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October 15, 2012

Alex Okafor

Q.  Mason mentioned ow this team's confidence is a little lacking after Saturday. Where do you think the confidence level is?
ALEX OKAFOR:¬† Um, I wouldn't say lacking, just more that‑‑ when you get beat two times in a row, it brings up a lot of questions. And the biggest thing for us is just to disregard those questions and just go back to work, man. After two weeks of losses like this, that's all you can do is go back to work and focus on fixing and tweaking the things that need to be fixed.

Q. Are you all better than the way you've been playing?
ALEX OKAFOR:  There's no question about that. Everybody knows that, we know that, and we've just got to go out there and show that.

Q. Are you tired of having the experience of coming back from a loss like this?
ALEX OKAFOR:  When you say experience, what do you mean?

Q. I mean, it's happened before to you.
ALEX OKAFOR:  Um, yeah. I mean, it's an old story, and we're tired of it, and like I said, there's nothing we can do but just go back to work.

Q. Is this a must‑win this weekend?
ALEX OKAFOR:¬† Yeah, it's definitely a must‑win, and we can't let it slide like last year. This game is‑‑ I mean, it's now the most important game of the season.

Q. Mac is very frustrated by the injury bug that has hit y'all, especially on defense. Is it frustrating for you?
ALEX OKAFOR:  I mean, you can't be frustrated because you can't control injuries, so I mean, that's not what's frustrating. What's frustrating, if anything, is just not having the depth that we wanted, and we've just got to start building that.

Q. Talk about you and Jackson together. Are you all as close as everyone talks about?
ALEX OKAFOR:  When you have a great player in the same room as you and you watch each other's games for the past two, three years, you become close. Me and him are best friends. I feel sorry for him that this is the second year in a row that he's had this injury. Mentally, I look up to him mentally because he's taking it well, and all we can do is play for him out there.

Q. Do you think Shiro is ready to step up?
ALEX OKAFOR:  If he needs to, he's ready. He practices with us every day, and if we need to bring him in there, he'll be ready.

Q. What about Baylor's offense?  What's the most important part of Baylor's offense you need to stop?
ALEX OKAFOR:  Starting with rushing, that's it right there. Obviously it doesn't matter what offense or what offense they've shown in the past. Everybody is going to try to run the ball on us, and that's what we have to stop.

Q. What else about Baylor's offense or just this Baylor team?  They've won the last two years over you guys. What do you think about them this week?
ALEX OKAFOR:  They have an explosive offense, they have a great scheme, and you cannot take that lightly. Baylor is capable of putting 50, 60 points on you any day, so you can't take them lightly. They've beaten us two years in a row, so we have to come in with a chip on our shoulder and be ready to have a physical and a tough game and essentially beat them.

Q. Is the offense different without RG3?
ALEX OKAFOR:  Yeah, they're different players. Yeah, the offense is different, but better or worse, I'm not going to say. But still, they're explosive and capable of putting points on us.

Q. Do you see different plays being called because it's a different quarterback?
ALEX OKAFOR:  I mean, it's the same offense, just the players, the quarterbacks are so different that their instinctual plays are a lot different. RG3, he was the Heisman Trophy winner, and he just made unbelievable things happen. Not saying that Florence can't do that, but what we saw last year was rare.

Q. This has been a two‑year kind of rebuilding project. How big a setback is a loss like Saturday?
ALEX OKAFOR:¬† What it is is‑‑ how it is is going to depend on how big we want to make it. It was an embarrassing loss, and we know that. But we don't know how big of a setback it is. We've got to go out next week, and the game next week will decide how big of a setback it is. It'll depend if we're going to be an 8 and 5 team or an 11 and 2 team, so we'll see.

Q. How do you continue to get the players to buy into this after the last couple weeks?
ALEX OKAFOR:  You have to change the mentality, and that starts with practice. We've just got to take it up another level at practice, and we have to create an edge about ourselves at practice, and it's going to start with me and the senior leaders. I'm devoted to changing that at practice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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