CU Players, Coaches React to Win

Inside, quotes from CU players and coaches following the Buffs' 30-6 victory over Texas Tech.

Q: Coach Hawkins just said publicly how proud he is of you. What does that mean to you?
: It means a lot. It took me four years to get where I'm at now and for somebody to recognize my hard work, my dedication. It blows me away. I respect him, I respect the coaching staff and all the players. I give them all the credit, everybody but myself.

Q: After the game ended and all the students came onto the field you would've thought you'd just clinched a conference championship. What does it mean to have that happen?
: I think they were just a little upset that we weren't winning the way we're supposed to. So they were excited for us to get a win. Fortunately it happened today. They showed us a bunch of love, and we appreciate it. And for them to keep supporting us is tremendous for us and the program.

Q: How close was this offense today to where you want it to be?
: Very close. It just goes back to Game 3 against Georgia, or against Arizona State. There's a few plays that if we had back, we'd win. That's been every week.

Q: What happened to you when you got hurt?
: I just put my head down a little too far and a guy hit me and knocked the wind out of me. It took me a while to get my breath back.

Q: You were able to get the ball to a lot of different guys. Is that indicative of how comfortable you are?
: Yeah, it's just progression reading. That's all.

Q: Do you think Jarrell Yates can be a big part of this offense?
: Oh absolutely. Jarrell, he's a very hard worker. His hard work paid off for him this week.

Q: Has anybody mentioned your next game yet?
: Nah. We won't get to that until tomorrow.

Q: On CU's defensive effort.
: The defense played a tremendous game. If it wasn't for them, we probably wouldn't have won. Hat's off to them. A lot of guys stepped up today and made some big plays.

Q: It seems like you've played that spread offense three weeks in a row.
Jordon Dizon
: Yeah, we finally got it down. The team tried to attack our outside and our inside, and you could see our corners stepped up big time. T-Wheat had a lot of big tackles. Chapelle Brown had a lot of big tackles. Once we got our edges straight, we were unstoppable. They could not run on us.

Q: Last year, you averaged nine or 10 penalties a game. Today you didn't have any. How does that happen?
: It's discipline. Bottom line. Coach Hawk, one of his main things is discipline. You cannot have a football team without discipline. It's funny, last year we led the nation in penalties and to go to here where we didn't have any penalties. That just shows what kind of leadership we've got on this team. They all teach us discipline. It's something we all strive for now. We're all learning how to keep a cool head, and it's showing.

Q: How important was tackling today?
: Tackling is always important. You cannot win a game without tackles. And we had a lot of big open-field tackles. We plugged the middle and forced them to run outside. And we made a lot of open-field tackles.

Q: How much of a relief is it to get the win?
: It's a great feeling. But, like Coach Hawk said, you'll have your day in the sun, but tomorrow will be a cloudy day again. He keeps us humble, he keeps us going and his words are contagious. You'll never keep your head down when that guy's around.

Q: Have you gotten tired of his motivational ploys?
: No, not at all. He's been where he's been and he's done what he's done. He knows what he's doing. From someone who has been so successful at being a coach, you can never turn his words down. Even though he might say the same thing more than once, he'll say it with a different tone, and you always know he means it. It's from his heart. He's not BS-ing you about anything.

Q: What was it like to see Thad play so well after what happened with him and him missing most of the Missouri game two weeks ago?
: Nothing happened with Thad. Nothing. He's a man of God. He's always going to play his best no matter when he's on the field. The reason why (he didn't play as much vs. Missouri) is we were playing a lot of spread offenses these last weeks, and there's not always room for a lot of linebackers. And finally he got his chance to shine, and boy, did he.

Q: What did it mean to the players to have all these greats from the past here, like Bobby Anderson and Coach McCartney?
: It means a lot. I'm really close with Matt Russell. Just having him around is really inspirational. Just having guys around who've been there and done it and have been in our shoes – they know what we're going through. Having those guys around is just awesome.

Q: On the win
Abraham Wright
: It's almost like a relief because we've been so close. You would think I would be more excited but I am too focused on OU. I'm happy, but we have to put this game behind us like we've been doing all season. Our goal is to get to the Big 12 Championship, and that is still in our reach. We aren't working for a bowl game, we are working to get to the Big 12 Championship. I'm sure Coach Hawkins is going to find a thousand mistakes and things we need to work on, like when we didn't win. That is good for us, though.

Q: On his teammates
: To play next to the guys I get to play with is amazing. The talent we have in the secondary, our great linebackers and my brothers up front with me. Every week, coming out I have a ton of confidence because of these guys.

Q: Human nature is when you lose you become the butt of jokes. Have you heard that kind of stuff?
Ryan Walters
: You can't listen to that stuff. If you listen to that stuff, you'll die as a team. Coach Hawk's done a good job of keeping us motivated and instilling us with confidence that we are a good team.

Q: On his first two career catches

Maurice Cantrell
: I caught the ball and turned around and nobody was around me. I wasn't sure what to do, so I just ran.

Q: You guys need a bigtime receiver. Do you have any sense that you might be that guy?
Jarrell Yates
: Before I came up here (to go to CU), I really thought I had a chance to make a difference. Unfortunately, I didn't get to show it last year, but this year, the second half of the season, I'm going to let everybody know what this receiving corps is all about.

Q: After playing three spread offenses in a row, you play Oklahoma, who doesn't run that type of offense. Does it present any problems going back to playing a different type of team now?
Ron Collins
: No because I think our players are really starting to understand the defense and how it applies to what we're trying to get done on the field. I think that creates a little bit of confidence for them. At this point in the game, that's huge for them.

Q: Your linebackers seemed all over the field today. How important was that?
Ron Collins
: It's huge to have Thaddaeus and Jordon on the field together most of the game. Those guys are our cornerstones.

Q: How were you able to do that considering you were facing the spread offense?
Ron Collins
: We just said we were going to play them. We decided those two guys need to be on the field no matter who we're playing.

Q: On Bernard Jackson
Mark Helfrich
: Bernard did a better job of seeing things and executing. There were a couple of plays I'd like to have back, but overall I'm very proud of his effort.

A couple of our bigger plays — the time he dropped it down to Mo Cantrell, that was his third option, which is awesome for him to get too. There were a couple other times when he should've done the same thing, but I'm very happy and proud of him being a tough guy and finishing that game. He's maturing.

Q: On Jarrell Yates
: We've been telling our receivers we need for someone to step up. And that guy has practiced better and been more consistent. That's encouraging. He's a guy that I think has a lot of potential. He just has to continue to do things consistently on and off the field. Jarrell has had those flashes of being a contributing guy a lot.

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