Opening statement: We were obviously very disappointed and embarrassed as a whole on Saturday. We thought we played poorly from top to bottom. We got out-hit. We got out-hustled. We got out-coached in all three phases. That's totally unacceptable at Texas.
Some guys played well but not that many. It's the first time that I think we've played and coached that poorly since Kansas State in `07. When you play that poorly there's some anger. There's always some second guessing and finger pointing - a lot of negative scrutiny that's fair. You've just got to pull that circle closer as a family.
It's hard to be a great leader on the team unless you play great all the time. That's one of the things that Sam Acho has done. He had a great game on Saturday. We had some other guys who did the same - Emmanuel Acho, Kheeston Randall, Britt Mitchell, Malcolm Williams. There's a group of 10 or so guys that played as hard as they could play and played really well. It's a shame on a game like that - it's a team game that's played by a lot of players - that they will not get the credit or recognition that they deserve. A lot of the guys still played hard and played well. It just was not noticeable.
Offensively, we lost three turnovers. For the second week in a row, we've lost a bunch of turnovers. We're losing games more than winning them. We went for two fourth down attempts and didn't make them. You want to be aggressive when things aren't going well, but it's foolish to be aggressive if you can't make them. We're in a position where we have to start making those fourth downs if we're going to go for them. We didn't make our first and third down efficiency. In fact, we were one-for-six in third downs the first half. We were much better the second half. We were three-for-three in the red zone, but two of those were field goals. We had nine explosives to their seven, but you can't win a game with that many turnovers.
I thought that D.J. Monroe did some good things. He had 31 yards after contact - especially in a situation where he had not practiced a lot at that position. He and Garrett [Gilbert] will get more reps and have better timing this week, especially on the handoffs. We can progress him some with pass protection. Fozzy [Whittaker] played most of the second half. That's because Fozzy is great in pass protection, and we were behind and fighting to get back up. James Kirkendoll also had 16 yards after contact.
Defensively, we played hard and did a good job I thought [in] the first half. It kept us in the game. We had four three-and-outs. We were successful on five-of-seven situations of sudden change in the game. That's way too many positions to put our team in. The first drive of the second half was a killer. We had to come out the second half and play great. We stopped them on the kickoff return. They drive right down and score. I thought after that our defense played really poorly the second half. We held them to 70-plus yards the first half.
I'm really disappointed in the last touchdown after the onside kick. You're not supposed to look at the scoreboard. I thought there was frustration that kicked in when we didn't get the onside kick. We let them score in about three plays. Then they kicked off to us and we had two guys standing there and let the ball hit, which is total embarrassment to [the] coaches. One of them [the player] said he couldn't hear the other one. It darn sure wasn't because of the crowd noise. I think it was just frustration. We looked discouraged, and we didn't play to the end.
We gave up 297 yards rushing, which I said I was concerned about last week, because we hadn't seen a team line up and run the ball since Alabama did in the bowl game. One back had over 100 yards and another was close. We missed 15 tackles for 92 yards. We had 18 missed assignments. You're not focused as a defense when you miss that many assignments. We gave up runs of 19, 20, 35, 38 and 29 yards.
We won in the red zone, but we didn't win in any other phase on defense. We only forced two turnovers. We've got to force three per game to have a chance to be successful. We thought Christian Scott would be able to play. He had a sore toe during the week with a turf toe. We were told he would be ready. That's why we didn't report it. He didn't feel good in the pregame, so he did not play.
Special teams are supposed to create field position, score points and regain momentum. We didn't do any of the above. The extra point, field goal and punt teams did really well. I was proud of Justin Tucker [and] John Gold. They both punted well. Justin kicked off - kicked it to the end zone well. Alex Zumberge did a good job on the deep snaps. Cade McCrary did a great job on one short snap that was not good that he got down and saved us. Freshman Adrian Phillips and young guy Jamison Berryhill played great on special teams. We wanted to give them credit for fighting their guts out as well.
As soon as we scored to have a chance to get back in the game, we kickoff and UCLA returns it 50 yards. They score three plays later. Nobody answered on the team. Great teams step up and answer when something goes wrong. UCLA came in with a little confidence after beating Houston but not a confident football team. We constantly gave them ways to get excited about the game. You've got to give them credit for playing as well as they did throughout. We didn't answer all day.
We let the ball hit on the first punt return. We had a block in the back. It was obvious that happened twice in the game. There was another time where we fumble a ball at the three, which led to points. In fact, I think every turnover but one led to points. That was because they missed one field goal.
Then one of the worst things you can do as a coach is have 12 [players] on the field, and we've had 12 on the field on defense and we've had 12 on the field in the kicking game. When that happened on defense, we had a freshman on the field that didn't come out. When it happened the other day, [it is because] someone gets hurt. You tell him he's down on the kick teams. The trainer tells him he can come back. He's still down on the kick teams. He still runs out there. Obviously if you have 12 on the field they call the penalty before you have a chance to get your timeout. It's something that can't happen, but it has happened. It's something we've got to get corrected. It's probably the worst we've been on punt block and return since we've been here. It was a tough day for that entire group.
There's an old adage that tough circumstances come and go. Tough guys stay. We've got to be a bunch of tough guys this week. As tough as it is, we have a 24 hour rule. You guys make us break that. We have to come over and talk about it on Monday when we settle it on Sunday and start working on Oklahoma. That's what we do. We can't have the press conference right after the game. That would be what we'd rather do. We don't know enough to be honest with you and be fair. When we come in here we want to tell you what we saw.
After today we won't forget UCLA. You don't forget games like that. You move forward. You get ready for Oklahoma. I told the kids whatever is said or written this week is fair. Don't read it because it's not going to be good. Don't watch it. Watch Oklahoma film. Get yourself ready to play. The only way you can rectify this is play great and win next week.
We've only lost back-to-back games four times in our 13 years. That's because you don't let one loss beat you twice. We'll work really hard to do that this week. We're lucky that Saturday wasn't a conference game. We're lucky we've got a rival game with OU coming up this weekend. We don't have enough time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We've got to go back to work.
Oklahoma is the same old Oklahoma. They have great athletes. They're playing well. DeMarco Murray - it seems like he's been there 13 years. He's a great player. He's their second leading receiver and their leading rusher. Ryan Broyles is a great player as a receiver. He's as good as anybody in the country. He's their leading receiver. Landry Jones is playing really well. They're playing much better up front than they have the last two years. They're averaging 34 points a game. They're rushing for 121 yards a game. They're passing for 309. Their total offense is about 430. Our defense has got a great challenge with them this weekend.
Defensively, they've got two of the best ends in the country with Frank Alexander and Jeremy Beal. I thought our offensive line did a pretty good job with protection on Saturday, because number 10 [Akeem Ayers] for them was a great pass rusher. These guys are two of the best in the country. Travis Lewis is a great linebacker. He's played against us the last two years. Quinton Carter is tremendous as a cover guy. They're about 21 percent blitz. Their third down package is similar to ours. Last year they blitzed us much more than they had other teams coming in. We'll have to see what they do with us this weekend. The biggest thing is that they're plus eight in turnover margin and we're minus three. We've got to take care of the ball better and we've got to take it away from our opponents better.
On how the team gets its confidence back: The only thing you can do is go out and play better. You can't talk about it. You've got to produce. I thought this team probably looked at the Stanford film and the Kansas State film and thought the Houston quarterback was hurt and we bit the cheese. We weren't ready to play as a group. That's an awful thing to have to say as a head football coach. I didn't get them ready, assistants didn't get them ready and they didn't get ready as a group. Again, you've got some that did, some that played really well. That's a shame that football is a multi-numbers game and a team game. It's the ultimate team game. Everybody has to play well to win.
On if the team's problems are fixable: Yeah, get ready to play. Take care of the ball. Do a better job in kick teams. That's the good thing is all of them can be fixed. The sad thing is it's been a long time around here that I didn't think we played as a team with passion for 60 minutes. That's disappointing.
On if the loss is harder to take than it was when he was younger: I think it's hard to take because the standard that the kids and coaches have set here for the last three or four years has not been that way. [In] '07 we had some of this. It was a tough year because we fought it. I worried about this team. We didn't have a great first scrimmage. This is not a good enough team to not go out and play with full energy and passion every minute of every play. They've got to understand that they've got to play hard to win.
On if a game against Oklahoma is a game that this team needs: We don't get into what's next. It's just what's scheduled. You always get excited about the OU game. It probably comes at a good time for us. We don't have time to sit around and feel sorry about ourselves. We've got to fix things and move forward and get ready to play.
On the importance of this week's game: They're all big. The biggest games at Texas are the losses. That's what Coach Royal told me when I got here. That's true. They're the ones that get the most attention. We're used to winning.
On similarities between this team and the 2007 team: Saturday, I didn't think we played consistently hard for the whole game. That was something that we had in '07. [In] '07 we nearly got beat by Arkansas State, [and] Central Florida. We decided to play against TCU. Then we stunk, totally stunk and got beat 41-21 against Kansas State. We played hard at OU and got beat. Then we straightened it out for a while. We had to come from behind 35-14 to beat Oklahoma State. We had to come from behind to beat Nebraska [28-25]. Then we stunk against A&M and did great in the bowl game. Not that I remember any of those. But you want to play hard. Texas football teams play hard all the time. If you don't, it's on me. It's on our assistant coaches.