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October 24, 2011

Foswhitt Whittaker

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Foswhitt Whittaker.

Q. Talk about getting back at it. Unusual schedule with two bye weeks before the second start of the season. Attitude of the team, chance to revitalize yourselves.
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: That's exactly how we're looking at it, starting a new season. Fresh start. Basically right now we're 0-0. Just trying to get one win at a time and focused on Kansas now.

Q. (Question regarding the kicking game.)
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: You know, that's obviously the plan, trying to put points on the board any way possible, whether it offensively, defensively or special teams contributing. Ultimately we understand things are going to happen in the game. We have to try to get the job done any way we can.

Q. How does that change your approach?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: Well, it doesn't change our approach at all. Offensively our goal is always to score every time we touch the field. Just having that added extra incentive, if we score on special teams, that's an extra bonus for us.
We look to score the ball whenever we touch the ball offensively.

Q. Coming off the Oklahoma State and Oklahoma games...
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: We have to prepare the same way. That's the way we're looking at it. This game is just as important as the last game, the game before that. We have to be prepared for these type of situations and just be ready to play no matter who it is.

Q. You feel more comfortable knowing who each other are offensively getting into more of a groove?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: That is true. We understand who we are, what type of team we have, what we can do. Kind of opens up our mind to play more freely. Whenever coach calls those plays, especially the ones we basically do very well at, it's kind of easy for us to just go ahead and do what we've always been doing, try to gain a rhythm throughout the game.

Q. You catch a kickoff three or four yards deep in the end zone, describe what you're looking for.
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: I'm focusing on the blocks up ahead and trying to set them up. Whenever I catch it, I make sure if I'm two deep in the end zone, I want to take a knee, let the ball go.
Just an opportunity to get our offense better field position. I'm willing to take that opportunity. Ultimately the guys that are blocking up front, they're laying it out on the line, I'm just trying to set them up.

Q. Is there a point where it gets to the 10, 20, your eyes light up?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: There are times I'm kind of surprised with the holes that are there. Whenever I get surprised, I just hit the acceleration, try to accelerate right through it.
I know those guys, they're working hard. That's what we've been working on, hitting those holes that they create.

Q. As good as you've been the last couple games, do you wish you'd done it the last four years?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: I can't really say I wish I had done it. I'm happy to be on the team and contribute any way possible and am thankful for being back there now.

Q. This opponent is allowing more points than the previous opponent. Is that exciting for the offense?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: I wouldn't say it's exciting. The way that we termed it, Coach Brown told us it's almost the same predicament as last year going into the Iowa State game. We had just lost a couple of games. They had lost a couple games to ranked teams. Our confidence level wasn't where it needed to be. Whenever we came up, we didn't show up. They came ready to play.
That's something as a senior, as a leader on this team, I basically put it upon myself to make sure that doesn't happen again this year.

Q. Can you see the big difference in this team compared to 2009, 2008, can you see a different personality?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: I do. It's a peculiar mix and blend of old and young people. A lot of freshmen are playing. A lot of guys are being able to show their talents. At the same time there are a lot of veterans playing, showing the young ones what the game is about, how it's playing.
It's kind of odd to see that kind of combination work the way it's been going.
I'm having the most fun I've ever had, taking guys under my wings, like Malcolm and Joe, just showing them what it means to be a Texas runningback is always just a joy.

Q. You did that in high school, too?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: That is correct. A couple of young backs, Casey Carrier, Dustin Garrison, Jackie Robinson, came up under me. Always go back anytime I can and talk to them, give them some words of encouragement, some advice that may seem beneficial for them.
Ultimately I feel like that's the role I've been placed in, is contributing to the team, whether it be athletically, off the field, just helping them be a better person in life.

Q. Cancer week. What color are you going with? How has this disease affected you?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: Well, actually we have an option. The seniors, we'll get together and look and see which ribbon we want to wear. There's yellow for prostate cancer. Coach Rupp was affected by that a couple years ago. There's pink for breast cancer awareness. Dr. (Indiscernible) that was one affected by it and Blake Gideon's mother was also affected by it. There's some people on the team that have been affected by it. The purple ribbon, that's for all cancer awareness.
My dad actually died from lung cancer. That's one thing I always look at, just seeing the people that are affected by cancer in general, just basically giving back and dedicating these games to people like that.

Q. How old were you when your father passed?
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: Just turned three, on my birthday.

Q. (No microphone.)
FOSWHITT WHITTAKER: I don't think he dropped it. He was more of the brains and my mother was more the athletic one. I would say I'm a true mixture of both of them.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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