Gabe Ikard Media Session

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 07, 2013

Oklahoma Football
Offensive Lineman Gabe Ikard
Oct. 7, 2013

On the team's feelings:
“I think it is good. Obviously with the loss of Corey [Nelson], for our defense, that is a big loss but we have several guys who have played a lot of football for us already. We are just going to have to get them more comfortable and ready at practice. When you lose a captain and leader like Corey, it’s a big blow but we have talented guys who can step into that spot. Confidence is good though, with all the questions in the offseason that we faced and the criticism and doubt surrounding this team, to start 5-0 is very exciting and I'm proud we are here. It comes to getting better every day in practice. We didn’t play our best on Saturday, especially offensively, but we need to continue to improve and get better every week because that is what championship teams do.”

On if there's any difficulty in getting excited for Saturday:
“No, not at all. Everybody loves this game; I mean we get Friday off school for this game. Fall break, right?  There is no game like this one. Walking out into the Cotton Bowl, if you have not experienced it, it is hard to explain it to somebody, especially the freshmen because they don’t know what the big deal is about, but they will Saturday. It is one of the reasons that you come to play football here. Especially when you come out on the winning side of the last three years, it is a great experience. We know how much the fans love it and people watching it on TV because it is a great rivalry and I enjoy playing it this year against another talented Texas team.”

“They are a very talented defense. They stay on their assignments, don’t allow any gaps and stay on the ball well. They gave us trouble just like they did last year but fortunately we were able to make some plays. Brennan [Clay] was able to pop that run late in the game right after we drew that up on the sideline; he executed that well. But we have to be better this week up front. We struggled some at pass protection, as well, and that has to be ironed out this week, especially when you are going against Jackson Jeffcoat and those guys that are really talented pass rushers. We have a lot of work to do, but we have already watched the film and already started on Texas film yesterday so we are going to be very motivated and invested in this week. We know how much this game means to everyone here and we know how much this game means for our season.”

On being favored over Texas:
“That is one of the those things that it is so unbelievable at how good they are at making those lines but those things kind of disappear in rivalry games. Obviously we have gotten the upper hand in the last three years with playing well and handling the ball really well, but we cannot look at the past three years and bank on that. We can gain confidence from that but we understand that this is a completely new year, completely new team with a bunch of new guys on the field. We have to keep preparing and need to play better than we did last week, especially offensively because they have talent all over the field. We know how motivated they are with all the criticism they are getting around the country. We know guys over, with their level of talent, who are going to be ready to play. We need to prepare very well for this team.”

On looking at Texas struggles:
“Obviously they have changed their defense a little bit with their new coordinator, and we really don’t have that much film to go off of with him calling their defense. It makes it a little bit more difficult for us but you can look at the individual matchups and how things went but what it comes down to is that every game is different. We need to be able to focus more on our assignment and what they do normally. You study guys individually as well as the whole scheme and look at old games but we don’t have much to see how their new coordinator calls things. We need to study those games very intently and just see how our matchups are going to be.”



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