On the prospect of playing a team like Baylor: “I think at any point you put yourself in a bowl game the caliber that it looks like we are going to be going to you’re going to face good players. They don’t get to this game by just being average, you’re going to face good players. The prospects of potentially an R.G.III or a Landry Jones or the Klein kid, these guys are all fantastic football players and deservedly so. That’s why the preparation process will be so big for us and to utilize our time well. One, we’re developing our young players, but two, we’re putting together a gameplan that gives us the best opportunity to be successful come the bowl game.
On the excitement level of the team: “They’re excited, they’ve put in a lot of time and a lot of effort into this thing. I think they’re well deserved of the opportunity and they understand that. I don’t think it’s just utter jubilation for the fact that we get to go to a bowl game. We’re going to go there to win. We’re going to prepare to win.”
On the key to stopping a good quarterback after Barkley and Luck had success against this defense: “I think the first thing when we’re playing those guys is we got to stop the run. Andrew and Matt didn’t really have great games against us, but our inability to stop the run was a problem. Regardless of whoever we play in the bowl game we got to start up front in eliminating the run game and then do a nice job of getting after the quarterback and mixing up our coverages and ultimately creating turnovers.”
On if the conferences around the nation have their own styles: “I don’t know. They’re of what I read as the potential, they’re all three (Oklahoma, Kansas St., Baylor) somewhat different than each other. I think in this day in age in college football you better be ready for no-huddle, you better be ready for a team trying to get as many snaps as they can and willing to try to put points on the board. I think that’s the style of college football in general now days. It’s not just about playing defense, special teams and field position it’s about who can score the most points. I think some of the prospects of the teams we’re talking about playing that’s their style of play. They really believe in scoring points and doing it uptempo-wise.”
On if Polk’s scenario to leave earlier is similar to Locker’s decision as a junior: “I think they’re similar obviously in the fact that’s he’s a junior and thinking about making a decision to enter the NFL draft. Both aspects of it both guys there’s a lot of positives to leaving and there’s also positives to staying. You weight those and what’s best for your immediate future and also your long-term future. That’s where they’re different – different position, different player, different time, different era. But I think just as Jake did, Chris will make a really educated decision and he’ll surround himself with good people so that he gets to the point where he feels great about what he wants to do.”
On how Polk manages to stay healthy and on the people who wonder if Polk’s style can hold up: “I don’t know who those people are that wonder that, I don’t understand that. A runningback is a runningback and you carry the ball. I think he runs with good pad level, he runs physical, and he takes care of his body. He does a nice job in the off-season of taking care of himself, building himself up and I think he takes care of his body within the season as far as when he does get nicked up of keeping himself fresh and strong I think that’s part of it.
On any tweaks in bowl-game preparation: Very similar. Obviously, the destination could change, and we could change some of our stuff. But ultimately, the style in which we prepare for it will remain very similar. Next weekend will be another weekend not solely devoted to our young players but a lot of it devoted to our young players, to develop them. And then when we come back after those three practices, then we’re in the game-plan mode. I think we’ve got a good plan. We understand the sequencing of it as we prepare for our trip to wherever we go.
More on RGIII: Unfortunately, I haven’t seen him play enough. I got a chance to watch that game yesterday. And I got a chance to see, it must have been his first game of the year, first quarter of his first game of the year. Tremendous player. What I’ve appreciated about him, it seems like he’s in very good command of what they do. He’s in charge of the whole thing. He can utilize his legs, he can throw the ball down the field as well. And I think, in the one interview I saw, he looks like a really bright young man, a guy who’s very level-headed and has got a bright future ahead of him, whether it’s in football or anything else he decides to do.