Peterson ready for Texas

Sooner running back Adrian Peterson talks about his fast start to the 2006 season and getting another shot at Texas after missing last year's Red River Shootout due to an injury.

For junior running back Adrian Peterson, the week off comes in handy. It is not really a week off, but a weekend off. Nonetheless, Peterson is not taking as much punishment this week as he normally would.

The Sooner Heisman Trophy candidate says he will relax this weekend, just watch some ball and that this will be the first weekend he has had totally off in some time. He will spend it with family and friends, but first he took a little time to talk with for the Two Minute Drill.

JH: How are you enjoying the week of practice knowing that you are going to have the weekend off?

AD: "I am enjoying it a whole lot. We are out there having fun, but taking care of business at the same time. This is just giving us time to heal up."

JH: I know that you and Allen Patrick are roommates and you two talk during the game all the time. Usually, he is pumping your spirits up and I am curious what you told him when he fumbled twice in the game last Saturday.

AD: "I just told him to not lose focus and to take care of the ball. I told him to start holding on tight to it. I told him to not let that affect the next play and to go out there and run hard and squeeze the ball tight."

JH: Is ball security tougher than we think it is?

AD: "Yeah, especially when you are running inside. Sometimes you might get a bad handoff and you try to run into the hole while you are you are trying get the ball up in there (armpit) to secure it. At the same time, a D-lineman might slip his hand up there and knock it out and it happens so fast. There are so many hands flying in trying to knock the ball out, so it really is tough to hang onto the ball sometimes."

JH: You are at the four-game mark of the season and you rank second in the nation in rushing at 160 yards per game. So, at this point, is the season going like you expected?

AD: "Yeah, I am sitting back and believing in myself and my offensive line. My team will give me opportunities to go out there and do what I do. Basically, I have been taking it stride-for-stride."

JH: How much did you miss not being able to really play in the Texas game last year?

AD: "Man, I can't even explain to you how much I missed not playing in that game. It hurt me so much to not be out there and not be able to play, especially being back home in the state of Texas. To not be able to go out there and fight with my team was very difficult."

JH: You tried to play in the game, didn't you?

AD: "I was determined to get out there and I gave it a shot. It just didn't work out for me."

JH: During that week you seemed to be pretty optimistic that you were going to play. Were you just playing the media or did you really feel that week that you were going to be able to play?

AD: "I felt my ankle getting better each day. It was getting better and better. I was sleeping with the stim machine on and I was doing anything and everything I could do to make it better. It was feeling good and I was just hoping that I could play. I was trying to get my mind set to play. I kept telling myself that I can play, I can play, but when I got out there I wasn't 100 percent and at the level of ability I was at I wasn't going to be able to help my team."

JH: You were trying to will you way onto the field, weren't you?

AD: "Yeah, a lot of people don't think about that. When you are out there sometimes and you're tired, you can't sit there and think you are tired. If you do then you are going to bust some plays. Instead, you have to think strong and talk to each other, and keep each other going."

JH: Does the OU/Texas game mean more to you because you are from the state of Texas?

AD: "Yeah, it means more because I am from Texas. Shoot, 80 percent of the team is from Texas. We will be going back playing against a lot of guys we all played against in high school, and for some of us we played on the same high school team. So that is always something special about the OU-Texas game."

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