When a great player goes down, if you have a good team then another one steps up and goes in. That is an unwritten mantra with great sports teams, and the Oklahoma Sooners hope that saying is true when they take the field against Colorado on Saturday.
The Sooners have lost All-American running back Adrian Peterson for the rest of the regular season with a broken collarbone, giving a great opportunity for Allen Patrick to show what he can do. Patrick says he is ready to go and talked about his feeling and style of play on the OUInsider Two Minute Drill.
JH: What are your feelings about being the guy now at the OU tailback spot?
AP: "It is an honor to just come out here and play Oklahoma football. It is not like I am replacing AD, but it is coming and taking in this experience as a starting running back for a D-1 college. This is a big thing for me because this is what I wanted to do coming out of high school. Now it is time to quit talking about it and just go out and do it."
JH: Do you look at it as you're finally getting your opportunity to show what you can do?
AP: "It is nothing like that. It is the best experience that you can imagine to come out here and play for a big university like this. I am going to like it."
JH: You and AD are very close friends, so how tough was it to see AD getting hurt on Saturday?
AP: "It is like having a brother get hurt. You go out there and play with your brother and once you see him get hurt, I felt that. I am sorry that happened and just by being his friend I get to go out there and do what he did. Just like him, I am going to go out there and give it my all."
JH: What has AD told you at this point?
AP: "Just by going out there and practicing with him every day, we already know what each other can do. After he got hurt, he walked up to me at the end of the game in the locker room and asked me if I was ready to go get it. I am going to go out there and give it my all. Those were his words that came out of his mouth — that it was it was time to 'go get it'."
JH: So as soon as he knew he was injured he started to think about the future of you and the team?
AP: "Yeah, somewhere down in his heart he was still thinking of the team, even though he was going through a big tragedy that had just happened. To just go out there and get hurt on one play, just like that, shows us all that it can be gone at any time. He came up to me and still expressed his feelings towards the team. So his feelings for us are still there."
JH: What has made you guys so close?
AP: "It is a lot of things. When I came on my visit AD was who I chilled and kicked it with. When I came up here he showed me around and we just got close and built that friendship."
JH: Are you a little bit nervous about Saturday's start?
AP: "No, I am not nervous at all. This is a game and when you get out on the field I am just going to go into game mode. I will get that adrenaline rush and I will just go out there and play. As the running back, you put the team on your back. That is a big thing to do, but I am willing to step up and take that job."
JH: AD got hurt diving into the end zone. Do you find it a bit ironic that AD got hurt that way when he is such a physical player and at practice seems to look for guys to hit?
AP: "I wasn't expecting that to happen. It is just the way that he came down on his shoulder. It just happened so fast. I know he wasn't expecting that to happen, but it just happened. Things happen out on the field."
JH: Will you dive into the end zone if you have that opportunity on Saturday?
AP: "No, I am not taking any chances."
JH: Will the offense change at all?
AP: "It is pretty much going to be the same offense. We are still going to go out there and keep it balanced and do the same things that we have been doing. We are going to go out there and everybody is going to dig a little deeper and try to keep everything the same. We are just going to go out there and play hard ball."
JH: Have you prepared yourself for this opportunity?
AP: "Yeah, I have pretty much learned the offense and the whole scheme. I just have to go out there and give what I got. There isn't much else you can do about that. Like they say, you are one step away from playing and that is true. It came true for me. I just have to go out there and give it my all."
JH: What is your style of running?
AP: "I can go out there and carry the ball 25 times a game. I am a downhill runner and I like to set up in the ‘I' and then run it downhill and pound the other team. I can also go out there and do a little different style too. It is whatever the coaches need."
JH: Are you as effective in the shotgun or catching balls out of the backfield?
AP: "I think either way you want to put the offense it can work. We still have guys out there who can get the job done. We just have to go out there and play as a team and play as a whole."
JH: Have your teammates given you any pep talks recently?
AP: "Yeah, there have been a few guys who have come up to me and told me that it is my show now, it is time to get things done. Those guys know what I can do because they play with me at practice every day. They know what I can do, so I don't think they have any doubt in their mind that we are still going to keep things rolling."
JH: How about the students on campus, have they been giving your encouragement?
AP: "Yeah, because they just know there is a job that needs to get done. They are still looking at me as the same guy, same person, but it is just my turn."
JH: Does it bother you that one, two or possibly three other guys might share the position with you?
AP: "Those other guys are going to come in and take part. They are going to play their part. Everybody has a role on the team. I think those guys are going to come out and do a good job."
JH: Have you been working on ball security in practice?
AP: "All the time. Every day. There is not a day that passes around here where we don't work on ball security. That is thing that we have to work on, and we are getting that done."
JH: You fumbled a couple of times earlier this year, but you have never been a fumbler during your career have you?
AP: "No. But here and there somebody is going to get a good lick on the ball. It is going to come out sooner or later, but other than that I can take control of the ball."
JH: What are your thoughts on the Colorado defense?
AP: "I have heard that their team is pretty good on defense, but that is the challenge for me. I am going to have to go out there and prove a point. I am willing to take that chance."
JH: How comforting is it to have Paul Thompson in the huddle?
AP: "There is nobody like PT. He goes out there and he is a humble guy who keeps everything under control. I just like the way he plays his game. I think we are going to have a good combination back there."
JH: Will you continue to be on all the special teams?
AP: "I think they are going to take me off a few. I am still going to go out there when I can, but I need to keep my legs kind of fresh. I am still probably going to be a back-up. They are going to need me and I will just go out there and do it. I am the gunner and jammer on the kick-off."
JH: How would you say your style is similar to AD?
AP: "It is similar in that we both run with power and we both run full speed. That is how that comes. The difference is that he can break more tackles than I can, I will give him that. He can break tackles. Other than that, we pretty much run the same."
JH: Have you been able to learn quite a bit from him by just watching him?
AP: "Yeah, to just be out there in practice and learn how things work. We kind of talk to each other and let each other know what we see and what we see different. I liked learning behind him and watched what he does. I like watching the kind of person that he is and I appreciate him for that."
Patrick ready for his turn
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