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Thu, Dec. 29 - 8:00 pm CST
Big 12 Logo vs. Pac 12 Logo
Thu, Dec. 29 - 8:00 pm CST
Big 12 Logo vs. Pac 12 Logo
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

TCU Horned Frogs Post-Game

Gary Patterson

Kenny Hill

Desmon White

Nick Orr

Travin Howard

TCU – 39, Stanford – 37

GARY PATTERSON: First off, I think you have to say a lot about Stanford. I’ll tell you what, I can’t say enough good things about David Shaw and his wife, the kind of people that they are and the kind of team that they run. A couple plays, we’ve been in a couple where we lost, Iowa State kind of the same way. So finding a way to win, come back, get to 11 wins, this group of seniors, for their opportunity to win 11 ballgames and then also 40 in their career I think is really cool. To get to the 160 landmark, also, for them to be a part of that I think is cool. And really just the kind of people, I said before the season I really like this group. I didn’t know whether we were going to win very many ballgames if we were or not, but the bottom line is coaches love coaching guys that are good people and they work hard, and this group does that.

For me, it’s been a blessing to be a part of it. I love them just like I told them in the locker room, the whole senior group. The next group up, they can’t drop the ball. This group worked too hard to get us where we were, and we’ve got some big games starting out next year, and you’re saying, Coach, you just got done winning a game, right?

But I think that’s why we’ve been successful, because we don’t just stop, and so for us, I’m just really proud of the group of kids and the staff to overcome all the things they did, and really in the end, you didn’t play with Darius Anderson. We had guys banged up as you head into the season. You had a couple losses to Oklahoma.

That’s what I told them, really in the 15 games you lost to Georgia in the bowl game, the two tailbacks they had, the last game of the season last year, you played against two Heisman Trophy winners, you played against another Heisman Trophy winner tonight. You played against two of the best quarterbacks at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The whole group, we just — it’s been a battle the whole season.

You can’t say enough about what they’ve been able to accomplish and get done. I was kidding Kenny, go be the most valuable player offensively and throw a pick. Imagine that. Good way to battle back.

Desmon, talk about your punt return; looked like a reverse field on that play. What did you see and how did it feel?
DESMON WHITE: You know, the punter left it in the air hanging. I believe he outkicked his coverage, and I just got in there, I seen green, and I just took off running.

It was a big play in the game, what was your reaction?
DESMON WHITE: It felt good because I just got done fumbling, so I wanted to make up for that fumble and help the team out, and that’s what I did.

Desmon, you were a pretty prolific high school quarterback; you throw one pass in college, and it’s a touchdown to Kenny. What can you say about that?
DESMON WHITE: I don’t know, maybe I need some more passes to throw. (Laughter.)
Kenny, seemed like kind of a slow start, adjusted midway through the game, end up a winner. Was this game kind of a microcosm of your career?
KENNY HILL: I don’t know. I mean, it’s — really just came out to this game and tried not to do too much at the beginning, and then everybody kind of got on me a little bit, and we just all calmed down as a team and buckled down and got a win. That’s what we needed to do. It’s what these seniors wanted to do. We didn’t want to go out like how it was headed, so we had to turn it around.
Coach, two years ago you switched out of the black shirt, purple worked, purple worked again today. Down 11 at the half —
GARY PATTERSON: I thought about changing, yes. I actually put it on, to be honest with you, then I took it off and said, nope, they’ve been on my you-know-what for like two months to wear purple. I haven’t wore purple all year, so I was staying in it, so they’d better have won so I could wear it again because if not it would be another year before I wore purple.

On your answer to Kenny about a microcosm, I don’t think so. I mean, he left here a winner. Everything he’s done since he got here three years ago has been on this kind of spiral, going straight up climbing the mountain, from everything he bought into — I just said to him, you’re just trying to do too much. Run it if you’ve got to, but don’t throw it to them. You’ve got a lot of good players. You can’t turn the ball over against a Stanford. You’ve got to play in the red zone, you can’t turn the ball over.

And really it came down to one stop, and we made them kick a field goal a couple times and missed one and another one, but the difference in about six points, so you’ve got to be able to — you’ve got to be able to make plays, and they came back.

Kenny has been unbelievable. He’ll be successful in life, and so that’s the real winner. All these guys sitting up here got a chance to be successful in life.

Kenny, you have the distinction of being the only player in college this year to run for a touchdown, catch a touchdown, and throw for a touchdown pass in one game. You did it twice. What are you going to tell your kids about that years from now?
KENNY HILL: I mean, they’d better not say I’m not an athlete or something. I’ll pull up the film and show them that I can play a little bit. I told Des just like I told Turp the first time, please, man, if you throw it to me I’m going to score this, and I was like, man, I’m going to get you this touchdown pass, and sure enough, got it for him. I told him — especially I told him today, I said, hey, man, big day, big day, you’re going to have a big day, and he came out and balled, so I’m proud of him.

GARY PATTERSON: We threw it better than what Turpin did on the kickoff return, I can tell you that. Jiminy Christmas.

Desmon, you also scored three different ways in the game today. What does it say about the versatility of your offense that you have so many weapons you can use in different ways?
DESMON WHITE: Yeah, Coach Cumbie does a great job of utilizing my abilities. Like I said, I was a former quarterback, so he knows I can throw. I played receiver for four years. I just tried to come out and play my best game for my last time in a TCU uniform.

Coach Patterson, as you think about the games that Kenny gave for you and Desmon did and also Jalen, as you recruit in the future, are you looking for those type of versatile guys more and more in the game?
GARY PATTERSON: Yeah, you know me, I’ve never been a guy that liked just a true drop-back guy. Andy was probably as close as we’ve ever had to being that guy.

Being a defensive guy, it’s just you play guys so differently. Like the difference of how we play Oklahoma State, which he’s an unbelievable thrower, unbelievable quarterback but doesn’t run comparably to Baker, where he can take off and he can run for 70. It’s totally different how a defensive guy, how you have to defend people and how you can help people over the top if you’re not worried about the quarterback.

And so I’ve always been — if you’re ever asking me and I ever get a vote, and I do, as a general we’ll always take one that has some capability to beat people with his feet. Obviously Kenny did that again tonight. I wish he would have even did it more, especially in the first half. But it all turned out good.

Kenny, how does it feel to end your college career with a come-from-behind win?
KENNY HILL: It feels really good. In the first half, we didn’t play bad, like just not how we needed to play. To come back and win with this group of guys, who they accepted me the minute I came in, it feels great. It means everything to me.

Gary, two years ago you were down 31-0. It was only 21-10 today at halftime. You must have felt like you had them right where you wanted them. Maybe next time you’ll lead actually at the half.
GARY PATTERSON: I don’t know. The bottom line to it is we need to start faster. If you want to win championships, whether it’s the Alamo Bowl or Oklahoma or anybody else you play, you can’t dig a hole for yourself against good football teams. You know, we fought back tonight, and especially right before the half, I felt we had a chance because we got back in the ballgame and we were going to get the ball.

I was hoping that when we got the ball back and then we tried the Hail Mary I thought we got close enough that possibly we could get a field goal, but then it was 4th and 3 and I didn’t want to give them the ball with 30-some seconds on the 42-yard line and have an opportunity for them to pick up some points. You can’t give Stanford any points, so you had to be smart. Even though there was a lot of the crowd thought I was wasting seconds, but we thought we’d take one shot, and then we get the ball — we could have made it 13-21, come out, get the ball, and then it’s 20-21, and you go about your business. The extra point missed just about cost us because then we had to go for two. So you just — again, every point counts, every play counts when you play good football teams, and this was no difference tonight.

All these guys all made plays. You know, it’s amazing how much your team does when they have a high intellect how to play the game, and everybody sitting up here does. All of them have played in championship games, both Des and Nick Orr here, they both played in a championship game — they didn’t win the championship but they were there a couple times. Kenny won it. Travin is over here, he was also a safety and moved. I don’t know how many tackles he got tonight, but probably ended up with over 300 tackles in his career. I think how many did you have to get over 100? Two? I guess you probably got that. You know, we’re all a lot better coaches when we have better instruments to move around and do things, and so these guys have been unbelievable.

Coach, with the win tonight, the Big 12 has now won four straight over Power Five opponents in bowl games. What does that say about the strength of the conference?
GARY PATTERSON: Yeah, and the two teams, at least the one, was shorthanded. You know, last year we won our bowl games. Everybody says — and like I told everybody, like I said after the Oklahoma — you need to try to defend them, these offenses. I mean, you’ve got two of the best quarterbacks in the country. You’ve got one of the best, a couple of the best running backs in the country. Everybody has one of those guys.

And so everybody looks at it because everybody runs so many plays, and then they say, well, we don’t play any defense, and so, you know, it’s — everybody has it.

For me, I’m going to be really interested to see how Oklahoma does just because. I mean, we’ve defended a lot of people. I defended Georgia at the end of the year last year, and now I know they’re a better football team, better up front and doing things, but then I’ve also defended Oklahoma a couple times. They were not the same football team offense or defensively at the end of the year that they were when they began the year. You know, I’m going to be really interested to see how that all turns out.

Gary, I’d like to ask you, you’ve ended your season here twice obviously in the last three years. I know obviously you guys would want to be in that college playoff if you had your way, but I’d just like to ask you about the atmosphere here. It’s kind of a unique stadium. Obviously it’s not AT&T Stadium in Arlington, but it’s still not a bad atmosphere.
GARY PATTERSON: Number one, I wouldn’t take a backseat to anybody. I mean, our kids, I think — you can ask them, Nick or Travin haven’t answered a question here, but I’ll let you listen. Like I said on the field, the way we’ve been treated, for our fans to come here at the last moment, the atmosphere and how loud it gets, it wasn’t as full as it was the last time we played here, but it was still over 55,000 was the attendance, so that’s an unbelievable bowl game.

And with the River Walk and how the people, the hospitality, everything went on — what would you guys add to that, Nick, you and Travin?

NICK ORR: I mean, I ain’t tripping that we had to play here the last two or three years. I’m just glad we came out of here with a win. I mean, it’s a good stadium, good turf to play on. It’s always exciting to me, and both endings was good, so that’s something I can always say and be part of that we came back. That’s something that I’ll never forget.

And yeah, everybody treated me good.

TRAVIN HOWARD: Yeah, any bowl game is a good bowl game. I’m just grateful to be here. Thinking coming out of high school I was almost not here. I got my offer at the last minute, and I would just like to thank Coach P for giving me the opportunity that he gave me.

Desmon, when you learned Jalen Reagor was coming to TCU, this is a guy from your neighborhood, your neck of the woods, what was your reaction?
DESMON WHITE: I was excited because he’s about 10 minutes from where I was. I knew him when he was growing up, and I knew he was a good player since he been in high school, and he just keep getting better. As long as he keeps working, he’s going to be a great player here at TCU.

What did you think of his touchdown?
DESMON WHITE: We needed it because I just turned the ball over, and he came back and made a great play.