How was practice this week and the focus for these guys?
It's been really, really good. Today was our best Thursday. I thought it was our best Tuesday and Wednesday. These guys are dialed in. They're excited about playing. Now, it's just a matter of really being focused. To do your job, you've got to know your job, really knowing the plan and then going out and executing. That's what it's all about at this point.
Certainly you guys don't treat this kind of game any differently, but do you feel a different kind of buzz around town?
Oh yea. This is national TV and playing the defending national champion. Yea, you don't get that opportunity every day. Every game is big. We prepare the same way every week. That part's not any different. There's a little bit more at stake. As you take another step, each step you take, it gets a little bit more intense. That's how you go through the season. You only get 12 of these Saturdays. Every one's big. The further you get into it, the more picks up.
Dalton Freeman on Tuesday said, 'We know we can be physical, because we've done it before. We just haven't been as focused.' Have you seen a little bit more focus out of those guys this week?
Oh yeah. We've had a lot of intensity. The coaches have done a great job pushing those guys. They know what it takes. I would lose sleep if I didn't have video evidence our guys doing what we wanted them to do. We've had a good week. Now, we've just got to go play well.
Was David Smith banged up at all on Saturday, or did it pop up this week?
No. His shoulder has been a little dinged up. I guess it was Tuesday's practice, he kind of extended and missed. Something popped. He actually had surgery today. They're hopeful he's going to be back next week. It wasn't a season ending injury. We're going to miss him this weekend, for sure.
How'd Rashard Hall look with his brace on?
He had a good week, a good week. He seemed to be real comfortable with it. I'm pleased that we'll have him back this week.
Was David's surgery to clean up some stuff around the shoulder joint?
It was part of the labrum, I that's what it was. I have actually had labrum surgery. He should be back pretty soon. Like I said, the doctors are hopeful he'll be back next week. We'll see how he responds. That's our goal.
Smith could be back next week
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