After his spectacular 211-yard (145 in the fourth quarter) performance against Oregon, Oklahoma junior running back Adrian Peterson is very much in the running for the Heisman Trophy.
Peterson would rather have the win over Oregon, but he is a very mature player for the Sooners and he knows that OU can still accomplish great things during this 2006 season.
Earlier this week, Peterson talked to OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: Through three games you have rushed for 515 yards (5.7 ypc) and 171.7 yards per game. You have been physical and you have also taken some hits. How do you feel after three games?
AD: "I feel good. Real good in fact. Things are different for me this year in that I am healthy and I am a lot faster. I am not taking on shots like I did last year. Guys who try to tackle me now have to adjust their angles or I am going to break things open on them."
JH: Did you get to return kicks in high school?
AD: "Yeah, I got a couple."
JH: You mean that they actually kicked the ball to you in high school?
AD: "Yeah, every now and then. You see, that was the big problem for me. They never did really kick the ball to me in high school."
JH: So your blockers caught most of the kickoffs around the 40 huh?
AD: "Yeah, the guy in the middle would catch it and run off to the side."
JH: Is this just another way for you to get your hands on the football?
AD: "Well, I haven't really thought about it that way at all but I guess that is a good point. I just thought it would be another way I could get out on the field and really help out my teammates. I would love to be a gunner on punt coverage and go down there and try to lay some hits on our opponents. That is the kind of player that I am. Basically, it is not really that hard to go down there and being the guy with speed and try to contain the returner."
JH: Does it bother you that you and your teammates gave such a great effort and had the game stolen from you, yet some of the national media said that you dropped in their Heisman polls?
AD: "No, people are entitled to their own opinions. That doesn't bother me. There are a million other people who have different thoughts."
JH: As a guy who is right in the middle of the Heisman race, do you pay attention to the new polls every week after each and every Saturday?
AD: "I try to not to think about it, but my teammates always come to me and tell me where I am at on the list. That is how I am always hearing about it. Basically, I am not doing anything different than I have done in the past. I am just going to keep on doing what I am doing. I am going to stay focused and not worry about getting this amount of yards or that amount. I am just going to go out there and make it happen."
JH: In the fourth quarter you were punishing their defense. Are there points in the game where you feel you are in control the game?
AD: "Yeah, we sensed it. When their guys started wearing down we saw it. On their sideline they were over there taking knees and stuff. It was crazy, you know. With all the noise (Holiday Bowl) that they were talking about wanting to get us back to their house, and then to watch them take a knee was proof that we were more physical. We were making the difference."
JH: Were they talking early in the game?
AD: "Yeah, they were talking a little bit. But we shut them up a lot."
JH: Did you talk back or do you talk much during a game?
AD: "Actually, this was one of the few games that I was out there talking a little noise. I had a little bit to say this game."
JH: Every game it seems you are running wild in the fourth quarter. Is that due to conditioning or confidence that you are the better conditioned team?
AD: "Yeah, it is all about finishing strong. We know every time that when the fourth quarter comes that we are going to dominate that quarter. That comes from all the hard work that we put in during the summer and during the spring. That pays off in the fourth quarter."
JH: At your weight (222) what could you run the 100-meters in?
AD: "I would say 10.2 something."
JH: So if you can just get a crease on that kickoff?
AD: "Yeah, I think I will be gone."
JH: You and your offensive line seem to be coming together. How much communication do you have with your offensive line in a game?
AD: "Each week we are starting to feel more comfortable with each other. We are getting into a groove during the games. As far as the games go and how much we talk actually, on that '28' play, which I scored the touchdown on, big Duke (Robinson) came to me and told that the guy was coming over the top and we when run '28' for me to keep it tight and bounce it back. So just by basically communicating with him, with little things like that, it got me into the end zone for that touchdown."
JH: Considering what happened in the Oregon game can the team put it behind you, move on and play some great football?
AD: "It is not easy to put it behind you, but you have to look forward to the next game. You can't keep looking behind you. That apology and all that doesn't do anything for me. I am sure my teammates feel the same. We worked too hard to get screwed like that."
Peterson not worried about Heisman hype
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