Carter ready to face KSU's stout defensive line

Oklahoma All-Big 12 center Vince Carter talks about the challenge of facing Kansas State's front four Saturday in Kansas City. Carter and the OU line are faced with the task of slowing down a KSU defensive line that averages 4.4 sacks per game. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

NORMAN, Okla. — Junior center Vince Carter has been a starter at OU since the first day he stepped on campus. This season, Carter has put together his finest season at center earning first-team All-Big-12 honors by many services.

Carter is the glue in the middle of the Sooners offensive line, and is one of the key reasons why the Sooner offense has played so well this season. Carter sat down with after practice on Thursday to talk about the upcoming Saturday's Big 12 Championship game against Kansas State.

JH: What would a win over Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship game mean to you at this point?

VC: "It would be great for us. Back-to-back seasons winning the Big 12 with all the great work that we put out going undefeated during the regular season, and then to win the Big 12 Championship would be the icing on the cake."

JH: Who stands out on tape from Kansas State?

VC: "I don't know if there is one guy that stands out, but when you look at their defensive line it brings up a lot of concerns. The way they play is very impressive — how physical they are and just those things that they do draws a lot of attention to them."

JH: They run a similar defense to Oklahoma's, so can you run against it?

VC: "It is pretty much man against man, and they do a lot to try to put a lot of people in the box on you. They walk a safety down and cheat linebackers that are in coverage into the box. We know we are just going to have to go out and get after them. No matter how many guys they bring up in the box, we are going to have to block them. We are going to have execute our game plan."

JH: Do they have the same philosophy that Oklahoma, which is to stop the run first?

VC: "A lot of teams that we have played the last two weeks have really loaded the box against us. We have had some success running the ball, and if anything Coach Wilson says that running the ball is an attitude. We know we just have to have the attitude that we are going to run the ball when we have to."

JH: Isn't Kansas State a very fundamentally sound football team?

VC: "They don't make many mistakes and they make you chip away at them. They don't give up big plays, so we are going to have to play really disciplined football to come out of there with a victory."

JH: They don't blitz like they used to early in your career?

VC: "Yeah, I remember blocking a ton of safeties my freshman year. This year they are more right there in my face and blocking that guy in front of you is the challenge."

JH: So, this will be more of a thinking man's football game?

VC: "Yeah, they are going to force us to think and execute in every phase of the game."

JH: Is this the toughest defense that you have played this year?

VC: "Yes, it probably is, as far as playing sound football and playing until the last snap and the last whistle blows. They are probably the best team that we have played."

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