Q: What's the level of intensity in practice like during the open week?
A: We need to be pretty fired up from the start of practice to the end of practice. We know now each game is going to be hard. There aren't going to be any cakewalks. Each game is going to be hard, and we're going to have to come out and compete every game.
Q: How important is it to get mentally prepared for that first conference game, especially after you lost your first two conference games last year and still came back to win the SEC?
A: It's going to be very important for us. Because the way we usually come out, I don't want to say we don't take losses as well as other teams, but we're the type of team that gets that loss out the way and go from there.
We keep going. I'm not saying we're going to win every game; I'm just saying we're going to be up for it. It's going to be a real test for us.
Q: Does it matter to you that the game is at 11:30 a.m. instead of 7 o'clock?
A: Nah, it doesn't matter what time it is. It could be three in the morning - we're going to be ready. It's the SEC. If you're not ready, you don't need to be here. If you're not ready to play, you don't need to walk out on that field. You don't need to be at practice right now. It's time to go now.
Q: Is the toughest thing during an open week practice guarding against the spring practice mentality – no game to get ready for?
A: It is. We kind of showed it a little bit today (Tuesday). A few players were moping around a little bit. Coach was fussing and all that.
But it's something we've got to work through. It's an off week but we've still got a lot of work to do. We're going to look at all the mistakes we had during the (Miami) game and correct them. We'll just work on the little things until we start on the game plan for the Mississippi State game.
Q: What are some of the problems you saw on the tape that need correcting?
A: There were a lot of things, just little things. They were small mistakes but if you make those kind of mistakes playing against a team like Mississippi State and Florida and those type of teams, they can hurt you. They didn't hurt us against Miami, but we have some of those tough teams coming up. We still have to correct them.
We still have room for improvement. We can't sit back and say we did good this game and we'll go out and do the same thing. We want to go out and do better.
Q: Has the toughest thing in your comeback been not getting the same number of carries you got last year to in order to reassure yourself you're back to 100 percent?
A: You can see it. From the first game to now, you can tell that the coaches are working me in slowly. But that's all right with me. I know it's probably best for me to come back slowly. When I'm not in there, I can see that we can still move the ball with Domanick Davis or Joseph Addai. That's good for the team because, when I do get my carries, I'm going to be that much better and fresher every time I have the ball.