North Texas Coach's Thoughts|
September 8, 1998
Quotes from Darrell Dickey Press Conference -- September 8, 1998
On Texas Tech
"Texas Tech is an excellent football team. Ricky Williams had 250 yards against UTEP, I team I used to coach. I know that UTEP felt like this was going to be one of their best teams and Tech basically dominated the game. They have a big strong offensive line. Offensively the biggest difference between this year and a year ago is that last year they were a little more into the throwing game. With Coach Winder coming back, they've gone back to the old hard-nosed Texas Tech team that your used to seeing. It's a different offense from what we just faced. Defensively Tech plays an eight-man front that gets into some 4-3. What we are saying is they have nine guys close to the line of scrimmage. They have two great corners and they commit basically everybody else to the run. They don't do that just to us, they do that to everybody. They are a sound, aggressive football team. My biggest concern is with our guys. We're healthy, we'll have a good gameplan on both sides of the ball, hopefully we'll give a great effort. If we do those things we'll be in another dogfight."
About the Oklahoma contest.
"I thought we were very excited to play and I think Oklahoma was excited to play. I thought they would have to be a little flat and turn the ball over a bunch for us to have a great chance to win. Neither one of those things happened. Oklahoma was not flat. It was a dogfight for four quarters. They kind of wore us down late and scored some points. With 11 minutes to go it was 16-9 and I thought we still had a chance to win the game. We just have to start learning to make the plays once we get to that point. After the first drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half, we didn't make a lot of things happen offensively for a number of reasons. I chose to be a little more conservative based on the fact we were winning the battle of field position, we had a couple of quarterbacks who haven't played a whole lot and Oklahoma was doing a lot of things defensively. We just needed to make more things happen in the passing game and we needed to run the better offensively and keep the defense off the field. That was the best game plan and we still believe it is. Oklahoma was fired-up for the game. If anybody saw them come out on the field, they ran down our sideline and were pointing at our players and doing those kind of things. That excited me and what excited me more was that it excited our players. We didn't back down one bit. We stood in there toe to toe and slugged it out with them. By no means is anybody satisfied with 16-9 with 11 minutes left to go."
Impressions from the game.
"Ramone Archie is a guy who a lot of you haven't heard a lot about. He doesnt say a whole lot. The biggest crowd he ever played in front of was 5,000. We stuck him out there and we were very worried. He walks out there and there is 75,000 people screaming and hollering at us and calling us a lot of things that you can't write down on your notepads. But you can use your imagination. We had guys who were excited to play in that atmosphere. Ramone Archie was one of those guys. He's a guy that went out there, playing against a Heisman Trophy candidate (De'Mond Parker), and he's knocking him out of bounds and is competing. We started a former walk-on quarterback (Jason Attaway). He's no longer a walk-on, he's a Division I football player. He's not a great one, he's not a terrible one, but he's a competitor. I was concerned that we wouldn't even get a snap. There aren't 72,000 people in his hometown. He kept his composure and kept his cool. I had nightmares all week that he'd drop snaps, throw balls all over the place. I was proud of LaDarrin McLane. They have to make plays for us to get better. First time out, I was basically proud of them. At receiver, we've got guys who can get open and we need to get the ball to them."
"Not only is Ramone Archie new to this and Jason Attaway is new to this, I'm new to it. We went out there and went 80 yards in 11 plays and I'm think this stuff is easy. It got tougher after that."
"I thought our special teams played well. Our punter averaged 47 yards per kick, that's why he's an all-American. He kept Oklahoma pinned down in the first half. We've got to cover our punts better.
"Our punter kicks it so far that we've got to run down there a little faster. I thought our kickoff coverage team did a good job and our kickoff return was excellent."
"Our defense played hard. The one thing we have to improve on is knocking the ball loose. They fumbled the ball four times, but we only got one of them."
Will LaDarrin McLane (QB) Play A Lot? "That depends on his health. We've got an 11-game schedule and some very tough foes. If LaDarrin is well, he'll be out there. How much, I don't know. If he's not 100% there is probably a good chance we will let Chase Corley take some snaps and go with those two. It's hard to play quarterback with a bad throwing shoulder."
Can Jason Attaway Develop Into Your #1 Quarterback?
"I don't think there is any question. The biggest thing I looked for was how he handled himself. If he saw 72,000 and ran for the bathroom, I would have been concerned. About midway through the third quarter he came to the sideline and I asked him if he was having fun. He said yes and asked me if I was having fun. I said yes, but I'd have a lot more fun if you would complete some more passes. There are some things, if he's going to be the #1 quarterback, he's going to have to improve on."
Are you going to playing with just one more quarterback?
"Not right now."
Will you open up the offense more this weekend?
"If you are talking about throwing the ball, we will throw the ball more depending upon the situation in the game. We called 19 pass plays. We would like to get to where we can throw 25 to 30 passes a game. I've been an offensive play caller and thrown 50 passes in a game and I've been an offensive play caller and thrown four. I think the situation of the game dictates how much you throw. Our objective is to have balance. We're going to ask our quarterbacks to do more things in our offense. That doesn't mean we're going to get off the bus and start throwing the ball. We're going to let them be a little more involved in calling plays at the line. We going to be a little more diversified. This may not sell a lot of tickets, but if we can't run the ball we can't win."
With the style of defense that Tech plays, won't you have to open the offense up more?
"People versus a two-back offense will commit more people to the run. We will take our shots deep, at throwing the ball outside to Broderick McGrew and Jay Young. We did that Saturday. People may not think we did it enough. We got the situations we were looking for -- Jay Young one-on-one with a defensive back, Broderick McGrew one-on-one with a defensive back. We got those situations because after the first drive (80 yards for a TD), Oklahoma did a very smart thing -- they said let's put everybody on the line and make a walk-on quarterback beat us. We called plays where we were throwing the ball, we just didn't hit them all."
What about Ricky Williams?
"We've got to tackle. You don't just hit him. You can't just dive at this guys legs. You've got to wrap him up. He carried the ball 41 times, he's obviously is durable."
Is It Tough To Focus On Williams With A Guy Like Donnie Hart?
?That's the situation you want to have. You want to have somebody at tailback that the defensive coaches say, we better be able to stop this guy or that's all we're going to see. In doing those things, you leave a guy like Hart out there in a one-one-one situation and they just play catch. To be quite honest, that's what we're building to try and do. I think we've got the receivers capable of doing the things he can do, but our quarterbacks have to grow up a little more."
What about the Tech revenge factor?
"I think everybody is different. Every player has their own things that motivate them. I'm sure they will be talking to the guys at Tech and saying that this is a game we should have won last year and didn't. It's very similar to the Rice-SMU game last weekend. Last year we upset Rice when they felt they were heading to the conference championship. This year SMU opens up at Rice and all you've heard from Rice is that SMU ruined their season. I don't know how much of an effect that had on the game, but Rice turns around and wins. That doesn't mean that has to happen. We can't worry about how they will prepare for it. We have to great ready to play and get excited and go out there and play with the effort and enthusiasm we played with last Saturday. Then it comes down to who makes the most plays."
What did you think of Hut Allred at Fullback?
"I think Hut is the hardest runner we have. I think he looked across the line and he didn't say,
that's Oklahoma, so let me sneak up in there and they won't hit me very hard. He wants the ball and
he made good plays because of that. Hut is a good football player."