater, he's done some great things for our football team and made some great plays in clutch situations. The last thing I want to do is scratch the hard drive and try to change a lot of things that he's really been ingrained in over the last two years. He's done a great job. We'll talk more about that kind of stuff in the spring and where we want to go with the position, how we want to grow. But for the meantime I've been trying to keep him in the same concepts in what we've been doing offensively in the throw game and in the run game.
            DAVID ASH: Well, you know, I guess we have a coaching change this year, now, and having Coach Applewhite coach me the last couple weeks, I've enjoyed it a lot. I feel like I've learned so much, and I just look forward to continuing that.
 
            Q. Major, could you talk a little bit about your offensive play calling philosophies, just overriding things that you'd like to get done in that regard, and are they different from what Bryan did?
            MAJOR APPLEWHITE: No, I think it's one of those situations where you're probably a lot more alike than you are different. I think sometimes people want to paint you white and black, and I think we're a lot more the same than we are different. Number one, we want to maintain possession of the ball, we want to end all drives with a kick. We want to punt, get a field goal or kick an extra point. That's our primary goal, to protect the football, number one. Number two, you want to get the ball in the playmakers' hands, your guys who can make plays who are explosive players. When you look at it from a defensive standpoint, that's one of the first things they try to point out, they turn on that tape and see who was making the explosive plays and how can we slow them down. Outside of that you want to have a scheme that allows you to take care of the ball, put it in the best players' hands that has a larger margin for error, so to speak. You don't want to be in such a system that you're pigeonholed and you've got to be perfect all the time.
            In terms of play calling, we want to be balanced. Of course we'd love to be 50/50 at the end of the night, but our definition of balanced is being able to win the game both ways. If we need to throw the ball for 400 yards against Ole Miss to be in, then that's what we have to do. If we need to run the ball for 400 yards against Texas Tech in 2011, then that's what we need to do. Our definition of balance is being able to win the game both ways.
 
            Q. Major, you've seen teams come out flat or uninspired for I guess regular season games but even bowl games. As a player and a coach, did you ever see those things coming, and is there anything teams can do to prevent it when they do see it?
 
            MAJOR APPLEWHITE: I think it's an individual game quite honestly. I don't think teams are flat, I think players are flat. I think you have individuals that don't get themselves focused and ready to play and maybe you have a collection of four or five of them, and they make two mistakes apiece and that's 10 snaps that you've wasted out there on game day.
            In terms of as a coach you're always leery of that, you read of that, you hear of that. What we try to do is make sure we vary up the schedule enough, change enough of what we're doing to keep their minds interested in the day‑to‑day Xs and Os of it, change the schedule up. These guys have also, the last two games, haven't played the way they wanted to play. There's a little bit of an edge about them so they're ready to go out and play and prove themselves, and then ultimately if you're a competitor, it doesn't matter when you're playing, where you're playing, who you're playing, you love to play the game of football, and that's what we're trying to bring out of more guys in these bowl practices, find who loves football, who doesn't, and play with the motivated ones.
 
            Q. For Coach and David, I'm curious, what have you seen on film out of Oregon State's secondary?
            MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Like Johnathan said, up front they've got some big guys up front, Castro 98, ginormous, a big guy inside. They do a great job on the edge in pass rush. They have good linebacker play, they can run well. Their safeties are good. They're in position a lot. You don't see them out of position a whole bunch. You don't see busted coverages. These guys do a great job of flying to the football as many interceptions as they had this year, a lot of eyes back on the quarterback. Poyer obviously has allowed them to do some things in some nickel packages, but they've done a great job. But the thing that stands out to me is how hard they play. You know, you're going to see some of the same coverages, the same blitzes throughout a 13‑game season and it's not going to be anything new to you, but what usually flashes on tape is the tempo which they play with, the passion which they play with, and that's something that jumps off from a coach, because a scheme is a scheme but how you do what you do is more important, and I think that's the biggest compliment to Coach Banker and those guys.
 
            Q. Johnathan and Malcolm, now that Major is the quarterback coach, are you afraid he's going to forget y'all and throw like 70 times on Saturday?
            JOHNATHAN GRAY: No, I think he still has love for us RBs. He's done a great job of maintaining and coaching quarterbacks and running backs. Whatever he calls, we're ready to execute, and we're fired up for the game.
            MALCOLM BROWN: Like Johnathan said, he still has a little love for us, I hope. You know what I'm saying? But no, like he said, we have a tremendous respect for Coach Applewhite, and we know that he knows what he's doing, so whatever play he calls, we just go out there and try to execute.
 
            Q. Major, can you talk about what y'all are looking to do with Hopkins' spot at left guard, the thinking behind that?
            MAJOR APPLEWHITE: Yeah, we've got a number of guys playing, we'll play Luke Poehlmann, we'll play Cedric Flowers and Coach Searels has a number of adjustments that he can make up front to get guys in certain positions if we start to get down, but with Trey out those guys have gotten predominantly ‑‑ the most amount of snaps, so those are the guys that we'll roll with, we'll go with.
 
            Q. Major, does Oregon State's defense remind you of any teams you've faced this year?
            MAJOR APPLEWHITE: You know, it's funny you ask that. The first thing I saw is I saw just a ‑‑ it reminded me of TCU not from a schematic standpoint but I believe those guys love to play defense, and I think that's a compliment when you're sitting in a silent room and there's no audio, there's no one to tell you what hometown this guy was from and how much he loves football and all that and it's just still and quiet but the video speaks to you, I think these guys play hard. I think they're a really good defense, and they're going to present a challenge, but we play hard, too.
 
            Q. Johnathan, I want to get your thoughts on what the feeling will be like playing in your first bowl game and Marquise, playing in your final game and what it means to both of you.

            JOHNATHAN GRAY: You know, it's exciting being a freshman, getting to play in a bowl game and great atmosphere. It's exciting for me, and I'm willing to do anything for my team and hopefully come out with a win as a freshman and get the season started for next year. 

            MARQUISE GOODWIN: Piggy‑backing off what J‑Gray said, it's an exciting moment. It's been my third bowl game in four years. Really just glad to wear Texas across my chest for the last time. It's been a wonderful journey here. I've learned a lot, and I'm just excited to play in my last game as a Longhorn.

December 24th, 2012
Oregon State Practice, 12-24
Head coach Mike Riley, running back Storm Woods and wide receiver Markus Wheaton talk following Oregon State's first Valero Alamo Bowl practice in San Antonio on December 24.

Event: Oregon State Practice
Date: Monday, December 24, 2012
Location: Benson Stadium, University of the Incarnate Word

*Full clips can be downloded from the Valero Alamo Bowl Media Library

Speaker: Head Coach Mike Riley
On Topic: Practice Week Routine

“We just want to get good work down here now and just kind of rehearse what we’re going to do and try to just do it faster and try to show it against different looks that Texas might show us.”

On Topic: Weather in San Antonio
“We love this, just being able to get outside and practice, it feels good. That’s another fun thing about a bowl game, a new site and new surroundings just a new feel for what’s going on. And the weather is good to be able to get outside and work with them.”

On Topic: Playing Texas
“I think we’re getting ready for sure. I’m really excited about the opportunity. This is a great, great challenge and opportunity for the Oregon State Beavers. Texas has got such a great tradition of football and they’re coached by a guy that I have the utmost respect for, he is a class model type guy for the profession that I’m in. All of those things, it’s pretty neat to have to chance to play them and try to beat them.”

Speaker: Running Back Storm Woods
On Topic: Team Mindset

“It feels good that we’re finally here. With those two weeks of practice, I was looking forward to this. Coach Riley said that we want to keep one thing on our mind and have fun after this. We’re going to have fun during the practices, of course, but our main focus right now is Texas and we don’t want to lose sight of that.”

On Topic: Christmas Gift from his Mother
“She actually bought me some cowboy boots this Christmas, so me, her and my little sister all had our cowboy boots on when we went dinner last night, so that’s the first thing I received from her.”

Speaker: Wide Receiver Markus Wheaton
On Topic: Weather Expectation from San Antonio

“I don’t know why, but I expected something like what we had in Oregon, not the rain, but kind of cold.”

On Topic: Today’s Practice
“I would say a typical Monday, which is good. A lot of effort and not too many mistakes, just like if we were in Oregon, so I think that’s a good thing.”

On Topic: Team’s Intensity
“This is the first day out here, so it was very relaxed. But I think it will pick up as we go on.”

 

December 24th, 2012
Texas Practice, 12-24
Texas head coach Mack Brown meets the media prior to the Longhorns' practice on Christmas Eve.

Event: Texas Practice
Date: Monday, December 24, 2012
Location: Alamo Heights High School

Speaker: Head Coach Mack Brown
On Topic: Motivation for Bowl Game

“We’ve got so much motivation. They’re 13th in the country, they’ve played great, three point loss to Stanford, beat Wisconsin. You start looking at what they’ve accomplished this year; they’ve done a great job. I think it will be a great ball game and our guys will be excited.”

On Topic: Being in San Antonio
“It feels fun for us, it’s interesting that nearly all the parents will be here for the game. There were very few tickets available for them because they were so excited. I remember in ’06, we were coming off the National Championship and we had a tough loss to (Texas) A&M and came here and we were all down and disappointed and the city and South Texas picked us up and it was so much fun. I will never forget leaving for the ballgame and we were coming down the escalators and the fans were packed in the hotel and cheering right and left for the kids, it really picked them up. It made them feel great and we had a great game with Iowa and it was a fun week so I expect this one to be the same.”

On Topic: Opening Practice to the Fans
“We thought it would be fun for the few fans in the neighborhood that wanted to come out and let their kids meet a Texas player or see a Texas practice to come out on Christmas Eve as a little Christmas gift. It’s new for us, it’s unique but we thought it would be fun.”

 

December 23rd, 2012
Oregon State Team Welcome
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley, cornerback Jordan Poyer and quarterback Cody Vaz talk about their arrival and San Antonio and upcoming matchup with the University of Texas.

Speaker: Head Coach Mike Riley
On Topic: Being Back in San Antonio

“It feels great, we are really, really proud to bring the Oregon State Beavers to the Alamo Bowl. We appreciate Valero, you know I’ve known about that company for a long time and we appreciate all the sponsors and we are proud to be playing the Longhorns. I really admire and respect Coach (Mack) Brown and he’s one of the great guys in our profession so all of it combined, my personal opinion of this part of the country and for the city of San Antonio and the opportunity to play in this great game against the University of Texas, we’re very excited to be here.”

Speaker: Cornerback Jordan Poyer
On Topic: Mindset of Being in a Bowl Game

“Definitely excited to be here, excited for the opportunity and excited to spend time with my teammates. It’s going to be fun, we’re excited and ready to go.”

On Topic: Challenges of Texas Offense
“Very athletic, strong backs. Quarterback (David) Ash is a good quarterback. As far as receivers, they’re very athletic and speedy. Number 84 (Marquise Goodwin), he ran a 10.2 in the hundred and he’s fast so we’re going to have to be on our best game, they’re going to be the best team that we play all season.”

Speaker: Quarterback Cody Vaz
On Topic: Being Named Starting Quarterback

“I’m just really excited. I just got the word from Coach Langs (Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf) on Saturday morning so I’m just looking forward to the opportunity, it will be a lot of fun.

On Topic: The Flight from Oregon
“It wasn’t too bad. We were supposed to get here about an hour ago, we were a little late. It was a good trip, everybody’s excited and ready to go.”

On Topic: Challenges from Texas
“They’re a good defense, they’ve got great athletes and they’ve got really good players at all positions so it will be a challenge for us.”
 

 

December 6th, 2012
Golf Classic
Texas head coach Mack Brown and Oregon State head coach Mike Riley talk about their upcoming matchup in the Valero Alamo Bowl on December 29.

THE MODERATOR: Welcome, everyone, to the kickoff of the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl. This is our introductory press conference for the head coaches. I'll introduce the dais, then we'll make opening statements.

Derrick Fox is Valero Alamo Bowl president and CEO. Mack Brown, Texas is the visiting team this year, University of Texas head coach. The home team is Oregon State University, closest home to the building. Mike Riley is their head coach. Our title sponsor Valero, executive vice president and chief financial officer Mike Ciskowski.
Derrick.

DERRICK FOX: Members of the media, thanks for joining us today for the Valero Alamo Bowl golf tournament and to welcome the two head coaches to town.
I'd like to welcome Coach Riley from Oregon State and Coach Brown from Texas who will be participating in the 20th anniversary game this December 29th in the Alamodome.
Before I introduce the two coaches, I want to introduce our title sponsor, Mike Ciskowski, who is the CFO from Valero. I got to tell you, without the support of title sponsors like Valero these bowl games aren't possible. We have the best in the business not only in Mike but in Valero.
With that, let me introduce Mike Ciskowski to open it up.

MIKE CISKOWSKI: Valero is proud to be the title sponsor of the Valero Alamo Bowl. Valero and the Alamo Bowl are two San Antonio based institutions that provide support for higher education, drive tourist activities and deliver a strong economic impact for our City of San Antonio.
The Valero Alamo Bowl gives the City of San Antonio a second life during the holiday season by filling the hotels, restaurants and various tourist spots during the Alamo Bowl week.
At this point I'll turn it back to Derrick to introduce our head coaches.

DERRICK FOX: The 20th anniversary Alamo Bowl is excited to bring these two great institutions, top 25 teams and outstanding football coaches to San Antonio.
First up will be our home team, Coach Riley. Coach Riley is the all time winningest coach in Oregon State history, currently in this 12th year of the program. His No. 13 Beavers finished the season 9 3, 6 3 in the PAC 12, a six win improvement from 2011, which ties the best turnaround in the NCAA FBS this season.
I'd like to turn it over to Coach Riley to make his opening comments.

COACH RILEY: We are excited to bring the Oregon State Beavers to San Antonio. I would like to thank Mike for all that Valero does in this community, sponsorship of this bowl. I would like to thank the Alamo Bowl for selecting the Beavers to come here. It's a great honor.
We're excited to bring our team down here, excited to play the University of Texas.
I have just a ton of respect for Coach Brown. I think he's just a model in our profession for the way it's supposed to be done. To be able to play his team is a great honor for us and we're excited about that opportunity.
I'm also very proud of what our team has done. Derrick mentioned the fact we turned around from 3 9. When you're coming off of 3 9, you'd like to have a lot of optimism heading in, but there's still a lot of mystery involved. So I've been proud of our team and coaches to continue to work, work in the off season, our coaches developing players, developing our team, then competing hard all year.
We won nine games. Seven of them were down to the last minute of the game. Three of our first four games were involved with on side kick recovery to win it. We had to fight hard and win a lot of close games, but that makes it even more satisfying really.
We're excited about our team and about our opportunity coming up and we're very thankful to be here in San Antonio to play in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Thank you.

DERRICK FOX: Coach Brown is in his 15th season at Texas. The Longhorns finished the season 8 4, 5 4 in Big 12 play, and ranked 23 in the final BCS poll. This is the second time the Longhorns will be in San Antonio playing in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The other time was a 26 24 victory over Iowa in 2006 game, which is still one of the top rated, most watched and well attended Valero Alamo Bowls in history.
I'd like to turn it over to Coach Brown for his opening comments.

COACH BROWN: We're excited to be here. Our team and staff can't wait till the 29th to play. Mike, again with Valero, thank you so much. Like Mike, I'm not a local here, but Mike is a local here who has a house on the river since 1990 or 1991.
Valero does so much for this community and the state of Texas. I remember '06 you were involved, but not at this level. Appreciate as Derrick said at a time when the bowl experience is so important to coaches and young people across the country. The economy has been so tight, guys like yourself have really hung in there and made it possible for these wonderful experiences.
Again, thanks for the Selection Committee to bring the Longhorns back. We had such a fun time here in '06. We had just lost to A&M. We were coming off a national championship. We came down and had never been treated better. Our players were treated like kings.
We had a wonderful experience with Iowa throughout the week. I can remember on game day getting ready to come down to the escalators, the hotel was packed, screaming fans. A wonderful experience.
You also have to be lucky to play someone that you have respect for and that you can enjoy. We're lucky this time to play a team that's had a better year than we have and they're ranked higher than we are.
I have the great respect for Coach Riley and his team. I've known Mike for a long time. He is obviously one of the best coaches in our business ever. His balance offensively back from Charger days till now has just been amazing, and being the winningest coach at Oregon State, he's done a lot of the things that Bill Snyder has done at Kansas State.
He took a program who traditionally was not a program that everybody was trying to get to and he's been offered all the great jobs in America, and he stayed and made that one special. You have to give Mike credit for his loyalty to the people in that community. Also to the staff, hanging in there, moving forward after a tough year last year.
Nearly got me fired taking the Rodgers boys. Everybody asked me who they were, where they're from. I said, I don't know (laughter). But he's taken some Texas kids. His current tailback is from Pflugerville. He's just done a tremendous job with them.
Mike is one of the great guys in this business. Their defense is playing as well as anybody in the country. They're giving up 130 yards a game rushing. They have two corners that will lock you down. Their offense is very balanced. It should be a fun challenge for us.
Like you said, you don't like to play friends, but you like to play people you respect, and in this case we've got both.

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions.

Q. We heard you say that Wisconsin was a big kickoff to get this 9 3 season. What could a Valero Alamo Bowl mean to you to next season?

COACH RILEY: I've always thought of bowl games as being a great way to cap off a season, a reward getting to go, an opportunity for that team, this 2012 team, to win again.
Then it's also a great kickoff for the off season and heading into the next football season with the next Beaver football team.
Winning is always good in that regard, whether you're capping the season off or heading into a new one. The excitement of the bowl game, the opportunity to play a new team, a well respected program, that's a big deal. Then it becomes about doing everything you can to prepare and win the game. Putting that all together is our task at hand now.

Q. Mack, you said you were lucky to be playing a team ranked higher. Why are you lucky in that regard?

COACH BROWN: You need to have great motivation for a bowl game. You go back and look at the three losses. One of them is three points to Washington, one of them is three points to Stanford. Both of those teams have had really good years.
Our team will be excited about this challenge. Both of us have young teams. The futures are very important. The futures look very good. So playing the 13th ranked team in the country right now is another challenge for us to play a highly rated team and continue to make progress.

Q. Coach Brown, if you could talk about Malcolm Brown having an opportunity to play in his backyard in a tremendous bowl game.

COACH BROWN: Malcolm is such a great young man. A wonderful family from this area. He'll be so excited.
One of the problems when a guy comes home is having enough tickets. That will be his biggest problem for this game I'm sure.
But he started out the year so well. He had an unbelievable game at Ole Miss where he's from, that's where his family is. Then he sprained his ankle on the third play of the game against Oklahoma State. He played so well at Kansas State the other night. He'll be excited.
Joe Bergeron's shoulder was hurt in the ballgame so we're not sure about his status for the game. It's even more important that Johnathan Gray and Malcolm are both healthy.

Q. Coach Riley, what do you attribute your team's turnaround from 3 9 to 9 3?

COACH RILEY: I think it's a pretty simple formula actually. I think that we had relatively young people that just always played hard, even though not successfully, played hard and kind of stayed with it. Then they went into the off season with good senior leadership. We have a core of seniors, good, hard working guys that didn't like where they were, didn't like 3 9. They kind of led that team.
It was really just a combination of two very simple things, but not easy to accomplish obviously. The fact that we had some good, young, talented players, and they had a very good off season. They stayed together, worked out together, had great intentions. So just development and hard work put together I think were the key elements in getting better.

Q. Looking at the overall picture of the Oregon State Beavers, of all the different elements of players and positions, where was the most improvement found?

COACH RILEY: I think the biggest deal going in, probably a key to some of the success we had offensively was the development of our offensive line. We didn't play well enough a year ago. We added a true freshman center who is a special player, very good right now, will be a great player. Then we had four guys that had played that all got better. They worked harder. They got better at their craft. They developed a real toughness about them that made that whole group get better this year. Probably one of the key ingredients to our team getting better.

Q. Coach Brown, Oregon State, have you seen any tape on them? Remind you of anybody from the Big 12?

COACH BROWN: I really have not seen tape. We got off a plane about 4:00 coming from Manhattan, Kansas, been on the run all week. Have our first staff meeting tomorrow.
I watched them play some throughout the year because I really like Mike, always pull for him. Kind of got everybody's attention when they beat the Big Ten champs going to the Rose Bowl, Wisconsin, 10 7 to start the season. Then you go back and look and they're 7 0, top 10 in the country. I like Mike enough to know that I was excited for him.
So this has been a really good football team throughout the year. Just catching some information this week as we go, it sounds like he's got two of the more special receivers in the country and in their school history. One of them is a captain. We're used to watching good receivers around here, so that shouldn't be new for us. It will be like the Big 12.
They've always been balanced. Always loved this is offense. A lot of things we studied through the years have come from Mike and his team. It seems that one of their greatest improvements is stopping the run and matching up in man to man coverage with their corners.
Because of those things, they're maybe 18th in the country in the turnover ratio. Our last two losses we're 2 7 in the turnover ratio. We didn't protect the ball but had opportunities. We'll see a great team in all of those phases from Oregon State, in my opinion.
I was in New York for the Hall of Fame dinner. Every PAC 12 coach I saw said, Sorry, you got the wrong pick. I said, Great, that's exciting for me. I'm glad for Mike (laughter).

Q. Coach Brown, just wanted to see if you could evaluate Case McCoy's performance against Kansas State, how you see the Longhorns and quarterback situation developing.

COACH BROWN: As we said in pre season, we have two quarterbacks with experience that can play. That helps you. Mike has been able to utilize two this year as well.
I thought for very little experience during the year, Case did a very good job during the game. The obvious things were the two turnovers that led to 14 points. At one time he hit 16, 17 straight completions. I'm sure he nearly broke his brother's record. So I'm sure he's disappointed about that.
He's done a great job as a team leader this year. He's one of our more spirited guys on the sidelines and with the team. I thought under very tough circumstances against one of the best teams in the country he did a very good job.
As far as what we do in the bowl game, again, we haven't even met as a staff. We'll do that tomorrow at noon because all of our guys have been out recruiting. We'll get back and talk about starting over and preparing for this game.

Q. Coach Riley, you've had two quarterbacks who can possibly combine for over four thousand yards passing this year. Talk about your two quarterbacks.

COACH RILEY: Well, they've both been great guys to work with. I think as I listen to Mack talk about his quarterback situation, having two guys that he feels can play, that's where we have arrived. We had a starter going in in Sean Mannion, then Sean got hurt. Cody Vaz, he's a junior. His first start was going to be at BYU against one of the better defenses in the country. He just had a great day. Of course, that was very special for him, but it was also very special for our team.
As we've gone this year, both of those guys have played. In our last game I just decided to let them split the game. I know that's probably not always an ideal thing to do for a quarterback but we did it for that game because they both earned the right to play and we wanted them both to play heading into what we still didn't know what would be our bowl situation.
They both went in and did a very good job. Right now I'm going to quote Mack: We're going to go back and meet as a staff and figure out which direction we should go in the quarterback deal. But we can't make a wrong decision there. Both of these kids have played well and they'll be well prepared.

Q. Mack, Texas fans have lofty expectations for this team. Is it fair for them to have some concern for no BCS bowl for three years in a row for you guys?

COACH BROWN: I think the proud thing about Texas is we're at a point where there's such a high standard that really unless you win all the games there's concern. The process started three years ago, 2010, a very poor year. I thought we coached poorly and played poorly, most of it. There were some changes made at that time.
Last year we really stepped up defensively and did well. I was proud of that. We were inept quite often on offense, but started running the ball better. This year we were much better on offense and were inept on defense. The last five weeks we played much better defense.
I really believe we're headed in the right way, in the right direction. This will be a fun challenge for us with Oregon State coming in. Just about everybody's back. We'll have some older guys on the team for the first time with only three seniors starting right now.
The future looks very, very bright. Football coaches don't look back. You don't want to sit back and talk about all the things that you didn't get accomplished. I'm fortunate to be at a place where the standards are very high and we're going to fight to make sure we get back to those standards.
If you ask me if I'm happy with three years of non BCS games, I would say no. That's for me, much less everybody else.

Q. Coach Riley, probably your first of many chances to talk about Storm Woods coming home and playing. What was it about Storm that led you to recruit him? Talk about the year that he has had for you guys this year.

COACH RILEY: First of all, when the selection was made, you might have heard Storm yelling all the way down here. I know even on our team had to quiet him down a little bit. But he's all fired up to be able to come back to Texas and play.
We've got three or four other guys that are from the state that are excited about it. He'll need tickets. He will need tickets.
One of our coaches, Reggie Davis, spotted Storm through the recruiting. We got a phone call about the guys that Mack mentioned just a little while ago, the Rodgers brothers. It started into our first kind of journey into Texas to recruit a little bit. So we have been back since.
Reggie found Storm and we just went through the recruiting process with him, had him on a visit, of course watched all the film, liked him.
We really feel like he really fits what we do well because he's a good runner. He's a good protector. He can go out of the backfield and catch some balls. We probably didn't even use him enough in the passing game because I think he's a gifted receiver.
He's got all those things that are in a back that we like in our system because our back has to be a pretty versatile guy. He has to be a runner, protector, pass receiver. Storm has all those qualities.

DERRICK FOX: Thank you, coaches. We'll see you back bowl week.

COACH RILEY: Thank you.

COACH BROWN: Thank you.

December 2nd, 2012
2012 Valero Alamo Bowl Team Announcement Press Conference (Part 1)
Valero Alamo Bowl President/CEO Derrick Fox Texas Head Coach Mack Brown Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley
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Texas Head Coach Mack Brown: 

"We are excited about the opportunity to play in the Alamo Bowl against a great Oregon State team. I've known [Oregon State head coach] Mike [Riley] for a long time, have tremendous respect for him and am looking forward to a great game."

"The Alamo Bowl folks do a great job, and we had a wonderful experience in the 2006 game against Iowa. It's such a great opportunity for all our families and high school coaches to easily get to the game. We have a tremendous fan base in San Antonio as well, so we know that the game week will be fun, guys will enjoy themselves and the Alamodome will be packed and full of energy on game day."

"Playing in a bowl game is such a valuable experience for a young team," Brown said. "The extra practices are critical in the development of our program, and it's a chance to get that ninth win and to finish the year on a good note. We're looking forward to getting back to work, preparing for Oregon State and playing our best game of the season on Dec. 29."

Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley:

“It is a tremendous honor for the Beavers to play in such a prestigious bowl game. Our team is ecstatic to represent the Pac-12 Conference and Oregon State University in the great state of Texas. We are looking forward to playing a very good Texas Longhorn team and spending part of the Holiday season in San Antonio.”
 

December 2nd, 2012
2012 Valero Alamo Bowl Team Announcement Press Conference (Part 2)
Valero Alamo Bowl President/CEO Derrick Fox Texas Head Coach Mack Brown Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley
Play WAV audio of this Press Quote

 Part 2 of 2