Q: What do you have to say to the fans?
Drew Tate: Just that when they watch me play, at Iowa or in high school or whatever, they can just tell I gave everything I had for the team, stuff like that. You got my all choked up.
Q: I'm sorry man, I didn't mean to.
Tate: You're all right.
Q: Brodell. He showed bursts this year, today, the last two games that Scott said he hasn't seen since running track.
Tate: Not just him. He's made some unbelievable plays today, but I saw that in all the guys, that's why I said at the beginning of the year that they're going to be fine. It's just a matter of confidence. I think the media got to them a little bit, they probably got down on themselves on a lot of stuff and they just lacked confidence. I think this whole month they were gaining confidence in practice, doing a great job in practice, it carried over to the game. I don't think we had any dropped passes today. Texas did a great job covering them then they did a great job putting pressure on us.
Q: Kirk mentioned you had a tough emotional year. Can you describe that?
Tate: What'd he say?
Q: He just said it was a frustrating year, players didn't make plays, some guys didn't help you out sometimes.
Tate: Yeah, it was frustrating, we're 6-7. It's the first time in my life, on any team I've ever been a part of, where we've been a losing team in any sport. It's been real tough. What's been so tough about it, there were so many games we were capable of winning and just didn't do it. I can understand the games we lost against Ohio State and Michigan, because we gave everything we had and just couldn't run with them. Today, we gave everything we had and we were with them. We just missed, in my opinion, two big plays that would have changed the whole game around.
Q: When you see Andy and Douglas today, do you get excited for the future here? I know you've talked about them all year, but people are seeing them grow up.
Tate: The quarterbacks are going to have great guys to throw to. A lot of guys who red shirted, you guys haven't seen anything about, they're going to be very good. I think Iowa's going to be pretty good next year and the continuing years.
Q: Does it feel like it's done? This is it, the last press conference, the last...
Tate: Yeah. I don't know, I hadn't thought about it. It really hit me after the game, talking to Texas players and coaches, walking off. It's been a good ride. Thinking about everything. That's the way life is. There'll be another chapter in my life where I'll be involved in it.
Q: Would you do anything differently the last few years of your experience?
Tate: What do you mean, do differently like how?
Q: If you could change something...
Tate: No, it's God's plan for us. What happens, happens, you just move on.
Q: Have you thought about this year, testing you. Injuries, it's your senior year, you weren't able to do the things you know you can. How difficult of a challenge has that been for you, and also has it made you a bit stronger?
Tate: Probably. Hearing the most criticism I've heard in my life is this year. I think it will make me stronger, in case I'm fortunate enough to play again somewhere else, having to deal with that. I'm sure there'll be more pressure and more criticism at the next level. You learn from it, move on. It was a frustrating year with injuries, because I'd never been injured before in anything. Having to deal with injuries and playing, it was tough. I had great support from my teammates, the coaches, my family and friends. It made it a lot easier, that part.
Q: I don't like to play the "What-if" game, but what if you guys would have played to this level, would it have changed the year?
Tate: Oh yeah, without question. First off, we wouldn't be here in San Antonio. That's the way it happened, we were fortunate to be here. Not very many 6-6 teams can come to a bowl like this. It should be a BCS game as far as facilities, venues, city, gifts, hospitality. It doesn't get any better than this anywhere.
Q: Will you let yourself play that after you leave this week? What might have happened this year?
Tate: I might think about it a little bit, to be honest with you. But what's happened has happened. I've got other things that I'm trying to achieve now. It's a game, but winning is everything. It just didn't happen for us this year.
Q: The game, the fans read and hang on everything you say and do. This year you experienced the bad side of that. In addition to experiencing the good side of that a few years ago. Is there anything that you might say or want to say to people maybe for the next person that comes along who's the hero one day?
Tate: It's just something you've got to deal with, especially being in a position that I'm in. When you win, you're great. When you lose, you're not. No matter what, a QB's always pointed at. They'll find something, if you lose, to bring you down. They'll find something, if you don't do much but win, to bring you up. It's the way it is playing QB, any QB will tell you that. It comes with the territory. Playing QB, you have to be mentally tough.
Q: I'm not trying to take you down a road of, "What about me now?" but there are fans who can lose sight of the fact that you're 22, 23 year old people. It's so important to them and everything hinges. Maybe they go too far.
Tate: That's why this game is the way it is. That's why coaches can go 10-2 then 6-6 and get fired. There's so much pressure on them to win. So much pressure on players and things like that. When there's as much money that's invested in this stuff. If you don't win, you're not around.
Q: Are the highs worth the lows?
Tate: Yeah. No one's ever going to forget the pass at LSU, and that's about as high as it can be. The low is this year. People will remember it, but it won't be stuck to them like the LSU pass was.
Drew Tate spoke with the media on Saturday for the final time. Read what he had to say about the emotional drain of the season, a message for the fans, his thoughts on the receivers, and much, much more in this length premium transcript.
Drew Tate spoke with the media on Saturday.