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October 8, 2012

Bryan Harsin

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRYAN HARSIN:¬† Yeah, I think from facing them last year, the environment, the game, the whole, everything surrounding this game and just watching them today up front, backers, safeties, all those things, yeah, those are playing very well. They look good in what they're doing, and they've been very competitive on the entire‑‑ every play of each game I've seen, there hasn't been plays in there where they weren't competitive with the offense they were playing.

Q. Is it different with Mike Stoops there?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, I mean, both guys defensively are difficult to go against. You know, not being there and knowing the dynamics and all that inside, last year obviously the defense, they were very good against us, what they did. But for us we've got to worry about what they're doing and take care of our business, do our jobs. We know that we're going to play a very good football team this Saturday.

Q. When you're playing a better defense do you expect to face more things than maybe you have the last three weeks?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Well, I think we're always expecting that. That's something you always prepare for no matter who you play. They're going to make plays, defenses are going to make plays. They're going to be prepared. You assume all those things, that you're going to get their best shot every game, and this is no different. We know we'll get it. Their emotions will be there, their intensity will be there. We've got to match that. We've got to bring our execution because they're going to bring theirs.
It really comes down to there's going to be match‑ups in there, and those match‑ups, one‑on‑ones, whatever it is they've got to be able to win, and we've got to win more match‑ups than they do and find ways not to turn the ball over and put ourselves in positive situations.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BRYAN HARSIN:¬† Every game‑‑ you know, when you talk to the guys, I said to them what I would say if we had won the game, in those situations that we were in. Obviously we want to put points on the board and we get the turnover down there and we didn't do that, and that would have been no different win or lose in that game.
And so that's the funny thing is every week with a W or an L, it's going to be the same points that come up, because really it comes down to us. It comes down to us doing our jobs, did we do our jobs and how well did we do them and did we get better, and that really is the whole key.
And so we had a turnover in there, we had an opportunity to score and we didn't. Those are things that for us we look at and we decide, okay, how are we going to get this fixed this week in practice, and what were the reasons why, and try to correct those and move forward. We have another big game this week that we can't dwell on what happened last week, but we have to learn from it and get better.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, I like where David is at. He's playing well. He's making good decisions. He's playing with confidence. You know, and he's preparing himself well. I think there's a lot of things probably from this game last year that we were able to use in spring ball, fall camp, summer, and look at how we played in that game. And I think as you draw on those experiences, which David did, that's something that's made him a better player. It's made him where he is right now.
I think he's excited about the opportunity to play Oklahoma again. He's excited about where he's at and how he's playing.
But like everybody else, it's about getting better, and he'd be the first one to tell you this week I've got to improve, got to get better, got to find ways to make more plays. And that's what I like about our team and I like about David in particular is that he really believes that, that's his mindset, and he comes out to work each week to do that. And if that continues to be so, then he'll continue to get better.

Q. Does the nature of this game make it difficult to balance that emotion you said he needed to play with to be able to execute?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, I think it does. I think that's something you have to address early in the week and just lay out the environment. Here's two teams, two very good football teams in a rivalry game with fans and emotion that goes into it. Don't hide the fact of what it is; everybody understands that. Now you get that whole side, now it comes down to playing ball. Here's their defense, here's what they do, here's the execution we need to have. You want to go in with emotion but you don't want to be geeked out to where you just can't perform. You've peaked too soon before the game and all that. We don't want that. We'll address it, we'll talk about it, and then it comes back down to every single week like we've done before, try to get better, work harder, prepare harder and get yourself ready to play.

Q. Is that something you maybe check to kind of take the pulse of some of those younger guys stretching before the game and look at them and see how overwhelming it is for them?
BRYAN HARSIN:  And their eyes are this big, yeah. I think to some degree, a lot of the guys that are playing now have played in this game. They played last year. Some of the newer guys I think those older guys will have to help them understand the environment, and there's less guys in this game than there were last year that are young players, and so that will obviously help. Some of those younger guys just say, hey, do your job, this is what we need you to do.
Like any big game, any rivalry game, there is that emotion, and as long as their minds are right and you feel like going into it they're out there and they're wide‑eyed and ready to go, that's fine. And I think we know our players well enough to know if they're over‑hyped or they're ready and intense and just want to get out there and play. I think that's the balancing act leading into the week and just talking about those things, and so there's no surprises when they do step out there on the field and see the surroundings and they just understand it's time to play.

Q. Have you ever seen anything like what you saw last year?  What was going through your head?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, I had heard about it. Being there is a completely different deal. I mean, it's great. It's everything that I think you would hope for in college football. It's about as perfect of an environment when it comes to that type of thought, when people think about college ball and things like that.
I felt that walking out there. I felt like this is pretty cool, and I knew what type of game we were heading into. And I think that's something that, myself included, we can all draw from is we know what to expect from that standpoint, so let's go out there and play.

Q. Both you guys having one loss, does that add any more to this game?
BRYAN HARSIN:¬† Probably not. I think undefeated, you know, one loss, two loss, this game this week is just‑‑ it is what it is. You know regardless of the score that both teams are going to play four quarters. There's not going to be a letdown. There will be a fight for four quarters, and there'll be effort for four quarters, and I just think that's the whole mentality of this game.
So that's what you prepare yourself for. We're going to fight for four quarters regardless of what happens, up, down, even, it doesn't matter. That's what we have to do. You expect that from Oklahoma, as well, because of the nature of the game.

Q. There were a couple of drives against West Virginia that stalled a little bit. Is there anything you look back at that you did wrong there or maybe would have called differently?
BRYAN HARSIN:¬† Yeah, you know, the series that we had there after the fumbled exchange‑‑ the two plays we ran, we had ran previous, one game 12, one game 6, so there was 18 yards off the previous plays and the same one that we had ran. Obviously didn't get that same result.
What I felt like, we got down inside the 6‑yard line, and when we were there in the red zone on the goal line, we had punched the ball in each time. So if we could get down there, probably going to be in two‑down territory if we didn't kick a field goal to tie it, if we got close, hey, we want to go for it and score, be in four‑down territory and try to get inside the 6‑yard line there and punch it in.
And then there at the end with the snap, we had the‑‑ a pretty good pass play on, that was going to put us in a good situation there or at least have a chance to kick it if we didn't and then just had the mishap on the snap there and put us out of field goal range and put us further back, so that was something that as you look on that, there are some corrections to make there, and I think in games like that you come down to it's just certain critical situations in games. It's probably going to be maybe two, maybe three when you're playing a very good football team that really mattered. Obviously that one really mattered in that situation there, and so we go back, watch the tape, learn from it, get better and understand that when we're there again, which we will be at some point, let's draw from that experience, let's correct it and put ourselves in position to either tie it or go up in that type of situation there.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BRYAN HARSIN:  You know, I thought that, too. I think Joe was like, if you do it, man, I've got you.
No, it was actually one of the positive plays that we watched, and just to see Johnathan ‑‑ it's actually kind of funny when you get a chance to slow it down and watch it, just kind of slithering through back and forth and guys were kind of giggling watching him there. And then like anybody, if a punter catches you on the punt return, it's like, aww. You'd like to see him get in. But like we said, each week he's gotten better and better. That will continue. He'll be the first one, I've got to improve, you like that about him. He's got a great mentality just as far as all I've got to do is get better, and that's his whole mindset, and he's doing that week to week.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, I just think his mentality. He gets it. You know, he's not one to sit back there and complain or pout. He understands the situation that we're in, and he also understands that the backfield is crowded. It's not always going to be that way, and Malcolm being out, okay, here's my chance, I've been preparing for this, I want to do my part for my team, I want to do my job to the best of my ability, and whatever he asks me to do, I'll do it, and I think he trusts that we're going to try to put him in successful situations, and when we do, he's going to go out there and take over and make plays for us.
That's what we love about him. He just doesn't flinch when it comes to any of that stuff. He doesn't worry about the things he can't control, he just controls his plays out there, and he gets himself ready to go.

Q. I know we ask about this all the time, but with DJ, looking back on it, do you think one way or another we have to make sure he touches it two times per game or whatever?
BRYAN HARSIN:  Yeah, I think in every game plan we have that. Here's the thing:  You've got to prepare to do that. If you start deciding when you're calling plays that you're going to do this regardless because you feel like you have to because you want to get a number, then you're calling plays the wrong way in my opinion. You call them from the standpoint of the flow of the game and who's hot and what they're giving you. So every game he has an opportunity to touch the ball. This one, we tried in the red zone, we had a couple plays down there that we had pegged at a certain hash to get to, could never get there. Had we called them just to call them in the situation we were in, it would have been real stupid, and it wouldn't have been good.
It is what it is when it comes to those type of things. DJ Monroe along with several other guys, you'd say the same thing about. If you don't get this guy the ball out of 70 some plays and you're about half running it and things like that, you've got only one ball to go around, so we try to do our best job of putting those guys in situations to have the ball, and the defense obviously looks at that, too, and says we're not going to let you do that, and it goes somewhere else.

Q. Do you feel like this year is a return to where you felt real comfortable, that the offense is flowing the way you'd like it to at this point?
BRYAN HARSIN:¬† Well, it's still not flowing. I think each week‑‑ we've had our issues every week. Nothing has been perfect, and the same at Boise. I think this:¬† I think the way that our team on offense prepares themselves and how they understand what the game plan is going to be week to week, that's what I get more joy out of is just‑‑ guys come in and say, hey, we're probably going to do this, this, this and this, right, because I saw that on tape. Exactly. So they're starting to just get ahead of the curve when it comes to how we prepare or what I'm thinking or what we're thinking play wise and things like that. That's what's been more enjoyable because you know the guys when they come to Tuesday's practice are more prepared than they've been, Wednesdays more prepared, Thursdays they're dialed in, and then come game day we've just got to go out there and execute like we've been doing. That to me, we continue that trend, it just gets us to that point faster where we can execute at a higher level earlier in the week and really be‑‑ Thursday practice really be humming and dialed in and feeling really confident, and I've felt we've been doing that. As the week goes on, you get to those Thursday practices, and we're executing‑‑ and I thought we did this last Thursday. We were executing at a high level in that practice and guys were zipping along and making plays and knowing exactly where to line up. That's where you feel good as a coach, where we've done as much as we can going into this game to be prepared to play our very best, and if we do that, if we go play our very best and we execute at a high level and we do everything we can and we get beat, go ahead and shake their hand, tell them great job.
But there's probably going to be more of us winning those games than losing them if we do those things, and we've been doing them in practice. We've got to carry the rest of it over to the games.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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