Football Luncheon Media Session Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 25, 2014

Head Coach Bob Stoops
Louisiana Tech Press Conference

Opening statement:
“We’re excited to be starting the 2014 football season here at home this week against Louisiana Tech and against Coach Skip Holtz and his staff. They’ve only been there a short while but I’m sure coming into year two are looking for a great year. It’s a good solid football team that really plays well in all aspects of the game.

“As far as us, we’ve had a great summer camp and leading up to the fall we’re probably the healthiest we’ve ever been and we’ve had the fewest guys out of practice that we’ve ever had through this month of practice. I feel like we have more players that have gotten the snaps necessary to be prepared to play. I feel like we’ll be deeper overall as a team with guys available and ready to play and also, I feel like the direction of the offense not having two quarterbacks and trying to tailor things to two different guys and being able to have it all geared towards Trevor (Knight) and him getting all those snaps I believe is going to lead to more consistency in the offense and in our quarterback play and in the players really supporting Trevor. Again, being able to tailor it all spring and all summer here through this time, I believe we’re much further along in knowing exactly how we want the offense to work.

“Same thing defensively, I feel like we’re much further along. Obviously, a year ago we had just started putting in our 50 front at this time and had to work through a lot of kinks, and having worked through all of those I feel like we’re in great shape in what we want to do and players understanding it and all the wrinkles and how we want to attack people. Hopefully that will lead to fewer mental mistakes and better play overall. I believe it could and will.

“We have experienced kickers back. Both punter and kicker Jed Barnett and Michael Hunnicutt have done an excellent job and Wesley Horkey the snapper also. I believe our efficiency and timing there is going to be really good.

“Outside of that, I think everybody you have, the captains, I’m really proud of those guys. All of our captains are guys that are great leaders here. Guys that have demonstrated all the things you want from a student athlete and are really great workers, so I really believe the leadership on the team is strong and what you want to be, as well.

“I’m anxious here to get started with the week and to get into game week. Everybody is tired around the country, tired of looking at your same guys across from you every time, and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the challenge of competing in these games.”

On the status of LB Frank Shannon:
“Frank Shannon at this point nothing has changed. That situation is still unresolved, therefore, I have to proceed with players I know are going to be available to me through the rest of the year. At this point the depth chart is as is. I’m not going to say anything else in regard to that. That situation is unresolved.”

On how the players feel with most of the situation questions answered:
“There’s no way to quantify it. Our guys go to practice every day. The guys who are on the field have competed in a great way, and I feel that we’re in great position ready to start the season.”

On not having WR Dorial Green-Beckham eligible to play:
“We’ve got 10 or eight other guys, whatever it is, that we’re working with on a daily basis. You work with what’s available to you.”

On losing Dorial Green-Beckham’s size:
“Sterling (Shepard) isn’t 6-6 either and he doesn’t seem to have a lot of trouble.”

On having height at receiver:
“We’ll see. Dannon Cavil and Jordan Smallwood are guys with some good height that might be ahead of some, but we’re going to keep all those guys available and wait and see.”

On if Green-Beckham will stay:
“That isn’t something that’s been decided. Right now it seems that he wants to do that and is heading that way and we want to support him in every possible way. I just saw him a half hour ago and he was on his way to class.

“I’m going to speak about guys who are set to play this week and the coming weeks. That’s all I’m going to speak about here, and that’s how I usually am with guys who aren’t playing.”

On freshman who are set to play:
“Samaje Perine is a guy who definitely will play. Michiah Quick definitely is set to play. Steven Parker is set to play. Jordan Thomas set to play. I’m really excited about Matt Romar, a redshirt freshman is doing backing up Jordan Phillips right now. What other freshman. Dimitri Flowers definitely, I’m really excited about Dimitri. I know you guys are tired of hearing me say that, but really a good athlete in his position. Marcus (Green) has a chance. Marcus is really close. I like what Marcus is doing. We just want to make sure, if we do, that he’s going to get the snaps that will make him better for next year. A lot of times even if the snaps are somewhat limited, a lot of times those players are much further along their second year when they’re getting significant time than we they had not been in the game plan the year before. We’ll see. Marcus still has a chance.”

On Julian Wilson’s transition to corner:
“It went as good as I could have ever hoped for. Or not I, we. He is so intelligent. He was recruited as a corner so he has that kind of speed. He has length with being a 6-1 or 6-2 guy. He’s a guy that’s been on the field for going on three years. He’s used to being out there and starting and playing the whole game. He went all summer doing it, and when we got a chance to work with him out here doing it, it looked like he’s been doing it for five years. It’s been really positive.”

On the running back competition:
“Both of those guys are pretty close. Alex Ross and Keith Ford are very close. It’s something you’re going to want to see in the early games. Is anybody ahead of the other assignment-wise, protection-wise, ball security-wise, is anyone better than the other? Who is making the plays that are there and who is making the plays that are extra in that he shouldn’t have got 30 and he got 30? So those are things when you snap the ball hopefully 80 times, you get a chance to see all of that.”

On where Samaje Perine stacks up:
“He’s behind them just like it is on the depth chart, but again, he’s a guy that we really like what he’s doing.”

On LB Jordan Evans:
“Jordan (Evans) has looked really good. He was held out early just because of an illness, but once he was over that he was stronger. He is up to about 220 now. He’s big. He made a few plays in our Friday, it wasn’t a scrimmage but we simulated a game, and he made some nice plays. The offensive coaches have commented on his length in the middle. He’s hard to get the ball over, so he’s been really solid. He’s a guy who played some a year ago, so he’s ready for it.”

On if Jordan Evans is the same he was in the spring:
“No, he’s about six months older than that. He’s a whole summer with Schmitty (director of sports enhancement, Jerry Schmidt) different than that, too. These young guys change a lot in six months with the way they train and run.” 

On depth at linebacker and Rashod Favors:
“Everything concerns you, but Rashod Favors is another guy who’s an older guy that’s playing Jack and inside linebacker and a guy that was recruited in there, so he’s a guy that could play in there that we really like. Rashod really does do a good job in there.” 

On preparing for Louisiana Tech and their new defensive coordinator:
“You do both. You’re always trying to assess the talent and the people you’re playing against. A guy who has a track record, his schemes they come with him. As a defensive coordinator, when I left Kansas State to go to Florida, I didn’t change and go with what they were doing. I brought it with me. That’s usually what happens, so that’s how we’ll look at it. “

On Blake Bell’s transition to tight end:
“It’s been really solid. He loves doing it and he’s really a big target and a comfortable target for Trevor (Knight) or any other quarterback if he’s in the middle of the field or wherever he’s at. He’s got great hands. Also the different lifting and training from a quarterback to a tight end has really helped him get stronger and bigger so the blocking has been solid and I think that’s something as we go through the year that will improve the more that he’s on the field, the more opportunities he gets.”

On why it took so long for Julian Wilson to play corner:
“Well, the way we were playing, in nickel position, he fit really well. Aaron Colvin was pretty good on the other side. I guess the other part of that is that a year ago, we rushed Julian more than we dropped him and we started talking to Mike (Stoops) and the defensive coaches, ‘Who would you like rushing out there? Eric (Striker) or Julian (Wilson)?’ I think it’s pretty evident we’d rather have Julian. So all of those things factored into it. In some instances, not having a nickel on the field, it fit Julian out there. You take all of that and you have an experienced guy and you go, ‘Well where’s the best spot for him?’ So, all of those things kind of put it that way.”

On if Julian Wilson had asked to play corner before this season:
“No. Because he was playing so much in the nickel spot.” 

On QB Cody Thomas’ injury:
“It was just a muscle strain. I’m not going to say specifically where but it was minor and he was throwing Thursday and Friday and is expected to be full throw with everything we’re doing today.” 

On if he anticipates getting the second-string quarterback in earlier than in recent years:
“We’ll see. That’s something, whenever you have the opportunities, you do try to work with them. But it’s easy to say, ‘Stick them out there anytime.’ And all of a sudden something goes wrong and you’re behind seven. It’s easy to say when you’re not the one accountable for it. We’ll manage like we have but hopefully we’ll have some opportunities to get other guys in there. I’m not discounting what you’re saying; it is good to get their feet wet in the right ways as long as it doesn’t hurt you. So we’ll see.” 

On if TE Blake Bell throwing passes at practice last week was a result of QB Cody Thomas’ injury:
“Yeah. Because of (Cody) Thomas’ situation, probably as much as anything, too, wanting to redshirt Justice Hanson, not having Baker Mayfield’s situation resolved. It never hurts to have an emergency plan and with Blake (Bell) it was easy for him. He went in there and he knows. Once you know the entire offense, you know it. So he went in there and really handled it quite well.” 

On St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford going down with a torn ACL:
“We hate it. Everybody in our office is just crushed. You just hate it for him. He was doing so well, and we saw him, he was around a lot this summer. We saw how hard he worked and how good he looked with all his training so it’s just unfortunate. I reached out to him through a text to let him know we’re all here for him, thinking about him, praying for him, and whatever he needed. Everybody here at OU including myself we’re here for him when or whenever he needed anything. But I haven’t heard from him and didn’t expect to. I’m sure everybody is reaching out to him and I’m sure he’s just processing it all itself and the whole journey again to recover from it.” 

On if he heard about Tennessee Titans C Gabe Ikard’s injury, as well:
“I did. You hear about it every week with different guys. It is just unfortunate, but it’s part of the game. It’s always been here and it isn’t going away.” 

On what he thinks about players adding a lot of weight quick when going into the NFL:
“Chris Chester has been in the league for 11, 12 years now and he hasn’t had much trouble with it. And I didn’t notice Sam (Bradford) all that much different. He’s only 220 pounds now and when he played here he was maybe 210 pounds. He’s not that much different. You can say all kinds of things. In the end you can make a case for anything.” 

On if he finds an edge this season:
“No. You can’t trick people into playing. At the end of the day, it gets down to, it’s your pride and performing well and every opportunity you’ve got a chance to win or lose and our guys understand that. We don’t usually show up and not get someone’s best shot so we’ve always got to be ready for that. It’s been that way for 16 years, or since I’ve been here. Maybe it wasn’t that way in 1999, but it was after that. So it’s no different. It’s a challenge every week.” 

On if anything less than playoffs would be a disappointment to him:
“I don’t ever say things like that. Everything is a disappointment to me if we don’t win the national championship  –  but that’s not going to happen every year. You just fight through the year the best you can and I’m not going to sit here and put those kind of statements out there to be quoted.” 

On Louisiana Tech’s RB Kenneth Dixon:
“Yeah. 26, Dixon, their running back. A really nifty guy, powerful, strong, about 215 pounds so he makes people miss him, can run through arm tackles. Really a good player.”

On why he feels like Oklahoma has been such a good fit for him for 16 years:
“There are a lot of reasons. First, I consider myself very lucky, fortunate, blessed, to be at a place like this for so long that my family has been able to be raised in one place which doesn’t happen much in the coaching world. And mostly, first, I’ve said it a lot, because of the leadership here. President Boren through Joe Castiglione, their vision, the support they give us to continue to push our program forward.

“As you can see by (Headington Hall), the coming renovations to the stadium, we continue to invest in our student athletes and push forward and that has helped us achieve as coaches. And I’ve just been fortunate, too. I’ve had a great run of great assistant coaches and we’ve recruited great student-athletes. We’ve gotten kids that have been really fun to coach and some have overachieved. So all of it together has just fit and I agree with you, it isn’t easy in today’s world. A lot of people want change just to change or always feel the grass is greener on the other side and that’s either in someone firing you or a coach leaving and sometimes when you analyze it a few years later, it isn’t that way. So, luckily we’ve had a pretty consistent, strong success.”

On who will be the kick returners and punt returners:
“Kick returners, first, will be Alex Ross and Durron Neal. Punt return will be Sterling (Shepard) backed up by either (Zack) Sanchez or Michiah Quick.” 

On what he has seen through the last month during workouts from his players:
“We’ve come back stronger, bigger. Again, I know we have far fewer mistakes, so I’ve got confidence in them to play well. 

On recruiting taller wide receivers:
“I don’t know that it will change us that much. Hopefully we will be more physical at the line and move people so that our running backs can get a few more yards. Our receivers can hopefully out fight people for some balls in some spots. I don’t know how much will change but hopefully some of that will happen.” 

On how difficult it is to prepare for different quarterbacks with different strengths:
“It is just more snaps and more for the players on offense to have to grasp. You don’t have much choice sometimes. Some of the plays are the same but some of them aren’t as effective with one guy as they are with another. Then you kind of gravitate to a fewer of those and few more of these. More than anything you just end up with a little bit bigger playbook and you do your best to make sure you are polished at it all.” 

On whether OU is wearing the traditional uniforms for the first game:
“We are.” 

On the schedule for the alternate uniforms and how that will be decided:
“I hadn’t had much of a plan on that yet. Probably should have. I might defer to the captain and to the athletic director, Joe Castiglione, and let them figure that out.” 

On skill position players gaining his trust:
“You will watch it unfold. For us that is a major issue. You are correct, guys like Brennan Clay you can put in a situation when you really needed someone to come through for you. He came through for us more than he didn’t by a long shot. Other times when you get a guy who is dropping the ball all over the field and the other team is getting it, people act like ‘give him another chance, don’t worry about it’ because they aren’t talking about you the next day and or losing the game. It is important and that takes time. To answer your question, it will take several games for guys to show they will be responsible with the football. When you have turnovers you are losing points or giving up points probably 80 percent of the time. Usually it on one side of the field or another and they hurt.” 

Has Baker Mayfield gotten enough snaps to be able to jump right in should he be ruled eligible?
“Yes. Definitely.” 

On the new stadium plans:
“I am elated. I am excited and I think the fans should be as well. It is going to be fantastic. It was never about adding seats. It is about making the amenities better for the fans. There will be 10 times the number of bathrooms that they already have and there will be uniform seats and on and on and on. For us it will make a major difference in the places that we work every day and all our athletes on campus use in the weight room, our position meeting rooms and on and on. It will be really special for the student athletes, what we are providing for them. There will be a nutrition area right off the weight room. It is really positive. It is going to be great.” 

On the stadium plan as a recruiting tool and whether that enticed him to stay at OU:
“In the end it is a recruiting tool, yes. Not for me. I didn’t need that. It allows us a assistant coaches and me as a head coach to be able to say ‘look what you can come into every day to be your best’. With the nutrition we are giving you and the weight room you can build yourself. The academic center will be right across the street from your dormitory where you can get all your tutoring and mentoring. They do help the coach. No question.” 

On coaching at a place with great facilities:
“You always would like to be in those kinds of environments. I have been pleased with what we have had to this point, but it is time. I guess that is the best way to say it. We have managed really well to this point with what we have. I believe this will help the University and the football program for long after I am here.” 

On Louisiana Tech’s offensive scheme:
“They spread it out with most everything they do in run and pass. There is not as much quarterback run with this group as there is with some, but ther are going to stretch you out for sure. 

On preparing for two quarterbacks:
“(Ryan) Higgins and (Cody) Sokol , the transfer from Iowa, seem like similar body types and I don’t see that their quarterback run game would change much with their preparation and their game plan with either guy. I would look at it as them having the same offense with either guy so I see that it would make a major deal for us (in preparing).” 

On offensive line depth:
“The offensive line is something we are hopeful will continue to be a strong point of the team. We have a lot of returning starts and games played there. Ty Darlington even started a year before and played the entire Baylor game when Gabe Ikard got hurt. Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson are great leaders at the tackle positions.  We have a bunch of guards in there that have all played a bunch of football for us. I am excite that Josiah St. John is really coming along and he has played well at that left tackle spot. There is good players in all those spots. The good thing is that there is competition so they had better play well or someone else will get in there. John Wooden said that a bench is the coach’s best friend. You had better know what you are doing and play hard and be physical or someone else may be in there for you.” 

On whether the stuff holds a grudge against a player who fumbles:
“Listen, there has never been a grudge against a player that I know of. That is silly. We love these guys. You have to demonstrate that you can handle your business. Protecting the football is the number one thing that any running back better do. You have to protect the quarterback too if you are in passing situations or you will be without your quarterback and a have turnover. There is a lot to it. As far as grudges, just because a guy is not playing does not mean there is a grudge. He has not demonstrated to ability to play at a winning level. Those kinds of things are part of playing at a winning level. It has nothing to do with a grudge.” 

On DeMarco Murray earning his trust after some early fumble problems:
“Obviously he did. It matters. You have to know what you are doing. Guys who are playing are playing for a reason and it has nothing to do with grudges or like or dislike. That is never part of a coach’s thinking. I like my daughter but she can’t play.” 

On whether the Belldozer package is still available:
“We do (have it available). That is something that we always think has a certain number of plays we can go to. If you do that it is taking some hits away from Trevor (Knight). There are some bigger spots inside that maybe you get bigger piles you don’t want him in. There is a place for it, but how much maybe depends on how successful we are with other things that we are doing.” 

On whether the Belldozer is a Wildcat package?
“Possibly, but in the end it wouldn’t be a wildcat package because he can throw pretty well. Those running backs they put back there usually couldn’t throw a grenade in a tub. Blake doesn’t have that problem if we wanted to give him a shot at something. Say it’s third-and-one and you know you are going to go for it on fourth down, you might see what he could do. That is just a scenario you might do.”

Big 12 Teleconference

On which statistic is most significant after a game
“Always turnover margin. That’s always a big indicator in my eyes. Generally, yards per rush are an indication too of how well you did. Then ultimately the score.”

On factoring sacks, big plays when assessing yards per rush
“Yeah, you can be fooled sometimes in that one big run can skew things and you didn’t do much the rest of the day. It’s the same way for your defense. You have to factor a lot of things in how productive you were or weren’t.”

On what he looks forward to the most about the new playoff

“Hopefully being in it. Outside of that I don’t see much difference.”

On whether he feels OU is carrying the banner for the Big 12
“I don’t ever pay much attention to that. We’re going to do the very best we can all the time as a program. Whether that’s for the conference or not, ultimately, you’re looking out for yourself the best you can.”

On OU’s stadium upgrades being a recruiting tool
“To a degree yes, once you put it in place. This will be our final piece that really should last us a long time. There won’t be much more to do after this. I guess you’re always tinkering. Everybody is to a degree, trying to improve your opportunities and the environment your athletes work in. Not just football but all of your sports. I think most schools are always trying to do that when they’re able to.”

On whether potential upgrades could include “recruiting suites”
“Yes. There are some open spaces that could be designated as that, yes.”

On having faith on the playoff committee to make unbiased selections
“I do. This is a group of very intelligent people with great integrity. I believe they will do their very best. Let’s face it. Over the last few years there have been teams winning a national championship, or getting to a two-team playoff with one loss. So now there will be more of them. It’s been tough over the last few years to go undefeated. Very few teams have. Heck, even LSU won it with two losses, I believe, not long ago.”

On his confidence in the wide receivers
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in them. They’ve really stepped up. Durron Neal and Sterling Sheppard have really stepped up, been more consistent making plays. Then a bunch of the young guys have started to come on; KJ Young, Michiah Quick, Jordan Smallwood at times. We’ve got guys we feel will be able to step up and make some good plays.”

On how his running back situation looks
“Really good. [Keith] Ford and [Alex] Ross, those guys will be in there quite a bit. [Samaje] Perine, Daniel Brooks, lastly, is a guy that has quickness and a lot of speed to him. The other guys are bigger, physical guys. I feel like they’ve had a really good camp.”

On his confidence in the defense
“Well we are so much further ahead, scheme-wise, with what we are doing. A year ago we were still ironing out all the different wrinkles with our 50 front and what we wanted to do with it. Now we’ve really been through it for a full year and made adjustments with it. That part of it, as well as the players understanding it, it’s not even comparable to where we were a year ago. So hopefully that translates to more production, fewer mistakes and better play. I think we can take another step. With the experience, with our guys back, I feel bigger and stronger, really, at every position than we were about a year ago. Hopefully that will allow us to play better.”

On reaching out to Sam Bradford about his injury
“I texted Sam last night and let him know how sad I was for him, that I was praying for him and that everybody was here for him at Oklahoma; whatever he needed, whenever he needed it. Outside of that I haven’t been able to reach him. Obviously here, we all feel for him in our office. You just pray that he will heal and be able to rehabilitate it and to be the guy he’s always been; a great quarterback.”

Quarterback Trevor Knight 

On his feelings about the season finally arriving
It’s a relief. We’ve been banging up on each other for a couple of weeks now. We’re excited to finally get into game week and get into preparation, for the season to be here. It’s been a great summer, a great camp but it’s finally time to get things going."

On the progression of the team throughout the offseason
We’re excited that we have that opportunity again. We have a lot of guys coming back. We’re really excited about the way our group has come together through camp and through this offseason. I feel like we are going to play for one another this year."

On playing more conservatively as a quarter back, limiting injuries
Coming into college, there’s a little bit different mindset. I’ve said it before; I want to be a distributor. As much as I can, get the ball in my playmaker’s hands. You still have to be a football player. When it’s third down you’ve got to, maybe, take a hit here and there. Definitely when I can, I need to get out of bounds and take care of my body."

On his approach to the season now that he is the established starter
"I’ve stepped into that leadership role and maybe matured a little bit. I’ve got another year under my belt. I feel more relaxed. I feel more confident in the way things are going to go in this first game. That just comes with it. I expect to come up here next year and say the same thing. Each snap you get, each year you get, you get more confident and get more relaxed back there."

On the team preparing for the season and minimizing distractions
I think we’ve done a great job as a team doing that. We stay around each other in the locker room. We don’t let that stuff get to us very much. Like I said, we are there for those guys but we don’t let it affect us daily."

Offensive Tackle Daryl Williams

On excitement that game week is here
“Yeah, we’re ready to hit some people in the mouth. Everyone is ready for Saturday.”

Where do you think you guys are as a team right now?
“It has been the same grind since winter workouts and summer work outs with Schmidty [Jerry Schmidt] and two-a-days which has led to great bonding.”

On if the team is better prepared this year than last year
“I don’t know. I just know we are really focused and ready to play, so I cannot tell you that.”

On the importance of having a crisp first game
“It is very important. We don’t take LA Tech for granted. Watching film they look like a very hardworking team that play hard; we definitely don’t take them for granted.”

On the depth of the offensive line
“It really helps with experience and it’s nice to know that if I go down someone else has my back like Derek [Farniok] or Josiah [St. John]. It also definitely helps without leadership.”

On how team depth has affected team health this preseason
“Oh yeah, definitely.”

On training camp
“I think camp was the same. I think we just had guys taking more reps. Guys behind me, the guards or centers, were able to do a lot more reps.”

On the growth of Trevor Knight
“He has always practiced the same but I think he has taken on that leadership role, not just for the offense, but for the whole team. Guys like me, and especially the younger guys, look up to him. He has been a great leader so far.”

Defensive End Chuka Ndulue

On if it has hit him that it is opening week
“Yeah, it’s awesome. I am so excited. I just woke up this morning feeling refreshed. I’m tired of seeing Daryl [Williams]. I finally get to watch tape on other people and not just by myself but with my teammates. It’s great.”

On how he feels the team handled all of the preseason hype
“I think we handled it pretty well. Our coaches stressed the point and the seniors on the team stressed that this is a new season. Last year was great but we haven’t done anything, we haven’t proven anything. Everyone is hyping us up but when we fail everyone won’t be hyping us up. We just have to remember to apply what they are telling us and go out there and give it our best.”

On if having a four team playoff instead of one national championship game changes their approach
“It’s kind of different. Normally, it’s like we have to be number one or number two but now it’s four. It’s a different dynamic but at the same time you want to be the best. It still feels like we want to be number one but in your mind you know that if you are one of four teams you can still make it. We have been saying ‘Hey, let’s try to make the playoffs’. It’s still a little weird to say but we like it.”

On if it takes some of the pressure off being undefeated
“Yes, it does. At the same time, this is Oklahoma. We want to beat everyone. We don’t want to go anywhere and lose. We still want to go undefeated. We saw what those teams in the 2000s, teams from the 80s did. We still want to be undefeated.”

Cornerback Julian Wilson

On being named the starter:
“It feels good but the work is far from being done. I can’t get comfortable because there are a lot of young guys that are still pushing for the spot. They are out there competing every day so it holds me to a higher standard.”

On the expectations for the playoff:
“The expectations are always this high. We are going into the season with the same mind set. We want to win the national championship. The playoff adds one more game but at the end of the day your goal is still to get to the national championship and win it.” 

On facing OU’s bigger receivers in practice:
“Size helps a lot. A lot of receivers are getting bigger and the game is changing. I feel like corners are getting bigger too, and Mike [Stoops] was saying earlier that it is hard to be a short corner in the Big 12 now.”

On tuning out people talking up the defense:
“We know what we have to do on defense. We are not perfect and we can’t get caught up in what the media is saying. If we go out and play horrible on Saturday, they aren’t going to be saying a word. You have to take what the media says with a grain of salt. We know we just have to keep working and getting better as individuals and as a team. Coach Mike does a good job of preaching that every week.”

On the team’s work ethic:
“Since winter work outs we have had the right goals. We want to get better as a team. If not everyone, about 98 percent of guys made their goals. Whether it was little things or speed and getting faster.”



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