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October 1, 2012

Bryan Harsin

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Coach Harsin. 

Q.  Can you start by talking about Johnathan, the job he did. 
COACH HARSIN:  Yeah, I think fantastic.  I think that's what he's been preparing for.  Any young player, as you bring them along, in the back of their minds they want to be out there as much as they can.  They feel like they're prepared, ready, they have all the answers.  As a coach, you try to look at what's best for us. 
As the season has gone on, he's got more and more reps.  We know at that position, not everybody's going to be out there at all times.  When that does come up, Johnathan was a guy that came in, did a fantastic job in his role. 
There's some plays in there, we were backed up.  Got great ball security.  He's covering it up.  He understood the situations we were in.  He just wasn't out there playing and running the ball.  He really understood what needed to happen.  Ball security was huge in those type of situations. 
As the game went on, he got more and more carries.  You could feel he started to get into a rhythm.  You could feel he was seeing what the defense was giving him, got better and better as the game went on.  I think great runningbacks do that.  As the game wears on, they get more and more opportunities, the better they get. 

Q.  Do you think that will be a situation where now he will be in the mix early, depending on Malcolm and Joe?
COACH HARSIN:  I think the same in some respects.  Malcolm and Joe and Johnathan, having his plays in there as well, now there might be more.  There's more opportunities for him.  He continues to play like that, continues to practice like he's been practicing, more opportunities come up. 
Nothing is set in stone from that standpoint.  That's part of competition, even amongst the team.  When guys go out there, take advantage of their opportunities, they deserve more. 
As game plans get put together, look at what type of runs we have in, what backs fit best in those types of runs, we start to maneuver it that way. 
By no means has he done anything to not deserve any carries.  There's just a group of runningbacks back there that are very good that we have to divy the ball up to and make sure we have fresh guys out there when they run the ball.

Q.  When you're calling a game like a team against West Virginia, are you conscious of what their offense is capable of, have longer drives?
COACH HARSIN:  Not unless their offense plays defense.  We have to operate our offense the way that we do.  We have to run our system that fits us and how we need to do things to score points.  That's really all we can worry about, is what their defense poses.  They have a very good defense.  They're very fast.  I think their D-line, they play with three D-linemen.  They cause disruptions by the alignments they play. 
That's our main focus, is how do we put our guys in the best situation to be successful in every play.  Hopefully we go out there and execute the way we practiced it and feel that our game plan is good, we have the options needed to make adjustments when we have to and go from there. 

Q.  Are there times when you look at a defense that has been on the field a lot, offense is three-and-out, are there times when you would try to run a little bit?
COACH HARSIN:  Three-and-out is a three-and-out whether you're huddling or no-huddling.  It puts the defense back out there. 
You want to make sure whatever tempo you're in, that it's successful, that you're putting together a drive.  If we're three-and-out, three-and-out, we're in trouble anyway.  As far as that goes, our job, we have to score points.  That's our job on offense, to score points, try to do it as many times as we can.  Whatever it takes for us to do that, however we operate it in our tempos, spread, heavy sets, we're going to do that.  Those are the things we discuss in between series.  This didn't work, that looked great, come back to it.  We just worry about those things. 

Q.  You talk about scoring points being the job.  What is the primary difference other than guys getting more comfortable with the job?
COACH HARSIN:  I think just overall execution by the 11 guys out there at all times.  One of the things we talked about was doing your job.  I know it's very simple, a simple term.  We're not the ones that coined it by any means.  It means a lot to our guys that you're responsible for this on this particular play, make sure it happens that.  If all 11 guys do that, we can be successful. 
This last game, the end of the game we had the drive, protection, routes to throws, everything was done exactly flawlessly on those particular plays. 
When you see that on tape, it gives you confidence as a player, gives you confidence in the system, what you're doing, preparation, those types of things.  That's all we can really control.  We can control our effort, attitude and preparation.  We get into a game, if we do those things, our emotions are right, our minds are ready, we go out and give it our best shot in that situation. 

Q.  Would Jonathan have gotten that number of carries if Malcolm had been a hundred percent?
COACH HARSIN:  You know, I don't know.  The flow of the game...  One of the things he was doing, the wild, he was running some of our wild formation, was doing a great job with it.  That was something as the game went on could have been used more in situations like that because of what he was doing. 
But is hard to say.  Probably not, with all three guys in there, because you have all three in there playing.  But that's part of that runningback position is when you don't, guess what, reps just went up for you, you better make sure you're ready.

Q.  How much do you look at what Baylor did against West Virginia's defense?
COACH HARSIN:  Yeah, we definitely watched that game.  Baylor moved the ball well.  They're explosive on offense.  They do a great job with their tempo, spreading teams out.  You want to look at what they did successfully.  You also look at what West Virginia did to them to stop them, just start to use some of those formations, thoughts and looks as far as your preparation. 
We have a little bit different setup formationally with maybe some tight ends and fullbacks and things like that.  You can still get enough from that video to see how they're going to play in those type of formations as well.  You want to watch personnel, watch how they tried to attack them and why.  What was Baylor's game plan, see if that is something that fits into what we feel is going to be best for us this week. 

Q.  What do you like about the way your offense is playing?
COACH HARSIN:  What I like first and foremost, those guys throughout the week, I like their preparation habits is what I really like.  You see guys in the locker room having conversations about football, about scheme, about how they're going to handle something.  Those are little things as a coach, when you walk by, you sneak around the locker room, they're talking about football, makes you happy about it.  They're thinking about it, how they can prepare, thinking about going out to practice with the right mindset to get ready to go play on Saturday. 
We feel like if we take care of business on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday we already have the formula to go out there and be successful.  We just have to execute it one more time.  We practiced it all week long. 
I like their habits, the way they're translating those practice habits into games.  It's not perfect by any means.  They have confidence going in there because of the way they prepared.  This game was a real test when it came to guys in a clutch situation.  What was going to be their reaction?  David Ash and D.J. Grant, two guys on one particular play on the fourth down were flawless the way they executed it, like they'd done it a thousand times, and they have in practice.  They trusted each other and made a play.  Nobody flinched.  That was the biggest thing.  You could see that on the offensive side.  Nobody flinched, backed down.  They went for it.  That particular play gave us momentum.  Then Mike Davis comes back two plays later, rips the ball out of a guy's hand.  I thought that was great poise from our side of the ball that came from their preparation habits and what they've done in practice. 

Q.  Why do you think he matured so much from last year?  Mack mentioned last year if he had dropped a touchdown pass he wouldn't have responded the way he responded this week?
COACH HARSIN:  I think it's maturity.  I think Coach Wyatt has done a great job with them, that entire group, providing the mentality we need to have.  We need to be tough at that position.  We run block down the field. 
I think it's maturity, his practice habits.  Mike two weeks ago in practice during the bye week, he made that exact same play in practice, going up for the ball, falling down, selling out, nobody around watching, did the exact same thing he did in the game.  We showed him that yesterday.  We pulled that clip out and showed him catching the ball against Oklahoma State.  Then we showed the same clip in practice of him doing the same thing. 
It's not going to happen in games, it's not going to magically happen, it has to happen in practice.  You have to sell out in practice.  That's just who you are and how you do things.  He had already done it.  To me, I don't think Mike was real surprised when he caught it because he'd already done it.  Neither was anybody else.  We'd seen him do that. 
He's preparing better.  He's practicing harder.  He's doing everything that another year of experience gives guys, just the maturity level.  On top of that, buying into what Coach Wyatt has been telling all those guys, they need to be tough, physical and play hard. 

Q.  In the history of your life, have you ever coached a more dynamic person than D.J. Monroe?
COACH HARSIN:  Not to date, no (laughter).  He is fantastic.  No more so than the kickoff return that he had in that game.  That was a momentum changer right there that we needed.  Fozzy did it last year in that game.  D.J. decides, It's my time to do it.  If you watch it closely, about takes his legs out, like Dukes of Hazard over there, he's off and running.  That was impressive. 
His whole attitude and approach to what we're doing, he knows he's going to be a factor in critical situations.  Fourth-down-and-three we give it to him around the end.  What better guy to give the ball to than him.  Going to make something happen.  He's going to get us the first down.  We really felt that way.  He's continually from that season has proved that in clutch situations, you can give the ball to, he'll get you what you need out of it, a lot of times score down in the red zone situations. 

Q.  Is he a guy you get more questions about?
COACH HARSIN:  D.J., Johnathan Gray, Malcolm Brown last year.  Every year.  That's great.  You got a lot of great football players on this team, a lot of great competitors.  Everybody wants the ball.  The one thing that really matters is those guys understand, like Jaxon Shipley in this game didn't get as many touches, he gets three touchdowns.  Where was Jaxon Shipley last game?  You never know which guy is it going to be this week?  All 11 have to be prepared, It might be my opportunity.  I might be the guy getting three or four touchdowns this week, so I better prepare this way. 

Q.  What did Daje show you with the touches he got?
COACH HARSIN:  He always showed what we thought about his strength.  He is a very strong football player.  Two times we ran a little sweep with him.  I think they played it very well.  The D end got him wrapped up.  He just absolutely fights his way out of a tackle of a bigger guy.  Bottom line, ends up getting us positive lines out of it.  Threw one out, we gain five yards on it.  He's just not going down. 
He's very competitive.  He's very strong.  He wants to be successful with the ball in his hands.  There's just a determination about him that you see in practice that comes out in games.  He's a guy that continues to be a factor in what we're trying to do each and every week, how we find ways to try to get the balls in his hands and utilize him as well. 

Q.  Do you like coaching in shootouts?
COACH HARSIN:  I like coaching, period, whatever we have to do.  You know, no, I'd rather have it the other way.  If we could be up at 45 at halftime, it always feels a lot better. 
I think that's the league that we're in.  We have very good football teams that we play against each and every week. 
As a player, I think guys want to play in those competitive games.  That's why they come to Texas.  They know it's going to be competitive, they know a lot of players they're going to play against with these Texas teams, Texas players.  They enjoy that. 
I thought in this game against Oklahoma State, those guys were relishing the opportunity to put a drive together and win.  There was nobody like, Dang, we have to go do this.  They were like, We've worked on this a lot; here is our chance to go out there and win this game on the offensive side of the ball.  That was impressive. 
As a coach you want to win by 50 at all times.  As a player, you want to play every play.  You don't worry about the score, you just go play.

Q.  How important was that for David, the big play late? 
COACH HARSIN:  Yeah, it was huge for the whole team, but for David in particular.  When you practice it, you can't simulate that.  You can't simulate the crowd barreling down on you, the pressure in that situation.  The game's over if you don't make it.  Everything falls on your shoulders.  All those things from the quarterback standpoint. 
To do that, to execute it the way he did, to have the type of plays in that drive that he did, it gives him something to recall on when we're back in that situation.  Another two-minute drive, I have to execute like I did before.  I know what to do.  So he'll have to recall that at some point again this season, and that gives him tremendous confidence, in my opinion, to do that. 
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, coach. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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