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October 29, 2012

Tommy Tuberville

COACH TUBERVILLE:  Last week's game was a disappointment.  We can't turn the ball over against a team that doesn't turn the ball over and have a chance to win.  First half, we got off to a good start.  Again, we turned the ball over, had a chance to possibly go up to a two‑score lead.  Put the pressure on them and make them throw the ball a little bit more and kind of went the other way on us.
Defensively, we played well.  We played hard in the first half.  We tackled well.  Second half they changed some things around formation‑wise, ran the ball up the middle, and ran flags and pass on third down and they converted it.  Third‑down conversions were big in the second half.  Had a couple that just gave them an opportunity to keep possession and moving the ball down the field.  So a lot of room for improvement.
But there was some highlights that I thought that we improved on.  Overall it was tough for us to go in and think that we're going to beat that team unless we absolutely played well on both sides for four quarters and not for two.  We've got to find some way, somehow to come out and play a second half football game against a good football team.
Same thing happened against Oklahoma and Kansas State.  Lot of it had to do with them, some to do with us.  We're still looking for those answers.  Got a little tired in the second half.  Our depth is curtailed somewhat in terms of wide receivers, and we could tell that we're getting a little bit tired.  A lot of those guys having to play on special teams, but we've got to gut it up and keep going.  Hopefully, we can make more plays quicker on offense, score quicker.  We just weren't able to get the big play mentality in some of these big games that we've played in.
The game this week, Texas is a big game for us.  Big game any time we play a team in the State of Texas.  There are four of us now, and we have three games each year.  They've had a good year.  They've struggled up‑and‑down in some areas as we have.  Pretty similar, same record.  They'll come in coming off of a win at Kansas that was very close, a lot like our win at TCU.  So pretty much similar teams.  Saturday at 2:30 we'll tee it up and see what happens.  Questions.

Q.  Do you think the whole thing that Texas has with the offense, do you anticipate that the offense will really shine?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Well, I hope we play better on offense.  We can't worry about Texas.  The thing that Texas has done is they've played pretty well other than people running the ball.  You look at the West Virginia game, and we played West Virginia the week after.
We were worried to death about stopping the run.  They had one guy that rushed for 200 yards.  Their rushing defense is what's giving them some problems, and they've had a few injuries, but I'm sure they'll work on that this week.  There is no secret to what we do.  We throw it.  We won't change anything for who we play.  We'll just try to find some strengths versus weaknesses and see how that works especially in the passing game.

Q.  Is it harder to prepare for two quarterbacks?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Yeah, but I think it's probably harder, but it's probably a detriment to the other team too.  It's almost impossible to practice two quarterbacks.  One quarterback gets about 75% of the snaps, another gets 25%.  So they'll have a starting quarterback.
We'll prepare for Ash.  My understanding is they named him the starter today, but we'll prepare for both.  But most of the time and we'll do in this game is prepare for the offense, because you can't run two different offenses.

Q.  Will you run the ball more?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Well, it depends on what they do.  How they lineup, if they lineup against our passing game.  We spread things out.  If they give us an opportunity to run the ball, we feel like we can run it.  We ran it pretty good last week against a team that doesn't give up that much running yards in Kansas State.  But we want to be balanced as much as we can.  The best thing we do is play fast and throw it and try to score quick and keep the other team on their heels.

Q.  Do you think Texas' energy level (Indiscernible).  How do you change that?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  That happens with every team though.  The big thing for us is something happened good to us early in the second half.  In that half, we kicked off to Kansas State, and they run about 7 or 8 plays and scored.  Kind of got us on our heels early, but that wasn't going to change our game plan.  We came out throwing a 15‑yard catch and run and fumble, and gave them the ball back and kind of took the air out of us.  So we've got to find a way to make something happen positive for us on both sides of the ball in the third quarter.
I don't think it has anything to do with enthusiasm or ready to play.  It's momentum, and we've got to find some way to get the momentum.

Q.  Can you talk about your use of the squib kick and what you define as success and when it goes well for you?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  We want to try to keep it inside the 30‑yard line.  The ball goes in the end zone.  It's placed at the 25.  So we feel like if we can keep it away from somebody, we know can return to get it somewhere around the 30.  Last week our one squib kick that we kicked was more of end over end, and it bounced where the guy had a good opportunity to catch it running down the field.  So it wasn't very good.
It's all about the kicker and how he kicks it, and how they can handle a squib kick.

Q.  Have you seen enough of it?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  I'm sick of it, but I'm also sick of seeing guys back there that can run 200 meters, because everybody's got one but us.  We had one that got hurt.  If you look at all the returners, West Virginia, and this guy last week, he used one on us last year.  So we wanted to keep it away from him.
But it's feast or famine.  It's really not about your coverage when you squib.  It's about your kicker able to get it to the right spot, but it is taking a gamble.

Q.  (Indiscernible) what is the status of Neboh and Amaro?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Neboh is fine.  Amaro was at practice yesterday which is a good sign, moving around well.  Who was the other?

Q.  Omar.
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Omar will be operated on this week, so he'll be out.

Q.  Is there any disciplinary action you're going to take on that tweeting?

Q.  Yeah.
COACH TUBERVILLE:  For tweeting?

Q.  (Indiscernible).
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Said he was frustrated?  Oh, the doctors won't release him.  That doesn't have anything to do with us.  He'd be out there playing.  So we can punish the doctors, I guess.  But he's frustrated.  He wants to play, but he's got to be released by them.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Cleared for practice.  We'll find out tomorrow.  They evaluate him every Monday and Tuesday, but he was out.  We don't do anything on Sunday, and he was out there moving around pretty good.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  He looked good yesterday.  Porter, looked good.  We need both of them.  We're getting a little bit tired at defensive back when their corners are having to go every snap.  Last week Jarvis Phillips did a good job at nickel, replaced him, but he's not near as experienced at that position as Porter.

Q.  What is your concern about Texas?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Just that they're a good running team; they're physical.  This will be two in a row that we've had to face good running football teams.  Last year it was a debacle.  We never slowed them down, never made them punt.  I'm sure that they're going to test us out pretty good and see if we can stop them.  We'll see if we're up to the challenge.  We're a better defense than we were.  Are we good enough to get that done.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Q.  Anything special in this rivalry for you guys?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Rivalries are for fans.  But really this one, Baylor and TCU and Texas are always big for the players because they know a lot of the guys on the other team.  It's not like you go to Kansas and you don't know anybody or Kansas State or Iowa State, there are a lot of similarities in the teams in terms of players from different schools.  They might have played against them or played on a team with them.  So I think that's the big thing for the players.

Q.  Can you talk about you as coaches seeing that?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  It's important when you have rival games that everybody get involved.  It's good.  The atmosphere at Kansas State had something to do with them winning that game last week, those students.  It was loud and we made some mistakes because of the crowd noise and how they were into it.  We need that same home‑field advantage this weekend and next week in our last two games.

Q.  When you were at Auburn, you got a lot of make sure you beat Alabama.  Do you get more here with in A&M?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  It's kind of mixed whether it's Baylor.  There are some people that want to beat Oklahoma that you see for some reason.  There are some Texas.  But it's not as centralized as it was back at the last school I was involved with, but it's good.  You've got more rival games.  You've got more interest on a lot of different games other than just one.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  We don't have any.  Only when we win.

Q.  For you guys (Indiscernible) having an opportunity to be aggressive offensively in the first half?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Were we aggressive offensively in the first half?  Well, we went at them fast.  We weren't going to let them lineup.  We threw the ball down the field; we just made some mistakes.  Seth made a huge mistake on that first fumble.  He just held it a little too long and should have thrown it.
Offensively, I was pretty proud how quick we played how fast we played.  We kind got to them a little bit.  We weren't lined up.  But you can only go so fast with the receivers.  There were times we didn't have enough receivers in the game because we had to move so many people out on the field.  There were times we had ten on the field.  We had to move them out there late.  We're just not as crisp as we were.  We don't have the numbers where one guy gets tired.  He's just got to stay in there.  It's gotten to that point.  But we're getting close to the end of the season.  Everybody's like that.
We thrive on going fast, but you can only go as fast as your players can run a 50‑yard route and go back and run the next play.  They'd come out and somebody else would go in.  So it's kind of slowed us down a little bit.  I thought we were pretty aggressive.  There is nothing we really had changed in that first half.  In the second half we were going to do the same thing.  We look up and they scored 21 points from about five minutes and it kind of knocked us out.

Q.  You were talking about wide receivers.  Is there a need to bring in any freshmen or anything like that?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  I wouldn't do that this late.  They don't know enough.  We've got Shawn Corker's back, so he's practicing.  That's going to help.  But it's just hard to lose experienced guys.  Bradley Marquez was a guy that was playing a lot of snaps in different positions.
Then you had Amaro out, and Javon Bell who was starting to play 20, 30 snaps a game.  Now we've taken a step back, and the guys are doing a good job.  It's just when you run 70, 80 plays, it's just hard to play that many and play as fast as you want to play.

Q.  (Asking about changing the game package)?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  No, we're still going to do the same thing.  We might play some other guys there.  We're looking at some other situations.  You've got to have a big package.  You can't go into the game and not have a two back.  It also hurts our wildcat.  He's in there on wildcat.  So we'll make adjustments on that.
You hate to put somebody in there that hasn't played a whole lot.  It will be somebody that's been on the field some.  He's got a little bit of an idea of the speed of the game.

Q.  This year you guys kind of played the role of the favorite.  Now Texas is coming in and they're expected to win, and now you guys are the favorites in this game.
COACH TUBERVILLE:  We are?  I really don't look at that.  I don't look at who is favorites.  When you play games like this, it really doesn't make any difference.  They're anxious to play us; we're anxious to play them.  Hopefully both teams play well and let the best team win.  I think it's a little bit different.  Their strength is running.  Our strength is throwing, so it's kind of two different looks.  It's all about execution.
Doesn't make any difference who we play.  We keep turning the ball over three or four times, and we're not going to beat anybody unless we get three or four turnovers on the other side.  And we haven't been able to figure out how to make people do that yet.

Q.  Are you worried about some kind of let down?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  No, not really.  We're a better team.  This is the fifth top 25 team that we've played.  First time that's ever happened here at Tech.  This is a brutal schedule and we are beat to heck on both sides of the line, and not just guys that are out, the guys that are playing.  It's been a med‑evac unit in that training room.
But I'm sure a lot of other people are.  It's just been a much harder schedule this year, but we've held our own a lot better, and hopefully we can pick ourselves up each Saturday for the next four weeks and give ourselves a chance.  We just can't play like we did in the second half last week and beat a good football team.
But that's one of the better teams in the country.  I mean, heck of a football team we played.  They've got a great chance to play in the big game at the end of the year.  They've got the type of football team that can do that, because they can run it and play defense.

Q.  Do you think this will be a high‑scoring game?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  I would imagine it would be.  The points, I think they're averaging over 40 point games, we're averaging over 40 points a game.  But you can't ever tell.  It depends on the weather, the turnovers, and the execution.  Defenses on both sides have been playing pretty good as of late.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Yeah, yeah, he's played a little bit more each game.  He was one of their wildcat guys earlier in the season.  He played more as the season has gone on.  We recruited Jonathan.  A great running back in high school, had a great career.  I'm not surprised where he's at.  But they do have a lot of other guys.  We saw some guys last year that are on that team that we had a tough enough time tackling.  Now they're putting another one back there.
It will be a challenge for us.  With his dad playing here, I'm sure it will be a little incentive for him to play well, play hard and him being a starter for, I guess, the first time that he's been named the starter.

Q.  After losing to UT, what do you get from that loss playing here at home?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  Nothing, really.  The big thing is you always use your home‑field advantage.  Well, you hope you do.  We had a big crowd here last time.  One of the bigger crowds and one of the bigger Raider Walks.  Everybody was into it.  I don't think that will be a problem this time either.
I think when you have rival games the home team usually has the advantage.  Fans are into it a lot more earlier in the day, into it during the game, so hopefully that's a big boost for us.
We're having the Lone Star Pride game this week.  Under Armour is giving us these uniforms.  They're all red.  We actually wore them in practice yesterday just to wear them for one time.  But got the star on the helmet, star on the shoulder pads and the Lone Star on the side.  We don't have many players that look like this.  I wish we did.  So that's why we put this uniform on this guy.  We don't have any that big, so we put the biggest one on him.

Q.  Is Texas wearing Lone Star Pride uniforms?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  No, this is more of an Under Armour game, kind of like our Wounded Warrior game, but we decided to do the pride game.

Q.  What kind of (Indiscernible)?
COACH TUBERVILLE:  With the players, it's more about the bling on their uniforms, and how they look.  The shiny helmets, the metallics, all those different type of uniforms.  I think it's good.  As a traditionalist, I'm not big on it.  Our fans, everybody has their traditional black helmet or the uniform that you normally wear.  I think one time a year is probably good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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