Jesse Smith Q&A

Is the instate product for his first career start in a Cy-Hawk grudge match>

Q: Obviously, the loss was bitter in many ways, but talk about the things you learned from this experience and the film that Coach Chizik put together. What do you need to take into next week?

Smith: You learn that you have a short memory. You can't live in the past. You have to look at the future. That's what we're trying to do right now.

Q: The defense has managed in the fourth quarter to hold both of your opponents scoreless. What does that mean for all of you and what do you attribute that to?

Smith: Doing our job and never giving up. If everybody does their jobs, we're going to win. We just have to do that all four quarters.

Q: You've gone from basically a walk-on to scholarship to one of the leading tackles for the team this year. Talk about that journey and what you had to do to show the coaches that you were worthy of that.

Smith: The journey's been great. It does bring more expectation and more work. You just can't go to practice and go through the motions. You have to go, come in and watch film. You have to do extra stuff to be good.

Q: What does this Iowa game mean to you as an Iowan?

Smith: You know, it means a lot. They're a great team and we're really going to have to step our game up to win.

Q: Does it feel any different this year with the new coaching staff that hasn't had a taste of this rivalry?

Smith: No, it's just like a regular game. You want to win. You want to do your best. That's what we're going to do.

Q: Have you guys tried to explain it to them how big it is?

Smith: I think they understand the rivalry. It's a big rivalry and it'll be a lot of fun.

Q: Talk about the play of Banks. He seems to be a beast on the field…you can see him from the press box all over the field.

Smith: John Banks is a really good player and that makes me better. When I have confidence in my other teammates, we all play better. He's a good linebacker. He's a smart linebacker and he makes plays.

Q: Ace is obviously a leader on this team. Where's he at right now as far as providing leadership going into this game?

Smith: Ace is a great leader. Like I said, every player on this team needs to get better. That doesn't exclude Ace. Everybody's got to do their job.

Q: What are the things that you need to do or the things that you are personally focusing on to improve and to make a better contribution to this team?

Smith: I think I need to get in the film room and study the opponent more. I need to make tackles in the open field and get better about everything.

Q: Coach Chizik talked about the importance of the D-line. Talk about the emergence of this line and what it means overall to the defense.

Smith: The d-line is getting a lot better and they need to as does everyone else. That's our focus every week. If we do that, we'll have a good season.

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