‘Business as usual’ for Sarkisian, Longhorns in Big 12 Championship match against Oklahoma State

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as a Texas Longhorns It will be “business as usual” on Saturday, according to head coach Steve Sarkisian, who is trying to win his fourth Big 12 championship with the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

“One thing I’m coming to know with this team is that it’s business as usual,” Sarcian said at Monday’s press conference. “When you walk in, you don’t feel anything different in the air. The boys are paying attention and want you to call in the plan, but it’s business as usual.

To get into this spot, the Longhorns had to take care of business against Texas Tech last Friday, and they did so with a 57-7 blowout win to clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.

“I thought our defense and special teams were really good. We really controlled the field in the game and at any time they could create three turnovers, make a punt, block a punt, return a kickoff for a touchdown and create an explosive return on a punt return. The ball was two in their own end.” This is to control the position of the field so that you can time them.

Sarcian was thrilled Texas added another 100-yard rusher, with Jayden Blue becoming the third Longhorn to hit the century mark.

Texas didn’t have to play their starters at all four quarterback positions, especially as Arch Manning saw his first game time in a Longhorns jersey along with Trey Wisner. The duo led a 13-play, 91-yard drive with other young players leading the charge.

But Sark is concerned that Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State will take all 60 minutes.

“After getting off to a 2-2 start and a change in philosophy on offense to go 7-1 in the last eight games… A very good team. A very good second-half team, especially the last two weeks, so we knew it was going to be a four-quarter game.”

No one knew who the Longhorns’ opponent would be until Saturday night, when Oklahoma State was able to come back from a double-digit deficit. BYU In overtime, however, it didn’t matter much to Texas.

“Our focus all year has been to be a champion…and we’ve put ourselves in a position to do that.”

Here are Sark’s comments from Monday’s press conference:

They will play competently, but Watts and Jordan are questionable. It felt like another tense and physical game on Friday night as several players from both sides headed to the locker room. Sarsian says Worthy will be good to go and Murphy trained today but Ryan Watts and Austin Jordan will be doubtful.

A fitting end to the Big 12? Sark was asked who the Longhorns’ opponent was worried about Saturday and, unsurprisingly, the Texas head coach said, “No.”

However, he added, playing Oklahoma State “is a great fit…knowing that we didn’t get a chance to play each other in the regular season against the Big 12.”

Ollie Gordon: “[He]He’s a great player and they’ve done a great offensive job leaning on him. It indicates who their team is. I feel like the game will only get stronger as it goes on. A number of good shots came in the second half when the teams were down. He’s got solid yards, solid yards between the tackles, but also, he’s got great explosiveness.

Oklahoma State Oddities: South Alabama lost at home, but Oklahoma won Kansas State. What did you make of this Cowboys team and those strange results?

“I don’t really know the answer to why, but I know what they are capable of, and that they can be a very dangerous team and play at a high level and match the quality of the opposition and the team. The opponent”

Quinn’s performance against Texas Tech: Ewers certainly hasn’t lit up the Red Raiders, but Sark believes it’s a combination of factors that have caught the passing game.

“We had a couple of opportunities for some big plays and we didn’t guard him well. We didn’t hold the ball well. And then all of a sudden he misses a couple of throws and those kinds of things can snowball on you.

Sark was positive about Quinn’s behavior after the end zone interception. “A year ago, it might have been more challenging to bounce back from the game, but I think he’s learning how to react to those things and learn from them and put it aside and focus on the next job. next game”

Rise of Manny Muhammad: “I think one thing Manny has is a really high football IQ. So the recognition of things and formations and movements and anything is very high. I think he’s a really competitive guy and I think he gives off a lot of competitive spirit. He plays the game with a certain passion and I think that suits him when he plays a physical brand on the line of scrimmage.

“He dresses like a wide receiver.” I bet you can’t guess who Sark is talking about. DJ Campbell.

“He’s got this boyish sense of humor off the field. In and around the building, even on the field, he’s a linebacker and we always joke with him, he dresses like a wide receiver. When it comes to practice, tights and wrists and all the equipment and the music plays, the lineman is the one who dances.

“But to his credit, he’s improved a ton. A lot of guys like these are five stars and they’re not starting as true freshmen, and the first question is, ‘What’s wrong?’ There is nothing wrong with it, everyone is at a different stage of development. To his credit, he has earned himself a chance to be a starter for us this year because he bought into the job lined up by Coach Flood. He played very good football for us. He’s had some learning periods to improve, but one thing he’s got is his physicality and his physicality to play his position, which I think plays into our style of play. I think he fits in beautifully. But I’m proud of him and what he’s done, not just being the player he is, but the maturity and still keeping that player on the field.

Is Texas still a college football contender? “Why wouldn’t I?” Sark later added that Texas must complete its business Saturday before any playoff talk.

“If we don’t play well Saturday and find a way to win that game, there’s no college football playoff game. If this is the case, you should have another discussion.

Bijan, Roshon lay the foundation for Brooks, Baxter and Blue. “I think there is a culture in this [RB] The class where all the other people bought into the coach’s choice and started Bijan and Roshon.

“I think our future is very bright in that department … and that department is important to me because when we can run the ball, we’re at our best.”

“The best tandem in the country.” Okay, so you can guess this is about T’Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy. When asked how Sark would like to see the award, one is the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and the other is the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

“I think they more than deserve that. He’s impacted our team as you know, when you think we lead the nation in third down defense, we lead in red zone defense. And those are two really good numbers when you talk about defensive football, nobody’s better than us on third down, nobody’s better than us in the red zone to stop people. And sometimes the overall defense can swing a little because of the yards, but you’re stopping people on third down and you’re keeping the guys you’re taking out of the field from scoring when they’re in the red zone. Those are big numbers. So I was fired to protect us. But a lot of it starts and ends with what we do up front on the interior defensive line and I think that’s Lab and Murphy.

How has Sark improved as a coach this season? Sark said he will reflect and evaluate the entire organization at the end of the season, but he personally felt more connected to this team.

“I feel a real connection with the players. We put a lot of time and energy into our culture and when you dig into your culture and be vulnerable and open and connect with your players, there can be a little more self-reflection along the way. From a relationship perspective, I feel really good about where I am with our team. Every day, as a coach, you get up and talk to your team. I never want it to feel mundane or routine. I never want to get up there and sound like a Charlie Brown teacher. I’m trying to get a message across to us with the team that plays on Saturday, but I always want to make sure there’s a life lesson learned somewhere and a life lesson for growth. Every time I get up and speak in front of our team, I still get these natural little butterflies. What an incredible opportunity. I got to stand in front of a group of men whose lives I was trying to help impact. And I don’t take that lightly. And I must have appreciated this year more than ever, all year long. You know, the first talk of the season is easy, but I’m talking about this morning right at eight o’clock in the morning. How do I talk to those people? What is my message by taking the people in the room to meet and collaborate and what we need to do?

Culture Wednesday: “I always try to do cultural stuff after the first year because then you really start to get to know people and personalities and things and who’s invested in what you want to achieve and maybe who’s not. They’re all on board.”

“So we started that a year ago, and I thought people responded well to it. They were happy and we started doing those cultural activities on Fridays before games. But last year coming out of the tournament and in my exit meeting with the players, they all referred to the Wednesday tradition and they all mentioned the activities that we’ve done about you, what are you most excited about this year and what are you looking forward to? Want to see more? They all wanted more than that. “And we really tried to take it to another level this summer, and we took it to another level this fall. There isn’t a Friday night game where I don’t do a cultural activity.

No key to play faster and faster? Asked how physical and quick the team looked Friday night, Sark said it might have to do with trusting his gut and not practicing in pads.

“We played as fast and physical as we’ve probably had all year from a defensive standpoint and on the offensive line with our helmets on to actually walk. But this is because the players have earned their trust. . They knew how to practice without pads, they knew how to pace and still be mentally focused, and that allowed them to play as fast as they could come Friday night in a short week.

Transfer Portal: The transfer portal opens next Monday, Sark said, adding that the staff’s focus is on Saturday but we have a good idea of ​​where we might have some deeper concerns.

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