Per Oklahoma State release...
Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy and selected Cowboy players met with members of the media Monday at (T-Bone) Pickens Stadium to discuss Saturday's season opener against No. 13 Georgia. Here are some of the highlights:
On the first week finally arriving
"We've had a couple weeks of preparation. I think our players are very excited; I know the coaches are. There's been a lot of excitement in this area in the last few weeks. I don't know if I've ever been around Stillwater when the `I need tickets' signs start going up last weekend at the local gas stations. We're all looking forward to another week of practice and the big game on Saturday."
On players wanting another shot at Georgia
"I wish I had an answer for that. That's kind of like the revenge factor. That question got brought up some last year when we played Troy. I think each individual has to handle that differently. Myself personally, I've gone way past that. We've had so many games since then. If that's something that can help motivate a player to compete and play hard, then I'm OK with that."
On limiting media access lately
"The reason we did it was because we had 16 open-media practices in a row. I felt like 16 opportunities in a 29-opportunity practice schedule was a quite a bit to start with. I noticed that the questions became very repetitive. It was the same thing over and over and over. I thought this is crazy; you guys should be home at dinner. It gave you a chance to be home by 5:30 or 6, not hanging around up here until 8 o'clock at night. I saw the players somewhat fatigued in that area. I felt like it would be better off for us to separate for eight or 10 days until we got to the week of the game."
On difference in program and team from two years ago
"I'm not sure yet. The question that you get all the time is `compare this game to what happened two years ago'. My answer has been, I think Georgia is a very good football team. I think they have a lot of talent. I think they're very strong, they're very physical. But, I think our football team overall, in all three phases from an organizational standpoint, I think we're a better team than we were. I think Georgia is as good as they were when we played them two years. I've said this a number of times, they lost a couple of first-round picks, but Georgia's got players. They always have and I'm going to guess for a long time they always will. The best example I can give is the first time we ever heard of Knowshon Moreno was when we played him. They were concerned if they had anybody that would be able to run the football."
On if Georgia game has the most hype of any season opener
“When we played at Nebraska a few years ago, there was a lot of anticipation at that game. I think just the local buzz and maybe even more so in the state, because of the preseason ranking. I don’t know what the numbers are, but it’s the highest we’ve been ranked preseason in a long time. Because of that, there’s a lot of excitement. We’ve had to work very hard to minimize that and try to get the players focused. We have to make sure they understand the most important thing is to prepare, practice and get ready to play the game.”
CB Perrish Cox
On what sticks out to him about Georgia
“The whole team. Georgia’s always been a good team. They are very talented at all positions. When we watch them, they are a nice power team. They’re just a power house.”
On how he’s preparing for Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green
“Going against Dez Bryant every day, I mean that’s all you can ask for. Green, he’s a talented receiver all around. Me and the other corners and safeties have got to go in prepared and ready. You look at him and every game they’re sending him deep and he catches some wild passes. We’ve just got to go in and defend him.”
On the game making or breaking the Cowboys’ season
“We try to keep our focus away from that and try to focus on the big picture at the end. We’re going in and playing a top-ranked team. They’ve always been a talented team week in and week out every year.”
DE Jamie Blatnick
On the key to stopping a power running game
“It would be assignments, getting in the backfield, messing up their timing, the hand-offs, the pulls. Then it would be just being more physical than their offensive line. It’s a challenge we look forward to doing.”
On how they prepare for a quarterback they’ve never seen play before
“The same way we prepare for a quarterback that we’ve seen play. Just watch what film we have on him and just don’t underestimate him. He seems like he’s a solid quarterback. He seems like he could run the ball, actually.”
QB Zac Robinson
On his confidence that the Cowboys’ offense will be able to do what it wants
“We feel good about the game plan and what we do offensively. We know that if we take care of the ball and control the tempo and just do the things that we’ve always done, we should be fine. Hopefully we can get some of those explosive plays and score enough points to win the game.”
On how he fits in as a team leader
“I know that guys look to me as a leader and anytime you’re the starting quarterback, they’re going to look to you as that. The thing about our team is we have so many great leaders. We have so many seniors that take leadership roles on offense and defense. Russell (Okung) and (Andre) Sexton and Perrish Cox, a bunch of those guys have stepped up. This is my third year as the starter. I’ve just tried to improve being a leader every year and just kind of lead by example and hopefully guys follow.”
On if he’s ready to kick off or if he needs the rest of the week
“I’m ready to kick this off right now. It’s been a long time and I know guys are excited and if we could play tomorrow I’d be all about it.”
CB Terrance Anderson
On if he expected to play in big games like this
“Actually, yes I did. Coming into the Big 12, you have to expect to come and play against some of the best talent in the country. Coming in, I was like, `Hey if I can go and make it in the Big 12 everything else is going to be alright.’”
On if OSU got more preseason hype than he expected
“I could probably say it’s a little bit more than I expected. We’re actually getting known nationally for the first time, finally. We’ve been working up to it, so now it’s just time to put the pads on and go out there and show everybody why we’re ranked so high.”
On if he’s looking forward to the challenge of facing A.J. Green
“Oh yeah. I go against, in my opinion, the No. 1 receiver in the country every day, so this is just another step to try and prove that our secondary is getting better and better.”
DL Nigel Nicholas
On the talent in the Big 12 versus the SEC
“I really don’t know. Every league has great players and great teams. Football is football.”
On if the defense’s first goal is to stop the run
“We’re not too focused on stopping the run or stopping the pass. We’re just really focused on going out there and playing hard. If you play hard everything’s going to work out. Like coach Young says, `The harder you play, the luckier you’re gonna get.’ So we’re just going to go out and play hard.”
Monday, August 31, 2009
Per Oklahoma State release...