No Apologies In Order

Less than 24 hours after walking off Folsom Field on the losing end of a 30-3 score to archrival Nebraska, Colorado senior Lawrence Vickers was back at the Dal Ward Athletic Center under happier circumstances. Vickers met with reporters Saturday afternoon in the wake of Kansas' win over Iowa State, which gave the Buffs the Big 12 North title outright, and puts them in next weeks Big 12 Championship game with Texas. Inside, the team co-captain talks about the task at hand.

Q: Did you watch the Kansas-Iowa State game?
Lawrence Vickers:
Yeah, I watched it.

Q: Can you describe the 180 degree change in emotion from last night to right now?
As far as emotions, I still feel the same as yesterday. Being a senior and losing at home, that's a feeling that just doesn't go away like that. So you still sit at home and you think about the things that happened in the game. You still think about the game.

But the main thing is that we've got a chance to redeem ourselves. We've got another chance to go play Texas again. It's a homecoming for me, being from Houston. It's just a blessing. A lot of teams out there would love to be playing in the Big 12 Championship right now. We have a chance to do that, so I'm thankful.

Q: Does it matter to you how you got in, or just that you got in?
Yeah, it matters to me how we got in. Nobody wants to sit back and wait for another team to win to get in. I wanted to go out and end my season 8-2. Unfortunately, it didn't happen that way. But we got in. We just have to take advantage of this opportunity we have.

Q: Can this team pull itself back together and get the right frame of mind to go play Texas?
Of course. You just have to get everybody on the same page. That's getting 105 people on the same page. Which being a captain – it's not hard, but it's going to take a lot of detail work. A lot of people are excited about the opportunity we have in front of us, so you try and use that as momentum, and you go back and watch film on them playing teams that played them close, and (find out) what happened to them at the end. Vince Young just went crazy, like always.

It's all about a stepping stone. You put yourself in a position. It just so happened we put ourselves in a bad position, but it came out kind of good for us in the end. And I think everything happens for a reason. There's a reason we're going to the game.

Q: Looking back at the Nebraska and Iowa State losses, can you put your hand on what happened? Was it overconfidence?
It's not overconfidence. It's not lack of preparation, because we prepared good. It's all about making the plays. That's what the game is about: throw the ball, catch the ball, score a touchdown. Whoever scores the most touchdowns is going to win. We just ended up not scoring the most touchdowns.

Q: How can you get yourself to feel encouraged now and have a stronger showing against Texas?
Anytime I step on the field, I'm always ready to play, regardless of who it is. That's the type of person I am. The main thing is getting your whole team to feel that way. So what you have to do is go back and try to talk to your team. I really don't know right now because I'm still shocked about what just happened — it just seems like Iowa State always ends up in overtime in this predicament. I should go home tonight and prepare. I'll probably call a team meeting tomorrow and just bring everybody in and let them know what we have in front of us; break it all down and let them know it's all on the line.

Q: Do you almost feel apologetic by the fact that you're going and Iowa State is not?
Do I feel apologetic? No. I don't feel sorry for them for not going. Not at all. Thank you, Kansas.

Q: Do you have a sense how big a job that's going to be to get everybody on the same page? Do you have a sense of the team's morale right now?
I always put things in this perspective: If you make it hard, it's going to be hard. That's just something that a captain is made to do (lead the team through tough times). It's not supposed to be hard. You're supposed to make the hard things look easy. It's not hard at all. Especially when you sit in front of your team, the kind of emotional person I am, people look at that and feed off that.

Q: Coach Barnett mentioned earlier that the team needs to figure out why you haven't played well in big games. Do you have any inkling why that is?
It could be a lot of things. I can't name it as of right now, but it could be a lot of things.

Q: National TV — do you have one more shot to redeem Colorado's name, do put the program back in a good light?
Like I said, I figure things happen for a reason. Last year, it happened the exact same way, with Iowa State. But our main thing is to get back to the game and not embarrass ourselves like we did last year.

It's not like we're playing a team that's weak in any areas; they're a great team. I'm pretty sure they're ranked in any kind of category. You just have to bring you're A game. Q: Yesterday you didn't have the ball in your hands much. Is there a reason for that?
(laughs) I don't know. I can't give you an answer to that. You'd probably have to ask the coaches about that situation.

Q: Would you have liked to have the ball in your hands more?
(laughs) Of course. I would love to have the ball in my hands. Like I always say, anything to help the team win. Even if it's me being out there blocking. I love to block, run catch, be a decoy, anything. That's the signature of a person who loves to play the game. I love to play the game. That's why I like special teams.

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