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Meet the Press: Iowa State

Oct. 13, 2009

Press Conference

Head Coach Art Briles

Opening statement:
"The good things out of the (Oklahoma) game: I thought we really battled hard. I thought we had a good plan going in - both sides of the ball and special teams. We had a good opportunity to at least be on pretty equal ground with them early in the game with the exception of the penalties that stalled a couple of the drives. When you play on the road and play against a good team like that, against anybody, it doesn't matter who you are playing, you cannot help them. We helped them a little bit and they are certainly a team that does not need help. Then we had a few things that broke down early in the second half that gave momentum to them and took away momentum from us."

On the upcoming game at Iowa State:
"(Iowa State is a) very dangerous football team; they have been playing well all year. They actually went to Kent State and got their first road win in 17 games and beat them handily. (They) are coming off two real tough conference losses. They very well could be sitting at 5-1 overall and 2-0 in conference. They are really, really playing well, playing with a lot of confidence. Coach Rhoades has come in there and done a great job. You can just see them playing really hard for each other on the tape."

On Iowa State's offense:
"The scheme is good. They do a good job. They are fast-paced, very similar to a lot of teams in the Big 12 on how they do it. They keep you off balance from a defensive standpoint and they are doing it with experienced people. They have been real productive on the offensive side of the ball."

On the importance of taking the Iowa State crowd out of the game:
"As far as trying to take the Iowa State crowd out, yeah we have to do it. The fans are right on top of you there; it's a tight stadium and they put a lot of people in it. It will be a great atmosphere. It will be a night game. The weather's going to be fine, so it will be an exciting time. It will be a good chance for us to grow as a team, and that's what we're doing - we're growing as a football team. We're starting to understand ourselves a little better personnel-wise and player capability-wise."

On the status of Nick Florence and Blake Szymanski:
"Nick (Florence) has done a really good job the last two-plus weeks. I think he has been very protective with the football, very poised, very intelligent. And with Blake (Szymanski), I'm anxious to see him work out this week. Blake actually has not worked out the past two weeks. So I'm anxious to get him on the field, get him worked out, see how his physical matches with his mental and get ready to go to Ames and fire away and win a football game. Play hard for each other, and that's the thing I know about our guys, they're going to rally up and they're going to fight hard. Fighting hard and playing hard. It's ok, but you have to win. So we have to go to the next base which is win."

On Robert Griffin's surgery:
"It was very successful. Now the rehab and the journey to getting back to where he was and better are in process."

Senior Linebacker Joe Pawelek

On the defense's play at Oklahoma:
"We definitely felt like it was improved from a gap control, stopping the run side of things. I think we definitely got better, but (there is) still room for improvement. The thing that we all liked to see most on Saturday was, even though we had some tough breaks with penalties, they kept getting inside the red zone and we kept stopping them. That was encouraging for us to see that we just kept on playing."

On what the defense is doing to prepare for Iowa State:
"I came up here yesterday and watched their (Iowa State) game against Kansas. More than any week this season so far, I think it is going to be on every man on defense playing his responsibility. They run a lot of zone read. They are going to force each guy to play his position, play his responsibility. It is going to be a huge week for us."

On this week being a must-win game:
"I think it is a huge game for us because it is the next one on the schedule. I think that if you look over the big picture of things - the hours that we have put in, the workouts and the film and the treatments - you get 12 opportunities and this is a huge one for us. We dropped our first conference opener and this is our next conference game, so this is a big game for us."

Senior Fullback Andrew Judy

On scoring his first career touchdown:
"It was very nice. It was my first college touchdown and it will make my job on blocking easier when I am a threat for a pass. Coach (Briles) said during practice that it was a guaranteed touchdown and it worked and so it surprised everybody. "

On the necessity to get a win this week:
"This is a must-win for both Iowa State and Baylor, so it is going to make this game even more hyped than it already is."

Senior Center J.D. Walton

On the importance of this week's game at Iowa State and next week's game vs. Oklahoma State:
"This is it. We have to get back to winning games, get back to our goals and get back to being bowl eligible. It'll be a big week for us to come out and have a good week of practice and get back on track."

On the remainder of the season:
"Every time we get on the field, we have to get out there and win. Every game we come up every week, every practice we come against we've got to be ready to roll on our feet and because we need every win we can get."

On Baylor's offense:
"We're just trying to roll on as well as we can right now. We've got confidence in both Blake (Szymanski) and Nick (Florence). Whichever one Coach Briles puts back there, we know he's made the right decision and most of all to keep the ball on our side and not give it away."

Freshman Quarterback Nick Florence

On the atmosphere of Oklahoma:
"It was definitely a lot different than a week and a half ago in the rain at Floyd Casey. It was a blast; a great college atmosphere, college football Saturday afternoon in a stadium like that. It was fun; unfortunately we lost and didn't play well in the second half, but it was a good experience."

On controlling the tempo of the game:
"Our game plan was just to control the tempo. Let the defense react. Control the crowd more than anything and, in the first half, the crowd was pretty quiet; (we) completed that goal. (In the) second half, we just didn't make the plays."

On Oklahoma's defense:
"They did a great job up front on the defensive line and just closed up the running lanes and forced us to throw."

On this week's game against Iowa State:
"It (a win) would be huge. It will be a battle. They (Iowa State) lost their first two Big 12 games and we lost our first one and it's a must win for both sides, so it will be good game. It will be a battle and we'll be ready."

Senior Quarterback Blake Szymanski

On the status of his shoulder:
"I have been throwing minimal balls throughout the week, trying to get my arm back in shape and strength as well as trying to get the stuff around my shoulder, get that strengthened back up. "

On playing on the road:
"I think that's one of the biggest things, taking the crowd out of the game. Specifically going to Oklahoma where I thought we did a pretty good job of that. It's like we're playing at neutral spots so you can somewhat take that home field advantage away from them and then after that, you have to control them. You can go there and make plays when you need to cause you know, you go to opposing stadiums you're not always going to have things go your way. You just have to be able to handle adversity the best."



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