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Texas-West Virginia: Quotables

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Thoughts from the coaches and players after the loss to the Mountaineers.

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Senior safety Kenny Vaccaro, on the Texas run defense late ($)...

"All the defenses called were to stop the run, and they still ran it. If you can run against a run defense, we've got problems."

Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, on the same late drive...

"That last drive was poor. Our guys were giving it everything they had. We had a couple issues there at the end in terms of how we were setting ourselves up.

"Part of it was the mentality had changed. You could see some of the guys giving it everything we had, but we were just one stop short on that last possession, which was obviously disappointing."

The alignment issues aren't particularly excusable. Diaz clearly doesn't have the answer right now, but ensuring that his defense can at least line up correctly would seem like a major point of emphasis moving forward.

Vaccaro, on the defense...

"A leader in each group needs to come together and get it handled. Every game, I feel like I'm repeating myself, so I'm getting sick of saying it. I mean, it's going to get to a point where everyone just needs to handle their own and stop looking around."

Pointing fingers is not the type of behavior that will serve the group well moving forward. Taking some personal responsibility will probably, but the issues actually seem to go much deeper than that. So, it would be nice if things were that simple. Unfortunately, they aren't.

Vaccaro, on the fourth-down conversions by West Virginia...

"On fourth down, you've got to make a play. There was chances out there. We should have made plays."

Instead, West Virginia scored points every time the Longhorns failed to stop them. Five times in total.

Head coach Mack Brown, on the thin line between success and failure...

"You take away disappointment because you need to win close games. I told the guys that three plays won at Oklahoma State last week. And [Oklahoma State was] really disappointed, and played really well. And three plays lost tonight. And we're really disappointed and played really well. So it's a fine line between winning and losing."

Co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, on the drive following the recovered fumble late...

"I felt like we could run the ball and get a little momentum there."

Yeah, well, it didn't work. Hardly shocking since West Virginia had stopped the jumbo package for the entire game, not to mention runs on second down, which were not particularly successful either and put David Ash in a lot of third-and-long situations.

Harsin, on senior running back Jeremy Hills...

"Both those guys—I thought Hills, just starting with him, did a great job for us with the screens. We had to do some things on early downs. They were pressuring so we had to make a couple of adjustments during halftime, and got him the ball. He is a guy that when he gets out there he is hard to bring down. He was close on one of breaking out of another arm tackle there, but that is something he does well."

The senior back has been a big part of the running back screen game revival, but Texas is starting to develop tendencies when bringing him in the game. In go Hills and the freshman wide receivers and Harsin calls a screen. Did so all three times the personnel package was used early in the third quarter. At some point defenses will start taking that away as they have the jet sweeps, but it hasn't happened yet, and so remains an important part of the Texas arsenal.

Sophomore quarterback David Ash, on the late fumble...

"That was my fault. I was letting the play clock play get down too low and I should’ve caught it. That one is on me"

Nice to see Ash take responsibility for the play, which is what teams need from a leader, bur that's a pretty baseline admission. What really needs to happen is for Ash not to let the play clock nearly expire on the most important play of the game. It was a freshman mistake from a quarterback who has been playing like a seasoned veteran this year. And basically is after two important road wins in a row.