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December 29, 2011

Matthew Masifilo


Q.  You guys gotten a lot of sacks on quarterbacks this year.  How do you do that?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  I think it is a huge task.  The key is for us to be relentless, because he does get the ball out quick.  You never know‑‑ if you are not pass rushing, you need your A game.  You never know when you will miss an opportunity.
Need to be persistent and relentless, and trusting our coaches is what will make us succeed or not.

Q.  Blackmon, Weeden and OSU, how concerned are you of the running game?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  We are definitely concerned.  I think they have a great running attack.  The passing kind of overshadows the running game.  But we are very aware of their ability to hit the big gaps with force.

Q.  Will you try to stop Blackmon and the running game first?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  Traditionally, any defense, you always want to stop the run and make them one dimensional.  That's the huge task, is making them one dimensional, stopping the run first and taking down the pass.
It is a great opportunity and also a great challenge, one that will define the end of our season and also for a lot of us seniors.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  I think it is great opportunity to play Oklahoma State.  I think it is a great team that could be playing in the national title game, so that makes it ever more exciting to be playing the No. 3/No. 4 team.

Q.  Are you excited for the game?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  It is like camp all over again.  I can't wait.  When you play a game every week and then you have a month off, you always get real antsy and get excited to play with it right around the corner.

Q.  How do you see Oklahoma State's offense in practice?  Have you had to use several different receivers to emulate their tempo?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  Our scout team, like any scout team, they are the unsung heros of the season.
They have taken pride in it too.  They do their best to simulate the tempo and also the ability.  Regardless of who you play, you are never going to be able to fully simulate a player like Justin Blackmon, who is the best wide receiver in the nation.
We do our best with the tempo and the aggressiveness of Oklahoma State.

Q.  How have you guys been able to prepare for the running game?  Have you rotated backs because they have two good backs but slightly different styles?  Smith is more of an inside guy, and Randle can go out and catch passes as well as going inside or outside with his speed.
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  I think playing full speed in practice and just trusting in the coaches and communicating well is really all we are focusing on.
When it comes to the scout team, they give us their best.  They take pride in knowing that they make us better.

Q.  Oklahoma State has given up 12 sacks.  You mentioned earlier it will be important to get some pressure on Weeden.  Does it worry you that they have given up any sacks this year?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  It is a great challenge knowing they don't give up many sacks.  So it is, again, just playing with everyone's effort and taking advantage of any opportunity that presents itself will be huge because we don't know which play the sack will be there for you to make.  You have to be prepared when you make it.

Q.  What are the keys for your defense to be successful in this game from your perspective?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  Just being on the same page.  Communication is key, especially along‑‑ I guess for the last month or so, just being on the same page so that we are always running the same defense.  Just because when you go and don't have a game in this time frame, it is easy to be a little off.
So I'd say that's the most important thing, especially with their tempo.

Q.  You guys have to obviously be able to communicate in a short period of time.
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  Exactly.  We could be running the wrong play, but if we are all communicating on the same page, we should be all right.

Q.  People expect you guys to give up a lot of points.  I'm sure you have been asked this:  What's your reaction to that?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  I mean, it is a challenge.  It is a great opportunity.  People can expect what they want to expect.  We know what we're aiming for.  And it is a great offense to cap the season off and cap a lot of our college careers off.
So just looking for the opportunity to play in a very explosive and powerful offense on the national stage.

Q.  From your perspective on the line, what is kind of your main responsibility?  What is your job that's going to be the most important thing that you need to do?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  Getting the back field, getting off blocks and clearing the way for our linebackers, and also making the plays that present themselves to our area, I guess.

Q.  What did Chester McGlockton mean to you?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  Chester meant more to us than I think we realize right now.  Just his ability to emotionally and spiritually coach us.
He taught‑‑ with his experience, he taught us more to the game than we actually realized was there.  Especially the emotional part, the mental part, just how to clear my mind to be able to play well.  Take everything and go out and be free.  We miss him dearly.
He is one of those people that you automatically respect when he walked in the room.  I think the best part about Chester was just how much he loved his family and how much he expressed love, especially his two daughters, talking about football, but then at the end of the day he is always the first one off the field trying to run home to his two daughters.
He always made you realize, I think, at the end of the day it was more to live than just Xs and Os of football.  There is your family and it is the rest of your life.  It kind of took the pressure off the field a little bit, because you get so engulfed doing this and that for football.
And seeing him sprint off the field to run home before his daughters fell asleep kind of really put a different perspective on it, especially for a guy who is an All‑American, just seeing the love he had for his family.  It really impacted our ability to play better football, I think.

Q.  They got a great O line at Oklahoma State and get rid of the ball pretty quick.  What's the key for you guys on the D line to get to the quarterback?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  Like I said earlier, just relentless effort and putting yourself in the right place and being prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves, especially if they are throwing quick outs, three, five plays in a row and then there is that one play where he drops back.
We have to be ready for that to take advantage of it.

Q.  They got two good running backs over there.  What about them?
MATTHEW MASIFILO:  I mean, their running backs, they are some of the great running backs we have faced all year.  So it will be a huge challenge to stopping the run and making them one dimensional.
It is an exciting task, and we are looking forward to it.

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