What do you have to do to make sure you’ll be able to run the ball against Auburn? “They are a very physical defense. They’ve got really good team speed. We have based the season on being able to run the football, No. 1. We felt like it’s one of the areas we’ve improved as a football team. We’ve gone into every game wanting to be able to run the ball and establish the running game. So we’re going to have to do a good job.
Opening comments: “I was here four years ago with LSU (when serving at LSU as defensive coordinator). Our kids are having a great time. We’re just excited to get started. … We’re so excited to play a great opponent in Nebraska with the history and the tradition that their school has. … Coach (Bill) Callahan and his staff have done an outstanding job of recruiting and getting the type of players that they want to implement into their system.
Opening comments: “It’s great to be here. We had a good practice today. It’s a great facility (at SMU). We’re just thrilled about the weather and the hospitality here at the AT&T Cotton Bowl. It has been fun so far. We look forward to spending the next five or six days preparing for a very good Nebraska team. We’re excited about it. It’s going to be a challenge for us.
“When you get to play a team from another conference that we don’t get to play very often, it makes it fun to be a player.
Opening remarks: “It’s great to be here back in Dallas, especially Texas Stadium. I’ve got a lot of great memories of coming to this stadium many times in professional football. It’ll be a great atmosphere for our players when they come here this morning to practice. On behalf of the University of Nebraska, Bruce (Gadd, CBAA Chairman), I just want to extend again our appreciation to the Cotton Bowl committee for electing us, and selecting Nebraska to participate in the Cotton Bowl Classic.
“It’s the highlight of our year, and our players are excited to be a part of it.”
“We have guys coming in from all over the country. We have guys coming in from different parts of the country. They’re required to be here at 3 o’clock. We have a couple of guys who will be delayed because of weather around the country. But we had about 50 percent of our team fly out of Lincoln and the remainder will fly basically from their homes.
On Texas Tech QB Cody Hodges running the ball: “We really started out worrying about it. And as the game wore along, we said ‘look, the coverage is great. They’re not going to beat us scrambling. He’ll get whatever he’ll get, get on the ground and we’ll go on and play.’ We didn’t want to bust the coverage coming back from the scramble.”
On his defense during the game: “(Jeffrey Dukes) just did a great job.
On Texas Tech’s overall team performance: “A lot of times in the first half and even a little bit in the second half, we pressed a little too much. I thought it was unfortunate. We wanted to win real bad, but at some point you have to relax and not worry about mistakes and just let it fly a little bit. I felt we could have done a better job.”
On the winning Alabama field goal: “I had high hopes for that thing missing when it came off his foot, but it kept carrying.
Coach, would you like to make any opening comments about the game and then we'll take the questions?
COACH MIKE LEACH: No, into questions.
PETER IRWIN: Okay. We'll take questions directly from the floor.
Q. I know you talked about the speed of their defense coming into the game, what did you think of your overall impression of their defense, seeing it in person?
COACH MIKE LEACH: I thought they had good team speed.
Q. For Brodie. Just talk about your emotions. They score, it looks like this may be your last drive of your senior season, just talk about your emotions taking the field on the last drive?
BRODIE CROYLE: Coming into it, coming into Alabama that's what you dream of.
Opening statement:“We’re excited to be here at the AT&T Cotton Bowl. The reputation of this bowl and the tradition of this bowl are famous for anybody who has ever been involved with football. It more than measures up to its reputation. We’re excited to be here and in the middle of a great experience. We’re just looking forward to a good game. You guys who know me know I don’t really do opening statements so go ahead and fire your questions.
Opening Comments:“Just to go along with what Mike (Leach) said, we too are excited to be here. It has been a nice journey for our football team. We’ve had our seniors, a lot of them that have been three-year starters, have been through a lot. For these guys to end up here at the Cotton Bowl knowing again the reputation of the Cotton Bowl has (is special). We would like to thank the Cotton Bowl for their hospitality this week. It has been great. We just want to be able to represent our university and our conference well.
On the week of practice thus far:“All of us in these bowl games have a lot of time to look at each other, maybe too much time. Everybody is going to have a pretty good look at each other. They’re going to change some things, and we’re going to change some things. We’re all trying to guess how they’re going to change it, and they’re probably trying to guess how we’re going to change it. That’s kind of the fun of it.
On being Mike Shula’s position coach at Alabama and what impact he had on him:“I’m hoping there is somehow and some way there has been a positive influence on his life from me. When he first came to the University of Alabama out of high school, you could tell he was very sharp and very, very smart. He doesn’t forget anything. He has always been that way. He is an intense competitor. You have to remember as he was growing up in the summers, where some of us may have been cutting yards and doing stuff like that, he went to pro camp and was the ball boy with the Miami Dolphins.
On what most impresses him the most about the Alabama defense:“I don’t know where we will have success against them. É The thing that is impressive about Alabama is their senior leadership. They have seven seniors on defense, and six of them have been four-year starters. There’s nothing that can replace experience. That’s scary for us. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve seen everything. They know how to win.
On reasons for University of Texas’ success on defense against Texas Tech:“They have great athletes and they are well-coached. Gene Chizik is as fine a defensive coordinator as there is in the country. He did a great job against them that week and they have great kids. Coach (Mack) Brown and that whole staff, what a great year they’ve had. They did a nice job against them, but we are a different team.
“You look at what they (Texas) did against them, but we have looked at all 12 tapes.