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December 3, 2005

Gary Barnett

Joe Klopfenstein


THE MODERATOR: Joel is going to be okay. You want to make a couple opening comments.

GARY BARNETT: Joel said it all. They're a great team. We played awful. You get what you got. Good luck to them.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions from the floor.

Q. Coach, early on you guys put together a couple play drives. How big a momentum changes are those with the fumble --

GARY BARNETT: They felt at the time they were huge. Who knows how the game would have unfolded if we had gone on? We knew Texas was going to beat us probably, but we were going to be able to get some points on the board. Turnovers and penalties killed us. We continued to do that today. It certainly hurt our chances in this game.

Q. Gary, your team looked very good up until the beginning of November. Can you pinpoint what exactly happened?

GARY BARNETT: Well, the loss at Iowa State, we've never gotten over it. I can't for the life of me figure out why. We all know this is a pretty fragile existence, and I think we knew all along that it's always fragile, you know, I think that what happened to us is an example of it. We're more of a fragile team than I thought. I knew the possibility was there. For some reason, we have not overcome that loss to Iowa State. The way it happened, and we were so stunned with it, and this is pure speculation, but that's what it feels like.

Q. Gary, you have been able to see Vince Young twice now at his very best. Can you talk a little bit about what a special player he is?

GARY BARNETT: You know, he just takes over a game, like he did in the Rose Bowl. I have communicated several times that, watching him in the Rose Bowl last year, seeing him take over a game in that environment against a team like Michigan, what you saw was the coming up of a great player. It seemed like -- I think Mack has said in the Missouri game last year, but I know what he did in the Rose Bowl is phenomenal, and he hasn't slowed down since then, unfortunately for us, and fortunately for them. You saw it, we had everybody covered and he takes off on ten yards and scores. You don't have an answer or a solution for it, or we sure didn't.

Q. Gary, the play that Joel was knocked out on, they are up 70-3, does that surprise you any at all?

GARY BARNETT: You know, that's a hard question for me right now. If you don't mind, I would just as soon go to another one.

Q. Gary, what was the message at half time? It was out of control then?

GARY BARNETT: It wasn't a very good one. I believe my message at half time was one team had played a championship half, and now we need to go play our championship the second half. We weren't going two minute. We were going to go out and try to execute our game plan and play better and see what happens. Maybe we can create some breaks. We really wanted to come and earn our respect back in the second half. It went the other way pretty fast.

Q. Joe, can you comment a little bit about what Coach said about the team's psyche after the Iowa State game and if you felt the same way?

JOE KLOPFENSTEIN: It's just like he said, since the Iowa State game there's something mentally wrong with our team. We thought we found out what it was a few times, but we've come to find it's not it. We get into the games and we get down, and there's something wrong with our team where we can't fight through that. We have to figure out a way to correct that.

Q. Gary, what do you do now as far as giving time off and trying to get that mental edge back, short-term plans?

GARY BARNETT: The short-term plan is we'll take the next ten days off. We have finals that start next Friday. We'll probably do a little 7-on-7 and probably won't resume practice until the 15th, providing there's a bowl.

Q. Gary, I guess, just since you brought that up, the first thing is there probably still is a bowl. Do you think you can get your team back in mental shape. The bigger one is, in the last week there seems there was a little gallows humor because of the task you faced. Was it even possible getting these guys to think they even had a chance in this game?

GARY BARNETT: I think in our locker room, we made a commitment to fix whatever it is for the bowl game, and of course we felt like we could get it ready for this game. You shouldn't be coaching or playing this game if you don't believe that, and we did, and I believed it until, you know, the third quarter unraveled on us. Of course, you do.

Q. Coach, if you had a vote for the Heisman today, would it be for Number 10 on the other side over there?

GARY BARNETT: I don't have one so that's all speculation. I would have to think about it real heavily, but he would sure be in contention. He's one of the two guys I would vote for. He's awful good. If they gave me two ballots I would vote twice for him, but if I had to make a decision I would vote for him.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for the coach? Coach, congratulations for a great season and good luck.

End of FastScripts

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