“It was an exciting win for us Saturday to pick up our first Conference USA win on the road at North Texas. Dan McCarney is a fantastic coach and (North Texas) played really hard. We knew it was a game that we were going to have to go earn. They weren’t going to give it to us. The thing that I was most pleased with is that we went from five turnovers against the University of Texas and we didn’t have any this week. Our defense created three. That was really the big difference in the game.
“Our offensive line in that game, Coach (Ronnie) Vinklarek did a masterful job. He had two or three young men get injured, so we had to do some mass substitution in there at times. I was really pleased at how every man that came in stepped up and performed. Jowan (Davis), to come in healthy and have 100 yards rushing. It shows what that offensive line is capable of with the different faces that were up there.
“I was so pleased with our receivers. Dennis Parks, with the type of game he had and Zach Wright. Not only are they catching the football, but they are very physical on the perimeter when blocking. That’s leading to a lot of the extra yards down field that we are getting. It was nice to see Driphus (Jackson) get into a rhythm. It really started about midway in the second quarter, through the third quarter, where you finally saw what our offense is capable of when we play and we don’t press. I was really pleased with their performance. We held the ball for 41 minutes. The only thing I didn’t like was that we had a 16-play drive with no points and a 13-play drive with no points. It’s important that we’re hanging on to the football but we have to come away with points.
“Defensively, some of those young players continue to improve. J.P. Thompson had a big game for us at the safety position and Tabari McGaskey at linebacker. Some names that you haven’t heard a lot of are really starting to step up and really make plays. Brian Womac. Derek Brown. We’re going to be a work in progress. Our goal is to get better each week. I think we’ve done that both offensively and defensively. James Farrimond stepped up this week. He had nice hang time and nice ball placement. We still have to get consistent on our field goal unit with Jack (Fox). But I think we’re making strides. He’s got a very good leg. When you’re a young freshman, there’s going to be some growing pains, but he’s very talented and very capable. I’m pleased with that performance.
“We’re going to Waco. You see in their two outings what they’re scoring per game and you see what they’re averaging per game. Art (Briles’) has done an incredible job. Offensively, they are doing a nice job and defensively. It’s one of those where you go in and you have to dream big. We were dreaming big when we went to the University of Texas. We have to believe that we can do it and we have to play like we can do it. It’s one where if you are talking about having 16-play drives, you have to get points. Art plays a very aggressive game. They are going to throw it down the field. That’s what Baylor does. We’re going to try to do all we can to keep it out of their hands. But, we’re looking forward to it. Like I said, we’re excited to be 1-0 in conference and 2-1 on the year and the best is yet to come.
On the team putting the Texas loss behind them prior to North Texas:
“It was good to know that. After the Texas game, to come back and perform the way we did (at North Texas). What’s changed around here, too, after going to three straight bowl games is that people get ready for us. Those in Conference USA want to beat us. That was a big game for them. It was really nice to see our players go earn it. North Texas made us earn that game. That’s a tough place to win. We’ve got to put that one behind us and put total focus on Baylor. You try to be 1-0 each week. We’ve got to roll in to Waco and be at our best.”
On the rain and heat:
“That was hot because it rained all the way up until kickoff. It was like a hot, humid, Houston day. I know playing the Wagner game and getting ready during camp, that it was something that we are used to. But, it was like a Houston day. It was not the weather we were expecting. But, once again, we didn’t have any problem with the heat. It’s a tribute to how hard these guys worked all summer and Coach (Kevin) Yoxall and his strength staff.”
On having versatility on offense:
“I’ll tell you what I do like. We held on to the football in the fourth quarter for 12 minutes. We also ran 90 plays. So it’s nice to be able to go up-tempo when you want to. But it’s also nice to say, you know what? We need to grind the clock and we can do that with Driphus. Or, we can put Luke Turner in the game and we can go to our option game and try to play keep away. I think you have to be good at both. I just really like the personality of this team with Driphus. He has an understanding of the game of when we need to eat clock and when we need to have the offense with less friction and try to get it down the field.”
On the identities of certain positions:
“That is important. During two-a-days, there’s always that stormy stage where rolls are being defined. But, it doesn’t stop just when camp is over. There and still a lot of guys who are trying to get their reps. But, going into Week Four, we have our identity and we know who is going to play where. What’s nice, too, is that we have quality depth here now. Nobody plays by default. You have to perform every Saturday because there is somebody young and eager that is looking for their opportunity to step in and play and competition does help.”
On the biggest challenge of playing a school like Baylor:
“We love the fact of going in there. You have to have the mentality that it is us against the world. I guess the biggest challenge is that we know they are ranked fourth in the country in one poll and fifth in another. They are a good football team. You don’t see a lot of weaknesses offensively or defensively. They are talented everywhere. They are talented on special teams. We will absolutely have to play our best.”
On knowing they dominated Texas heading into Baylor:
“We learned some lessons from the Texas game. You also learn how to work in a loud environment. Procedurally, you didn’t see a lot of problems. I think that helps us moving forward.”
On Cameron Decell:
“We brought Cam in to be our punter. He’s got an incredible leg, but he was an all-district receiver. So, when James Farrimond actually locked in that job, he wanted to try another position. So we moved him to receiver just so we didn’t have a scholarship sitting on the sideline. He’s very talented. He’s very athletic. Kickoffs; he was going to do them all year but he had a sore spot on his foot. So that’s why we delayed kicking him until the third game. But, when he hits it, it goes through the end zone. He has an incredibly talented leg. We’re excited for what he brings to our kicking game.”