On quarterback Nate Hybl's game against Texas Tech
Nate Hybl's performance, I thought, was exceptional. You look at what Nate has done in the last three weeks... I think he's really coming on and doing an excellent job. The last three weeks he's completed 69 percent of his passes for right around 850 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. That's pretty strong. Nate continues to really do well and is a big spark with our offense.
On the offensive line
I believe our offensive line is coming together as well with more maturity and experience. What may be happening is we may be coming together and improving at the best time.
On Roy Williams' game against Texas Tech
It gets hard to explain how good Roy is and the plays he makes. He just dominated the football game. Tipping balls to our linemen for interceptions. Tipping balls to himself for interceptions. Took one of their players out that was ruled an incompletion, that really, on tape, shows it's a fumble that he creates tackling. Just does it all and had another exceptional day.
On the Texas players driving to Lubbock to watch the OU-Texas game
They do some things that I just sort of shake my head at. But that's okay, they can come this week too if they want. We won't have anybody going to their game, but if we did we'd be cheering for them. We're going to do our own work. That's all we worry about — doing our business, doing our work and that's been pretty good for us.
On why Nate Hybl has stepped up his game over the last three weeks
I think it's just experience and more practice. Coming into this season Nate had not had a great deal of game experience. Every practice helps him, every game has helped him. He's grown in it, he's matured with it and is really performing well.
On the offense
We may be finishing stronger and playing better offensively down through these last several games then we did last year. And it isn't just Nate, it's everybody. Nate needs help. He needs receivers to get open. He needs to be protected to a point where he can find people that are open and we've got to be able to run the ball as well. There's a lot to it, but Nate continues to improve and is really playing at a great level right now.
On Hybl's strong second half performances
I think the mark of a very good quarterback and a great competitor, is a guy that, initially things aren't going as well as you'd like, but he finishes strong. Some of his play in the second half put us in position to put away some games and to win.
On if Hybl looking for and finding different receivers helps develop his overall game
It does and that has happened, but some of that is Nate gaining experience and maturity in the offense. Some of it's the offensive line coming together a little bit more as well, gives him the opportunity to find the second or third guy as opposed to running for his life. Some of it is receivers coming open. It isn't just the offensive line protecting better, sometimes it's the backs. Again, it's difficult to just pinpoint one guy, it's the entire offense executing that way.
On if the receivers catching the ball better
Yes and coming open, I believe, in a better way, separating and creating some better plays which we'd expect them to. We have good receivers and guys that are secure with the ball. It is good to see them playing that way right now.
On if both the offense and defense are playing better at this time then they did a year ago
At this point, probably. I don't think there's any question defensively. I believe we've played better and more consistently through the entire year then we did a year ago. Offensively, we didn't have the big explosion in the middle part of the year then we had a year ago. But overall, we may have been more consistent here down the back-stretch and finishing the year, and that will be determined this week and hopefully from there on and how we finish. But right now we're coming through the end of the season stronger offensively then a year ago.
On Tommie Harris' play against Texas Tech
He was outstanding. Watching that tape in the coaches copy, where you get to see close-up version of what he's doing, was something to watch. They would often try to double-team him, he'd split the double-team, go around a guy, was constantly chasing the quarterback. Didn't get credited with a sack, but chased him all day and chased him to everybody else.
I saw one clip where three of them were blocking him. He split a double-team and the guard from the side tried to come over and help the other two and he still got a hand on the quarterback and chased him to Bary Holleyman. Tommie is a just an excellent player. I don't preface it anymore by saying a young freshman, he's just an outstanding player all-around, whether he be a senior or a freshman.
On if this is a year a defensive player like Roy Williams could win the Heisman Trophy
So much of the time people just get caught up in offensive statistics. The Heisman Trophy, from what I understand, goes to the most outstanding college football player. Roy Williams fits that bill. You look at a guy and how hard it is to dominate and control a football game defensively, he does it and does it in a big way.
You put him to the field and he almost takes away one side of the field. You blitz him and he's going to tip the ball either to someone else for an interception or to himself. You throw a screen out that way, he's going to make the tackle. You throw it downfield, he's a great cover guy. He does it all.
If you look at the plays he's made in big games that have helped us win, he's done it on a number of occasions. The Texas game, he creates the touchdown at the end of the game to put us ahead 14-3. We kick the ball off, he's the guy on the special teams that makes the tackle. Then they throw the ball downfield on the very next play and he's the guy that makes the interception. He single-handedly clinched the game. Every game he's in he makes big plays. He creates touchdowns. He creates points. He creates three-and-outs that helps us win. And on top of that, he's the best special teams guy we have.
It's easy to look at his numbers and the way he's helped us win and the way he controls games on the defensive side when people aren't just solely focused on what offensive numbers are.
On Roy Williams the person
You cannot find a better student-athlete or a finer young man than Roy Williams. The guy is an absolute joy to coach. He's an absolute joy to be around. You never see him without a smile on his face. He's the happiest young guy I think I've ever coached, players love him. He's a great student, a perfect role model.
On the humble side of Roy Williams
That is something we talk a lot about as a team after games and in all situations is to make sure that we carry ourselves as a team and with humility. Roy is a great example of it. I think what's helped us to play as we have this year and last year is the team concept. It is hard for our players at the end of the year when all these awards start happening. They'll have a hard time breaking away from the team concept and just working as individuals. Roy understands his value to this team and he also understands the value of everyone around him. Everyone doing their job helps him succeed, because it is the ultimate team game.
On if he wants to see Roy Williams come back next year
That's not necessarily true. I want to see Roy Williams do what's the very best for he and his family, and whatever that will be, will be. I'm going to support Roy whatever that is. That's a decision that won't even be discussed or worked through until after the season.
On his philosophy on players leaving early
If it's for the best for that young man, his family and for his future then I'm all for him. If it's not, if there's value and positives to be gained from sticking around then those are all points that we'll bring up and point out. And then that will be up to him and his family to decide.
On if he ever thought about playing Williams some on offense
Coach Mangino's been bugging me the last half of the year to get a few plays in with Roy on offense. I don't have any doubt he'd play over there. He's something. The guy is just a natural player. He's explosive, he's powerful and the instincts are just amazing.
On if he ever though about giving Williams the ball on offense
I wouldn't do it to just help him win the Heisman, I would do it probably just for the value of the team, much like Andre Woolfolk. And probably should have been playing him there this year so you guys can write about how bad of a coach I am.
On if Roy Williams could see time on offense this year
Possibly, we might work it in this week. Who knows. H-back would be perfect for Roy. He can catch the ball, he can block. I've never seen a guy dominate and control a game defensively like he does. It's something to watch. I had Jevon Kearse at Florida for three years and he didn't impact a game like Roy has.
On if a defensive player has to get some offensive plays, like Michigan's Charles Woodson did, to win the Heisman
It's unfortunate if it is, but I think just just so much of the time people get locked into statistics instead of overall play and big plays in big games. To me that's what is really important. That's what stuck out even a year ago with Josh Heupel. His production in those situations are what ought to stick out other than numbers against a team that's won one game the entire year. That's why I think statistics shouldn't be as strong of a factor in this situation as it appears that it is so much of the time.
On who else has stood out defensively other than Roy Williams and Rocky Calmus
Our front four has been awesome. Jimmy Wilkerson has had a great number of big plays through the Big 12 season. And Corey Heinecke has been constantly steady.
Brandon Everage has had an excellent year. Hasn't been quite as consistent, but he's still been very good an is presence out there. No question.
Teddy Lehman's gotten better as the year has gone on. Had a big game against Tech, which was good to see.
Derrick Strait has been exceptional, consistent. Offenses don't look his way very often. They're looking to go elsewhere. Very smart player. Maybe overall as consistent as Roy and Rocky in the way he has played.
Antonio (Perkins) comes along and has a pick last week. He also had another hit last week that caused a fumble that was ruled an incompletion. I had as much to complain about as Mike did, but I didn't choose to do it. I've learned my lesson. I've got enough flags this year.
On if this defense is as good as he's ever coached
I believe it's the best I've ever coached or have been a part of. I think by far and away we've been better than a year ago and last year wasn't bad.
On the Seniors
Another great group of young men, but not a very big class. We only have 12 seniors on this team. Quality class, great group of players who have committed themselves to doing what's necessary succeed. They've been great leaders and tough players. I really appreciate their efforts.
On the status of Andre Woolfolk and Wes Sims
Woolfolk won't play this week and Wes Sims is very doubtful. He's doing some drills and working out in his uniform and practicing some, but I don't think he'll play.
On Oklahoma State
Excited this week to be competing with Oklahoma State here at home. To have an opportunity to clinch and win the Big 12 South Championship and to put ourselves in position to win a Big 12 Championship with this win, that's important. I like that motivation. I prefer that motivation. I think it has our players excited.
Last year when we played this game we had already clinched the Big 12 South. This year we understand that we need to win this football game to do so. So our players came out yesterday (Monday) and had an excellent day of practice. We're looking forward to competing with Oklahoma State here this weekend.
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