Barnett: Our Game Plan Worked

Colorado defeated Texas A&M 41-20 Saturday to move to 4-1 on the season, 2-0 in conference play. Inside, Gary Barnett's postgame press conference quotes in their entirety.

GB10/8/05 Opening Comments
Gary Barnett:
It was pretty obvious our team was ready to play tonight. I was extremely pleased with the focus they had going into this game. We had it all week in practice. I knew that they really wanted this game for lots of reasons.

We had a great plan. I thought Shawn Watson called a great game – he got everyone involved. We were able to take advantage of some things that we had noticed on film. Then our guys just made plays.

Our tight ends got involved and made some great plays.

We just had one of those days where we had a great plan and it worked. There are days where you think you have a great plan and it doesn't work. This is one of those when it did work.

Joel Klatt got in a zone. Our offensive line again just did a great job of protecting him and letting us convert third downs and get some throws in there we needed.

Then our defense did a great job of containing Reggie McNeal. I haven't seen his stats, but it seemed like we did a great job with him.

The game got a little sloppy there in the last third of the game. That often happens when you get a lead like that. But we got to play a lot of guys and that's always great.

I thought we did a decent job in special teams. I was disappointed in that long punt return. We've got to get better at that. That's not like us. But overall that was a pretty solid performance by our guys and I'm really proud of the way they prepared this week and the way they came out.

For them to focus and get after it the way they did early on says a lot about the leadership on this football team.

Q: Were you surprised at how everything seemed to work for you?
GB:
You design it so it works. You don't use your whole offense, you just use the pieces that look like they fit into that game and that defense. I think it all starts with protections with the quarterback, and we were able to protect Joel and utilize everybody. But it usually doesn't go quite that easy.

Q: Should your team be ranked?
GB:
Oh, I don't know. I've been voting us 25th for the last couple of weeks, so I'll vote us 25th again tonight, probably.

Q: Is this the best game Klatt has played?
GB:
Gosh, I don't know. Statistically, it may be. I don't know. He was sure sharp tonight, I know that.

Q: You had a ton of success in play action.
GB:
Yeah, we did. We thought we could do some things with play actions. We were able to get the tight ends, especially, involved. We sort of had them hidden most of the night and came up with some big plays.

Q: You've had two weeks in a row where you had extensive wins over conference foes. Can you look at it and think you can meet your goals?
GB:
Our goal all along is to win the North and play in the (Big 12) championship game, and win the championship game. We've got a lot of games to play before we can get there. This one was the next one. We're also trying to get better every week. And we got better from last week. That's what's important to a coach and a program is that you get better. At this point in time we made nice improvement. And we're going to have to have a heck of an improvement next week.

Q: Did you come in thinking you could be so successful stopping Reggie McNeal as a runner?
GB:
You don't know. You plan it. You always think you can your plan's going to work, but it doesn't always. Tonight I thought we tackled him decently. But he's a heck of a player. You saw how many times we were chasing him back there and it looked like we were swatting at flies, and he'd make a play. We're just fortunate to have contained him as well as we did.

I think our offense was so dominant that it forced them out of the game they wanted to play. We went up 21-zip, it's hard to think about running all the option you want to run. You feel like you're forced to throw the ball. I haven't talked to Dennis (Franchione) about that, but I think that's a little bit of what happened. We put them in a situation where we knew what they had to do. You usually have an advantage when you do that.

Q: What were your emotions when the kid caught the long ball at the beginning of the game, then dropped it?
GB:
I just thought Lorenzo Sims just had his butt saved.

Q: Your first team defense hasn't allowed a touchdown through two conference games. Is there one thing you can point too as a bigger key than another?
GB:
I don't think so. I don't think there's anything in particular. They're really listening on the plan now and really working hard, and watching a lot of film. They're believing in the plan because they see success in it. That's happening quite a bit.

Q: Are you finding more and more ways to use Hugh Charles?
GB:
We're just trying to work in all those things. You can't do them all the first game. We're trying to get the ball in the hands of the guys that can make plays out there, and he's definitely a guy that has a lot of uses. The touchdown pass was a great catch. We'll continue to do that.

Q: His role is going to continue to expand?
GB:
Right. And Lawrence Vickers' role you saw expanded a little bit. And tight ends. You can't do it every week. Sometimes it just doesn't work. But it did tonight.

Q: Tyrone Henderson seemed to be on the option play all night.
GB:
Yeah, he had a responsibility and he was right there. He's really playing good football for us.

Q: How essential was your coverage in forcing him out of the pocket?
GB:
We had to have decent coverage because we did force him out of the pocket, but I don't think our pressure forced him out. He scrambled because we had good coverage. That'll be a lot easier for me to see tomorrow on film.

Q: How's Alonzo Barrett?
GB:
We think he's got a torn PCL in his knee. I'm not a doctor but Steve Willard tells me he can return eventually this fall with that. But we'll do an MRI and what I'm saying is premature. (Officially, Barrett is listed as having a knee sprain. He is OUT for the Texas game and will be re-evaluated Sunday and Monday).

Q: Several coaches and players were saying as they walked off the field tonight that the win was nice, but they've got business to take care of with Texas coming up?
GB:
Yeah, I think they probably started thinking about Texas about midway through the third quarter. Not so much that it's Texas, but it's the next team. We've put ourselves in a pretty decent position now. We've just got to keep getting better.

Q: Does this team have that business-like approach more than other teams?
GB:
This team likes to practice and they don't complain. They want to know what we're going to do. I don't know if it's been business like, they just really like each other. It's a fun group of guys to be around. A fun program to be around right now.


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