Last year at this time, Cox was preparing for his first collegiate start vs. Georgia Tech. This week, with a year's worth of starts under his belt, the redshirt junior is getting ready to play Washington State on Saturday night.
"In practice they (the coaches) have been pounding and pounding," Cox says. "I know the tempo in our practices is a lot faster than it normally is. I know they are trying to get everybody going."
Part of the reason for the physical workouts is to get a rebuilt offensive line ready for game action as well as a rebuilt receiver corps. Cox predicts that both groups, and the offense as a whole, will be ready to give a good effort on Saturday night vs. the Cougars.
"Everybody is really focused," says Cox, who adds, "I can definitely tell by how we practice and by how everybody walks around the locker room."
Cox says he isn't concerned about the offensive line even though preseason injuries limited the amount of time they worked together as a unit. "They have done great," the quarterback says. "All five of them are real close friends. They all hang out together on and off the field. They have that bond."
Cox is shown in action last season as he threw for 2,324 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Commenting on the receivers, Cox says, "They have really improved in practice and I have a lot of confidence in them."
Comparing the 2006 receivers to last year's veteran-dominated group, Cox says, "I wouldn't say I am as comfortable as I was last year with the other guys (Ben Obomanu, Anthony Mix and Devin Aromashodu), but I see the potential. I am more comfortable with Courtney (senior Courtney Taylor) than I have ever been with anybody. With Lee (senior Lee Guess) I played with him since high school. I have got that down.
"Down the line they have tons of talent," Cox adds. "Rod Smith (Rodgeriqus Smith) has really stepped up. Prechae (junior Prechae Rodriguez) is really coming on again. I think going into this game I am as comfortable as I need to be.
"I know if it is third and long or fourth down, I am going to be looking to CT (Taylor) or even Lee because I am really comfortable with them, but I know the other guys are right up there."