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September 10, 2012

Mack Brown

COACH BROWN: Super crowd again Saturday night. Outstanding game, big win for us. Stadium Stampede was once again really special. I thought it probably doubled in size and was fun for the guys. I thought the moment with Earl Campbell was really, really special. It kind of sent chills for me to see him walk out there. He was so proud.
I saw him on Friday out on the field practicing to make sure he could do it, and he's been walking so well. That was a big night for him as well. Got a slow start. Give NewMexico credit for keeping the ball in the first half. We only had the ball 26 plays the first half. They had 36. We only had six runs in the first half, which was different from our game with Wyoming. Then we totally dominated the second half, but we do need to get off to a better start.
Offensively, the things we did well, we did not have a turnover, which usually you win the game when you do not have a turnover. We had 146 yards rushing, averaged 4.7 yards per rush, 21 yards after carry or after contact, three touchdowns. It was a unique night in that Malcolm Brown had 22 plays, but he only touched the ball four times, because David checked out of a number of his runs to passes and we've got a lot of combination calls for our quarterback. It just didn't end up getting Malcolm the ball as much as we would have liked.
Joe Bergeron had 15 plays but 13 touches, which shows you it can be unique, and Johnathan Gray had 16 plays. He had more than Joe, and he had seven touches. Third downs we were as good as we've been in a long time. 10 of 14, 71%. Two of those were third and extra long, which is something we haven't done well. For the second game in a row we made a fourth down conversion for a touchdown, so we're three for three for the year on fourth down conversions.
We had two explosive runs, and this week we had eight explosive passes, so that's a good change for us. We're starting to get more balance. We're doing a better job in our passing game.
Red zone, a hundred percent for the year, four touchdowns and a field goal. So we've turned around the third down conversion problem from last year, and at this point we've done the same in the red zone. 9 for 9 for the year in the red zone. So that's an exciting trend for us too that's a change from last year. 70% passing, three touchdowns Saturday has helped us improve.
The concerns we had on offense, we still had two false starts, two penalties. We had two sacks. They really weren't problems with the offensive line as much as they were one was a screen that a guy game off too soon, and we've got to get rid of the ball faster. And we've had two fumble snaps. We had one with Case with the second team that rolled back this week, and we had one last week, even though we lost one last week and didn't lose it on Saturday night.
We talked about the slow start, but the offense had nine drives and seven scores. Best offensive play of the weekend came from Trey Hopkins. Very impressed with Trey. He continues to get better. And the Most Valuable Player on offense was Marquise Goodwin, even though he just touched the ball twice, he blocked as well as any receiver I've ever seen. He just stayed after him and became a force. We're really pushing our down field blocking to get more explosives. Matthews was also extraordinary as a blocker at tight end.
Defensively, you have to start with the shutout. First shutout that we've had since the Kansas game last year. Shutouts are especially hard to get at this point because you play a lot of players when you beat somebody 45‑0. So a lot of the second and third team players in the fourth quarter had to maintain that shutout, and the older guys were getting on them and yelling at them and said don't you let them get in that end zone.
So it is good. But the other thing that was good, even though we had a slow start and couldn't get off the field defensively in the first half, there was a lot of frustration and finger pointing, and that can happen when you're playing an option offense. You're supposed to have him, and all of a sudden they're arguing back and forth about their assignments on the field. They didn't pass our 28‑yard line going in.
We matched up well on deep shots. We finished the first half really well with a three‑and‑out, and we started the second half with a three‑and‑out, and they only had 25 total yards in the second quarter, and 30 yards in the third quarter until we put a lot of the younger guys in in the fourth quarter. So we've got a much better feel of what they were doing in the second and third quarters.
We created two turnovers that only led to 7 points. We need to get 10 to 14 points out of every turnover that we get. We had seven pressures and a sack, and they only had 13 passes in the game that weren't three steps and quicks. So when you're playing that kind of offense, you don't get a lot of opportunities to get sacks. Stopped another fourth down play, so we're two for two on the year defensively when it comes to fourth downs as well.
Concerns, we were 4 for 6 on third down conversions in the first quarter, and they were able to continue to keep possession of the ball which we couldn't get them off the four. Two of those were really long third down plays. Had a long run on third down and nine, and threw an out on third down and ten. So we had to get them off the field on third down and long situations, and we did that better in the second half.
Ball hawks, means they took the ball away in some manner. Quandre Diggs had the interception. Kenny Vaccaro recovered a fumble and caused an interception, and Jackson Jeffcoat forced a fumble, so those guys played well.
The big hit award of the game goes to Quandre Diggs on defense. The Most Valuable Player was Kenny Vaccaro. Kenny's had two great weeks. It's really, really hard for a safety in the option game to get all of his assignments right, and Kenny did an excellent job there.
Special teams, we feel like we continue to improve. We kicked it off eight times with two touchdowns. But Nick Rose hang time has been unbelievable. The guys are excited about covering because the ball hangs there up so long.
So they had six returns for only 82 yards. Their average starting position was the minus 16. We had five tackles inside the 15‑yard line. One by Tevin Jackson, one by Peter Jinkens, one by and one by Dalton Santos. Dalton Santos had the special hit on special teams as well as kickoff coverage.
Block punt and return had a good night as well. Blocked the punt, Mykkele Thompson blocked the punt, and it was textbook the way he blocked it. He dove out, put his hands out, and didn't rough the kicker, so he did a tremendous job.
We had a 35‑yard punt return that led those two plays and our punt block and return team led to ten points. Our punt team is leading the nation right now in net punting. Alex King had one point for 51 yards. We were disappointed that they were able to return at 8 yards, so we've got to do a better job of covering. He's kicking it so far. We're going to have to pick that up this week, because Ole Miss has better speed in the return game than the previous two teams.
Kickoff return, we didn't have an opportunity. They kicked one to us that went out of the back of the end zone. And the players of the game on special teams Dalton Santos, and Mykkele Thompson for their play. And Dalton covering kickoffs, and Mykkele for blocking the punt.
Injury report, we're fortunate there are no significant changes. Anthony this week is listed as questionable instead of doubtful. So they will start him with some light kicking this week to see if he has a chance to go to Ole Miss with us and play.
Ole Miss, first road trip with the young team exciting them, but it's a change. It's two very young, undefeated teams, but Ole Miss is like us playing very few seniors. The new head coach was a high school coach in Memphis, and Michael Orr of Blind Side went to Ole Miss and his high school coach came to Ole Miss to coach, and then he became the head coach at Briarcrest Christian school. He went to Lambuth College before he went to Arkansas State. And after Arkansas State a really good team at Arkansas State last year, he's back and coaching at Ole Miss and got them off to a great start.
We'll start with them offensively. They're very much like the teams that we face in the Big 12. They're up tempo, no huddle. They're number 10 in total offense in the country with 551 yards, averaging 38.5 points a game. But look how balanced they are. They're rushing the ball for 283 yards per game and passing it for 268 yards per game. The number one junior college quarterback in the country Bo Wallace is the young man that Brian talked to a few times on the phone, and we just didn't decide to go for a junior college quarterback. We kept what we had.
But Bo's a great player completing 76% of his passes, five touchdowns, one interception and two rushing touchdowns. So he'll be a handful for us this weekend.
They have two great tailbacks in Mackey and Scott. Moncrief is their leading receiver, but they can really run, lot of trick plays, and it will be a handful for our defense to come up and try to stop those guys.
Defensively, they run a 4‑2‑5. So they run a nickel defense with an extra defensive back on the field. They're 16th in rush defense in the country, only giving up 68.5 yards per game. They're 40th in total defense giving up 329 yards a game, and fourth in the country in sacks. They've had nine sacks in two games. So they're averaging four and a half sacks per game, and nine different guys have gotten those sacks. So they're really, really active.
Manny Diaz had recruited maybe one of the best defensive ends in the country named C.J. Johnson. He's a young man at 6'1", 231, a sophomore, number 10, and Manny had him committed at Mississippi State, and he changed and went back to Ole Miss when Manny left. But he's a great football player.
Charles Sawyer, one of the great safeties in the SEC, and they'll blitz a lot. They play a lot of manned coverage, and bring more pressure than we've seen in the first two games. They're averaging about 48 yards per punt, so they've got a good kicking game.

Q.  The challenge of going on the road different than obviously the home games for a number of reasons?
COACH BROWN: Yes, it's not only that you're going on the road, but you're going to Memphis, which puts you in a position where you have to stay in Memphis because there are not hotels in Oxford, so we'll go to Memphis. Normally you take young guys to the dressing room and to the stadium and let them walk around and get a feel of what's around them. We'll not be able to do that because it's an hour plus trip from Memphis down to Oxford. So we'll drive down there on game day.
It will be the first time the guys have seen the place, will play the game, and then uniquely enough we'll fly back out of Tupelo. Because Tupelo has an airport, but they didn't have any hotels for us. But I think it's about a 30‑minute trip instead of the hour. But we'll get home at 4:45 in the morning, which is difficult for kids because thank goodness we've got an open date the next week and we'll let them sleep in Sunday and start our meetings much later on Sunday.
But I think our teams have always embraced good crowds and always embraced playing on the road. I'm amazed our fans are so excited about this game because it's been a hard ticket. We've got so many people calling and asking and trying to find extra tickets.
Ole Miss people are excited about it. Archie Manning is a great friend of ours. Some of our boosters and Archie got together to make this game happen.
So it's a fun game. Glad that both team runs defeated, and it will be the toughest test we've had to this point.

Q.  You mentioned Marquise Goodwin with the down field blocking. But how do you get him more involved in the passing game?
COACH BROWN: Throw it to him. One of the things that happens is we've got a lot of good players now. So every week I come in here and we're going to ask why didn't we give it to somebody? There was only one ball. Our deal is to win. We had plans to get it more in Marquise's hands, but as it happened, we had a couple throws to him that didn't connect. We looked at a reverse once to him and it wasn't there. So you're going to take what's there.
Offensive coordinators have the hardest job in America. He's got to please mama's, and dads, and fans, and the media, and head coach. So they've got a hard job.
But what we are selling, it's not about how many touches you get or how many balls you get, it's about how you play. He played really, really well. I think it's a message to everybody that he touched it twice, and is the Most Valuable Player in the game for us offensively. That's what we're trying to get to.

Q.  What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about this game?
COACH BROWN: The first thing to me would be going on the road. So it is unique and different. So the older guys have to help the younger guys understand and keep their focus. It's a night game at 8:15 at night, which is even later than they've been playing. And the fact that we're going to have to play better. We've been better than the two teams that we've played, and this game will be a more evenly matched game. So this will be a great test for us.
I feel like the schedule is set up perfectly as we get ready to go into Stillwater in two weeks.

Q.  Is Ole Miss maybe a little better in two weeks than you anticipated given the coaching change last year?
COACH BROWN: Yes, I think their offense is so much better. They are really moving the ball, and I think that's a product of Bo Wallace, probably too. He played for Coach Freeze at Arkansas State so he already knows the offense too so that helps as well.

Q.  Can you compare him as far as the way he plays?
COACH BROWN: No, they're running a Vince Young type offense. They run zone read. They're wide open. Lot of trick plays, but they're really balanced. He's a big guy that can run and pass. He's been very accurate at 76%.

Q.  When Kenny made the decision to stay, he seemed so focused that this is the thing. I'm not going to look back. Now to see him work the way he did and play the way he did, I guess that says a lot about his toughness?
COACH BROWN: Yes, it's a real credit to Kenny. Number one, he would have been a high draft choice. We don't know exactly what that means. But he would have been a first or second round for sure and made a lot of money. He decided he needed to come back and do some things better on the field.
He and Coach Akina talked about it at length when he made the decision. You've got to give him credit because he's a top pro prospect playing as hard as anybody we've got. Defensive coaches made he and Alex Okafor captains for two weeks in a row, so that's pretty cool.

Q.  Coach, the 9/11 anniversary tomorrow, your guys were 8 and 9 years old when that happened. How has it affected you and kind of changed the way things are now?
COACH BROWN: I think the biggest thing is it's an imprint that will be in my mind that morning for the rest of my life like it will most Americans. We were sitting in a staff meeting and as I walked in and somebody said some plane hit the trade center. I thought, oh, that's awful. I hope it's a single plane accident or something, and then when the other one came and we all saw it and they ran down to get us. Our first concern was obviously President Bush's daughter was in school here, so we didn't know what that would mean for Austin.
Chris Simms was from New York, and we had some players that had parents working in New York, so we tried to find each of the players immediately on our team and make sure that they were safe and make sure that at the same time we could find that they have found their families.
We tried to get all the players back to our building. We cancelled practice that afternoon. All of us worried about President Bush. We didn't know where he was or what he was doing. Then there was that time lapse of what's happening to our country because then it grew as we all know for the day.
I know one of my sons came to me wanting to enlist. I think when you talk to Nate Boyer, that had a huge effect on his life. So it's something that we'll all remember, and it's a real tragic time in our lives, and one that probably changed all of us in so many ways.
I know that I have so much‑‑ I have great respect for our military, but I have so much more now to think that the men and women that protect us every day, we haven't had a national incident in our country since then, so good for them and the decisions that they made. But at the same time, as long as our country is safe and our children are safe, that's pretty cool.

Q.  (Indiscernible) tell us about Nate and his story.
COACH BROWN: We talked to him the other day. He's through playing in the NFL and ready to settle. But he brought such a great story to our team when he got out of the military and walked on. I remember him coming in and asking how do I get a room? We didn't know who he was. He was a linebacker for a year, and he ended up starting and playing great for us. Catching a touchdown over at A&M that made a big difference.
(Indiscernible) had a significant career in the NFL. I thought that might be the best story I've ever been around until Nate. Here's Nate that went to a high school that doesn't have a high school football team, so he never played high school football. Then all of a sudden he's sitting around, and 9/11 definitely got his attention. He wanted to help our country. But at the same time, here's a guy that decides that never playing high school football, he's going to go to Texas, get in school, which is so difficult to do especially out‑of‑state. He's going to make our football team, and none of that could possibly happen. It's like a movie now.
He's got a bronze star. He still protects our country. He's still in the military reserves. At the same time, he's a 31‑year‑old sophomore that snapped the other night. He was a little low with his first snap. He was a little nervous. And I said don't go there. With what you've been through, you don't need to be nervous on the football field in front of 101,000.
It's a wonderful story. A great student, and he's brought a lot of maturity and leadership to our team. I think John's going to try to get him up it here to talk to you.

Q.  Are you concerned with the down field passing game? What I mean by that is a lot of the explosive plays by the wideouts were, in fact, from the wideouts. They were short passes that they made good moves and created longer. Are you concerned with the down field passing game?
COACH BROWN: I'm really not, because the short ones are working, then it doesn't matter. When they take the short ones away, you get more long ones to be honest with you. We took a shot on the first play. We missed the other night. It was wide open. We need to hit that one.
We took a couple of other shots that were wide open. But they were playing way off 6 us. Bob Davie is doing a great job. But their game plan was to keep things in front of them. Try not to let us run, make us throw short passes, and they were going to dominate the game with time of possession and stay on the field.
They were snapping the ball with less than five seconds left every time. Bob's been around. He knew he was going to try to shorten that game and not give us any easy touchdowns.

Q.  You sit up and have to tell about a game plan and you know each game takes on a life of its own. Is that what happened? Obviously you don't anticipate Malcolm Brown getting two carries, but you look up and that happened because of the flow of the game?
COACH BROWN: Yes, we're going to play Malcolm and Joe and Johnathan Gray and Jeremy Hills, and we're going to play all four of them. We can't come in here every week. They're all good players. We think Johnathan's got great speed that will add to what Malcolm and Joe already give us. And Jeremy's got a special role sometimes in third and long situations.
So we can't come in here every week and ask why didn't he get it? Why didn't he get it? What we need to do is win. We're trying to get the ball in the people's hands that give us the best chance to win. Again, if Malcolm's run wasn't there when he was in the ballgame and we scored a touchdown on a flair pass, good check by David Ash. That's what we've got to do. It's about winning, not about stats and not about just guys.

Q.  Roy Williams announced his retirement on Facebook on Saturday. Can you talk about his NFL career and what he did here?
COACH BROWN: Yes, Roy is one of the great players to ever play. He's been in the Pro Bowl. He's changed history here. He screwed us up when we're trying to recruit a receiver because we're always looking for him. He set that standard really high, and there aren't many of him out there.
I'm really proud of him. He played for a long time. He played really well. Roy's tight with his money, so I'm sure he's in good shape with his money, and now he'll have to transition to something else in his life.
But Roy's always been very unique. He stayed in the dorm for four years here. He never wanted to move out. He didn't want a car. He didn't want to have to drive. I remember his girlfriend's dad wanted to take him to dinner one night, and he came in and asked us is that legal? We said, yeah, it's legal. You're fine. He's not a Texas booster or any of that kind of stuff.
Roy is a guy that will do really well when he gets out of football, and I'm really proud of it.

Q.  Is there too much made‑‑ we saw two of your Big 12 friends lose to SEC teams, and now you're playing teams that many think are at the bottom. Is there too much made of that conference and Big 12, SEC stuff? Would you guys take that lightly?
COACH BROWN: We won't take them lightly because they look good on video and they're undefeated. That is the thing that helps you going in. I think the thing that the SEC winning the National Championships as of late has made them a media darling. So our players hear nothing but SEC all the time.
I thought A&M and Missouri played well. They had a chance to win, both of them in their ballgame. So I think what we're talking about is great teams across the nation instead of just leagues, because there are a few teams in each league that need to pick it up to be counted as a dominant league.
But I think right now that the SEC has gotten credit for having depth in their league and a lot of good teams, and the Big 12 is coming quickly to that point. The other thing it says something about the respect that the Big 12 has for the SEC, and the SEC has for the Big 12 when we partnered for the champion's game in 2015, because we thought that would be the two best football conferences in the country playing against each other. So that makes this game a lot of fun for our guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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