Below are quotes from Adrian Peterson, Mark Clayton, J.D. Runnels, Jammal Brown, Jason White and Vince Carter from Oklahoma's offensive press conference Saturday morning in Miami.
On being in the spotlight as a freshman
"Sometimes it gets overwhelming. I am not used to people knowing me everywhere I go. I am very low-key. Sometimes I sit back and think ‘is this really happening?'"
On the opportunity to play such a highly respected USC defense
"I am looking forward to the challenge. They have a great defense, front four, linebackers. I think it is going to be a great match up and I can not wait to get out on the field."
On his improved pass blocking throughout the season
"Coming into the season it was one of the main things I was focused upon. I am more prepared now and know what I am doing. I feel more comfortable now and can relax about it."
On his improvement as a runner overall
"Just being more patient, trusting that the holes are going to be there. I learned that if I take my time, the holes are going to be there. If I slow everything down, things will open up."
On finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting
"I was not thinking of winning but second place is pretty good, I was happy with that. I have a couple more years to go out there and play."
On facing USC's man-to-man defense
"In this game it's always about competition, going against someone man-on-man, mano-a-mano. That's definitely competing, and we love competing. We work hard and go there and do our best, having a team that likes to play a lot of man is wonderful."
On the influence of last year's Sugar Bowl loss on the team's attitude
"It was huge. After the game last year, everybody was down. And coming into this year, everybody was like, we have to get back. And if we got back we were going to make sure to do our best to play our best, and what happens, happens."
On the game's star power
"This is awesome, I think it's the greatest national championship ever. I don't think there's ever been like four (Heisman Trophy) finalists in the same game together. A lot of explosion, a lot of excitement, a lot of great players on the field that'll be there Tuesday night."
"From our standpoint, it's huge for us as a program, for us seniors to try to go out on a good note and leave the underclassmen with something to remember. They have motivation and goals to shoot for career."
On the upperclassmen's initial impressions of Adrian Peterson
"We had high expectations for him and we knew that he was capable of being an athlete. College is nothing like high school. Workouts are totally different, the games are totally different. We were all like ‘Wait until he gets here, then he'll see how it really is.' We all looked forward to seeing that first workout, seeing him throw up, and whine about it, but he never did that."
On USC defensive line
"Their real athletic, fast, they use their hands well. They're just a good defensive line, well-coached, good size, and you can just tell that their well-coached. But we go against a good defensive line at practice every day, so it's nothing we haven't seen before, we just have to prepare right for it. I don't think their defense is overlooked at all. That's all I've heard is about their defense, so I've got a lot of respect for them because they always talk about them. I don't think their defense is overlooked at all."
On USC saying stopping OU run is key to game
"Yeah, I think every team thinks that. You've got to stop Adrian if you want to have any success against us. But we're going to run the ball, and as long as we go through our game plan, do what we've been coached to do and communicate across the front, that's our game plan. We're going to run the ball and we know they're going to try and stop us, it's just who's going to win up front."
On the keys of the offensive line for the game
"Third and short, that's our down. That's always our goal to get that third and short. Don't let anybody get to Jason because he's a valuable guy. He won the Heisman last year, we all know he's got a target on. We can't become one-dimensional, so we've got to keep the run and pass game going. That's what we always talk about. We just know that sometimes it's going to take longer for the receivers to get open. There's going to be some one-on-one battles, so it's a personal deal. You've got to block your guy to make sure your guy doesn't get to Jason. It's a personal thing. Either you're going to get him or he's going to get you, but most important is to make sure Jason has the right amount of time and make sure he doesn't get rattled. We've got to give Jason a lot of time, but the running game will help that out a lot too, just keeping them honest."
On the key to OU's success
"We win our games in the summer time. The discipline we have when we work out in the summer time with the hard work we do and commitment we have for all the guys that stay for a whole summer. Just going to school and work with Jerry Schmidt is amazing. The things we do, I don't like doing those things, but those things make us win games. We go out there and we work really hard. We work really hard. Sometimes we come to the point where we question, ‘Why do we even play football?' but then when we get to situations like we're in now in the Orange Bowl, playing for championships, then we think about all that stuff we did in the summer time. This is why we're here. I don't think any offensive line in the country could run like our offensive line. We run the zone as good as anybody."
On USC linebacker Matt Grootegoed
"I definitely think that he feels at home on the field. He definitely runs around and makes some plays. He always puts himself in position to be a great player. A lot of people can put themselves in those positions, but when it comes down to it, making the plays is a totally different story, and he does it."
"He really puts himself in the position to make the right plays. He's a big film guy and studies a lot of film. The thing that I really like about him is that, not only does he put himself in the position to make plays, but when it's his turn he actually makes them."
On USC's Linebackers
"They are a really smart and sound core. They are really good blitzers, they play the run and the pass equally as well. Really physical players, guys that we are going to have to get a hat on and account for."
On making of the most of all his touches
"In this offense you have got to. You are taking balls away from Adrian, Bradley, MC (Mark Clayton), all those guys, or even J-White. When you are taking balls away from those guys, you got to produce. That is one thing I try to do when ever the ball is thrown my way I try to catch and do what I can with it."
On OU's team speed
"We have a lot of speed on this team. We have some guys that can straight-up burn. It will be fun to watch the speed position and see what they are able to accomplish when they get the ball in their hands."
On fantasizing about long runs
"I can't lie, I fantasize about it a lot. But fantasy and reality are two different things. On this level you have to be happy with the 10 or 12 yard runs that you are fortunate enough to get and on this offense you are fortunate to get the ball period."
On the perfect play
"Honestly, the perfect play for me is getting it on the half-yard line and getting to dive. Going the half-yard ensuring the touchdown, that is the perfect play for me."
On how big this game is
"So many big names, so many great players, I think it calls for a national championship. I couldn't see us playing Southern California in the regular season. It's the perfect match-up for the National Championship with both offenses having a great quarterback and running back and both defenses having some similarities. I feel like it's the perfect game for the Orange Bowl."
On fans paying $1,000 for a ticket to the game
"I think they are smart. They will definitely get what they paid for."
On if there is any burden coming into BCS title game as the Heisman winner
"I would not necessarily say that it is a burden, but you do have that X on your back. Just like last year I had to deal with the media a lot and I'm sure Matt (Leinart) has had that already. You're requested a lot more than others are and you just have to suck it up and do it. There are a lot of things that you have to learn to do, and one of those is managing your time well. I did not play well last year and that was not because I won the Heisman, it was because the whole team did not play well. It takes everybody. It starts up front and continues to the receivers and then to the backs."
On his year
"This whole year has been easier for me. Just the fact that there is not as much attention on me, other guys on the team are shining. Their getting interviews and it has been great for me. I have been getting to enjoy life a lot more than I did last year and I can enjoy my life playing college football."
On OU having played in National Championship more than USC gives OU advantage
"I don't think so, because I know Pete Carroll is a good coach and he will have his team ready to play regardless of the distractions and all the other things surrounding these types of games. They have played in quite a few championships as well. They played in a big game last year also so they know what to expect. They're going to be just as ready to play as we are come January 4."
On what kind of game it's going to be in the trenches
"It's going to be a very, very physical game. They have a great front, we have a good front, and basically it's going to come down to who's the most physical in the trenches. That's where every game is won, so it's going to be a good challenge."
On if he looks forward to games that could come down to the battle of the line's
"We do. We love those kind of games. The kind where we know we're going to have to go in and take control. We feel like the game's going to be won or lost on our shoulders, and that's the way we like it."
Peterson, Sooner offensive players meet with media
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
Starrland Baldwin no longer a sleeper recruitA sleeper recruit no more, OU offer to Starrland Baldwin shows he has arrived.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 9:01 AM
OU's recruiting foundation? Always OKPrepsWhen OU has done well in recruiting, there are usually quality OKPreps name peppered throughout that class.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 8:56 AM
SI's 2018 OKPreps Top 25: Nos. 10-6Reached the top 10 of Sooners Illustrated's 2018 OKPreps Top 25, with Nos. 10-6.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 8:01 AM
From Jordan Woodard-to-Trae YoungThe torch is being passed at OU. From Jordan Woodard-to-Trae Young, Sooners securing point guard future and OKPreps foundation.
Sooners IllustratedWednesday at 9:21 AM