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Meet the Press: Oklahoma State

Oct. 20, 2009

Press Conference

Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement:
"We are glad to be associated with homecoming and be a part of it this Saturday. Our team is excited about an 11:30 a.m. game; to us, that's college football. We're pumped and we hope that all of the fans can make it if they're traveling and get here on time because we need them. We need them this week. We need a great home crowd, great support. It feels good being home and we need to take advantage of being home."

On Oklahoma State's offense:
"They've been good for a while. The last two or three years, (Oklahoma State senior QB Zac) Robinson has been key. He's (Robinson) done a great job for them and, in my opinion, I thought going into this season he was an underrated quarterback in the (Big 12). I think production-wise, he has been as good as anyone in the last couple of years; he's the guy that makes everything go for them. The running back (Keith) Toston is a big strong kid that moves around well and carries out their scheme for them. They have a good scheme; good strong tempo and they've been very productive on the offensive side of the ball since he took over the reins."

On losing this past Saturday at Iowa State:
"You have to move on and find something else. It's not easy and it's not fun but if it was there might be more people doing it. It's part of what we do and you have to fight through (it), live through (it) and sustain through it. We feel like we're starting fresh; we have six games behind us and six in front of us. Of those next six games, we have three at home and one at a neutral site. So we have a favorable schedule coming in, but it all starts and ends this Saturday with Oklahoma State. We just have to look (at the) present and we're just trying to win each play. You win one play and go to the next and hope to win that one and whoever wins the most at the end hopefully wins the football game and that's where we are at as a team."

On defense to help the offense not have to hold onto the football as long this week:
"I think that's something that you'd like to do. It's kind of a double-edged sword. Do you slow down to where it might hurt your production or do you play your tempo game and hope you get plays and take care of the ball and score? There's two ways you can look at it and we've approached them both and we've done them both and we just have to see which one fits us best and which gives us a chance to win the football game."

On the 11:30 a.m. kickoff and why it's favored by most college teams:
"It's tough sitting around all day waiting for the game and there's something about the sun shining and lining the ball up and having a festive atmosphere. That to me is college football and I think that if you polled our players (then) 90 percent of them would say they love afternoon games; that's just what it's all about."

On Terrance Ganaway:
"He's a big guy; he has light feet and I think he's improved, especially the last couple of weeks. He's done a good job for us and I think he's getting back into the rhythm of being on a football field. He missed a year and I think he's just now getting back into the flow of it. He didn't get in here until June so I really think he's starting to improve and get comfortable. He's a good football player and we respect Terrance because of his athletic ability, his intelligence, his passion and his character. He's really a good back and I think he'll help us before it's all said and done."

Senior Linebacker Joe Pawelek

On moving on from the loss at Iowa State:
"I don't think we have much time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. This isn't by any means our season down the drain but I do think that we see it as a missed opportunity. We are going to come back today and be ready and go to work."

On OSU's offense from a defensive standpoint:
"Their quarterback (Zac Robinson) does a great job of a run offense. He poses a lot of threats in terms of being a dual-threat guy and even though their receiver (Dez Bryant) has been out he (Robinson) still looked good this last Saturday. I think as a defense this is a huge challenge for us, something that we definitely need to come in and have a great week of work and we'll be ready to go on Saturday."

On being a quarterfinalist for the Ronnie Lott award:
"Any time that you're up for a national award like that is a huge honor. I don't think you can get too caught up in it throughout the season. Oklahoma State is going to bring a lot of things that we need to focus on and if you get caught up looking at that stuff then we'll be missing some things on Saturday."

On what it'll take for the defense to step up from the last couple performances:
"We came in Sunday and put the film on and it's not a problem with the schemes or the base defense. It's just a problem with getting all 11 guys on the field to doing their job. When one guy is out of position or doesn't read his keys right and do what he's supposed to do, then it makes the defense look like there's something wrong with it. It's nothing more than one or two guys not doing what we're coached to do and I think as a whole it's going to take guys coming in and taking some ownership and saying what do I need to do to be better on Saturday and what can I do to be better prepared."

Senior Offensive Lineman James Barnard

On the current status of the team:
"I think we are making week-to-week progress, but there is a lot of progress left to be made. As far as the (offensive) line, I need to work hard, get technically better. I am sure that is for everyone across the board. I think we are getting there, but we have a long way to go too."

On not being able to get in a groove:
"I think there are things that I can do better and the offensive line can do better. We will find a groove. I am not worried about that at all."

On having two straight games at home...
"Not having to travel is a big advantage. We are really excited just to play at home again. It feels like it has been awhile."

On the rest of the season...
"We have six games left. You have the feeling like `hey, half the season is over; let's get it in gear,' but we will rise to the challenge."

Junior Cornerback Tim Atchison

On playing with a cast on his broken hand...
"(Athletic trainer) Mike Sims has been doing a good job of rehabbing me and they do a real good job of protecting my hand on game day. So when I go out there, there is not much that affects my hand other than the fact that I can't grab anyone. I try not to let it affect me at all."

On the mood of the team after last week's loss...
"It was devastating, but I think we all know that right now is the time that we have to make some changes. If we are going to do anything, we need to do it now. I think that is the way that we are going into this week and the rest of the season. (We are) just focusing on everybody doing their own jobs and eliminating the stupid penalties."

Senior Quarterback Blake Szymanski

On half of the season being over...
"We are halfway to our goal of getting to a bowl game, but at the same time, we are halfway through the season. There is still a lot of football to be played. Six games is a lot of football. We are just going to take one game at a time. We have Oklahoma State this week and we are going to go out there and prepare to beat them and show up on Saturday a little more focused and disciplined."

On the team's goal of getting to a bowl game not changing...
"The six-win barrier is what we are looking for, not to say we wouldn't want all of them, obviously. We have talked about as a team that each week is a big week. There are no slouches in this conference and definitely not with Oklahoma State. We have to prepare each week like it is a new season. (We are) just start off trying to go 1-0 for this season this week."

On what needs to happen for the team to get in a groove...
"Just executing on all cylinders, all 11 people doing their job when they need to. The past couple weeks, I will be the first one to say, not everybody has been doing that consistently. We will go on some streaks were that will happen, but it is not consistently all over the board. We have to do a better job of doing that."

On facing Oklahoma State...
"They are pretty good and we are going to have our hands full. We are going to go out there and play like we are ready to win that football game."



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