Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Oklahoma State Offensive News Conference - Transcripts

Opening remarks

“On behalf of the Oklahoma State football program, I’d like to thank the Cotton Bowl and the administration for their warm hospitality, their generosity. It’s been a wonderful experience for the coaches and players and also for our families.”

On running back Desmond Roland
“Desmond has had a tremendous season for us. I know Dez is really focused and looking forward to this opportunity to get back in front of his hometown and to be able to put on a great performance for you. I think Dez has done a tremendous job of preparing himself all football season. He’s battled through some injuries. He’s played tough. He runs the ball very physical and he understands pass protections and blitz pickups and has tremendous pride in being a well-rounded tailback.”

On quarterback Clint Chelf
“Clint’s best asset is his mentality, having coached and been in the room with him. His poise – he’s never too high, he’s never too low. He can bounce back. There are always going to be peaks and valleys in a football game and Clint understands that. He’s able to put a bad play behind him and move the football team forward with the next play. He’s a very good leader. He’s a very unselfish player.”

On fullback Kye Staley
“It’s my first year here. You wish you had a longer opportunity, more years to spend with a guy like Kye. He’s fun to be around. He has great enthusiasm for the sport of football. You talk about battling through injuries – I wasn’t here when he was hurt, but I heard about the type of injury that he had. And to be able to work through that and have the type of career that he’s had at that particular position [is an accomplishment]. I salute him. He gives us a lot of muscle to our formations, the ability to run the football. He’s a highly intelligent football player as well.”

On right guard Parker Graham
“Everything that we do as a football program is important to him. He has a business mentality. Every day he’s coming prepared and he understands the game very well. He’s a tremendous leader for our guys up front. It’s just been a privilege to work with him and coach him and see how he operates on a day-to-day basis. He’s just very consistent and a very talented young man.”

On receiver Charlie Moore
“Charlie is very consistent. He gives you that great body language when you’re in a meeting. He’s all eyes. He gives you all his attention. I think the bigger the moment, the bigger he plays. I’ll never forget the game-winning catch he had vs. Kansas State.”

On what makes Missouri defensive end Michael Sam difficult to block
“I think it’s his speed and strength. He looks like he’s got really light feet and heavy hands. Those, I think, are two keys for a defensive lineman to have. He’s able to get to the passer several different ways. He’s not just a bull rusher. He’s not just an edge rusher. He’s versatile. He’s well-coached. I think he understands the game very well. He’s elusive, yet then he can bring muscle and get through you and get leverage as well.”

On what the scariest thing is about Missouri’s defense
“I think it’s their overall execution as a defense. I think they understand their scheme very well. I think they’re well coached. I think they pursue to the football very well. They’re running to the football on every play and I think that’s what makes them a very good defense.”

On the offense starting to click around midseason
“I think it’s the more you can play together and the more you can practice. As coaches, our whole goal was to get better every day and week, to make sure you’re improving as an offense. And I think we did that. What happened, exactly when it was, what caused it, you’d like to think it was just steadfast work ethic and a tribute to our players for working in practice every day.”

On the matchup between Oklahoma State’s receivers and Missouri’s defensive backs
“We feel real good about those matchups. They have two solid corners. They’re very sound fundamentally. They don’t get beat a whole lot over the top. We like our receivers, what they bring. Our experience blended in with our youth give us some good matchups across the board, we feel.”

On the matchup between Oklahoma State’s run game and Missouri’s run defense
“It’ll be interesting. There needs to be balance in every game that you play, with regard to run and pass. It’s going to be ‘Take what they give you,’ as the saying goes. But really you can’t force too many things. If they’re putting too many hats in the box, you’re going to have to throw the football. At the same time, when they give you a numbers advantage, you better run the ball.”

QB CLINT CHELF                                                                                                              
About team legacy

“My last game is kind of going to hit me when the clock reaches zero. Our legacy as juniors is well documented and we have a chance to do something that a lot of guys haven’t had the opportunity to do which is to be the winningest senior class at OSU. I know our legacy speaks for itself as seniors but as far as my legacy I haven’t thought about that at all.”       
Important Moments in Career
“The first thing that sticks out to me is the Fiesta Bowl and the game that my brother had. To watch him play was something special to us and with him going out on a final note and having a really good game that is something that immediately pops into my mind. And when a quarterback has a chance to make a few receptions himself that something you remember forever. I had one against OU and one against Baylor this year. Those things are the first I can think of.”                                                            

Focus on the Game
“We have been extremely focused. Anytime you have 28 seniors that is something we can pride ourselves on in keeping the other guys focused. We have a lot of guys from the Texas and Dallas area so those guys want to go out and play well in front of their friends and family. I think that helped the entire team to stay focused as those guys want to play well. Win the game, that is all I care about and for the seniors I think that is something special –to be the winningest senior class. But if I go 2 of 20 and we win the game I could care less. Obviously, I would like to play well and come out with a victory.”

Similarities between Missouri and Oklahoma State

“Great athletes all through the field. Great pass rushers, we have great pass rushers, Good cornerbacks and we have good cornerbacks, Good quarterback and we have a good quarterback. It is a pretty even matchup and it is going to come down to who wants it more at the end of the game.”

Particular Player to watch
“I am not trying to stay away from him but their All-America defensive end #52 (Michael Sam) is a great player and I have to watch if it is a pass play cause he likes to rush the quarterback. I am going to have to help out a little bit and help our offensive line. We have great O-lineman and an offensive line coach so it is not something we can’t handle.”

Emotions of playing
“I can’t get myself too jacked-up for this game. I have been thinking about this the whole time to just keep calm and don’t put too much pressure on myself because I don’t want to do too much out there on the field and cost us the game. I just have to make sure I keep my emotions under control. We have great seniors on this team and if somebody gets a little out of control then somebody is going to make sure they get back in control.”

Team concept

“West Virginia was a little bump in the road but it’s all about preparation and the work efforts we put in. This team has come together and any position across the field there is trust and we know we can get the job done. Everybody has their job and just take care of that. It’s like a puzzle, things will start falling together.

New Year Resolution
“I guess I am not a resolution guy because I didn’t make any today. I have in the past but I am not too big on it. I’m more like a monthly resolution guy.”

“It is just a great opportunity to play a great Missouri team; they were in the Big 12 so it is a little rivalry there. You always want to play the best and always fun to play the SEC. It is going to be a good game no matter what conference they are in and it is fun to be in the Cotton Bowl.”

View on bigger defensive backs
“I think everybody is bigger and getting stronger, but what I personally like to do is watch film on them and I am going to use my size to my advantage. Picking up tendencies and watching film on how they play. No matter how big or fast they are I am going to prepare like they are the best and see what I can do.”

On the season

“After the West Virginia loss we kind of reevaluated where we were as a team, at that point we were 4-1, being the senior group that we were we had to make sure that the younger guys knew that even though we lost one game that our goals were still on the horizon.  We ended up coming back, had some great games and rushed for a lot of yards which is really a good thing for an offensive line. With Desmond (Roland) having so many good games toward the end and even though we fell short with Oklahoma we got a great bowl game to enjoy in the Cotton Bowl this year.”

Versility at Guard and Tackle
“I played tackle last year and this season I am at guard. In the future I definitely want to play tackle but I think the versatility has helped me. Being 6-7 it is kind of hard at the guard position to get under a lot of those shorter defensive guys but it has been a lot of fun and I have embraced it.”

On Missouri Defensive Line
“There are not enough good things that can be said about their defensive line in the athleticism and their motors. They are all high motor guys that do not give up on plays. It is going to be a really good test for our guards and tackles and center as well, from top to bottom those guys are really athletic and have a knack to get to the ball. They all have a ton of sacks and they led the SEC in pretty much every defensive category. It is a good challenge for us and that’s what you play the game for, you love going up against great opponents and this game is going to be one of the big ones for us.”

Regarding Previous Injury

“My faith and believing that God has a plan has a lot to do with it. Staying positive about everything that has happened and enjoying the ride. I feel like I have always been a major contributor even though I may not be touching the ball. Blocking for good running backs like Desmond (Roland) and Johnny Smith and with them having good production days makes me happy in the all-around team effort. It has been a long journey and I learned a lot about myself (after my injury) regarding patience and having faith in God. Not to hurry into things and to stay positive which made me a stronger person.”                     

What will it take to Beat Missouri?
“Physical play in all three phases of the game. Coaches have done an excellent job with the game plan we have to go out and want it, and we do. We just have to execute our game plan.”

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