Q&A with Markelle Martin

OSU senior safety Markelle Martin is one of the unquestioned leaders of the Cowboy defense and got off to a good start this season by leading the team with nine tackles against Louisiana, including a forced fumble and three pass breakups. Martin talked with Go Pokes about the opening victory and Thursday's game against Arizona.

After shutting down an NFL-caliber like Ladarius Green, now you have to face Juron Criner and a pretty stout Arizona attack, what are some of the challenges you see from them and does any of that momentum carry over?

"It just goes with our game plan; I think we did a good job of preparing for those guys (in the bowl game) and I don't think things will change much this time. We'll come up with a good defensive scheme and try to minimize the power that those guys have. After watching a lot of tape, they like to throw deep balls so we have to keep everything in front of us and break down on the ball."

After watching their week one tape, do you see any major differences in what they do compared to what you saw in the bowl game?

"Their quarterback (Nick Foles) is making faster reads, he's getting the ball out of his hand faster and he's working through his progressions. You can see that he had a really good offseason."

How did you feel Daytawion Lowe performed in his first start?

"I thought Daytawion played great. He was very physical, he communicated well and we were having a lot of fun out there so that was great to see."

You all put in a lot of work during two-a-days but you didn't ever really get a full contact scrimmage, how did you feel the defense executed against Louisiana, specifically the first-team defense?

"Honestly, I think the only question we had going in was how physical and how decisive our tackles were going to be and I thought we did a good job of coming up and making tackles, despite the type of offseason we had. I was really pleased with how we did out there."

Obviously you all played Arizona in the Alamo Bowl and it's uncommon to see the same team twice in three games, what are you expecting?

"We definitely expect it to be different; we know they're pretty revenge-minded coming in and we're excited about it."

Even though there has been a whole offseason in between the meetings, does it help with game planning because of the familiarity and the fact that they have a lot of the same guys?

"I think it really does help a lot because we know what to expect. Each team has certain things they like to do and we know they'll throw some new plays at us. We just need to remember our fundamentals, keep the ball in front of us and have fun."

What's the hardest part about having such a quick turnaround for a Thursday night game?

"Really it's not all that different. I think it comes down to the little things: getting into the weight room and things like that. I think everybody is amped up and ready to play, there's less practice and we get to play again quickly so there's excitement. I think that's the biggest difference."

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