The gentlemen representing the University of Texas are downright polite and respectful about their opponent this week. And it’s not because they’re coming off an incredibly humbling 5-7 campaign, just one year removed from playing in the national title game.

In UT’s Monday press conference, Brown and his players said a lot of nice things about Brigham Young University’s football program. Of course, they don’t want to provide any bulletin board fodder, but their respect has more to do with the way Brown approaches the game more than anything else. He expects his student-athletes to respect the opponents they square up against each week – and to earn their opponents’ respect in return – because that’s the way you respect the game of football.

2010 was an anomaly in Mack Brown’s coaching resume and Texas football, and this year’s Longhorn squad is on a mission to prove that. In the meantime, here’s what the Longhorns are saying about BYU:

Mack Brown

“We’ve played Brigham Young twice. They’ve beaten us both times. They’re a great program. They’ve had ten wins in four of the last five years. They’ve been to 29 Bowl games. They won a National Championship in 1984. They were 7 and 6 last year. They won five out of their last six ballgames, and the one loss in that run was to Utah by one point. So we feel like that they’ve got a great team coming in. They went on the road in the heat, in the south, and beat Southeastern Conference Ole Miss 14-13, and they were down 13-0 going into the fourth quarter.”

“Bronco Mendenhall is one of the great true young coaches that’s out there. He’s a young man that I like. He’s a tough, defensive football coach and they have a tough team.”

“… this will be like an oldfashioned street fight. It’ll be very physical. We’ve been concerned about how tough we were in both lines of scrimmage the last couple years. This game will be about the lines of scrimmage. It’s going to be about who’s the toughest.”

“… you’re not going to get any easy yards against these guys. They will hit you. The strength of both offense and defense is their fronts, and Ole Miss just could not block their defensive fronts. It’ll be a huge challenge for our offensive line.”

RB Fozzy Whittaker

“… they’re very experienced. They have a lot of people returning on offense and on defense. Guys that are juniors and seniors. Guys that have already played before, and you know, they’re a great program, and it’s something that we look forward to this year, just playing them. I know it’ll be an allout brawl, and just seeing where we really stand.”

LB Keenan Robinson

“… we want to come out and win against any opponent, but definitely a team like BYU who we might not get a chance to play ever again. They’re a team that, since I’ve been here and been around, we haven’t got a chance to play, so I’m very excited. It’s a new opponent that’s on the schedule this year, and I definitely can’t wait to Saturday to play this team [that’s] going to try to run the ball. But at the same time they’re an air raid passing team and they have big guys outside, receivers that can make big plays on the field. We’re going to have to be fundamentally sound in the running game and the pass game and step it up from last year.”

OL David Snow

“BYU is a very good team. They’re very big up front. They’re very good. I’m really excited to see what this game is going to hold.”

QB Garrett Gilbert

“Getting to play a team like BYU with all the history they have, all the tradition they have. It’ll be a lot of fun for us. So I think it’s something that everyone will be looking forward to. Like you said, national TV is always fun, but it’ll be really fun for us to play a program like BYU.”

OL Tray Allen

“BYU has history. BYU is a great team. They have a big defensive front. They’re veterans. They’ve won their last ten games for the last however many years. That’s a big credit to them and their coaches. They’re doing a really good job up there, and we can’t take them lightly when we go play them on Saturday. We’re going to get to the drawing board today and look at the film and start breaking it down and get ready for practice this week, and then next week, and then on Saturday have a good game. I’m looking forward to the game. I’m ready to have all the blue marks and the paint chipping off of my helmet.”

S Blake Gideon

“… they do have a history of having great offensive teams, putting points on the board in different ways. I think they’re great at doing it behind the personnel they have. Obviously they have a monstrous offensive line this year, so you know, whenever you’re blessed with that kind of size, then you’re going to want to run behind those guys. From what I’ve seen, they’re multiple. They can run the ball from a one- back set, two-back set, and they can also take shots. So we’re going to have to be disciplined and sound with our guys on the back end.”