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October 15, 2012

Bryan Harsin

Q.  I know you've been around race cars and race car driving a while.  Do you feel like the engine you have here needs a big tune‑up?
BRYAN HARSIN:  I was wondering how you were going to tie that in.  (Laughter.)
Yeah, like every week, to answer your question, we are a work in progress, all right, and there are always tweaks and tunes and everything that goes into that analogy there and all that.
We're not where we need to be by any means, and I would‑‑ again, from the first game, it's always going to be that way.  We'll be saying the same thing at the end of the year.  I think that's just our MO on the offensive side of the ball is we've got to get better every week.
This week we've got to find a way to improve in a hurry in a lot of areas, and coaches, number one, we have got to do a better job of helping our guys out.  They're practicing hard and playing hard.  That's not an effort issue.  It's coaching, it's getting guys in better positions, it's helping those guys out so they can be more successful.  They want to be successful, and so we have got to be able to do that as coaches.

Q.   Mac really seemed to put the onus on the offense.  Do you agree with that, and why do you think there were so many struggles this week?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, I do agree with that.  I agree with‑‑ our job is to score points, our job is to put the ball in position to score points, and we didn't do that.  That starts with me, like I said, putting those guys in better positions to be successful, taking advantage of some better match‑ups.  You know, from all those things, you look back from the game plan to the plays, all those things, you go back in any game and you analyze that and you look at what you could have done better.  Obviously there's quite a few things in there, and we have got to get those fixed.
We've got to‑‑ regardless of the situation, our job is to move the ball and put points on the board, and we've got to find ways to do that.

Q.   If you had it to do over again, do you feel like you could have done things differently?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Sure, every game, win or lose, you always go back and you want to try to shoot for perfection.  You know, there's several things in this game that we could have done, from play design to play calls to execution, from leading up to the game, just all those things.  You really just go back and analyze what can we do better, and so we get that done this week.
And those are the keys that we take out of this and really emphasize those as we get into practice, make sure that we're dotting our Is and crossing our Ts and all those things this week and just getting back to the fundamental details and being sound, being smart, running plays that are successful and making sure that the guys that are making plays for us are getting the ball in their hands.

Q.   This has been obviously a year‑and‑a‑half‑, two‑year rebuilding project for the program.  How big a setback is a loss like this, especially to have it two years in a row against a rival?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, I don't know if it's a‑‑ it's obviously painful.  Any loss is.  Setback?  I think this, I really do:  There's so many opportunities that come from wins or losses, but a game like this, like I said, you sit back down, you refocus, and everybody does, and you look at, all right, what do we have to do, what have we done, what got us to the point we were before that game.  All those things, you revisit that again.  Like we said, it's that humble, hungry, poison, paranoid.  It's that way all the time.  You never know.  That's how college football is.  You can't go into any game assuming anything.  You've got to always have that hunger and that fire and that mentality and that attitude that you're always on point, and that's for everybody, and it starts with us and starts with me and making sure that we are doing those things.

Q.   Players were saying that their confidence is obviously a little shaken from Saturday.  How do you as a coach‑‑ does that affect you?  Is your confidence shaken at all?
BRYAN HARSIN:  No, not confidence.  You know, all you do is you look at what can you do better.  You know, and our players, I feel like they were obviously disappointed like everybody else, but they understand.  They know we've got to go back to work.  That doesn't change the process.  That's the key to this whole thing is you have a process, you believe in the process, you stick to the process, and you understand the process got you the wins.  It also got you losses.  All right, well, why?  Where in that process did we go wrong?  Or were they just flat‑out better?  In this game, things went wrong.
So we go back and we trust in the process but we fix it, we tweak it, we tune it, we make sure that it's evolving each week.  That's what we do.  So that's not confidence, that's just going back and going back through those procedures again and making sure that we're just doing everything right within that process so come Saturdays we're ready to go.

Q.   When people talk about getting back to basics, blocking, tackling, stuff like that, but now in 2012 we're in the Big 12, does that mean just trying to reestablish starting with the run, or in the Big 12 is that not necessarily the case?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Well, I think any time from the offensive standpoint, you do what you do best, and you know, that changes.  That's one of the things, as the season goes on, what you do best is what they work on, and so you've got to be able to have enough balance in your offense if the run is not there, you've got to throw it.  If you're not throwing well, then you've got to rely on the run.  So as you put together plans, you've just got to assume at times that this may not work, and if it doesn't, what do we go to then, what's our answer.  So you're not putting all your eggs in one basket.
We've got to at this point in the season continue to evolve.  You start looking at your tendencies, you start looking at what you've done, what teams are preparing for, and you start to look at how you can counteract that or how you can balance yourself out a little better and find more ways to get the same type of runs, explosive runs, same type of explosive passes, moving people around, those type of things.  That's what you do.

Q.   Is there any indication or any reason why you would play Case this week as opposed to just letting‑‑ if David is healthy enough just playing him?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Well, we'll see.  We'll see how the week of preparation goes.  We always make those decisions on Thursdays, but I thought when Case came in, the one thing I felt very good about, as a backup quarterback the hardest thing to do each week is prepare like a starter and not play, and after a while, you can say, all right, you keep telling me this, but it hasn't happened yet, but he didn't do that.  He came in, he was tuned into the game, he knew exactly what he needed to do and what he needed to do, and I thought he played very well.  So that is a credit to him of just grinding in that position and being ready, and I felt very good about when he did get in there and what he did.  That just told me that he is doing everything that we're asking him to do.

Q.   That being said, did David look okay to you yesterday?  Do you feel like he was the regular David out there?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, we'll see.  We'll see when we get into practice this week.  David's mentality is great.  It always is.  He comes back after a win or a loss, he's usually the same as far as that goes, just what‑‑ he's all about getting better.  That's the thing I like about David.  He's all about getting better.  What can we do, what do I need to do this week in particular, what are we going to do so I'm dialed into the game plan.  That's how he approaches every week, and he's done that from our wins to our losses.  He's been very even keel when it comes to that.

Q.   What challenges does Baylor pose this week?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Well, I think obviously from having the chance to play those guys from last year, I do think up front they've got some speed guys up front on the D‑line, and when they do get into a crease they can get there in a hurry so we've got to do a great job in protection.
They do a good job with their corners.  I think both corners are solid, both guys.  No.  8 is a very good player, played well against us last year, had an interception for a touchdown in the game last year, so those guys in the back end have done a good job.
The bottom line is we know we're going to get their very best.  They're going to be excited to play.  They're obviously, from the game last week, they're coming from a loss, as well, so they're going to be amped up for this week of practice.  There's going to be great emotion in the game on both sides of the ball.  We've got to match that intensity and play our very best.

Q.   Statistically they're the worst in the country.  Where are the challenges in that, just not overthinking things or looking too much into tough like that?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, you know, David said it, but really, stats are for losers when it comes to‑‑ if you start hanging your head on stats and they're this and they're that, that's where you get yourself in trouble in my opinion because that's not what you're going to get.  You're not going to get stats, you're going to get 11 guys out there playing hard against you every play.  That's what we're going to get, and that's what we prepare for.
We don't say anything about what the rankings are.  I don't know what the rankings in all those are.  We know we've got 11 guys that are going to be coming after us and we have one‑on‑one battles we've got to win, you're going to get their very best, and that's how we prepare mentally, and if we don't, that's how we get ourselves in trouble.  If we start looking at those stats and start assuming that's who they are, that's not right.

Q.   Do you just remind this unit, don't look at what happened, the fact is this team had five or six turnovers last year, clearly anything can happen and they're capable?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, and they did, as well, I believe.  I think that TCU had some turnovers, their defense had some turnovers as well in that game, so that obviously skews it.  When you get turnovers like that‑‑ we know they're a good football team from playing against them.  I watched our game from last year.
No, overconfidence, that's exactly what we try to avoid when it comes to anybody we play.  We try to worry about ourselves and make sure that we are on point and everything that we do is detailed and to perfection as we can be on the offensive side of the ball.  That's what we can control is just our approach, our attitude and mentality.  We can't control anything about what Baylor does, what the stats say, anything like that, and we assume that we're getting the Green Bay Packers when we play every week, and that's our attitude.

Q.   Do you feel like you started maybe too conservatively against Oklahoma?  How much of that is a conscious desire to run first and foremost?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, you look back on it, being more aggressive, you always think that.  Sometimes it works, sometimes you get yourself‑‑ you know, I think in that game we wanted to come out, we wanted to get something established early, get a completion, get rolling, and then get into our offense there in a hurry and get up and run and kind of get in some packages that we had prepared for.
What happened in the game?  We got behind the chains is what happened.  1st down, 2nd down, we just did not get the yardage that we needed to stay in manageable 3rd downs, and when we were, we were decent.  We had a chance to be in that 3rd and 3 to 5, 3rd and 6.  You get into 3rd and 12, we've been pretty good in that area this year, better than I've ever been in that 3rd and 10‑plus range, but that's a very low percentage down and distance.  When you play a good football team, when you get in those situations like that, it showed, and that's what you want to avoid.  So we've got to be more productive on 1st down, 2nd down.  I've got to do a better job of helping those guys out to be more productive so we have manageable 3rd downs, and as I look back on the game, that's where I need to help those guys and make sure that we're putting them in a situation that we have an opportunity to run or pass and not just letting everybody tee off and just pin their ears back and come after the quarterback.

Q.   DJ Monroe said he's not a selfish player.  Have you had to say anything to him over the past couple of weeks or has he said anything to you?
BRYAN HARSIN:  No, DJ is fantastic.  He is not a selfish player.  He is all about it.  He's a guy that‑‑ he's fabulous in my opinion.  As far as a game plan goes, he hasn't said a word about that.  I know he wants the ball.  I know he trusts that we're going to find some ways to do that, and he's been productive when he has.  But like so many of these guys on this team and these seniors in particular, Jeremy Hills, all those guys, they haven't said anything from that standpoint, they just want to win.  They just want to do whatever is best.  Wherever you need me, whatever you need me to do, I'll do it.
They help the young guys out; they coach them up.  I hear them at practice.  They're doing everything they can to be involved.  Whether they're getting it 20 times a game or none, they're doing as much as they can.  Those guys are tremendous for us right now.

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