Baylor Bears Head Coach Art Briles met with the press on Tuesday. Here are quotes from the press conference.
"I think the encouraging part…I always say anything you look for you can find. If you look for good stuff, you find good stuff. If you look for bad stuff, you find bad stuff. That's kind of the way we evaluate when looking at our players. You can see what you are looking for. The good things out of the game, I think we really battled hard. I think we had a good plan going in both sides of the ball and special teams. We had a good opportunity to at least be on pretty equal ground with them early in the game. With the exception to the penalties that stalled a couple of the drives there, that kind of threw us back there. Because when you play on the road and against a good team like that, against anybody, it doesn't matter who you are playing, you cannot help them. We helped them a little bit, and they are certainly a team that doesn't need help. [We] had a few things that broke down early in the second half that kind of created momentum for them and took away momentum for us. Like I said all along, it comes down to turnovers, momentum, and field position. We didn't win any of those Saturday, and it didn't turn out right for Baylor. "
"Iowa State this week. [They are] a very dangerous football team, and they have been playing well all year. They actually went to Kent State and got their first road win in 17 games I just saw a little bit ago. They beat them handily, and turned around in a real tough conference loss. They could very well be sitting there at 5-1 overall, and 2-0 in conference. The Kansas State game they get an extra point blocked when they tied it up late in the game, and then last week against Kansas, they are throwing to win the football game with a minute left in the ballgame, and it just doesn't work out. I mean, they have a good chance, they have a guy open in the end zone, but it just doesn't work out. So, they are really, really playing well. [Iowa State is] playing with a lot of confidence, Coach Rhodes has come in there and done a good job, and those guys have kind of rallied up. You can just see them playing really hard for each other on tape. I have been to that stadium once back in about 2000. It's a neat place, it's a good atmosphere to go to. They have good fans that really support the Cyclones there."
On Iowa State's offense:
The scheme is good. They do a good job of fast-paced. Very similar to a lot of teams in the Big 12. You know how they do it, with the zone-read and the freezing, and going in and getting another play, and going again. So, they keep you off balance from a defensive standpoint and they are doing it with experience people. I mean, Arnaud is a good player. He is a big strong kid. 6-2.5 6-3, 224 runs well, throws well and he is having a good year. He is playing with a lot of confidence, and that's really showing up on film and on the tape. The running back is a dangerous guy. He is shifty, and he is quick. He really fits well into what they are doing. Check it out, they have been real productive on the offensive side of the ball. Its because those guys are good players, and they have a good scheme. The guy they got running the offense, a guy named Tom Herman from Rice, did a good job there the last couple of years. I've known him for awhile. He's a good coach. It's a fast paced offense, and he keeps you off-balanced."
On the importance to take the crowd out of the game and control the clock on the road:
"You know, it's critical. I mean, like I said, I think we had a good plan going in [against Oklahoma]. I think it fell pretty much like it needed to fall for us in the first half. As far as taking the Iowa State crowd of the game, yeah, we have got to do it. Because I am telling you, they are right on you there. It s a tight stadium, and they put a lot of people in it. It will be a great atmosphere, it will be a night game, the weather is going to be fine, so it will be an exciting time. It will be a good, good chance for us to grow as a team. And that's what we are doing. We are growing as a football team. We are starting to understand ourselves a little better personnel-wise and player capability-wise."
On if you would ever call a game a must-win, and on picking up momentum going into tough stretch of conference schedule:
"Yeah, everyone of them you play. Quite honestly, the answer is, yes. They are all that way. Really, we are just worried about taking care of business on Saturday. Our vision is pretty blinded right now. We have to be a better football team this Saturday than we were last Saturday. We have got to go out there and be productive on both sides of the ball and on special teams, and win the game."
On his thoughts on quarterback this week:
"I am thinking that Nick's done a real good job the last two weeks. I think he has been real protective of the football, very poised, very intelligent. I am anxious to see him [Blake Szymanksi] work out this week. Blake has actually not worked out the last two weeks. I am anxious to getting him on the field, and getting him worked out and see how his physical matches with his mental. And then get ready to go to Ames, fire away, and get ready to win a football game and play hard for each other. That's the thing I know. Our guys are going to rally up and are going to fight hard. Fighting hard and playing hard is okay, but you got to win. So, we have got to go through the next phase, which is win."
On Ernest Smith's performance last week:
[He] brings passion, brings confidence, brings belief, brings emotion, and brings ability. None of that surprises us. We see it every day at practice. He is a guy that is just an extremely unselfish team player that can rise up and play at the level it needs to be at. So, that was good. The thing that was a little encouraging that day was that we had a lot of people contributing on both sides of the ball."
On David Gettis' season so far:
He's been productive. That's what he has got to be, and that is what we all have o be. Coaches down to players. He has been doing what we have asked him to do, and that is bring some big play capability to our offense and be productive blocking, and doing everything. So, he is having a very productive year."
On how you coach your defensive players in going after the quarterback without taking the aggressiveness away from them:
"We actually talked about this 2 or 3 times a couple of weeks ago in a Friday night meeting. I think it is changing the way you coach defense to a certain extent. And what you don't want to do, what you never want to do is come in there and hit the quarterback low. But the way the rules are dictating today, you are better off coming in there and taking a shot at the chest or the stomach as opposed to bat the ball down and may bump him up high. Because if you bump him up high they are throwing the rag on you. To me, it is changing the mentality of how you coach up the players on the defensive side of the ball. Because if you come in and hit a quarterback full tilt at the waist, you are okay. Now, if you half way hit him up high, there is a chance you might get a rag. But those calls all are very subjective."
On Jordan Lake:
"Jordan is a guy that brings everything he has everyday. Everything he has got everyday. Whether it is in a drill, or it's in the weight room, or whether it's on the game field. So, to me, he's exactly what you look for as a person, not just as a player. But, whatever he's got, he is bringing his best. We have tape to prove it in one-on-one drills from August 7th. It will be the same thing today. If there is a ball he can dive for and make a play he's going to do it. He's just a guy that plays full tilt, does a great job of roaming back there in the secondary.
On Robert Griffin's surgery:
"I will just say it was very successful. Now the rehab and the journey to getting back to where he was and better is in process."
On whether the expected cold weather in Ames might affect the team:
"It really doesn't. What I am hearing is 40 degrees. 40 degrees in a football uniform running around is not cold. Wet and windy? Different story. But if it is just 40 degrees without anything else involved, we will be in good shape. To answer your question, that's not cold. 18 degrees with sleet, that's cold. 40 degrees, that's good football weather."
On how much protecting the football plays a part on who starts at quarterback on Saturday:
"It goes into it all the time The thing that is a little bit tough on us is we don't have a lot of game experience with Blake. That's the thing. Blake is smart. He is intelligent, and he has been through some storms which I respect, and I admire. I know with both these guys ball protection is going to be first and foremost with them. That's something that we feel will take care of itself because of the type of people we are dealing with. They are intelligent football players. It doesn't mean they are going to play flawless, but it means mentally, they are going to be on track where they need to be."
Briles' Tuesday Press Conference
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