One-on-One With Alex Elkins

Alex Elkins won't sugarcoat it. His senior year playing linebacker for Oklahoma State hasn't played out exactly as he would have hoped entering the season. But in a way, that's a good thing. It means expectations have never been higher for the Cowboys' defense to succeed.

But despite the four-loss season entering the regular-season finale, Elkins can still be proud that he leads the Cowboys in tackles this season (63). He sat down with Go Pokes on Monday to discuss the Bedlam defeat and how the Cowboys will get back on the right track against Baylor on Saturday.

What hurts you the most personally about the Bedlam loss?
Elkins: "What hurts me the most is that I didn't have an opportunity to be in to stop it. I hate losing, but I hate knowing I didn't get called upon to make the last stand. That's what hurt me … We're all going to bounce back and we all take it for what it is."

It doesn't get much easier this week when you travel to Waco for Saturday's matchup against Baylor. What do you know about the Bears?
Elkins: "Looking more at them now, they do run the ball more than I thought. We've played a lot of these high-powered offenses in the Big 12. It's not just something that's totally out of nowhere. It's something we've kind of gotten accustomed to. It's something we're ready for."

With Saturday's regular season finale and a bowl game, you have just two games left in your college career. Does that motivate you?
Elkins: "I don't want to finish out with loses, I'll tell you that right now. I didn't want to lose any games this season. We've already lost four, that's more than I've lost my entire college career. At this point, there's no looking back. All we can do right now is put our foot on the gas. These next few games are going to be big for me. They're my last two college games. That's something that weighs down on me. But at the same time, I live for these moments – the opportunity to overcome adversity and withstand the pressure."

After getting torn up by a spread attack last week, what needs to change for the defense to be successful again?
Elkins: "I don't think we need to change our scheme. And I don't think we need to change anything the fire we're bringing to the game. I just think if it's important enough for our team and myself, we're going to take it upon ourselves to study more outside the stadium, outside practice and take this into our own hands. There's not enough hours in a week to really prepare and perfect your technique. The more hours you put into that, the more opportunities you're going to have to create success."

Have you put much thought into the possible bowl games you could be headed two depending on Saturday's outcome?
Elkins: "It hasn't even crossed my mind. I don't even think about it. I'm not worried about it, because all that matters right now is getting a win this week … All that matters right now is Baylor. If they want to worry about anything past this (game), it's their own fault."

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