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December 29, 2017

Mark Andrews

Pasadena, California

Q. How was Bowl Week and Disney and all of this stuff?
MARK ANDREWS: It's been fun. Obviously to be with the team, obviously, our last time with this team, with our seniors leaving. It's been really exciting. We've had a lot of fun, and something really focused.

Q. (Indiscernible) to do a bowl and focus on playoff team?
MARK ANDREWS: Normally it would, man. But a lot of people on this team have been here before. We've been in these playoffs, playing in bigger bowls. We understand and I think our leaders are doing a good job making sure everybody is focused.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. Very close. He's one of the reasons for my success and why I'm able to be focused. He's done a lot for me. As a person, you know, besides the coach, and nothing but respect for him.

Q. How special has it been the relationship you have with mom and just the role she's played, especially given the passing of your father and just --

Q. What it's been like for you with this journey?
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. He's been very beneficial. Obviously she's doing her best to take pressure off of me. Allowing me to stay level-headed and keeping me humble. You know, and I love my mom and everything she's done. She's been through a lot obviously. I've got two other brothers, so I got a ton of respect for them. A ton of love.

Q. Is it almost like coach mom, too?
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah, she's been on me.

Q. You think about the journey you've been on you described a couple days ago. Could you describe again what that has been for you and just being in this moment?
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. It's been a lot. It's been a lot of hard work. It's been a lot of hard times. And, you know, it took a lot to really continue to persevere. There's times obviously I wanted to quit, you know, and not do what I wanted to do. I had a ton of support here at OU. I got my mom. I got Jammal Brown. I got my brothers and family. And I just been blessed to be here, and to be in this position.

Q. When you look back at your dad's film or game, what do you glean from his plays?
MARK ANDREWS: It's kind of hard, honestly. He played at a time when it was more about aggression, you know, so it's kind of hard to take stuff from his game to today's game.

Q. What's it -- what's your relationship with Baker like? What's he kind of like, maybe a side of him that we don't know.
MARK ANDREWS: Man, obviously, you guys see what you see on the field and he's a loving person. He loves hard, he cares a lot. You know, and over time, over these last few years, I have just kind of learned more about him that -- you know, because I felt the same way honestly before I really got to know him, and, man, like I said, he loves hard, he cares a lot. And I think as a teammate, man, he's amazing.

Q. You said you learned some things about him. What did you learn?
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. Really, man, just understanding how he works as a person, understanding the way he looks at things from his perspective. You know, just some stuff that I really don't want to get into. Too personal. But yeah, man. I mean, I got nothing but love for him.

Q. What impressed you the most how he handled all of the hype and Heisman trophy and everything?
MARK ANDREWS: He just continued to -- he hasn't really spoke about it to us. It's been one of those deals that we understand and he's just continuing to work.

Q. Is it strange to go to a press conference without Baker Mayfield?
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. Yeah. Always, man, always.

Q. When you guys are just hanging out, does he look like the way he plays?
MARK ANDREWS: Oh, yeah, man. He's a high energy guy. You know what I mean, he does what he does. He's a ton of fun to be around.

Q. Orlando's a big -- (indiscernible) -- wide open, kind of football. What are your thoughts?
MARK ANDREWS: I think Big 12 has great football. Overall we play against some of the best offenses in the country, some of the best defenses in the country. We understand we're not going to get credit. That's kind of understood and no disrespect to the other conferences, but I think the Big 12 conference is the best conference in college football.

Q. Can you -- (indiscernible).
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. I mean, it is what it is. We understand that. We're going to do what we need to do to take care of business as a Big 12 team.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah, yeah. I know, it's understood any time you give up 50 points regardless. It's just a one-sided football game. And it is what it is. People have the perspective they want to have. We'll see what they do.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah, yeah, very athletic guy. You know what I mean, he's very chippy, plays with a chip on his shoulder, and I'm excited for it.

Q. You mentioned a couple of other guys, who are you -- (indiscernible)?
MARK ANDREWS: I really want to say, I think Reggie Carter was really one, obviously on Fridays, and he's a really good player. I know he is.

Q. Two SEC teams in the playoffs -- (indiscernible).
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. We're really not focused on hanging with anybody. We're not focused on making a statement as far as the narrative of Big 12 football. We just trying to win, and at the end of the day that's all that matters to us.

Q. You talk about a month off is harder on the big guys. Have you noticed that getting back to active practice, getting back to speed?
MARK ANDREWS: Not really, man. That's something as an offensive line we understand, we been here long enough, everyone that's playing, we understand you got to take care of the little things. That's what we've been doing over this past month of making sure our nutrition is right and making sure we stay in the weight room.

Q. Is that happening at Christmas?
MARK ANDREWS: Oh, no. Obviously you have your days here and there, but for the most part we taking care of business.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MARK ANDREWS: I didn't, obviously. I didn't.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MARK ANDREWS: It's exciting. Obviously, me being here, I've learned a lot about what to expect, you know, and after talking to my mentors, he's told me some things as he played in the game and some of our other coaches like Gundy and Smitty, they coached in this, or been a part of it. I'm really excited. I know it's a really big deal. I'm glad that were able to have them here for this game. I'm ready for Monday.

Q. What does your mentor tell you?
MARK ANDREWS: He told me to be excited. I think they were the first Big 12 team. I think Washington State is who they played. He told me it's really exciting. He told me about the Beach Bowl, he told me basically about the atmosphere, how it's going to be very live, very loud, you know, great energy. The stadium is beautiful. So I'm excited.

Q. You mentioned -- (Indiscernible) is that your decision, or --
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it probably was mutual. I was a kid, from what I understand. But for me personally, I just didn't want to.

Q. You found yourself talking to Jamal Moore over the month-long break?
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. I talk to him a lot. I think over this break, obviously I spoke to him a lot more than usual.

Q. Do you get tired of answering questions about the Big 12?
MARK ANDREWS: Yeah. Absolutely, man. Absolutely. Obviously, it is what it is. But, you can't really squash the narrative overall, unless everyone in the Big 12 leaves the SEC. So, it is what it is.

Q. Have you been out to Los Angeles in the past?
MARK ANDREWS: No. I've never been to Pasadena.

Q. What is your impression --
MARK ANDREWS: It's awesome. It's awesome. Man, I love it out here. The air is beautiful. You know what I mean, the city is beautiful. I went to a couple different areas and seen a lot of different things, man, and the thing I like the most is the shopping area. They got big sizes in the stores, so -- so, yeah, man.

Q. What's different about this than two years ago for you guys?
MARK ANDREWS: Really just maturity. The leadership is different. You know, I think we all have an understanding, because we've been here before, so, yeah, man, I think that's been the biggest thing.

Q. Coach -- (Indiscernible) you guys 4-0 against the SEC. Is that kind of frustrating these questions come up?
MARK ANDREWS: No. Man, like I said, I understand what you guys have to do. Whatever it may be, but...

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