Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown, on what the win meant...
"We told them in the dressing room, this is a start, this isn't the end. We had to get this game tonight. We had to get back on the right track. We had to get 1-0 against the Big 12 champs from last year that we have not been successful against in a very physical ballgame. All those things were good for us because nobody thought we could do it in any of those categories. We did it. I'm really proud of the guys."
Brown, on the fake punt in the third quarter...
"We had worked on it. Most people will not fake a punt when they're in punt safe. About two weeks ago we decided why not fake one in punt safe because everybody's soft. Just makes no sense that people say, Oh, they're in punt safe, our fakes are all off. We call them all off, you get across the 50 or at the 50. We decided tonight if it was fourth-and-3 or less on our side of the 50 we would fake it."
Brown has always been willing to call fake punts, perhaps the area where he is the least conservative as a head coach. After Kansas State had taken back some of the momentum with their score before the half, converting the fake punt and then scoring the touchdown was huge for a team that is probably still a little bit fragile.
Play caller Major Applewhite, on senior quarterback Case McCoy's performance...
"He wasn't going to impose his will on the game. I thought he did a good job with that."
With turnover-free performances in the last two weeks, McCoy has reversed his trend of gruesome turnovers that had plagued him ever since the strong start to his career when he threw more than 100 passes without an interception. It was especially important in the second half as the Horns tried to control the clock and sit on the lead.
Whatever happened, the increased maturity from McCoy in understanding his own limitations and working within them has changed him from a sub-par option to a serviceable back up -- someone who may not exactly be responsible for a win, but won't actively make it difficult to pull off.
Applewhite, on back-up tackle Desmond Harrison...
"I think when you talk about who's playing, who's not playing, you talk about this guy is not doing well. Sometimes the other guy is just doing really well. Sometimes guys like Donald Hawkinsre just doing really, really well. It's not about one guy being bad."
"Desmond is coming along. This is perfect timing for an off week for him to be able to get a little more practice time on the field."
"I think sometimes you try to say there's a fault for a player not being on a field. Sometimes the guy ahead of him is just playing really well."
The missed reps for Harrison this fall have clearly left him behind other players on the team, making the bye week an extremely important stretch for him as he tries to get up to speed with the offense and improvement in competition.
But few things were more heartening for Texas than the performance of the maligned and formerly underachieving offensive line, a performance accomplished playing with two back ups for most of the game. In past years, that wouldn't have been possible without a major drop-off in overall play.
Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, on the performance of the cornerbacks and Carrington Byndom in particular...
"I give this kid Carrington Byndom) credit. You know what, let me tell you something, they were on an island a lot tonight. You can't have it all. You can't double cover the outside guys and say you're going to stop the quarterback running the ball, too. As we got late in the game, we were able to give them a little bit of relief."
Indeed, with resources devoted to stopping the Kansas State running game, the cornerbacks were left to fend for themselves against Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett, a player Robinson called "the real deal" while also parsing out some credit to quarterback Jake Waters, whose live arm, pocket presence, and accuracy allowed him to make some nice throws.
It's a dangerous tactic to take against teams with deeper receiving corps, so the Longhorns will have to find ways to effectively defend the zone read and other quarterback run plays without having to leave their secondary completely exposed.
Such is the balance that Robinson will have to strike as the caliber of offenses Texas faces improves.
Robinson, on progress with the defense...
"I don't call them by their numbers anymore, starting to call them by their names."
Defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, on the team's effort...
"You have to thank Coach Robinson and all the coaches because they put in a great scheme."
"But we control our effort. That's the thing. They can't coach effort. We have to go and play hard, execute everything. That's what we did. We made sure we executed the plays they put in."
The question when Manny Diaz was fired as defensive coordinator was how much blame to lay at his feet for not having a game plan and how much was on the players for not executing the game plan. Following the BYU game, a notably broken-sounding Diaz basically threw up his hands and said that he had a plan and the players didn't execute it.
The responsibility fell on the players to be better -- to be more physical, to show more effort, to take better angles.
On Saturday, the players took control of their own on-field destiny.
Safety Adrian Phillips, on motivation from Tre Walker's comments...
"Of course. That was one of the main talks and we let them feel it tonight. But what is big for us is knowing that the next teams we play get the same feeling. We can't let this be a one-time thing just because of a quote."
Kansas State Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder, on the substitutions at quarterback...
"Sometimes they went in. Sometimes they came out. That's what substitution's all about."
Snyder didn't coach the best game of his career and never really found the right combination between Daniel Sams (who carried the ball eight times but didn't attempt a pass) and Jake Waters at quarterback, but comments like this are why Snyder is still awesome.
Snyder, on the handling of the quarterbacks...
"We didn't coach this game very well."
No, not really.