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October 8, 2012

Kenny Vaccaro

Q.  Are you guys out of it?
KENNY VACCARO:¬† No, sir. I mean, I think this is a big‑‑ conference is real good, and I think a one‑loss team will still be in it at the end.

Q. As you go back and look at West Virginia and Oklahoma State and you look at the films, what brings your spirits up?  What makes you optimistic?
KENNY VACCARO:  We watched film yesterday honestly, and there's a lot of good things we put on film. We made a lot of good plays, but honestly, we've got to win those critical downs. I think on 4th down they kept converting, and we've just got to limit those small mistakes that turn into big problems. We'll be fine. I think if we just pull it all together, we'll be great.

Q. Did the bad things that you see kind of make you‑‑ kind of more frustrating when you see some of the good things you do on defense, not just on Saturday but the last couple weeks?
KENNY VACCARO:  Yeah, it just makes you cringe because you played good so many snaps out of the game, and then just a few snaps can make the game just turn over. I think we did good. I think we're going to get what we need to get corrected, and hopefully we're going to pull together this weekend.

Q. Is part of you comforted knowing that Geno Smith might be maybe the best player in the country and you got that out of the way?  It doesn't get that much easier, but you've done away with him and now move on?
KENNY VACCARO:  I mean, he's a great quarterback, and they have a great offense, and you've got to respect that. You say, okay, we got beat, we lost, but yeah, they're a good team, also, and you've got to give hats off to those guys, too. I think it was a good quarterback to go against going into the OU game because Landry Jones is a good quarterback. We'll be tested again and we'll be ready.

Q. How bitter is that taste in your mouth after last year?
KENNY VACCARO:¬† I mean, it was bad. The score‑‑ it just got out of hand so quick that honestly the game is just a blur to me. We've just got to fix all those mistakes from last year, and we've got to bring more to the table because it was a joke last year.

Q. You mentioned Landry Jones. What makes him such a good quarterback?
KENNY VACCARO:¬† I think he's a great leader. I think he's a general on the field. I see him making calls. I see him making great decisions. He's just a good overall player. He puts the ball on point, and he has a lot of good play‑makers around him.

Q. (Inaudible.)
KENNY VACCARO:¬† I don't think‑‑ all the games are fun for me, but this one hits me deep. This is a good rivalry. It's rich.

Q. What makes it so special?
KENNY VACCARO:  I think just the tradition throughout the many years, the battles back and forth, OU being a good team, Texas, the border, I think the fans going back and forth. I think it just builds up a lot of momentum going into the game.

Q. (Inaudible.)
KENNY VACCARO:¬† I mean, definitely, and honestly coming off a conference loss, we need to back‑door it with a win. There's no question. That's what we've got to do. If we're going to be the team we need to be, then we've got to go through Oklahoma first.

Q. (Inaudible.)
KENNY VACCARO:  Not really. After watching the film, I'm happy today. I'm happy just to go watch film again, get things corrected, because I think we're right there. We're just right there. People are saying this and that about our defense, but we're just one step away from pulling all together, and the great teams, you don't have to be great at the start of the season, it's how you finish.

Q. You keep talking about things you've got to correct. What do you have to correct?
KENNY VACCARO:¬† We've got a lot of young guys, and honestly when you're young, you progress every game, and that's all I ask the younger guys to do is just progress mentally and just keep fighting, and then we'll pull it all together. We've got Jordan Hicks coming back. He's a great leader. He'll get the linebacking corps and the D‑line, he'll get that handled, and then on the back end, the DBs are going to keep pushing and fighting.

Q. Just with the way the league is, the offense, did you ever imagine that you'd be able to be so optimistic about a game where you gave up 40 plus points?
KENNY VACCARO:¬† I mean, yeah, Big 12 Conference is such an air attack, quick offense type of conference. Yeah, I mean, every game is like this. I feel like every game it's a high‑powered offense that are ranked top 10 in the nation. That's what comes with it. But I like the test, and I mean, I don't like the SEC you see the ball just getting run 1,000 times a game. I think it's fun for a DB, especially for me.

Q. Talk about how often the average player like yougets reminded of last year's game against OU.
KENNY VACCARO:  Besides y'all, I guess on Twitter, I get that every day, but yeah, you get reminded every day. You see "beat OU" signs. I see something like that in Austin every day, so yeah, you get reminded.

Q. With that said, how do you use what happened last year?  Is it motivating or something you just never think about again?
KENNY VACCARO:  I mean, you definitely use it as a motivator. I think Bennie was stressing to us that we're not going to go to Dallas and get beat down like that again. After every workout, every rep, every set, you just think about the grind it's going to take to win up there in Dallas.

Q. Are you happy for Mykkele to get the start?
KENNY VACCARO:  I mean, he's worked hard. He's come a long way. He's a good player. He made some great plays in the West Virginia game. A lot of unknown plays, concepts, things that y'all guys can't see from the TV, just we know as a team how well he played, so yeah, excited for him.

Q. How important is this knowing that both of you guys are coming in with one loss?
KENNY VACCARO:¬† I mean, to me it's just OU. We've got to beat them regardless. If they're undefeated it would be the same scenario. If they had lost two, it would be the same scenario. We've got to beat them to get to the Big‑12 Championship and try to win the conference.

Q. Describe the look on Jackson Jeffcoat's face after he scored his first college touchdown.
KENNY VACCARO:  I mean, honestly I was running around acting like I scored my first touchdown getting the crowd pumped. The stadium was electric. It was crazy out there. But yeah, Jackson was happy. I wish I could score one.

Q. (Inaudible.)
KENNY VACCARO:  I mean, just kind of like everybody saw my comments about DKR and everything and it all led to that and it turned into a big movement and then "Jump Around" came on and I just started jumping around. I think Coach Akina started dancing, and just the whole thing erupted. That's how it should be every game, I think, with the crowd we've got and the fan base we've got, every game should be like that, and it's going to make it tough for teams to play us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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