Vander Sanden: Offense Needs to Do Its Part

Offensive lineman Luke Vander Sanden spoke with the media Tuesday afternoon about everything from the struggles of the unit to coordinator Barney Cotton's speech to the team in a meeting on Sunday. Here is a question-and-answer session with the senior center.

CN: What's your overall outlook and health look like after playing a full game Saturday at Oklahoma State?

Luke Vander Sanden: I feel fine right now and that stuff's in the past. It's not really anything I'm thinking about right now, because I'm healthy. I kind of have a different outlook on everything. I've always enjoyed playing the game, but when (injuries) happen you have to come back. You never know when your last game could be, so you have to play and go to practice not taking anything for granted.

CN: Was it just a relief to make it through a full game?

Vander Sanden: It's not like I go through a game hoping that I just want to make it through. But when I look back on last Saturday, it is a sense of relief. Hopefully all of that stuff is behind me now, and I can have a successful rest of the season.

CN: What will it take for this offense to turn the corner?

Vander Sanden: I think everyone has to execute. That was obvious in last week's game. You've got to come to practice and make those corrections. In a successful offense, you've got to have all 11 guys doing the same job to make the play work. You've got to go out there and execute.

CN: Has it reached the point of frustration yet?

Vander Sanden: I'm not going to use age as an excuse. We are young but everyone has experience under their belt. We're all veterans now. We've got to gel together, make those corrections, and try not to make the same mistakes over again.

CN: What led to the sacks and pressure that Oklahoma State was able to put on your quarterbacks?

Vander Sanden: They didn't show anything that we didn't see on film. I wouldn't say it was something new that we hadn't seen. We go against our defense and they blitz us every day. I would say it's more corrections that guys have to take responsibility for and get corrected.

CN: How vital is this week of practice in recovering?

Vander Sanden: Anytime you struggle offensively, obviously you have to have more determination to come back the next week of practice and do something about it. I think everyone will respond the right way and do something about it this week.

CN: Talk about offensive coordinator Barney Cotton's speech to the team on Sunday.

Vander Sanden: There are three phases on a football team: special teams, offense, and defense. Everyone has to do their part for the team. Obviously, the defense has done real well so far and is pulling their part. It's a thing about each phase of the team pulling their part to help the team.

We've heard about how Coach Cotton is a strong leader, and that meant a lot as an offense and football family to have one of your coordinators go up front and kind of set the tone for the rest of the team. He shared his thoughts on what's going on. It's critical in any game. You can't just be one-dimensional in any phase of a football team. you want to be productive in all three phases. We've got to come through and play at a high level.

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