IRVING, Texas -- Selected members of the Texas A&M defense and Oklahoma offense met with the Media Monday morning at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas. The Aggies and Sooners will meet in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on January 4 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR JAY NORVELL
On the overall team of Texas A&M: “We have spent time studying them and being aware of the types of challenges they put on you. We are going to be able to respond accordingly to their style of play. They figure that they will give you enough bad plays, put you behind the chains, get a sack, or cause a turnover, to where you’re not going to be able to score. If you can’t score the way they put pressure on you, it puts pressure on you to be efficient every single time you have the ball. It is very similar to the last month of the season where we played excellent offensive football teams. They try to force you into bad plays and they force you to be efficient when you have the football. They have that offense in their back pocket. It is a total team game plan package when you play a team like Texas A&M.”
On the legacy of Landry Jones at Oklahoma: “He has won a bunch of football games. He is a four-year starter and has thrown for over sixteen thousand yards, more than any player in Oklahoma history. I think he has a fabulous legacy. Oklahoma has had great players and quarterbacks. Sometimes Landry may get forgotten when you compare him to Sam Bradford and Jason White, guys who in our recent past have won Heisman Trophies and been in national championships. The bar is set very high at Oklahoma. I don’t think Landry Jones has to take a back seat to anybody. The guy has done more in college football than probably a handful of players. Some who have received big awards would love to have his resume to what he has done as an offensive player. He is a great player and he has been a tremendously efficient player for us. He has left a major imprint on us at Oklahoma and I know it is important for him to leave on a great note winning the AT&T Cotton Bowl.”
On who will be missed the most from the 2012 team: “Obviously you’re going to miss a guy like Landry. He allows us to play the way we play. We can play fast, efficiently, and attack the field. I think when people look at the type of throws that kid makes; there are not many college football players that can do what he can. There is no question we will miss Landry. Also, Lane is a senior and a very good lineman for us. So, we will miss those guys. Justin Brown is a guy that has been here only a handful of months, but has made an incredible impact on this team and coaching staff. Everything you want in the quality of a kid is what Justin Brown has. When you talk about Landry Jones, Justin Brown, and Lane Johnson, you can’t get much better than that.”
CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR JOSH HEUPEL
On how the offense has changed at Oklahoma: “We have had multiple offensive coordinators, and everyone puts their own touch on it. I think one thing we always try to do is put our kids in the best position to be successful. Because of that, it’s changed year in and year out. It started with Mike Leach back in 1999 when I was the quarterback. If you look at who we are today, we are still are reminisce of that. It is somewhat similar to what Coach Sumlin is doing at Texas A&M. The branch of their offense is from the same tree. I think we have changed some over the last year, let alone over the last fourteen years. We typically play with a tight end on the field, but this year our personnel didn’t allow us to do that. We are a lot different than we were a year ago offensively. Mainly because of those changes I think you saw us get better and better as the year went along.”
On the up tempo style of the Oklahoma offense: “I think Oregon obviously was a part of starting that up tempo craze in college football. I think in 2008 we added to that as well with the success we had during that season. That was a mature football team that had a chance to go play in the national championship. When we go fast we are as fast as anybody. Because of our youth early in the year we felt we had to let a lot of those guys learn how to play and play fast. As they became more comfortable with what we were doing offensively that allowed us to play faster as the year went on.”
On if the faster you go the better it is: “Not all the time. When you go fast you have to be able to put your kids in a good position and understand what you’re getting in that fast of tempo. Our kids enjoy going fast and we think it does create an advantage for us typically. In all, it just depends on the ebb and flow of the ball game.”
OL GABE IKARD
On what he has seen from the Texas A&M defensive line: “They are very talented with their hands and they throw all kinds of looks at you. Being able to slant and angle in, bring blitzes, they really mix it up well. They can definitely keep you guessing on the offensive side of the ball. We need to be able to diagnose every look that they are going to give us.”
On the change from the 3-4 to the 4-3 defense of Texas A&M: “It is very difficult now. Last year all they ran was a three-man front. So, now they can just jump right into it and it isn’t awkward at all for them. When they throw the four man front at you they are very good at that now, just as good as the three man front. We just have to recognize the front given to us.”
On Damontre Moore: “He deserves all the hype. Being able to play in the SEC and put up the type of numbers he has takes being a special and talented player. He is a big physical guy with some God given talent.”
WR JUSTIN BROWN
On the added excitement to the AT&T Cotton Bowl being the last game of the year: “I definitely want to go out and prepare as I have always prepared. As far as a senior, I can’t put too much pressure on this being the last game. I still must focus on the task at hand. I think you have to do what you’ve always done for every game, that’s the key.”
On being at the AT&T Cotton Bowl: “The A&T Cotton Bowl has been a great bowl. They have treated us well the entire time we have been down here. It is everything that I have expected it to be.”
On his expectations for the game: “I expect this game to be real exciting. You have two great teams. Who knows if it will be high scoring or not, but it will be real exciting.”
On having a fast start to the game: “Definitely. You always want to be able to start off fast in any game that you play. We just have to keep playing the way that we play.”
QB LANDRY JONES
On what he thinks about his overall career statistics: “I’m thankful. No too many get to play fifty games in their college career. For me, I’m thankful for what I have been able to do and the position I have been able to be in.”
On his relationship with the fans of Oklahoma: “We both have extremely high standards. For our fans, it is either national championship or we wait for next year to start playing again. That is the typical feel around here, but that’s OK. You would rather have that than say, “Okay, if we win five games we are happy.” Our fans are great and they have always supported us.”
On possibly having the type of success that Andrew Luck, RGIII, and Russell Wilson has had in their rookie years in the NFL: “You don’t play this game if you don’t think you are going to be successful. For me, there is no doubt in my mind that if someone picks me up I will be a good fit for that team. If someone picks me up, I know that we are going to win games, have successful years, and go after Super Bowls. I have that type of confidence in myself if someone wants to take a shot on me.”
WR KENNY STILLS
On the game he is expecting the AT&T Cotton Bowl to be: “I think it is going to be fast, fun, and physical. Those are the three things that I first think of right away. It is obviously the biggest game that we will play in all year. I’m not sure if it will be high scoring, but I don’t mind either or. We have been in both tight games and shootouts, so we are prepared for both and whatever it may be.”
On the animosity between Oklahoma and Big 12 teams when Texas A&M left for the SEC: “I don’t think there was much. There may have been more between the boosters and coaching staff. For us, we are out here to play and you take it for what it is. The only thing different about this game is that we are familiar with Texas A&M because they were once in our conference.”
On the success Texas A&M has had going from the Big 12 to the SEC: “I don’t think it opened anyone’s eye on the competitive level in comparison of the Big 12 and the SEC. People of the SEC are at sometimes having belief only in the teams they have. I don’t know how openly they welcomed Texas A&M and Missouri, but they are proving the point regardless of what people think.”
FB TREY MILLARD
On how he has changed in the past year: “I think I am more of a leader. I have become more vocal and taken on more responsibility. Just being able to help guys out and put them in the right place is definitely a part of me that has changed and grown into as a player. For example, in practice I am more focused on the task of keeping the guys around me on point.”
On playing for the stereotypical fullback: “I think it is kind of funny I am in that spot and have been able to be as productive as I have. You have to take on the fullback pride. You meet other fullbacks after the games and they respect you for what you do. It is a kind of camaraderie that you enjoy being a part of and strive to play for the pride of the position.”
On what he will remember most about the 2012 season: “The Texas game. It is one of those things where most of my one hundred yard games just go into my past. That entire game was awesome. We clicked as an offense and it was a great feeling to go out there and beat Texas. Being able to be productive and beat them like we did will be a great memory.”
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