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January 2, 2006

Rodrique Wright


RODRIQUE WRIGHT: Nobody has stopped stop them, and when they get their surge, they go, and nobody has stopped them. That's what we have to do. Whenever they get their surge or whenever the momentum switches their way, we're going to hesitate and we're going to have to say, hey, it's going this way, but we need to keep playing and turn it around.
Q. And you know they're going to score on you, so is short-term memory going to be crucial on Wednesday night, not thinking about the previous score or the previous play?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: I know they're going to score on us?
Q. You know SC is going to score. You both have high-powered offenses, so you know SC is going to score on offense. Are you going to have to stay focused and not allow that to happen again?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: I don't know that they're going to score. On defense, to say I know something, that's wrong. If they go down there and score, then obviously, yeah, you're going to have to regroup and keep playing. I mean, a touchdown is a touchdown, and go back and regroup.
Q. You say you don't know if they're going to score on you. Do you think maybe Texas could pull a shutout in this game?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: I'm not going to say anything like that. I'll just refer to that comment.
Q. You have a nice streak going that you didn't allow any scoring in the first possession throughout the season. Do you think that's important in this game, to give you some confidence?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: We have confidence already. But obviously as a defense you want to go out there and get it 3 and down and give the ball back to the offense.
Q. A team that has so many weapons like USC has, the coach was saying we want to take away something. Do you go in and say this is what we'd like to take away to slow everything down?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: Obviously you're going to have to focus more on one person than the other, but when you stop one of them, somebody else is going to try and step up. Yeah, that's correct. I think you have to go out there with the mindset of containing the others.
Q. Do you think the weather might help that regard if it slows down a little bit, some of those people?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: I don't know necessarily. I know both teams will be able to play.
Q. The challenges, not only playing for the championship, playing the defending champions, but you're the sixth ranked defense in the country and you're going against the offense that everybody says is the greatest thing ever.
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: It's a huge challenge. I don't mind telling you the defense is marching in there almost like an unranked defense. You wouldn't know that -- it might shock a lot of people that we are the No. 6 defense and we are the No. 4 scoring defense. That would probably shock a lot of people. A lot of people probably don't know that.
I think that's a good thing, that we can march in there unknown and go in there like we're just any defense that they face and go in there and take care of business.
Q. Do you look like maybe -- obviously it's a team game and everybody has to play well, but do you look at it maybe as it's more on the defense because this becomes a shootout and you guys might not be able to keep up?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: It's on the defense. We don't want to outscore anybody. I don't care what offense it is. We have a job to do. Our job is to keep somebody out of the end zone, and the offense's job is to get into the end zone.
Q. Have you struggled at all with the expectations brought on by your fans? Obviously Texas has a great tradition, and yet as good as you guys have been over the past few years, it hasn't been enough, haven't gotten the title game. Do you think that's fair, that all these expectations are on you guys?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: That's what you get when you're at the University of Texas. Obviously when you're a rival, Oklahoma has won a National Championship and has been to two other ones. I mean, you're at the University of Texas, you're going to be like, hey, they're doing it and I know -- we would lose one game, two games, three games a year, so we were always on the edge of doing it. That's what it takes.
Q. That's the thing, you're always on the edge of doing it, and yet it's not like you guys won this many in the '80s or something. You hadn't won one in a long time anyways; you're still a lot better off than you were. That's why it seems to me that people would think that, that nothing is good enough.
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: It may be a little unfair. We even hold expectations to ourselves. We lost one game in 2004 or 2005, and still, it seems like, hey -- it's kind of like you take it for granted, winning for granted. But when you have a great program like this, that's going to happen sometimes.
Q. Is the defense really salivating at the opportunity to take on that offense?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: Yeah, definitely. Like everybody has been saying, USC has a great offense, maybe the best of all time. As a defense, we're going in there with nothing to lose. We shut them down, then we have to be a pretty good defense.
Q. People talk about this is their chance to make history. Are you looking at this as your chance to make history?
RODRIQUE WRIGHT: Definitely. I mean, I haven't heard anyone say that. Everyone is talking about this is USC making history. But we win on Wednesday, what do we do? I think there's going to be a lot of stories that are going to have to be rewritten.

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