The bludgeoning from Joe Bergeron finally made the WYO wall crumble. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Takes on the Wyoming game from the players and coaches.
-- David Ash: "Confidence. David's confidence was so much better. He hit 20 of 27 [passes] and made some really good decisions. He threw some balls away that he might of tried to force at this time last year. He never panicked. I really just feel like he's got a good presence about him right now."on what he saw from sophomore quarterback
-- Sophomore wide receiver Jaxon Shipley agreed: "I think David played very confident today. I think he had a lot of weight off his shoulders now, and he’s ready to go. There were times last year where he was extremely nervous as a freshman. I think this year he knows he has been through it and is facing a great defense everyday and that has made him a lot more confident."
-- Brown on being a little bit happy that the defense gave up the touchdown late, as it will serve as a teaching point: "If we had won the game 45-9 we would have walked out here feeling to good about ourselves. Now we've got things that we can still work on, but I think we'll be good."
-- Senior safety Kenny Vaccaro was as hard on the performance of the secondary as position coach Duane Akina will be when they look at the film: "I think we need to get our heads out of the magazines, and start fast and play strong."
-- Sophomore running back Joe Bergeron is just waiting for senior speed back DJ Monroe to break one: "Whenever I see him turn it up the field, in my head I'm thinking it's six. That's what I'm waiting to see." You and every Texas fan, Joe.
-- As for the rest of the running game, Bergeron believes that Texas will be able to wear down opponents: "When you are running the ball, you are not going to get the big runs every time. You have to pound them and eventually they will give up. It is like hitting a wall and after awhile that wall will just crumble and then you will get those big runs." Bergeron pounded on the wall in his first nine runs, picking up only 21 yards, before finally breaking the 54-yarder like that included multiple broken tackles as the wall crumbled.
-- Senior defensive end Alex Okafor thought that the defense let up a little bit after the terrible personal foul call on junior linebacker Demarco Cobbs extended the drive that Wyoming eventually turned into a touchdown in the the early part of the fourth quarter: "We got down a little bit after that play. We've got to learn to fight through that, forget about it and move on to the next play." Mack Brown said he is going to wear his glasses next week in an effort to actually see a play like that. They probably won't help him see phantom calls.
-- Ash on the team's mentality: "Sometimes things don’t go perfect, but we had a great attitude, a great mentality, a winning mentality. I think that’s something we need to have week in and week out." A great mentality, except for the reaction to the Cobbs personal foul, apparently.
-- Shipley on the heavy use of wide receiver screens in the game: "The way they were playing we were able to do more of it because it worked for us. We saw that it was available so we took it." Some fans were upset with Bryan Harsin for calling so many, but in going back and looking at how the Wyoming defense was playing Texas, with a safety in the box to defend the running game and a cornerback giving a big cushion to the Longhorn receivers, the decision to call so many of those plays looked justified.
-- Vaccaro explained how the final Wyoming touchdown happened: "That was just a bust. We didn’t have a middle field safety. We have inexperienced players, and we will get it corrected. The team just needs to communicate better." It looked like sophomore safety Mykkelle Thompson was the culprit for the bust.
-- Defensive coordinatorshared what he liked about the defense and where they need to improve: "Our best parts were, I thought, were our best players. They know exactly what the defense and the team needs and what we want. We just have to bring the other guys along. That is why we play the game. That is why we coach, and that is the natural progression of college football. You have graduation and then you move on to the next game." It was certainly a learning experience for some of the young guys, especially guys like Turner and fellow sophomore safety Mykkelle Thompson, as well as the young linebackers, who mostly seemed to acquit themselves well, though Cobbs wasn't the dynamic force he's expected to become for this team.
-- Co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin on the WildBergeron formation: "I thought it was effective tonight. You know without looking at it, there are still some things that we can do with it. What I looked at tonight was the operation to it; with the snap, the fake, the hand-off, and whatever else we might do out of it. But he operated it well. Without looking at the tape, I don’t know what were the yards we were able to block and gain out of it. But the situation we were in was effective. So we will continue to build on that, and I thought he did a nice job and I thought he was very calm out there with it. He ran the show, and that is really what you want to see early with just the operation of it. He will get better and be able to handle it upfront or with whatever the blocking scheme we have with it." Fans all want Johnathan Gray to be the triggerman in the formation, but Texas will eventually want two guys who can run it, and Bergeron looked like he has the ability to be successful there, which only gives the Longhorns more options.