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December 1, 2018

Tom Herman

Sam Ehlinger

Collin Johnson

Chris Nelson

Arlington, Texas

Oklahoma - 39

Texas - 27

THE MODERATOR: Coach Herman will make a brief opening statement, then we will take questions from the floor. Coach?

TOM HERMAN: Hard-fought game. Really proud of our effort. Proud of our physicality. We obviously didn't make enough plays down the stretch. That's a heck of a football team that they have there with an unbelievable offense. I thought for the most part we stopped the run decently. I don't know what they had there, 129 yards rushing for a team that was I think over the last six games they were 290 yards or more a game.

Extremely disappointed in the outcome for these seniors, especially. This is something they had worked so hard for the last 12 months. To come up just short is a tough pill to swallow, but I told them that losing is supposed to hurt. We're going to play -- we've earned the right to the play in a big-time bowl game, and we can't let this game or its outcome affect our preparation as we get ready to play in that bowl game.

Q. Sam, did you see the blitz coming on the safety?
SAM EHLINGER: Absolutely not.

Q. Was that anything they had shown?
SAM EHLINGER: Yeah, that was something they had been -- they had shown it a little bit, not consistently. It seemed to be their game plan blitz. Unfortunately, we didn't pick it up in our slide and it was my fault for not seeing him, because I was looking the other way.

Q. You and Collin obviously, it worked well today. Was it as simple as going after Motley or were there specific play calls? Did y'all want to pick on Motley?
SAM EHLINGER: No, we weren't trying to pick on anyone. We were running our offense. Collin is an incredible athlete, and he's done a lot of great things this year. We knew when the ball was in the air he was going to go get it. I was just giving him a chance, and he had a great day.

Q. Tom, was two of the biggest factors the big plays that erased some of the plays too little pressure on Kyler Murray in the passing game?
TOM HERMAN: Yes. I echo your sentiments. We had some aggressive penalties that were called that certainly hurt us, and you know, first and second down pass rush on Murray for him to sit back there as long as he could, and you know, he gets a ton of credit and deservedly so for how quick and elusive he is. But, you know, his release and accuracy are elite as well.

His guys did a good job of getting a tiny bit of separation, and he put the ball right where he needed to.

Q. You're a perfect start and you're up 14-6. What went wrong after that where the offense wasn't able to put up those kind of points for the rest of the way?
TOM HERMAN: I don't know. I would have to look at the film to tell you. I felt like we weren't running the ball like we thought we would be able to. That was certainly an issue. When you're kind of playing one-handed a little bit, throwing the football. There are things that can happen. I think the thing that they did well was with their drives in the first half. When their drives stalled, they stalled in the red zone and they were able to get field goals out of it. When our drives stalled, we were just outside of field goal range. It's a matter of 10, 15 yards on those drives to kind of match those points and they got field goals out of them and, you know, we wound up having to punt.

Q. Sam, can you describe the range of emotions you felt in that very short time span from the time Texas defense got the turnover and just a short time later the safety?
SAM EHLINGER: A lot of emotions. Throughout the whole entire game, that's what is so special about these type of environments. Yeah, we had an opportunity, our defense did a great job of getting the ball back to us, and then offensively we didn't take care of our part of the bargain. That's on us. That's on me. I will make it my mission to never let this team or this school feel this disappointment again.

Q. I know this wound is fresh, but what did you learn about your program this year?
TOM HERMAN: I learned that our guys love each other. I learned that our guys believe in our plan, that they are completely and utterly bought in. I've learned that, you know, we're the kings of close ball games. I know that. I learned that these guys have a ton of confidence in themselves and their teammates' preparation, and we never feel like we're out of a game.

SAM EHLINGER: I think that we learned that we can hang with anybody when we play well. So that's going to give us a lot of confidence heading into the bowl game and heading into next year. I think, like Coach said, we really bought into what the coaches preached and we loved each other and we've learned that the only thing that can stop us is us. The games that we've lost we've hurt ourselves. I think that, while that's very frustrating, I think it's enlightening to know that we are going in the right direction. We can fix those things.

Q. Coach Herman, how do you balance the disappointment that you have right now after a 9-1 season, but also knowing that two years ago this was a 5-win program that many people didn't expect would be here. How do you balance your disappointment now understanding the progress that has been made?
TOM HERMAN: It's difficult. Losing is supposed to hurt, and with a 1-0 mentality that we have we don't worry about the big picture. We went 0-1 today. When we wake up tomorrow, it's our job to prepare to go 1-0 in the bowl game. After the bowl game, I think we will do some reflection and be very proud of where we've come. But there's just not anytime for that right now. We've got a game to prepare for starting tomorrow. I do know that whenever we're done with our bowl game we will reflect on the season and realize truly just how much progress we have made.

Q. Tom, Kyler had another big game today. Do you think he deserves to win the Heisman? And as far as OU as a team they're in the playoff mix. Do you think they deserve to be in after this win?
TOM HERMAN: I don't get to vote in the Heisman, so I haven't been following any other teams or players. But I do know he is an elite player. He's really good and he deserves all the credit in the world.

As a team, I don't know what else is out there. I unfortunately don't have time to watch a lot of college football for our opponents, so it would be unfair for me to comment on where they stack up in the country.

Q. Collin or Chris, due to your penalties, do you feel like this is one where you shot yourself in the foot and let get away from you guys?
CHRIS NELSON: Obviously, yeah. Penalties are never good, hurts the team. But we are going to look on and correct it and move forward from it.

COLLIN JOHNSON: Those penalties definitely hurt us. But, again, we have no say on the call. We just gotta kinda figure out a way to overcome it and we weren't able to do that today. But it definitely hurt us, that's for sure.

Q. Nelly, what was the plan to Kyler today? You guys used a three-man front a lot. How would you describe what y'all wanted to do?
CHRIS NELSON: We pretty much wanted to contain them, stop the rain first, but we just wanted to contain them, get pressure.

Q. What did y'all expect out of Kennedy Brooks and Trey Sermon, their running game. What were y'all's thoughts about how well they could run the ball coming into this?
CHRIS NELSON: At the end of the day just game tackling, making sure we wrapped up and coming into the game we wanted to stop the running game. That was our mentality.

Q. Sam, as explosive as Collin was today, is it tempting to throw to him nearly every darn play?
SAM EHLINGER: Yeah, it is, until they double and triple team him. Make an effort to take him away. I have so much respect and love for Collin. He's an incredible athlete.

Q. Chris, you've watched Sam grow into one of the better quarterbacks in the Big 12. I know you got one big bowl game left. What do you think it's going to look like with him assuming the reigns again next year and becoming one of the better quarterbacks in the country?
CHRIS NELSON: I feel he's going to lead this team to greatness because of his competitiveness and I like his fight. He has great effort for the guys and has a love for the game, so I feel like this team is going to be a long ways.

Q. Collin, since you broke the Big 12 record, no one has ever had more receiving yards in the Big 12 Championship game. With that said, can you think about that kind of thing when -- better question. Can you celebrate the fact of how much you guys have changed? It was kind of like what Sam was talking about earlier and Coach Herman. Can you celebrate any way of how much you've seen this program change in your time here?
COLLIN JOHNSON: You know, I wouldn't use the word "celebrate," but that's definitely a positive in the direction this program is going.

Coach Herman has done an unbelievable job of bringing his culture in. The guys bought in, and we're sitting here at a championship game. We haven't done that in a long time. Obviously, we fell short today, but there's definitely positives. In a time like this, you've got to focus on the positives and get back to work.

Q. Tom, for both you and Sam, it's looking like you guys should be in the Sugar Bowl, just the fact that Texas is going to possibly be in a New Year's Six bowl, how do y'all feel about that?
TOM HERMAN: I've never been to a bad bowl game, so they're all good. Obviously, those New Year's six ones are special and the ones that I've been a part of they are phenomenally well run, great experiences for our players and, you know, it would be an honor to represent our university in one of those games.

SAM EHLINGER: I don't really have a comment. We're still at AT&T Stadium.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, guys, and good luck at your bowl game.

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