Texas 55, Colorado 23
KARO DORRELL: Tough game. We didn’t play well, as well as we were expecting to play offensively. I think defensively they did some positive things in the first half. Unfortunately both sides of the ball wasn’t working well with each other. We didn’t have enough continuity, making some drives, scoring some points offensively.
I think our defense had a lot of plays. They started the second half in a tough spot with a couple plays in a series that went for a touchdown. We did not play well. There’s no sugarcoating it at all.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. What does this game do for you as far as the positive steps you made this season? I counted 49 scholarship players available tonight. How close were you to maybe not being able to play this game?
KARO DORRELL: We got a lot of work to go. Yes, we were short a lot of people. But you know me, I don’t make any excuses. We got to play and figure out how to do it with what we’ve got.
I was expecting us to play better than that. I was expecting us to be more competitive. I was expecting a lot of it to be better than what it looked like. It just shows me I got a tremendous amount of work to do. Really that is what it is. There’s no excuses.
Q. You need to more remember the way it started or the way it ended to move the program forward?
KARO DORRELL: I didn’t understand that question.
Q. Is it more important to remember how you started, how you played the first few games, or is it important to remember how it finishes, a reminder of how far you still have to go?
KARO DORRELL: I think it’s the latter. It tells me, this game tells me, how much further we have to go for sure. It wasn’t anything indicative of what I thought most of the season was this year. But the last two games of the year I would say were pretty close.
Tackling was poor, inefficiency on offense, didn’t take care of the football. Things that really happened the last couple games versus Utah and this, these are the things we’ve been preaching and talking about. We didn’t improve in those areas. It’s unfortunate. But we got a lot of work to go.
Q. It felt like the flow of the game sort of seemed to change after it appeared Texas was going to be flagged for a targeting call in the third quarter. What are your thoughts on the targeting call? It looked like they were going to end up ruling it a targets before they waved the flag off.
KARO DORRELL: I mean, from my understanding, I felt Sam was sliding, him being a quarterback, was sliding at the time where he was giving up himself on the gain. Usually when you slide like that feet first, he’s showing that he’s giving himself up.
I thought that was definitely a foul. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. Some people saw it differently.
Q. I know it didn’t end the way you wanted it to. Given the trials of the season, is there any sense of relief at all that it’s over and you’ve gotten through it, maybe some excitement you get to sink your teeth into whatever might come next for the program?
KARO DORRELL: It is hard for me to imagine any excitement right now. I’m just being honest. I’m not feeling that, being excited about anything. Even the games that we won this year. It’s really what did we do last, what is the final impression. Those are the things that’s kind of on my mind right now.
Now, the way I look at it, we have a tremendous amount of work to go. We got development. We have a number of issues that we got to get cleaned up, both coaches and players. I’m going to have a lot of work to do this off-season.
Q. Sam missed some throws. I know you’re not into excuses. Is that throwing shoulder an issue?
KARO DORRELL: That’s a good question. I think he had a great week of practice. He was hitting all those throws in practice. It just didn’t happen today. He wasn’t sharp. It was unfortunate because we felt he had one of those weeks of practices that kind of showed the performances he was making in the first couple games of the season. Unfortunately it just didn’t work out that way.
We have just a tremendous amount of work to do. Not to take anything away from Sam because he’s come a long way. Like I said, he was a former safety we moved back to quarterback. He did some really good things for us.
For us to be a program that we’re expecting ourselves to be, we got to be better in a lot of areas. Our execution on offense has to be better, defensively we have to do a lot of things better. We just did not play at a level that I was expecting this team to be today.
Q. Could you expand a little bit on what you saw from Brendon, a guy coming out of camp described as being pretty raw. Couple touchdown drives. How do you evaluate what you saw from him? How encouraged are you getting to see him make his debut?
KARO DORRELL: To be honest, he probably was the bright note of tonight, I would believe. I think he came in in some difficult circumstances and engineered a couple good drives. He’s been doing a lot of that stuff in practice. It’s good to see him kind of gain some experience, gain some confidence knowing that he belongs at this level, playing against a good program, to have the kind of success that he had.
I’m very, very encouraged by his performance today, no question. I’m sure he’ll learn from this in terms of putting that feather of confidence in his hat, that he can move forward and continue to develop, feel like he’s a very, very qualified quarterback on the college level.
He was kind of the bright light of the office, where he kind of engineered a couple positive drives. I think it kind of engineered the team a little bit, too, when a couple of those drives happened. Hopefully that will be something that’s good for him to carry into the off-season and keep building on going into spring practice.
Q. How is Jarek doing? How would you assess his night? He looked frustrated and hurt. Heck of an effort on the first touchdown.
KARO DORRELL: I think he’s fine. He had a little bit of a shoulder issue with a little ding, a little stinger that he had. I think he was able to come back in the game and play. But he’s fine. He’s fine.
He had a nice touchdown. I think it was tough getting some consistent run game tonight. I think he worked hard. He did as best he could, given what was out there for him tonight.
Q. As you watched the game tonight, how close do you feel like this program is to a team like Texas?
KARO DORRELL: We still have a ways to go. There’s no question about that. We got to get a couple good recruiting classes in, which we started to do. It’s going to take probably two or three years to get to a level we need to be to feel like we’re the type of program that should be on a national level.
This was a good measuring stick about how far we need to go. That’s what it is. I know we didn’t have as many of our scholarship players here, but still we got so much work to do in a number of ways. We just need to kind of put our head down and get to work in this off-season and keep improving week after week, day after day, continue to just build this team, to build their confidence, build their physical skill sets.
There’s a lot of things we need to do. But it starts with just working hard, having a good mindset going into this off-season.
Q. I know we got a ways to go before next season, if Sam does opt to return, are you planning on holding an open quarterback competition?
KARO DORRELL: I think we’re going to work through spring practice. Sam, I don’t know if he’s going to be available because he may have to have some surgery. We’re going to just develop the whole football team. It’s not just his position. We got to get better in so many different areas everywhere.
I think everything is always open for competition. Everything, every position. We want to play with the best players at every spot. Every year is a new year. Any starter that’s a returning starter, he’s got to prove that he’s deserving to be the starter. We need to build the depth of our program to challenge our depth that’s in those starting positions.
I think every year is always a different year. We’re going to build it the best way we can with the best guys we think can help us be successful.
Q. You spoke about the numbers. Just to be clear, was there a point at which it appeared you might not be able to play this game?
KARO DORRELL: I don’t make that decision. That’s the people, the medical people, our doctors, the A.D., all that stuff. I just try to do the best I can with what I have.
Q. Do you have any indication as to a potential timeframe where you might have a clear indication about your group of seniors, who is coming back, who might be parting ways?
KARO DORRELL: I do not. I do not. I’ll eventually talk with all of those guys when we get back from the winter break. We’ll sit down and talk about what their goals are, what our goals are. We’ll see how things work out after those discussions.