Orange Bowl Media Day Quotes

Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson talks to the media during media day Sunday at Pro Player Stadium in Miami. See inside for quotes from Peterson, Bob Stoops and several other Sooners during Media Day. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

See below for quotes from Bob Stoops, Jason White, Adrian Peterson, Lance Mitchell, Dan Cody and Antonio Perkins from Media Day Sunday at Pro Player Stadium in Miami.

Bob Stoops:
On a match-up versus USC

"It's incredible when you look at the tradition and history and all the undefeated teams. It's exciting as a young kid even never being on the west coast, just watching SC and all their traditions just as I did with Oklahoma. As a kid in Ohio, you just always remember the great players that were there and the great plays they would make. It's exciting to be in this situation."

On if he's concerned about Oklahoma's secondary match-up against USC
"When you watch Tech the other day, we held them to one touchdown. You watched Texas last night, we held them to zero points. You look at Oregon, they had one touchdown (against OU). They averaged thirty-some points a game. The last three teams we played didn't score anything. We had two games in the middle where we made some mental mistakes. We've made some changes and adjusted. So, through twelve games, we had a couple of bad plays in just two games."

On getting the team ready to play
About getting the team ready mentally and physically "After a long layoff week by week, you just kind of pull yourself through it and that's what we've done. Playing in the Big 12 Championship game kind of pushed us back a little bit. They had some time away early, when we were recruiting. It's been a good base and we've just jumped back into it when we got back down here and the players have responded well."

Adrian Peterson:
On his recruiting trip to USC and choosing OU

"I had a little too much fun. I went to the clubs, had the opportunity to meet Leonardo DiCaprio. I just made the best decision for me. Either way I would have won considering we are both playing for the National Championship. My parents never pressured me during the decision."

On where the nickname ‘Diesel' comes from
"In high school they called me the Diesel because I used to run people over. Diesel is like the king of the road. If my football career does not work out, maybe I will be a Diesel model. I have a couple pairs of their shoes."

On his advice for freshman kicker Garrett Hartley
"He's coming from South Lake Carroll with about five state championships so I am pretty sure he knows about pressure. I would just tell him to relax and do what you have to do."

Jason White:
On how the hype affects the game

"I think more than anything with the hype with the game, it just adds to the excitement of the game, especially for the players. Getting down here, we've been here for seven or eight days, so you get to see a lot, you get to do a lot. I think it's just part of a bowl game and playing in the National Championship."

On having two Heisman winners in the same game
"Actually, I haven't really heard much about it. I have had a lot of questions asked about Matt and this year, but I really haven't heard much hype about two Heisman Trophy winners. I don't read the papers and stuff."

On the difference between this year and last year's bowl preparation for him
"Yeah, I'm not spending as much time in the training room. I'm going out and doing things. This year seems like we know what we have to do. We know we have to prepare better than we did last year, and I think we've accomplished that so far."

On the difference between this year and last year for the team "I don't think it's just one person. I think mainly, like I said earlier, it's up front. The way they're playing this year, they have a totally different attitude this year. Last year was more of a finesse team. All we do could do really was pass, but this year we're doing both."

On if he agrees with Jammal Brown and J.D. Runnels comments that USC's defense resembles OU's defense
"Yeah, I would. They're a lot of the same defense, the same blitzes. The front four are real good, our front four are real good. We see our defense every day, but of course they're going to be different in different ways, so it's good to play against our defense, but I'm sure they're going to play us a different way than everybody else."

On why people should bet on Oklahoma
"I don't know. I'm not really a betting man, either. I just think it's going to be a great game. You'd be taking a gamble betting on either team. I think both teams are so evenly matched at every position, it's going to be — seems like it's going to be a game all the way to the finish."

On getting the chance to redeem themselves after last year's Sugar Bowl loss
"Last year was extremely disappointing to go through the regular season like we did and then lose the last two games. Everybody talks about how good we were the first 12 games and then all of a sudden we lose and we're the worst team in college football. Last year was very disappointing as a team, and it taught us a lot the last two games. I think we carried that over to this year and tried to make it work to finish this year."

On if he feels he's better prepared for this year's title game
"Much better than last year. Last year all the attention after winning the Heisman and the interviews were every day, two or three sometimes a day, and this year it's not been anything. I can go to practice, go watch film, go to my room. Last year it wasn't like that. It was go to practice, do interviews, try to squeeze a little film in every now and then. This year I feel much more prepared than last year and hopefully play a lot better than I did last year."

On how criticism motivates him
"I think the biggest thing that sticks in my head was the emails that I got last year after the Sugar Bowl, just saying that I need to give back the Heisman Trophy, quit the team, and then one of my friends sent a newspaper clipping to me that said they needed a recount on the Heisman that somebody wrote. That somebody might be here, too (laughs). Stuff like that motivates me. I felt like it's a great opportunity to come back, play another season and once again prove myself. I guess last year wasn't enough."

On if being at the Orange Bowl in 2000 will help him know what to expect on Tuesday
"Being back here after 2000? In 2000 I walked through the tunnel knowing I wasn't going to play. I probably didn't even need to put my pads on. But in 2000 it was fun for me because me and Mark Clayton, we were part of the scout team offense, and we took pride in playing against the best defense in the nation. But I think it'll help out just being in the stadium before. It's been exciting so far and I think it'll be even more exciting playing the game."

On if making it to the Orange Bowl served as redemption for him after last season
"I don't think necessarily redemption. It's something that I had as a goal to be back and play. But to play well and win will be great. That will be a great way to cap off my career at OU."

On the importance of getting off to a quick start
You've got to play all four quarters. You've got to be patient with the ball, take what they give you. They're a great defense. They're not going to give you much, but when it's there you've got to take it and you can't force things."

On if there's anything to the Heisman jinx
"No, I think that's in everybody's head. I know a lot of people haven't had much success doing it, but it's not a big deal I don't think. I know I didn't play particularly well last year, but it wasn't because I won the Heisman."

On how important it would be to win his last game at OU
"It's the top of my list. It would be the best way to end my career at OU. We worked extremely hard to do it."

Lance Mitchell:
On USC running back LenDale White

"He poses a challenge because he's a big back with speed. Normally, big backs with speed break a lot of tackles."

On the desire to play on Tuesday
"I can't sleep. We're driven to finish this thing off. We heard all year about how we didn't finish. We trained all summer about how we didn't finish. We're just getting ready to finish."

On the seniors last game
"The base of this team is seniors. We have more senior starters on this team than we did last year. All these seniors want to go out with National Championship rings."

On the running backs in this game
"I'd rather face Reggie Bush than Adrian (Peterson). Look at that guy (Peterson). Big, strong, fast. He could run through any tackler if he needed to. Bush is a little more elusive. He's (Bush) probably more fun to play against than to pound it with A.D. A big dog chases the little dog."

On attacking the USC offense
"I think you stay aggressive. Stay aggressive and stay deep with your secondary."

Dan Cody:
On if USC's offense being the toughest challenge the defense will face this season

"Yeah, I think there's a lot of truth to this just because they're so balanced on how they can run the ball, make the big play and how they can throw the ball, it's almost like a triple threat, the two good running backs. But the biggest thing is the way we prepare, the way we get ready for teams can't change. The way we've been winning games all year has been in a good style, in a good way. We don't want to change that and look at them any different than anybody else."

On the key to the game getting pressure on Matt Leinart
"Absolutely. You don't want to let him get in any kind of rhythm. Once they start popping big plays and run the screen and run the draw, and once they get in that kind of rhythm where they're doing different things, that's where you want to get on their heels and we want to take the attack them to them."

On USC's offensive line
"We give them quite a bit of respect. As much as they throw the ball and protect the way they have and given up as few sacks as they have, I think that speaks a lot of words right there. When they're max protecting like that and they have extra guys in the box and that kind of prohibits us from doing a few things, but the key is we have to get those extra guys split out where they can get the ball down the field."

On if USC's offense compares to anyone's they've played this year
"I don't know if they compare to anybody in the Big 12 in their type of offense, the type of plays they run, but it's hard to tell what the team is all about until you've played them. There's a lot to truth to that. You don't know what they're about until you get on the field with them. There's no way of telling. Obviously the impression I have on film, generally the guys we thought were impressive on film played well in the game, and generally that holds true for these guys or they wouldn't be where they are right now."

On if they can prepare for Reggie Bush by facing Peterson or Mark Clayton in practice
"Well, you go against guys like that in practice, but the speed is never the same. He is a big play threat. That's a big part of their offense, what he does, and that's going to be a big key to stopping them is getting on him before he makes a big play. You know, he gets the ball, runs a few yards past the line of scrimmage and turns it into 70-, 80-yard plays. That's what we can't let happen."

On the pressure to stop USC's offense
"We've seen so many different things from so many different teams this year, trying to stop the dual threat offense. I think our guys feel pretty comfortable and confident being able to handle what they're going to do, just because we've seen so many different types of defenses and so many different teams have tried to take them in so many different ways."

Antonio Perkins:
On if he looks at this game as redemption for what happened last year
"I don't think it would be redemption. It poses another big challenge for us, to go out there and compete against them."

On playing in a big bowl game as a senior
"Means a lot. I was a redshirt in 2000 and our goal has always been to have a great season. We now have a chance and are looking forward to it. It feels great to be here as a senior, it would be great to win and feel like I was a big part of a National Championship."

On the South Beach experience
" I like the atmosphere, but I am not really a beach person because I can't swim. I am excited to be here as it is a great experience."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories