Kruck: Marcus, the Buffs head into the 2002 season in a much different situation than you did last year. It seems a lot of teams underestimated the talent of the Colorado Buffaloes and you go out and surprise the conference and win the Big 12 Championship. I don't think your going to sneak up on to many teams this season, your thoughts.
Houston: There's no sneaking after you win the Big 12 championship. But we had a great team last year. So we have to go out there this year and we know that teams are going to be gunning for us so we have to raise the standard that much more as far as intensity as far as our practice level and as far as our effort are concerned. So that's what we are taking care of now. They know that we are coming and we are going to let them know that we are here to repeat as Big 12 Champions.
Kruck: There is a lot of talk and focus on the CU running backs. Between Bobby, Chris, Cortlen and yourself, you all had some bright moments. Talk about the relationship between you and the other running backs.
Houston: On the practice field, we compete against each other, that's the way it is. Game day, we cheer for each other. Outside of football, we're really good friends and our friendship outside of the football field is something that I think is unique in any program. I think that the relationships you form at this point and time in your life are always valuable, but especially right now I can say that those guys and I will be able to sit down 20 years from now and watch football clips together and laugh and have a good time together.
Kruck: How does Coach Beinemy handle you guys, it sounds like you have a pretty good time together.
Houston: (Laughs) Yeah, Coach Beinemy. He played running back here at CU and he knows what it is like to be a running back at the University of Colorado. But we give him a handful.
Kruck: You're supposed to do that. Marcus, lets talk about the up and coming season. You fought through some injuries, how are you feeling number one and talk to me about your outlook for the season. Do you feel this is a break through year for you?
Houston: Oh definitely. You can never prepare for an injury. But for me, I've had a great off-season, working out and conditioning. One of the things I will say about the injuries I've had, the hip flexor and the groin, they were not so serious that I had to get cut on or put in a cast. But I have learned different methods and techniques on how to take care of my body. I'm shivering a little bit right now just because I got out of the ice bath about 30 minutes ago. So there are a lot of different things that you learn as you go along and fortunately I'm at a point were I could learn them early.
Kruck: Good point. Last question, first game of the year and Coach Barnett just said that is the only thing we are focusing on right now is CSU. You're a Colorado guy; talk a little bit about the rivalry between CU and CSU.
Houston: Well I know my first year as a Buffalo we lost that game and to listen to my friends for 365 days was tough and I'm sure they had a tough time listening to me for the past 365 days. So this is definitely a big game and its something we are going to be prepared for and going to be ready for and go out there and give our all.