Utah State Quotes on Oklahoma

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER 11, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. -- Utah State head coach Brent Guy and junior linebacker Jake Hutton met with the media on Tuesday to recap their latest game and look ahead to playing Oklahoma. The Sooners host Utah State on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Owen Field.
Check Sooner Gameday Central for complete information on Oklahoma's game with Utah State. Please view the SoonerSports.com scouting report for more information on USU.

Recap of Wyoming game:

"It wasn't any easier watching film and going through it with the kids, than it was talking to the team in the locker room after the game. I told the kids that I thought we played better in the fact that we were behind this time and came back and played much better in the second half. Defense came up with some big plays and gave us the chance to win the football game, but again it came down to the same thing, where we had a lead and couldn't hold on to it. Probably the most disappointing thing for all of us is that statistically for our 10 goals, they won six and we won four. We lost net punt by a half a yard, we lost a couple other things by real close margins, but the one that was real obvious was third downs, it wasn't even close.

"We didn't convert a third down on offense and they completed eight-of-fourteen and they were four-of-four in the fourth quarter, which was a critical time in the game. We had to make a play and they were able to sustain a drive and go down and take the lead. The only turnover of the game we have was at the end. We won the turnover battle, but lost the game because of a turnover really in the end because it didn't give us an opportunity to come back and try to hold them and get one more shot at the end zone and try to tie it.

"I was encouraged that the kids fought back and the defense made some big plays to get us back in it. We've got to do a better job of scoring in the red zone. We were down there twice and didn't get points. We know we've got to score touchdowns, we can't just kick field goals and expect to win games. We've got to score touchdowns and the offense knows that. Our running game improved a little bit. We've got to get it to the point where we really make people have to walk down and respect it. We're getting some seven-yard plays on first-and-10, and getting some good down and distances where we can convert it but we've got to get some explosives out of it. We've got to get to the next level and make a guy miss and get a long run. We're one or two steps away from that.

"Curtis Marsh had a couple of chances where if he could have stayed on his feet he might have had a big run. We've got to continue to do that, we're getting better at it, and then continue to add on with our play-pass stuff. We saw that Saturday where once we were able run the ball well enough that we can raise up and get a big pass play like we were able to do when we had Omar (Sawyer) wide open like we did in that game. We've got to continue to build. I told the kids to keep fighting."

On 0-of-13 third down conversions in Wyoming game:
"The sad thing was there were a lot of third-and-two and you get one, third-and-four and you get three, third-and-six where you get five, and that's why we went for it so many times on fourth down (successful on four-of-five fourth down attempts), because we had a lot of fourth-and-one's. So that's what we have to do is we've got to get that extra yard. I don't think it's a matter of not calling the right plays, it's a matter of we've got to get one more yard. We've got to run over the guy or make the guy miss or block the guy one yard better. That's why we ended up going for so many fourth downs is that we had so many ones that were close enough that we could go for it and we were in the right field position where we could go for it with two in the red zone and one there at about midfield. We've got to finish those plays and get the extra yards out."

On third-ranked Oklahoma:
"We've got to go and play what is about as talented of a team as I've seen in a long time. When I was in the Pac-10, USC was one of the most powerful teams. I think Oklahoma is like those teams, I don't know that they have anybody who can win the Heisman, but top to bottom, watching their offense, defense and special teams, they have about as much talent as the USC teams I saw when I was in the Pac-10 and competed for the national championship every year. So we're going to be playing that caliber of a football team that is very big. They're one of the biggest offensive lines that they've had. They're athletic.

"What's been impressive is they have a redshirt freshman quarterback that has not thrown an interception in their two games. They do a lot of things with him. They spread him out sometimes and they throw bubble screens, like Wyoming did. They can line up with two backs and two tight ends and run a power game, so they're good at all of them.

"What it is going to be a challenge for us is to get down there and we've got to play four quarters as good as we can and give ourselves a chance to be in the game, which the first two teams of North Texas and Miami have not even been able to do. It was little closer for Miami, where it was 21-13 in the third quarter, but you just have to play very sound and not give up big plays. We certainly cannot turn the ball over. We've got to make some plays in the special teams area, which they are very good in. It will be a challenge for the entire football team and staff to come up with a game plan where we can control the ball and not give up big plays."

On attitude for this week:
"Attitude is always the most important thing going into the game. I think our kids will be excited. This is a lot better team in Alabama and a lot better team in Arkansas, who we played my first two years here in big arenas. This is a lot better football team we're playing this week than those two teams. I'm going to make sure they understand that and know that.

"They'll be excited to go play Oklahoma. The West Coast kids probably don't know quite as much about Oklahoma as the kids from Texas do. Those kids from Texas have watched and seen these guys play on TV a lot. Even the guys on the team from last year know a lot about Oklahoma because they're the team the played Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl last year. They'll be excited to go play but the excitement will wear off after the first snap and the reality is we've got to compete with these guys every snap for four quarters, and that will be the hardest thing to do because right now they have a lot more guys that are bigger and stronger than we do."

On being an Oklahoma State alum playing rival Oklahoma:
"That's not what the game is about. The game will be about our guys going in there and playing against a team that's ranked in the top three in the country. Of all 119 teams in the country, here's number three, so here's the opportunity to play against what is right now, the very best in the country. That's the challenge that guys like. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, you may not ever get to play a team ranked this high again, so what are you going to do with it. So that will be a challenge that we face."

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Recap of Wyoming game:

"I thought we played pretty well. Wyoming has a good O-line, a good running game, and they obviously have a good defense. Our offense was moving the ball on them and I think our defense shut them down pretty well, but when it came down to it, I put it on the defense's shoulders because we couldn't stop them on third downs. We didn't convert on offensive third downs either, but there was a point when we were ahead, 18-17, toward the end of the game where they had a third-and-10 and if we would have stopped them, we would've had a great shot to win the game. The momentum would have shifted and the offense would have got the ball back. So I think in times like that the defense needs to step up and shut them down."

"One big thing I've realized in college football is that momentum does play a big part and I really think that if we would have stopped them on that one drive, we would have won the game. So that's why defensively, I put it on our shoulders. I think we did play pretty well, we came up with some big plays. De'von picked one off and scored and then Marquise picked one off later, but when it comes down to it, we just didn't get the job done."

On Oklahoma and how not to get overwhelmed:
"When I was a freshman we played Alabama and last year we played Arkansas, so I'm kind of used to going in and playing big games like that. This is probably the best team we've seen. When we played Alabama, they were ranked fifth when we played them. I don't think they're as good as Oklahoma is right now. Oklahoma is blowing teams out. They blew out Miami, so they are the real deal right now. I think we've just got to focus on the job at hand and go in there and play as hard as we can."

On excitement of environment of big games:
"It's really exciting, when you go and play those big games, those are the funnest games. It's a great atmosphere and it's fun to play in front of all those people. When you make a big play it's really fun. Oklahoma is a great team and we've just got to work hard."

On biggest challenge in these big games:
"I think we've just got to stick to our assignments and be gap sound. When we played Alabama, we all went in and looked around the stadium, and gave it oohs and ahhs because we weren't used to that kind of thing, and then they came out and scored 14 quick. After that we started shutting them down. We need to not give them as much respect and think so high of them, I think that if we give them too much respect, in that sense, that we come out and we know they're awesome and we treat them like they're awesome, but we know that we can play with these guys. I think we did that with Arkansas, we played well against them. They are bigger, faster guys, but if we stay gap sound, I think we'll be fine."
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- Quotes courtesy Utah State Athletics Media Relations



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