Q-Bob, I want to ask about the new chop block rule. I think it popped up a couple times in your game Saturday. Has it been evident in any other games there and do you think it's being called evenly?
A-Yeah and, you know, the ones we got called [for] weren't really chop blocks. It was just blocking below the waist. I think that's back inside or maybe it is--it's also a chop. You know, in other words it wasn't with the linemen up in the line. It was more receivers on some of the screens. And, you know, ones in question, I'll visit with our league about it, and the other was definitely outside coming back inside, was definitely a penalty. So, I'm sure they're doing a good job with it, and some are questionable that officials will keep getting better at, you know, as the head of officials works with them. But anyway, I think it's been even.
Q-The concept on the new rule is that basically just the adjacent sideline, can you clarify that a little bit?
A-Yeah, you have to be moving inside out. What they're making illegal is the ones where you start outside, you're coming back into a defender that's inside. And I'm all for anything that helps protect young guys' legs and knees and all of that. So, I think, you know, the purpose of it's great and like any time you have a new rule, players and everybody has to get used to it as well as officials.
Q-What's impressed you most about what Jaz Reynolds has done this year?
A-Well, he's just been more consistent in catching the football. You know, a year ago there was quite a few more drops. He's just more consistent catching it, route running, being more competitive, everything and that's also understandable now that he's a year [older], now that he's a junior. He's getting older and so he's just grown in the position and he's doing really well.
Q-Following up on that with Jaz, I know that you mentioned last week that Ryan Broyles is kind of an artist as far as how he goes about playing the position. Do you think that's rubbed off on Jaz a little bit?
A-I think it's rubbed off on all the players in that room, in the receiver room. Coach Jay Norvell does a great job coaching them, but you know when you're looking at an example in Ryan and how serious he takes it, you know, he watches tape. He understands coverages, how he's working it, his route running, you know, all of it. And they see how hard he works at it, so I think it's rubbed off on all of those guys.
Q-I wanted to ask you about Dominique Whaley, too. I know he does a lot of things. It seems that he does a lot between the tackles, but that run he had Saturday was pretty fast.
A-Oh, he's got great speed and power and strength. He really does. I mean, he's a legitimate low 4.4, we've had him 4.4 flat as one of our faster guys. So, you know, he's got great speed and he had some other really good runs. We had a few where they did a good job, beat us, or we feel we didn't identify and combo the right people and got a few lost yardage ones. But he had several nice four or five yard gains to go along with that big one.
Q-You've voted in the coaches' poll for quite a few years. How heavily do you weigh strength of schedule, margin of victory and those kinds of things?
A-I, more than anything, try to pay attention to who's had the more difficult road. And to me, it ought to be the biggest factor, strength of schedule. And so that always to me is the biggest factor and a little bit on margin of victory, but that could be a little bit skewed, too. You want to get some young guys in. Then, you give up some late points, those kinds of things sometimes. You know how that can be, so anyhow, but I always think the strength of schedule is my biggest factor.
Q-So indirectly you're trying to gauge how tough each conference is as a whole, true?
A-A little bit, and who they've played out of conference as well.
Q-Bob, aside from a couple kickoff returns, did you find much you could yell at your team during the film session about?
A-Well, really there's one kick return. The other the guy gets tackled right in in front of the ball. You know, he's right there in front of it to make the tackle and they take him down. That's supposed to be called. But and the other one, so the one kick return, yeah the rest of it couldn't have been much better. Although I say that, we're watching the tape, we got a lot we can get better at. And so, some of the blocking assignments up front and the run game still aren't what they need to be. Some of the blocking on the perimeter wasn't what it needs to be. Defensively, a couple times in coverage, you know, we felt we could be a lot better and some of our communication we broke down a few times. So, we see a lot that you know what, hey if we're gonna keep going through this year, there's a lot we can really get better at if the guys, and they will, if they work hard at it. We can be a lot sharper in some areas.
Q-It's always a little easier to correct after a game like Saturday, isn't it?
A-You know, it really is and the players are smart in that they see it. When you see it on tape, it's like ‘Geez, I got to do better than that.' They see where they'll break down and it's correctable. And so, again it's only the fifth game, if we're gonna-- the really good teams keep getting better, and I think our guys will take that to heart.
Q-With Oklahoma State having scored 70 the other day and people talking about they may have been able to get to 100 if they didn't yank [Brandon] Weeden out of there in the first half, I'm just curious what your stance is on running up the score and that type of thing is these games?
A-I don't think anybody tries to. I think sometimes games just get, for whatever reason, if it's turnovers or what not, can get out of hand. In the past years, we've had some, you know, that were. Heck, I think we had A&M 77-0 or something, and just with turnovers and what not it's just hard to manage. And you know what, it's one of the more frustrating situations because you're not sure how to handle it because you want your young guys that are in there to keep playing. You don't wanna [take them out]. Anyway, it can be difficult, but I don't think anyone just is intentionally, or I guess maybe--I guess it's not fair to say anyone, but when it happens, it's just one of those things you have to deal with. And I always think at the end of the day, heck the other team needs to stop you. That's how I would feel. I know that.
Q-Just kind of following up on that, when you're preparing for an opponent that's had the problems on defense that this week's opponent has has, what's your message to your guys. Is it don't worry about them, it's all about us or what?
A-Well, I think what I just said a few questions ago. It's only our fifth game. We're not playing as well overall as we can. So, let's push for that because that's [what we need to do]. The better teams we've had here where we have won championships or had our opportunities to, got better as the year went. And like I just said a minute ago, we both have a bunch of issues that we can be a lot sharper in technique and fundamentals that we can be a lot better at and that's what we're going to push for.
Q-I also wanted to ask you, it looks like TCU is going to be announced [to the Big 12] That's going to happen today. I just wanted to get a quick thought on that?
A-Yeah, I think it's great. You know, they're an excellent program. You see what they've been doing through the years. I love the proximity, I think, for all the fans, ours, theirs, everyone in this region. Fans and players' families, another game that'll be, that's relatively close and in this region. So, I think it's great. I think it's going to work out well.
Q-I know it's always been the case with the South division, but with the complete round robin this year, you see everybody and you play everybody. How much do you pay attention to all the cross over tape? I know it's human nature maybe to look at other teams, but do you just focus in on who you're playing?
A-You really just focus in one who you're playing, but you can't help that. Now that we're getting into conference play, you can't help but see how some other teams are playing when they've already played the opponent you're getting ready to play. So, you're paying attention and realizing what someone else is doing, but the main focus is obviously on what you're doing that week.