Q&A with Ryan Norton

CUTigers checks in with center Ryan Norton as the Tigers get ready to head north to Syracuse.

Ryan, how are you feeling given the fact you had a 102 degree fever last weekend during the game?
NORTON: I am feeling a lot better.

It sounds like it was a pretty big struggle for you and Jay [Guillermo]?
NORTON: Definitely, it was a struggle. I was feeling really weak and I got very dehydrated, real fast. I was throwing up a little bit before the game so all my fluids were out of me so that is why I had to run back in and get some more fluids in me.

We've still seen a lot of tackles for loss this year. How does that get rectified?
NORTON: I feel like we are a really good effort team. Technique wise, we all can improve. We all know what to do and we can improve. I think we are a really good offensive line but at times we break down but everyone does that; that is the game. They will have a good scheme; we will have a good scheme.

How did the offensive line's approach change knowing that Battle and Giff Timothy were going to be out?
NORTON: I do not think it was different. We have enough depth on this offensive line that I have confidence in the back ups. If Giff is out, I know Shaq (Shaquille Lawson) will step up. I know Kalon (Davis) is going to step up, I know if I am out then Jay (Guillermo) would step up. I feel like we have quality depth on this offensive line.

Is it that different playing an odd-man front like you saw against Wake Forest compared to a normal 4-3?
NORTON:It is totally different from a four-three defense. Georgia and N.C. State, they have a tight shade for that technique right there when the guy is right on top of me so I am kind of used to it a little bit. I have gone against it before and it is not going to be the last time I go against it so I better get used to it.

What do you know about Syracuse?
NORTON: I have never been up there, this is my first time. I have really only been past West Virginia one time in my whole life. I know that they have a very good defense, we watched tape on them this morning. They have a great defensive line and it is going to be a big challenge for us and we are up for the task.

It sounds like they blitz a good bit?
NORTON: Yea, a lot of house blitzes and they keep telling us they are going to try to bring one more than we have. It is a good thing that we can get the ball out if we need to. It is going to be our job to protect Tajh (Boyd) this week and it is going to be a good task. I feel like we can handle it. We are going to have to pick up on the little things that they do, find it on tape and see if we can pick it up.

What is the mood of this team going somewhere you've never been before? Different than road trips to Atlanta or Raleigh?
NORTON:I am pretty excited about heading up there. Anytime that I can get on a plane and go somewhere, it is a privilege. It is a new opponent, we have never faced them before. I have never faced them before and I do not know anyone on the team that has faced them so it is always exciting to play someone for the first time and get that feel for their team. I feel like we are all pretty excited to go up there.

The offense started much faster against Wake Forest. What was the difference?
NORTON: I feel like we have gotten to a point where the depth is there. We have gotten to a point where we can change people out and still keep that same continuity between us all. I do not know if there was big difference, I think we just executed better as an offense. We just went out there and did what we are supposed to do and that is to score.

Are you feeling good about the reps you are getting right now?
NORTON: Yea, I am real hard on myself about my snaps. I want them to be perfect and right into his chest every time but I practice that a lot, and I will continue to get better at it.

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