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October 8, 2012

Mason Walters

Q.  Mack said with this series sometimes it can cycle, the team that's lost a few times has to relearn how to win such a big game. Do you sense that pressure or need to learn that again?
MASON WALTERS:  Well, I just think we need to learn to win the big games. That's really going to help this team. There's going to be some big games later on down the stretch. As competitive as the Big 12 is, we're going to play in close big games, even after this week.
I think you just have to realize the implications early in the week through preparation and practice and really getting as prepared as possible to go out and face each team.

Q. How much does last year's OU game weigh on your mind and how much better prepared do you think this team is being a year older?
MASON WALTERS:  Really I think the biggest thing that's affected are the habits, things that you can do early in the week like preparation.
As far as the margin of loss in the game last year, 57‑17 loss, all that really comes into play in the off‑season, through training, waking up early in the morning and going to work. Really once you get into the season it's getting prepared for the game and going. You're not going to be able to do much to increase your physical output.
I think you learn what we do from practice habits, but a lot of that motivation comes from the off‑season.

Q. Is there any way to try to convey to them that you believe in them?
MASON WALTERS:  I don't even think that's a question. It's always‑‑ there's a little bit of communication on the sidelines between the offense and defense, but for the most part it's all said beforehand. We've got all the confidence in the world in our defense. We still do. I think they can all get better at some things. But during the game, they're doing their thing, they're focused, and we don't weigh too much on them.

Q. I mean like afterwards.
MASON WALTERS:  Oh, absolutely. Full faith in those guys. You just tell them to go out and do their job as hard as they can, and we're going to do the same. We believe in each other, and we're going to fight for them.

Q. Given some would say the extreme youth on this team, with all those freshmen playing I know it's always big to talk to the younger guys about what to expect this week in the Cotton Bowl, but even more so perhaps given the contribution that some of the young guys are making?
MASON WALTERS:  Well, you can try, but the Cotton Bowl is something that's got to be experienced for oneself. There's probably not much you can give to a guy to compare it to. It's a huge game, the crowd is electric. It's a big crowd. It's like coming to Texas, and it'll be a great challenge, and it's really a great experience for everybody just to do it.
You really don't have to worry about it because big‑time players play well in big‑time games. That's something we've got to work and focus on and prepare throughout the week for.

Q. In your time here have you had a stretch like this with West Virginia and Oklahoma and then Baylor the next week?
MASON WALTERS:  As far as the toughness?

Q. Yeah.
MASON WALTERS:  Yeah, I don't know. I think the Big 12 is definitely a competitive league this year, maybe even a little bit more so. It's a little bit of a gauntlet; we've just got to step up to the plate and finish it the right way.

Q. What's better about this team that year as opposed to going into this game last year?
MASON WALTERS:  Everything is just a little bit more maturity, a little bit more understanding of the offense, and really just a little bit better camaraderie. I've been excited to be on this team. I've had a whole lot of fun this year working with the same guys every day, and usually that's not a feeling you always have. It kind of gets a little bit of a routine instead of something that you look forward to going to do, even though it's a little bit the same.
Just having fun together, enjoying each other, and being excited to go to work for one another.

Q. Compare David last year going into this game to this year, and is there even‑‑ if you didn't have an hour‑‑ do you need an hour, I should say, to almost make that comparison?
MASON WALTERS:  I would think so. I mean, they're the same person, but then again, they're not the same football player. I don't think anybody is. I think there's been a lot of maturing going on for everybody, and David maybe even more so. As far as from last year to this year, probably time preparing, understanding the offense, understanding the importance of his role, not just his role. I'm really proud of the guy for how far he's come, and I really hope to go see him well play on Saturday.

Q. You said last year's score was something you thought about in the off‑season. Was it just you thinking about it or was that the score that you heard from the strength coaches, saw posted somewhere?
MASON WALTERS:  You know, I don't really remember. Something like that just sticks with you a little bit, and it's a good motivator. But last year's score is not really going to make much of a difference on Saturday. It's going to start zero to zero. There's no carryover from last year, just got to go play well.

Q. Coach Brown said you guys laid an egg in this game last year. Why do you like your chances this year?
MASON WALTERS:  I think first off OU is a good team and it's a great challenge. But I think as far as what we want to get done and the goals we've set for ourselves that this is a game that we know we can go out and win, and we have to play well and do all the things that we say we're going to do each and every week. I think if we do what we say we can do and we really buy in and believe that this team is the team we think it is, we can go out and play a great football game and get a win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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