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November 26, 2012

Mack Brown

COACH BROWN:  We missed a great opportunity on Thursday night to move forward and get our ninth win.  It was a very disappointing game for us.  Give TCU credit.  I did appreciate the fans' support and our players fighting till the end. 
We started poorly with the interception, even though we had a good drive.  Had the interception in the red zone, then gave up a 96-yard drive for a touchdown, which was a disappointing start for our defense. 
Gave up too many rushing yards defensively in the first half.  We lost contain on the quarterback a number of times on third down, key third-down situations, which were really the only third downs they converted. 
We only forced one turnover.  We got a field goal out of it.  When you don't stop the run early in the game and force the quarterback into long-yardage situations, you're usually not going to force turnovers.  TCU had been a team who turned the ball over. 
We did play a great fourth quarter, which gave us a chance to win.  I liked what I saw out of our defense late.  We need to see that kind of effort the entire game. 
Ball hawks for the game, Adrian Phillips had the interception.  We didn't think he was going to play right before the game.  We had to check him with a bruised thigh pregame.  He really was tough and did a great job. 
Quandre Diggs caused a fumble, even though we didn't get on it.  Hardest hit came from Quandre Diggs.  Defensive player of the game was Kenny Vaccaro.  Plays really hard, puts himself in a position to be a high draft pick. 
Alex Okafor played as much as he could in the game.  I hated for him he didn't get to finish his senior game.  He is questionable for this weekend. 
Offense played poorly.  We didn't run the ball well.  Gave up three sacks.  Had four turnovers with three interceptions and a fumble, two of those interceptions in the red zone, another fumble around the 20 yard line.  They got 14 points off of our turnovers, we only gained 3 off of theirs.  Kicked too many field goals in the red zone. 
Offensive staff decided we wouldn't have any rewards because we played so poorly throughout the week on offense. 
Case McCoy will start at quarterback.  David Ash is questionable for the game.  We hope he's available, but we're not sure at this point how much he'll practice or whether he'll play. 
Right now, because of the redshirting situation of the other two quarterbacks, we'll work Alex King, our punter, as the backup quarterback this week just in precaution that if David can't play, if Case had to come out.  I think it's another example where we need five years of eligibility where young people can play, you also don't have to put your punter in as backup quarterback because of injuries late in the year. 
Special teams there were no players of the game, even though Alex King did punt well.  Nick Jordan made both field goals and his extra point.  Nick Rose kicked off well throughout the game. 
They had a 57-yard kickoff return coming out of the half.  He took it six yards deep in the end zone and we lost contain.  Marquise Goodwin also had a great return so that pretty much averaged itself out. 
As disappointed as we are, we must move forward.  We still have a chance to win 10 games.  Still a lot to play for. 
We have the Kansas State game at 7:00 in Manhattan.  If they beat us, they win the Big 12 championship.  Collin Klein is trying to impress the Heisman voters.  They got to be able to score a lot of points to do that obviously.  It's senior night for them. 
I think my friend Bill Snyder has done the best job hands down of anybody in the country from his starting day at Kansas State until today.  I don't think anybody would question that.  Not only with this team this year, but what Kansas State before he got there, the struggles he had early, then he won big, took a break, then he came back and he's won big again. 
You have to give the man credit for being one of the best if not the best coaches in the country.  I personally think he's the best in the country. 
They're a tough, well-coached football team.  10 starters on defense, real play-makers on offense.  We have a great challenge ahead. 
11th in scoring offense, scoring 40 points a game.  18th against the run in defense, given up only 121 yards a game.  Like K State, giving up 98 yards a game, our inability to throw the ball kept us from scoring points.  Our defense held TCU to 20 points.  That should have been enough in this league. 
Their scoring defense is giving up 20 points a game.  They're 31st in sacks.  They've had 27 sacks for 175 yards in losses, averaging 2.45 sacks per game.  Number one in the country in turnover margin.  They're plus 19.  They're number one in the country in punt returns.  They average 22.87 yards on every punt return.  They're number one in kickoff returns, averaging 29.45 yards per return. 
You look at the Big 12.  We're sitting here with nine, ten teams bowl eligible.  I don't think that's ever happened before.  Give the Big 12 credit.  Go back and watch games this weekend, it's obvious that anybody in this league can beat anybody else on any given tight. 

Q.  Anything else that jumps out at you about Thursday night than the turnovers?
COACH BROWN:  I don't think so.  Our inability to run the ball after the first drive put us in passing situations and we didn't throw the ball well.  Had five or six drops.  Just didn't play well on offense.  Played well enough in defense, kicking game.  None of those were a factor. 
Should have stopped the run more early and forced their quarterback into throwing situations because he was young and had some turnovers.  Our inability to throw it really kept us from being able to be balanced. 
If we were balanced we would be able to run it.  When it was obvious we weren't throwing it well, they stacked the box, we had trouble running the ball.

Q.  What is the biggest thing with Case?  Is there one thing he needs to do, not do?
COACH BROWN:  I think the biggest thing is take care of the ball.  He came in late against Kansas State and did some great things last year.  He was able to win on the road at A&M last year.  Turnovers at Baylor.  He needs to protect the ball. 

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH BROWN:  It doesn't matter.  David's injured and may not practice this week and is questionable for the game.  You don't have to go into anything other than that.  We're lucky to have an experienced quarterback to go in and play. 
The big decision is who backs him up.  That's the question.  We had Alex King working at quarterback last night.  He hadn't played since early years at Duke where he was a third-team quarterback.  We have to get him a limited package and hope it doesn't get to him, very honestly. 

Q.  How much more important does the running game become?
COACH BROWN:  I think it's important.  But Case came off the bench and helped us at Kansas to win the game.  He came off the bench the other night and gave us a score, had a chance to tie the game up, go into overtime.  He gets half the snaps in practice every day.  I think we can go ahead and have a normal game plan. 

Q.  Mike Hill an option at all?

Q.  Your good friend Bill Snyder, but when he beats you four times in a row, what is going on here?
COACH BROWN:  I think they're pretty good. 

Q.  Anything that you've seen in this streak against these guys?  What do you see in Kansas State that gives them the edge?
COACH BROWN:  We haven't played them very good since we've been here, very honestly.  When we first got here, they were the best team in the league, them and A&M.  The early losses, they were a whole lot better than we were.  I remember they held Ricky Williams to 43 yards second game I was here.  They played really well.  There were times where we weren't very good, they weren't very good, and they beat us.  But I think they've played better than us. 
We've had to play great the two times we've beaten them.  That was the last five-minute win with Vince Young on a quarterback sneak after a deep pass to Tony, kick by Marcus up in the cold.  Haven't beaten them many times.

Q.  They are defined by Collin Klein, but they have a lot of good players. 
COACH BROWN:  They're loaded.  They're number one in the country till they had a bump in the road against Baylor.  They're that good.  10 starters on defense that are all seniors.  Two linebackers that are as good as anybody in the country, Brown.  They can cover you man-to-man, pass-rushing.  Collin Klein doesn't get near the credit for their throwing.  They'll line you up.  He will maul you, he's so accurate.  He doesn't miss many. 

Q.  Has their defense changed much through the years with Bill?
COACH BROWN:  No.  They're going to play pretty basic defense, make you beat them.  They're just a very sound, solid football team with a lot of good players.  They're number one in the country in punt return, kickoff return, turnover ratio.  That's pretty good stuff.  That's why they're winning. 

Q.  Is it their physical size? 
COACH BROWN:  Yes.  I think the biggest thing is they're going to run the ball against you, play-action is there.  They're doing what we want to do.  That's where we want to get.  They're stopping the run on defense and forcing you to throw it.  Getting long downs, forcing turnovers.  28 turnovers.  Just unbelievable. 

Q.  The defense has been playing a lot better lately.  How big of a test will this be?
COACH BROWN:  It will be really big.  I want to see that.  We have improved a lot.  I want to see us continue to improve on defense.  For us to be the team we need to be next year, this team has to step up.  We've lost a lot of defensive starters.  Most of these guys that will play Saturday night will be back.  That's another reason there's still a lot to play for.

Q.  Has that become a main focus from this point on, working towards next year?
COACH BROWN:  Main focus is to beat Kansas State, try to win 10 games this year.  We owe that to our seniors. 

Q.  After a loss you're able to meet with the team on Sunday, go over the game.  Is it beneficial they were able to get away for a couple days and then come back or... 
COACH BROWN:  I don't know.  I was sick Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I would have rather met with them Thursday night after the game, gone over it, got it settled, get ready for Kansas State. 
We had a good meeting yesterday.  They're not pleased with their performance.  They understand that was disappointing.  We had a lot on the table.  We need to play better than that. 
They're smart kids.  They knew it.  We didn't spend a lot of time talking about it.  We went right into meeting. 

Q.  You talked a lot this year how unique it is how from one week to the next nothing seems to carry over. 
COACH BROWN:  I think it's happening across the country.  You look at Louisville/Connecticut for a championship, Rutgers/Pittsburgh for a championship.  It happens every week.  Scares you to death.  One of the more disappointing things as a coach.  Thought they played hard, we just didn't play well. 

Q.  Do you reach a point in the season where you have to make a judgment call when you're talking about a third-string quarterback, we've gone far enough, no reason to blow the redshirt?
COACH BROWN:  The last three or four games, I think that's unfair to the kids.  I'd hate to use it up.  You'd be limited with your game plan anyway because they haven't gotten quality snaps.  Just a personal thought.  If I was that parent, I wouldn't want me pulling their son out for the last game.  Might get hurt in the first play he gets in there.  One-play season. 
I think it's a no-brainer, give them five years of eligibility, let them play.  It's been 21 years they've looked at that and it makes no sense to me why we don't do it. 

Q.  What did King say?
COACH BROWN:  He's mature.  He's been one of the bright spots of this team.  He said, Great, I'll do anything you want me to do.  He was out there throwing with the quarterbacks last night.  I told Bryan to put him right in the middle of it because we have on guarantees.  Don't work Connor and Jalen this week.  Let's work Alex and get him ready to go. 

Q.  What play was it that David got hurt on? 
COACH BROWN:  We don't get into that.  That would be with the medical staff.  I will say we were not told to take him out.  He's a very tough young man.  He fought through some soreness during the game.  I will say that.  But the medical staff never came to us and David never came to us and said, I'm hurt, I can't play. 

Q.  Are some kids maybe better than others to do what Case is doing, come in and be the backup guy?  Are some just wired better?
COACH BROWN:  I think Case is an upbeat guy, team leader, real positive.  He'll embrace this week.  I don't know that the fact that Colt is backing up would make that much difference to him.  I think it's more the body of work.  I'm sure he's watched Colt do this too. 
His dream was to be the Texas quarterback.  He has a great opportunity on Saturday night.  That goes back to prove again, if you're the backup guy, you're a step away.  Better be ready, better be prepared every day.  It will be a great message to our team that you better be ready.

Q.  After watching tape, did you feel like you could have run the ball more in the second half?
COACH BROWN:  We were running out of time.  We tried to run the first two times to start the second half and got nothing.  We tried to run it on the goal line, got nothing. 
I really felt like we gave ourselves an opportunity to win with Case coming in, with him scoring quickly, no-huddle.  I think Bryan and Major did what they should have done.  Obviously, if you can run it, you'd like to.  We just weren't running it well. 

Q.  I hope you're feeling better. 
COACH BROWN:  I was sick because of the game, it wasn't the turkey (laughter).  I am feeling better.  There is life.

Q.  As a great ambassador to college football, are you in favor of freshmen being up for the Heisman, a defensive player and a freshman winning this award?
COACH BROWN:  I don't have much comment on the Heisman.  I've been up there a bunch.  I was disappointed when Vince didn't win it.  He had such a great year.  I was disappointed Colt didn't win it because he didn't get to play in the last game.  I'm not going to go there. 
I did not feel like when all the hype was about Colt was a freshman and the Heisman, it was my opinion that he probably wasn't ready for all that at that time.  That's not to comment on Johnny.  He's had a great year and done a great job.  I don't know. 
I think, again, I don't know how many defensive players we've had win.  Woodson did in my lifetime.  You have so many Heisman voters now, it's all over the place.  You can't tell who is going to win anymore.  It's kind of the hyped guy at the end of the year now.  It's changed a lot. 
You have to be a winning team.  Has to be a flow at the end.  You have to have a Heisman moment.  I'd like for it to be the best player on the best team if that's what it's supposed to be.  I don't get a vote. 

Q.  Do you wish you did? 
COACH BROWN:  No.  I got way too much on my plate to be voting for the Heisman. 

Q.  Can you elaborate a little more on Collin Klein, what makes him so dangerous?
COACH BROWN:  He's what I'm talking about.  He is maybe the best player on one of the best teams in the country because without him, they're not the same team.  He's the leader, the toughness, the heartbeat.  He's hard to tackle.  They run him a whole bunch.  He can run power for a quarterback.  He can run option.  He can beat you scrambling. 
Out here last year we knocked the heck out of him, knocked him around, and he still found a way to win the game with his throwing.  That was just unbelievable.  You can't discourage the guy. 
He's got so many great qualities from what I hear off the field, that obviously adds to his team leadership.  Those guys play hard for him.  It's been amazing as many hits as he's taken he's been able to stay healthy.  He's like a machine. 

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH BROWN:  I don't have a vote for the Heisman (laughter).  I think we're going to have a beautiful night in Manhattan.  It's going to be 42. 
Thank you, all. 

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