Nov. 14, 2011
Head Coach Gary Pinkel
“Travis Ruth didn’t play last week and is still limping around a little bit. He’s not at 100 percent. We felt if we could get through the game without using him he might get a little stronger. His status right now is probable. Kip Edwards strained his foot in the third quarter. We are evaluating him. Kip will not practice tomorrow and we’ll see how that goes. It will probably be a decision that is made at the end of the week or right before the game starts. Anthony Gatti had ACL surgery Friday. He’s out of the hospital and doing really well.
I was over seeing Henry [Josey] at the hospital an hour ago. His spirits are up a little bit, but the second day of surgery is very painful. We are all working with him as he goes through this. Braylon Webb is a possibility to get back by next week’s game. He had his meniscus repaired last week. Grant Ressel is getting an MRI to see whether we will permit him to even try it. They have enough that they can see on the MRI to give him the opportunity to test it or not.”
“For our football team right now, it’s about finishing the season. As I told my team last Thursday, there has been a lot of ups and downs this season. We’ve had a lot of close games, there has been an extraordinary number of injuries and all those things that went down, but that’s not the story. This team will be remembered for how it handled it all. That’s where we are at right now. We have an opportunity to finish and accomplish some goals. All of our focus is on Texas Tech at this time. Critically important that this game is.
It’s Senior Day. For me, it’s a real emotional day. Our seniors have been so committed to us. It’s really hard to explain to people what that is like. We get them when they are 18-years-old, I meet them when they are seniors in high school, and you see them as they mature and develop into young men. They all have their degrees or will have them very shortly. They’ve sacrificed so much to be a part of this program and to help build and maintain the program. They are part of our family. It’s great to see them go in terms of they are going to move on and take on the next stage of their life, but it’s also real difficult because you are so emotionally tied to them. That will happen Saturday, and we’ll get to honor those guys, but it’s a big, big football game for a lot of reasons.”
On Seniors Luke Lambert and Jimmy Costello...
“Luke Lambert went through Senior Day last year, and he’s back again, so that’s good. It’s really great because he had all those injuries, all those problems, and he’s gone through the whole season injury free. He’s had a heck of a year and his leadership has been excellent.
Jimmy Costello is kind of the quite hero here. He was going to go into the Navy Seals, or something like that. He was all set to go, already graduated, and we call him back, kind of recruit him back and reactivate him. When the younger Gabbert decided to leave, [his return] was huge for our football team and our program. He always has been a great young man. Talk about somebody who is committed and unselfish. All those seniors have their stories, and that’s two that are very unique.”
On the benefits of playing in a bowl game...
“The most important part is our goals that we have every year and one is to go to a bowl and win a bowl championship. Where we are at now is dealing with the legacy of the program. What is this 2011 season going to pass on? You look at a winning season, you look at going to a bowl and having an opportunity to win a bowl game, those are things we talk to our team about. Quite frankly, this is one week at a time and this is Texas Tech. Our situation is such that we can’t waste an opportunity. We have to play well and that’s my job to get that done.”
On the consistency of the offensive line...
“I think they’ve done a great job. If you can stay consistent with the same five guys there the whole time, and have some experience, it gives you a lot of continuity at a position where communication is vital. How you get those great communicative skills is you have to play together. You have to make mistakes together. We’ve had problems from an injury standpoint that has caused us to have to make a lot of adjustments, but the kids have done very well and I’m appreciative of that. Justin Britt, who, I don’t think, ever thought he would be starting at that left tackle position, has been making it through the whole season and been getting better and better. You go through Palmgren making the move from guard to center and how critically important that has been. You can go to [Dan] Hoch or Austin Wuebbels. Jack Meiners has helped us out. It’s a combination of a lot of guys and a lot of things. We’ve worked hard to mold and blend together.”
On week to week momentum...
“It’s the psychology of sport. We see it happen all over the country all the time. Can you stay focused to play your best game? Ultimately, that’s what you have to do, and the mental side of that is staggering. It’s at the professional level, certainly you see it in college football and it happens in high school. To get yourself to be able to play your best, your best performance, your “A-Game”, week to week as individuals, and collectively, as an offensive unit, a defensive unit and a kicking unit. That’s leadership, coaching, teaching. It’s a combination of a lot of things to get that done and it’s not easy.”
On Trey Barrow...
“He’s been really valuable. It’s put a lot on his plate, too. He has every area of the kicking. I think he’s done a good job in every area. His numbers have fallen off in conference, punt-wise, but look at last week how he punted. It was exceptional. We lost several 20 yards because he kicked it so far into the end zone, but he keeps flipping the field for us. Certainly you’d like the ball to land on the four instead of putting them back on the 20, but, for the most part, he’s done an exceptional job. The PATs, the field goals, the kickoffs he’s been doing with Grant [Ressel] out. That’s a lot more on his plate than just going out there and doing a couple punts a game. He’s been very valuable for us.”
Senior DT Terrell Resonno
On Saturday’s game against Texas Tech...
“This game is very important. Last year, they cost us the opportunity to go to the Big 12 Championship Game so that hurt a lot. This is going to be a revenge game on Senior Day. It’s going to be very important for all of us to be well prepared this week and to come out and have a good game.”
On the defensive line’s performance against Texas...
“Our main focus was to eliminate big plays. Against Baylor, we had a lot of big plays that happened to us. So eliminating that, being fundamentally sound, perfecting technique, we did that [against Texas], and that’s why we won the game.”
On preseason expectations for the defensive line...
“I’d say our defensive line hasn’t been healthy. Jacquies [Smith] missed a few games, I missed a few games, Sheldon [Richardson] has been banged up, Brad [Madison] has been banged up. It speaks for itself that we had a lot of injuries. Hopefully we get it together in the last couple of games.”
Junior TB Kendial Lawrence
On Henry Josey’s post-surgery state...
“He’s laying up, hanging out with his family. That’s my little brother, so we talk about everything all the time. [I told him] to keep his head up, stay positive. If you have anything or ever get down, just text me, call me or tell me to come see you and we can talk about it.”
On his role as Josey’s replacement...
“I’ve always had confidence. If anything, it just gives me the urge to work harder for him and pick up the slack for him.”
On keeping the streak of bowl game appearances alive...
“It’s really important. Everyone wants to play in a bowl game, sending the senior guys out on a high note. It’s really important for all the underclass guys to go out there, practice their hardest and play their roles in the game.”
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