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Notes from Mack Brown's Monday Press Conference

  • Jeff Howe

    After his weekly press conference, Texas head coach Mack Brown met with team beat reporters to discuss the win over Texas Tech and the upcoming game against UCLA...

    *Mack started out by saying you can never take a win over Texas Tech for granted. It's a different environment and weird things tend to happen there, but he was proud of the way the team fought and the passion they showed.

    *He said one of the reasons time of possession was so big was because a lot of teams give up points to Tech in the fourth quarter simply because they are tired. Mack said a fresh defense made a huge difference in the fourth quarter with Tech unable to move the football.

    *On special teams, Mack said the kickoff coverage is better than it has been in many years. He said they will continue to use the rugby punt and the normal punt just to give teams two different things to prepare for. He said the fake punt was successful because the kids believed it work and he said it really energized the team because the kids like it when the staff decides to roll the dice. Likewise, he said kickoff return was poor and the running into the kicker penalty on the punt was just as hurtful as a turnover.

    *Special Teams awards for the week...
    Player(s) of the Game: Curtis Brown and Adrian Phillips

    *Mack said the 22 play drive was the longest they've had since they've been at Texas.

    *He said the offense did some things well and had some consistent drives, but overall inconsistency is still a major issue. Mack said the turnovers were his biggest issue with the offense because they had two drives that would have ended with points had it not been for interceptions.

    *Mack said the offense needs to continue to do a better job of finishing drives. He also said there were too many sacks given up and too many turnovers.

    *Offensive awards for the week...
    Player of the Game: James Kirkendoll
    Best Offensive Lineman: David Snow
    Big Hit: Fozzy Whittaker
    Biggest Contributor: Garrett Gilbert

    *Mack talked about the time management before the half. He said his biggest concern was giving Gilbert good field position with two timeouts. They were not as concerned with how much time Tech was going to run off of the clock.

    *He said D.J. Monroe did a good job on the one play he had. He said they are continuing to find ways to get him on the field and involved in the game.

    *The Texas defense held Tech to its lowest offensive output since 1982.

    *Defensive awards for the week...
    Player of the Game: the entire defense
    Hard Hat: Blake Gideon
    Ball Hawk: Dravannti Johnson, Emmanuel Acho, Blake Gideon, Eddie Jones, Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown

    *Mack said he was happy that Blake Gideon and Curtis Brown both caused turnovers in the game and now they can put 2008 behind them for good.

    *Mack said they really need the help of the crowd on Saturday against UCLA (2:30 start time).

    *He said Rick Neuheisel knows Texas and knows how to play at DKR. Mack pointed to the fact that UCLA was up 21-3 on Houston when Case Keenum left the game, so that;'s a game they were well in control of when that happened.

    *Mack pointed to the fact that Neuheisel and OC Norm Chow are running the ball much more than either has in the past. They use the 'pistol' formation and Mack said their rushing attack looks ver much like Nevada's.

    *Mack said Chow still uses a lot of the same motion looks and formation variations that he's always used, so they are prepared to see a lot on Saturday.

    *Mack said UCLA's Akeem Ayers is their Sergio Kindle - he's a big LB (6-4, 255) who they will move all over the place. He also said safety Rahim Moore is fun to watch and is a guy he and the staff recruited.

    *He said UCLA has the best kicking game in the country. K Kai Forbath won the Lou Groza award last year and P Jeff Locke was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy award.

    *Mack also added that his and everyone's thoughts and prayers are with the Garrett family and the West Orange-Stark family after Friday's passing of Reggie Garrett. Mack said the Garrett family is very close with Earl Thomas' family. Mack said he feels for the coaches, players and the community in this tough time.

    More to come later...

  • trying to find ways to get monroe on the field, brillant.

  • UCLA is going to be the best defense Texas has seen by far this season on Saturday. A guy like DJ Monroe needs to get 3-5 touches in this game IMO.

    National Director of Scouting & Recruiting Analyst @GerryHam247

  • Jeff Howe

    Here's's more from Mack today...

    *Mack said the inconsistencies in the running game come in part from the offense not playing together as a unit. He said there are too many plays where one of two guys aren't doing the right thing and it's costing them. He said that's on the coaches and they need to do a better job as a staff.

    *Mack said none of the backs are 100 percent right now. He said Tre' Newton has a hip pointer, Fozzy Whittaker is having shoulder issues and Cody Johnson has had the ankle. Mack said they nearly sent Jeremy Hills into the game against Texas Tech but they have still not made a final decision on redshirting Hills or Traylon Shead.

    *On D.J. Monroe, Mack said the main thing they need to continue to try and do is mix him in to the point where the defense doesn't feel like when Monroe steps on the field he's getting the ball. Mack said the Tech defense knew Monroe was getting the ball and he still ripped off a 14-yard run. He added that Monroe is earning the right to play more.

    *According to Mack some of the inconsistencies in Mike Davis' game can be attributed to his first true road game. Mack said Davis got a little big-eyed and he hopes that it's out of his system now.

    *Mack talked about where he was when he heard the score of the 1997 UCLA game (a 66-3 loss for Texas). He said he remembers Cleve Bryant coming up to him while North Carolina was in a tight game with Stanford and said to him, "... it isn't a good day to be in Austin, Texas." When asked if he watched highlights of the game, Mack replied, "... when it's a 66-3 game, you have a pretty good idea of what happened."

    *Mack said it will be tough on the Texas defense this week because they'll get bragged on this week more than they probably should. He said they don't need to lose sight of the fact that they are facing a UCLA rushing attack that is averaging more that 200 yards per game and it will be a great challenge.

    *Likewise, Mack said the offense will be cussed all week. He said one thing he noticed Saturday is that they pressed too much at times. Again, Mack said fixing that comes down to better coaching. He said cited last year's Colorado game as an instance where the offense was very inconsistent and had troubles early. He said UCLA's physical nature will help get them ready for upcoming games against Oklahoma and Nebraska.

    *Mack said Garrett Gilbert's turnovers - the first two at least - were a product of a defensive end making a great play. Mack said the screen call was a great call and they might have scored, but the end made a great play.

    *He said they will get a lot of their questions answered about the defensive tackle rotation this weekend against UCLA. Mack said they really don't know what kind of rush defense they have, but they'll get it figured out this week.

    *Mack talked about scheduling with UCLA having a losing record and the crapshoot that is scheduling so far out. Mack said you really don't know when you schedule teams how good they'll be down the road. For example, he never would have thought Arkansas would be the 5-7 team and Rice the 10-3 team from the 2008 schedule.

    *Mack also talked about his philosophy on recruiting JUCO prospects. He said that the academics at Texas (and even back when he was at North Carolina) make it tough for a guy to graduate in two years. Mack said he could only think of three JUCO prospects he's ever brought in during his tenure and all of them were kids they recruited as high school seniors.

    *Mack said one of the things he learned about this team from the Tech win is how hard they play. He said he wasn't sure after the Rice game if this team had what it took to go on the road and win against Texas Tech. Now, he said he feels like this team is tough enough to win tough conference games on the road and battle.

    More to come...

  • Jeff Howe

    ... and now to finish up on Mack from today...

    *Mack said he's still not sure what they have in Barrett Matthews. Mack said he was happy that he caught the TD pass and hopefully he can now relax and go out and play. Mack also said they need to figure out a way to get the TE more involved in the offense.

    *Mack said there aren't as many wide-open offenses in the Big 12 as there were a few years ago and some of that has to do with defenses getting better. Mack praised the Nebraska coaches for their turnaround on the defensive side of the football. Mack said one of the reason Texas doesn't need to be wide open is that playing great defense means you don't have to take as many chances.

    *Mack went back to the offense saying they've done enough good to excite the staff, but enough bad to be inconsistent and frustrating for the coaching staff.

    *Mack said Blake Gideon is playing better than ever and there's not a whole lot you can do about the personal foul penalties. Mack said the new targeting rule has put a lot of judgement in the officials' hand. Mack said you teacha guy never to go for the face, but other than than there's not a whole lot you can do because it comes down to a judgement call from the officials.

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    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"

  • austinr said... (original post)

    That is very interesting...........would you say they will be similar to OU or NU?

    I don't know how similar they are yet. They won't likely be as stout against the run as OU or @ Neb, but they have some serious playmakers that can disrupt timing. Akeem Ayers will be the best LB Texas goes against this year in terms of being a disruptive force.

    National Director of Scouting & Recruiting Analyst @GerryHam247

  • Jeff Howe

    Gerry Hamilton said... (original post)

    UCLA is going to be the best defense Texas has seen by far this season on Saturday. A guy like DJ Monroe needs to get 3-5 touches in this game IMO.

    I'm very interested to see how he gets used on Saturday.