Defensively, really outstanding in many ways and many areas. I think when you play defense that way, no matter who you play or where you play you're going to have an opportunity to win.
Special teams, overall, were pretty decent. Each of us punted 10 times. There was a lot of exchanging going on. I thought both teams were pretty solid. They had 30 yards in returns on 10 punts. Usually, you'll take that everytime, but in the end we only got three or four yards on our returns. One of their returns led to a field goal and was the difference in the game.
Offensively, we had some great drives. The two-minute drill at the end of the half was really, really good, but we get to the two-yard line and are not able to get it in.
A lot of good parts to the game, but not quite good enough. Our players understand that. We don't take it lightly. We don't want to be patted on the back for playing well and losing. We need to be able to make a difference in those situations where we had opportunities. We'll take issue with that through the week and try to improve from it and come out this week trying to play a good, solid football game, and try to play to our potential.
We recognize they've had their difficulties this year. But we still recognize it's an in-state school. It's a school that the last that they were here beat us. None of that, along with our play, sits well with us right now and we want to make sure we come out and play to our potential and as strong as we can possibly play.
On if the players are still confident knowing that they still control their own destiny in the BCS
I would imagine that gives them a boost. We're not naive enough that we don't understand the situation. Though we don't focus on it, I believe that is something that does give the players a boost that they're are still in a situation to achieve and reach every goal that they put out there this year.
On the teams mental state in practice this week after the loss
I like the attitude and the sense of urgency our players went at it yesterday. They're focused. They're determined to play better and that's good. There isn't anybody sitting around hanging their head. They're determined to play better and improve.
Jason White's status continues to be a sprained knee. And let me clarify that because there's been a lot of people calling me and taking issue with my comments.
I want to make sure that you understand since I've been here I've never said anything that is not true to the media or to the public.
A sprain, whether it be to an ankle, a shoulder or a knee, is damage to a ligament. That is what a sprain is. He has a sprained knee and that's the situation.
I also want to make sure everyone understands I have always been forthright when a player is not going to play. I've always said why and I've always said if he is finished for the year what the reasons were.
To be specific, I've never felt it necessary for the players sake. If a player has an opportunity to play, I feel in fairness to him to keep him from risking further injury. To keep a defender or the opposition from picking on that injury or focusing on and putting him in harms way. I never felt it's fair to be specific on what injuries were.
More on White's status
From what I get from the doctors, it's a sprain. From watching Jason throw the ball last night and walk around I believe he's got a chance to play next week. He won't play this week, but he has a chance to play next week and continue through the season. If that is not the case, I'll say so.
On if White is healthy will he still be the starter
If he's healthy enough, yes.
On if he would rather this be a week off for the team as scheduled, rather than playing Tulsa
I think it's good coming off of last week. We want to go out and play, and play well and continue to build on this year. I think regardless of who you're playing there's always carryover. If we can make improvement this week it will help us in the coming weeks.
On the possibility of Miami going undefeated and not making the Rose Bowl
I can't help what Miami or anybody's else's strength of schedule is, or what their problems are in regard to the system. No one asked me what I thought of it or my opinion how to set it up. We have what we have. I don't think anybody's ever going to be satisfied until you have something more than what we have to decide the BCS and who's going to be in the national championship game.
On OU controlling their own destiny in getting to the Rose Bowl
Our focus is on winning the Big 12 south first, and winning the Big 12 championship game. We understand if that's the case and if we do that we're going to be there. But that is not what we're looking to. We're looking to playing Tulsa and then we're going to look to playing A&M, and then Tech, and then Oklahoma State.
On backup quarterback Hunter Wall
I feel very good about the way Hunter has progressed through the season. Coach Long has commented long before this week on his progress. He's always been a very good athlete. He's got a great arm. Last year at this time everybody was bragging about how he played against our defense everyday on the scout team. He's a guy that was a McDonald's All-American basketball player. He's got good ability and understands what we're doing now with all of the snaps through the year and through spring.
On if there is any circumstance that true freshman Brent Rawls could be pulled out of redshirt
Only if a situation where something were to happen to the first three guys. Brent's very good and improving, but Hunter is much further along than where he's at and is without question, the guy getting all the snaps this week. In fact, Brent took all the snaps with the scout team yesterday.
On Nate Hybl's performance against Nebraska
I thought Nate played very well Saturday. Comes in in a middle of a drive. Completes the drive. Puts it in the end zone. Has a great two-minute drive at the end of the half. In the second half, we had over four or five balls thrown over 20 yards that hit us in the hands, chest, shoulders, spots where we've come up with those catches a number of times and we don't come up with any of them. You can't put that on him. There's probably eight or ten balls put in catcheable spots that we don't come up with.
Overall, Nate was strong in the game and that doesn't surprise us. He's done a lot of good already this year and we felt that when he got in there he'd do well.
On if he's disappointed with the receiving corp
No, I wouldn't say that. But I'd say that they're capable of coming up with bigger plays and catches then we made in that game. I also recognize they've made a bunch throughout this year and we weren't able to convert them in that game, but I believe we will again.
On how you correct the problems the receivers have had catching the ball
It's kind of like how do you take measures on correcting your kicking. You tell them (kickers) to kick it through the goal post. You tell them (receivers) to catch the ball.
I'm not going to say our guys aren't concentrating, they weren't focused, or they weren't trying hard because they were. They were all of those things. They just came up short on it. They take pride in it and I'm sure they'll keep fighting and in the end, make some of those plays.
On how younger receivers like Brandon Jones and Will Peoples are progressing in practice
They are closer to playing. As time goes, whether they get on the field or not, it will be Coach Spurrier or Coach Mangino's call. But they are improving.
On the play of freshmen offensive linemen Jammal Brown and Jerod Fields
Both did a good job. Both gave us an opportunity to win.
Jammal is progressing in a great way. Really excited about the way Jammal is coming on picking up his technique. He's a big, strong guy that really has found a home there at tackle and looks good and will continue to improve. He's only a redshirt freshman, but he's going to be a good player.
On if the offensive line is good enough to win a championship
Sure, I don't see why not. We've competed, I felt, in a good way against Nebraska. I don't believe our offensive line put us in a position to lose the game at all. In fact, I believe they gave us every opportunity to have a chance to win it.
On why Renaldo Works did not get any carries or play more against Nebraska
We feel pretty strong about the way Quentin (Griffin) plays.
On Nate Hybl's injury situation after getting knocked out of the Nebraska game for two plays, and other games this year
Our doctors would never allow him to compete in the game as he did if he didn't check out properly. He's not been in the situation that other players we've had have been in.
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