Gary Barnett Press Conference

No team has ever won back to back Big 12 championships. The Buffs have a chance to do so this Saturday.

BOULDER - University of Colorado head football coach Gary Barnett held his weekly media luncheon Tuesday afternoon at the Dal Ward Athletic Facility. The following are excerpts from his press conference along with notes from the Buffs' evening practice session.

On the Nebraska Win:

GENERAL-"Overall, I was really pleased with going into Nebraska and getting a win. I liked the way we shut out the environment we were in and focused in on what we had to do. It was sort of a game where we were not very pretty, but (we were) effective."

ON THE DEFENSE-"I thought we played extremely well on defense. Marques Harris and Gabe Nyenhuis played as well as any two defensive ends I've seen play in a game. I was really happy with the kind of effort and execution we had on defense."

On the Big 12 Championship vs. OU:

GENERAL-"Now, we get the game we wanted. I don't necessarily mean with the team that we are playing, but what we wanted back in August when we first met. We now have a chance to play Oklahoma, the team that beat us earlier. It couldn't set itself up any better for us. This is a game our team really wants. They anticipate playing well, and playing hard. Both teams have come through a very difficult conference, and that sets the stage for a great matchup.

"One team (Oklahoma) got there because it has a tremendous defense that created great opportunities for their offense. Our team got there because our offense has really grown together and gotten better each week. Our defense has matured and become comfortable in the system. We've both got to the same place, we just took different paths."

ON BEING BIGGER THAN A BOWL-"This is something that is for a championship. The next game we play is not for a championship. Everybody watches this game, not the next. This is really huge for us, probably bigger than a bowl at this time. This one is big. There is a prize at the end that everybody wants and can relate to."

ON LEARNING FROM FIRST GAME-"You've lined up against a (player) and you know his moves. You know the speed of the game, the speed of the receivers. You will probably not waste any time to feel the speed of the game out. The speed of the game should show up right away. Now, you know what you're working up against from last time. I don't know if you play them different, but you know what to expect now."

On Oklahoma:

ON DEFENDING QUENTIN GRIFFIN-"He's so quick and elusive-a very difficult back. I think it will depend on how they see us (on defense). It will be interesting to see if they see us as a defense like Texas Tech where they run it right at us, or, if they have to throw it more."

ON OU's RECEIVERS-"They have got some good receivers, and we have to come up with some matchups that are best for us (to defend in). I think that if there is anything I am most concerned with, it is if we can match up with their receivers."

ON BOUNCING BACK FROM THE OSU LOSS-"What they have to do is put that game behind them. They will put it behind them, see what's out there, and go for it...just like we will."

On the First Game vs. OU:

GENERAL-"We didn't give ourselves much of a chance. You can't play a team like Oklahoma and expect to win when you turn the ball over. I think we played really well on defense. We played hard and we tackled well. We really need to shore up our special teams and not make any mistakes this time, though. We had turnovers on two kickoffs and three on offense last time. Other than that, I thought we matched up pretty well.

"I don't think we got out-athleted, they just played better than us. But in this conference, nobody will get out-athleted. We turned the ball over, and they made plays. That's what it comes down to."

On Chris Brown and Bobby Purify:

ON THEIR HEALTH-"I don't feel great about him (Brown) playing this week. I don't feel great about Bobby playing either. That means we have to play outstanding in other aspects of our game."

ON PLAYING WITHOUT THEM-"I am not worried. I'd feel better if we had those guys, but we will still run the ball. There will still be as many carries as if they were there. We are not going to change who we are and I am not going to lose any sleep. We will just do it with different people."

ON USING BRIAN CALHOUN AND MARCUS HOUSTON-"They just need to be themselves. They need to let the game come to them and not get over-anxious."

On P Mark Mariscal:

ON CONSISTENCY-"Mark has always had a big-time leg, but consistency has been his demon. He has fought that well and overcome it, though. He is probably the most consistent punter I have ever been around. He takes his craft very seriously now. He has really matured consistently and become a great player."

Notes: Barnett said neither Brown (sternum) nor Purify (ankle) practiced during the day, and that Calhoun and Houston shared repetitions.


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