Kelly has deep roots in Texas

OU sophomore receiver Malcolm Kelly talks about being the go-to guy and his Texas ties. The Longview, Texas native is currently 10th in the nation in receiving yards per game (94.75). (AP Photo)

To win big games, somebody has to step up and make big plays. One of those players that has to get that done is sophomore wide receiver Malcolm Kelly. Kelly has emerged as the Big 12's best big-play wide receiver in four games hauling in 17 passes for 379 yards at 22.3 yards per catch and four touchdowns.

Kelly is mature for his age, understands the game and he is not afraid to be labeled a playmaker. The Longview, Texas native, who grew up a Texas fan, recently talked with about this weekend's big game for the Two Minute Drill.

JH: You know you have to make big plays for OU to beat Texas don't you?

MK: "That is what it is all about. Just like you said, big players make big plays in big game and I don't know if any game will get as big as this one this weekend. As far as this whole offense, we all have to come out and play well. We have to worry about we have to do and we all have to make big plays. I mean, an offensive lineman has to make a big block, the quarterback has to make a good pass. We all have to click together and have a good game to be successful this weekend."

JH: How much is it going to benefit you to have played in this game a year ago?

MK: "I think it is going to benefit me a whole lot, because like I said last year I wasn't starting going into the game and I hadn't gotten that much playing time. I went into the game it kind of overwhelmed me. Then when I finally got out there on the field, I was looking across there and looking down at my jersey and looking at his jersey and it was kind of crazy. With all the hype surrounding the game, and I think now that I have actually become a part of this offense, I can actually go out there and make plays. I am more confident in myself and now the game will be more fun for me. I will just go out and try to make plays."

JH: I forgot about you growing up a Texas fan and your brother going to UT until I read about that in the paper the other day. Was it weird last year that you were wearing crimson and cream instead of burnt orange?

MK: "I rooted for Texas for 15 years or so. But when I walked down that tunnel with my teammates wearing Sooners on my chest, I said all that has to change."

JH: From what I understand, your mom and dad have switched over and they are wearing crimson. But your brother is still a Longhorn who will root for you but not Oklahoma?

MK: "He is still a big Longhorn fan. That is the school that he played for and the school that he graduated from. He will probably be rooting for Texas and me at the same time. If it came down to it, he will be rooting for me in the end."

JH: Talk about the matchup of your receivers against their secondary?

MK: "Our receivers are now second -ear guys, because we have nobody on our receiving roster older than a sophomore. They have some DBs who have played a lot of football and their two seniors have played a lot of football. I just think it is going to be a heck of a matchup, man.

"They believe in their secondary and I am pretty sure they believe they can isolate on us and load the box. They feel they can stop the run and not really care about the pass, and we as receivers believe that we can beat the one-on-one coverage. So it is going to be two very athletic groups clashing all game."

JH: So far teams have tried to stack the box and you have been able to beat the coverage pretty well?

MK: "Yeah, pretty much. Until somebody stops doing that then we will continue to take what the defense gives us. If that is what they give us, then that is what we will do. We are going to take what the defense gives."

JH: How big is the game before the game when everybody is talking to you about the game?

MK: "It is real big, man. I went home this past weekend and I went to my high school game and everything and everybody was so hyped about the game. Everybody knows who we got next and people are just calling. Everybody is trying to come to the game, but everybody can't get to that game. That makes it all the better. Because by the time we get on that bus and ride into that fair, then look at that stadium and know it is time to get it on, man, that is what you live for. Growing up a UT fan or an OU fan, you grow up for that big game. It is really a big game this year."

JH: Longview has sent players all over the country so are folks in Longview rooting for one team more than the other?

MK: "No. My head coach and my offensive coordinator were here the last game when we played Middle Tennessee State. So wherever their players go that is who they are going to root for. My coaches are big LSU fans because they are all from Louisiana, but the second I switched over to Oklahoma they have been supporting me. They never tried to get me to go elsewhere. They just support their players."

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