A Conversation With Larry Fedora

How good has the Oklahoma State offense been this season? They have averaged 35.2 points and 409 yards per game. Even better, they have made defenses worry about both the run and the pass as one of the few offenses in Division I -- and the only offense in the Big 12 -- to average more than 200 yards both running and passing.

A year ago many Cowboy fans didn't like offensive coordinator Larry Fedora or the offense he rode in with. Now many of those same fans are worried that some major power like Florida State or LSU (that won't happen) might steal him away as their offensive coordinator. With the retirement of Air Force Academy head coach Fisher DeBerry, though, Fedora is a serious candidate to wind up as the next head coach of the Falcons.

There was no new news on that Saturday, but Fedora is pouring all his energy into producing one more game plan this season that will produce offensive fireworks for the Cowboys in the Independence Bowl against an Alabama defense that is one of the best in the Southeastern Conference and is coordinated by one of the most resepected defensive minds in college football in Joe Kines.

We spoke with Fedora about the chore ahead in the Crimson Tide and the Cowboy offense.

GoPokes.com: We spoke yesterday about the developments at Air Force. How does it feel to be a wanted man on the college football coaching market?
Fedora: First of all it is flattering to be recognized because of what you do. You are always striving to be the best that you can and so that is flattering for that fact. My goal is to some day be a head football coach. Time will tell, and you can't just sit here and say it was Larry Fedora that deserves the credit for what we accomplished offensively because of the other assistants on this staff and the players this season what they did and accomplished. The group needs to get that recognition but a lot of times it doesn't happen that way.

GoPokes.com: Is it more fun going into this game being the offensive coordinator realizing that Alabama's defensive coordinator is still there and the offense could change for the Tide?
Fedora: I wouldn't want to go into any game being the defensive coordinator. Is it more fun, yes, it's a lot more fun because that is what I do. It is because you have a feel for what they are going to do? It isn't so much fun because they are very good with what they do on defense, and it will definitely be a chore for us to be successful on offense. Our guys will have to play well and execute well and do the things that we need to do to be successful. If you look at any film on them you will see they are a very good defense.

GoPokes.com: What do you see that impresses you?
Fedroa: I think they had an all-conference corner in Castille. All their linebackers are very athletic, (and) big. Their middle linebacker is a freshman and I believe he made freshman All-American and he is about six foot, 5-11 and 255 pounds. He is really active. The front four are all big, strong, and fast just like you expect the University of Alabama to have.

GoPokes.com: You have seen Joe Kines before?
Fedora: Yes, I believe so.

GoPokes.com: Do you know your past record with him?
Fedora: No, I don't. I know this and that is that Joe is doing some things differently than he has done in the past. Joe has been at a lot of good schools and coached a lot of good defensive teams and players. He is doing some things (3-3 stack) that I have never seen him do before. It has enabled him to be more successful.

GoPokes.com: You have had some time here, can you put some new twists in for the bowl game?
Fedora: If you have an extra five minutes as a coach then you are always thinking about something else you can do. That is something that you have to be careful with because even though there is a longer period there is still not a lot more time because these guys were preparing for finals for the past two weeks and mentally they are worn down. Finals will do that to you, at least it did to me in college. I've always been told you either do something good and be better than somebody or you make up something different than somebody else. We've been successful doing the things that we do and I don't think we have to re-invent the offense to be successful.

GoPokes.com: How much fun has this year been?
Fedora: Fun would be winning them all and obviously we didn't do that. Being 6-6 is an improvement and I can tell you it was a whole lot more fun than last year because you got to see the lights come on with our players and all those things we were teaching last year and they understand it. Until you win it all there is still a lot of disappointment.

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