Gearing up for ULL

See what the Cowboys had to say in Monday's media luncheon.

Offensive Lineman Ben Buie


Even after three solid games of pass protection, the offensive line has higher goals. Against Louisiana-Lafayette, they hope to work out the remaining kinks.


"We're definitely not where we want to be. We're headed in the direction we need to be. We still lack the experience on the edge. They (the tackles) just keep getting better with every game, but I wouldn't say we're where we need to be yet.

"Sam Mayes, Chris Akin and I sat down with the younger guys and told them that we couldn't give up sacks. We led the Big 12 in least sacks given up last year. I told them we've got the best quarterback around if we give him time to throw. It's kind of a pride thing with us to not let him get hit."


On a 0-5 start, the Ragin' Cajuns might be desperate for a win. Oklahoma State must be prepared for anything.


"They're going to throw everything they've got at us, and give us their best shot. We just need to use it as an opportunity to get better and take another step towards the Big 12 Conference."


Defensive Back Vernon Grant


OSU's defense has been stellar all season. However, room for improvement still exists. The Cowboys' defense hasn't been as prolific in causing turnovers as the coaches or the players would like.


"I feel like we can get better. Our concept now is to get more turnovers. We feel pretty comfortable with everybody in the secondary. Between Elbert Craig and Darrent Williams, we have some veterans on the team. Our communication level has been better than last year. We'll be better at getting turnovers this year.

"Our coaches repeat that constantly, just making turnovers. Stripping the ball on the point of attack and, when we have the chance to make an interception, just making the play."


One of the biggest challenges for every player on the Cowboys' roster has to be staying focused on ULL and not looking at Kansas State. But Grant, like others on the team, is aware of what could happen if they let down their guard.

"They're gonna come with trick plays and reverses that we haven't seen in the previous games that they've played. I feel like they're gonna do anything they can to just win.

"I just go out there and play; I just go out and have fun. I treat every game the same. I focus on my key points and what I have to do to get the job done."


Defensive Lineman Antonio Smith


The Cowboys have to be ready to play the Ragin' Cajuns to avoid one of the worst upsets in recent history. But the coaches have trained their players well.


"Their record doesn't really matter to us. The way we are trained, we go out to attack anything that's in front of us. It doesn't matter if they're 0-5, 5-1, we're gonna play them just as hard. Every single down we're gonna give them all we've got."


As Grant stated, the defense still has room for improvement. However, it is right on schedule as far as development.


"We are where we want to be at this point in the season, but you always want to get better with every practice and every game. I think we can get a lot better than we are now. We're improving every day; our skill level is rising. The best thing we've been doing is stopping the run and rushing the passer. The secondary has been holding up a lot of the receivers for us. The D-line has been getting a lot of sacks lately."


Several of the young and new players have a lot to do with the way the defense has improved. Several players, like newcomer Jon Holland and freshmen Brad Girtman, Xavier Lawson-Kennedy and Victor DeGrate have contributed quality minutes.


"I love our young guys; they go out there and play with the same intensity level as we do. There's no drop off when we have to come off the field."


Another credit to the defensive game is the ability of the players to communicate and adjust as the game goes on.


"We all coach each other. Whatever we see on the field, we go and tell the others about. What moves would be easy to beat them with. As the game goes along, you figure out exactly what your opponent is going to do."

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