After losing to Alabama (14-0) 37-21, Coach Mack Brown, Jordan Shipley and Sergio Kindle of Texas (13-1) sat down to take questions from the media.Here is the transcript the Texas' post- BCS Championship Game press conference.
Q. What did you tell your guys after the game?
COACH BROWN: I told the guys that they had a great run, 17 straight, 26 out of 28. They came into this game, I thought this they were prepared. I thought they worked really hard. After Colt got hurt, obviously we were limited in some of the things we could do, and the play before the half they tried to throw a little shuffle pass and tried to take a shot in the end zone because we knew points would be hard, that one went against us.
They actually got at the back of the game with a chance to win end of the game. I told them I was proud of their fight, I was proud of their toughness win games like this and tournaments. Turn them loose.
Q. Was this one a little tougher to take because of the unknown as far as Colt's injury? I know you had to deal with injuries, but the fact that you just don't how it could have went?
COACH BROWN: Losing is tough. We're proud to be in the National Championship game and still equally as hard to lose it.
Q. The communication with your team, I know it's painful right now, managing going forward, to see the freshmen get some work, but there's a continual healing process, won't there be?
COACH BROWN: Yes. Again, there's 120 teams that tried to get here tonight and only two were here, and congratulations to Alabama for winning the National Championship, and these five-year seniors have been here twice now. They understand what it takes, and we've just got to go back to work and try to get back here. That will be our goal.
Q. What did you say to Garrett or what did the coaching staff say to Garrett at halftime because he was a whole different quarterback in the second half.
COACH BROWN: Yeah, can you imagine just being put out there against a great defense in this setting when he wasn't planning on playing? We didn't know whether Colt would come back or not but it didn't look good when he came off the field.
What we told Garrett to do was just keep playing. You're a good player, it's a hard learning curve, learn fast, and at one point I thought he was going to come back and win the game. I'm so proud of Sergio. They played their tails off. Understanding we had a tough time scoring, and Jordan could have gotten frustrated, the whole bunch could have gotten frustrated and quit, and they didn't, and I think that's what I'm most proud of.
Q. This is for Coach and Jordan. Just talk about the way Colt ended his career, obviously painful. Talk about what you feel for him knowing that he didn't get to play in the championship game like he dreamed of?
COACH BROWN: Colt has got a career at Texas that is second to none, 45 wins. It's unbelievable. He has played so tough and so hard all year, and he was trying at halftime to get back in. I knew he wasn't healthy, and he wanted to play, and he shouldn't have. But that's how tough he is.
You look at some of the great quarterbacks in Texas football history, and Colt will go right down the middle of them, and a lot of his reason is Jordan sitting over here next to me.
Q. You were talking about Colt. Did you have to just say no, Colt, you can't play? Was there ever a discussion where he was saying, coach, let me back in?
COACH BROWN: No, it never got to that, but he was really in pain at halftime, and he and his dad were sitting there with the doctors. I never even asked the doctors because I could tell, he didn't need to be back out on the field.
Q. What adjustments did you make at halftime to slow down the running game because they really gouged you the second quarter but you shut them down the second half.
COACH BROWN: We really gave up three plays in the first half that filled us, the 55-yard run by Richardson, the little slant that was intercepted that cost us points and then the last play of the half was an absolute killer. We should have been a lot closer at halftime than we were. Our defense has not gotten the credit that they deserve all year, and I think tonight had he showed they're really good.
I thought we played really hard and stopped the Alabama running game most of the night and we got shorthanded offensively and had too many turnovers.
Q. Were you a little surprised to see them in the pistol formation?
COACH BROWN: No, we weren't surprised. I thought we had a pretty good feel of what they were doing. I'm sure they felt the same way.
Q. About Gilbert's ability to kind of regather himself in the second half.
COACH BROWN: He's such a smart young man. He's a four-point student, and I think he won all but one game in high school and won two State Championships, and we think he has a chance to be a really special player. Here's a guy standing there on the sidelines cold as can be, and all of a sudden in the National Championship game, it's like, okay, son, you've got it. I can't even imagine. It's a credit to him, the kids around him and Coach Davis for putting him in a position where he came back and actually had a chance to win the game.
I really hate the fumble there at the end because it made the game look a little more out of hand than it was. I actually thought when we got the ball back at the 5 that he was going to take us down and win, because that's what our team has done so many times.
Q. You took the time out and went ahead and ran the play there at the end of the first half. Did you consider letting the clock run out?
COACH BROWN: We did. We knew we were going to struggle with points, and we felt like we had 15 seconds left so we called the safest thing that might squirt. We called a little shuffle pass that I had never seen intercepted before, and I certainly hadn't seen it intercepted for a touchdown. We felt like we had great receivers, and Garrett had a strong arm. We were at about the 40. So we were going to try to run down 10, 15 yards and then take a shot in the end zone. That's what we were trying to do.
Q. Could you just give some final thoughts on your senior class?
COACH BROWN: Yeah, just unbelievable. I think they tied for the winningest senior class in school history. Very few people ever get to be in a National Championship game or play, and for this five-year seniors, the seven of those guys, to be involved in two, is just an amazing experience for them. Just like Sergio deciding to come back. He created havoc tonight, Jordan, a six year guy that fought through so many injuries.
What Colt has done has been amazing. You could go through the whole senior class. Next year's bunch has got a lot to live up to be as good as these guys have been through their whole run.
Q. Jordan, what was going through your mind when Colt got hurt?
JORDAN SHIPLEY: Well, I think all of us were definitely concerned when Colt went out. But I think the good thing is that Coach Davis spent so much time preparing here that he came in, and obviously started a little bit slow, but I can't imagine what it was like for him to be throwing there in the National Championship game.
But I think Colt had an unbelievable career and Garrett played really well tonight.
Q. Sergio, talk a little bit about the attitude of the defense when you saw Colt McCoy go down. Did it change the conversation on the sideline or your expectations of the defense considering you guys might be struggling to get points?
SERGIO KINDLE: I mean, we came into the game with the same game plan, whether Colt went down or not. We wouldn't have recruited Garrett if he wasn't capable to get done what he needed to for points. We knew he was ice cold and what not, and being a freshman in the biggest game of the year against the best team in the nation right now, it was going to be a struggle.
But we knew once he calmed down and got the read, checking his keys out here, he'll be all right. He'll be slow but he'll be okay. We just had to stick to our game plan. We had to stop the run and it would be better.
Q. After you scored the second touchdown, the two point conversion and got within three, were there thoughts of what happened five seasons ago going through your head as well as the rest of the team about the tremendous comeback?
JORDAN SHIPLEY: I think everybody on our team believed that we were going to win the game, and it's been that way since I've been here. I think that's something that that team helped to establish was just that belief that we're going to win the game no matter what.
To come back from -- especially at halftime with the play right before the half, and I'm just really proud of everybody, and I think we fought really hard and just came up a little short.
Q. Jordan, this is for you. When did y'all officially make the transition to the way Garrett threw the ball, because he obviously throws it a lot harder than Colt does. How difficult was it for you, and what pass do you think kind of turned it?
JORDAN SHIPLEY: Well, I think both quarterbacks throw the ball really well, and I think both of them were capable of getting the job done tonight. You know, I think you've got to give a lot of credit to Garrett for coming in and playing as well as he did, especially in the second half. I was really impressed, and I think we were all really impressed.
Q. Sergio, could you analyze the Alabama running game with Ingram and Richardson?
SERGIO KINDLE: You mean like describe it? Well, I mean, they won the game, and they scored running the ball. You know, we got into our groove in the second half, but you know -- I don't know. I mean, we lost, so they were doing something right.
Q. Jordan, what do you make of -- Alabama will return a lot of guys next year. What do you make of their potential so to speak?
JORDAN SHIPLEY: I think Alabama definitely is a great team, and I guess we've got a lot of respect for them, and I think they showed that they're definitely the best. With a lot of guys returning I'm sure they've got a chance to be really good again next year.
You've got to give a lot of credit to them for what they accomplished tonight, and it was a hard-fought game.
Q. Is it more empty feeling, the fact that you guys really don't know what would have happened because of Colt's injury? I mean, does this make it a tougher loss just because you'll really never know?
JORDAN SHIPLEY: Well, I think there's always -- with anything that happens in life, any loss, there's always things that you can look back on and wish they were different. But I think Sergio and I were talking about it, I think sometimes you've just got to look at all the ways you've been blessed. And I think we've been blessed in so many ways and just thankful for those. It was a great opportunity to be here, and we're thankful for that.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you.