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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 4, 2006
Q. Where does Limas's catch rank, the one last year at Ohio State?
COACH MACK BROWN: We probably would say that the fourth and two, the defensive stop against SC in the National Championship game, the bench run, and Limas's catch, were the three plays of the year.
Now, we did play really good sudden change defense at Ohio State after fumbles because they had so many short fields and we were able to force some field goals. But I also think they are a better offensive team now than they were last year.
Q. Can you talk about the play, the game-winning catch, what was called? Athletically, Vince threw a tremendous ball and Limas made a tremendous catch. His arm was perfect.
COACH MACK BROWN: Yes, they were in tight coverage and Limas got a release that was nearly perfect. Both young men played the ball really well. It was pretty much like the throw to San Antonio Holmes on the other end by Troy Smith that was covered by Cedric Griffith. The coverage was there. The throws were just both perfect.
Q. We don't know much about him, what kind of kid is he, he's been in the program awhile, and now like Colt, I guess, has risen to the spot of No. 1 at least at his position.
COACH MACK BROWN: He's from a very small town called Washington, Texas outside of Brown. It's a suburb of Brown. He played some safety and he's played some tight end in high school, so he's grown into the wide receiver position. He's got really good family. They are from a school that wins every year, Brenham High School, and he was used to winning when he got here and he's been patient. And we've seen him improve as much as any player we've ever had from the first day until now.
Q. Wanted your opinion of how important the home-field advantage is in this game.
COACH MACK BROWN: Both teams have played well at home and on the road. So we didn't feel like it's that important because you look at the history of both schools, the programs are so big, they are used to these weeks. These kids come to Texas and Ohio State just for this week, to play in games like this, and they are used to playing in big crowds, so they get excited about it.
I've never seen a crowd as electric as the one we played in front of in Columbus last year at the Horse Shoe. I thought the crowd was actually better than the build-up. I know there was some people that felt like there was some fan problems between the two schools. Our team and our staff was treated as good as we've ever been treated anywhere by Coach Tressel and their staff and their players and all the fans. In fact, I walked down and talked to the fans on Friday before the game and they were all nice to me.
We could not have had a classier trip ourselves, and I really expect our fan base to treat the Ohio State players and fans the same way.
Q. Everybody up here in Columbus has been talking about Ohio State only having two returning starters on defense. What do you see from the Buckeyes on defense?
COACH MACK BROWN: They are like we are. They have got six seniors. You do not replace players at Ohio State or Texas. When one leaves, you get ready for another All-American to step up. I thought they looked great on Saturday. They run, they are big, they are physical, they can cover. It looks like last year's defense to me.
Q. I know that Jim Tressel likes to bring a lot of linebackers and a lot of guys to the corner, bring a lot of safeties, do you feel confident in Colt McCoy? Do you think he's ready for any kind of pressure he's going to get, a lot of different blitz schemes?
COACH MACK BROWN: Well, we work on blitz around here more than anything else, and we did with Vince. We started four freshman quarterbacks in nine years now, so we're used to people coming after them. Ohio State, they blitzed the old quarterbacks, so they blitz about 40 percent of the time and they do it with really good athletes and players. So it's definitely something that you have to handle regardless of your age or experience at quarterback when you play Ohio State.
Q. Is there any possibility that you play two quarterbacks on Saturday, or is it going to be Colt the whole way?
COACH MACK BROWN: What we decided after our experience here with playing two quarterbacks that what we will do is start Colt and let the game dictate who plays, when they play, and we'll just try to work it out it do anything we feel like that gives us the best chance to win. But we're not going to stick ourselves out by saying we'll script one or the other before the game starts.
Q. Looking back now, do you think Ohio State rotating quarterbacks last year hurt them in that game?
COACH MACK BROWN: No. I thought both of them were really good. In fact, just in, we recruited Justin Zwick. He's one of the best players in the country and I'll never forget. We were hoping he would come and visited, decided not to. Justin had just won the whole game and started. It's kind of like Chance Mock here. Justin is a great player here, but Troy Smith, one of those once-in-a-lifetime guys that can take a negative play and turn it into a positive.
Q. From what you've seen studying Troy, does he look like a different quarterback from what he's progressed from your game last year, or do you think you saw the full Troy last season?
COACH MACK BROWN: Well, we thought he was really good in our game last year and he just continues to get better. I relate him to what Vince Young did for us for his team. He and Brady Quinn are the two most publicized quarterbacks right now.
Troy is so strong with his legs, he throws the ball downfield so well, he's so accurate, just like the play he made to Holmes last year over a head on third and nine. But he ran the ball and he escaped last year some. He's just a true threat, and I expect him to do this year for Ohio State this year like last year what Vince did for us.
Q. Just looking the at recruiting philosophies at Texas and Ohio State, I know Ohio State only has seven and you have 23 or 24, is that part of your philosophy to try to get kids early and get your class set before the season starts?
COACH MACK BROWN: Well, we have 20 million people in this state and there's 1,200 high schools in this state that play football, and a lot of the young kids grow up in this state wanting to come to Texas. And because all of our competitors have started offering them as juniors, it's just forced our hands earlier than we might like to. It's not a philosophy that we bought into or we liked. It's one that developed over years because of what was happening around us.
Q. You just touched on this a little bit. I wonder if you could just talk a little bit about the difference you see in Troy now on tape versus what you saw on tape last year; he's obviously got a lot more experience.
COACH MACK BROWN: Yes, I would just say the confidence level. You watch him, the Michigan game, he made so many plays, and the Notre Dame game was absolutely amazing.
I sat there and watched the game the night before our game, or two nights before, I guess, and I was just amazed at the way the entire Ohio State team played. They played so well against us, but they just continued to get better and gain confidence. I've said, I thought they were one of the best teams in the country at the end of the year and could have played in the game we played in.
Q. Can you either compare or contrast Troy and Vince how they are similar, how they are different?
COACH MACK BROWN: I think they are the same guy, one's taller, that's about it. They make plays with their feet, they have never -- probably because they run so well, they haven't gotten the credit for being able to throw as well as they do.
But Vince just made $50 million playing quarterback for the Titans, and I expect Troy to be signing a similar contract at this time next year.
Q. What are you asking Colt to do versus what you asked Vince to do, and how is your offense maybe a little different because of it?
COACH MACK BROWN: Colt would be further ahead of Vince early in his career in the throwing, and no one is going to be like Vince was down here running.
So we're asking Colt to do more getting the ball to the right guys and trying to get our explosive plays in other ways other than our feet. But Colt showed on Saturday, he runs 4.7. He is a guy that makes some plays with his feet. He'll have to do that on Saturday for us to be able to win.
Q. With the amount of attention your defense has got, could you give us who have not seen you yet a few reasons why people are expecting so much out of you.
COACH MACK BROWN: Probably because we lost only two and three players from the National Championship defense. And I personally have been more vocal about this defense, expecting more out of them, because we had some key losses on defense -- I mean, on offense and on defense, but more on offense with the quarterback position. Since we are inexperienced there, we have asked our defense to hang in there and play at a higher level and play at a higher standard so we have a chance to grow with our offense.
Q. Is it unusual to get a starting, I know he's a redshirt, but a starting freshman from a small program? You don't see this much sophisticated defense.
COACH MACK BROWN: Colt is a little bit different and our state is a little bit different. There are a lot of really good small schools in this state. They just happen to be in small towns. And every school like Ohio and the State of Texas shuts down on Friday night. And Colt was also raised by a coach. So he's been so every clinic, he's been to every camp. He's prepared to be the quarterback at Texas his entire life, he and Jevan both, so it's not like a shock to them.
Q. I know you were quoted as saying, you just let Vince play lasted year. One of the things Jim Tressel has tried to do is rein in Smith's inclination to run. Was that a concern of yours with Vince, or he could do so many things you could just let him go?
COACH MACK BROWN: Last year, especially after the game at Ohio State, we started asking Vince to run less because we did feel like that we had a chance to be really special and could win games without him running as much. So there were games that we did not have a called run with him because he was so important to our program and our team that we didn't want someone to take extra shots at him running.
So that is something that we were very aware of with Vince last year, and I know in the Kansas game, he had minus six yards rushing, because we told him not to run at all, and you look back at the game, it's something that he had to go back and do for the game at SC.
Q. I'm wondering how Colt has handled the pressure and the anxiety of replacing Vince Young on a defending National Championship team, and how do you help him along those lines, maybe more so off the field?
COACH MACK BROWN: Well, people like Ohio State, this program has guys go to the NFL every year. We lost Ricky Williams and Roy Williams and Casey Hampton; there's a list of guys. We've said for the nine years we've been here, you don't replace anything. You step up and try to get your own identity and see where you fit in the overall program.
But for Limas to replace Roy Williams is totally unfair for him. For Hodges Mitchell to replace Ricky Williams is just unheard of. For Young to replace Benson; we've asked our guys not to put that type of pressure on them.
And the same thing with Colt. We told him, nobody is going to replace Vince because he's so unique in his style and what he does and who he is. So you just need to go ahead and make sure that you do what you need to do to help our team win and not worry about the individual part of it.
Q. Is that something you that need to remind him of on a weekly basis, or is that something that once you say it once, because you're at a place like Texas, they get it?
COACH MACK BROWN: He's really mature. He watched major Applewhite, Chris Simms and Vince, he's been watching our quarterback situation here since he was able to watch TV. The last nine years, he's followed it very closely, and he thought about being the quarterback at Texas since he was probably seventh, eighth, ninth grade.
So we think he anticipated this, and this is something that he's dreamed of and wanted to do. But his demeanor was no different during the ballgame on Saturday than it was during any of our practices, and I think he'll be excited about Saturday and the challenge of playing the last day and he'll feel no different than anyone else on the field.
Q. You've been through quite a few questions now. How does it feel to come into a game without having to answer questions about Jim Tressel?
COACH MACK BROWN: I was asked that downstairs and it's better for the players. It really doesn't matter to me. Coach Royal (ph) said after the National Championship, when you check that one off the list, that's something all of us want to do and you would like to do it again and not many people get to experience that, programs or staff. That's something that we really enjoyed and embraced.
But there was a certain amount of pressure on our players when a game like this would come up when they were asked about your coach and it's really not about me. I'm not playing Jim Tressel. It's about the players on the field and we'll both have plans and we can both make some adjustments during the game on the field. But it will depend on which team plays the best and that's why I'm glad there's less talk this week about the two coaches and more about the two teams.
Q. You have a very, very talented defense, but the last couple of years, you had guys like Derek Johnson and Michael Huff who clearly were the face of the defense. Who do you expect to step up this year?
COACH MACK BROWN: Well, we are still waiting to see. Saturday night will be a big question mark with that point because you're still developing your leadership and your chemistry. When you have to replace the guys that we did on defense like Ohio State, I think some of those questions will start being answered on Saturday night.
Q. How big was it for Colt McCoy to get a game in before playing Ohio State, even though Texas, the speed level obviously isn't the same as what you're going to see Saturday?
COACH MACK BROWN: It was important, Colt was at Ohio State last year on the sideline, he was at the Oklahoma game, he was at the Championship Game, he was out there for the USC game. He's been in every dressing room and every huddle, so he's been around this atmosphere.
But we thought it was good for him to have a game experience, just from the pregame to walking in the stadium to preparing more than he would have had at this time last year.
Q. Quarterback being the important position it is, last year you had the advantage and this year Ohio State has the advantage, how much of that is a concern?
COACH MACK BROWN: Well, I think it's fair because Troy is as good as any quarterback in the country. Our two quarterbacks have very limited experience. But we can't change that between now and Saturday. So what we'll do is try to play to our strengths and do the best we can do. You're not going to stop Troy. He's going to make his plays. We just have to hope that we can make as many as they do.
Q. Taking Colt to that game last year, I don't know if that's really common to take freshmen that are redshirting on road trips like that, is there any particular reason why you wanted him so see that game?
COACH MACK BROWN: We take every quarterback on every trip because we want them to be in on all of the meetings, and we actually thought Vince was coming back. So we felt like Colt would play this year in a backup role and Jevan would back up and redshirt. That's what he wanted before Vince made his decision. But all quarterbacks go to every trip and that's just a policy that we have here.
Q. After the National Championship game, when did you realize that Vince was going to leave, was it right after that game or after the announcement?
COACH MACK BROWN: No, it was the day he announced. In fact, I felt like he was staying until that morning and he called and said, can we visit again, because I have something I need to talk to you about. He came over and asked me what I would do if it was his son, and I said it's not, you need to do what's best for you and your family. That morning he called and told me he was going to leave and we called a press conference at 10 o'clock and I went to the national conference. And as Roy Williams the basketball coach at North Carolina told me, enjoy the win, your friends and family will be happy. The perception will change in some ways nationally, and after that, you're back to work. So as soon as Vince left, I turned around and said, well, I'm back to work.
Q. Did you go head-to-head with Ohio State with any of their players?
COACH MACK BROWN: No. We recruit very little nationally and very little against Ohio State. In fact, I don't remember us coming up between the two.
Q. Colt, what you saw him in high schools, what were the skills that he had that stood out to you?
COACH MACK BROWN: Colt is very confident. He only lost two games in high school. He was a 4.0 student, a coach's son, tall, athletic. He played for a state championship in football and basketball. He was a point guard that averaged like 28 points a game or something. We felt like he was just a leader and a winner, a guy that could make things happen on the field.
Q. Wanted to ask you, last year you all used this game as a great catalyst in your season, is there a danger this time around of you guys putting too much pressure on this game because they saw how important last year's Ohio State game turned out to be?
COACH MACK BROWN: I don't think so. We talked about that a lot, and you go back to last year's game, if we had lost the game, there was still some chance that we could have played for the National Championship because Ohio State would have only had one loss. It would have been Penn State. Penn State would have been one loss to Michigan. We could have been in the mix as well after a loss.
I do think that it was a great picture and model for our team last year after Ohio State lost, they went back to work, ended up being one of the best teams in the country at the end. What we told our guys, your goal is to win your conference championship and if you can win your conference championship, and go to a Bowl and win that Bowl game, that's what you would like to do.
Now, you have no right to say you can play for a National Championship when you're way into it and the season is way too early for anyone to be talking about the end. So what we are going to do is enjoy the week. I think Ohio State is the No. 1 team in the country, obviously in the poles, but we think -- I shouldn't say we, I think, because I haven't asked all of our guys, I think they deserve to be No. 1 and they are the best team in the country right now, so I think it will be a great challenge for us.
Q. I don't know if you can comment on this yet but any word on Drew Kelson's availability?
COACH MACK BROWN: They will not let me comment. That would have to come from the medical staff.
Q. Colt made some comments he made after the game said he wasn't that nervous, did that even surprise you a little bit?
COACH MACK BROWN: Well, it was an unknown. But the way he's performed every day in practice, every scrimmage, even the one that was open to the public and we had about 20,000-plus here, he has not responded differently on any day that he's been there.
So I really think he anticipated being in this position for a long time in his life, and so that's why it's not a surprise to him.
Q. How much does it help him getting to practice against the defense day-in and day-out?
COACH MACK BROWN: It really helps both teams, because they practice against players like they are going to play against Saturday every day. So the speed of the game is not a big shock to either team when you walk out there.
In early years at North Carolina before we developed some speed, that was a shocker when we would play somebody like Florida State and walk out there and we had not seen that speed all week.
Q. Any other guys that might not be available this week?
COACH MACK BROWN: I can't answer that.
COACH MACK BROWN: No. He stood and watched. He understands. He's a football junkie. He's a fan, he studies, he's watched, he's listened, he's been at our games for two or three years. He's a Texas fan. He stood on that sideline every game last year and watched. So he knows what it will be like on Saturday night.
Q. We don't see that happen very often with all of the talent -- inaudible?
COACH MACK BROWN: No, we have not worried about level of play, the level of competition. We just worry about the guy. And we've had some guys from small private schools and small class schools play really well for us at this school since we've been here.
Q. Curious how your knee held up on the sidelines Saturday.
COACH MACK BROWN: Thank goodness I'm not playing. It was sore and swollen after the game. I'm trying to be tough here, sending that message. As long as the players don't care, I could sit in a golf cart, doesn't matter, as long as I can keep doing the same thing I'm doing. It's sore but better today, thank goodness, standing for three and a half hours.
Q. Were your hands on your knees again?
COACH MACK BROWN: No. I had to stand upright. I actually had a little stool but I could not force myself to sit on it. It was a pretty tough afternoon but I sucked it up and got tough. They had those little cooling things back there and at one point one of the managers asked me if I needed to go stand down. I was pretty embarrassed, I said, well, I'll make it. Those kids are working their guts out and we're worried about my knee in the heat.
Q. You just touched on it with George a little bit about AA prospects, how do you account for that in terms of -- with any kid, much less Colt, how do you account for that level of competition when you're watching the video of a kid?
COACH MACK BROWN: You just look at the production level, and to us it's a lot like classroom assignment. You look at him compared to the things he has around him to the people and the schools, and he played for the state championship. So he had some really high-level games and teams for his level of competition. But he was playing against a smaller lineman. He had a smaller lineman blocking for him. So we feel like it all works itself out.
Q. Colt, what was the experience like for you finally getting into the center of the game regardless of what the competition was?
COLT McCOY: I was excited. I looked forward to it my whole life. I practiced and planned on being somewhere, and finally getting out there, it was a dream come true, and I'm glad the score turned out like it was.
Q. Have you had a chance to talk with the coaches or start looking at film on Ohio State yet, and if so, what may stand out to you?
COLT McCOY: They are a great football team. They are very well coached. They have a great defense, and obviously their offense, their offense can score a lot of points. So we're going to have -- we have a great team. We can't ask for more than a No. 1 team coming here. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Q. I'm wondering, how do you adjust to the speed difference from week one to a week two opponent as you look at Ohio State on film, and how much difference do you think there will be for you going from week one to week two?
COLT McCOY: Well, Coach Davis always comes up with a good game plan for us, Coach Brown. We're just going to treat it, we take it one game at a time. Obviously Ohio State is the No. 1 team in the nation. They are a great football team, well coached. So we are just going to have to practice really hard and know what we've got to do and go out there and execute.
Q. Did you see much of a difference on film and speed from what you played against them in the first week?
COLT McCOY: Yeah, Ohio State, they have got a great -- I know they lost a lot of people, but they have got so many guys coming back here at a really high university; they are going to have the best athletes. They are going to be really well coached, and they are going to be ready to play.
Q. It was a dream come true Saturday, how did it differ from what you thought it would be?
COLT McCOY: It was all that I thought it was going to be. We executed our game plan. We came out there and had our way pretty much the whole time, and North Texas was a great ballclub and they are going to be really good this year. I was excited how we played and we've just got to get ready to go next week.
Q. I was wondering more about your emotions and in the experience, because obviously as you said, you've been thinking about this for a long time; was it anything that made you realize, hey, I'm on the big stage?
COLT McCOY: After that first touchdown pass, I was like, man, I'm right in the thick of things right now. I'm in it and I've just got to go there and keep playing, keep playing hard and keep finding the end zone with my teammates.
No, I thought we played well, but we've got a big one this week, so we've got to get our mind prepared and focused and ready to go.
Q. How tough is it to juggle everything now that you've got us to deal with, you've got a lot of football, you've got a lot of academics, how are you handling that? What's your strategy?
COLT McCOY: That first game is over with, so now we're into it and we're into the mode each week of preparing for the next week and taking it one game at a time. We're right in the middle of it. We're just going to have doing out there and practice hard and play hard and Coach Davis will have us ready to go.
Q. I just wanted to get your thoughts on I know you said you were a little bit nervous and you kind of need to be nervous going into that North Texas game; if you're not nervous, you don't feel like you're alive. You got the first one out of the way. Do you anticipate being nervous when game time rolls around Saturday?
COLT McCOY: I don't know what it's going to be like. I know the stadium was rowdy and it was awesome to run out here in and front of our fans and play in front of our fans. It's going to be an awesome game. Like Coach Brown said we've got to take it one game at a time. We've got the new one team coming in here, so we have to respect them and it's going to be a great game.
Q. Have you started working on the particulars of Ohio State defense, if you could tell me what it is that you think is particularly so good about them?
COLT McCOY: Well, overall they are the No. 1 team in the nation, so we know they are a tremendous football team and well coached. You know, we're excited about that. We're excited about the challenge. We'll be ready to go on Saturday.
Q. I was just curious if you could kind of describe your emotions when you first heard that Vince Young had decided to turn pro and you realized that, hey, I'm going to get a shot to at least compete for this job next year. What was that moment that you first heard that Vince was not going to be back this year?
COLT McCOY: The first thing I did was go talk to Vince. I wanted to know for sure, hey, how you doing, is this true what I'm hearing and everything. You know, he told me a lot of things that kind of boosted me confidence and I was ready to go.
Obviously I was really excited. That's what I wanted it come here for, to play quarterback and now that I have the opportunity, I want to make the best of it.
Q. Have you had conversations with Vince since then at all about playing quarterback at Texas and about being a young quarterback here?
COLT McCOY: I have, and he did it, several major athletes did it; Chris Simms did it; many guys played here as a young quarterback and they have all given me some insights and just some confidence, just, hey, look, go out and play your game and be who you are and lead this team.
Q. Was there one thing from Vince that just really stood out as far as the piece of advice?
COLT McCOY: Vince told me to have fun no matter what. You can't go out there and play your best if you're not having fun. That's the No. 1 thing you've got to do.
Q. Curious if you could give us just what the vibe is like in Austin getting ready for this game, and if this is the kind of game that you were getting questions about even during the off-season with fans and family, talking about Ohio State?
COLT McCOY: Everybody has been talking about Ohio State for a long time. We were really focused on North Texas. We wanted to go out there and execute our game plan, and we felt like we did that. Now we have to go out there and execute this game plan against Ohio State.
We're taking it one game at a time and hopefully it will turn out good for us.
Q. As a young quarterback, how much confidence do you have knowing that you have that defense that you can kind of lean back on; talk about your own defense.
COLT McCOY: Our defense is awesome. Coach Chizik and Coach Akina, they do a great job. I can't say enough about our defense. It feels great to have them behind us, because I know if we put points on the board, we have a chance to win every time we step out on the field.
Q. After the game, you said that you really didn't have a chance to think about -- have you had a chance to look at game film and maybe review what you did? What do you think about your first game looking back on it now?
COLT McCOY: I thought overall for a first game, it went really well. I thought the offensive line gave me great protection the whole game and the receivers played great and the running back had a great game. The defense, they only allowed -- I don't even think they allowed a hundred yards for North Texas. Overall for the team, it was great. For me personally I did what the defense told me to do; I made a few mistakes, but overall it went well.
Q. How did you celebrate the victory Saturday night?
COLT McCOY: With my teammates. They are the reason I'm here, my coaches, they got me here and developed me.
Q. What did you do?
COLT McCOY: What did I do? I just hung out with them. I actually fell asleep pretty early so I didn't really do much.
Q. What time?
COLT McCOY: I feel asleep about 8:00, really.
Q. A number of first-year quarterbacks struggle around the country regardless of the opponent. I was curious about your poise. Growing up and playing quarterback as a youngster, where did you develop your poise, or was it anything that the Texas coaches did or your high school coach did to help keep yourself calm before big games?
COLT McCOY: Well, my dad was my high school coach, so I had been around the game a lot and I've watched, you know, many quarterbacks growing up in college, and in the NFL, I watched Troy Aikman. The best thing I got to do was watch Vince last year. His poise was unbelievable. He just went out there and had fun and played with his teammates and did what Coach Davis told him to do, and look where he is now.
Looking back, I think my dad and just growing up around the game my entire life has let me be confident and comfortable.
Q. What's the one thing your dad taught you about being quarterback that has been the most important?
COLT McCOY: The most important? He just said, you know, go out there and be a leader. He said, you've got to have the respect for your teammates and your coach and let them have trust in you that you can go out there and do your job; that you can't play without them.
So I've got tremendous teammates all around me. All I have to do is go out there and play and have fun.
Q. How is the, I don't know if the offense is different, but from what they expected you in that offense versus what they expected of Vince last year?
COLT McCOY: You know, nobody can compare to Vince around here. Vince was a great player and a great leader, and he's gone on and he's going to do more and better things at Tennessee.
The offense here, I have great running backs around me, great receivers around me, and the offensive line does a tremendous job. The defense is tops in the nation, so I just have to go out there and play, the let my teammates do the coaches tell them to do and see how it works out.
Q. I know you haven't been in the program like, but I'm trying to get a sense of what the program is like now and being around Mack Brown since you've won a National Championship, have you noticed any differences in either Mack or the fans or anybody else?
COLT McCOY: Not really. We've kind of put that behind us now. We're taking it one game at a time. We want to be back there, but we're just taking it one game at a time and one play at a time and see how it goes.
Q. Also, just if you could talk a little bit about the luxury of having a receiver like Limas Sweed, he had a big catch in that game up here last year obviously, and I wanted to know how much maybe he's changed at all or matured and come on as both a receiver and a leader?
COLT McCOY: He was great last year and he's great again. He's worked really hard this summer. In fall camp, he had a great camp. We've developed a timing that I can trust him; I know where he's going to be at on the field.
He's really worked hard and really tried to step his game up, and you could see it last Saturday; he did a great job.
Q. I was wondering what exactly are your impressions of Ohio State, the entire program. Did you see them in any Rose Bowls? Do you remember any of their veteran players? And the teams have not played very often, last year was the first time.
COLT McCOY: I just go back to my experience last year. Growing up, their fans were unbelievable. They are so supportive. They have a great stadium, great environment and great tradition.
So they are the No. 1 team, we are excited about coming down there and we respect them, and we think it's going to be a great game.
Q. Have you ever been in a louder place? Some of the Texas as players said that, I guess you played in some domes maybe some time or another; they were louder than there?
COLT McCOY: Honestly I can't remember any place that's ever been that loud. When we were backed up down on our 15-yard line coming down at the beginning of the game, I couldn't even talk to the guy right beside me; it was that loud.
Q. Can you talk about the emotions of your first touchdown?
COLT McCOY: Well, that was my third snap of my college career and when I say right in the thick of it, that touchdown, I'm done, the jitters are out, we've just got to go and keep playing and keep finding the end zone.
Q. If at any point did you ever feel the fans -- inaudible?
COLT McCOY: The crowd was loud. I didn't try to pay that much attention to it. I think they were happy with what they saw and hopefully we'll give them something to cheer about next Saturday, too.
Q. Can you describe what you feel like your game is?
COLT McCOY: My game is just to go out there and execute what Coach Davis and Coach Brown have showed us on film and what we've practiced all week, and play with my teammates. I've got playmakers all around me.
Q. Do you feel like this game might feel any different than North Texas?
COLT McCOY: I'm just going to take it as the next game, go out and play and have fun and give these fans an opportunity to cheer and have fun and hopefully lead my team to a victory.
Q. Did you basically grow up wanting to be a Longhorn?
COLT McCOY: I wanted to play college football my whole life. And when I had the opportunity to come here to Texas with the tradition and be in the best school in Texas, I couldn't pass it down.
Q. You mentioned you developed a timing with Limas, I imagine that just didn't come in fall camp, or did it, because you had time to work with him last year?
COLT McCOY: No, in fact, it wasn't just Limas, it was all the receivers. We were dedicated this summer to working out, playing, and in the fall, really, coming together we knew Vince left and we knew that the receivers felt like they were going to have to step up. I felt like I was going to have to step up. So we really worked hard in the summer and during camp, it's starting to pay off.
Q. What was that play called that he caught the touchdown pass?
COLT McCOY: What was the play called?
Q. Did it have a name?
COLT McCOY: He just ran a post and the safety was in the middle of the field, and I didn't feel like the safety could get over there. The only person that could stop it was the linebacker, and it was open and he converted on it.
Q. You were on the sidelines last year, how did you end and the game at Ohio State? What does a red shirt do during the game?
COLT McCOY: What I did, I just stood by our coach on the sidelines calling the plays and I knew what each play was. I tried to watch their defense. They are a great football team. We can't say enough about them and we're just excited about them coming down here.
Q. Did you get a look at that game-winning pass to Limas when Vince threw, it did you have a good angle on it?
COLT McCOY: Well, I was on this sideline and he caught it on the other sideline. During the game, it was awesome. We were really excited and everybody's seen it on film hundreds of times.
Q. It turns out that there were 12 AA guys that signed this year and last year, more than there have been in the past. Do you think the coaches are looking harder at smaller schools and they are better than maybe they are given credit for?
COLT McCOY: Coach Brown and Coach Davis, the staff here, they are really good at finding talent. Whether it's AA, AAA or AAAA, they are good at finding the best players, and especially in the State of Texas, everyone wants to come here.
Q. Based on the players you played against high school, do you think there are more guys that deserve a chance and it's an indication that they play a pretty good brand of ball in the smaller conferences, as well?
COLT McCOY: Obviously if you play in AA, you don't get as big a look. Most people in AA, they play both ways. They might not even be playing the position they will play in college but they are some really good athletes and hopefully some people will get more of a look now.
Q. Did you play both in high school?
COLT McCOY: Not my senior year. I did growing up. We had to. We only had 30-some guys on our team.
Q. Can you describe the pass at Ohio State last year, it was on option route or something like that?
LIMAS SWEED: It was a more vertical game. Usually in that formation, the ball tends to go to the tight end but I had -- inaudible -- the back was playing slow, just made the best out of that opportunity.
Q. Did you guys communicate with your eyes when you saw the corner release, because that's what you seemed to come open right away?
LIMAS SWEED: Well, it's just one of those things where you automatically, you practice it so much and when you see it, it's just there. So he made a great read, made a great pass. I just happened to be on the guy on the end to receive it.
Q. I read a story where you said you came back different from that game different or changed from what you left. What did you mean by that; is that accurate?
LIMAS SWEED: Yeah, what it was was just to do something like that, and help this team out, you know, know that I help the team, keep the dream alive, that was one of my greatest goals was I wanted to help the team out. And to know that I did, one, that would definitely be a confident-builder, but two, it was also a great feeling to know that I help the University of Texas and keep the dream alive.
Q. What was that week like for you on campus? Did people start recognizing you, noticing you, that type of thing?
LIMAS SWEED: Well, a lot of people -- you know, a lot of people did, and like I said, a lot of people may have looked at me like he made the catch or he did this or that. But like I say, you know, at the end of the day for me, it was just knowing that I helped the University of Texas out and helped all of my friends on the team just keep the dream alive and keep it rolling.
Q. Describe for us, you went to Roy Williams at one point and asked his permission to wear his number, how did that go? What was that meeting like?
LIMAS SWEED: Basically Roy came down, he was in the NFL and I had been No. 4 in high school for so many years. And I just wanted to come to college and have the same number and I asked Roy, you know, because I had so much respect for Roy, obviously one of the greatest receivers ever to come to Texas. I asked him out of respect, "Could I wear your jersey, I look up to you and I respect you a lot."
And he said, "Yeah, man, you're under a lot of pressure, if you can hold up to it, then go ahead and do it." So I took it.
Q. "A lot of pressure," meaning, wearing his number?
LIMAS SWEED: Right. A lot of pressure meaning wearing his number.
Q. Can you describe how Colt played in your mind against North Texas?
LIMAS SWEED: If I have to give him a grade, I'd give him an A. I wouldn't give him an A-plus because there's always room for improvement. I give him an A-minus because I believe there's always room for improvement.
Colt was out there, he showed great poise, I made all the right reads, picked up all the right hot routes and he just controlled this offense like a quarterback should do.
Q. How much does that first touchdown pass tell you about him, if anything?
LIMAS SWEED: It told me that he's ready. It told me that that he can take things from practice and carry them over to the game and execute. Those are the type of things that we as a team need from our quarterback.
Q. And will Ohio State feel different to him than North Texas did?
LIMAS SWEED: In my opinion the only thing that will be different in it maybe a bit more louder; a bit more, you know, wired up so to speak.
But as far as him just being out there and playing, I don't think it will be any different. I tell him and a lot of the older guys, I tell them, just play your game. Just go out there and play the game and have fun. It's no different than when you're back at the gym there just playing on Friday nights and having fun.
When it comes down to it, that's really what it's all about, just being out there and having fun. You know, when you're having fun and you're loose, things tend to go right, but if you are out there and you're tight, I can tell from you experience they don't tend to roll over so smoothly.
Q. Did you get a chance to talk to Colt right after the touchdown pass and what was his attitude like, his demeanor or like at that point?
LIMAS SWEED: Yeah, I know, I had a chance to talk to him when we were walking to bench, I was talking to him. And he was just excited, you know, just excited. I don't think it was so much ever that he through a touchdown pass, but it was so much that he executed. That was the biggest thing to him, and it was the biggest thing to him also, knowing that he can hit, you know, the right reads. That was the biggest thing that I was impressed about.
Q. You mentioned the pressure that Roy said you'd have wearing No. 4, I wonder if you had any qualms about that yourself, and the other part of the question is, did you hear from him after you made the catch and what did he say?
LIMAS SWEED: Yeah, I did hear from him the next day after the catch. Roy said, "Great catch, but if it had been me, I would have got it the first time and not boggled it." (Laughing).
Q. Any qualms about wearing it?
LIMAS SWEED: No, not really. It's one of those things where you just take it, and, you know what's expected, and you know what you're getting into when you take it. I just took it and put it on my shoulders and said I can do it and I'll take the load.
Q. I noticed in your bio on the Web site that your SportsCenter highlight is making a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone. Was that better than the catch against Ohio State or they just haven't updated the Web site?
LIMAS SWEED: They probably just haven't updated the Web site. Definitely the Ohio State catch, what it did for this team, is definitely the greatest catch for me.
Q. Obviously everybody knows Ohio State has nine new starters on defense, mostly in the back seven, is that naturally something that you guys look at to take advantage of, their inexperience?
LIMAS SWEED: You know, Ohio State and Texas are two great teams, and you know, for them to put seven guys in the back in the secondary, I wouldn't say we would look at it as an advantage because just like here if we were to put seven guys in the secondary, they are going to be athletes, they are good guys. They are going to be able to make plays. That's what you expect from athletes, from Ohio State and the University of Texas.
So coming into this game, we'll respect the secondary and the defense because Ohio State is No. 1, which is where they deserve to be, and we respect those guys and just do the game plan like we can last year.
Q. If you had to guess, how many times have you seen the replay of your catch against Ohio State, and when was the last time you saw it?
LIMAS SWEED: Probably give it about six or seven times I've seen it since that day. Probably the last time I saw it was about a couple weeks ago, I just was flipping through ESPN and they was showing some highlights and I just happened to see it.
Q. So you're not tired of seeing it yet?
LIMAS SWEED: No. (Laughing) Any time I see it, it makes me feel fired up, knowing that I helped the University of Texas.
Q. That's actually not a lot; do you own a tape of it?
LIMAS SWEED: I'm pretty sure my parents own a couple tapes of it. Probably seen it out playing a video game or something there how.
Q. How did your rating on NCAA go after last year, are you up there where you want to be now?
LIMAS SWEED: Yeah, they did a great job. (Laughter) they did a great job. I don't have any complaints about that one.
Q. What is it?
LIMAS SWEED: I think it's 89, 90.
Q. And you're cool with that?
LIMAS SWEED: Yeah, you know, I'm cool with it.
Q. Was there any moment in the huddle or pregame Saturday when Colt acted like a freshman?
LIMAS SWEED: No, sir, not at all. The whole time he was out there, he just took charge and he stayed calm and poised, you know, regardless of what the situation was.
And that's what I think, you know, most quarterbacks, most good quarterbacks or great quarterbacks do, you know, they just stay calm and poised. Vince did it before, Chris Simms, a lot of those guys did it, and he's doing it also.
Q. As a freshman you had to step right in and play, how did that affect your overall development?
LIMAS SWEED: Well, it helped me out a lot. Any time you can play as a freshman in games and gain valuable experience like that, it definitely helps out a lot. We played in some huge games. I believe that year we played against Arkansas and that was also the year we went to the Rose Bowl. To play in stages like that and in hostile environments like that, it can only help a young player develop more and get more confident. Definitely playing that first year, it definitely helped me out a lot.
Q. Now, you had a very big opening week, what did you do in the off-season to work on your game?
LIMAS SWEED: Obviously the off-season program, just put a lot of time in working with the strength and conditioning coaches working on speed, form. Also working with my coach putting, you know, different techniques.
But the main thing, as a unit, as a receiving unit, we put in so much time with the quarterbacks, you know, day-in and day-out, just working on it and getting the rhythm down. I think that was the key thing.
Q. Individually, what did you focus on the most, was it speed or strength, route running, your hands?
LIMAS SWEED: Just the little thing, just something as simple as keeping my shoulders square at the end of my routes and not tipping off the DB's with that. Other things will come, it's just being disciplined enough to stay focussed and do those other things. It's the little things that guys do that makes them that much better.
Q. Now last season you finished very strong, career high in catches in the National Championship, how much does that help your confidence heading into this year?
LIMAS SWEED: Well, it definitely gave me a lot of confidence. Each game is a builder for any player as far as confidence-wise. Each game you build up to the last game and you want to get better and strive to be better.
So, you know, it definitely helped me out with the confidence part and when I carried over to the off-season that I don't want to have a drop-off. I want to be better than I was last year and that's one thing that we strive on around here at Texas as a team, we want to get better than we were last year. And then it's trickled down to each individual that he wants to be better than he was last year, because, you know, guys know that they can't be better individually than they were last year, then they can't contribute to the team and overall; the team can't be better than it was last year.
Q. How often do you keep in contact with Roy?
LIMAS SWEED: I try to keep in touch with him, but I know it's during the season so he's busy and he's focused. I'm pretty sure I'll probably hear from him after this next game. He'll call in and make his little comments and we'll talk about some things. I'll probably ask him for some advice and then just take it from there.
Q. How much confidence do you take as a team in general just because of how strong your guys' defense is?
LIMAS SWEED: We take a lot of confidence and we also take a lot of pride from our defense. Our defense is outstanding, the line is great, the linebacking core is great, the secondary is great. Guys are hitting on all cylinders on the defense and they are definitely one of the strong points on our team. We're very proud and very give us a lot of confidence.
Q. I was in Austin Saturday for the game and I noticed that both Crowder and Robinson looked like they noticeably lost a lot of weight since last season. Did that surprise you, too, did you notice that as well that how much skinnier they are?
LIMAS SWEED: It didn't really surprise me but I know some of the guys trimmed down some and it's all for the better as a team. It will be better to make them a lot quicker. As you can see Saturday, it definitely helped them out because they were flying around and having fun.
Q. The first time you came back for the summer and saw those two guys, what were you thinking with all the weight they lost?
LIMAS SWEED: I think those guys are going to be very explosive and very quick and we have a lot of great things to expect from them.
Q. Where does your first name come from?
LIMAS SWEED: Actually, it came from my dad. I've always asked him where that came from. And he said my grandma was friends with this Spanish lady and she was asking what kind of names she had and the Spanish lady told her Linas (ph) and she changed it to Limas to make it different or unique.
Q. Do you know what it means? Does it have a meaning?
LIMAS SWEED: I really don't know what it means. I don't know, I guess most people joke around with me and call me lima bean.
Q. So your dad is Limas, Senior?
LIMAS SWEED: Yes, sir.
Q. I just ran across something, were you involved with some sort of thing with child abuse prevention or something like that, or was that a team function or what?
LIMAS SWEED: Yeah, it was a thing we had over here at one of the local communities. We just come down and talk to a lot of kids about child abuse and we tell them about our background, because some of the guys on the team, they may have come from it and some may have not. But we wanted to show them that just, you know, even though guys here at the University of Texas that kids look up to, we wanted to show them that we've gone through the same thing that they have gone through and that there's hope for them to make it and follow their dreams.
Q. Do you volunteer for that or is it a bunch of guys?
LIMAS SWEED: Usually they just put a list out and the guys who want to go they sign up and go to it; or should I say, the guys that have time in their schedule, they just sign up whenever they can.
Q. Why did you choose that?
LIMAS SWEED: Because growing up, I was blessed in this life to have great parents who took care of me. But just I can look at things and look at situations and see that, you know, some kids, they weren't as fortunate as I was; that it affects your life tremendously, and I just want to just help them out, give back and help some kids out.
Q. From what you guys have seen, looking at Troy Smith, is he looking different than the Troy Smith you saw at quarterback last year for Ohio State or is he the same guy?
TIM CROWDER: He has a year of experience has improved. In the win over Notre Dame, he looked very good and he's just a great player.
Q. And the game last year, do you think, how much effect do you think it had, Ohio State trying to play two quarterbacks in that game; do you think that hurt Ohio State at all?
TIM CROWDER: I don't think it really hurt them. You know, can kind of, I guess it could hurt because it just turns up the mood of the quarterback and the team. I think we're trying to stop the switch. We just had a great game.
Q. When you see Troy Smith on film, does it bring back memories of Vince Young, or what do you think of that comparison?
TIM CROWDER: I think it's kind of hard to compare, just different type of players. Troy Smith, he's Troy Smith. And like last year, everyone wants to beat Vince and now all of the kids they want to beat Troy Smith. He runs hard and he can be a playmaker.
Q. There's some talk that there might be like 40,000 Ohio State fans coming down and there are not going to be that many tickets; do you think that's outrageous?
TIM CROWDER: I wouldn't doubt it. Ohio State, it was pretty crazy up there, and there's a lot of them. If they will come and can't get tickets, they will find somewhere around to watch the game.
Q. Wondering about the confidence level, what you guys were able to accomplish, capped off by what you did against USC last year. Where are you coming into the season?
TIM CROWDER: I feel like we're doing right on schedule. Our defense is playing hard and, you know, we've still got kinks to get out of the defense. You know, we've just got to play within our defensive schemes.
Q. How do you feel like the first game was as far as getting your feet wet?
TIM CROWDER: I feel like it was a good start for us. We could have played a lot better. I went back and watched the game today, we had a lot of mistakes but that's football. You're not going to have a perfect game.
Q. Mack was saying earlier on that he bragged on you guys as a defense probably more so during the off-season than he normally does. Do you get the feeling that the rest of the team might be leaning on you guys as a defense a little bit more this year just because of the young quarterback and the uncertainty in that solution?
TIM CROWDER: I kind of think they are leaning on us right now. As the season progresses and the offense -- inaudible -- the same team. You know, we've got a really good defense right now. We can be great, and like I said, see how it works.
Q. Do you like the fact that they are leaning on you guys?
TIM CROWDER: Yes, I like the pressure on us. The pressure's on us. So, you know, we've got to go out there and we can't let no one down. We've got to play our defense.
Q. In the opener last week, Troy Smith stayed pretty much in the pocket all day, was hardly touched. I wonder when you look at maybe the best way to defense Ohio State, would you like him to stay in the pocket and throw, or would you prefer to get him on the run and take your chances with him that way or what?
TIM CROWDER: It's really hard to tell because he can hurt you both ways. He can hurt you on the run and he can also hurt you in the pocket. It's just really hard to say right now. We'll watch more tape and we'll see how we're going to deal with him.
Q. I wonder if you got a good look at the time of Limas's catch last year, the one that won the game in Ohio State?
TIM CROWDER: I really didn't get a good look at it. I was actually on sideline getting a breather because I knew we was going to have to go out there and stop them. I didn't get a good look.
Q. Then after you had time to look at film and break it down, or have you even gotten a good look at it, how amazing it was?
TIM CROWDER: It was an amazing catch. He adjusted to the ball real well and he just made an unbelievable catch. The guy was all over him.
Q. I just read a story where he himself said he came back from Columbus different than when he left for that game just because everything changed after that. I don't know how close you are to him, but did you see that?
TIM CROWDER: I've seen that a lot. You know, he had just another level of confidence and, you know, I say to him all the time, it's your attitude that makes you a great receiver. He just has that mind-set that he's going to catch it.
Q. How did that level of confidence grow to another level of confidence?
TIM CROWDER: His attitude, he's more emotional, when he talks about it -- I don't know, you know, when you talk to the other receivers, he's kind of like the receiver. He's trying to bring everyone on.
Q. I guess he asked Roy Williams early on or told him or something that he wanted to wear his number; were you aware of that?
TIM CROWDER: I was aware of it.
Q. You were?
TIM CROWDER: Yes.
Q. That had to be, just from that standpoint, it had to be kind of humbling, here is this young guy going, well, Roy, do you mind; did he ever talk about that?
TIM CROWDER: He never really talked about it. But, you know, it just shows you what kind of person he is and he has a great deal of respect for Roy -- inaudible -- and asked his permission just out of respect.
Q. Did you do that with Tony or not?
TIM CROWDER: No, I had my own from high school. I'm a big Jerry Rice fan, so that's what I had.
Q. Could you talk about playing on a talented defensive line and who could have a break out game this week?
TIM CROWDER: It's going to depend on the defensive line. It also makes us better, we kind of feed each other, one guy makes a play, another guy wants to step up and make a play. That's what makes it fun.
Q. You and Brian Robertson are the two seniors along that line, have you guys stepped it up as leaders this year?
TIM CROWDER: You know, I feel like we have. But, you know, you really can't -- no one can really call us leaders, just the people around us, they call us leaders.
Q. Do you see quickness as your strength?
TIM CROWDER: I'm quick and I'm also powerful. I play both positions. I'm kind of like the hybrid of the defensive ends on our team, and I can play quick and power, so I kind of bring both of those to the table.
Q. I see where you lost 15 pounds, and that was the theme or the other guys on the team, wanted to discuss that and how you kept the weight off?
TIM CROWDER: I kept the weight off. I could have ate a lot today, but I thought about my weight and keep the body fat down; it's just a great feeling. I'm fresh again. I feel like my freshman year when I first came here, the third quarter came and I was still fresh and ready to go.
Q. Both you and Brian lost weight last year, did the coaches consciously talk to you about getting a little bit skinnier?
TIM CROWDER: Yes, Coach Giles, my defensive end coach, he always harped on us about it and we was always skeptical about it because we lose a lot of power, we feel like we get pushed around.
But he actually showed us some guys in the NFL that were the strongest ever, and I kind of tried it out and I lost five pounds and I seen that it helped me and I seen how quick I got just from five pounds. I was like, okay, if I lose ten more pounds, how would that feel. And I lose ten more and I feel as quick as I ever felt in my whole life and I feel in the best shape of my life.
Q. As you lost weight, what was the toughest thing to have to give up?
TIM CROWDER: Just all the candies, and, you know, the sodas and the Kool-Aid that your mom makes for you. It's hard. You have to give it all up.
Q. But you did say now that you feel like you're as close to having as much power as you had before?
TIM CROWDER: Definitely I'm stronger than I have been since my four years here. I'm benching more, I'm squatting more and I'm definitely as strong as I've ever been.
Q. A follow-up on you losing weight and feeling as good as you've ever felt, with what the heat has been down there and what it's expected to be on Saturday, even if it's at night, have you noticed before when teams from not that far south come into Texas and play in September, can it take a toll on them?
TIM CROWDER: I definitely feel like it can. If you're not used to playing in that heat, they are just like us, we're not used to playing in the cold weather. It definitely takes a toll. We're freezing out there, our bodies are hard to wake up and we're just not used to it.
I think it definitely takes a toll on you after a while. At first it's not as bad, but you being in the heat for four hours all day, it's kind of draining.
End of FastScripts...