BOULDER— University of Colorado head football coach Gary Barnett held his weekly Press Conference Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center. He recapped last Saturday’s win against Texas A&M, as well as this week’s upcoming showdown against the No. 2 Texas Longhorns. The following are quotes from the session:
ON TAXAS A&M GAME— “We thought we played a pretty complete game. Offensively we really hit on all cylinders. My only disappointment was probably the punt coverage on one play. Our twos and threes could have also kept them out of the end zone. We got to play a lot of guys. It always makes practice better on Mondays and Tuesdays’. We also got a lot of experience for a number of players as well. We came out of it fairly healthy and I felt like we gain some confidence.”
ON TEXAS— “The biggest difference I’ve seen between this Texas team and the (Texas) teams we’ve played over the last four years is that they are playing really well as a team. In the past you wondered if there were enough footballs to go around to all of their guys. Vince Young is just a wonderful football player. He seems to be everything you would want in a student-athlete. I think their offensive line is very impressive—they impress me more than any one unit. (Jamaal) Charles is just a true freshman and he’s playing like a guy who really wants to make a name for himself. Vince Young’s growth as a passer has taken them to another level. You could see it last year, especially in the Rose Bowl. You can’t make him one dimensional anymore—you can’t take away the run and make him throw because he does that so well. He is such a big guy and such a tremendous athlete that he can just take the game into his own hands and change it. Defensively, I wondered if they would take a step down from last year with all the kids that they lost, but not really—they are right there where they need to be. (Senior linebacker) Aaron Harris is a terrific football player. All four guys in the secondary are really solid players. There isn’t a weakness on their defense.
“We are playing a really, really good football program (head coach) Mack (Brown) has done a good job of recruiting and getting those kids together. They certainly handled Oklahoma and if you watched the Ohio State game, you could just see them grow as it went along and they took that game over. It’s a great opportunity for us. We are coming off of an important win in a game that gave us a lot of confidence. We’ve been on the road twice in two hostile environments and now we are going to go to another one. We’ve been in the heat and we are going to go back to the heat. I think it’s expected to be about 90 (degrees) Saturday and it’s about 40 (degrees) here. It will be a bit of a challenge but we have some guys from Texas and I think all of our guys are looking forward to it. We’re growing in confidence and playing better football. Our feel for this game is completely different from last year even though it’s on the road. We are bringing a very confident team to Austin.”
ON TEXAS OFFENSIVE LINE—“It’s a veteran offensive line. They pretty much can take control of your football team. They have a bunch of young guys playing at their skill positions, and I think the offensive line sets the tone for the Texas football team.
ON FACING MULTIPLE DUAL-THREAT QUARTERBACKS THIS SEASON— “We have a lot of carryover in practice from the last two weeks. Bernard Jackson simulates that quarterback for us in practice and our guys have worked against him three weeks in a row. He’s making us better.”
ON TEXAS QB VINCENT YOUNG—“He takes (the game) over in every aspect. I go back to the Michigan game and watch him single-handedly decide to win the game. When he cranks it one there is nothing you can do—you are in for a fight. He can turn a whole game around and absolutely take control.
“Reggie Bush, to me, is the most dynamic player in the college football because he can best you three ways. But I would say Bush and Young are in the same category as far as being able to take over a game.”
ON COMPARISONS TO 2001 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON— “I don’t know if I’m quite ready to say it has the same feel, but it’s pretty close.”
ON TEXAS DT RODRIQUE WRIGHT—“That whole front four is pretty good and (Rodrique Wright) is playing really well right now. The offensive line is always the key. If we can play well up front it certainly enhances our chances in this game.”
ON TEXAS HEAD COACH MACK BROWN—“He’s probably the guy I’m closest to. We have a lot of philosophical things in common and I think our wives have a lot in common. I appreciate how he treats his kids and other people, and I’ve had a great deal of respect for how he does everything.”