Barnett Tuesday Press Conference

Gary Barnett spoke to members of the media Tuesday about the upcoming game vs. Texas in Houston for the Big 12 Championship (11 a.m. MT, ABC). Inside, quotes from the press conference.

Opening Comments
Gary Barnett: The University of Colorado Buffaloes are extremely excited about playing Texas again and having a chance to play for the Big 12 Championship in Reliant Stadium. It's a stadium that we are comfortable in; we have been there twice and it will be a tremendous venue. It's probably not a neutral site, but that's OK. That's the way it is. Our preparation this week will be a great deal about looking back at the first Texas game and the mistakes that we made.

We are playing a great team. We are obviously the underdog if you guys didn't know that. (laughter) They have been a great team all year and it's just a great challenge for our guys. Our goal was to get to this game and redeem ourselves from a year ago. I didn't put on our board how many games we needed to win to get there, I just said let's get there. I looked at all the records today (in the Big 12 North) and we are 5-3. The next closest team is 4-4, so we win the North and get a chance to play Texas. I think everyone in this program is excited about our opportunity.

On Joel Klatt needing to play well in big games
GB: We all have to relax a little bit. Every guy has to step up in his own way. Joel (Klatt) gets so fired up that sometimes he'll go out and play like a linebacker and not a quarterback. But he has always learned from the tough lessons that he has had to endure.

On if Barnett had talked to Texas coach and good friend Mack Brown since the loss to Nebraska
He left me a message yesterday and said "I'm glad you're coming to Texas," and that was it. But we'll probably talk this week.

On the Longhorns
GB: We held them to more third down situations than any team they played this year. Unfortunately they converted on most of those third downs. We have to address the third down issue and that is probably where we need to make some changes and approach it a little differently.

On UT quarterback Vince Young
GB: There are the tangible things that everybody sees, but in my mind his demeanor and the way he plays affects everybody else. The entire team plays with a great deal of confidence, which Vince has. He has a great deal of composure, but he's got an edge to him that you see every once in a while. I think it's the aura that he brings to his team that is as important as the talent he brings.

He was 25-for-29 against us, and like I said after that game, that's hard to do against air‚ with nobody even playing on the other side. It's hard to believe he would do that again, but we still have to change some things up in our secondary from the last time we played them.

On the comparisons to the 2001 season
GB: There are a lot of similarities. Texas got into that game because Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma. They had already sent their players away for Thanksgiving and they had to call them back. They didn't expect to be in the game. It's a different scenario for Texas. They are a much better football team today than they were then. It's a similar situation, but I think it's a little bit different as far as the teams that are involved.

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