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LONGHORNS OPEN UP AFTER WIN AT TEXAS TECH

Texas players and OC Sterlin Gilbert open up about what it took to bounce back from losing four of five after a loss at K-State to now have back-to-back wins over Baylor and Texas Tech, following Texas' 45-37 win Saturday in Lubbock - the Longhorns' first win away from Austin in 2016 ...

RB D'ONTA FOREMAN:

On his 33 carries for 341 yards, including a 55-yard run with only one shoe on, and 3 TDs:

"I didn't know until after the game until I did the field interview and Coach Strong told me that I had run for 341 yards."

On now having his name just below Ricky Williams' single-game rushing record of 350 yards vs Iowa State in 1998:

"It means a lot. I talk to Ricky (Williams) all the time, after every game pretty much. He tells me the things I need to work on. I talked to him last week, and he just told me to keep fighting. I try to do that. I got a text from him today. He told me he was proud of me and to keep working."

On finally winning a road game:

"It's very satisfying, but it's not over. It doesn't stop here. We've got another road game coming up, and then we just gotta take care of home field. We just gotta keep fighting, keep practicing hard. And we have been doing that lately, so we just gotta keep it up."

On running for 23 yards to the Tech goal line as part of a 99-yard drive, only to have the ball stripped by Tech and returned for a 100-yard TD in the 2Q:

"I was pretty upset. I felt like I probably should have just went down. Maybe if we went for it again, maybe I would have scored on the next play. But in the moment, I was just trying to keep fighting for extra yards, trying to get into the end zone.

"Obviously, I wish I could take it back, but I can't. So I knew I just had to go out there and make up for it in the second half. So I went out there and tried to do that."

On the team's ability to bounce back from that momentum swing and outscore Tech 10-0 going into the half:

"Everybody knows it's a long game. I've fumbled before in other games, and I try to make up for it. My teammates, they believe in me. They were like, 'You're going to go out there and take one to the house. Just don't worry about it.'

"With that reassurance, I really appreciate those guys for that. I was upset about it when I came into the locker room. But they told me, 'Let it go. You're going to make up for it.' And then I went out there and go for 74 yards (touchdown). So, like I said, I just thank those guys and the O-line for their encouragement."

OC STERLIN GILBERT

On his decision to run Swoopes in 18-package instead of D Foreman on the fourth-and-1 with 2 minutes left in the game:

"Yeah, just coming downhill. We needed to pick up the first down, and we weren't able to do that. We needed to get big and come downhill, and we didn't execute."

On the team battling to get back on track:

"You take these last two weeks - these last two Saturdays - and our guys have put that out there for us and for everyone to view. They've responded. They've fought through adversity. We've had our ups and our downs, but we've been able to overcome. That's the growth of our football team and the direction we're headed."

LB MALIK JEFFERSON

On D'Onta Foreman:

"I had no idea he had 300 yards.  Just to see him running down the field all game, it's so impressive. he's taken this offense to a different level, and he's going to keep taking it to the heights that it is. We're very proud of him and how he finished the game."

On not starting against Baylor and having two of his best games since:

"You gotta humble yourself. In those situations, you gotta keep fighting. When you have adversity, you don't give up. There's a lot of competition on that field. I understood that. I accepted it. I want to play my role, so when I got back on the field, I knew I had to do some things different.

"It was a really humbling experience, and I appreciate it. It humbled me. I had to go back to my roots. I had a long talk with mom, and my parents and God have helped me out through this whole process."

On if a corner turned Saturday by the team:

"I think this is just us. We beat ourselves up those other games. I don't think we're at that level anymore. We want to play for each other. You could see it today. When one failed, we battled back. When we failed, they battled for us. We're going to be a team, and we're never going to give up on one another."

On going out on the field with Tech having the ball with 2 minutes left:

"He (Coach Strong) tells us every day, 'If the offense scores enough points, the defense should be able to stop them. I'm proud of this team. We all stepped up and did our jobs and took care of business."

On the maturity he's seen from the team the past two weeks:

"It starts in practice, and we've been practicing a lot harder. I think we realize now that when one messes up, we all gotta fix it. That's been a huge part of getting this team back on track."

On the mindset of the defense on Tech's last drive:

"The offense scored enough points. We had to come up with the stop."

On seeing Kris Boyd come down with the game-ending INT in the end zone:

"That was a breath of fresh air to me. I was relieved to get off that field. We stepped up to the challenge. I'm so proud of this whole team and proud that when the ball was in the air, Kris (Boyd) went up to go get it at a time like that. It was very crucial. To be able to close it like that is a special feeling. 

"Everyone had that grit. When it was time to hold 'em out of the end zone, we held 'em out of the end zone."

QB SHANE BUECHELE:

On Collin Johnson's 2 TD catches:

"Relationship-wise, you guys know we have a great relationship. But it's always exciting to see him shine like he did. Just putting the ball up to him, with his frame, seeing him come down with it - it's a lot of fun."

On Tech's 100-yard fumble return for a TD:

"I tried to go get him. I don't have that speed, so I handed off the baton to Devin (Duvernay) to go try to get him."

On the 10-0 Texas run after the 100-yard fumble return:

"It's important to respond to those kinds of things, and we were able to respond."

On the maturity of the team the past two weeks since the K-State loss:

"I think we've grown as a team. Our togetherness has been amazing over the past two weeks, just realizing what we do best and trying to get over hard times, turnovers and all that. Being able to overcome those, we've gotten a lot better.

"It's exciting to be able to come into a place like this in Lubbock, to come get a road win. We're excited about this, but we're back home next week and trying to go get a win."

On D Foreman running for 341 yards:

"That's unbelievable what he does, running for 340 yards. It's a lot of fun being able to watch it. And it's kind of like a silent 340 if that makes sense. You don't realize how many yards he's racking up - and so many of them are yards after contact. He's done an unbelievable job. And he's unbelievable in pass protection, too. So, he's just a great guy to have."

On practices the past two weeks:

"Everyone is just locked in. Everyone knows what we have to do the rest of the season and these next couple games are really important. And I think the team knows that."

On why things have turned around since losing 4 of 5 after the K-State loss:

"I think it's just our mentality as a team. We believe in ourselves. We believe in each other. And ultimately if we believe in each other and do right, good things are going to happen."

WR COLLIN JOHNSON

On why it took so long for him to break out and get into the end zone (scoring his first and second TDs of the season Saturday vs Tech):

"All I could do is control what I can control. So every day in practice, all I could do was bring a good attitude. Whether I'm catching two touchdowns or no touchdowns, I'm just going to approach every game and every practice the same. Today, I was on the positive side and I, fortunately, got two touchdowns.

"On both of 'em (TDs), the ball was in a spot where only I could get it, and I made a pretty good play today - two of 'em."

On why things have turned around since losing 4 of 5 after the K-State loss:

"Every day in practice we come ready to work, no matter if we get beat or if we win, we approach it the same, and it's just finally going our way. So, we're going to keep building off what we're doing."

On D Foreman running for 341 yards:

"Coach mentioned that in the locker room, and everyone was going crazy!"

CB JOHN BONNEY

"For us to be able to come through on defense like we did on that last drive, after all the criticism and negativity this year, that was good - a big lift for us."

CB KRIS BOYD

"I tried to have an NFL mentality. When they needed to convert long, don't jump the short routes. Just sink back and keep the play in front of you. When the play needed to be made, I made it."

On slowing down Tech:

"We just play our hearts out. On defense, we love to play. We synch with the offense. We listen to our coaches and try to do what they tell us."

On playing better on defense since the OU game:

"We should've won that game. But we gotta put the past behind us and move on. We just have the mindset of, 'We gotta take what's ours.' So, we're just on a mission."

On the team's turnaround since K-State loss:

"You gotta want it. And we want it. We're just pushing, working together, that's it."

On coming together for Charlie Strong:

"We see it as a team to come together and talk. We talked about how we had to come together this week and get it for our coaches. In the end, it's just us, and we gotta stick together."

On growing from his trials and tribulations (using cell phone to retweet at half of 2015 TCU game, penalty flags, etc) to make a game-winning play like he did vs Tech:

"I'm just playing my position and my role that I can do for the team. I just happened to be there to make the interception. Hopefully, we can grow from this, get that W next week and just keep rolling."

On what happened at Cal to allow doubt to creep into this defense and team:

"I wouldn't really say it was doubt. We just had to know our assignments more well. And we take our jobs a lot more seriously now."

On the locker room postgame celebration after beating Texas Tech:

"Focused. We was just chillin. Nice little music to get everyone going."

On wins against Baylor and Tech possibly being game-changers for the season:

"This first one on the road, a little bit, because we'd been struggling on the road. This is just showing us what we can do and how we need to keep rolling with it."

NICKEL CB PJ LOCKE 

On the confidence level of the team now as compared with the team after losing 4 of 5 earlier in the year:

"From the Baylor game, we gained a lot of confidence, because they were No. 8 in the country. The biggest challenge for us this week was coming on the road, coming to Texas Tech against their crazy offense with a bunch of playmakers.

"So we stepped up to the challenge. We love challenges. That's what we do."

On seeing Kris Boyd come up with the win-sealing INT with :09 seconds left:

"I loved it.  The play before, I dropped that pick, and it hurt my heart. When I saw Kris, I just had to go jump on him. He dropped one at the beginning of the game, and he finally got one. That made me happy."

On facing and defeating the same kind of offense as Cal, the team that tore the Texas D apart back on Sept 17:

"We definitely knew that. We definitely knew they had a similar offense to Cal. We watched our mistakes from the Cal game, because we knew they were going to have some similar plays. We had to react to them. We had a lot of confidence coming off the Baylor game, and it showed tonight. We answered the challenge after being 0-and-4 (away from home)."

DT POONA FORD:

On turning things around after the K-State loss:

"No one gave up, and we got a lot of fight in us."

On the confidence of the team after finally going on the road and winning:

"We're pretty confident. But we still humble. We know we gotta put the work in."

On the chemistry of the team:

"We knew we had to come together, and that's what we've been doing."

On Charlie Strong after the K-State loss:

"He didn't show he was rattled. He told us what we had to do, and we've been trying to get it done."

On Strong holding some key guys out of the starting lineup against Baylor:

"It shows that no matter who's on the field, we got players."

LT CONNOR WILLIAMS

On blocking for D'Onta Foreman as he's running for 341 yards:

"He had an incredible game, and it was an incredible team effort."

On the turnaround after K-State:

"We knew we needed to come together as a team, and seeing our performance against Baylor really made us hopeful."

On bouncing back after the 100-yard fumble return:

"We knew we just had to eliminate the mistakes, because they weren't really stopping us. We were just stopping ourselves."

On what makes D'Onta Foreman special:

"He's a big back, but he also has speed, and he runs with everything he has."

DT PAUL BOYETTE

On the team's first road win of the season:

"It's good to get back-to-back wins, but we can't get big-headed, because we still got three games left and still got ranked opponents coming up. Everyone's focus has to be key. We can celebrate on this plane ride back to Austin. But after today, we just gotta put it behind us and go to work Tuesday to get ready for West Virginia."

On if he was worried the team wouldn't turn things around:

"I think the young guys understood where we were at in the season - and the way they've been practicing, pushing each other. The quote is, 'Everyone remembers November.' So we just want to keep on shocking the nation that this is going to be a team to remember in November."

*****

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