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January 1, 2014

Art Briles

Ahmad Dixon

Eddie Lackey

Bryce Petty


UCF – 52
Baylor – 42

THE MODERATOR:  We'll begin by asking Coach Briles for some comments.
COACH BRILES:  You know, first of all I'm extremely proud and honored to sit up by these four gentlemen that are up here beside me, student‑athletes that are great human beings, first of all and foremost.  That's what's important in the long run.
The thing we talked about in the dressing room, I'm extremely disappointed in myself.  I don't think I did a good job.  I don't think we were prepared like we needed to be prepared.  We had mistakes that I can't remember the last time we had this many penalties that seemed to continue the game in a fashion not favorable for us.
But that aside, it's like I told them.  We would rather not won the Big 12 championship, not to be in this atmosphere, not to be in this game?  I'd rather take the chance.  I'd rather take the chance, put our heart and soul out in front of America and see what happens.  It didn't happen the way we wanted it to happen.
We caught a football team that was hot.  They played extremely well early.  Got into us.  We tried to play catch up the whole game.  Never could turn it around when it needed turning.  I give them credit for that.
Extremely proud of our football team and our university.  I'm just disappointed for all the people that took the time and effort to come out and support us because we had a great crowd tonight.  It's disappointing for us for them.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for coach.

Q.  Did you feel like the interception in the end zone was a big missed opportunity for momentum?  What are some of the other points along the way where you felt like these were big missed opportunities?
COACH BRILES:  That certainly was one because I think we might have been down 1 at the time, seems like.  Defense got a big turnover, territory around the 20.  We were sitting with a third‑and‑six on about the 10‑ or 12‑ yard line.  If we just maintain, kick a field goal, at least we go into the lead right there.  So I think that was it.
Since you ask about some other drive stoppers or starters, depends which side you're on, we had two third‑down pass interference calls which led to touchdowns.  Where we could have gotten off the field and didn't.  They got to continue on and go get a touchdown.  Those certainly add up toward the end of the game without any question, during the game, too.

Q.  You seemed like you had a hard time getting a pass‑rush.  Why couldn't you get a pass‑rush?
COACH BRILES:  We did.  I mean, Eddie and C‑Mack, I'm not sure who is up here, Ahmad, we brought pressure quite a bit.  Did a good job protecting.  Got the ball out of his hand.
He was accurate.  He made some good throws.  They do a good job protecting him.  We tried some things, had him once there late.  We got off, made a play for him.  But, you know, they played well tonight, without question.  They could have beaten a lot of teams tonight.

Q.  I was wondering what effect the one‑month layover you think it had?
COACH BRILES:  The same for them.  We both finished up on December 7th.  They, it seems like, came out with a little more intensity.  I'm not sure.  There's so many ebbs and flows of the game.  If we get the opening kickoff and go score, maybe it's a different game.
We got an open kickoff, they go down and score.  They get a little momentum, keep it.  We have a chance to get it back midway in the second and don't, tied up in the third.  They get another one.  We were playing catch up and I thought they did a good job.

Q.  They seemed to be running a little bit of a read option there at times.  Was that something you were prepared for?
COACH BRILES:  I wouldn't say it caught us off guard.  I think they did a good job running the zone read most of the night.  QB hasn't carried the ball much throughout the year, but he was very effective tonight.
We didn't tackle as well in space as what we would have liked to, without question.  Consequently it came to hurt us.

Q.  You drove down there right at the end of the half and didn't make the field goal.  Was that a momentum killer at all?
COACH BRILES:  It certainly doesn't help.  The situation right there at the end of the game, if we get the on‑side kick and go late, you're going to overtime.  That was a situation where we needed every point we could get, especially after squandering an opportunity earlier in that quarter.
But, I mean, it was a 45‑yarder, if my memory serves me correct.  Middle of the field, 45 yards.  That's probably a 70/30 deal with Jones, 70 make, 30 miss.  It just happened not to roll in.

Q.  You mentioned yesterday you felt like the team was comfortable playing in a dome.  Did you notice any strange feeling in the conditions?  Seemed slippery and wet for a field in a dome.
COACH BRILES:  It was a moist field.  You know, it was kind of moist for being an indoor stadium.  But I certainly don't think it really had an effect on the outcome of the game.  It wasn't as quite as tight and dry as what we've been working out on this week.  But it is what it is for both sides.

Q.  I don't remember a time when you beat yourself with so many penalties in a crucial game.  Going back, when is the last time you remember your team having this many penalties?
COACH BRILES:  I really couldn't tell you.  I don't know how many we had.  If you're asking me to guess, I'd say 12 to 14 off the top of my head right now.

Q.  17.
COACH BRILES:  17.  There were a couple there late.  I mean, our guy gets a late one on the last extra point, which is a little bit asinine.  That's something that shouldn't have.  That's the only time he's on the field, he gets one there.
So, yeah, I cannot remember the time that we've had that many penalties in a game, without question.  Certainly hard to overcome.

Q.  Other than the read option, was there stuff offensively or defensively that they threw at you that you either weren't prepared for or hadn't seen on tape?
COACH BRILES:  Not really.  You know, they played the personnel we thought they were going to play.  Their schemes were pretty much in line with what we felt like they were going to do or had been doing for most of the year.
They were hot tonight.  They won some big games this year.  You go to Penn State win in front of 110, that's good.  You go to Louisville, beat them at their place, it's a big win.
They've been able to flow through and build up when they had to rise up and play big games throughout the season.  They certainly did a good job tonight.
Going back to the initial statement.  I'm extremely proud of our football team.  What they did this year for a first in Baylor history.  I mean, the seniors have done a tremendous job of setting the standard high.  And it's my job and it's our job for those that are going to be there to continue to try to attain that and surpass it.  That's our motivation right now.
I mean, we've got to do a better job.  I've got to do a better job with the people we have on campus, the people we have coming in, to reaching that height and then surpassing it.

Q.  You just talked about the history you made.  There are a lot of people who thought if you won this game you might start next year in the top four in this playoff system.  That not being the case, what is next for Baylor?
COACH BRILES:  Well, we got a good nucleus coming back.  We have some guys that played a lot of snaps for us and did a good job for us.  We're losing some tremendously outstanding seniors that provided a lot for us the last four years.
But it's back to where we started every year.  That's to become a bowl‑eligible football team, to win our conference championship, to get ranked as high as we can get, and try and get into the playoff system.  That's our three goals we'll attack next year.

Q.  You said you didn't have your team prepared.  If you had to play the team again next week, how would you prepare them differently?
COACH BRILES:  You know, that's a good question.  That's a little bit of coach speak when I'm saying that.
I think we would have been prepared better if we had held them the opening drive, then we go get the ball and go score.  If we won the toss, get the kickoff and go down and score, that might have washed out right there.  Every play and every series can be the play of the game.  You'd rather play from on top than behind.  Most of the time we were playing that way today.
But I don't know what we'd have done differently, quite honestly.  I think we were fresh.  I think we played very physical.  I'm not sure we played as intelligently as we could and have.  A lot of that stuff's judgmental and stuff that's out of our control.  You got to live with what's called out there and move on.

Q.  Talk about what Tevin brought you tonight and what happened to Antoine?  What was the nature of his injury?
COACH BRILES:  He actually went down in the first half, the second quarter.  It's an ankle injury.  Tried to come back in the third.  Missed about half the second quarter.  We threw him the ball the first or second play of the third.  He couldn't put any pressure on it and go.  He was done.
Tevin provided a spark for us.  I'm disappointed we couldn't get the ball down the field to him and let him exploit his greatest strength, which is his speed.
But just letting him be back and being involved with us was thrilling enough.  I'd rather have it come with him having a great game and win.  But at least he was in the locker room through the preparation this week and through the disappointment of tonight.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll continue with questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Ahmad, talk about the frustration of all those penalties you got tonight.
AHMAD DIXON:  As a team, you never want to have a lot of penalties.  It's very frustrating.  Not just speaking for our defense, but as a team as a whole.  That's very frustrating to have as many penalties as we had.
You said we had 17.  I don't know very many ball clubs that can win with 17 penalties in one game.  With a good team like that, I mean, what happened tonight is going to happen to you if you have 17 penalties against a team like that.

Q.  Ahmad, how tough was Bortles to stop tonight?
AHMAD DIXON:  He executed.  I mean, I'm not going to take away anything he did.  He executed every chance he had, every moment he had.  He didn't shy away from anything.  He lived up to the hype.  He was everything that everybody said he was.
I mean, we just didn't make the plays when our numbers were called.  We didn't execute.  We really didn't play like ourselves on the defense.  Guys weren't tackling as well.  Guys were busting coverage.  A lot of things went wrong.
We're not going to harp on that.  We're going to learn from it and move forward.

Q.  Ahmad, you talked about the missed tackles a little bit.  Do you think the wet field might have played a role in that?
AHMAD DIXON:  Honestly, in a football game, things like that can't matter.  That's something we can't control.  We have to go out there and adapt to the situation, adapt to everything.  We can't say we missed tackles because of the field or we missed tackles because of this or that.
We're a football team.  As a defense, that's what we have to do.  We didn't tackle well, so that's what it is.

Q.  Bryce, can you talk about their defense.  What were your thoughts out there as the game was progressing?
BRYCE PETTY:  I think a lot of that falls back on myself.  It's about execution when you go out there.  The ball is in my hands every time.  We're not clicking, that's something that, you know, I have to take control of.
I mean, they're very well‑coached.  We knew that going in.  We were prepared.  We are disappointed in how we played, especially offensively.  Defense got three turnovers tonight, which if you don't capitalize on turnovers, this is kind of what happens.
It was hard to be on the offensive side knowing it could have been a lot different if things would have been executed.

Q.  Bryce, you're one of those guys that's going to be back next year.  What is next for you, for this team after coming so far this year?
BRYCE PETTY:  Learn from it.  Go back, watch tape, regroup.  Like coach said, this is probably one of the best groups of seniors we've had.  So it's disappointing, especially for myself, to know that things could have gone different to send them out with a win.
But at the same time, it's college football, so there's going to be a new group of seniors next year.  As for myself being a leader in that group, I got to make sure that we come back prepared and ready to go.  Again, this is not going to define what this program is and where it's going.
I think there's a lot of positive steps being made in this program, so it's my job to make sure that those things happen.  Like I say, we'll learn from it.

Q.  Bryce, you talked about not taking advantage of defensive turnovers.  What happened on the interception?  Miscommunication?
BRYCE PETTY:  Honestly just a lack of execution on my part.  We ran that play probably, I don't know, 10 times this year and it's worked every time.  That play is one that you can't force.  I did it.  Unfortunately that was the turning point in the game.  We needed that to save momentum up for us, especially after a turnover.
Turnovers in the red zone kill an offense.  It was a lack of execution on my part.  Again, I'll learn from it and get better.  Won't let it happen again.

Q.  Eddie, as a senior, you can't take away a Big 12 championship.  Does this not feel like it should, the way this season has gone, put a bad taste in your mouth?
EDDIE LACKEY:  I think we'd be lying if we said that wasn't the case.  It's not a good deal going out with a loss in a big bowl game like this.
We didn't execute on defense tonight.  When you don't execute and you get to the point of attack, you don't get things done, you can't play good defense.
I think that's really what happened with us tonight is we weren't strong at the point of attack.

Q.  Ahmad, as one of the team's leaders, spokesmen, does this in any way change how you feel the season has gone?  Does this damper that to you?
AHMAD DIXON:  Right now it does.  We wanted to come out with the W and we didn't.
In the long run, like Coach Briles said, we won the Big 12.  That's what we wanted to do.  We made a bowl game.  That's what we wanted to do.  We made steps towards our goal.  We didn't make on goal that we set.
Like I said, we're going to keep going.  Even though the seniors are gone, we're going to pass our legacy onto these younger guys, help them learn from this, help them grow from this.  You'll see us back next year.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, gentlemen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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