Q&A with John Leake
I've asked every player this John, but I'd still like to get your feedback. Last season, one of the Maryland players said leaving the field "we didn't just come here to beat these guys, we came down here to embarrass them." How does that make you feel?
Leake: Last year was last year. We are both different teams now. I guess I'd like for them to say something like that this year, but all of that stuff is in the past now. This week is a gut check for us. We've got to stop the run and make this team one-dimensional if we plan on winning the game. I think that's really going to be the key for us against this team.
You've always been one of those players that has been around the football and made a lot of tackles, but you seem to have taken your game to a much higher level in the last two weeks. What's been the difference?
Leake: I'm just attacking the line of scrimmage and trying to make plays within the defense. Me and LeRoy have a train kind of going. We are playing well together. Our secondary and D-line is playing better, so that just makes our job easier as well. I think I'm getting off blocks better and just being more aggressive and physical. I think I'm a much more physical player playing at 240 than what I was last year at 220.
Do you not think that you were a physical football last season?
Leake: No, that's not it. I think I've always been physical, but this is the year that I think I've taken that to a new level. I've been a physical football player, just not as much as I needed to be until this season.
As a player, do you look at these next three games as really the possible turning point in the season?
Leake: Well, we have to win every game. I'm not really looking ahead. I'm just concentrating on Maryland. We've just got to go out there and play the best we can and try to win this game without worrying about what's coming along next week or the week after that.
A lot of people seem to think that Maryland has bullied you guys around the last two years. Would you say that's an accurate statement?
Leake: I don't think I would say 'bullied.' No. They ran over us last game. I think they got over 200 yards on us on the ground last year. They ran all over us last year. We have to stop the run. If we stop the run, we'll have an excellent opportunity to win this game. We will.
Talk to me about what happened the last time you played in Maryland and you got hit by an orange.
Leake: Yeah, that's probably in the back of my head a little bit because I was one of the players that got it. It's just one of those things. What can you say? I had never seen that before. I'm sure it motivates me, but I just want to go up there in there house and beat them there. That's the only thing I'm really concerned about at this point.
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