Q & A with LB Rodney Thomas

Rodney Thomas knew that the Tigers' would be much improved defensively this year. "We all automatically knew from the spring on through camp that we were going to have a really good defense," said Thomas. Find out what else Thomas had to say in this report.

LB Rodney Thomas

Any hangover from the Georgia game?
No I don't see too much of that happening, it's just a different team. We all saw how Louisiana Tech came back at Oklahoma State. What was it like 18 or 19 points? The last 2 or 3 quarters they were just throwing the ball over the place. Our team is real mature, our seniors lead this team really good, so I don't think so.

With Tech throwing the ball so much, does that change anything for the defense this week?
For me and what I do on defense, it won't change. I focus on the run or drop back in the middle. It's not like I'll be matched up one-on-one with any of their speed guys. All I know is that we all just have to be ready.

Was there a lot of (trash) talking last year in the bowl game? I really don't know. I don't pay attention to all of that, but the rest of the guys said that they were the most talkative team. I don't know if they were trashing talking or anything like that. They talked a whole lot more than anyone else we played in the regular season.

Is is it important for the defense to put together two real good games back-to-back?
I think so, but it goes back to our leadership. Me leading the linebackers, Nick leading the defensive line, and Brian Mance and Eric Meekins leading the secondary. We all have to focus extremely hard for this game just like we did in the Georgia game. As long as we lead do our job and be responsible for our actions, everything will take care of itself.

Is the swagger back on the defense this year?
We all automatically knew from the spring on through camp that we were going to have a really good defense this year. To get the chance to show it to the fans and different opponents of what we are capable of doing wasn't a big suprise to us. We just wanted to show everyone what we have a really good defense.

Talk about coming back home and playing in Death Valley.
Last week we had to get adjusted to it because we've always played our first game as an away game. This week we get the chance to come back in front of the fans. I think it's going to end up being a real good game for our fans.

What do you think of quarterback Luke McCown?
The guy is good. I saw a lot of film on him last year. He had a lot of close games last year that they came back to win. He's a good quarterback, accurate, likes to scramble around and makes things happen. He's a good leader for their team.

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