Proclamations of a playmaker

Responsible for two of the five OSU sacks Saturday, Antonio Smith was an intrical part of the Cowboys' win over Texas Tech. He looks ahead to Saturday's matchup with the Aggies...

Oklahoma State barely eked a win against Texas Tech Saturday on an interception by OSU safety Jon Holland. But defensive end Antonio Smith set that play up with a sack of TTU quarterback B.J. Symons for a 15-yard loss on the previous play.

 

"It was real big. After that play, I couldn't do nothing but drop to my knees. The opportunity was there when Clay Coe grabbed the running back, just left the quarterback with no option but take a sack. Can't throw it down field cause you gonna get a lineman downfield call. He was trying to get away from me. He had his forearm to my neck pushing away. I couldn't quite slam him though, but I was determined to get him down.

 

"When I was playing the play, it felt like I just made the biggest play in the game, but when I looked at the film, I seen that Clay Coe made the biggest play of the game because when he grabbed the running back, he just gave me a free sack. He was there for me.

 

"As soon as I came off the guard, and I saw him retreating, I knew he was runnin but I was just trying to get in his throwin path to stop him from shuffling the ball or throwing it, and then once I seen how close I was to him, I gave him two hard steps and grabbed him. After that, I was just thinking about getting him down."

"I think that that last series, that last drive we had, was nothing but heart because we all was exhausted. We all was tired. Everybody was wore out. It just came down to were we going to let them take away from us something that we had worked so hard on."

 

In a game that lasted almost four and a half hours, exhaustion played a big role in Tech's comeback.

 

"I thought it was gonna last until 12 o'clock at night. As much as they was passin the ball, the clock wouldn't keep runnin. The fourth quarter seemed like it was a whole other game in itself.

 

"I was overwhelmed with relief. As soon as Jon caught that interception, I took three or four steps and I dropped to my knees. I had to drop because of all the pressure that was on us and everything that had led up to the fourth quarter. I looked to the sidelines and the whole team exploded. But everybody on the field kind of went ‘Ahhhhhhhhh.'"

 

Now, getting ready for the No. 2 rushing team in the Big 12, Texas A&M, the Cowboys have to put that game in the past, while still learning from their mistakes.

 

"Saturday is in the past, so we're gonna do this week what it takes. I give their offense their due. But I still think it was us. Toward the end of that fourth quarter, we started having a lot of mental breakdowns. We weren't playing the defense the way it was designed, and it just took us a minute to buckle down and get it right. That whole first half, they scored a couple of touchdowns, but we was givin it to them as much as they was givin it to us. Defensively for three quarters, I think we played a solid game.

 

"We ain't done nothing. We still got a lot to do. Ain't no letdowns in the Big 12. We gotta come in every week prepared to fight and prepared to play a good team."

 

Stopping the run of Aggie quarterback Reggie McNeal and running back Courtney Lewis will be key.

 

"That new quarterback they've got, they're gonna be runnin a lot more option and they know from our previous games that our defense is, if we don't patch it up, kind of suspect to it. If we trap the quarterback, there ain't no running, there ain't no pitching, there ain't none of that. You're either getting tackled or you gonna fumble the ball or throw an interception or something.

 

"We gonna prepare for it the same way we always do. Everybody keeps telling me about it, all the players that have been hear for four years. I've never played in College Station, so I'm looking forward to being around that atmosphere and seeing what it's gonna be like. But I think we'll just go into it like any other game."

 

The Cowboys stand bowl eligible at 6-1. Now the focus changes to improving their bowl standing with lofty goals.

 

"We think that we've got a good opportunity to win out. That's exactly what we want to do. That's all we think about every week. We don't ever think ‘We gonna win this game; we gonna win that game.' Every week we gonna go out and win the next game. One game at a time. Hopefully, in the end, we'll be in one of the big bowls, the biggest two bowls. That's our goal."


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