Monday, December 30th, 2013

Oklahoma State Media Day - Transcripts

Opening Remarks
“We want to thank the AT&T Cotton Bowl and everybody involved. We have been here a few days now the hospitality, accommodation, entertainment and facilities have been really good and our players have had a great few days. We are looking forward to practicing the next few days and preparing for a great game.”

On playing Missouri
“I think every game is important and we are excited about playing against Missouri, who is a very good football team. As you know they had a good season and beat a bunch of good quality football teams on the road and it will be a good challenge for our football team to finish the season. We would like to play very well when it counts.”

On Missouri Defense
“They are very good up front and their ends are excellent pass rushers. They have big guys up front who have good push on the offensive linemen. When we started to watch tape I was impressed at their ability to rush the passer. Our line is well aware of the challenges they will have during the game and it will benefit us offensively and make us a better football team. I am sure they have a plan to slow our running game down but hopefully we have a plan that will be successful as well.”

On Wide Receiver Josh Stewart
“He had a big year last season with over 100 catches and he draws a lot of attention. There have been some receivers who have been able to go over 100 two years in a row both of those players were on a team with really, really good offenses. We started the season slower on offense the first couple of games but he made the most of his catches. I can’t speak for other teams but when we compete against a team that has a returner like Josh it is a factor and Josh does that very well and that is something that he also brings to the table.”

Recruiting in Texas
“I think anytime you play recruiting is important. We are on television just about every game. Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas are important states for recruiting. The Cotton Bowl is a great location for us to play, the combination of the ease for our fans to get here and recruiting are very important for our program.”

Leadership of the Senior Class
“These 28 guys have accomplished a lot. Their leadership and the way they have handled themselves and what they are passing on to the younger group is very special. After last year’s group I wasn’t sure I would be able to say that starting out but this group has been terrific. They mean a lot to Oklahoma State football and they mean a lot to our coaching staff. I could not be any more proud of the work ethic and what they stand for. They play the game with a smile on their face, they are humble and unselfish and I think that goes a long way in our sport today and I am proud of the way they have handled themselves.”

On Missouri’s defense

“The first thing that sticks out on film about them is their pass rush. Any time you have the SEC defensive player of the year on your team, that’s something to be proud of, and they can play. That’s something they pride themselves on is getting after the quarterback and making us uncomfortable and making us make bad decisions to force a turnover. So it all starts with them at defensive line. We’re going to have to be wary of that and hopefully protect.”

On coming back from the loss to Oklahoma
“The coaches did a good job of kind of getting us away from the game for a few days after we played OU and letting us all relax and get that game out of our minds. After that, we came back and we knew we were going to play a tough opponent in Missouri and so we had to move on quickly.”

On Oklahoma State’s motivation level
“We’re certainly motivated. Any time you have 28 seniors, you want to go out and win your last game. I think we all understand that. The younger guys, it’s a big point with them that they want to send us out with a victory. I think we’re extremely motivated.”

On why the offense has played so well late in the season
“I think we just kind of got into a rhythm. I think that’s something that can’t be said enough about an offense is when you get in a rhythm and are firing on all cylinders, it helps. … We just got into that rhythm after the TCU game and just kept it rolling for a couple of games.

On coming back from the loss to Oklahoma

“You don’t want to lose to anyone you line up against. To lose against a rival like that in a tough game like that on the last drive, it does kind of knock the wind out of you. But our coaching staff did a great job of keeping us focused in practice and looking at the big picture – and that is to play college football with each other, a great group of guys. We’re happy that we’re playing in the Cotton Bowl because this is one of the best bowls in America. So we’re excited.”

On the role the coaches played in getting the team refocused and how the bowl experience itself is motivation
“They didn’t really have to say anything. We see everything ourselves. The Cotton Bowl has done a great job of setting this bowl up with all the amenities and things they have to offer. When we walked in the hospitality room, you should have seen how big the guys’ eyes were. I’ve been playing in bowl games four years straight and I’ve never anything like this.”

On Missouri
“They come from a tough conference in the SEC and have done a good job of competing over there. They have a lot of athletes across the board, especially at the receiver position. They have an experienced quarterback in Franklin. They’re a great opponent. They were playing for the SEC championship so you know they’re pretty good.”

On Missouri’s defensive front

“Their coach puts them in great position to do what they do well. They have stunts that they go on, and they do twists and all kinds of exotic D-line line stunts. They have a ton of sacks. They’re a very good football team, especially that front seven. We’re going to have our work cut out for us.”

On bouncing back from the Oklahoma loss
“We had a rough game in that last one we had against OU and we’re looking to come out and lay [aside] a little bit of the anxiety over that in our next game. It’s going to be a lot of fun. This was the first bowl game I got to go to when I was a freshman, so it’s kind of like coming home for me.”

On playing at AT&T Stadium; Roland is from Dallas and Lake Highlands High School

“It means so much to me. I’ve been to this arena and watched the games but I’ve never played in it. This is my first time. And I get to play in it two games straight because we play here the first game next year. So I want to put on a show – not trying to sound selfish. I want to play real good. My first Cowboy game was last night. I was getting goose bumps. It was amazing. When I was in high school, I went to a lot of high games here. It was nice. It will be my first time [to play in AT&T Stadium].”

On growing up nearby and being back in North Texas
“That’s why I feel so great about the game. I feel like I’m right at home. Everybody is going to be watching. My family is going to be here, friends, coaches, random supporters. It’s going to be a good environment.”

On how long it took to bounce back from the Oklahoma loss
“Probably about a week or so. That first practice when we came back after the [Oklahoma] game wasn’t so good. You could still tell that everybody was holding their heads down, but after a little while when we found out we were going to the Cotton Bowl and playing a good team, we were like, ‘OK, we’ve got a chance to make up for it.’”

About playing in the Cotton Bowl

“We are very excited about playing the in the Cotton Bowl. We are happy to be here and blessed and I am looking forward to playing in the game.”

Regarding team’s ability to create turnovers
“It starts in practice and it’s something we as a team emphasize. Turnovers are a big key to a lot of our wins this season. We have come together as a family and we are just able to do some good things right now on defense. The good Lord has been on our side and we just look forward to finishing (the season) off strong.”

On Playing in front of family and friends (Hometown is Denton, Texas)

“It feels good. We played in this stadium in high school and we got a feel for it. It is one of the best stadiums in America and we are excited. I still have a lot of family I am hopeful of getting tickets for. It is exciting to play in front of them because I have some family that couldn’t make some of my games and now it’s so close they can and that a good thing. It adds a little bit to it when you are playing in your hometown, your family is closer and you have that home feeling. It feels pretty good.”

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