“What I really like and admire about the guy ... he comes back and has really played well all year. I'm really pleased with his attitude, his effort. It shows a lot of character, and I'm really happy he's been able to get out there and play winning football for us.”
Harris leads Oklahoma with four interceptions this season and is the team's second-leading tackler.
But another change this season has been an improved ability to limit — for the most part — the kind of big plays that cost it in losses last year.
In the Baylor game last November, Griffin hit receivers for touchdowns of 69 and 87 yards.
“We've been complicated enough, but simple enough that we're not having breakdowns ourselves and giving up big plays because of our actions,” coach Bob Stoops said of the changes his brother has made this season. “We've really reduced that.
“(Opponents are) bound to have their plays, but they haven't been easy. And even the ones they're making, you see they're all pretty well contested, forcing them to make plays.”
Two days after the Baylor loss, Harris was requested or post-practice media availability. He not only showed up, but stayed, answering every question. He said fans deserved to know what went wrong, and that his father taught him that part of being a man is owning up to your mistakes.
“All the great competitors own up to their mistakes, and they keep moving forward,” said junior cornerback Aaron Colvin. “That's exactly what he did last year.”
Monday, Harris again walked into the interview room and answered every question about the performance that has largely defined him for nearly a full year.
“Definitely,” he said when asked if he's been waiting for this game.
“About a year's worth of waiting. For a player like me, you can't help but to look back, but at the same time, I know I'm just going to try to take what I've been doing this year, and go into this game and try to do the same things.”