Coach Speak: Art Briles
Q: SMU is breaking in a new quarterback. How key will it be to get after the new guy with some pressure and support from the crowd.
AB: He played a little bit last year. He did a good job so it’s not like it’s the first time he’s jogged out onto the field, like here I am, what can I do? They’ve got a good idea about what he brings to the table. He’s very poised, very accurate with the football. With pressure, that’s no different than on any QB whether you’re Peyton Manning or first-time out guy. You’ve got to get your feet comfortable and get in rhythm. We’ll see how that unfolds because that’s a two-way street. I’m sure they’ve got schemes that will try to pressure up our guy.
Q: You’ve talked about Big 12 quality depth. Defensively, it seems like that depth will get tested this year. How confident are you that you won’t see a dropoff from last year?
AB: Time will tell. We feel good about what’s going to be out there. We know we feel good about what’s going to be out there and who’s going to be out there. It’s just like Bryce last year we were sitting in here saying the same thing. One or two things that money can’t buy is experience. That’s what these guys are going to have to do defensively. Once they get out there and make a play and get confidence, feel the crowd and feel the energy, then all the sudden you elevate up.
Q: For the first time in three years, you’ve got a returning quarterback, what’s that like with Bryce having all that experience?
AB: I was actually talking about it this morning. It’s only the second time in seven seasons that we’ve had the same starting quarterback to start the season so it’s a big deal, it’s a huge deal. It doesn’t happen very often. It’s a great comfort especially when they guy’s good. A lot of times those guys are back out of necessity not because they’re good. It’s the best thing for him and for us. That’s what the difference is. We’re excited about what he brings to the table for all facets, not just play.
Q: You guys have created a great home field advantage over the last couple years. How much better can it be with this stadium?
AB: I hope a bunch quite honestly. We’ve had about as good of atmosphere as you can have. I have to be careful when I just sit around with idle seconds because you get to thinking about what it’s going to be like and before you know it, your heart starts beating a little faster and you get fired up. I have no doubt that it’s going to be phenomenal. I think it’s going to be hard for anyone in USA to mimic what we got going on. I just don’t think with the lagoon and the boat slips, I don’t think you can mimic it. If you can be the best, then be the best when you step out there everytime. They’ve given us the best so we’ve got to take advantage of what they’ve given us.
Q: What can you tell us about SMU?
AB: They’re good and that’s the thing we’re fighting. We’re playing a good football team and you can spin it however you want to, but unless I’m wrong UCF beat them 17-13 last game of the year and SMU played extremely well that game. They’re a 5-7 football team over there and June (Jones) is over there holding a deuce and the other people are holding kings. They’re saying let’s find a way to win. Flip it to where you give him a jack and you give them a jack, then they might be 8-4. If you’ve ever played “Go Fish.” They’ve got good people. You’re in the metroplex and they recruit good people. There’s so much parody in college football. When you inhale when you ought to exhale then you’re going to get beat. We’re going to really have to be at our best. This is 2014. This is when we start our football team for this year.