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Q: Are you ready to get going in the Big Ten?
Drew Tate: I think so. It was a different non conference than last year. I think everyone is ready to get going.
Q: There are a lot of things rolled into this game. First time out of the state, first conference game, a lot riding on it.
Tate: Yeah, it is like that the rest of the way. We are not going to change anything. We are going in there with our number one goal to not turn the ball over and play sound.
Q: When you have all those factors rolled into one and the chips are stacked against you, is this a good game to establish an identity?
Tate: I guess so. I am sure everyone that is playing will give their best. That is all that the coaches ask from us, for us to play the best we can play. After the game, we will find out who we are.
Q: How much did you hear about the Horseshoe down in Texas…same kind of allure for you as a kid?
Q: Do you think now it is special to play there?
Tate: I guess so. I went there my freshman year. It was a nice place, loud and big. I know what to expect from seeing it. It will come down for us to try to have everyone on the same page. If someone messes up, it affects everyone.
Q: Coming to the line of scrimmage, how important is it to know where AJ Hawk is?
Tate: Well, it depends on what we are doing and where we are running. We are not going to try to run around him, we are going to do what we do. If he is the guy that we have to go hot off of in the passing game, we will. If we have to check away from him, that is what we will do.
Q: What do you see when you look at them on tape?
Tate: Athletes everywhere. Great speed, great size and they play real well and they are real aggressive.
Q: You guys had one of your better games against them last year.
Tate: Yeah. It was only 10-0 at half time, so we were not playing that well. I think in the third quarter something happened. They had a turnover, and we capitalized and went off from there. Our defense played great. We were at home and our fans w ere great, and they are going to prepare to do the same to us.
Q: They have to respect your running game, don't they?
Tate: I think so. Our guys are going to be pretty pumped. Our linemen are pumped to run the ball, and I don't see why we can't do it. They are a great defense, but we will have to run the ball.
Q: Do you think they look at this with some revenge on their mind?
Tate: I am sure. But they are looking at it the same way. It's their first Big Ten game, too. They are going to have to play their game too, because we are not that bad of a team, I don't think.
Q: You are an underdog again on the national scene. Do you think winning a game like this would put you back in the light that you had to start?
Tate: Yeah, probably. But like Coach Ferentz says, its not that big of a deal right now. Especially first game in conference. There is still a lot of time left.
Q: Is there a different feel starting conference play?
Tate: I think so. I think we are excited that it's the Big Ten. From the Iowa State loss and last week, I think everyone is ready to start practicing better. <