How big of a challenge is the Clemson defensive line for you and Dru Samia?
I think it’s the same as any other week. We’ve just gotta up the tempo, up our aggressiveness, change our mindset to go a little harder and things like that, just because it’s a national setting.
Does last year’s debacle make the Orange Bowl more personal?
I mean, I really don’t know. I would think it would be personal. We’re just focused on getting better ourselves. When it comes time to play ball, we’ll play ball.
What have you improved the most this season?
Definitely on my footwork. My footwork has gotten a lot faster. I also think I’ve gotten a lot stronger too. Those would be my two strong suits.
Has the Oklahoma defensive line helped you grow a lot?
Huge. From the moment I’ve stepped on campus I’ve been going against Tap, I’ve been going against Strike, guys like Obo. I had Chuka last year, Big J. I’ve had a chance to play against bigger and better talent. Those guys are all-conference guys and All-American players and guys that are in the NFL now. It’s helped me out a lot preparing for guys like Oakman and Ogbah.
How does the Clemson defensive line compare to the other units that you’ve faced?
I think they’re just as good as any other team we’ve played here in the conference. I think they’ve got a lot of strong players. We’re excited about the matchup.
What have you seen of Shaq Lawson?
I’ve seen a lot of him. I think he’s a great player. He’s definitely a first-team All-American. We’ll see when we get there, but so far he seems like a great player.
Is it a big opportunity for you?
Oh yeah, man. Always. No matter who I’m playing I’ll be fired up about it.
What needed to change after the loss to Texas?
Really everything. We attacked everything. From that point on, from that Saturday. When we walked out of that stadium with a loss and we got on that bus, that was something we attacked. We’ve been focused on the mental part of the game, our physical part. Every type of attribute you can think about, we took focus to it and we took pride in it as a group.
How much of that was coach Bill Bedenbaugh?
He pushed us. Coach B pushes us to this day, and he always will. Coach B is probably one of the best men I’ve ever met. He pushes us every day in the film room, on the field, in individual drills. Through his coaching, through his talks and things like that. He plays a huge part in it.