BaylorBears.com put up the quotes and a video a few minutes ago from this week's press conference with Art Briles and a few selected players. The video is worth watching, but in case you just want to read the quotes, here are a few things I found interesting.
Head Coach Art Briles
On the quality of the running game...
"I think we've been ok, we've been averaging over 200 yards a game. There are not many teams in America that are averaging 300 [passing yards] and 200 rushing a game. We are certainly not where we think we will be, we feel like we have some energy out there that hasn't produced yet. We certainly feel like we are going to be capable of rushing the ball better than we have been."
I think he's being a little charitable saying that we've been ok to this point based on our average rushing yards per game alone. Our yards per carry the last two weeks has been really, really bad. The overall yardage, then, is a function of the number of attempts we get, not how we'll we're doing. But I think he knows that and just doesn't want to say "Yeah, these guys couldn't roll me over if I was dead."
On being ranked this early in the year...
"I think it benefits Baylor. I think it's a little bit of a carryover from the national recognition we got a year ago. We need that recognition and that respect nationally that we still don't have, that we are still trying to earn. We are peaking in a crack at the door, they don't have it open yet, but we are peaking in and then they will shut it. We just have to get it where it will stay open and we will stay respected all the time."
Typical Briles humility. Of course.
On Ahmad Dixon as a leader...
"I like the fact that he [Ahmad Dixon] plays with a lot of passion. He has been a great leader for us. Ahmad is a super individual, first and foremost, he is a good human being from a great family. He is always positive, always full of energy and always hopeful. Those are great qualities."
Redshirt Freshman DT Trevor Clemons-Valdez
On West Virginia...
"Louisiana-Monroe is a great team. I'm not taking anything away from them, but we gave them 21 points. It's a `we' thing, and that is what coach Bennett tells us, and that is how we are going to play it. We know West Virginia has a really explosive offense. We have our work cut out for us, but we are a great defense. We are a great team and we give great effort. I have all the faith in the world that we're going to go out there and handle business."
Wait, so does Bennett really think we gave them 21 points? Like the final score should have been 45-21? I can see 45-34 based on the last give-up drive by the defense, but 21 points seems a bit much. I don't know if I buy that as anything more than a motivational tool.
Senior QB Nick Florence
On his two interceptions against ULM...
"It was awful. But you learn from it and to be able to bounce back was a good thing for me to clear it. We talk about it all the time is clearing the last play. We can't make those mistakes. Turnovers can kill a game and we were down 14-0 early because of turnovers. We can't do that this week. We've got to protect the football and execute well."
You have to respect a QB willing to stand up and describe his own game as "awful" like that. You don't often see such a frank self-evaluation from a position that basically demands egotistical players. I'm impressed. Good show, Nick. And it sounds like he knows exactly what Baylor has to do this week to win.
Anyway, watch the video I linked above. Seriously.