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September 22, 2014

Sam Eguavoen

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Sam Eguavoen.

Q.  Sam, what has this last week been like for you as defensive players?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Change.  We've been trying to just keep our head up.  The season is going to be a marathon.  A lot of us, like me, we're used to change.  We're just trying to rally.

Q.  New coordinator.  Nothing for you.  What has the adjustment been like moving to Mike?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  I mean, he's been making a few changes just by the way we line up.  I mean, it's really just us as players, we got to tackle, we got to fake gap.
I mean, with a new defensive coordinator, I hope the players don't feel like, you know, it wasn't our fault for any of these losses.  It was 100% our fault.  But we're going to change that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Did it surprise me?  It surprised all of us.

Q.  How did you find out?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Twitter.  Seeing all those tweets.

Q.  (No microphone.)
SAM EGUAVOEN:  You know, we just had a team meeting, right before our special teams meeting.  He just broke the news to us.  I guess it was like a team violation or something.  I don't really know.

Q.  (No microphone.)
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Coach Kingsbury addressed the whole team.

Q.  What has been the biggest change you noticed with Mike being in charge?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  He's just more laid back.  I don't want to say friendly environment, but it's less stress, less screaming.  I mean, he comes to you like a man, not as a child or something.

Q.  (No microphone.)
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Are you talking about when coach was still here?

Q.  Yes.
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Coach didn't say much, but when he said something, we felt it.
Him stepping in, being the only defensive coordinator, wasn't just a huge change.  I mean, we always listened to him on the side just as much as we did Coach Wally.
I trust Coach Smith, I trust my teammates.  We're going to get it done this week.

Q.  (Question about communication issues after the Arkansas game.)
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Yeah, I feel like we did.  I feel like we're more hungry.  Watching the film, we all felt sick to our stomachs.  I hope that shows, the linebackers and the D‑line, we got to come with it, fill our gaps properly.

Q.  Folks that will be watching the game, what do you think the casual fan will notice, will be the most different on the defense?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  We'll be faster.  I think it's a little less in the game plan now, so we're going to be looking less to the sideline to know what we got to do next.  It's going to be more on‑the‑fly stuff.  We're going to be ready for each play.

Q.  (No microphone.)
SAM EGUAVOEN:  I guess you could say that.
I mean, this one really don't count.  This is his second year being here, whatever.  I don't really consider this one a change.  This is just a minor change really.  I mean, it's still a 3‑4 defense.  We're still doing what we do.  We're just making a few like position changes and personnel changes.

Q.  You mentioned a little bit earlier about playing with less of a game plan.  As a player, do you like being more free?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Yeah, I like that better.  It's less thinking.  You have a base plan in your head.  You can just read the offense, man.  It's hard to explain.  Y'all don't know nothing about defense, man (laughter).

Q.  What do you remember about playing in that stadium, in that atmosphere?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  It's loud.  I mean, the stands, they're just breathing right down your neck at the sideline.  You miss a tackle, they going to remember.
It's nasty out there.  I like it.  You make a play, you shut 'em all up.  You miss a play, it's going to be loud.
I mean, I like away games.

Q.  Talk about the challenge that you will have to face this coming week.
SAM EGUAVOEN:  It's a big challenge.  My whole time being here, I haven't been close to beating OSU.  This is my senior year.  I'm trying to leave that mark.  I think we haven't beat them over there in 13 years, something like that.  We just got to leave our mark.
I hate to come to Tech and lose four years in a row.  That's all that's going on in my head.

Q.  I'm sure you know they're going to try to exploit that front seven, seeing the game film from Arkansas.  Is that something you talk about, that you're pumped up to show you can handle that?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  We talk about that all the time.  That's the beauty part about it.  It's no secret to the game plan.  It's man versus man.  You either step back or you can fall back.

Q.  Will it help you guys having that energy of Coach Smith down on the sidelines with you guys?
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Yeah.  I think Coach Smith is still going to be in the box.  I don't know.  I don't know if he's going to be down on the sidelines.  If he is, that will help.  He's never been on the sidelines since we've been here.  He's always been in the box.
If he's down there, it's going to help us a lot.

Q.  Have you seen No.24?  He lines up in a lot of different positions.
SAM EGUAVOEN:  Yeah, we've been noticing that.  But, I mean, we got some different fronts and secondaries to adjust.  Not just off him, but off of formations and everything.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Sam.

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