Head coach Bret Bielema’s opening statement: “We recognized a couple MVPs on Sunday. Offensively with honorable mention was Jonathan Williams, Patrick Arinze, Cody Hollister and Sebastian Tretola. Our Offensive MVP two weeks in a row was Denver Kirkland. He’s just playing really, really good football and the changes he made to his body over the summer has really stood out. Defensively we talked about Trey Flowers, DJ Dean, Henre’ Toliver and I thought all three safeties that got in played well, but Taiwan Johnson took it away with the things he able to do with disrupting up front. Special teams we had a lot of kickers get involved and did some good things but we went with three guys that were involved with multiple units and did an outstanding job for us. Jeremy Sprinkle was a war daddy out there and was awesome. He got banged up in the middle of the second quarter but was still a wrecking machine out there in several different phases. Jeremy Sprinkle and two true freshmen linebackers Khalia Hackett who played for the first time was wearing people out, and Dwayne Eugene on kickoff coverage had four or five knock downs. Hackett had five of the 10 on the kickoff coverage. Those guys played absolutely awesome. Our scout team MVP offensively was Adam Deacon who got in the game, it was fun to watch him play a bit. And defensively Josh Harris has been an outstanding player ever since coming into fall camp. The special teams/scout team player was Garret Krueger. Those three guys really helped us all week.”
Bielema on the opportunity for next Saturday: “Obviously it’s a 2-0 football team and they’re trying to prove themselves as well. They started out hot last year and then fell down a little bit and this year they’ve been waiting for that signature win. I think us in particular wanted to earn respect last Saturday, we did a lot of good things and players got in there but we’ll take every game for what it is and the opportunity to play a Big 12 team on the road is cool.”
Bielema on going up against Texas Tech’s proficient passing game: “For us I think this is where our plan overall as a program kicks in. Your offensive philosophy has to tie in with your defensive philosophy, and both of those have to tie in with your kicking game, and the more that we can monopolize the clock a little more efficiently, we can operate and do certain things – it’s only going to help our defense. The bottom line is, Texas Tech’s offense is out there against our defense and it doesn’t really matter what they do on offense, it matters what we do and how we’re able to defend them.”
Bielema on Taiwan Johnson: “Taiwan Johnson plays extremely hard. I usually stay out of the personnel things until I see something that I glaringly know and after the first scrimmage I said to move Taiwan from a three to a tilt nose and we’re going to let him play with speed in there and be active. The thing I didn’t realize is how strong he is. He may not be numbers strong as far as benching, but when he’s got his hands out he’s very physical player and you saw that on Saturday and it showed up at the Auburn game a little bit. He plays with a very high motor, has a great work ethic and I’m excited to see him play.”
Bielema on the running back corps’ progress: “I think that they’re good players and they’re elite in our program, I like the fact that all three of them push each other and Kody Walker is right there knocking on the door. I think each one of them brings a uniqueness to the game but I will say this, I think Alex Collins has probably had as good a three weeks of practice since he’s been here and it’s really showing up in his game plan and Jonathan Williams, any chance he gets, continues to impress.”
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