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Texas players preview Saturday’s big game against OU

by Anthony Slater Modified: April 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012
On Monday, David Ash and his teammates previewed Saturday's Red River Rivalry game.
On Monday, David Ash and his teammates previewed Saturday's Red River Rivalry game.

QB David Ash

On facing OU…
Well, you know, we learned a lot last year. We were growing as a team. We were still improving, and we were still young. We learned a lot, but I think this year it’s a whole new season, two new teams, and again, it’s going to be about preparation and execution. That’s what we’re going to do is try to prepare, and when we get to the game we’re going to try to execute.

On last year’s OU game…
It was definitely a big moment of being a freshman, but there was a lot of moments last year. The good thing about it is each one of those moments I’ll learn something. You know, I still have moments as a sophomore, and I’m just going to try to learn something. I think that’s what we do with our mistakes so there’s feedback.

On OU’s defense…
Well, they were good. But it’s a different team, and they’re still good. We’re just going to have to prepare for the one this year. You know, it’s a new defensive coordinator so it’ll probably be slightly different, but similar personnel. They’re always going to have players that can make plays.

DE Alex Okafor

On the rivalry…
To me it’s the best game in college football. This is why you come to Texas. This is why you want to be a Longhorn. To be able to play in this game, I think it’s every Longhorn fan’s dream.

On Landry Jones…
He’s just grasped the scheme so much better as he’s gotten older. The tempo is so much faster. He just makes his reads a lot quicker and he gets the ball out of his hands a lot quicker, and that’s going to be difficult for us, especially up front, that he’s so finetuned with the offense. It’s going to be a great challenge this week.

On a Landry comparison…
I mean, I wouldn’t compare him to Geno [Smith], but just mentally he knows his offense, kind of like Geno Smith did this past game. They know where to go. They know who’s going to be open and who he expects to be open. We’ve got to got to throw him off his rhythm a little bit.

CB Quandre Diggs

On using last year’s game as motivation…
It motivates us a lot. I still remember very clearly, it wasn’t a good day for us. It wasn’t the way we wanted to come out and play. But we have another chance this Saturday to go out, be prepared, be mentally prepared. We have guys that have played way more games than they played last year at this time. I feel like we’re confident. We should go in with a great game plan, and guys should be hyped just to go out and play OU.

On Landry Jones…
Landry is a great guy, too. He got the best of us last year. But he’s a great quarterback, and that’s the thing with this league. You’re going to play a great quarterback each and every week. We respect all those guys, and we just want to go out and do our job and hopefully slow those guys down. He just found the holes. He made all the right throws, and the balls were caught. That’s the thing about being a quarterback. It was his day. He had a great day, and we’ve just got to play him tighter this year, and hopefully the ball bounces our way.

DE Jackson Jeffcoat

On the team’s mindset…
We’re definitely confident for this game. We’re excited. I haven’t looked at a lot of film, but I’ve had a chance to see some. They’re a talented team. OU is definitely a talented team. It’s a great challenge. They’ve got Landry Jones. They have two talented running backs. Wide receivers – Kenny Stills is talented. So it’ll be fun for us to match up against them.

On Landry Jones…
They’ve done a good job of protecting him. They’ve done a very good job. So it’s been hard to get back there. But like we said, our goal is to get pressure on the quarterback, and that’s what we’re going to work on and help out any way we can. We’re going to hustle, make sure we make plays.

OG Mason Walters

On what last year’s loss to OU meant…
Really I think the biggest thing that’s affected are the habits, things that you can do early in the week like preparation. As far as the margin of loss in the game last year, 55-17 loss, all that really comes into play in the offseason, through training, waking up early in the morning and going to work. Really once you get into the season it’s getting prepared for the game and going. You’re not going to be able to do much to increase your physical output. I think you learn what we do from practice habits, but a lot of that motivation comes from the offseason.

RB Jeremy Hills

On former high school teammate OU wide receiver Derrick Bradley…
We’re still real good friends. We’ve been good friends since we were about 13, 14 years old. We’ve been pretty much texting back and forth every time this week. Every time of year this week, me and him, our texts go up. It’s just whenever we go back home, it’s bragging rights for back home. That’s my guy right there. We’re still good friends. If I get a chance, though, yeah.

On his favorite Texas-OU memory from year’s past…
One of my favorite memories actually wasn’t even my brother (former Longhorn OT Tony Hills), it was [RB] Jamaal Charles. It was first quarter, and he spins out of a tackle. They were in an inside zone read to the right, and he spins out of a tackle and you think he’s down, and he goes for about 80 (yards). He just right down the middle of the field. He goes for about 80 right up the field, and nobody touches him. That’s probably one of my favorite memories that I can remember seeing.

S Kenny Vaccaro

On the rivalry…
All the games are fun for me, but this one hits me deep. This is a good rivalry. It’s rich. I think just the tradition throughout the many years. The battles back and forth. OU being a good team. Texas. The border. I think the fans going back and forth. I think it just builds up a lot of momentum going into the game.

On the importance of this game…
To me, it’s just OU. We’ve got to beat them regardless. If they’re undefeated it would be the same scenario. If they had lost two, it would be the same scenario. We’ve got to beat them to get to the Big12 Championship and try to win the conference.

On the motivation of last year’s loss to OU…
You definitely use it as a motivator. I think [strength and conditioning head coach for football] Bennie [Wylie] was stressing to us that we’re not going to go to Dallas and get beat down like that again. After every workout, every rep, every set, you just think about the grind it’s going to take to win up there in Dallas.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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